I don’t think Peanut Noodles was the real name for this recipe but… Honestly I’m too exhausted from making this meal to go check.
For the record, I was hungover making this but the true reason I could barely cook this was because I have literally been some level of hungover this whole week. I didn’t even drink that much last night (relative to, you know, the previous days of the week) but I think my body is just done, overall. Also, before you judgey mcjudgersons judge me know that this week included my 9 year anniversary with Michael, marching in a Mardi gras parade in the pouring rain (alocohol is a natural internal heat packet), AND parent teacher conferences. If I hadn’t gotten drunk every night… Well I’d be in better shape BUT AT WHAT COST?
So at first I was impressed that the eggplant and bok choy weren’t individually plastic wrapped as well as being in a plastic bag BUT once I arranged all the ingredients for this photo I realized that Plated really uses a bonkers amount of packaging. I don’t understand how meal subscription boxes can claim to reduce food waste. I know they mean that less PRODUCE is wasted but is an abundance of organic food waste really the problem in our landfills? I’m no trash expert (joke about how I’m trash, just not an expert) but aren’t we more worried about… Plastic bags never biodegrading?!?! BUT I DIGRESS
I really do think that Plated gives simple directions but I honest to Cho had to reread step 1 like ten times before it made even a little bit of sense. Chopping the produce was no big, but WTF that ginger paste thing is bullshit. Why didn’t they just send ginger paste? Making it by hand was ridiculous, I gave up after a solid 5 minutes of smooshing salt and ginger bits with a knife. I was supposed to smoosh until it was a “paste” like consistency… Which, a) what the fuck does that mean, really and b) didn’t look like it was ever gonna happen by just knife smoosh. The directions said there was a hint on how to do this under recipe tips but the tips were like “make sure you cut up the ginger” UM THANK YOU I had figured that out. (It also creepily said “read through the whole recipe before you began, trust us, you’ll be glad you did!” Which made me feel like at the end of this recipe it was going to be revealed to be some sort of joke, or like maybe it would say in step 6 “HA you thought to had to make ginger paste by hand, what horse shit, check the bok choy, the paste baggie is hidden in the leaves” [that didn’t happen])
Despite my complaining, this pasta was delicious. Michael and I agreed that were we rich people who could actually pay for meal boxes, we’d pick Plated. Thanks for this box, Madame V!!
Even though cooking through this hangover almost made me explode, I give it 10 Tippys out of 10, as well as 1 beer which symbolizes how I’ve learned nothing and am gonna crack open a beer as soon as I post this. FUCKING CHEERS, MY LIVER
A friend of mine, who I will call Madame V for reasons that will make Madame V groan and regret everything, gave me A BEAUTIFUL GIFT: a free box of Plated, another rival of Blue Apron and the other meal subscription box services.
I’ve tried boxes now from Plated, Blue Apron, and Hello Fresh. So far, Plated has had my favorite recipes cards. Hello Fresh came with a lottt of extra paper fluff, but Plated was more simple.
It was also nice because I could show Michael big pictures and say WHICH ONE DO YOU WAAAAAAAANT
For the first night we picked the Greek Horiatiki because I like chickpeas. Michael, amazingly, said all of the meals looked good?!?! It was a miracle. Just based on this fact, Plated wins the meal subscription box war.
This box was really into being eco-friendly where it could WHICH WAS NICE because dudes these boxes!!! So many separate plastic bags?! I’m sure these people are conforming to certain health standards but when a cucumber is vacuum packed does it also need to be in a quart sized plastic bag? If I was less OCD I’d reuse the bags but… you know. OCD. So anyway this box was lined with recycled… natural… fluff IDK. Good on you, Plated.
At first, I was like “ugh all the ingredients are mixed up, ugh” BUT THEN I remembered how Hello Fresh did separate boxes for each meals and how one box was jacked and how a box was also jacked for Teacher 3 and so clearly, based on two anecdotal evidenceseses the separate box sitch is fucked.
SO MANY INGREDIENTS. It was intimidating.
Honestly, I can’t tell if the Plated directions were easier or if I just am still so mad at Hello Fresh for giving Teacher 3 a free box for HER jacked meal and offering ME a FIVE DOLLAR COUPON for mine. But I did like them. HOWEVER, even more assumptions were made than in other boxes. For example, the oil was specified to be OLIVE oil, not any oil. I don’t normally buy olive oil because are different oils reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally different? And olive oil is SO FUCKING EXPENSIVE. But for some miracle reason I had a really small bottle of Harris Teeter brand olive oil so it got used. The ingredient list just said “olive oil” without an exact amount which was frustrating because I kept putting it BACK and getting it back OUT and thinking I’d run out, honestly EVERY. STEP. of this recipe required MORE AND MORE olive oil. Is this a Greek thing or a Plated thing?! I DON’T know. The last step involved warming the naan in oil and I was so confluffled that I just poured all the rest of the oil in the pan and I ended up with some soggy ass naan, that shit was my bad.
Also, I have a problem with using a lot of plates and shit. This recipe required TWO mixing bowls, AND a large pan. And so many different measurements! At one point, it said a quarter of a cup of red onion. Does this mean half a small onion? Do I really have to use up a measuring cup for this?
THE ANSWER IS YES I DO because look how far off I was:
Anyhoo, this meal ended up being quite tasty despite my hesitation at what seemed like the fanciest of meal subscription boxes. There was even (a very small amount of) leftovers! A true meal box miracle.
I give this recipe 4 Tippys and 4 top hats for fanciness
I was so not interested in making this last recipe from my free hello fresh box. In fact, I started making it last night and I got as far as taking this ingredient photo:
And then Michael was watching the new Spider-Man trailer, and I got distracted trying to figure out if Ganke was in it (he wasn’t), and then we watched another trailer and another and another and then Michael was like, “Do you just wanna order Chinese?” and Michael NEVER wants to order Chinese so THAT HAPPENED (not a good budgety decision but oh well). So I was all ready to just throw in the towel and re-purpose the ingredients. HOWEVER when I went to check the fridge I realized that all I had besides this last box was butter, a couple of brown bananas, and a bunch of old food that I really need to throw out. The pantry was, somehow, even worse. We have four boxes of pasta.. but no pasta sauce. And nothing even close to tomato sauce that I could maybe turn INTO pasta sauce. How did that happen?!
So I sucked it up and made the damn recipe, “Protein-Packed Rice Bowl” by Hello Fresh. Protein-packed is REALLY a stretch for a rice bowl with no typical vegetarian proteins in it. It had some cashews, but just as a topping. It should have been called Veggie Fried Rice Bowl (But Without the Fried Egg Part). It was just fried rice with green beans, corn, and carrots.
The first instruction was to toast the cashews. They wanted me to use up a whole cookie sheet! To toast some nuts! Ridiculous. Can you imagine the wasted cleaning time if I wasn’t the kind of person who just puts down tin foil and never washes her bake ware?! Pfft.
I talk a big game for someone who almost fucked this recipe up entirely. First, it said to cook the rice but did not mention rice to water ratio at all. That’s a hefty thing to assume, that I would know how to cook rice. I have a rice cooker but I decided to go old-fashioned for some dumb reason and it took forEVER
Then, the instructions said to chop the green onions into 1 inch bits and it didn’t say anything about the green beans, which I thought was weird. It also said I only needed to use half the can of corn and made some silly comment about “the rest of the can is on us!” hahhaha thanks for that, it really makes this $27 fried rice worth it to know I got extra corn. I didn’t know what the hell I’d do with half a can of corn so I used all of it.
It was around this time that I realized I done fucked up. Looking back at the directions I realized I was supposed to chop the beeeeans into inch strips and “thinly slice” the green onions. DON’T SKIM RECIPES, CHILDREN.
Once I hastily broke up the green beans with a dull knife it looked a lot better. The directions said “toss” a lot, like I had a wok which I don’t. ALSO it came with an unpeeled carrot. I DO have a peeler but… I don’t feel like that’s a common item. On hello fresh’s FAQs it says all you need to provide from your own kitchen is”salt, pepper, and a good oil” LIES – it’s assuming you have all sort of weird kitchen things and also a working knowledge of strange cooking terms (“lug”, “drizzle”, “just cook the rice, I’m sure you know how”)
Anyhoo, despite all this, it was a decent recipe. Michael liked it. And since I used all the corn it was an okay amount too. ALL IN ALL I give it 6 Tippys out of 10.
I was all ready to break up the ingredients of my remaining two hello fresh meals after I made my last post. I even put the chunk of ginger root from the rice bowl recipe into a beer sampling glass and put it in the windowsill to sprout (we’ll see if this works). HOWEVERR, a loyal reader requested that I do the remaining recipes and review them here. I KNOW, I’m shocked too. First, I have loyal readers? Second, they comment and request things?! It’s a miracle.
Update on the nasty rotten asparagus from last time: Hello fresh gave me a $20 credit that I will never use because that would still make their boxes WAY THE HELL out of my budget. I was okay with this until I told Teacher 3 and she said the same thing happened to her with hello fresh but with a red pepper and SHE got an ENTIRE FREE BOX. WTF HELLO FRESH.
So anyway, here is hello fresh’s “Pesto Flatbread (Posh Pizza)”.
Here is everything that came in the little box:
I got excited when I saw the brown wrapping because TO ME pizza = cheese. I know that the mozzarella is there, and that fancy pizza never has a great deal of cheese but I had HIGH HOPES. Which were dashed, because that’s just a nicely wrapped zucchini. ;_; Which is fine. I’m a vegetarian, I like vegetables. Plus I got to shave off a chunk for Tippy who begrudgingly loves zucchini.
My only real comment on the ingredients is that there was a LOT of broccoli related food waste.
I like broccoli stems. I should have kept them but this was weird long, fancy broccoli and I was worried that I wasn’t supposed to eat the stems. Fancy produce intimidates me. You know how there’s that fancy fish that is mostly poisonous? What if this broccoli was the same way?!?!?!?!
So anyway, someday when I’m rich and I have a yard (never) I’ll have a compost heap and then I’ll never feel bad about food waste! BUT FOR NOW, I threw away more than half of the broccoli that hello fresh gave me.
This time the recipe called for a DRIZZLE of oil which I wish had been the direction for the goddamadsnmfdsnfg pasta because drizzle, to me, means a smallish amount and it worked out fine unlike my pasta sauce which turned out to be literally half oil.
I don’t have a lot of snarky things to say about this recipe because it was actually quite good. I even didn’t mind that the sauce on the pizza was pesto and not marinara, which I normally don’t like. I think the addition of sun-dried tomatoes fixed the part of my brain that would have rebelled against a pizza with no tomatoey goodness. Also, I was VERY pleased with how much topping ended up on the flatbreads. I hate when you go to a restaurant and order a pizza flatbread and it’s two little circles of mozzarella and like, a mushroom. That’s not pizza! That’s bread. That shouldn’t cost money at a nice restaurant, that should be given to me FOR FREE so I can fill up and only spend 6 bucks on a small salad.
Michael even liked it! A SUCCESS, FOR ONCE IN MY FAILURE OF A LIFE. I GIVE THIS PIZZA 10 TIPPYS OUT OF 10.
I’d like to first point out that we have awesome names for a lot of vegetarian/vegan substitutes (Soysage, fakin, ET ALL). However, the only chicken substitute name I am aware of is “chik’n” which is CRAP. The vegetarian name should be a hilarious variation and should sound similar to but noticeably different from the meat name. Ordering a “chik’n” patty at a hip restaurant will most likely get me the flesh of an actual chicken and I don’t… want that. If some hero could get on this I would really appreciate it.
Happy Early Mid-August! The most panicked time of the year for the public school teacher such as myself. Summer is rapidly imploding and as much as I would love for the heat index to NOT hover around 110 I am IN NO WAY READY for Labor Day (not to mention all the in-service that comes before it). For those of you who ARE NOT teachers (who are you and how did you get here?!) I bet you’re wondering why it seems I have been neglecting my blog all summer. WELL. I’ve been very busy catching up on my reading (harry potter fan fiction) and watching this year’s Oscar contenders (the lego batman trailers over and over again) as well as some much needed exercise (pokemon go). But I’ve finally written in enough time to share my newest favorite-est recipe:
Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup Ingredients:
– Fake chicken soup bouillon broth cubes* (or vegetable bouillon)
– Frozen fake chicken strips**
– Medium onion (1)
– Water (1 cup for every serving of bouillon)
– Garlic (around 4 cloves)
– Nutritional yeast (like.. a quarter cup, no joking fam)
– Some kind of pasta (the whole goddamn PACKAGE)***
– Spices**** (TO TASTE)
*I have a VERY SERIOUS recommendation and it is this weird vegan Austrailian soup company’s bouillon cubes
I found these on the top shelf of the broth section of the soup aisle at my local Shopper’s Food Warehouse and they have CHANGED MY LIFE. They have chicken, beef, and regular vegetable flavors and OMG I FEEL LIKE… like I prayed for these products?!?! Like I got down on my knees in the Shopper’s Food Warehouse and prayed to Paul Newman Patron Saint of Grocery Stores/Rob Zombie Patron Saint of Vegans and my prayers were answered?! You gotta check out that website linked in the image caption and just.. figure out where this shit is available near you and fill a whole drawer in your kitchen with it IT’S THAT GREAT. I mean… some body has got to let Knorr onto the secret that you don’t need FATTY TISSUE from fucking ANIMAL CREATURES to make a good soup. Whew!
** On this batch I used a bag of Quorn’s “chicken pieces” but any unbreaded chicken substitute will do. If you use Morningstar or Gardein you just have to chop them up to make them more reasonable for soup. ALSO only one of these is vegan and I think it’s Gardein? Anyway if you a vegan check that shit out first.
*** I use literally whatever gimmicky healthy-but-not-whole-wheat non-noodle pasta is on sale and not homophobic barilla. So like last time I used Shopper’s store-brand 50% whole wheat shells and this time I used Harris Teeter’s store brand hidden veggie bow-tie pasta. YOU COULD EVEN USE SPAGHETTI IF YOU WANTED just go nuts my friends
**** MY SECRET SPICE… IS TEACHER SPICE (shout out to Ginz)
1) Bring water, nutrional yeast, chopped onion, chopped garlic and bouillon to boil
2) Add package of pasta
3) Microwave frozen fake chicken according to package directions
4) Once pasta is cooked, add fake chicken
5) Spice to tasteeee
6) Remove pot from heat and cover
7) Allow to stew in it’s own residual heat for like 20 minutes
Listen… I’ve been a vegetarian for 9+ years but it tastes like what I remember of homemade chicken noodle soup. ALSO Michael liked it which is a HUGE DEAL because I make weird soups like it’s my fucking job and normally Michael (rightfully) avoids them but with my first batch of this soup he ate a bowl and woke me up (because he is a vampire who eats in the middle of the night) and told me how much he liked it and I was so flabbergasted that I thought it was a dream BUT IT WASN’T HE REALLY DID LIKE IT and we ate all of it in like two days and I didn’t have to freeze ANY OF IT IT WAS A MIRACLE
PLUG TO OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA: Hey are you a vegetarian or vegan person who likes to wear cool patches and let the flesh eaters know that carrots are great?!?!?!?! WELL SO AM I AND I MADE THIS PATCH FOR US buy it on my newly reopened etsy! 3 dollarydoos for a handmade patch free shipping within the United States?? WOW!~*~*~*~*~
Note: Pretty much all of these images are from the fabulous Teacher 3, who was NOT too scatterbrained to remember to take pictures unlike your friendly narrator
The Pickle Party was exactly like it sounds! I invited a bunch of my friends over to pickle things. IT WAS MAGICAL. In this post I will tell about all the incredible things
that were made and consumed INCLUDING: pickled Brussels sprouts, pickled fancy Asian radish (“Daikon radish”), pickled hot peppers, pickled red onions, pickled cucumbers (…”pickles”), pickle pizza, pickle grilled cheese, fried pickles, and MOST IMPORTANTLY pickleback shots.
First up, Things We Actually Pickled Ourselves: Ingredients: – Mason jars (I got about 24 pint sized ones, which turned out not to be enough!)
– Cucumbers (As you can see on my grocery list I was planning on getting 20 cucumbers but I felt so ridiculous bagging SO MANY cucumbers all by myself I ended up only buying 10. Which turned out to be plenty)
– Red onions (I got about 8 and a guest brought 2 more! The jars of pickled red onions were SUPER popular as take-home jars so I recommend not skimping on the red onions if you’re planning your own Pickle Party)
– Jalapenos (10 nice sized ones)
– Additional hot peppers (I got a handful of habanero, thai chili peppers, and a poblano pepper for the milder folks)
– White vinegar (in the BIGGEST AMOUNT YOU CAN FIND!!!)
– Dill (3 bunches – this was hard to find for some reason, all the “nice” grocery stores didn’t have fresh dill, I eventually found it at good ole Shopper’s Food Warehouse)
– Garlic (3 bulbs [UNIMPORTANT SIDENOTE: A friend and I went through this phase around junior year of college where we each ate a whole, raw garlic clove once a day because she had read it was good for you. Just typing the word garlic gives me PAINFUL TASTE MEMORIES])
– Kosher salt (what makes it Kosher? I DON’T KNOW but I trust it)
Additional Fancy Ingredients That Guests Brought:
– Daikon radishes (2)
– “Pickling spices” (Teacher 3 brought this and I don’t even know what it was. The first ingredient was cinnamon. Which is weird? Maybe?)
– Brussels Sprouts (Teacher 3 and Husband strike again!!!)
All of the above is what was actually used during the merrypicklemaking. Here is an inexhaustible list of what I spent money on and didn’t end up using: peppercorns (pro tip: this is just whole pepper, I learned), limes (why did I think I would be putting lime in pickles), whole coriander, paprika, dried dill weed (this was when I couldn’t find fresh dill and I went nuts because YOU CAN’T MAKE PICKLES WITHOUT DILL so I spent like $20 on fucking little jars of dill weed it was ridiculous because once I DID find fresh dill it was $1.49 A BUNCH!!!!!!!!!!!1) and milk. Technically the milk was for the fried pickle recipe that I ended up forgetting about but, if you are a loyal reader of this blog, and I know you are, you know that Michael and I don’t normally drink milk so it was a WASTE. (Although I did use it later for Thin Mint dunkin’ aw yeah) (almond milk is better)
Directions (based on these directions):
1) In a large pot bring 2 parts water to 1 part white vinegar to a boil
2) Stir in a ratio of 2 tablespoons kosher salt + 1 teaspoons of sugar to each 2:1 ratio of water: vinegar.
3) What I mean is, if you boil 8 cups of water and 4 cups of vinegar (which I think is what we did for 26 pint sized jars) you will add 8 tablespoons of kosher salt and 4 teaspoons of sugar
4) Turn the heat down so that it’s kept warm
5) Clean and prep your jars
6) Fill each jar with chopped up cucumbers/red onions/hot peppers/radishes/whatever and the additives all the way to the top, but don’t cram anything in with (the) force.
7) Don’t forget to add the additives like chopped garlic and dill!! It’s difficult to get that stuff in there once the jar is filled with CUKES or the like
8) Pour in the pickling mixture to the top and put the lid back on!
9) REFRIGERATE for 10 days.****
10) After this time the jars last up to 6 weeks in the fridge, apparently
**** Despite what I apparently said to a few guests at the end of the approximately 8 hour Pickle Party, this recipe is for REFRIGERATOR pickling and you should not leave the jars out unless you want BOTULISM which is APPARENTLY what Done In Kaila wanted
What I wanted more than anything was an infographic that described the above recipe so here is one I just doodled because I can’t computer. If you can computer please feel free to digitize my nonsense:
Pickleback Shots Ingredients:
– Pickle brine (please DO YOURSELF A FAVOR and only use Claussen pickle brine, we ran out after a billion shots and shooting the brine from the store brand non-refrigerator pickles was maybe the worst thing I ever did to myself)
1) Take a shot of whiskey
2) Immediately take a shot of pickle brine
3) Repeat until you’re done in enough to tell your guests they don’t need to keep pickles refrigerated
*DO NOT ever MIX the shots and call it a drink, a bartender did that to us once at a Buffalo Wild Wings and it was the second worst thing I’ve ever done to myself.
Pickle Pizza Ingredients:
– Frozen cheese pizza (pro tip: the cheapest brand will be one of the following: Tombstone, store brand Tombstone, Red Baron, or store brand Red Baron)
– Halved Claussen pickles (THIS POST IS AN AD FOR CLAUSSEN) (PLEASE SPONSOR MY BLOG CLAUSSEN)
1) Bake the pizza however the box tells you to
2) Slice the pickles as thinly as is HUMANLY possible
3) Layer the pickles on the pizza when it’s still hot from the oven
4) Feel amazed that you ever doubted how incredible pickle pizza would be
Pickle Grilled Cheese Ingredients:
– Sliced American cheese
– Sliced white cheddar cheese
– Sliced tomato
– THINLY SLICED Halved Claussen pickles (KAILA YOU KNOW YOU CAN BUY CLAUSSENS PRESLICED, yes I do realize this, dear loyal reader, HOWEVER it’s cheaper to get the whole or halved ones and slice yerdamnself)
1) Butter the sides of the bread that face out from the sandwich
2) Inside layer THUSLY: slice of cheese, slice of tomato, slice of other cheese, slices of pickle, slice of first cheese.
3) Grill evenly on each side
Classic Fried Pickle Chips Ingredients:
– “Hamburger” pickle chips (in this AND ONLY THIS case store-brand non-refrigerated is fine)
– All-purpose flour
– Egg (beaten)
– Bread crumbs
– Nutritional yeast (optional,but as any vegetarian knows, that shit is great on everything)
– Frying oil
1) Lay out three separate containers: one for the flour, one for the egg, and one for the breadcrumbs
2) Heat up about half an inch of oil in a frying pan
3) Individually pad the pickle chips in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs
5) Lay out on paper towels when they are nice and brown to soak up some of the oil
Teacher 3 and I really had our hearts set on lacto-fermenting some pickles BUT we are both paranoid people and we decided that there was too much of a chance that we (read: me) would mess something up and poison ourselves. Almost every article we found about lacto-fermenting was like lol seriously watch out for horrible bacterial disaster lol
Also! Lacto-fermenting looked time-consuming and by the time we had made all our other goodies our men had abandoned us to fix the closet (???) and the rest of our friends were watching Boogie Nights and/or SLC Punk
The pickles are on Day 8 of refrigeration. I will make a post about how they turned out on Day 10! Probably! Til then!
Okay, listen, I don’t know what to call this. I spent a really long time trying to come up with a clever way to combine Chickpea and Chicken so that you understood that the main ingredient was CHICKpeas as a meat substitute. EH??? But. I failed. If anyone has any better ideas… I will rename this post. Also, I didn’t want to call this a lettuce “wrap” because the romaine in this is not WRAPPING around anything, it is really cradling the salad, like a leafy bassinet. Thus, “boats”. Moving on!
One of the only foods I miss after 9 years of being a vegetarian is tuna salad. Not like a nice cut of fish, or steak, or whatever, but I miss straight up mixing way too much mayonnaise with a whole can of Chicken of the Sea and just eating the whole thing in about 10 minutes. SO GOOD. I mostly cooked for myself growing up, and tuna salad was a staple (so was an entire casserole dish of Minute Rice, but luckily, I didn’t have to give that up when I went veg).
Vegetarian Tuna Salad Romaine Boats
– Chickpeas [garbanzo beans] (2 cans)
– Celery (one stalk, diced)
– Onion (1/2, diced)
– Mayonnaise (3 HEAPING tablespoons)
– Chili powder (dash)
– Garlic powder (dash)
– Salt (just a spranklin’)
– Avocado (1)
– Romaine leaves (7 or 8 big ones!)
First, chop up your celery and onion! Then you need to mash up your chickpeas. There are two ways to do this. The most effective and fancy way is to put the chickpeas into some sort of food processor. Or blender? But the best way to do this is with my favorite kitchen tool: THE POTATO MASHER
Just mash the hell outta those chickpeas! Do you see a chickpea that is intact? SMASH ITTTTTTT. Then, mix the chickpea mash up with the onions, celery, garlic, chili, salt and mayonnaise all cozy in a big ole bowl.
The tricky part is getting all the deliciousness into the romaine leaf. Spoon it into the leaf and DON’T over do it. Put in like three big spoonfulsish into each leaf. If you over-stuff it, then you won’t be able to eat the boat like a taco and that is the funnest part. Then, I like to add a line of smashed avocado right in there next to the line of chickpea salad. This compensates for the fact that there isn’t really much mayonnaise in this recipe, when compared to normal mayonnaise “salads”.
Then eat it with your bare hands like a friggin’ taco AW YEAH.