Buddha bowls (the half-assed version)

Have all yous heard of Buddha bowls? They were very “in” a couple years ago with the blog community, and prior to that vegetarians like myself were eating bowls of grains, pulses, and veggies and just being like “this is food.”

All of the Buddha bowl recipes I’ve seen have been very intricate. Make sure you soak the grains and pulses so they are more digestible. There should be at least 14 kinds of veggies in the two cups of food you’re about to eat. Make sure you soak the grains. Are you using sprouted beans or a fermented vegetable protein? Because those are the only two options that exist. If you don’t arrange it as fancy as possible and also post it to instagram it definitely doesn’t count as a Buddha bowl.

Anyway, my Buddha bowl is almost exactly like that classic version, except the only part I followed was the posting to Insta and blogging about it. I also wanted my Buddha bowl to work as meal prep since it is really stupid to make only one portion of food, and it’s not like my boyfriend will eat rice and beans for dinner with me. So I set out to create a meal, nourishing, but barely involving cooking, that works really well as meal prep for pack-able work lunches. I happened to make my Buddha bowls at 11pm before the start of my work week, because I find that meal prep goes faster when you start an hour after your bedtime.

It’s framed with the time because Mary Ellen are on a campaign to promote truth in food blogging

Start with some aduki beans (I think they’re also called adzuki beans sometimes). I like to use aduki beans because they’re one of the few beans that can safety be eaten at work without investing in special fart filtering underwear . I went with canned beans because I don’t like my 11pm meal prep to take 12 hours.

You’re also going to want some brown rice, or, like, another kind of grain. I found these microwavable brown rices and frequently use them for work lunches or times that I’m feeling very lazy.

And now we get to the “cooking” of this Buddha bowl. I imagine you could maybe use raw vegetables, but you’re still going to need to chop them or something, so you might as well chop up a bunch of greens and saute them in a tiny bit of oil, garlic powder, and salt. This was the longest, most taxing part of my late night meal prep. It took somewhere in the range of 3-5 minutes. But it was worth the investment. I bought a yam to roast for these Buddha bowls. It’s still sitting on my counter.

Since this is meal prep, I put the Buddha bowls in fancy glass containers so that when I dump everything together it will look so nice.

Buddha bowls are traditionally served with simple, but time consuming, homemade sauces. I opted for premade goddess dressing and packed it separately in a tiny container. I had a delicious meal at work two days in a row, and it was almost so good that I forgot that I have to spend most of my time working to afford my dog’s prescription food.

Remember to take 40 pictures of your work lunch and post all over social media

Serafina

Advertisements

Sourdough Bread

Friends, I know you were all a little disappointed after Mary Ellen’s last post. I mean, she didn’t even tell you how to make the bread you were toasting before you had to combine different sprinkle colors. This kind of inattention to recipe details is frankly embarrassing, and I don’t mind publicly blasting her for it.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was making sourdough and, not only was I the kind of absolute monster that didn’t share the bread with my adorable new puppy, but I also didn’t share the recipe with any of you. I’m going to rectify that today (sort of) and let you know how you absolutely need to stop what you are doing and spend like 9 hours making sourdough.

I’ve tried my hand at bread making a few times over the years and was always so disappointed with the lightning-fast process. 2 hours from start to finish. I’m making my own bread here, not taking a dump. I’d like to savor the experience, dabble with the dough for a few minutes every three or four hours, really fill up what could otherwise be a productive day. But, I’m a busy woman who spends an entire day making one or two loaves of bread, I don’t have time to wax on about this. I also don’t have time to give you any coherent information about how to get into the fast and loose sourdough lifestyle so, that’s probably disappointing for you.

This is my sourdough starter. I consider it a pet. It’s better behaved than the cats.

A “comprehensive” guide to making sourdough

Step 1: Obtain a sourdough starter or make your own.

Step 2: feed your sourdough starter regularly. I named my sourdough and make sure I interact with it regularly. I’m actually not going to tell your starter how to take care of this microbial pet. Google it or check out an actual resource.

Step 3: make sourdough bread!!!

Ingredients for two loaves, halve the recipe for just one loaf

  • 800 grams flour (I like to use 1/3 or so whole wheat flour)
  • 260 ml water
  • 320 grams sourdough starter
  • 20 grams (about 4 tsp) salt
I only have one proving basket, so my second loaf wasn’t as fancy

Instructions:

  1. Mix ingredients
  2. Knead for, like, ever. Or 10 minutes. Or until the dough is soft and just right. TBH, every time I knead dough I am 100% certain I either over or under kneaded it and I have no idea which one.
  3. Prove for 4 hours
  4. Re-knead and divide in half.
  5. Prove for another 4 hours
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes. Either in a dutch oven or on a baking sheet and throw some water in the oven with it. Seriously, I’m not typing out the details. You’re going to need to look at a much better source to do this correctly
Always serve with butter. Always.

Bread is life

Serafina

Barbecue Jackfruit Bao

Friends, I’ve been a vegetarian for such a long time at this point that I’ve stopped sharing the exact amount of time because I realized it ages me. So, I’ve been a vegetarian since I was about 10, and I’d rather not say how long that is exactly and force you all to do the math. Suffice it to say, it’s been awhile. It’s been so long that I’ve started to realize there are entire groups of foods that I’ve never really encountered. Since today is the Lunar New Year, I’m going to share a vegetarian version of Chinese Bao buns. I hadn’t even heard of Bao until I saw it on another food blog a few weeks ago, and this gets me to my side-rant.

Hey, Google and Facebook, I’m not fucking pregnant. Just because one of the food bloggers I occasionally follow got knocked up doesn’t mean I’m pregernant. So, feel free to stop showing me ads for maternity clothes, ovulation kits, and baby supplies. I get it, you did the math on how old I am and have unilaterally determined that it’s time for me to get on the baby train. But you’re not a part of that decision, creepy-ass targeted-ad people. My IUD and I are perfectly happy together. Her name is Maude. I love you, Maude.

Anyway, I realize vegan barbecue steamed buns might be sending a mixed message about odd cravings after that little rant, but they sounded genuinely intriguing. And it’s the Lunar New Year, so here we are. If you’re worried that something about bao will get you pregante, I recommend oral ingestion only, and maybe go get an IUD just in case?


If you go with premade jackfruit, make sure it looks like it was made by a douchebag.

Vegan Barbecue Bao (with Jackfruit)

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp oil

For the jackfruit filling

  • Either get premade BBQ jackfruit like I did OR
  • Drain one can of jackfruit and cook with barbecue sauce. Use the jackfruit in brine, not the sweet kind.

Instructions:

  1. Mix all of the dough ingredients together and knead for about 5 minutes until it’s relatively smooth
  2. Let rise for 30 minutes, or longer if, for example, your yeast has been sitting in the fridge for like two years. The dough should double in size
  3. Once your dough has risen, knead it again briefly and then cut it into about 8 pieces. Roll into 3-4 inch rounds. Place a few teaspoons of pulled apart BBQ jackfruit in each of the dough section things. Then crimp them together in an attractive manner (maybe, like, watch a youtube or something to make yours actually attractive)
  4. Steam for 15 minutes. I used a steam basket because I’m not going out to buy a bamboo steamer. My bao stuck to the bottom a little, but it was fine.

Turns out I wasn’t a huge fan of bao. But I still ate it, I mean, it’s not like it was cheesecake.

Serafina

A Deconstructed Sweet Potato Fiesta

Whoooo baby! I don’t know about you, but are you all perpetually sloshed just to get through the holidays? No? Just me?  Are you all not the bane of your in-laws’ existence? Wow.  This is awkward.  As usual.  I should learn how to start my posts better, I guess.

 

Well, at the very least, I look forward to hearing an update from Serafina on if she was able to pass off those pies as normal pies.  I was obsessively thinking about them for weeks.  They even showed up in my regular sex dreams that I have about her.  Too much detail?  Not enough?  I never can tell.

 

It’s the time of year for pumpkin or sweet potatoes or whatever.  Carbs.  It’s time for carbs.  Actually it’s always the season for carbs at my house.

 

And sweet potatoes.

 

I like to pretend I know what healthy intuitive eating means, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t have a clue and my intuitions about everything give me anxiety so I just eat sweet potatoes and beans.  So I totally changed up my old recipe that Serafina thinks looks like chili but it’s so much worse.  And by totally, I mean, I “deconstructed” it.

 

Does deconstruction mean chop up the sweet potato?  Because that’s just what I did. That counts.

IMG_1261
Look at this fine set up.  Look at it!  I have things.

Deconstructed Chili Fiesta (TM)

Ingredients:

  • Can of black beans
  • Sweet potatoes or yams
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Oil
  • Salsa
  • Guac if you’re a rich asshole

IMG_1265
They actually look worse than this.  Remember, I use the Foodie app for filters (pay me!)

Directions:

Peel and chop up the sweet potato into bit sized pieces.  Toss them in salt and oil and roast at 425 degrees for… I dunno.  15-20 mins.  Heat up the beans.  Combine the beans and potatoes.  Season with all the seasoning stuff to your liking, and add salsa.  Eat, possibly share with another person, or whatever.

IMG_1266
As you can tell, this bowl didn’t even make it to the table.  I just ate standing over the counter and watched TV.

Does this meal sound like it’s actually something that should go into a meal?  No.  It doesn’t.  Stop trying to make things so complicated, Jennifer.  Just eat the potatoes.

 

I’m only 90% dead inside.

 

-Mary Ellen

Southern Style Tomato Sandwiches and How to Make Simple Dishes Fancy

I didn’t want to do another Saturday post, but here we are nonetheless. It’s no excuse, but I’ve been busy working on my heavy metal jazz infusion album, which drops this coming week. So, now that that’s out of the way, I should have a much less hectic schedule. 

When I was growing up, my dad used to make us tomato sandwiches for lunch on the weekends. I loved them. I assumed he made them because we were so poor and couldn’t afford ingredients and also that he was lazy. But it turns out, that it was actually a southern thing I was unaware of until recently. 
The recipe is easy: bread, tomato, mayo. That’s it. I’m sure you can figure out how those come together, but I’ll write down the recipe just in case. 

And I’m going to make it fancy and pretentious. 

There are a few simple rules to make any dish fancy. First, add butter. It doesn’t matter what it is, just add a lot of butter to the dish. Second, buy oddly shaped, expensive baked goods with a French name. And finally, make sure you add in at least seven extra steps to your dish to make it more complicated. It doesn’t matter if they’re unnecessary. Just do it. 

Tl;dr – get all ingredients at Whole Foods and speak in a French accent while you cook. 

The traditional recipe calls for Wonder Bread, whatever tomatoes are on sale, and generic fake mayo. We can only go up from here, people. 

Mary Ellen’s Tomato Sandwiches to Make You Feel Sorry for Her Childood:

Bonus: use vegan mayo to give it the extra “in your face” pretentiousness we all crave.

Ingredients:

  • Mayo
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Fancy bread
  • Lettuce*****
  • Salt
  • Butter

Directions:

Cut the fancy bread with a chef’s knife because you don’t have a bread knife.



Melt butter in an iron skillet. No, none of this is negotiable. Go out and buy all these things. What? You want to just toast the bread in a toaster? Wtf is wrong with you? You toast the bread in the skillet!

You will become french toast later, my prettys.

Slice some tomato. Apply mayo to bread. Yes, I know, butter AND mayo? Isn’t that too much? Yes, but so what. Lightly salt the tomato with pink Himalayan salt. Lay down some lettuce. Put in mouth. 

This is what a sandwich looks like. Serve with whimsically cubed watermelon.

Make sure to buy my album. I will sign all digital copies, but only if you promise not to sell them on eBay. 

Music is lyfe,

Mary Ellen 

*****Editor’s note: don’t use whatever bullshit lettuce Mary Ellen used. It’s iceberg or bust if you want the satisfying crunch.