Monday, October 30, 2017

Howl To Be Vegan Part IX

First, I forgot to include some home-cooked meals my sister made in my previous posts.

september 27 ravioli
  • Good but super doughy because we don't have a pasta roller-my sister gave up trying to make the ravioli and just made dough balls with sauce
  • My sister actually wrote a blog post about her experience! Check it out here:
october 11 potato pancakes
  • This was more of a snack than a meal. 
  • The onion to potato ratio was off, so the pancake was super onion-y but nothing ketchup couldn't fix!

october 12 quinoa burger

  • I don't think I'm a fan of quinoa, but any burger is good with mayo spread on a toasted bun and tomatoes. 

Next, here is the food I've been eating since my last post.

october 18 fettucine alfredo

  • Once again courtesy of my sister
  • Pasta is cheap and cauliflower and plant-based milk makes stuff creamy. 

october 21 chili and cornbread

  • Hearty without the meat
  • The last thing my sister cooked
  • I got mad at her because she forgot to buy chili powder, and I was like "How can you make chili without chili powder?!" Her rebuttal was "Chili powder is just a blend of spices, and we have most of those spices." As a result, she replaced the chili powder with the same amount of cayenne pepper. As you can guess, it came out really spicy, but she added more tomato paste, and it was all good (although it kind of tasted better spicy).
  • The cornbread was really bitter by itself because she added 1 tablespoon instead of 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, but it was fine with the chili. 

october 21 mom sent with my aunt, braised bitter melon, gourd, and tofu, which I ate with rice for the week

october 22 taste of china with the uncle and sister

Read Chanhong L.'s review of Taste of China on Yelp

october 26 mellow mushroom with the sister for trivia night

Read Chanhong L.'s review of Mellow Mushroom on Yelp

october 27 roots with Sari!
  • I got The Southern as is this time.
  • It was super yummy as always. 
october 28 hibachi with the parents & sister
  • Not vegan-friendly but we went for my parents' birthdays
  • Mom also brought canh chua with okra, bac ha, mong toi (see below), and tofu; stir-fried tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, and fried tofu; and braised bitter melon and fried tofu (I apologize for the inconsistent use of Vietnamese accents in this blog)
    • I yelled at her for always including tofu, and she said all you have to do is use your words and tell me, which was valid. She also said she saved it for me when she could have eaten it herself or not buy it at all and that my dad likes it too AKA giving me tofu is a sacrifice she makes for me. My American ass just wants her to ask me if I want the tofu. I can never be a Vietnamese mom, but that's a different story. 
october 30 
  • no class today so I boiled some mồng tơi from my dad's garden and ate it with ramen for dinner because it's too bland for me to eat it alone
    • I also made a soup with some Chinese flowering cabbage or cai ngot (sweet lettuce) from my dad's garden - this will be eaten with rice (as always)

Halloween 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

Howl to Be Vegan [At Restaurants]

I was too lazy to cook last week and I finally paid off my credit card debt, so I went ham on restaurant meals.

Here's what I ate (taken directly from my credit card statement):

Lemongrass: vegetable pad see ew with egg (they didn't take out the egg even though I asked them to, but I was too hungry to send it back) 10/5 $11.03

Read Chanhong L.'s review of Lemongrass on Yelp

Mezeh: completely customizable grains & greens bowl 10/8 $9.78

Revolutionary Soup: spicy senegalese peanut tofu soup with bread and black bean & spinach wrap 10/10 $8.51 (I had a 15% off coupon)

Read Chanhong L.'s review of Revolutionary Soup on Yelp

Got Dumplings: tofu dumplings, seaweed salad (I don't recommend), and edamame 10/12 $9.65

Loving Hut: Thai tea bubble tea, "steak" salad, cheese sticks, and wonton noodle soup 10/14 ~$20 (I split the bubble tea and salad with my sister) 

Note: all prices mentioned are before tip (if applicable)

I cooked green beans and carrot and apple soup today because I should save my money to pay off my grad school loans. Here's a receipt of my Kroger bill. My sister's going to use the other ingredients to make vegan alfredo. We're relying on a lot of pantry staples like pasta.

P.S. It's really late, so I can't figure out a good way to format this post.

I Give Up On Fashion

I give up on fashion because it costs too much, nothing looks on me, and everything is ugly: I just want a nice pair of jeans without any holes or a design on the back pockets!

Fall has descended, which means it's time for me to hate my fall/winter wardrobe again. I got rid of my old coats and exchanged them for "new" ones from Goodwill and a friend (I'm not going into much detail because I think I might do a look book), but I still had a lot of items I'm not satisfied with. 

Yesterday, I tried pairing my mint green sweater with a grey vest and a pair of white jeans. It was not a good look. With this outfit, I transformed into a middle aged white man, and I did not like it. The white jeans looked so bad because it ironically was from the kid's section so it did not hug my curves at all. I tried on the vest with another outfit the next day, and it just felt constricting. These items clearly had to go. I kept the sweater because I still like the look I created with it last year, but later that night, I went through my wardrobe and filtered out more clothes I didn't want. The items I chose to give away were worn, out of style, or just fit me weirdly. A couple of items I had from Forever21 didn't fit me in the shoulder/arm pit area, which is actually a common theme among my sweaters: none of them fit me well, which sucks. I just want a warm and snugly sweater! 

First, I went to Plato's Closet to try and sell my clothes, and they took a lot less than I was expecting. I wanted at least $20, but they only took my vest and weird-fitting Forever21 black long sleeve crop top. I understand why they didn't take a lot of stuff, but there was a cobalt blue long sleeve Forever21 dress I'm surprised they rejected! Maybe they were just done with my shit lol. I took the dress home and lowered the weird-fitting shoulders to make it an off-the-shoulder dress, but it's a fancy dress and I don't go anywhere fancy so who knows when I'll actually get to wear it again. I donated almost everything else to Goodwill. I don't have the patience of my cousin, who has actually gone back to Plato's to sell things they previously rejected. 

While at Plato's, I also looked for a new pair of jeans because I don't actually have a pair of classic-colored denim jeans, but for a second-hand store, a lot of the jeans, e.g. Hollister and American Eagle, were still expensive. They were priced at $20+. I did a quick Google search, and I can get a new pair of Hollister jeans for $25. I chose the ones I could actually afford i.e. the $12 and under ones, only two of them fit. One of them was the one I mentioned in my intro and the other was a pair of worn darker Forever21 jeans. I decided to go home empty-handed, which turned out to be a smart decision because I only got $11.35 for my items. I was sad but accepted that it's okay to wear the same things everyday: quality > quantity. I'd rather spend my money on food. 

That didn't stop me from browsing Forever21's online store though. It brought me back to last year when I was desperately trying to find a cute and simple sweater dress. I finally found one on Wet Seal's website, but unfortunately they have since gone bankrupt. A lot of their clothes may have been trashy, but I liked them because their clothes actually fit me. I also got two outfits from Forever21 around the same time, but I actually had a full-time job back then so I didn't have to restrict myself to the sale/clearance section. Nothing really stood out to me from the sale section today. They were all too crazy, and I just wanted something versatile. Forever21 actually has a lot of nice basics, but they always sell out so quick and you have to filter through a lot of ugly stuff before you find them. I wish there was a store that only sold these items. One day I hope to have the capital to start this brand. Until then, here's to adopting a wardrobe more like Mark Zuckerburg and Steve Jobs's. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Howl Not To Be Vegan

If we're being real, cooking takes a lot of time and effort, which are things I don't have these days. Since my last blog post, I think I've only cooked two dishes: spaghetti, which only lasted four servings, and kimbap (I used Maangchi's recipe without the meat), which I can't eat right now even though I'm hungry, because I'm saving it for lunch this week.

I've also been over relying on my mom to provide food for me, so when she doesn't have enough food for me, I'm at a lost (I went home for fall break and only brought back one dish). My mom giving me food is great, but it throws off my cooking routine and meal prep. My motivation and inspiration are lost, and I don't eat because I'd rather starve than put junk into my body (I can only eat ramen once a week before I start hating myself). I also refuse to spend money on restaurant meals I know I can cook at home for less $.

Eating is not something I should be stressed about, but it has always been an issue for me, which is why I say I have a eating disorder. If I cook something, and it doesn't go well, I get really depressed. The same goes for when I eat something that isn't satisfying. I'm also known in my family for being hangry: this is a habit my mom has noticed in me ever since I was a child (I specifically remember crying one time because my mom didn't offer me food she offered my sister). Food has always affected my mood, but I really wish it didn't because I'd rather not have more things to stress about.

Edit: During this time, I also made a tofu, black bean, and yellow pepper stir fry. I used two cans of black beans at $0.59 each, one box of tofu ~$2, and one yellow pepper ~$1. This dish was not planned. I saw how cheap the beans were so I had to buy them. I bought tofu just to have it, and I stole one of my sister's peppers.