Tofu Banh Mi Salad


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Heya,

I wanted to try something new this month. Hopefully you’ll like what I would have written, but instead filmed.

I’m going to try to film every week, so if you liked it, please subscribe to my YouTube channel! Or not, that’s cool.

Love you guys. You’re what keeps me writing everyday. And um, posting nearly every month. 🙂

P.S. If my voice is way deeper than you thought it was, glad to have freaked you out. xx

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Rosemary and Thyme Mushroom Polenta

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“What’s going on with your…” Roo started, waving a fork towards the vicinity of my face.

“You mean this?” I asked, pointing at my eyes.

“Did you…are you trying something new?”

“What, you don’t appreciate the Clockwork Orange look?”

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“It’s just,” he paused, “different.”

I looked down, pushing the polenta onto my fork. “It’s what happens when your eyeliner pencil breaks mid-application at work.   I got my left eye done and then the tip broke off when I was starting on the right.”

“Why didn’t you just wash it off?”

I sighed. “Well, that would have been the obvious thing to do.”

Roo furrowed his brow.

“You know how I am in a panic.” I said, between bites, “I ran back into the office and tried to sharpen the pencil.”

“With a pencil sharpener?”

“With a blunt pair of scissors.”

“It looks fine.” Roo replied, turning his head slightly, trying to hide a smile.

I sighed, grabbing a napkin and dipping it into my water glass.

“What are you doing?”

I started wiping off the botched makeup job on my right eye, “Trying to fix it.”

“Babe, I don’t even know why you put on makeup.”

“What are you talking about?”

“It’s like,” he paused, “you’re like Beyonce. She looks even better without makeup. Unlike Nicki Minaj who just needs more and more piled on.”

“I don’t know whether to be more surprised about the Beyonce or the Nicki Minaj reference you just made.”

“Fine. It’s like this dish,” he said, tilting his plate of mushrooms and polenta forward. “It doesn’t need a whole bunch of stuff piled on top of it to make it better. It’s just great the way it is.”

I smiled. “You know I would have preferred Rihanna, right?”

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Sweet and Spicy, Orange Pan Glazed Tofu

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I’m convinced I’m going to be found in our apartment trapped under three years of Rachael Ray magazines. They’re stacked high on top of our bookcase, next to the back issues of Martha Stewart Living, unread.

I can’t bring myself to throw them away. Who tosses out the secrets to an amazing souffle or how to make a ribbon wreath just in time for the holidays? I’m obviously assuming what’s in those magazines as I have yet to open a single issue.

I blame Costco. They’re the gateway to buying things you don’t really need. Where else would I gain the mindset that I need to buy three years of Rachael Ray Magazine?

There are, of course, worse things you could buy in bulk. Like three hundred rolls of toilet paper. Who needs three hundred rolls of toilet paper? Or rather, where would you store them without it becoming a hazard in your home? Being found under a year supply of toilet paper is far worse than a bunch of magazines. It leads to questions like, “Why did you need all of this?  Are you feeling alright?” as the person eyes your bathroom.

It was at Costco where I stumbled upon a case of tofu.  Ok, stumbled is a stretch. I practically ran into the place, glass eyed and salivating. With my mother’s club card in hand, I was ready to spend some money. I mean, save money. That’s the purpose of a wholesale club, right?

An hour later I came home with a full trunk and a receipt that took about a minute to print out at the register.  (And maybe a “possible fraudulent alert” sent to my Gmail from my credit card company.)

“No one needs a case of tofu,” Roo said, as he helped me lift the bags out of the trunk.

“I’m half Asian. Of course I need a case of tofu.”

No one needs a case of tofu.

A pan fried tofu recipe with a spicy and sweet sauce however, is something of a necessity. Just don’t buy a case worth of ingredients, ok?

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Roasted Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions and Basil ‘Bruschetta’

“I think you may have an unhealthy obsession with Rihanna.”

“Is it because I told you if Rihanna asked me to run away with her, I would?”

Roo took a bite of bruschetta and nodded.

“Well, I had to warn you…in case if you saw us together on TMZ.”

“Really. TMZ?”

“It could happen. Anyway, it’s just a girl crush! You know, where you greatly admire someone -”

“Probably too much?”

“No such thing,” I said, rolling a roasted tomato back onto my bread. “Certainly there has to be someone you’re crushing on.”

“Like a man crush?”

“Yeah, like an athlete or an actor you’re obsessed with. Oh! Like Tom Brady.”

“While I greatly appreciate his Jedi-like skills, no.”

I tapped my finger on my plate. “I got it.”

“I don’t think so. I don’t have a guy -”

“Pedro.”

Roo stopped mid-chew. “Martinez?”

“You’d totally run away with him to a deserted island.”

Roo set his bruschetta down and folded his hands together. “Yes, yes I would.”

I laughed, picturing Roo and Martinez taking turns burying each other in the sand.

“You know why?”

“Because you greatly admire pitchers? Particularly ones that have played for the Sox?”

“That and he’s incredibly talented. He’s also pretty laid back and has a very diverse group of friends.”

“You’ve obviously thought this through.” I paused. “If you were asked, would I be invited?”

“Would I be, if Rihanna asked you?”

I smiled. “Obviously not.”

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Roasted Red Pepper Soup

It’s hard making friends after college. The pool of new people drastically decreases, there’s usually a lack of liquor conversation, with the majority having more interest ‘pinning’ a cookie that’s inside a cupcake that’s inside a pie, than attempt to fill the awkward silence.

It’s not like you can knock on people’s doors to see if they want to be friends. That’s how you get your pic trending under #creeper on Twitter.

Which may explain my desperation behavior at my new job.

Ohmygod. I love Rihanna too!”

Lindsay turned around and removed her earbuds. “What? I couldn’t hear you.”

“I said, ‘I love Rihanna too.'”

“Ok.”

“We should be friends.”

Let’s be clear, I don’t walk around my neighborhood, trying to hear what’s playing on strangers’ iPods. Instead, I’ve convinced myself that a new job is like college, but with paychecks. You know, an absolutely proper place to make new friends.

“Do you do yoga?”

Amy took a sip of her tea. “Sometimes.”

“I noticed that you wear leggings a lot-”

She set her mug down on her desk. “You’ve been noticing…what I’ve been wearing?”

“I do yoga too!”

“Um-”

“We should be friends.”

I’m surprised I haven’t been reported to HR. ‘Noticed what you’re wearing?’ She looked at me like I said, ‘it puts the lotion in the basket.’

“You had soup for lunch yesterday?”

“Yeah it was leftovers.”

I pulled two Tupperware containers from my purse. “I brought you some soup I made last night. It’s roasted red pepper.”

“Oh…I already ate.”

“It’s 10 a.m.”

“Like I said-”

“You eat lunch at ridiculously early times too?”

“Uh-”

“Be my friend.”

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Corn Chowder

Dear Young Singleton,

Perhaps you came across this page, hoping to find some nekid pics of Liz Lemon.  Sorry to disappoint, but while you’re here, can we talk about a couple things?  Like, what not to say to girls¹.  I can’t exactly tell you what to say, but if you avoid the following, you may be able to avoid another night alone Googling ‘What’s under Liz’s shirt.’

1) Are you really going to wear that?

I was, until you looked at me like I was rolling around in cheese. Now I hate clothes. All the clothes.

2) Don’t you have enough shoes?

THERE ARE NEVER ENOUGH SHOES! (wipes drool from side of mouth)

3) Are there going to be any guys there?

Yes. It’s actually brothel. And you’re so not invited.

4) You should definitely get a gym membership.

Now I’m just going to spite-eat these cookies while picturing your face melting off. In yoga pants of course.

5) Are you going to eat all of that?

Yes, and so should you. It’s delicious. Asshole.

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Zucchini Stuffed with Basil Caramelized Onion Pesto and Fresh Croutons

I turned off the television as Roo walked into the living room.

“What were you watching?”

“Nothing.”

“It was obviously something,” Roo said, sitting down on the couch.  He motioned his hand towards the remote.

“Don’t judge,” I said, handing it to him.

Roo turned on the television. A loud Yuuuuuuup! emitted from the speakers. Roo smiled. “Storage Wars?”

“I can’t help myself. It’s like a redneck treasure hunt.”

“Well, that guy who has something against sleeves, is hilarious.”

“That’s Darrell,” I laughed, “I pretty much love everything he says.  His voice? Classic.”

“Who’s the one in the hazmat suit?,” Roo said, pointing at the screen, “He looks like he walked straight out of American Grafitti.”

“That’s Barry. And I’d totally buy him a drink.” I paused, “I wish I didn’t like these shows. It’s bad enough that I make you watch The Biggest Loser every fall.”

“Honestly? I prefer this, than watching that ex-marine yell at obese contestants. It gives me heartburn.”

“Watching that show after eating dinner is a bit masochistic.”

Roo muted the television. “What are we having for dinner by the way?”

“Do I even have to tell you?”

“Something from our CSA?”

I nodded and started walking towards the kitchen.

“Using up some of the zucchini?”

“Yuuuuuuuuup!”

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Roasted Summer Vegetables with Tomatoes, Basil and Pasta

Zucchini or summer squash, sweet corn, bell peppers and red onion

I scooped up a piece of zucchini with my fork. “I feel like a lot has changed.”

Roo looked up from his plate. “What are you talking about?”

“I saw a child today; thirteen, maybe fifteen-”

“So you saw a teenager.”

“A child,” I reiterated, setting down my fork, “who was walking in front of me at Fenway and I could see her butt.  Hanging out of her shorts.”

“Like her pants were falling down?”

“Like they were so short, that I wanted to hug her and give her my yoga pants.”

“You do realize you sound about eighty five right now.”

I picked up my water glass and took a sip. “That’s kind of my point. I mean, when did I become so conservative?”

“You’re really asking me this.”

“I know! But I can’t remember caring about how short a girl’s shorts were when I was in my twenties. I don’t think I even noticed what children were wearing.”

“Well, we all change. It’s part of growing up.”

“I guess.” I said, fumbling with my napkin. “Like, when I was in college I didn’t eat carbs.”

“What?”

“I know. This,” I said, tilting my pasta dish towards Roo, “is delicious. Why would I give that up?”

“But I thought you drank Natty Ice in school.”

“Correction, The Beast.”

“So you didn’t eat carbs, but you drank beer?”

“I know, totally logical, right?”

Roo laughed, “I am so glad we all change.”

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Quinoa Salad with Lemon Pepper Tahini Dressing

With tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers, yellow peppers and cilantro.

I looked up from my laptop. “Sometimes I really hate Facebook.”

“Why?”

“Couples.”

“Expressing their undying love for one another?”

“I wish that was it,” I said, spinning my laptop around and pointing at my Newsfeed. “Another couple, going at it with passive-aggressive status updates.”

Roo glanced at the screen. “They know people can see this, right?”

“Maybe that’s it? Maybe they’re looking for some kind of justification from friends? Although…” I paused, turning the laptop back around, “I don’t think anyone in their right mind would comment on this.”

“It could be worse.”

“How?”

“Your mom could have finally decided to join Facebook.”

I sighed. “For once I’m thankful my mother is self-proclaimed luddite.”  I said, closing my laptop. “I just don’t understand why couples use Facebook to communicate. Whatever happened to talking?”

Roo shrugged his shoulders and picked up his iPad.  “What’s for lunch?”

“None of your business,” I joked, as I uncrossed my legs and stretched my arms over my head.  I stood up and walked towards the kitchen, mentally going through what we had in the fridge and the cupboard.

I crouched in front of the crisper drawer, pulling out peppers and cilantro when I heard my iPhone vibrate on the kitchen table. “Who’s calling me on a Sunday?” I wondered out loud, picking it up to see Facebook: Roo mentioned you in a comment just before the screen turned off.  “You wrote on my Facebook wall?” I asked, and unlocked my phone to look at my profile page.

You know what I hate? Not knowing what’s for lunch. – with Lys.  Roo wrote.

I laughed and typed back, It’s quinoa salad. Asshole.

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Southwestern Salad with Lime, Cumin and Oregano Dressing

With cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, cucumbers, black beans, red onion, avocado and tortilla chips


For the past two years, Roo and I would go to a bar near his uncle’s townhouse before climbing Beacon Hill to watch the fireworks.

The first year I may have had too many drinks on an empty stomach; stumbling on seemingly flat cobblestone paths and wondering why the townhouse’s doors were so hard to open.

The second year I learned my lesson and didn’t pass on the appetizers Roo ordered. (While I may have found Jack Williams commentating on the 4th amusing1, most of the guests did not.)

This year the party was canceled, which left Roo and I to debate if we’d go downtown by ourselves or stay home.

“The Fourth is my favorite holiday.”

“Really? Because all this time, I had no idea.”

“Oh stop,” I said, crossing my arms, “you knew.”

“I know. But that doesn’t mean we should go down to the Esplanade at 6 a.m. to fight for a spot, only to suffer from heat stroke by noon.”

“I heard it’s supposed to rain on Wednesday.”

“Even better!”

“Well, what do you want to do, Mr. My-Favorite-Holiday-Is-Christmas-So-I-Shouldn’t-Even-Have-A-Say.”

“One, Christmas is awesome. There are presents, a tree that makes your house smell great, and Irish Coffees to drink in front of the fireplace. And two, we could make our own sangria.”

“I don’t know how a smelly tree can beat fireworks, but you had me at sangria.”

1 Because he acted like he wasn’t wearing pants behind the anchor desk, of course.

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