When I was in high school, I melted a spatula while making eggs (yeah, I don’t know how I did that). And now as a junior, I made the big decision to not go on the Tufts meal plan and chose to cook almost all of my meals! I never thought I was going to enjoy cooking until junior year, let alone actually be decently good at it! Now I love cooking and it has definitely become a source of joy in my life.
Half of these meals will be from last semester where I wasn’t vegan but was trying to actively eat less meat. The other half will be from this semester where I decided to go vegan overnight for ethical, environmental, and health reasons! The rest of this blog will be about my journey with cooking, so stay if you’re hungry!
Meal #1 Korean Rice Cakes
I love love love Korean food so here is my take on Korean rice cakes! Included are quail eggs, fish cakes, pork and leek dumplings, enoki mushrooms (mushrooms are my favorite vegetable), and green onion. I like to eat these on a day where I just crave something super spicy and salty (my two favorite flavors). Getting a wide selection of Asian groceries in the Medford/Somerville area is a bit hard so I hop on the train to H Mart to grab some ingredients (about 3 stops away) to make this delicious meal!
Meal #2 Vietnamese Tomato Egg Drop Soup (Canh Trứng Cà Chua)
I’m Vietnamese so there’s no way I could not love soup. Soup is my favorite food category. Hearty soups, vegetable soups, thick soups, any kind of soup I just LOVE! This dish is made by frying the head of spring onions, throwing in some ground pork, tofu, tomatoes, and at the end whisking the soup really fast as I drizzle in some beaten up egg to make the egg ribbons! Enjoy with some hot steaming white rice. This is amazing comfort food that is cheap and filling!
Meal #3: Dairy-Free Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chips
My suitemates were tired of me last semester because I baked banana bread every other week (...although I must argue that they ate my banana bread a lot so what’s there to complain about?!) I got this wonderful recipe from a close friend and love it so much. On one very fun day, I ate banana bread for breakfast and dinner.
Meal #4: Smoothie bowl!
The wonderful beginnings of my vegan journey. As an easy breakfast, I made a smoothie bowl with frozen mangos and spinach and topped it off with some raspberries, blackberries, bananas, walnuts, chia seeds, and a dollop of sunflower butter for some healthy fat!
Meal #5: A healthy grain bowl with a cilantro garlic sriracha sauce
I’m hungry looking at this now. I blended some cilantro, garlic cloves, sriracha, and some almond milk together to make this delicious aromatic and rich sauce. I layered the bowl with avocado, spinach, cilantro sprigs, chickpeas, and a large serving of white rice. A wonderful lunch!
Meal #6: Vietnamese Lemongrass Fried Tofu
I’m going to be 100% honest here and say that I make this meal EVERY SINGLE WEEK and have never skipped a week. This is my favorite meal (I ate this a lot before I was vegan too!). As you can tell, I devoured half of the bowl before I remembered to snap a picture. Lemongrass is a wonderful thing and so is tofu. Tofu is my favorite source of protein and it’s just..amazing. I know some people don’t like tofu, but once you have had tofu prepared and cooked well, you will never doubt tofu again! I marinated some pre-fried tofu with lemongrass, bird’s eye chili, salt, mushroom seasoning, and diced garlic. I prepare it in the morning and fry it for dinner—typically served with white or brown rice. It’s aromatic, simple, healthy, and reminds me of home.
Meal #7: Vegetable curry
Okay..I’m cheating here a bit. I went out to a restaurant, so I actually didn’t make this. I went to Brookline Lunch in Cambridge and grabbed this hearty bowl of vegetable curry filled with potatoes, zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, black beans, broccoli, and cilantro. Super filling, delicious, and warmed me right up in this cold winter!
I hope everyone enjoyed my mini food journey! I hope these made you hungry and curious about trying some new recipes.