Dinner Gluten Free Optional Recipes Soup Vegan Vegetarian

Vegan Ramen

May 4, 2017

Vegan Ramen
(AKA 12 easy steps to writing a recipe)

Tofu, Miso, Carrots

Some housekeeping:

  • The winner of last weeks giveaway is Katie, who inspired me to try something new next time I order a cocktail!
  • And for the local DSM group – I’ve updated my Contact/Hire Me page, so check it out for different services like knife sharpening or cooking classes.

I’ve been feeling a bit distracted lately my whole life. The proof is in the steps of this recipe.

Writing up this recipe should not have taken me more than 30 minutes. Instead, it took 2 hours. Efficiency at its finest! Here’s what I’ve done while writing down this recipe:

  1. Tell my husband how motivated I am feeling today. Going to get that recipe written down! Start writing/Open a Word doc.
  2. Grab a spatula, pose in the mirror. Continue to pose until I find myself swinging it like a bat. I’ve never done this before.
  3. Look through the pantry. I forgot I had popcorn hiding up there!
  4. Finish the tofu part of the recipe.
  5. Complain about the pain in my hand.
  6. Try to do a pushup. Nope.
  7. Write about carrots. I’m on a roll!!
  8. Diagnose myself with carpal tunnel syndrome.
  9. Start the soup portion of the recipe. Get ½ way through.
  10. Text my sister – I miss her! And my brother too!
  11. I haven’t listened to that new Ryan Adams album… Let’s see if it’s on Spotify. It is!
  12. Finish up the soup portion!!!

Miso Glazed Carrots

Just a quick 12-step process to get it done! Anyway… on paper, this recipe may seem a little complex or wordy. My suggestions are to stay organized – Get everything you need out on the counter. Start with the tofu, then the carrots. While those are cooking, prep all the remaining veggies and measure out the ingredients. Cook the ramen noodles last so that they don’t stick together. I’ve wondered if you could just prepare the soup and put the dry noodles in and heat until they were ready, but I wasn’t willing to test it out yet. Let me know if you decide to try that method!

Spicy Tofu

Vegan Ramen
Serves 4


1 block of tofu, pressed
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons of toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons of sriracha

2 cups of carrots, sliced on a bias
1 tablespoon of miso (I used white)
1 tablespoon of tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
Juice of half a lime

2 cups of onion (medium size onion), diced
¼ teaspoon of salt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 ounces of shiitake mushrooms, stems cut off and sliced thin – see note
4 cups of vegetable stock
1-2 tablespoons of miso
1-2 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce
Small crown of broccoli, cut into small florets
2 cups of purple cabbage, sliced thin
3 ounces of dry ramen – see note
Cilantro, sliced scallions, lime, and sriracha for garnish

Shiitakes – The pack I got at whole foods that was 3.7 ounces, but I felt weird typing that. I always want more than the small pack offer, so I prefer to go in the bulk bins and get closer to 5 ounces.
Ramen – I used Hakubaku organic ramen. It has 3 little bundles of ramen in a package. The first time I used two bundles and I thought it was too much, but it’s completely up to your preferences.


  1. Prepare tofu – Set the oven to 425° and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut tofu into small slices (about a centimeter), then cut lengthwise. Place and spread out the tofu on the prepared baking sheet. In a small mixing bowl, combine tamari, toasted sesame oil, and sriracha. With a pastry or basting brush, brush both sides of the tofu. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping the tofu over halfway through baking. Set aside.
  2. Prepare carrots – Set the oven to 425° and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small mixing bowl (I used the tofu bowl and didn’t even wash it in between!) combine the miso, tamari, toasted sesame oil, and the lime juice and mix well with a fork. Add in the carrots, stirring until the carrots are well coated. Spoon onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes and set aside.
  3. In a medium size pot (about 3 quarts) on medium heat, add onions and salt. Sweat for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to sweat for another 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir occasionally for another 3 minutes.
  4. Add stock, a tablespoon of miso and a tablespoon of tamari. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste the broth and decide if you’d like to add more miso or tamari.
  5. Add the broccoli and cabbage and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  6. Prepare the ramen according to the directions on the package. Add to the soup.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the prepared tofu and carrots. Garnish with cilantro, scallions, sriracha, and a lime wedge.

Tofu, Miso, Carrots

Do you procrastinate? What are your tips for focusing? I typically like to set timers and I’m not allowed to get up from my task until it rings. Clearly I “forgot” that technique today.

Drink Recipes

Lavender Margarita

April 26, 2017

Lavender Margarita
(AKA Don’t Test Marg Recipes at 2pm on a Wednesday)

A quick note: This is not a sponsored post, just some of my own thoughts and recommendations. Please drink responsibly 🙂

Whenever people visiting New York ask me for suggestions, I immediately recommend Baby Bo’s. It’s my favorite Mexican food in New York because it has something for everyone, fresh vegetables, and the best margaritas. They’re not very sweet and they use good tequila.

I have so many good memories at this restaurant. There were times my sister and I celebrated the end of semesters together, having too many of those margaritas with my aunt and cousin, and the time I told my now husband that I didn’t want to be proposed to. The day before he was planning on asking me to marry him. True story. It’s not that I didn’t want to be married to him, I’m just not one for romance, and the thought of a proposal seemed overwhelming.

Since leaving New York, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect margarita. I decided it was time to learn how to make my own. Turns out, good margaritas aren’t very hard to make! I think the key is good tequila and low sugar. I’m typically a Patron snob, but I couldn’t bring myself to pay $50 for a small bottle. I went with Olmeca Altos Tequila and really enjoyed it.

A friend of mine recently gave me the book The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart. It’s filled with fun information and the history of how plants were used to make alcohol. We brought it to a new cocktail lounge in our area and referenced it several times to see exactly what we were drinking. From the back of the book:
“Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley, tequila from agave, rum from sugarcane, bourbon from corn. Thirsty yet?  In The Drunken Botanist, Amy Stewart explores the dizzying array of herbs, flowers, trees, fruits, and fungi that humans have, through ingenuity, inspiration, and sheer desperation, contrived to transform into alcohol over the centuries.”

Some of my favorite fact from the book:

  • Agave is often compared to a cactus, but it’s actually more closely related to asparagus or a hosta.
  • Beers that have a tradition of adding lime to the beer is a marketing ploy to disguise beer that has gone past its peak or skunky. Still, I love a Pacifico every now and then.
  • Cider has a low alcohol content because apples are low in sugar in comparison to grapes (yeast eat sugar and produce alcohol). Once the yeast has finished eating the sugar, they die off, resulting in a drink that only has a 4-6% alcohol content.

After reading this book I was inspired to make my own version of a margarita using botanicals. My recipe is quite simple and delicate, but it was refreshing and had a little twist on a classic.

The Drunken Botanist is a beautiful reference book with so many great cocktail ideas and I’d like to pass it along. I’ll pick a random commenter from this post and send a copy of the book to the winner. Simply answer one of the questions below in the comment section by May 3rd.

Lavender Margarita
Serves: 4 drinks

1/3 cup of honey or agave
1/3 cup of water
1 tablespoon of culinary grade lavender
6 ounces of blanco tequila
4 ounces of Cointreau
4 ounces of fresh lime juice
Limes for garnishing
Salt for garnishing


  1. Make the simple syrup – combine the honey/agave, water, and lavender in a small pan. Bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool and strain out the lavender.
  2. In a cocktail shaker or measuring cup, combine the prepared simple syrup, tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. Stir.
  3. Cut a lime wedge and run it around the rim of a glass, dip the top of the glass in salt if desired.
  4. Fill the glasses with crushed ice and pour the margarita mix. Garnish with a lime wedge.

What’s your favorite cocktail or non-alcoholic beverage and how do you make it/who makes the best version? Salt or no salt on your marg? Salt all the way!!!