Today, I get real. I don’t often get personal on HonestlyYUM, but this time things are different. This time, I feel as though I can’t keep quiet. Yes, this post is political, but the events that have unfolded in the past two weeks cut beyond politics to a deeply personal level. I have the same story as many other people in this country: I am the daughter of two immigrant parents, who came to this country for a better life and sacrificed everything they had so that my sister and I could have every opportunity to become the people we wanted to be. My mother and grandmother were refugees that narrowly escaped a government regime that would have put them in a labor camp or worse. Life could have been tragically different or not at all for me and my family. Some of you may not know that HonestlyYUM is not my full-time job; I work as an attorney during the day and have represented children refugees that have risked death to escape horrible conditions in their countries. When I asked one of my clients what he liked most about living in America, he answered going to school without fear. So when I say I am impassioned and heartbroken over where our country appears to be headed, I say that from the perspective of having seen what the American dream is for the many people who were not born in this country.
Despite these dark times, there’s been a ray of light. Every day, I am so inspired by the growing community that has mobilized to protect our rights. I’ve made a commitment to myself to do my part and today’s post is small part of that commitment. This post is also part of a growing group of food bloggers that are choosing to channel their activism through food. Throughout the week, I’ll be updating this post so you can see what others have shared and why this movement is so important to us. Beyond reading our stories, there are so many ways to get involved and to fight the good fight, from calling your congressional representative to donating to organizations fighting on the ground like the ACLU. Whatever you choose, do not choose to stay quiet. Big or small, every march counts, every word counts, every act counts.
A little more about the recipe here, lu dan (soy eggs) are one of my favorite Chinese recipes because they are so easy and versatile. These were practically a staple in my diet as a child and I can eat a terrifying amount. You can eat them as a snack or add them to a rice or grain bowl or noodles— they’re pretty much fantastic with anything. Soy eggs are typically prepared as hard boiled eggs, but I like to undercook them so that after they’ve marinated in the refrigerator the yolks are thick and viscous.
I have no idea why I hadn’t thought of making nachos with potato chips sooner. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe that nachos should be made with tortilla chips but making them with potato chips means a saltier, oily-er, crunchier and unexpected alternative. Swap the regular potato chip for a sweet potato chip and you have a serious crowd pleaser. Perfect for your Super Bowl Sunday party! I’ve topped these chips with cheese, avocados, bacon, cilantro, green onions, jalapenos, black beans and radishes, but you could really top them with anything you want. That’s the beauty of this dish- super versatile and super delicious!
Which Angeleno has been super-stoked about all the rain and cold weather we’ve been getting in California? Me! And which Angeleno got a rude awakening when she discovered her newly-remodeled master bath was starting to flood? Ugh, me. This was the downside to home ownership everyone warned me about. Clay and I spent all last night Googling “how to prevent mold after flood” and frantically calling our contractor. Nevertheless, I am still pretty happy with the cold weather and as a result, have been eating my weight in soups. I’ve never been a huge soup person. I’m definitely a broth person but soups just never did it for me until I started making my own. They’re so easily customizable, great taste-and-season as you go recipes. There’s always leftovers and they’re usually pretty forgiving (i.e., generally no measuring required and you can get away with swapping ingredients pretty easily). Now, this tomato coconut curry soup is for the person who wants bold summer flavors in the dead of winter. It’s vegan too (assuming you get curry paste without shrimp or fish like the one I use here)! I love this soup so much I’ve made it 3 times in the last month. It’s that perfect combination of sweet, savory, spicy and coconut and it’s so easy to make. I use real tomatoes here which are easy to peel with a simple boil. I really hate using canned tomatoes and usually avoid them at all costs so don’t mind the extra step. But, if you really insist, you could make this with canned . . . although, don’t. This soup is all about the richness and freshness of a few simple ingredients!
Have you ever had an, “I have to make this” moment? You know, when you’re out to eat and you order something new. You casually take that first bite, freeze, and you think to yourself, “OMG . . . that’s delicious! I MUST figure out how to make this!” And there you sit, deep in thought, pondering food-relevant expletives, as you slowly begin to chew. Perhaps you’re sitting alone, or like me, out for lunch with your 2-year-old daughter, who’s now staring at you like you’re some sort of possessed stranger. Yep, this all happened to me just a few weeks ago when I first tried the butter bean and roasted Delicata squash toast at Bartavelle Cafe. Avocado toast is out of season, so I thought I’d give this one a try. Boy am I happy I did!! It’s one of those dishes that tickles your pallet a dozen different ways – the heartiness of the butter bean, the sweetness of squash, the zing of the lemon, the savoriness of the marjoram oil, the spice of the chili flakes, all dancing together with each bite atop a thick, crispy slice of levain. Ahh, I love it! Here’s my attempt at recreating this magical toast. I tried my best to do it justice, but I still highly recommend you try the original if you find yourself in Berkeley. Oh, and make sure you invite me along if you do! 😉
I know everyone makes fun of California(ns), and rightfully so, for overreacting to a little rain (this clip comes to mind). But there’s no denying that we had a potent little storm this past weekend, and there’s more on the way! So what better way to remedy this cold, gloomy weather, than cozying up with a rose and earl grey tea latte. I have to admit, my predilection for coffee has stunted my relationship with tea, among other compelling non-alcoholic beverages. I’m making it a goal to get more creative with my elixirs this year (Lily & Tracy come to mind). So far I’m off to a good start because I’m thrilled with how this tea latte turned out. I don’t drink much Earl Grey – not because I dislike it, but because Audrey was raised on English breakfast, so naturally that’s what we drink. However, in this case I wanted a black tea that was a bit more delicate, so as not to overpower the rose. Earl Grey was the perfect choice. The result is a luscious, warm, and insanely aromatic cup of tea. All I wanted to do was hold it in front of my face all weekend. For the garnish, I took a few styling tips from The Rabbit Hole Tea Bar, who do a lovely dusting of rose petals atop the silky foam. All in all, I can’t think of a better way to hide from the rain. I hope you feel the same!
2017, I’m ready for ya! After spending the last two weeks plagued with various illnesses, I’m finally ready for a fresh start to the year. I spent the weekend re-organizing my bedroom closet and kitchen pantry (something I’ve put off for way too long) and I’ve been planning healthy meals that I’ve promised myself I’ll sustain past January 31st. If you’re looking for a hearty salad full of winter seasonal fruits and vegetables, this salad is it. It has my favorite combination of fennel, grapefruit and avocados and salmon, radishes and mint. I used Bibb lettuce here, but you could use any salad mix or lettuce you prefer. I’ve made this before with baby kale and either work great. If you want to make this salad even heartier, you could add cooked grains to it like quinoa (I’m a big fan of adding grains to salads). The great thing about this salad is it’s super flexible — so really no excuses!