comfort food · Crock pot · dinner · easy · healthy · Lasagna · lunch · soup · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

Vegetarian/Vegan Lasagna Soup

Last Thursday I got out of work at 2pm instead of my usual 6pm. This is something we do for everyone when they are working a half day on Saturday, but it always feels like I’m skipping school or something. I always feel like I need to do something with this bonus time rather than let it be consumed by trash tv and naps, so I ended up cooking and baking in a frenzy. I really only meant to make granola. We had some leftover plain yogurt from making grapefruit cake, and I was not looking to eat it without something delicious on top (who does that?). Before I got home, I decided I needed to start meal prepping too, so I thought I’d make something easy in the crock pot. I’d been so focused on baking for the farmer’s market that my regular cooking was seriously suffering. I was itching to stretch those muscles, so I got right to it upon arrival home.

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I got the soup started right away, and when I was rummaging in the fridge for lost celery in the crisper, I realized there was some leftover buttermilk that was also from baking at the market. I’d hate for it to go unused, left to be forgotten until several months from now when it is growing into a furry creature. I figured I probably had all the ingredients needed for buttermilk biscuits, so I got to work on that, too. Why the fuck not? I’m waiting for the soup to cook anyway, and the granola was already in the oven. My last biscuit recipe didn’t turn out all that well, so I went to the queen of cooking (IMO) at Smitten Kitchen. Deb never fails me. I only fail myself by touching the dough too much.

Naturally, once the biscuits were done (and they actually had flaky layers!), I took one bite and said to T, “I think we should have biscuits and gravy for dinner.” And so it was. I finished making this soup, but it went straight into the fridge for another night while I went to work on making mushroom breakfast gravy that was based on my original recipe, but included a lot more butter. Fear not – the soup reheats beautifully. We’ve been happily eating bowls of it for the last 3 days, sloppily dipping crusty buttered sourdough into the broth, or crumbling up a biscuit over the top to soak up all the creamy goodness. The last bowl is set aside for my lunch tomorrow, when my deliciously long weekend abruptly comes to a halt. What’s most infuriating is that I finally had all this meal prepping energy a day before this gloriously long weekend. We ate like queens all weekend, but I should really have set more aside for work lunches. It leaves me with 2 lunches, which almost takes me through my arduous 3 day work week (yes, I also have Tuesdays off), so I guess not all is lost.

This recipe used up a ton of ingredients that were on the verge of going bad (or simply at risk for being ignored). The lentils* had honestly been sitting in my cabinet since long before the move from the old place. They desperately needed to be included, and now was their moment to shine. They add the meaty texture that this soup would otherwise lack, with an added boost of nutritional value. Plus, they’re just plain good (to quote one of my idols, Molly Yeh)!

Why aren’t we (me) all using lentils more?

*After further investigation, it appears as though those lentils had been sitting around even longer than I realized. I’ve been looking for ways to use them since asking for your help in this post. Sigh.

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Vegetarian Lasagna Soup

1 pound pasta (I used chickpea based pasta for added nutrients, but any pasta will work here) – sub gluten free pasta if you’re gluten free!

4 1/2 cups vegetable stock

3/4 cup dry brown lentils

1 – 28oz can diced tomatoes

1/2 onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large (or 2 medium) zucchini, diced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1-2 teaspoons powdered garlic (or 2 cloves minced fresh garlic)

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1/4 cup heavy cream, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, red pepper flakes (I added all of these things)

Start the crockpot out with the veggie stock, lentils, onion, celery, oregano, and garlic (and a pinch of red pepper flakes if you’re feeling spicy) on high heat. Stir well and let sit for 2 hours. Add in the can of tomatoes and zucchini and cook for another 2-3 hours. Finally, add in the pasta and cook for another 12 minutes. If you want a creamy soup, now is your chance to add 1/4 cup heavy cream (whole fat coconut milk would be a great vegan substitute here) and maybe a generous handful of parmesan (skip if you’re vegan). Stir to combine and serve with some fancy ass bread from Whole Foods (or homemade if you’re that ambitious). I served mine with homemade biscuits because apparently I think I am Betty fucking Crocker.

 

Asian food · broccoli · comfort food · corn · dinner · easy · healthy · lunch · mushrooms · pasta · Ramen · vegan · Vegetables · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

“Homemade” Vegetarian Ramen

It can be difficult to find good ramen as a vegetarian. I’m lucky to live in an urban area with access to various ramen restaurants, but 90% of what is offered is meat based. Then again, 90% of all restaurant foods are meat based. The struggle is fucking real.

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Fry those little fuckers on every single side. Trust me, it’s worth the wait.

When Cortney came to visit last summer, I decided to take her to United Noodles, which is an Asian market in Minneapolis. It’s the one that T first took me to back when we were still figuring out if we were dating or not (check it out here). At the time I was completely fascinated by all the products, and ended up focusing hard on the sweets. Mochi is one of my favorite foods, but it can be hard to come by in the Midwest. This place housed a plethora of mochi options. None of which were as good as the fresh shit in Hawaii, but I digress. Despite not serving fresh mochi, it’s the best Asian market in the cities as far as I know. Since Cortney is Hawaiian, I knew it would be of interest to her. We ended up deciding to make ramen at home, which I didn’t think was possible. She had a plan, and showed me exactly what we’d need. Without her, this recipe wouldn’t exist. She knew the good miso paste to purchase, and which noodles were best (I didn’t take a pic of those – sorry!), as well as how to add the “right” toppings. Of course, we also loaded up on all the bomb-ass Asian snacks (Ube mochi to be specific, as well as Pocky sticks, and various cookies). It was a goddamn feast when we got home!

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Last week T got a hankering for ramen, so we made the trip back to United Noodles. I picked up all the ingredients to make some veggie ramen at home (even opting to omit the tofu to speed up the process – that shit can be time consuming), all while he was loading up on the prepackaged dried shit. When he said he wanted ramen, he meant instant. It still blows my mind how frequently he’s counting those as a meal without adding a single vegetable. Is anything really a meal when a vegetable isn’t included? Oh wait, this is America. Sigh. Nevermind.

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This is the good stuff. If you can find this, use it. If not, don’t panic. It’s just soup. Calm the fuck down. Any miso paste should be fine. 

If you want to simplify things, you can always leave out the tofu. If you eat meat, you can always add in meat. It’s not that fucking difficult. This is a sort of “figure it out as you go and don’t be a dumbass” type of recipe. It’s not specific amounts meticulously measured out, but rather a lot of throwing in things that you think will taste good. If it’s something you enjoy in other things, add it here. Some people think it’s weird that I like to add corn. To those people I simple say, “Fuck off, and make your own ramen.”

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“Homemade” Vegetarian Ramen

4 oz extra firm tofu

4-6 tablespoons miso paste (to taste)

4 cups water

Salt and pepper

16oz Noodles (dried or fresh are fine – can easily be found in any Asian market, or the Asian foods section of larger grocery stores), follow cooking directions on packaging

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Any or all of the following optional toppings: boiled egg, green onions, enoki mushrooms (see photo to right), bok choy, seaweed, frozen corn, bamboo shoots, any dark leafy greens, broccoli, chili oil, sriracha, etc (the sky is the limit – go nuts)

Bring water to a boil and add in miso paste. Stir and simmer until fully dissolved into water. Taste to see if you need a little more (I like mine a bit stronger). Simmer for a few minutes.

For the tofu: Place between 2 layers of paper towels and place a heavy plate/pan/book on top. Wait about 20 minutes to allow the weight of the plate to squeeze out the excess water. Cut into 1-2″ cubes. In a hot skillet (over medium to medium-high heat), drizzle enough oil to cover the surface (I like to use olive oil with a splash of sesame oil for flavor) , and evenly distribute the cubed tofu. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Fry for a few minutes on each size, trying not to move things around too much. It can get smokey depending on the type of oil you use, so be aware of that and lower the heat if needed. After a few minutes, those little fuckers should be browned on one side. That’s when you flip ’em all over. I like to brown all sides of the cube, but that’s up to you. I just love ’em extra crispy.

Place a handful of cooked noodles into a large bowl. Ladle over some of the miso broth and top with tofu and veggies of choice. Drizzle with any hot sauce or chili oil you like, and dig in!

Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? Anyone else have a go-to recipe that is a lot easier than it looks? Comment below!

Did you make this recipe? Post a photo and tag @kelseyskitchen23 on Instagram!

Cheese · comfort food · Dating · dinner · easy · healthy · lunch · soup · squash · Super Bowl · vegetarian · Yummy

Vegetarian Broccoli Cheese Soup with Roasted Squash

Have you ever loved a pair of sweatpants so much that you continue wearing them far beyond their expiration date? You know what I’m talking about… they’re the pants that are so well loved it’s hard for you to see how bad they’ve gotten. I mean, logically you know how bad it is. You’re not blind – you can see the small snags turn into large rips. You’re aware of how ridiculous it looks with the drawstring dangling down to your knee from a hole on the right side – making it completely fucking useless. But it’s cool, because you never use the drawstring anyway. These pants know your body so well, they don’t need to be held up with a fucking drawstring… they’ve become one with your body.

This carrot is out of control.

I have a pair of these pants. They feel as if they’ve been custom made from clouds just for me… but they look like they were thrown together by a small blind child who thought he might take up sewing one day. My friend Jeni would call these my “private pants.” She encourages me to “wear them with pride… just do it in private.” Her husband has a pair of them that mortify her. He says that I’m allowed to wear them to the grocery store, but only if I shop at Walmart.

Sigh.

So last weekend was the Super Bowl here in Minneapolis. The city was psyched to host such an event, and you could feel the energy in the air. There were events going on downtown for 10 days leading up to it. The excitement is contagious, even if you are like me and think sports are giant waste of fucking time. So I got into the spirit the only way I know how… I rented my apartment to a Patriots fan on Airbnb and became homeless for 3 days. With my cat.

So you remember the Wii controller guy? Yeah, we’re still dating (I know). He’s tall and cute and redheaded… and has deep fear of commitment (just the way I like ’em). I stayed with him over Super Bowl weekend with my cat, Harriet. It also happened to be his birthday weekend, which means we hung out with one of his good friends (and the only friend I’ve ever met) who is a goddamn delight. She calls him on his commitment shit, which I think is hilarious. She also likes selfies with security guys at Super Bowl events, which just makes my heart happy. We spent our Saturday getting hammered and roaming around downtown Minneapolis in subzero weather, desperately searching for the Kitten Bowl. Obviously.

Anyway, Wii Controller Guy housed me for 5 nights, and we never once tried to kill each other (despite me breaking his sink and his cat’s food bowl). He did, however, have to be blunt with me about my “private pants.” That’s right – I wore them over there because we are totally at that level (you know – the “I’m pretty sure you’re not going to bail at the sight of my homeless looking pants” level). I think he said something along the lines of, “I can’t have you wearing these.” But fuck! Those pants feel like goddamn angel wings.

I mean, the jury is still out on whether or not I’m allowed to call him my boyfriend, and he’s trying to tell me to get rid of my favorite pants?! I don’t know, man.

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I ordered new ones online last night. But I refuse to toss my old ones until I know for sure the new ones are just as comfy (they won’t be).

This soup is made to be eaten while wearing your private pants (you know you have a pair). Get cozy, because it’s cold as fuck outside.

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Vegetarian Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 head broccoli, stems removed

1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced

1/2 onion, chopped

4 tablespoons flour

3 cups veggie broth

1 cup almond milk

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

3 cups cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Garlic powder (just a sprinkle)

Oven roast squash at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes. It needs to be soft, since it will all be blended and (ideally) needs to be smooth. Check it about halfway through roasting time to move things around a little bit. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool a bit. Once cooled, puree in a blender with 2 cups of veggie broth until smooth.

Steam the broccoli and separate into 2 halves. Set aside. In a large pot, saute onions in a little olive oil – add salt and pepper. Cook until slightly browned, then sprinkle with the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix each tablespoon thoroughly before adding the next. It will form a thick paste. Once flour is fully incorporated, cook a few minutes longer to toast it a little bit, stirring frequently. Add in the squash puree, 1 cup of broth, and the milk. Stir well, making sure there aren’t any clumps from the flour.

Finely chop half of the broccoli and add to the pot along with the carrots. Simmer until soup is at desired thickness (add extra broth if too thick) and carrots are cooked through (about 10 minutes). Incorporate the cheese 1 cup at a time, making sure each cup is fully melted before adding more. Roughly chop remaining broccoli and add to the pot.

Throw on your favorite pair of pants (because it’s too cold to be pants-less right now), and don’t let anyone tell you they aren’t the best pants in the world.

comfort food · dinner · easy · healthy · lunch · pasta · quick · soup · Vegetables · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

Spinach Tortellini Soup and New Year’s Resolutions

I fucking hate New Year’s Resolutions, but I always secretly make one anyway. I mean, not that that is exclusive to January 1st, though. I always think that starting tomorrow/next week/next month I’m going to start being healthier/more active/more organized/thinner/smarter/more well read/somehow better than I am. It doesn’t matter how much I advocate for loving yourself just as you are, society has still been telling me my entire life that I’m not good enough. I certainly don’t need the reminder every fucking January that I’m still not good enough. Fuck you, January. You don’t know me.

Self love is a constant struggle.

So, in an effort to exercise more (because I want to, not because some shitty-ass Instagram post told me to), I have been taking more aerial fitness classes (and by “more,” I mean two so far). Aerial seems like something I’d be good at… it seems like something that would come naturally to me. I have a strong yoga practice and have been doing AcroYoga for the last year and a half. I’m familiar with being upside down, and I’m pretty bendy. But I’m also heavy. And I haven’t really worked on my upper body strength a whole lot, so…

Fuck. I’m so bad at it. I took a class the other day that was taught by a teacher trainee. Walking into the ice cold studio, I was greeted by a woman in Lululemon workout gear, curled hair, and a full face of make-up. She smiled and bounced over to me, which caused nothing on her body to move at all because she was clearly 0% body fat. There’s nothing wrong with looking like a marble statue! Nothing at all! That’s just not what I look like, and I can only handle so many discouragements when entering a new fitness class. We started with some “warm-ups.” I feel like she kept emphasizing the fact that we were just “warming up”, which made my panting, sweaty ass feel like shit. She referenced our abs several times, and I was like, “What? Where?” as I glanced down at the soft rolls of my belly as I did standing planks while desperately clinging to the aerial silk. I sloppily attempted to pull my entire body weight forward, while maintaining the reverse plank in mid-air, and I kept thinking, “Dear, God, please don’t let me fall backwards before we’ve even gotten into the silks. I can’t handle that kind of humiliation today. I’m far too delicate.”

Once we got “warmed-up,” we got into some of the aerials (poses/moves with our entire bodies in the silks – often involving being upside down). Fuck yes. This is the shit I’m here for. Bring on the inversions! The first one involves hanging upside down with the silk supporting me at my waist. Okay. Great. Got it! Then she had us “crochet” our legs in the silks for added support, so that we could then reach for the silk above our feet, and pull ourselves all the way up into a seated position. You’re following this, right? Because I’m not. Literally everyone else in class just pulled themselves up like it was fucking nothing. But me? I’m over here using all my ab strength just to reach for the fabric. I literally can’t do a pull-up. Not even one. Never could. It’s just not in the cards for me. So pulling myself up from an inversion feels insurmountable. I’m just dangling there, trying first with my right hand, then my left, which is starting to make the silk sway back and forth. I grab on with both hands (finally), and pull with everything in me. Nothing happens.

Let me try that again.

No luck. At this point, I am swaying back and forth while grunting. Everyone else is resting comfortably in their makeshift chairs as the instructor has them practice doing pretty poses in the air. Fuck you guys.

I gave up and just hung upside down like that’s where I wanted to be.

Later in class there was the “vampire pose,” which consisted of pulling up so much that your entire upper body goes all the way through (with the silk wrapped around your waist) and you land in the silk, but parallel to the floor (like if you were pretending to be Superman). The instructor did it very quickly, and it honestly just looked like a great way to break my face. Fuuuuuuuck that shit. I’m out.

During Christmas week I made this soup to make sure I had something other than cookies to eat. It’s so simple and lovely, and makes the apartment smell like cozy winter evenings. Try it – you’ll love it.

 

Spinach Tortellini Soup

1 medium onion, diced

2 carrots, peels and sliced

2 stalks celery, diced

“5 ounces” baby spinach (just grab some big handfuls)

8 ounces (about) frozen tortellini (No, I did not make that shit from scratch. I’m not Martha Stewart, and I’m okay with that.)

8 cups veggie broth  (Make your own! It’s easy! Just boil shit!)*

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

A few sprinkles of dried parsley

Optional: Shredded parmesan to serve

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large soup pot (it’s easiest if this is all done in the same pot – duh). Throw in the onion, carrots, and celery. Saute until cooked through (a few minutes), stirring occasionally. Add a little salt and pepper. It’ll be more flavorful if you let the veggies brown a little bit. Stir in the veggie broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Add in the frozen tortellini and simmer until they’re warmed through (I mean, just pay attention). Once everything is ready, then finally add in the spinach. It only takes a minute or two for it to fully wilt into hot soup. Sprinkle with parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with some shredded parm (I’m usually a big cheese advocate, but this isn’t super necessary if your tortellini already has cheese in it… which it should, or you’re doing it wrong).

Eat up! You’ll need your energy for humiliating yourself at your next fitness class.

*Not literally.

Cheese · comfort food · Dating · dinner · easy · gluten free · healthy · lunch · potatoes · quick · soup · vegan · Vegetables · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

Vegan Baked Potato Soup

Y’all. I have been a hermit lately. And by hermit I mean not going to 8 yoga classes a week while also going out with friends/going to friends’ houses several times per week while surviving on 6ish hours of sleep per night (that is like zero to me). Instead, I am spending a lot of time home alone watching The Mindy Project or frequently joining another for some quality Netflix time (while discovering Stranger Things! ZOMG). During my Summer of Anxiety last year, I made the habit of socializing NONSTOP. In fact, I even retook the Meyers Briggs personality test and had actually changed from introvert to extrovert. My personality literally changed due to my anxiety level. How is that even possible?

After that summer things got better, but my schedule did not slow down. In fact, I replaced a lot of my friend time with dating. Remember that one time I went on 6 dates in 5 days? Within that same week I had my “soul crushed” by one of those 6 dates (we’re actually still friends, and were clearly not a good romantic match, so it all worked out). It was all very exhausting. I kept trying to slow everything down, but that seemed impossible while I was still swiping on Tinder.

Being alone often triggered my anxiety, so I made myself as busy as I possibly could.

In the last few months, I have finally been able to actively slow down my life. My anxiety has calmed, and I have found time for myself in a way that hasn’t been possible in a really long time. You know what really helped with that?

Deleting Tinder. Fuuuuuck. Those dates made for good stories, but that was definitely more exhausting than 8 yoga classes a week.

It’s that time of year where many of us start hibernating. Hibernating means comfort food. I literally ate various forms of bread and cheese for 4 meals on Sunday. Yes, four meals. In my defense, I was hungover from the 12 hours of drinking the day before, on top of having a cold that won’t quit. So, no, I haven’t slowed down completely. I’m just finding new things that bring me joy, and not saying yes to everything.

I’m also budgeting like crazy. I made this cozy soup last week without making an extra trip to the grocery store. My new rule is only one trip a week, and only $60 MAX. Last week I only spent $42, and that included 3 different types of cheese. Even shopping at a co-op, this shit is possible. This potato soup is rich and creamy without the cream (cream is expensive). You could definitely add other veggies to it, or even some chickpeas or quinoa for protein. I kept it pretty simple, but did top it with some fancy-ass smoked cheddar cheese (I know that means it’s no longer vegan, but I’m not vegan, so I don’t care).

Side note: These photos aren’t great because of the lack of daylight since daylight savings time ended. It’s been impossible for me to cook and photograph mid-day. It’ll get better, I promise!

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Vegan Baked Potato Soup

3 stalks celery, chopped

2-3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

1 small onion, diced

4 cups veggie broth (I suggested keeping the concentrate around, as it is cheaper and easier – or you can make your own to be really thrifty)

3 medium potatoes, peeled, quartered, and thinly sliced

1 cup vegan milk of choice (I used cashew, but canned coconut would be creamier)

3 tablespoons flour (to thicken) – can easily be subbed for gluten free flour, or omitted

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional toppings: Cheddar cheese, green onion, bacon/fake bacon

In a large pot with a heavy drizzle of olive oil, saute the onion, carrots, and celery over medium-high heat until they soften (3-5 minutes). Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and the flour. Mix well – the veggies could clump together. Cook for another minute, stirring consistently. Add the potatoes and broth, making sure to incorporate everything well (no flour lumps! I believe in you!). Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Then you have 2 options…. 1. Use an immersion blender (or regular blender in batches) right in the pot to blend everything smooth, OR 2. Scoop half of the soup into a blender and blend until smooth, then return it back to the pot. Option #2 will leave you with chunks, which is my preference. You do you. Once blended, add the milk and some more salt and pepper. Scoop into bowls, top with cheese and green onion, brown up a motherfuckin’ grilled cheese because you’re sick and deserve to have melted cheese with every meal, and go back to watching Stranger Things in your PJ’s.

 

 

comfort food · Crock pot · dinner · easy · healthy · lunch · mushrooms · soup · vegan · Vegetables · vegetarian

Mushroom Barley Soup and Matchbox 20

Apparently I’ve gotten to the age of going to concerts at casinos. Matchbox 20 and Counting Crows were at Treasure Island Casino last weekend. Hannah and I lost our damn minds. How is Rob Thomas still hot as fuuuuuuck?

I didn’t even know Matchbox 20 was still together. When I discovered they were going to be performing together, I was completely shocked. Thought maybe someone was fucking with me. Since Hannah and I bonded over our mutual love of them upon first meeting, we splurged for the $800 VIP tickets for the real fans that got to BE ON STAGE WITH THEM.

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LOL JK

We paid $25 and stood in the grass behind all the real seats. BUT IT WAS STILL AMAZING.

As soon as the Counting Crows finished, it starting pouring rain. They told everyone to go inside the casino until the storm passed, but Hannah was like, “Fuck that shit. We’re staying.” We were already soaked, and decided it wasn’t worth the trouble to attempt to go inside with thousands of other people. Instead, we ended up joining forces with another 4 women that had commandeered a tarp they found on the ground. They welcomed us into their stolen shelter and offered us each half a beer (they had been knocked over and spilled much of their contents… but beggars can’t be choosers, right?). We squatted together in the dark, sipping our beers, and getting to know one another, as the lightning flashed outside. And by “outside,” I mean right over my ass, which was too big to make it fully inside the tarp. #bigbootyproblems

Once the rain let up, our new friends wandered off. Hannah had to go to the bathroom, so I saved our spot while Instagraming the video of us singing along to “Long December.” While figuring out my hashtags, I felt a poke in my side/belly. I looked up to see a man that had that used-to-be-a-jock-but-now-mostly-drinks-beer-and-watches-football look. You know what I’m talking about. He was poking me with his umbrella and saying, “Hey…. who are you texting?” I told him I was Instagraming, actually. Apparently he interpretted that as, “Why don’t you join me?” because suddenly he was right next to me, asking to be on my Instagram. I took a photo with him to both appease him and to be friendly. It has since been deleted. I asked his name and he jovially shouted, “I’m Tyler! Ty!” Great. He’s very excitable. Hannah came to my rescue moments later. After telling her that I met my new friend via “umbrella poke,” she exclaimed, “How phallic of you!” Poor Ty had a look of utter confusion on his face and stated that he didn’t speak French.

The man literally didn’t know the meaning of the word “phallic.” Is this real life?

It’s okay, buddy… you’re doing a great job. Just keep making inappropriate jokes and asking to be my boyfriend. That’s definitely how it works.

So, after we thoroughly explain the meaning of the word “phallic,” I asked him where his friends were, since I didn’t see him with anyone at the concert. He casually responded that his wife was “right over there.”

I’m sorry… what?

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The wife eventually joined us. I looked at them both and asked her, “Did you know he was talking to me?” She said yes, and that it’s fine if he talks to other women. Then I asked the obvious question…. “Did you know your husband doesn’t know the meaning of the word phallic?” She also developed a look of confusion, and I felt happy knowing that two such people had been able to find each other in this big, crazy world.

After the vocab lesson, I asked the more pressing question, “Are you in an open relationship?” They both responded at the same time… he said yes, and she said no. Okay. Great. She goes on to explain that it’s healthier for them both to just be able to flirt with whoever they want, because otherwise people lie and it just ends in divorce. She explained that they’re open with each other about being attracted to other people. That’s the only part I understand about the whole thing. I then went on to ask them both, “What would have happened if I had been interested?” Ty chuckled as only a former jock can, and said, “Too bad for you!” His wife looked at me, rolled her eyes, and said, “Trust me, you don’t want him.” I was like, “Oh… I know.

He then went on to say that he wasn’t hitting on me at all. Twenty year old Kelsey would have shrunk back, embarrassed at my assumption. How dare I think I am worthy of such a man’s time and attention? Gaslighting used to work so well on me. Thirty-two year old Kelsey responded with condescension, “Oh, honey…. yes you fucking were.” While the whole thing was funny/ridiculous, the idea of them going out and actively hitting on another person for pure sport really pisses me off. If I had been genuinely interested, his flippant attitude about leading me on would have really hurt my feelings. I understand their point about being able to flirt while in a healthy, monogamous relationship… but that doesn’t mean actively seeking someone out at a concert/bar/club. I was fully expecting him to ask for my phone number – it was a blatant come on, and that’s not okay if you’re not interested.

Let’s get one thing straight, though… I would absolutely never entertain the idea of dating someone that doesn’t know the meaning of the word phallic.

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Hannah and I pretending to be emo as fuck in the rain.

Unrelated to anything in this post (per usual): I made this soup last week, after discovering a vegan crock pot cookbook at the library. It had the mushrooms measured out by ounces, but I didn’t know how to go about weighing shit in the bulk area at my co-op. It was supposed to be 5 ounces of shiitake mushrooms, and 4 ounces of button mushrooms. I made up my own measurements, as you’ll see in the recipe below. I honestly think it doesn’t fucking matter. Also, if you want to make this on the stove, just simmer it all until the barley is cooked through (I’d tell you how long, but I have no fucking idea because I never cook barley – good luck!).

If you noticed on my Instagram a few weeks ago, I went back to eating meat per my doctor’s suggestion. That lasted all of 4 days. Now I’m looking for ideas on how to cut back on dairy, and still get enough protein in without eating meat. Feel free to send me links to your favorite healthy vegetarian/vegan recipes.

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Mushroom Barley Soup

2 1/2ish cups button mushrooms (measured while still whole)

2ish cups shiitake mushrooms (measured while still whole)

0.5oz dried porcini mushrooms

1 medium onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

6 cups veggie broth

1 cup boiling water

Salt and pepper

2/3 cup barley

Pour the porcini mushrooms into a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 15 minutes. Drain mushrooms but save the mushroom water to add to the soup. Chop up the porcini mushrooms once they are re-hydrated. While they’re soaking, slice the rest of the mushrooms and saute with onions over medium-high heat in a little olive oil. Saute for a few minutes, then add the garlic and salt and pepper. Cook for another couple of minutes and scoop into a crock pot (you’ll have to do this in batches because the mushrooms won’t all fit in the same pan at once). While this makes for more work than your standard crock pot recipe, cooking the mushrooms first really adds a lot of flavor.

Throw all that shit into the crock pot and turn that shit on low. Leave it alone for 6-8 hours. Done. Boom. Fucking delicious vegan soup. Share it with your friends. Eat it by yourself in your underwear. Whatthefuckever.

Just don’t hit on someone unless you’re actually interested in them. Aka: Don’t be a shitty human.

P.S. This is what Rob Thomas looks like now:

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You’re welcome.

Asian food · comfort food · Curry · dinner · easy · healthy · quick · soup · Thai food · vegan · Vegetables · vegetarian

Thai Coconut Curry Soup

Last weekend I helped a friend out by cat sitting his two little fluff monsters overnight. You know what this means, right? This means I got to stay in a different apartment for a weekend while eating someone else’s food and watching Netflix nonstop.  This also means it was a free-for-all when it came to junk food. I treated it like I was on vacation, which means I ate ice cream and pizza for most of my meals (my mom taught me that you’re supposed to eat cookie dough for dinner when on vacation). To top it all off, my last morning there was spent eating donuts in my underwear while watching A Cinderella Story (all while snuggling a floofball of a kitty). You know you’re jealous.

Fuck. I love staying at my friends’ apartments when they’re out of town. It’s completely ridiculous, though, considering I actually have my own apartment without any roommates. I mean, what am I trying to escape from? I think there’s something freeing about the fact that I can just lay around and not do anything. If I was doing the same thing at home, I’d end up getting up to do laundry/vacuum/wash dishes/etc. When at another person’s place, I don’t have to do any of that shit. Plus, free food! And I got so many kitty snuggles (though it took them a full 24 hours to come around).

The same friend introduced me to Khao Soi soup for the first time. Going completely based on his recommendation, I placed my order and requested that there be no cilantro added (which is often not in the description, but almost always included and guaranteed to ruin any and all food it touches). Upon arrival, I meticulously inspected the garnishes for any traces of cilantro. I didn’t see anything, but did end up getting a few bites of it in the broth. Motherfuckers. Why do people add that shit to everything?! Fucking food ruiners. Despite the herb from hell, the soup was fucking delicious. We kept referring to it as liquid crack, and chalked it up to the added MSG. I fucking love me some MSG. That shit makes everything better.

But!

It’s probably not healthy. My homemade version does not include MSG. It also doesn’t include any fancy ingredients or steps. It’s simple as fuck, and can be ready in 30 minutes flat. (It’s also not as to-die-for delicious, but it’s pretty damn good.)

Thai Coconut Curry Soup

2ish cups of broccoli florets

1/2 large onion, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into about 2″ peices

1 large carrot, sliced

8oz Chinese noodles of your choice (I chose some leftover “vegetarian” noodles from the Asian market)

2 tablespoons red curry paste

4 cups vegetable broth

1 cup full fat, unsweetened coconut milk

1 tablespoon lime juice

Red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss veggies (you could honestly use any veggies you have on hand) with olive oil on a baking sheet and add a little salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

While the veggies are roasting, cook pasta according to package instructions. Rinse with cold water and set aside.

In a large pot, cook curry paste over medium-high heat, whisking or stirring frequently. Cook the curry paste for about 2-3 minutes, until it becomes fragrant and lightly browned. Whisk in the broth and then the coconut milk, lime juice, and red pepper flakes. Add the veggies and let simmer for a few minutes.

Place desired amount of noodles in a bowl and spoon the soup over the top. I like more soup than noodles, but you could treat the soup more like a sauce with pasta if you want.

EAT THIS SHIT EVERY SINGLE DAY. Do NOT add cilantro, or we can’t be friends. If you don’t care about that, then fuck off. (jk bff xoxo) 😉

P.S. Fuck you, cilantro.