On June 1 my life changed. I moved into my own off campus apartment, and I became a vegan. That’s some serious, drastically life changing stuff. Since then I’ve been cooking and shopping for myself for the first time and not eating any animal products.
I’ve learned a lot. There are some things you really take for granted in your parent’s pantry, like salt…and baking soda. I actually had to go out and buy that stuff. I’ve also learned that when you’re not buying any meat or cheese your grocery bill is actually pretty low. I basically live off rice, beans and lettuce. That stuff is cheap.
But I’ve also made some pretty fantastic food out of my cheap, vegan groceries, so I’d like to share my knowledge and my tasty treats from my off campus kitchen. Maybe I’ll even share some of the reasons why I became a vegan in the first place, but I promise I’ll try really hard not to be annoying about it.
Spicy Peanut Noodles
The first recipe I’ll share with you has been my metaphorical “bread and butter” all summer long. There’s a ghetto version and a fancy version and a variety of options in-between. If you just got off your closing shift at Panera Bread and your manager didn’t let you eat that night (this might have happened to me once or twice) you can whip up the ghetto version at 11:45 pm no problem. On the other hand if you’re having “family” dinner with the roomies and trying to be sophisticated about things this dish cleans up real nice too. The original prototype was a drunken creation, and since then I have experimented and the recipe has evolved. Here it is on both ends of the spectrum.
Broke and Drunk Version:
1 package Ramen Noodles
1-2 Soy Sauce packets left over from your trip to China City
1-2 Peanut butter packets that you stole from Huden Dining Hall.
A few drops of Sriracha Hot Sauce (Note: This can also be stolen from Huden)
Microwave you’re ramen noodles like you all know how, but throw out the little package of animal flavored chemicals. You won’t be needing it, and it’s not vegan.
Toss in the soy sauce, peanut butter, and as much hot sauce as you want. Stir that up and you’re done. Enjoy! (I won’t include a photo of this version, cause we all know it would probably look disgusting.)
Dinner Party Version:
(Serves about three people)
½ package whole-wheat spaghetti
Carrots: Sliced into thin rounds
Red onion: Thin long slices
Broccoli: Small florets
Cilantro: Coarsely chopped
¼ cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon Sriracha
2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
¼ cup water
1 clove garlic
Boil water and add pasta, carrots, red onion and broccoli. Reduce heat and cook until pasta and veggies are tender, then strain.
Combine soy sauce, peanut butter, Sriracha, sesame oil, and garlic in separate saucepan on medium heat. Stir until ingredients are combined. Add water until the sauce looks like the right thickness for you. Pour over your pasta and veggies, garnish with cilantro.
There you go! A fancy dish to impress your roommates, and there aren’t even any weird vegan ingredients in it. You’re welcome!