Tag Archives: Asian market

Friday Favorites

It’s finally Friday! I’m gonna share some things I have been digging lately that have brought me bits of pleasure during “the week that lasted forever” (aka the week before spring break).

I’ve used Dr. Bronner’s All-One soaps on and off for years, but find the scented ones too drying. I picked up the mild, unscented version recently to see if it is less drying. I’ve been using it as a body and face wash and so far so good! Non-drying and no breakouts on mah face!

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I have a problem with lip balms. I’m addicted to them. But I don’t wanna not be addicted to them…wait, what? I got these new flavors a week ago when Crazy Rumors had a 20% sale. My favorite flavor of the bunch is the chocolate strawberry followed by the red hibiscus. I have made a pact with myself to not buy anymore until I finish a couple of tubes, which is making me rub them on my lips like crazy because I want to try this brand next!

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I have been loving and craving all the Asian foods lately. One day, I will make my Asian meals from scratch like Hannah from Bittersweet, but until then I raid all the pre-made stuff at my local Asian market.

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Clockwise: Yeo’s soy milk, ramen noodles with some vegan fish chunks and green onions, sweet chili sauce, vegan gyoza.

In music, I recently discovered Florence + the Machine and have been listening to them non-stop. I’m a big fan of strong lady vocals.

My favorite quote…”ain’t nobody got time for dat!” by Sweet Brown.

This quote has really helped me manage my time this week. For instance, when I thought I should stay late at work to grade papers, I thought “ain’t nobody got time for dat!”. And when N suggested I clean up all the files on my computer to make it stop acting so buggy, “ain’t nobody got time for dat!”.  I’m sure next week when I think about all the things I should be doing instead of having fun, this quote will save me from wasting my life away because “ain’t nobody got time for dat!”.

Happy Friday!

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Pho-king Delicious

I’m a pho-king pho ho.  I love it.  I crave it most days if not everyday. I sometimes dream about it. The only problem; its been damn near impossible to find vegan versions.  I have dabbled in making my own pho broth b/c the broth is what its all about, but I haven’t had the time to perfect that yet.  Solution: scouring my local asian market!

1.  Get the goods:  Vegan pho broth cubes  + vegan king prawn shrimps + rice noodles + shiitake mushrooms + plentiful fresh add ins (bean sprouts, basil, cilantro, fried garlic, green onions..) + Sriracha sauce

2.  Make sure all goods have “no animal factors”

3. Soak the rice noodles in warm to hot water for at least an hour and then boil them for an extra 3-4 minutes until you have the desired consistency.  Some people like their noods a little on the chewy side.  Cut up shiitake mushrooms while preparing noodles.

4. Drain noodles and set aside.  Prepare broth according to directions (or make your own…my current rendition involves mostly veggie broth with some Chinese 5 spice thrown in) .  Bring broth to boil and throw in vegan king prawn and mushrooms (or whatever you want heated and cooked through!).  Make as much broth as you want to drown your noodles in.

5. Serve:  Get some noodles in a bowl, ladle the awesome broth over it and then add in a bunch of fresh basil, cilantro, green onions, fried garlic pieces and bean sprouts.  Squeeze some fresh lime and Sriracha sauce into the mix to taste.

6.  Use chopsticks so you can feel authentic and slurp up all the pho-king goodness.

Chocolate parfait

You will need:

  1. store bought or homemade crunchy vegan cookies
  2. freshly cut strawberries and bananas
  3. store bought or homemade vegan chocolate pudding (we made ours by blending together extra firm silken tofu, cocoa powder, sugar, a little soymilk and a touch of vanilla extract….sorry I don’t have exact measurements as I just kinda add a little here and there and use my mouth to judge!)


  1. Finely crush up some of the cookies and pack a layer of it into the bottom of a bowl or cup.
  2. Put down a layer of pudding.
  3. Put down a layer of bananas and strawberries.
  4. Repeat 2 and 3 for as many layers as you want!
  5. Top with pudding and crumbled cookie bits.
  6. Eat and enjoy!

Try it with vanilla pudding, different fruits, different cookies. The variations are endless!

Since we were primarily focused on getting a quick yummy dessert into our bellies, we didn’t focus on presentation. If you wanna show off the parfait layers and make it all fancy put it in a clear wine glass and add a sprig of fresh mint.

Oh, and these are the cookies we used. We found them at the Asian market and were happily surprised that they were vegan.

Philly cheeze un-steak

We made uber-tasty vegan Philly cheeze steaks the other night! This is one of those sammiches that is based almost entirely on omni-subs (like Follow Your Heart vegan mozzarella and pepper un-steak from the Asian market) but meh, we were feeling lazy and are both getting over colds so we wanted something that we could just throw together. We saw a Subway commercial for the omni version of this and both agreed that ours looked and probably tasted sooooo much better! The cheeze didn’t really melt though, but it’s the best vegan cheeze I’ve had so far.

Labor Day Weekend

With the help of our friends Jason and Lillian, we got my car up and running again this week (yay, thanks guys!). So this weekend, we were able to make a trip to the Dekalb Farmer’s Market and an Asian market. We might have been able to make this trip using the MARTA, but honestly, with all the food that we bought it would have been extremely difficult. The farmer’s market that we go to is about 25 minutes away and we usually only have time to go about once a month. In the interim, we get most of our food from the vegetarian co-op, which is only about two minutes away from us!

Needless to say, I was super excited about our trip and was looking forward to capturing all the energy, fresh produce, and international food that is abundant at the farmer’s market to put in this blog. Alas, with camera in hand, I walk in and the first thing I see is a huge sign that says “Absolutely no photography permitted in the market”. A huge disappointment at first, but as we ventured on our shopping trip, I quickly realized that picture taking would have been near impossible because the market was extremely busy and just too crowded. One hour and over a $100 later, we walked out with so much food! We filled up all five of our huge shopping bags and most of what we bought was fresh and non-processed (I couldn’t turn down the pappadums).

After the farmer’s market, we stopped at an Asian market about three minutes down the road. Like most other Asian markets that I have ever been to, this one is just cluttery aisle after cluttery aisle (see above pics) full of any and all things Asian, food related or not. Despite the clutter, you can satisfy all your Asian cooking needs and taste buds at markets like these. We stocked up on rice noodles, Yeo’s soybean drink (yum!), sweet chili sauce, and some fake meat products.

So what does one do with a well stocked vegan kitchen and a long weekend? Saturday evening I made “Quick Garbanzo Soup” from Dino Sarma’s cookbook, Alternative Vegan (AV). The dish is full of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), tomatoes, onions and lots of whole spices. The only variation that I made on the recipe was adding some cooked potatoes and using less water (I wanted it less “soupy”). Hot Sauce came in from walking the dogs after I finished cooking and he said the house smelled “amazing”. Yes, this dish is very aromatically pleasing and tastes incredible too. Rich, hearty comfort food in under 30 minutes. We had it atop basmati rice with a side of pappadums.

Sunday we had a late lunch of leftover soup, so I didn’t get started on dinner until around 9ish. All I wanted to make was spanikopitas (from Vegan with a Vengeance, VV), a Dino salad (from AV) and cupcakes (also from VV)…shouldn’t take that long, right? Well, the recipe makes about 30 spanikopitas and if you’ve ever worked with phyllo dough, you can’t work that fast or else you’ll end up with a lot of torn and useless phyllo dough. I enlisted the help of Hot Sauce in the wrapping of the spanikopitas and we finally had dinner around 11pm. The only variation we made in the spanikopitas was the cooking time. We had to bake it for three times as long as the recipe called for, but it was worth the wait. Tangy tofu and spinach encased in flaky and crispy phyllo dough and a lovely mixed salad with a lemony vinaigrette.

We had a lot of spanikopita, so today we also brought some to a vegan potluck at Criminal Records, where there were many other tasty vegan delicacies (unfortunately, I did not have my camera with me). Oh and the cupcakes…oh, the cupcakes…I must not forget to mention these lovelies! These are called “coconut heaven cupcakes” and if there is such a thing as heaven, there would be an infinite supply of these cupcakes there. We decided not to buy cupcake wrappers for these to reduce waste, but you almost need them for these because they are incredibly moist!

The frosting and cupcake itself is full of shredded coconut giving a nice unexpected texture to the cupcake. The only caveat I have for these cupcakes regards the frosting, though this could very well be due to my newness to cooking and baking. I find it best to individually frost the cupcakes right before you eat them and not all at the same time otherwise, the frosting gets a little runny. Runny frosting or not, I will most definitely make these again.

So no, we didn’t go anywhere for t
he long weekend and no, we didn’t “do” much of anything except ride our bikes around and walk the dogs (and cook of course). But to me, that makes for a splendid weekend!