Category Archives: Vegetarian

LWOM: Kimchi Pancakes, Okonomiyaki (and Other Things Tacky, From Sam-I-Am)

I’m not Sam–but take a look!

Sam-I-am is in this book.

I’m sure you all know how Sam-I-am…

Loves a good dish of green eggs and ham.

But the question to ask,

We must take to task!

It’s not such a crime…

We’ll ask, “Do pancakes buzz?”

(But that doesn’t rhyme!)

(Well now it does.)

Would they

buzz over coffee?

(Try feeding them toffee!)

Or would they

buzz o’er papers?

(If you paired them with capers.)

Do they sound a bit tacky?

(Just like okonomiyaki.)

But what could that mean?

(We hope it’s nothing obscene.)

Are you sure that’s a pancake?

Why, what else could it be? 

It’s not a waffle

or a donut

or a pig

or a tree.

(And better still, we think it’s made of kimchi!)

So whether or not these pancakes do buzz

or chuckle

or snarfle

or gigglerooruzz,

And whether they’re made of red clouds

or green bean,

Have some okonomiyaki–

(BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?)

So now we conclude without really concluding

Our noggins confuzzled and our parents deluding.

Here was the tale of our pancakes a-buzz.

But we know you will love them–

At least, Sam-I-am sure does.

This post is part of the Lit, Wit, and an Oven Mitt (LWOM) series here at Wallflour Girl, where Ala takes a popular or classic literary character and uses him/her/it to tell a story about her recipes.  Ala is an English literature graduate student with a strong interest in children’s literature, Victorian lit, and everything in between, beyond, bubbly, or burgundy. Ala does not own the rights to any of these characters or original literary texts, although she does own pancakes that are neither pigs nor trees. This series is intended to offer you a glimpse into her world through our shared love for food.Read more

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Filed under Lunch & Dinner, Vegetarian

Mediterranean Couscous and Kashk E-Bademjan

Happy belated Mid-Autumn Festival!

To celebrate, we went Greek. Which makes no sense if you don’t think about it–but if you do think about for just the teeniest bit, it starts to make a little sense.

…And if you do happen to find that nugget of sense, please let me know what it is, because I haven’t thought of it quite yet.

Last night I invited over the new recruits for our program (hooray, fresh blood!) who live in the same graduate student complexes as me. Mind-melting weather aside–a whopping 95 degrees in the dead of night–our motley crew really was a melting pot that made me glad I’d pulled my dishes so many different cuisines. We chatted over couscous and Kashk E-Badjemajan (a Persian eggplant and fried onion dip), Chinese garlic eggplant and honey “walnut” tofu (I used tempeh because one of the guys had a nut allergy), homemade sweet bread and cucumber salad. And of course, we had moon cakes.

Flour Power: I first ran into Kashk E-Bademjan in a Persian restaurant and just needed to make a copycat recipe…and now that I’ve done it, it feels great eating this scumptious dish in the comfort of my own kitchen! Next time you go out and have a great dish, go home and do some research, or go straight to your kitchen and give it a try if you’re feeling bold. You never know what you might come up with!

Do you know how absolutely terrifying it is cooking for somebody with nut and dairy allergies? I wouldn’t touch anything with nuts in them for the entire day (ever hear the story of the guy who died kissing his girlfriend, who had eaten peanut butter the day before? Holy. Cripes.), and I shoved anything with dairy in it to the wayyy back of my fridge so I wouldn’t accidentally, you know, use it.… Read more

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Filed under Appetizers, Lunch & Dinner, Vegetarian

Tempura Mushroom Sushi Roll

Warning: This post contains variable degrees of geekiness that may be unsuitable for some acculturated persons. Continue reading at your own discretion. Those with posh taste, a preference for late nights with sophisticated glasses of swirled cognac, and/or an inexplicable aversion to to Nintendo game systems (i.e. stalwart Playstation fans) should take extreme caution in reading the following content.

I love playing with my food.

Now, I’m not talking about the making-mashed-potato-and-gravy-volcanoes or broccoli forests kind of playing with my food. No siree, you can bet your bonny buttons my mom taught me better than that.

I am huge, however, on playing mental games with my food.

No, I don’t psychologize my celery or wax poetic about my peas, if that what you’re thinking.

I do, however, love making associations. (I should probably go back to doing that at some point.)

So let’s talk about mushrooms. I made some on Thursday for our gals’ book club night out to see an in-canyon theater performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream. I always use the fact that I’ve never seen/read this play as a great “Never Have I Ever…” item with my literature crew, but I guess I’ll have to find a new one now.

I’ve never ordered delivery takeout before. Does that count?

Anyway, we’re talking about mushrooms.

Remember this oversized shroom-head? If you’ve ever mashed an A button, cursed your friends for sending out an untimely lightning bolt in the middle of a race, or been inspired with paralyzing fear at the sound of an approaching spiny shell as the finish line looms into view…you’ll know who I’m talking about.

Yup. That’s Toad, the useless light-weight eunuch with the vocal range of a high soprano.

He loses a balloon in battle mode when he gets rammed by anyone by Yoshi (the other light-weight).… Read more

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Rice, Vegetarian

Julia Child’s 100th Birthday Celebration and NEDFM Day 15: Lemon Meringue Pie

Do you know who my favorite superhero is?

No, it’s not Superman. It’s not Spiderman. It’s not Batman, or Catwoman, or the Incredible Hulk, or even Captain Underpants (although he’s pretty darn cool).

No, my favorite superhero is far less bionic than any of the above heroes. Heck, he’s even more useless than Aquaman, whose greatest superpower is his ability to talk to dolphins and company. Of course, he might’ve given Dory and Marlin a break if he’d made a guest appearance in Finding Nemo, but that would just be silly, plus we would’ve then missed out on possibly the best animated scene of all time (which, in case you didn’t know, is this–Ellen DeGeneres, I love you so much).

My favorite superhero? <<cue dramatic groundhog music>>

It’s…CAPTAIN OBVIOUS! Dah dah dah!

…Okay, yeah. Dud. I know. And no, you can’t throw a virtual tomato at me.

You can, however, throw a real tomato into your mixing bowl, because I have a real winner summer salad recipe for you here. (Ha!Not bad for a relatively contrived segue, eh?)

I made this for our in-celebration-of-Julia Child afternoon–we put on Julie & Julia and proceeded to feast in her name while singing praises of her and Paul Child’s love. Seriously. Those two were like, I don’t know, that really stubborn egg that you’re trying to separate but just will not separate. You know the one I’m talking about. The egg where the whites and yolk are like the same freakin’ entity. That’s what Julia and Paul Child were. An inseparable, heads-over-yolk in love pair.

My friend even made this from Julia’s desserts section (I’ll have to look up the name and get back to you on it, unless anyone recognizes it–it involves cherries!):

The Captain Obvious point was initially related, I swear.… Read more

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, National Eat Dessert First Month, Salads, Vegetarian

Tofu Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Honey Peanut Dipping Sauce

I still remember my cousin telling me a while back about how I would go trumpeting around when I was younger on my high horse, informing anyone and everyone in the family house that I was not going to eat animals when I “grew up”–because going vegetarian, obviously, was not something one simply did as a kid. It was a big deal. It was a responsibility. It was a way of stalling on something that I knew even at the tender age of nine and a half would mean lots of personal sacrifices. What can I say? I’m a natural procrastinator–born, bred, raised. My parents deny that they have anything to do with it, but of course you always have to take what they say with a grain of salt: for example, when I accused my mom of this incurable procrastinatory disease last week, she vehemently denied it–as she played a round of Mah-Jong matching tiles instead of doing her work.

So about three years ago, when I started seriously considering for the first time going “all-out vegetarian,” the prospect frankly frightened me a little bit. Located in the heart of good ol’ liberal Berkeley, I had been in a prime place for the slow food movement, and it wouldn’t be a typical day without receiving a polemic-laden flier on animal cruelty and the current state of factory farms, not to mention the abhorrent sorts of “regulations” that govern what makes it to our plates.

I was also reading Michael Pollan for the first time around then. He’s a prolific journalist and writer who has done some of the best investigative journalism–not to mention amazing reporting in general–about the current state of American attitudes towards food, the love-hate relationship we have with it today, and why we should care. I could go on and on about his profound work, but I feel like it’s more fair to let him speak for himself.… Read more

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Filed under Lunch & Dinner, Vegetarian