Roasted Cauliflower Sauce

I was on a panel this past weekend talking about social media and how our lives feel so curated. Remember the days when I would just post a photo of an apple and be like, "I feel like crap today so I just ate this apple because if I ate what I really wanted - APPLE PIE - I know I would binge and I hate that I'm not over bingeing yet because I'm supposed to be a body image activist but the truth is life is so complicated and hard?"

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Life feels hard again. I haven't been struggling with depression for a long time but lately I've been feeling it. I always get this way around pilot/Oscar season because it's a reminder I'm nowhere near where I have always dreamed I'd be at this point. I have been doing this long enough that I know I "shouldn't" care and I know what's really important (certainly not auditions and bookings). And I know happiness isn't about validation or even a paycheck. But I'm still hurting. And I see my sadness manifesting in old ways - the nagging hunger of fill-my-belly-even-though-it's-already-full. So I'm acknowledging it.

Tonight I made this meal to compensate for my feelings - I just wanted to make something delicious and hearty that wouldn't cause my stomach and skin to erupt in defiance after eating it.

Surprisingly, it's awesome. I basically dry-roasted a bunch of veggies (seasonings only, no oil) and then made a sauce out of some of the roasted cauliflower.

It was so good, and so nurturing. I feel like I made a new best friend.


Roasted Vegetables with Cauliflower Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 Zucchinis, Chopped

  • 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes

  • 1 Head of Broccoli, Chopped

  • 1 Head of Cauliflower, Chopped

  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Whole

  • Taco Seasoning

  • Onion Salt

  • 1/3-1/2 cup Dairy-Free Milk (I used Cashew)

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

  • 1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray two 9x11 nonstick pans.

  2. In one pan, toss the zucchini, tomato, and broccoli with a tablespoon of taco seasoning, plus salt and pepper. Add the cauliflower and garlic cloves to the other pan and sprinkle onion salt on top.

  3. Roast the vegetables for 40 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking.

  4. In a high speed blender, combine half the roasted cauliflower, the garlic cloves, and the cashew milk, salt, nutritional yeast, olive oil. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides and adding more milk if necessary.

  5. Serve the roasted vegetables with the cauliflower sauce on top. Add more nutritional yeast if desired.


Mom's Chinese Stir Fry

Happy Chinese New Year!  It's the Year of the Fire Rooster.  Or maybe it's the Chicken?  Perhaps it's just a regular Rooster.  I have no clue.  I'm just going down a google hole.

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What I do know is that I've been eating this shrimp stir fry since I was a kid, and it's one of my favorites.

My mom shows us how to make it using just a couple ingredients that she always has, like soy sauce and corn starch.  When I was little, she would sometimes forego fresh veggies and use pantry staples like baby corn, bamboo shoots, and straw mushrooms. And she points out that you can make it with any other kind of protein - beef, pork, and chicken.  Maybe even rooster.

I don't know how I'll be celebrating this year.  I already made my frozen dumplings for a Facebook Live video so I'll be eating those leftovers tonight.  Like most years, I'm not around my Chinese family.  So it's nice to know I can make a pot of perfect rice and feel like I'm hanging out with my mom.  Get her recipe below, and a video tutorial too.  If you make it, tag me on social media (@mslynnchen) and let me know!



Chinese Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 lb shrimp

  • 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • ¼ tsp white pepper

  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

  • 3 chopped garlic cloves, 2 scallions, 1 tablespoon ginger (mix it all together and let it sit for 5 minutes)

Instructions

  1. Prep vegetables – any you like. WE are using snowpeas, red pepper, onion, celery and carrots.

  2. Heat the oil and put the garlic/ginger from the shrimp marinade into the pan. Cook for a minute then add the shrimp. Stir for a minute, the cover for a minute. Uncover and stir until cooked through and curly. Put the shrimp to the side.

  3. Put more oil to the pan and add the vegetables. Stir fry for a minute, adding white pepper and salt, then cover for another minute. Uncover, add a tablespoon of soy sauce and cook for another minute. Add the shrimp back in. Cook for another minute, remove from heat and serve.