HI! I am writing to you from four days away from my wedding, six days away from my honeymoon, and about a month away from moving to Portland. I am (clearly) counting down the days in some ways, but in other ways I am so so happy right this second. These are the last few weeks I have in my beloved Oakland, and I am not taking them for granted. I love my life here. I love California. I love being close to my family, even if I don’t see them as much as I’d like, and I love being close to the ocean- even if I don’t see that much either. It has been a great five years back in the bay, and I am not forgetting just because I am about to leave.
Maybe this is a sign that I am actually becoming an adult (at age 31- late bloomer, perhaps?) but this is maybe the first time in my life that I am completely happy in a place and that I also know that it is time to go. Things are changing rapidly in the bay area, and the flow of the whole process is definitely nudging me to move elsewhere. My partner and my best friend have been here for years, and neither has ever really been thrilled with the place in general. I feel like I’ve watched them grow relatively sullen with their California prospects in a number of ways, and I’ve fought it, been pissed at them for not loving this place as much as I do, been sad that they can’t be on my same page, and then just accepted it. My family is unconventional, but they are still my family. If the fam is unhappy, it makes sense to move forward.
It’s a strange and unique feeling, this plain acceptance of what is. I kind of like it, because it just makes my life so much easier when I am not fighting tooth and nail to make things try to be the way I would like them to. As a person who has spent a lot of time taking care of themselves, it is truly marvelous to relinquish a little control.
Because Portland is good too.
Because I have an amazing apartment waiting for me there.
Because there is much possibility in change.
Because shaking shit up is occasionally good for the spirit, right?
On that note, I am taking a break! A break from working with clients, a break from podcasting and a break from blogging until September first. I haven’t taken a two day break from this job that I love so dearly in the two years that I have been doing it, and so I imagine two weeks will feel like an amazing, difficult, and much needed eternity. In the meantime, I want to tell you to find your body positivity at Rebel Grrl Living and The Militant Baker, and if you have time, read this article over at No Meat Athlete. It resonated with my personal life more than I expected, and is exactly what prompted me to keep my two week honeymoon completely work and regimen free.
I shall see you all upon my return!!!!!!
The first time I had Kung Pao “chicken” it was a vegan version at a restaurant here in Oakland called Great Wall.I had just entered my freshmen year of college, and because I am basically 150 million years old, I wasn’t used to seeing fake meat around. Great Wall’s menu was chock full of classic chinese delights, and most of it was vegan. I was floored, and then I was stoked. I proceded to eat there most days for the next couple of years.
Great Wall tasted great, but from where I stand now, it leaves much to be desired nutritionally. Most things were deep fried, MSG was certainly used liberally. There weren’t many fresh vegetables in the meals, because- you know- that wasn’t really the point. It was a vegan version of greasy takeout! Obviously I can’t expect it to be some seasonal, local, organic veg plate.
These days, when I want Kung Pao, I make my own. I use ingredients I am stoked on, and- real talk- this recipe is SO delicious. I can’t wait to share it with you.
|Kung Pao Style Beyond Chicken|| |
- Marinated Beyond Meat:
- 1 tablespoon Bragg's liquid aminos
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (or Chili Ginger Lime KeVita Tonic for an extra punch)
- 1 container Beyond Meat Chicken Strips
- Kung Pao sauce:
- ½ cup miso broth
- 1.5 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Tahini or peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon Bragg's liquid aminos
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (unseasoned)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Other stir-fry ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon. minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup green onion, chopped
- 2 medium zucchini, chopped
- 2 large stalks celery, chopped
- 4 cups kale, chopped
- ¼ cup peanuts
- For marinating the chicken: Stir together the Bragg's, apple cider vinegar and mirin in a bowl and add the Beyond Meat. Let sit for anywhere from 10 minutes to overnight. The longer you let it sit, the more flavor the Beyond Meat soaks up.
- Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Heat oil or broth in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the green onion, stirring continuously for 1-2 minutes.
- Continuing to stir, add the zucchini, kale, ginger, and garlic. Stir fry for five more minutes.
- Stir in the sauce. Add the chicken, with all its excess liquid if there is any. Cook for 5-10 more minutes, continuing to stir frequently, until the mixture is hot throughout and the sauce has coated the chicken and vegetables. In the last minute, add the chopped celery and peanuts and mix in thoroughly.
- Serve and enjoy!