Vegan Comfort Food

I recently broke up with my girlfriend of just under a year, and have been a bit... well, depressed. I was on the phone with my good friend in LA (who is not vegan), telling my side of the story, and maybe slanting it for more sympathy — but hey, that's what friends are for, right?

He asked me, "So what is cheap vegan comfort food?" He went on to describe what "normal people" such as himself eat at times like this, dignified dishes like Top Ramen or potato chip and mayonnaise sandwiches. He also asked if there is such a thing as vegan PB&Js. This banter is almost the best part of this friendship. My boy of 10-plus years uses humor as a friendly ribbing and to check in on me and pull me out of myself. I appreciated it. It got me thinking, about what food would comfort me and the fact that I have about 8 days left on my 40-day raw stint. Which is many things, but comfroting is not one of them.

Just the other day, a few hours after I picked up the last of my things from her place — including dead roses I gave her on Valentine's Day. (Sorry, these wounds are still a bit raw.) I was definitely in need of something warm. Tea, soup, something to soothe and help change my mood.

I got to thinking about my relationship to food and how one of my mother's homemade tofu sandwiches would be like the biggest hug right now. Or my favorite: a huge breakfast with grits and biscuits, or some cake, or even better, apple pie and ice cream! But I know breaking a cleanse like that would create a stomach ache far worse than any heartache.

And though I would pay for moms to FedEx one or any of those items to me from Tacoma — let's face it, no food is better prepared than the food prepared by your mother's hands, right? — this might cause too much alarm on the homefront. So in its stead I am listening to a Pandora set to '90s hip-hop blend of Snoop Dogg and Biggie to remind me of better times. And counting down the final days of my cleanse until I can indulge in comfort food, like my version of vegan homemade "Top Ramen."

Spicy Peanut Ramen

Prep time 3 minutes| cook time 5 minutes| Serves 1-2

2 Cups dry whole wheat vermicelli noodles

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

1 Clove garlic, minced

2 Green onions, cut in small rounds

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, skinned and minced

1 Teaspoon crushed chili peppers

2 Tablespoons peanut butter

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Soy sauce to taste

Salt to taste


Step one

Over medium high heat, heat oil until hot and shimmering, add garlic pepper and ginger.

Step two

Add 1 ½ cups of water and peanut butter to the oil and veggies, mix well, and bring to boil.

Step three

Add noodles and remove from flame. Cover and let sit until noodles absorb liquid and are done, about 5 minutes. Garnish with green onions and lemon juice.

Have a favorite if disgusting break-up food? Let us know in the comments.

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