Tuna Salad Pita

With a few weeks left in the quarter, it’s time to pull out the finals week meals. Meals that are easy, tasty, and can provide more nutrition than a package of spicy ramen. After walking back from class in the hot midday sun the other day though, I just wasn’t in the mood for a steamy bowl of noodles and soup. I craved something fresh, crunchy, and light, but also substantial and flavorful.
A well-composed tuna salad on a lightly toasted pita is absolutely the way to go.

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Baby Bok Choy with Fishcake

Spring quarter is the hardest because you’re really only weeks away from summer vacation. Summer vacation means free time, relaxation, and most of all, going home. And home means great food. Food that’s just real, healthy, simple, and replenishing.

Baby bok choy with fishcake is one of my mom’s weekday recipes. It’s an easy, no-fuss stir-fry that goes a long way. The flavors are clean, balanced, and satisfying.

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Small Tacos, Big Flavor

I’ll admit, I’m usually not that impressed with tacos. They are one of the least inspiring items on Chipotle’s menu, for instance. And unlike burritos, there is an awkward, head-tilting, neck-cramping, back-hunching, posture required so that gravity does not totally undo the taco’s unsteadily upright structure.

Now the way this story goes, I accidentally bought ground sirloin instead of ground chuck this past week. I was thinking that burgers might be a good dinner food, but I ended up with a package of meat I have little experience cooking. Because of sirloin’s leanness, I didn’t want to make burgers that would only turn out to be dry. So my boyfriend and I poked around his refrigerator a bit and ultimately decided that some kind of beef taco would be the most economic use of all the ingredients we consistently have.

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Always Phamished for Bánh Mì

I have the best memories of bánh mì. My first experience was getting it with my grandma when I was a young girl in a heavily Filipino and Vietnamese part of San Diego. I thought it was going to be like a Subway sandwich. Kind of floppy, wet with too much dressing and mayonnaise, and filled with overly jiggly meat. I wish I knew then what I know now, that back in the late 90s that my grandma knew her food.

While I’ll primarily be focusing on my love (addiction?) with bánh mì, I’m also going to express how amazing the bánh mì is from an LA-area food truck called Phamish.

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My Kind of Asian Junk Food

College is a time to eat lots of things you could never get away with eating several times a week when home. Whether it’s pizza, hot dogs, and grilled cheese sandwiches at the dining hall or a gigantic bowl of ice cream and hot chocolate to accompany some late night studying, it’s so easy to succumb to the innate desire to eat what tastes sinfully delicious and is ridiculously convenient. Leftover steamed rice with rousong (肉鬆) and a healthy sprinkle of furikake is the way to go for me.

I know it looks like weird brown moss and shiny green confetti have taken over my bowl of rice here, but the symphony of fluffy, moist rice, salty, cottony pork, oceanic, crispy seaweed, and subtle, nutty, sesame is incredible.

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Mind-blowing Macaroni and Cheese

Because I’m going to the LA Cupcake Challenge today, because I’m still reeling from the intensity of midterms week, because I’m taking the GRE next week and need comforting (ridiculously cheesy, melty, gooey comforting), I’m sharing with you this phenomenal macaroni and cheese my boyfriend made.

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Vegetarian Torta

The torta is something my boyfriend makes for us to eat during the weekday. I know the general process, but he is much better about timing the whole thing. When we make it together, the experience is always peppered with my questions of “Is it ready yet?” I’m such a typical baker. I need to work on that.

Tortas are the perfect college food. All the ingredients are inexpensive. Only some dicing skills are really required. You will need a cast iron skillet, but they’re pretty reasonable and are utilitarian. Tortas are divinely satisfying. The kind of satisfying that gives you the confidence to tackle that huge section of reading due tomorrow.

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