everything's fine with Jenny Yang
everything's fine with Jenny Yang Podcast
low effort, high yum food as self-care

low effort, high yum food as self-care

a new series of recipes i'm calling, "FOODS I MAKE WHEN I SHOULD BE WORKING OR NAPPING"

real quick life update first: I’M GOING ON TOUR! The Fiancé Energy standup comedy tour (with a couple of my Self Help Me variety shows sprinkled in). jennyyang.tv for tickets and dates. East Coast is my first leg. Can you support my striking WGA writer-ass by getting tickets, bringing your friends and sharing my tour website jennyyang.tv with your buds? New York and Boston up first! thank youuuuuuu <3


i am a recovering perfectionist, over-achiever control freak.

if i could backseat drive i would. if your party sucks, i feel compelled to make it better.

i can’t stand to watch people fail or be cringe. “do better!” my internal voice screams. (at this point that critical internal voice doesn’t even sound like my dad’s anymore. it’s mine. i’ve taken that voice over. for the theory nerds please see foucault and the power of the panopticon. we regulate ourselves baby!)

so when things aren’t PERFECT in my life, sometimes it gets me down bad. (not as much anymore. i’ve been working on this for a while. i’m getting better).

what i do know is, when the world is crumbling at least i can cook.

i was like, dang. it’s been a while since i’ve written to you on substack. then i stumbled upon my old wordpress (remember that?) and it reminded me of some foods i loved to make (and still to this day).

so here are a couple of the core recipes of my kitchen aka FOODS I MAKE WHEN I SHOULD BE WORKING OR NAPPING. i always go back to these when i wanna make things that are low effort, tasty and relatively “healthy.”

  1. VEGAN QUESO (nacho cheese sauce)

I’ve totally done this multi-step SERIOUS EATS version and it is tasty, complexly-flavored masterpiece. but do i really want to be out here chopping onions and slicing russet potatoes. when I wanna do a shortcut version that’s still tasty as hell?

try this recipe from the MINIMALIST BAKER for 5-MINUTE VEGAN CASHEW QUESO. follow this recipe or not. sometimes, i just throw in garlic powder, onion powder, some cumin, hot sauce and salt to taste and whizz those NON-soaked cashew nutboys in the power blender and call it a day. Dip with chips or raw veggies. Drizzle over hot steamed veggies and rice and beans. Eat them with some breakfast egg or tofu tacos.

(SIDE NOTE: how did Cashews and Dates become the thing that all Vegan Influencers use to make everything? LITERALLY all recipes involve these things. how? Not to mention this madness about how the cashew harvesting industry might be seriously problematic ugh. what are we to do? hat tip to Alicia Kennedy’s great substack about food and the food economy.)

  1. FAKE YUMM SAUCE (dupe of the Portland YUMM CAFE’S signature sauce)

this sauce is VERY similar to the VEGAN QUESO above but it’s a little more tangy and less cashew heavy with the addition of tofu and chickpeas. i like to lean in on the lemon juice with this sauce.

please try both. WOULD eat shoe leather if doused in either of these sauces (don’t recommend this btw).

and now, we end today’s post with a totally cringe exact copy paste of the 2013 wordpress entry that inspired today’s substack. here’s 2013 jenny at the beginning of her comedy hustle, writing to the 10 people who read her blog.

(if you’ve gotten this far, thank you! also I’M GOING ON TOUR! ahhh! would love to see you and your friends. SO MANY CITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY, but the FIRST shows coming up are LA July 6th with Self Help Me, a competitive self-care comedy show, then a run on the EAST COAST: standup comedy at Union Hall in Brooklyn New York on July 20th, then Boston at the Crystal Ballroom on July 26th, Vermont Comedy Club July 27-29th, down to Philly August 3rd at Underground Arts, then back to Brooklyn but this time at The Bell House to do Self Help Me NEW YORK EDITION on August 12th. COME THROUGH!

COMMENT BELOW! tell me what city you’re in and if i missed your city in my tour schedule!)

Leave a comment

Where Hippie and Third-World Immigrant Chinese Meet: Oregon

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest recently. I’ve learned a lot about the hippie brethren. I realized that when hippies go extra hard, they basically take on the values and lifestyle of Chinese immigrants…like old-school style.  Like my parents’ old-school generation stuff (Not the current Chinese boom/name brand/new money neo-capitalist stuff). Like they compost.  They reuse-recycle. They eat stuff way past expiration.  They ride bicycles.  Except all of this gets much more expensive when White people in America do it (DAMN YOU WHOLE FOODS!).

I have embraced the hippie-ness that surrounds me.  My boyfriend’s from Eugene, Oregon, of solid hippie heritage. My roommate’s from Oregon. I even just spent a week in Portland for a writing retreat. Then Seattle happened (we sold out our Dis/orient/ed Comedy show there) and that was amazing. It’s like the Pacific Northwest is now in my blood!  My spirit!!!!!  My ESSENCE!!!!

And here’s the proof I have: I MADE YUMM SAUCE.

Cue the choir of angels.


And I had to have it…even here in Los Angeles.

Let me ‘splain:  I realized that if I were to make this whole oh..you know creative livin’ a reality, I better feel the best I can health and fitness-wise so I can be a creatin’ machine!  So I’ve gotten into researching healthy vegan-y food options.  TRUST: I will NOT ditch my love of fatty pork. BUT I will certainly exercise umm and exercise more moderation.


Okay. Here goes…I’m gonna share my photos of making the said YUMM SAUCE via this recipe ..so that you can see how EASY it is and perhaps try it out yourself. THIS ISH IS DELISH. It’s great on steamed veggies, brown rice and black beans or anything that could use a savory dip or sauce.

NOTE: When I first saw the recipe for this I’m like what kinda crazy hippie mess is this Yeast Flake thing AND with silken tofu? i’m confused. Then I tried it and the anxiety melted away. Tasty.

Here it go (Photos are mine. The recipe is taken from what I linked earlier but I modified to show what I did). The final verdict? Just like the original! :-):

Yumm Sauce (original recipe here)


  • 1/2 cup canola oil

  • 1/2 cup almonds

  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 3/4 package of silken tofu

  • 1/2 cup of filtered water

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

  • 1-2 garlic cloves (small to medium)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • fresh-ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro / coriander

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes

Throw it all together and blend baby blend! My roomie’s Vitamix makes a very smooth operation. The key here is buying yourself some of these nutritional yeast flakes online or at a local health food store. The silken tofu is more common to get nowadays (I got mine at Trader Joe’s) and they are in those shelf-stable packages and last forever.  Then there’s the curry powder and other such seasonings. Have them on hand and now I can make YUMM sauce til the cows come home! (I never say that. Why did I just say that?)


These yeast flakes are actually kinda tasty and cheese-like. I heard they are tasty on popcorn.


Basic canola oil. The original recipe said cold-pressed organic or what-not but whatever.

Almonds baby! Nutty! These are roasted but raw works too.


Canned chickpeas are always good to have on hand. Easy.


Silken! They go great with thickening smoothies. AND they are the essential ingredient to this delicious peanut butter chocolate mouse pie that’s vegan that I’ve had at Green Temple Vegetarian restaurant in Redondo Beach, CA. So yum. I think that’ll be my next recipe try.


Let’s see how that blender looks so far. Ew…for now.


Get yourself some serious lemons. Juicy and fresh,


Couple cloves of garlic.


Spice it up! These are some really awesome “secret” ingredients. Like I would have NEVER guessed all these little bits. 


Some water.


And awaaaaay we goooo! Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..


It got real creamy real quick.




Some saved jelly jars make for excellent storage. It basically makes like 4 cups so I filled two of these jars and THEN some. Mmm…

Whaddya think? Would you try this?  I love to cook and learning about healthier yummy options is kind of fun for me. Here’s hoping this powers the comedy juices. Cheers!

everything's fine with Jenny Yang
everything's fine with Jenny Yang Podcast
everything’s fine with Jenny Yang is your weekly reminder to find joy in an unjust world. jenny’s thoughts and stories about love, grief, weird shit, and doing what we can to feel okay. this thing may morph into something else. who knows? i hope to touch your heart and tickle your sphincters. and if you like it, please share this with a friend and subscribe and comment.
<3 jenny