chinese cellophane noodle soup recipe – use real butter (2024)

so much going on!

chinese cellophane noodle soup recipe – use real butter (1) Recipe: chinese cellophane noodle soup

NaBloWriMo day #10.

Before we get to Colorado pictures and the recipe…

You’re probably noticing a theme here with the Quaker Oats-Good Bite promo to fight hunger, my participation in Eat on $30 starting Sunday to raise hunger awareness, and now… Macy’s has launched a massive campaign called Come Together to Fight Hunger. Their goal is to raise awareness, raise money, and feed 10 million people suffering from hunger by involving the public in local events and matching individual donations dollar for dollar. The donations go to Feeding America.

chinese cellophane noodle soup recipe – use real butter (2)

There are three ways to be a part of this effort:

1) You can host a dinner party and request that instead of host(ess) gifts, your guests make a donation to Feeding America. Go to Macy’s Come Together page for more deets.

2) You can donate $1 directly at any Macy’s register. One dollar can feed dinner to SEVEN people.

3) You can shop for the cause at any Macy’s and get special in-store savings on October 17 (Saturday). A portion of the $5 in-store ticket sales will help Feeding America. [Why not all $5? I don’t know – I encourage you to ask.]

Oddly enough, I went to the Macy’s in Boulder a few days before BlogHer Food 09 and picked up a hoochie mama leopard-spotted shirt (it’s not THAT hoochie mama, but it’s comfy and I can photograph people, dance, and hold a white Russian in my hand while wearing it) which you can see on Susan’s post. I figured my typical Patagonia attire in the sticks was not going to cut it in San Francisco. While purchasing the shirt, I also bought a $5 ticket for a special event in the store next Saturday, October 17. I hate shopping, but someone in the house (not I nor Kaweah) is in need of a wardrobe update and because part of the $5 ticket went to Feeding America, I figured it was a good thing. I had actually forgotten about the sale until Tami mentioned Macy’s Come Together campaign to me.

But there is one more minor detail.

********* GIVEAWAY *********

Because I’m spreading the word about this on urb, I have received TWO (2) $25 Macy’s gift cards to give away to two (2) of my readers! The rules are as follows: Tell me the name of your favorite food charity or the name of a local food bank or local organization that feeds the hungry (even if you don’t know of one, it’s easy to google). Leave one comment on this post before midnight (MST) Friday, October 16. If you leave multiple comments you will disqualify yourself from the drawing. I will select two winners using some scientifically approved random and ridiculous method – most likely involving The Dog. I know I have several international readers, but Macy’s does not ship internationally nor do they have stores outside of the US. However, the cards can be used by anyone. If you live outside of the US, you can still use the cards as long as your purchases are shipped to a US address (good time to get chummy with your stateside pals). Good luck!

Our deck was reading in the low teens this morning and there was an inch of fluffy, light, dry snow. Friends in Boulder were tweeting that they had 2-3 inches on the ground. UPSLOPE! Typically, our weather comes from the west, over the Continental Divide. It usually rides on a hellish wind too. But on the occasions when we have an upslope, the weather comes from the east and sometimes Boulder gets more snow than we do. Jeremy and I can always tell when it’s going to snow in Boulder – it’s when you can smell Greeley (to the northeast) on the air. What does Greeley smell like? Cow sh*t.

wanna go for a walk?

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It was the perfect morning for a walk with Kaweah. There wasn’t any ice on the ground, just lovely, powdery snow. The sun hopped in and out from behind the clouds and snow continued to rain down in that friendly, gentle way that reminds you of the holidays. It’s only October and I am getting very excited about the holidays in no small part because of this glorious weather.

the aspens are done

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ducks were swimming about in the distance

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happiness is…

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It is officially soup weather! I love soup of any kind, the hearty soups, the noodle soups, the puréed soups, the bean soups, the thin soups, the broths, the borderline soup-stews, the heady soups. They’re all great in this weather which will last up to and sometimes into May for us. My favorite soups are the ones that remind me of my mom’s cooking. My mom worked a full time job, raised two daughters, cleaned the house herself (kept it like a museum it was so spotless!), and cooked dinner every night after she got home from work. Mom made homemade chicken broth so that I still cringe when I taste canned chicken broth to this day (some chicken broths are better than others). When I met Jeremy, he was Mr. Picky Eater. Made me crazy. These days, his eyes light up when I tell him I’m making this soup for dinner. Progress.

making pork meatballs

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boil them in water to cook (and save the broth!)

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This is a simple, everyday version of the big pot of soup I make for Chinese New Year. During Chinese New Year, the ingredients symbolize all manner of good things like money, luck, health, money, money, money… For the rest of the year, it’s just a giant pot of steaming goodness. The pork meatballs are essentially the filling I use for my Chinese dumplings and potstickers. It’s kinda neat when I make potstickers. If I have too much filling I make meatballs, if I have too much dough I make scallion pancakes. In addition to the meatballs, I add…

cellophane noodles (aka bean thread noodles)

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preserved mustard greens (not the same as pickled mustard greens!)

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You can put whatever you want in the soup like tofu, fish balls, bamboo shoots, chinese black mushrooms, spinach, Napa cabbage, sprouts – endless possibilities. Needless to say, a lot of what goes into my soup is purchased at an Asian grocery store.

fish balls and tempura cake

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this time i added napa cabbage, bamboo shoots, and chinese black mushrooms

chinese cellophane noodle soup recipe – use real butter (12)

The base liquid is chicken broth. Homemade chicken broth is going to taste better, but some canned (or boxed) versions will work in a pinch. I also like to reserve the water that was used to cook the pork meatballs and add that to the broth. All of this gets heated up in a large pot until it boils. Then you can start adding the goodies.

the ingredients are chopped and ready to go

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adding the noodles to the pot

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Whatever requires the most time to cook should go in first (usually the Napa cabbage). The cellophane noodles cook in a couple of minutes, so I tend to add them last or else they get mushy and fall apart. [An aside: my grandma says to avoid cellophane noodles from China because they fall apart too soon. She prefers cellophane noodles from Thailand or Vietnam.] When the noodles are soft, ladle up the soup. This is so satisfying after a day of skiing or mountaineering – it really warms me to the core with flavors and memories of home.

cellophane noodles are fun to slurp

chinese cellophane noodle soup recipe – use real butter (15)

Chinese Cellophane Noodle Soup
[print recipe]
this recipe is totally flexible, mix and match what you like best

1/2 lb. dumpling filling
6 cups water
2 qts. chicken broth (homemade or store bought)
8-12 Napa cabbage leaves, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup preserved mustard green, sliced or julienned
8 oz. fish balls or cuttlefish balls
6 oz. tempura cake (fried fish cake with vegetables – there are other kinds too), sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 cup bamboo shoots, sliced
1 cup Chinese black mushrooms, trimmed of stems and sliced in half
8 oz. cellophane noodles (also called mung bean thread noodles)

Prepare the pork meatballs by rolling the raw filling into balls just slightly smaller than a golfball. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the meatballs and boil for ten minutes. Pour the meatballs and the cooking liquid into a large pot and add the chicken broth. Bring to boil over high heat. Add the Napa cabbage and let cook for a few minutes. When the cabbage softens add the remaining ingredients except for the cellophane noodles. As the soup returns to a boil, drop the cellophane noodles into the pot and stir them in. When the noodles are soft, the soup is ready to serve.

October 10th, 2009: 9:32 pm
filed under chinese, dinner, good cause, meat, recipes, savory, seafood, soup, vegetables

  • Diana says:
    October 10th, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Your post really touched me. My fav charity is “boulder shelter for the homeless”. And I hope/wish you win the quaker challenge.

  • Kimberly says:
    October 10th, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Community Food Share out of Longmont, CO (

  • Michelle says:
    October 10th, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    My favorite charity would have to be Meals on Wheels. I helped volunteer with them when I was in high school.

  • sb says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 12:03 am

    jen- first off, where do you get your asian food supplies? i’ve tried looking around in denver for an asian grocery store without much luck.

    second, my favorite food bank is one from back home: the great plains food bank in fargo, nd. it feeds SO many families in fargo-moorhead region.

  • amy says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 12:48 am

    You’re dog is beautiful and so is your photography!

  • barbara says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 1:17 am

    Love the leopard print top. I’d be happy to if you were making that soup for me. hugs.xxoo

  • Kelsey says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 1:38 am

    I’m so excited for this $30 challenge!

    so…I’m not sure if this organization counts as a food charity, but it’s called farestart, and they serve really incredible gourmet food, while providing on-site job training for the homeless and disadvantage. They also provide free meals to the hungry. The food is AMAZING and it is such a great cause!

  • Elizabeth B says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 2:22 am

    My husband and I donate $5 every month to Project Open Hand, a charity in SF that gets food to people suffering from HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses, and to seniors. They’re totally wonderful.

  • Rosa says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 3:01 am

    A wonderful idea…

    Those snow picture are fabulous! I particularly love the second one. So pretty!

    A comforting soup! What great ingredients!



  • peabody says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 3:44 am

    Nothing happier than a dog running through snow. I think that is when my dog is at her happiest, though she doesn’t get it much around these parts. ;)

    I think I see me hosting a dinner party in my future.

  • Sherry says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 4:32 am

    My mother swears on the cellophane noodles from Taiwan and always tells me to avoid the Chinese ones because of unwanted, harmful chemicals… I don’t know if she’s right but better safe than sorry… But still, the Taiwanese ones are a little thicker than the Chinese ones I grew up on so I’m totally sold on them.

    This soup sounds really delicious and I would love to make it for my family and see how well it’ll go over… We’re Cantonese so we generally do slow-cooked soups that are more broth than anything else and having a soup where we’re meant to actually eat the ingredients you put in it instead of throwing it away will definitely make my parents go o.O. And that would probably be fun to watch.

    Anyway, before I forget, the local food bank here is FISH ( I have fond memories of our yearly can food drive competition at our high schools to raise food for a chance to beat the other classes and a free breakfast. There’s nothing like conspiring with your math teacher to skip class to buy more cans with the pooled money from the class… ^^

  • chef sheree says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 6:12 am

    Our local food bank is Gleaners and our family volunteers often.

  • Kathy says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 6:33 am

    The soup looks delicious!
    Central Virginia Food Bank does an awesome job here in …you guessed it…central Virginia!

  • Bebe says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Heifer International is what I choose for helping those outside of my local community:

  • Mark says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Meals on Wheels is my choice. I have helped deliver meals when my scheduled allows.

  • Dawn says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 7:11 am

    I know is it not a charity but I like the free lunch program in schools. I know that it the only good food some of my students get.

  • Kristin says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 7:21 am

    Good Shepherd Episcopal Church…provides backpacks full of food for kids at local schools & their families

  • The Italian Dish says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Jen, I first want to tell you how amazing your mom sounds. I know so many people who can’t get a simple meal on the table and your mom sounds like she did it all. That’s nice you acknowledge that.

    Also – photos gorgeous, as always.

    Charity – Women for Women – Helping women is what will rebuild societies.

  • Jie says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 7:34 am

    cellophane noodles, these are called “粉丝-fensi” in chinese right? there’s too many vaireties and sometime my mom dosen’t know which to buy.
    I didn’t know anything about the food charity until i was volunteering in one of the free clinic one day, there’s a long waiting line out the door and i was wondering what was going on. my professor explained this to me and then i was surprised that there’s that many people who are hungry and need other people to help them. the food charity is located in one of the church here in carmel/Indiana. the church is called Our lady of Mount Carmel Church. and we have Gleaners food bank here as well.
    I hope these people can get enough food, winter is coming, hope they will have a warm, full, and happy season. cheers~!

  • Deb in Indiana says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 8:41 am

    We have a Second Harvest Food Bank here. I tend to donate to the Muncie Mission by preference — it’s an organization that serves homeless people.

    Since Halloween is coming up, I want to share a favorite story. When my daughter had reached that disappointing age of being too old to go trick-or-treating (this happens about middle school age), she and her school service club came up with a plan. They sponsored a school-wide Trick or Treat for the Hungry activity. The kids distributed fliers a week in advance, and then dressed up and made the rounds collecting canned goods and non-perishables on Trick or Treat night. The kids had a great time, and they filled a large panel truck with donations.

    If I win the gift card. I think I’ll give it to my daughter — it’s been fun remembering the story.

  • Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 8:57 am

    We have the RI Food Bank here in RI (imagine that, lol). It’s a great charity that helps to feed the hungry in our little state. I’m happy to say that my family has donated money as well as food to this wonderful charity many times.

    Thanks for the beautiful photos…made my day!

  • Susie-K says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Hi Jen – Love the photo of Kaweah with the snowy ‘stache. Summer barely just ended. Snow is difficult to fathom just yet, but I understand we are getting ready for some here in New England ourselves. As such, it’s soup time for me too. But in honor of (or due to subliminal messaging from) my newly painted walls, I am making pumpkin soup this afternoon. (…that’s right. I have opted to sleep inside a pumpkin-colored room.)

    I am a strong proponet of the Food Project here in Boston. ( It gives city dwellers, such as myself, an opportunity to make a difference with other volunteers by planting and harvesting crops to provide a sustainable food system. The Food Project provides food for the hungry, while allowing city and suburban teens and adults to come together for a common purpose…back breaking farm labor. :)

    Speaking of back breaking…time to get back to pulling my winter clothes out from my “under-the-bed storage system”…

  • Ronine says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 9:52 am

    I love the splash of colour with the red chopsticks on the last photo – and of course Kaweah in the snow :)

  • TheKitchenWitch says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 11:49 am

    You know I love your pics of Kaweah…every time they make me smile. So much personality in that critter.

    I’m going to choose the Weld County Food Bank, the Greeley (eau de cow poo) branch…Greeley has been hit HARD with the bad economy and has seen their need for food assistance grow 50% from July ’08-July ’09. 50% in one year…dire straits indeed.

  • Chaitali says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 11:59 am

    The Food Bank of Western New York that has a branch in Buffalo. They started an awesome campaign this fall.
    I love the pic of the aspen, it looks so ethereal.

  • Wend says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    The Octopus community garden on Union College’s campus. I worked with a great group of faculty and staff members to get it up and running two years ago, and while some of our produce feeds the campus, most is donated to the New York Reginal food bank. The economy in our community has been down for years, and every little bit helps.

  • Whitney says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    I just tweeted that it is absolutely soup weather. Yours looks delicious.

    I support the Lakeview Pantry here in Chicago.

  • Jen T. says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Your puppy makes me so darn happy! Kaweah’s a boy, right? I dont’ remember, and his/her head looks rather square, which I’m pretty sure means “boy” in Labrador. Anyway, he/she reminds me of my old puppy (a yellow lab), who would jump like a rabbit to try to get over the deep snow at my grandparents’ farm.

    And around here the major food bank is the Eastern Illinois Foodbank.

    Also, that soup looks amazing. We’re having stew for dinner on Tuesday around here, I’m getting excited.

  • jjv2006 says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food bank…That is a satisfying soup..

  • Twila M. says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    I like our local Gallatin Valley Food Bank. Good for you for participating in so many good efforts!

  • Brenda S 'Okie in Colorado' says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Responding to sb, there are several Asian markets in Denver area. Pacific Ocean on W. Alameda or on 120th in Broomfield are the ones I go to. These are very large Asian super markets. Hope this helps.

  • Dani says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    St. Mary’s Food Bank is a prominent provider of food assistance in Phoenix, AZ. They are always in need of donations, especially in the current economy. Fortunately, the local news stations are pretty good about running a story when the food bank gets really low. Thanks for highlighting this need in all of our communities. (And for the chance at the giveaway!) Love your recipes, photos, and posts!

  • Erin says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    mmmm….meatballs… I know it’s not really what you’re thinking but it’s kind of a reverse food charity! I’m big supporter of the Women’s Bean Project in Denver.

  • Tanya says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    I don’t know that it counts as a food charity in and of itself, but there’s a great restaurant (well, sort of a restaurant) in San Francisco called “Mission Street Food” that operates 2 nights a week with guest chefs. They make amazing food (for relatively low prices) and they donate their profits to charity. (The folks who run MSF donate all their profits to programs that feed the hungry, while the guest chefs get to choose a charity – but usually choose a food oriented one.) I’ve also always loved Food Not Bombs — and the work they do around both peace/war and hunger.

  • Jenn says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    First off, so happy to find this blog! I just moved to the Boulder area, and baking has been very difficult at this altitude, so I am hoping I find some inspiration from you. As for my favorite food charity, I would have to say the gleaners. I worked at Starbucks for a while at home, and we would save all of our pastries for them at the end of the day, and then thry distributed them from their food bank.

  • Mrs Ergül says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Count me out for this giveaway. Lovely post as usual. My husband abhors most things made in china. And he doesn’t like the texture of fishballs at all. It gets a little difficult at times but on most days he is easy to feed. It must have taken quite a bit of effort to coax Jeremy out of his picky eater self.

  • Eesh says:
    October 11th, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    I love soup, particularly the Chinese kind. Since it just got cold around here, this will make the perfect birthday dinner for me tomorrow! Thanks, Jen :) And oh my god could the picture of Kaweah with the snow mustache get any more perfect? I don’t think so!

  • Karna says:
    October 12th, 2009 at 12:51 am

    Worth Our Weight in Santa Rosa, CA is a great organization that takes 16-24 year olds who have been through very tough times and apprentice them to become chefs. All for free. Amazing organization…and great food!

  • Mishelle says:
    October 12th, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Our food pantry is The Food Bank of Northern Illinois. I regularly involve my 4 small boys in delivering our donations. I hope it gives them an appreciation of how blessed they are and a desire to share.

  • Manisha says:
    October 12th, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Boulder Shelter for the Homeless is the charity I would pick. Our Indian Sunday Cultural School (Boulder Balvihar) volunteers there. I haven’t yet but am hoping to help cook a meal there during the upcoming holidays.

    Does $25 at Macy’s buy anything? I wish they were giving Amex gift cards instead. That way they can be donated to a charity or buy a few meals for seniors at the local Rec Center.

  • Amy says:
    October 12th, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Love fishball soup: that spongy texture gets me all the time. Technically not a food bank, but I give to UNICEF and UNHCR, as well as donate pantry items to local food drives. In these times, though, I would also give to Meals on Wheels.

  • Nancy says:
    October 12th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    My local food bank in the Food Bank of Larimer County ( serving the greater Fort Collins, CO and Larimer county area. The number of people that they serve has increased by 25% this year alone. They accept food donations as well as monetary donations online. The money donations stretch a lot further!!! I love your blog and your beautiful puppy :)

  • Laura says:
    October 12th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    I am also a Heifer Int. supporter. Our local food bank is Utah Food Bank in SLC.

  • jacquie says:
    October 12th, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    meals on wheels – it’s so important for people to be able to stay in their own places for as long as possible. also they often have pets on wheels and that helps feed the spirits – also at least in my opinion – an important thing.

  • Laura B. says:
    October 12th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Yuba/Sutter Gleaners Food Bank is the United Way chapter near my community. What a great way to support those in need!

  • Megan says:
    October 12th, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    World Vision and their 30 Hour Famine — I used to do this event in high school, and it was always a great fundraiser.

  • emhuze says:
    October 12th, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    The soup is definitely a good slurp event… glad I ate alone! Never knew how much fun sucking in cellophane noodles could be. (used the Taiwan noodles) I had to modify a few things due to ingredient availability. Was it OK to substitute catsup for the tempura cake?? ;)
    It was so delish… Thanks for sharing the family recipe.

  • Laura says:
    October 12th, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Meals on Wheels.

  • Erin from long island says:
    October 12th, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    I agree, meals on wheels not only feeds people, but helps those who cant get out get fed

  • Nikki says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 12:48 am

    My fiance and I are involved with the Humane Society of Houston County, GA. He’s one of the site webmasters, and I volunteer wherever I’m needed when I can. Just one of many, many people trying to keep the animals out of the kill shelters here in the state… and placing them in good homes.

  • Jenny says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 5:05 am

    Food for the Poor – that is a charity – our entire family contributes too….but I try to a couple times a month take bags of food to our Parish Outreach Office.

  • Amy says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 6:16 am

    A lot of charities are likely to come up short this year – especially if it’s a cold one, so it’s great if people dig deep and contribute. My favorite is CityTeam Ministries in Chester, PA. Their food is quite delicious (I’ve eaten there a couple of times) and prepared mostly by men in their rehab program. Those guys also get to prepare special holiday food baskets to give as a gift to their family, and (in my conversations with them) that’s really meant a lot.

  • Carol says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 7:25 am

    I have enjoyed your blog for a year but have been too shy to comment until today. While in grad school I spent a summer working for HP up in Greeley so your post made me laugh out loud!
    My favorite org is Share Our Strength – a national foundation dedicated to eradicating child hunger in the U.S.

  • Alexis Ellis says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Caz cares is a local org. in Cazenovia NY that helps to feed and clothe people in the county.

  • Laura says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 8:11 am

    My favorite charity that fees people is “So Others May Eat” it’s a Washington, DC area group that I give to each year.

  • Lisa says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 8:25 am

    My favourite food charity is Heifer International.

    The soup looks great!

  • Danielle says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 8:36 am

    The DC Central Kitchen in Wasington, DC is a food recycling program that “has used the kitchen as a central location to recover unused food, prepare and deliver meals to partner social service agencies, train and employ homeless men and women for the food service industry, and intellectually engage volunteers.” I think it is a wonderful and innovative organization and I have visited the headquarters a few times to help prepare meals.

    I’m in Taiwan right now and loving the noodle soup! I will definitely keep this recipe on hand once I finally get my own kitchen again.

  • Brandy says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Actually, this sounds similar to something someone in HR was struck by. We now do donations to a new place every month. This month is OCIM / Samaritan Relief Ministry in North Carolina.

  • Lisa says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Jen, Virginia Peninsula Foodbank is the one that I have supported over the years. It is the local foodbank provides food for the needy folks here. Weather is getting a bit cooler here and it won’t be soon that we will have the noodle soup for a cold evening dinner. Thanks for sharing this one.

  • Melissa says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    One of our local food pantry places is called Banta Feeds. It’s run by a very nice woman and they are having a food drive for all of October, if anyone is in NW Indiana.

    Keep up the good posts! It’s always nice to have ideas for budget-friendly meals, especially going into winter when the heating and utility bills go up.

  • Courtney says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Food Bank of the Rockies is my choice. Thanks for sharing what it’s like to live off of $30!

  • Margie says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    GRACE, Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange, Grapevine, TX.

  • Dragana says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Cuttlefish balls – another reason to go and explore the many Chinese markets in town!

    I support the Houston Food Bank:

  • Amy says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Heifer International.

  • Marian says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Crossroads Food Bank, Portland Oregon

  • Jess says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    The University District Food bank, Seattle WA

  • Shannon says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    I wasn’t really aware of any food banks (or the like) in my area, but after your suggestion to google it, I discovered that, even though it isn’t really local, Feed the Children is a very good organization and I appreciate what they’re doing for children in America.

  • Melanie Thurber says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Farm to School!!! I used to serve lunch at a nearby school and was shocked! I have since learned that said school and other local ones are using the farm to school program and getting apples from our local orchards and (organic!!) beef from right here in my little town! Now I am trying to convince my little school in this (600 person) town that they should be using this program, too:)

  • Rachel says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    i love feeding america because fighting hunger in america is the first step to fighting hunger worldwide

  • Aila D. says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Philabundance (in philadelphia) And also, I love that you’re doing this!!

  • Vicki says:
    October 13th, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    my favorite food charity is frontera farmer foundation. :)

  • bekah jones says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 4:41 am

    Emergency Food Shelf Network

  • carmen says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 5:42 am

    Heifer International – have been supporting this for years.

  • Teri says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 6:55 am

    The Greater Boston Food Bank.

    Asian noodle soups are my comfort food. :)

  • Eileen says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Fayette County Food Bank (WV)

    I am so interested in the $30 challenge – I was really struggling about 6 yrs ago but now I spend on avg $100/wk on just myself for groceries! I do a lot of baking for the office, that’s my pitiful excuse. I always said whenever I was on my feet again, I’d never skimp on groceries, especially fancy cheeses. But it would be good to find some kind of happy medium, non?

  • Kristin says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 7:31 am

    the major food bank around here (I live west of Boston) is the Greater Boston Food Bank, but a really great statewide program that supports hundreds of local food banks and soup kitchens is Project Bread. They have a Walk for Hunger every year. Something really awesome that I didn’t know about Project Bread, and just learned while trying to find there website, is the following: “We run the only statewide hunger hotline that answers 37,000 calls a year from families in need. We work with schools to offer breakfast programs, and fund summer programs so that kids get a nutritious meal when school’s out. ”

    Project Bread is awesome, you can read more about it on there website here:

    Jen I think its just amazing that you are doing this eat for $30! I’m not low income but because of student loans and other expenses I choose to work really hard to budget my purchases, especially food. 1 week of the month I will splurge and spend around $50-60 but the other 3 weeks of the month I work really hard to keep my grocery expenses to $30 (and sometimes less!). Its difficult, but I do it and still manage to eat relatively nutritious/well balanced meals. I plan ahead and buy almost all my meat on sale…and freeze it! Its just me though, and I love to cook so that makes all the planning more fun. But I can’t imagine trying to feed an entire family on so little. This is an awesome cause to bring attention to. Thank you!!

  • Lindsay says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 7:51 am

    I had to google it because I just moved to Denver less then a week ago. My closest food bank is Food Bank of the Rockies. Poking around the one that really peaked my interest is Women’s Bean Project while not a food bank it is an organization that helps to empower women to break the cycle of poverty through social enterprise

  • Stephanie says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 7:58 am

    DC Central Kitchen here in the Nation’s Capital!

  • haley says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 8:19 am

    I like to support Our House Too in Tulsa, OK. They offer meals and a food pantry (as well as a safe space and a multitude of other services) to people living with HIV/AIDS in the area. Pretty cool.

  • Anne says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Inspiration Cafe in Uptown Chicago!

  • ameliakardooni says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 9:57 am

    This is such a great post. Very inspiring!

    My favorite local food bank is the Berkeley Food Pantry.

  • Liz says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Agreed, Food Bank of the Rockies is great!

  • Jen says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 11:29 am

    second servings is my favorite, because it makes so much sense – there’s far too much waste out there.

  • Christina says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Food Bank of Northern Indiana. I really like helping with the Meals on Wheels program, too,

  • Jen says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    I’m trying to get over a cold, and your soup sounds soooooo good right now. YUM. It’s a toss-up between two food charities. I donate primarily to Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, but when I lived in Boston, I LOVED volunteering at Rosie’s Place.

  • Lily says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Project Open Hand in San Francisco! It started in 1985 to provide food for people with HIV/Aids and since then has grown to now include seniors as well!

  • Shosh says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    project open hand (because I’m a native northern californian and bay arean! sadly relocated in indiana currently…). and i love your $30/day challenge! as a college student (who is obsessed with cooking, learning to cook, and mostly eating…everything), it’s incredibly inspiring to read about this adventure of yours as i also live on a very tight budget, but love to make and eat really awesome food! i envy your asian cuisine skillz and wish i could come close to the amazing creations you make!

  • Pixie says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    My favorite food charity here in Hawaii is “Meals on Wheels.” They help deliver healthy and nutritional meals to the elderly that way, they’ll always have a meal and something that’s good for them. :) They’re not college kids and can’t live on ramen daily.

  • Taylor says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Families Forward!!!

  • Quillen says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    I am a Heifer International supporter, and I’m encouraged to see the other above! Locally, we give to the Good Shepherd Center in Linn, MO. Hooray for sharing the wealth!

  • Holly says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Forgotton Harvest!! We even use this charity food bank at work.

  • Shorey says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Project Open Hand! one of the most amazing orgs in the bay area.

  • Nga Nguyen says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Capital Area Food Bank in DC. I didn’t even know this organization exists right in my neighborhood until I googled it. Thank you, Jen, for raising my awareness. Gotta spread the words around now!

  • Fung Lee says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    God’s Love We deliver. Send provides meals and nutritional counseling to men, women and children living with life-altering illnesses and helps provide nutritious food to people in need in New York City

  • Colleen says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Here in Philadelphia, MANNA is a great one to support. They provide meals to the homebound/terminally ill. And if you can’t volunteer directly, you can support them by buying one their awesome pies! Everyone wins!

  • Raecheal says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Saint Mary’s Soup Kitchen in Norfolk… we will be spending a good deal of our holidays preparing food for this kitchen.

  • Broderick says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Hosea Feeds the Hungry in Atlanta! A great organization that honors a civil rights leader

  • Cindy says:
    October 15th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Capital Area Food Bank! (

  • Manda says:
    October 15th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    St. Anthony Dining Room serves the poor and hungry every day of the year in San Francisco.

  • Sophia W says:
    October 16th, 2009 at 5:00 am

    Glide Memorial Church (church featured in Pursuit of Happyness!) has an awesome food program. I’ve volunteered there numerous times and loved it there :)

  • Karen B says:
    October 16th, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Not to be a copycat, but Farm to School is my brand new favorite charity! My son started kindergarten two years ago, and I was horrified by the school lunches – nasty concoctions made off-site early the morning and kept warm in cellaphane wrappers. He’s lucky enough to only buy lunch on pizza or waffles-for-lunch days (which he seems excited about), but I feel awful for the kids who depend on this meal to get through. I had started researching other schools where parents had taken on the school lunch system and started a new, healthy program, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to take that on. However, Farm to School hadn’t crossed my web browser until this week. What a great organization!

  • Caroline says:
    October 16th, 2009 at 8:24 am

    this recipe sounds fantastic, the textures and flavors! yum! thanks for the great blog, i love it. and LOVE YOUR DOG! :) (i have a black lab too:) )

  • Kate @ Savour Fare says:
    October 16th, 2009 at 10:20 am

    I myself am rather fond of Share Our Strength, which is a national organization. But I also think the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank does great work. I’m really impressed by your dedication to the Eaton30 challenge, Jen!

  • Marie says:
    October 16th, 2009 at 10:44 am

    I’m told Oxfam is really good at what they do, which is not only feeding people, but also fighting poverty and injustice, as those are the real problems that cause the symptom of hunger.

  • Livia says:
    October 16th, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    In past years, my favorite food charities have been Philabundance (collecting leftovers from restaurants and groceries in Philadelphia and redistributing them to shelters, soup kitchens, and other such things) and Manna (providing food for people who are housebound with HIV, cancer, or other debilitating illness), but I’ve recently started following The Food Trust, which is also local to Philadelphia and is coordinating outreach through farmers markets (including working to make them all able to accept food stamps) and working to get local crops into corner bodegas in low income areas and that sort of thing.

    Mmmm – that soup sounds delicious.

  • Nichole says:
    October 16th, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    My favorite local food organization is the S.A.M.E. Cafe ( ). It is a pay-what-you-can cafe in Denver. You can also cook, clean and do maintenance as trade for your meal. They serve yummy(!) food and my friend who has volunteered there, says that they use mostly organic and locally sourced ingredients. Cool beans!

  • Christian says:
    October 16th, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Lifeshare in Manchester does a lot of work for homeless people in the area, providing food and shelter all year round. :)

  • Kristen J says:
    October 16th, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    I live in Greensboro, NC and frequently volunteer at the Urban Ministries Food Bank. Homelessness is at an all time high here, and I encourage anyone who has the time or money to spare to get out and volunteer or donate, especially during the holiday season. It helps so much!!!!

  • jenyu says:
    October 17th, 2009 at 12:22 am

    Thanks for all of your entries and most of all the names of your terrific food banks, causes, and charities! Comments beyond this point will not be entered in the giveaway, but feel free to leave more if you are so moved. xxoo

  • jenyu says:
    October 19th, 2009 at 11:44 am

    sb – I usually shop at Asian Seafood Market in Boulder (b/c I hate driving all over the flats to find groceries). I am writing it up this week on the blog.

    Kelsey – I LOVE that, just checked it out. What a great org (this is something I REALLY love – proactive without sacrificing quality). Thank you.

    Jie – Oh geez, I cannot remember. Can’t recall if fen-sih is this or the thin rice vermicelli noodles??

    Deb – that’s a great thing your daughter did. Really awesome.

    Jen T – Kaweah is a girl :)

    Melanie – yay!!!!

  • KW says:
    November 27th, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    I love the fact that you usually include other very fantastic non-food photographs such as nature, and your adorable dog.. as well as a puppy i saw in some photos.. or was that when your dog was a puppy!?
    anyway, adorable!!

    I love dogs, and have a Formosan dog back at home. And i love food like you as well!

  • Marjorie Tang says:
    June 7th, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Discovered your website while searching for recipes.
    Love that you include pics of ingredients, etc. Been having to cook & eat most meals @home as my gluten sensitivity is now too difficult to “hope” that restaurants don’t cross contaminate.
    Just wanted to say your website suits me well as I need pics & lots
    of clarification.
    Thank You.

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