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You may know Stefanie Gans (repeat after me: there’s no “ph” in Stefanie!) from her post about the nine SoCal foods that you won’t find in our farmers markets. Or from her story about a stuffed eggplant in which the cooked vegetable was as hard as a ceramic bowl. Or from her item about the “charm of sloppy seconds.”

But whether or not you’ve read her work at Endless Simmer, you should know this about her: She’s simply known as Gansie, a handle that sort of encapsulates her writing style. Informal. Friendly. Fun. She’s a writer you want to drink beers with, not one you’d like to go all Joe Pesci on.

The New Jersey native has written for the Express, the Onion‘s AV Club, the WashingtonPost.com, and BusinessWoman magazine, among others. And starting on Friday, Gansie will start writing for the Young & Hungry blog.  She’s going to focus on vegetarian and Japanese cooking, whether in restaurants or in the home.

“One of the best parts of cooking is being creative and a little dangerous with ingredients, even if that means messing up once in a while,” Gansie writes in advance of her Y&H debut. “I absolutely hate following recipes. How fun is it to run back and forth to a laptop screen or a cookbook in between stirs?”

Of the two subjects she plans to cover, Gansie has this to say:

I know meat is delicious. I don’t think that’s what’s up for debate. It’s about how much is eaten and where the meat comes from and how that animal was treated. Leading a meat-free life is a challenging endeavor in this country, but deciding on a meal without meat at least once a week is something everyone can try. While I’m not a vegetarian, I have made an effort to explore the vegetable side of life. Without preaching or pretension, readers will enjoy recipes ideas, restaurant dishes, blog resources, videos and tweets that explore how to appreciate a meat free meal.

I ate pig’s heart. Twice. And that was just my first night in Tokyo. I spent a week in Japan in May 2010 and haven’t stopped thinking about the doughy noodles swimming in sea water broth, the difficulty of finding sushi restaurants and the elaborate fake food displays. Luckily, there’s a bit of Japan in the DMV and I’m excited to explore and share.

We should also note the Gansie works a few Saturdays at the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market, “which has only increased my interest in produce with local beginnings. I can’t be certain if one day it’ll be proven that local doesn’t equate to a healthier planet, but for now, I’m sitting shot-gun in the local-is-sustainable crowd.”

Please welcome Gansie to Y&H Nation.