Veggie Pad-oh my! Pad-Thai

Summer thunderstorm blowing outside and a big bowl of tasty noodles in my lap… and now waiting for Bachelorette to come on! Pretty good for a Monday night, huh? I found a recipe for a vegan chickenless pad Thai on Pinterest that used vegan chick’n, but since I try not to eat much mock meat these days I created a veggie version. I changed up the sauce, and it ended up being delightful! It’s a light and bright sauce from the lime juice, but still savory from the soy and brown sugar. It’s a balanced sauce covering brown rice noodles, broccoli, and mushrooms and I topped it with green onions and a few crushed cashews. It could have been two big servings, but I tried to have some form of self control so I made it into 3.

Veggie Pad-Oh My!

1 box Annie Chun brown rice stir fry noodles

2 browns of broccoli, chopped

10 oz button mushrooms, sliced

2 tsp minced garlic

4 green onions, diced

Sauce

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp brown sugar

~1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp Vegetarian Better than Bouillon Chicken flavor

Juice of one lime

Toppings

I didn’t have peanuts on hand, so I crushed a few raw cashews to top.

Chopped green onions

Slice of lime

Vegan Singapore Noodles

I’ve ordered Singapore noodles a couple of times from Asian restaurants and have mixed feelings. I usually like thicker rice noodles and sometimes their amount of curry is off. It’s good if you can’t decide between curry or noodles, but it’s the canned yellow curry powder taste. I found a recipe on Pinterest for vegan Singapore noodles and tried it out tonight. I changed it up by not using cabbage, and using baby Bella mushrooms, red pepper, onion, scallion, carrots, and snow peas. I omitted the oil from the recipe and didn’t measure the sauce ingredients so I drizzled the noodles with soy, rice vinegar, garlic, curry powder, red pepper flakes, lime juice, and thinned it out with vegetable stock. I liked the right amount of flavor and spice, and being able to control the amount of curry powder with the veggies I prefer. You can add tofu or chickpeas if you want extra protein, but I enjoyed the veggie version.

I’ve made this mistake twice this week- when making rice noodles you HAVE to rinse them off really well or else they’ll be gummy and make the sauce thick and gooey. Nope. Not good. I made the mistake last night ( which I’ll post later, fail) and I can’t believe I put half of the pasta in the veggies without rinsing first. Next time I’d use regular vermicelli rice noodles or lo mein noodles instead of the brown rice spaghetti I used.

Original recipe – https://www.thecuriouschickpea.com/vegan-singapore-noodles/

Saucy Asian Eggplant, Mushroom, and Bok Choy

Asian Eggplant, Mushrooms, and Bok Choy

Asian Eggplant, Mushrooms, and Bok Choy

While we were at Atlantis we had a really yummy Chinese garlic eggplant dish one night so I wanted to make something similar at home. I was going to make this with broccoli, but decided to switch it up and use baby bok choy. I’m always up for a stir fry and I can’t believe I’ve never used eggplant in this way before because it soaks up all the flavors and it’s really tasty over rice. This is a sweet, spicy, saucy, and delicious way to make eggplant and it made a bunch! You can feed six from two eggplants, and you can add whatever other vegetables you like. If you’re not loving the spice (like Josh) just omit from the recipe and then sprinkle red pepper flakes on whoever’s dish that wants it.

Saucy Asian Eggplant, Mushrooms, and Bok Choy

2 eggplants, diced and salted

14 oz baby Bella mushrooms, diced

1 bag of baby boy choy, diced

1 cup of broccoli florets

4 green onions, sliced

Brown rice for serving

Sweet and Spicy Oil Free Sauce

1/2 cup coconut aminos

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp minced ginger

3 tsp pure maple syrup

1.5 tsp corn starch

1.5 tsp rice vinegar

sprinkle of pepper

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

  1. Salt the eggplant and let it sit out for 30-45 minutes so it excretes its bitterness and then press with a paper towel.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add broccoli, mushrooms, and eggplant.
  3. Stir fry for 10 minutes until tender and add bok choy, green onion, and sauce.
  4. Turn to low heat and then continue cooking for 5 more minutes until sauce has thickened and bok choy has wilted.
  5. Serve over brown rice and top with extra green onion and red pepper flakes.
Asian Eggplant

Asian Eggplant

Chinese Chickpea Stir Fry

Chinese Chickpea Stir Fry

Chinese Chickpea Stir Fry

It’s another day that ends in Y so Chinese sounded delicious! I was planning on making something else for dinner but I had everything already for this so of course I chose it. Also, it’s the weekend so Chinese cravings are strong and it gives an excuse to eat it in a healthy way and practice my chopsticks skills. I LOVE stir fries for many reasons but these are a few:

  1. They’re quick and can be made in about 10 minutes or less.
  2. They’re savory, sweet, saucy, and filled with flavor as well as nutrient dense veggies.
  3. They’re so versatile, you can throw in whatever you have or like to make something you’ll love.
  4. You can use different sauces, and serve over rice or noodles, or even in lettuce cups.

Chinese Chickpea Stir Fry

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 crown of broccoli

1 portobello mushroom, diced

a few baby Bella mushrooms, sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

2 zucchini, halved and diced

2 cups baby spinach

1/2 cup shredded carrots

oil free teriyaki sauce

brown rice

  1. Add broccoli and peppers to a large wok over medium high heat. Stir a few minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms, zucchini, and chickpeas and continue stirring.
  3. Add carrots and spinach. It’s important to add the veggies in order so that they cook for the length of time they need.
  4. Last, add in the teriyaki sauce and stir over medium low heat until sauce is thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Serve over brown rice and enjoy!

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Oil Free Teriyaki Sauce

This is my new go to asian sauce because it’s so tasty, and also oil free. It’s simple to make and only need 6 things. Here’s how I make it:

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup coconut aminos

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp minced ginger

1 tsp garlic

1 tbsp cornstarch

Combine and add to stir fry.

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Weekly Sushi Love

We’re used to weekly sushi because we used to go to our favorite sushi spot every weekend, but we got busy and it got too expensive for that extravagance. I’ve always wanted to make sushi, but it always worried me that the fish wouldn’t be fresh enough and I didn’t know where to buy it.

Since going vegan, veggie sushi sounded like a much more manageable option. Since making it for the first time a month or so ago, I’ve been making it weekly. I’ve made it for family, friends, and tonight was just to make Wednesday a little bit better. I had leftover nori, leftover veggies and mango in my fridge, and all I had to do was cook the rice and roll it up! If you have all of the ingredients prepped this is a healthy meal that feels fancy and comes together really quickly. I love practicing the craft of sushi rolling and trying different combinations to try and find the best. I bought a bamboo mat and rice paddle to feel professional but I’m pretty sure I don’t use them correctly… but it’s fun! I place a nori sheet shiny side down and spread my sticky brown rice on evenly with a rice paddle. I leave the far end empty to ensure enough space to close. I use a fork to mash a 1/4 of an avocado onto a strip of rice, then top with julienned cucumber, mango, carrot, or spring mix. Wet your finger and trace the far end of the nori, the roll tightly away from you and it will stick and close. Set aside to set before using a sharp serrated knife to slice. I use short grain brown rice from Whole Foods and cook it in my rice cooker, then combine each cup of brown rice with 2 tbsp of seasoned rice vinegar so it becomes stickier. This time I made 3 combinations. First I made avocado, cucumber, carrot, and spring mix. Second was avocado, cucumber and mango. Third was avocado, cucumber, mango, and spring mix. You can pretty much make whatever you think sounds good! I sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with low sodium soy and grated ginger. The best part is it’s a fraction of the cost and you can eat it in your sweatpants. I love at home sushi!

Baked Teriyaki Vegetable Spring Rolls

Baked Teriyaki Vegetable Spring Rolls

Baked Teriyaki Vegetable Spring Rolls

I wanted to make something special that I’ve never made before for our Valentine’s dinner at home last night. Instead of the usual cabbage and carrots inside a fried wrapper, I wanted to bake them. Since they were baked, I wanted to add the flavor on the inside with a sauteed vegetable and teriyaki sauce mixture. I had leftover tofu from the night before so I decided to sear those in soy sauce and use them as a filling as well. I had a really hard time finding vegan spring roll wrappers, and so these actually had egg in the wrapper. I checked Kroger, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods with no success. Whole Foods associates pointed me to the Nasoya brand in their vegan refrigerated section, and then I had to let them know they included egg. He said vegans go there all the time for those and no one has ever caught that, so guess they need to move them now! They were still crunchy on the outside, and had a flavorful interior. I served them with a side salad and it was a filling, yet light meal. You can add whatever you want inside, and guess I need to look online for vegan wrappers, suggestions?

Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day and celebrated the ones you love! I had a great day with my kids at school, and then a relaxing night in with Josh.

Baked Teriyaki Vegetable Spring Rolls

12 “egg” roll wrappers

1 large zucchini, julienned

10 oz button mushrooms, diced

4 oz tofu, skinny strips

1 small yellow onion, halved and sliced

pepper to taste

Teriyaki Sauce

1/4 cup low sodium soy

1/4 cup coconut aminos

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp minced ginger

1 tbsp cornstarch

  1. Preheat oven to 400* and saute vegetables until tender.
  2. Add teriyaki to vegetables and cook down until thickened then cool.
  3. Cut tofu in strips then saute on each side in a little bit of soy to gain texture.
  4. Lay each wrapper on a diagonal then add one piece of tofu horizontally in the middle of the wrapper and add 1-2 tbsp of vegetable filling. Fold the bottom triangle over the filling, then wet the remaining corners and sides. Fold corners in and then roll up to seal.
  5. Lay on a silpat baking mat and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Let cool a few minutes before serving and serve with a side of soy for dipping.

Veggie and Tofu Fried Rice

Veggie and Tofu Fried Rice

Veggie and Tofu Fried Rice

After watching them add a pound of butter while making fried rice last weekend at hibachi, I wanted to find a healthy oil-free option that was still full of flavor. I cooked brown basmati rice in the rice cooker with miso broth which added a lot of asian flavor without tons of added calories. I sauteed a bag of frozen asian stir fry vegetables with 2/3 block of extra firm tofu (crumbled), and chopped kale. The crumbled tofu acts as the scrambled egg in the fried rice and gives it the same texture as egg. Using a nonstick wok worked really well because I could saute all of the veggies and tofu without having to use oil, and added minced garlic and ginger for flavor. I topped it off with low sodium soy sauce and it was exactly what I had in mind.

Veggie and Tofu Fried Rice

2/3 block of extra firm organic tofu, crumbled

2 cups brown basmati rice, dry

2 1/2 cups Miso Broth (TJ’s)

2 1/2 cups water

1 bag of frozen Stir Fry Vegetables (TJ’s)

4 handfuls kale, finely chopped

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp minced ginger

2 scallions, finely sliced

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/2 tsp pepper

  1. Cook brown rice with miso broth and water, then open lid to let cool.
  2. In a large wok, sauté bag of vegetables with 2/3 block of crumbled tofu, and finely chopped kale over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic, ginger, scallions, and pepper and then add the rice to the veggies.
  4. Top with soy sauce and combine.