by amvandenhurk | Asian, Pasta, Plant-Based Eating, Vegan, Vegetarian
Vegan Thai Noodles is a simple and quick meal. This is not traditional Pad Thai, but something just as nice. It is not a fussy meal, but you can say it is a comfort food. It was for me.
From start to finish,Vegan Thai Noodles can be from ready in less than 30 minutes. It is perfect of busy days when you want a home-made dinner quickly. There are a lot of flexibility with this dish. And short cuts.
I use bottled minced garlic and ginger. You can chopped them yourself, but minced bottled is a good short cut and it stays fresh for a while. For the noodles I am all about keeping it simple and what is easily available at the local grocery store. I use what is in my pantry which is wheat spaghetti or linguine. Mushrooms are the “meat” of the dish. Since this is a quick cooking meal, it is key to chop the veg very small and not dense. Peppers and snap peas work well in this dish. Shredded carrots, broccoli, peas, and shredded Napa cabbage could be also be used.
Feel free to play around with this recipe. Vegan Thai Noodles can be your recipe and I would like to hear about the additions you have made to it.
Looking for other Asian-inspired dishes? Have a look here for both vegan and carnivore recipes.
- 14 oz package firm tofu, pressed, drained, and cubed small
- 1/2 box of whole wheat noodles
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped small
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespone minced ginger
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- 10 oz Oyster mushrooms, chopped small
- 1 red pepper, chopped small
- 1 can black beans raised and drained
- 1 can coconut milk
- Handful sugar snap peas, snapped in half
- 3 tbsp tamari
- Bunch coriander
- - Cook noodles per instructions on the back of package. Once they are cooked, drain and rinse them.
- - Finely chop the green onions, the mushrooms and the red pepper.
- - Drain and rinse the black beans.
- - Put a non-stick wide bottom pan on a high heat then once hot, reduce the heat to medium.
- - Brown tofu on all sides.
- - Add 1 tablespoon tamari.
- - Add the chopped scallions, garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper flakes cooking for 2 minutes stirring regularly.
- - Add the chopped mushrooms and pepper and cook for 3 minutes.
- - Add the rest of the tamari.
- - Add the black beans, half the can of coconut milk and the cooked noodles.
- - Cook for another couple of minutes stirring to incorporate it all and turn off the heat.
- - Season with 1 teaspoon of salt.
- - Finely chop the coriander and the sugar snap peas and add to serve.
- NOTE: If anything starts to stick add 2-3 tablespoons of water and ‘deglaze’ the pan.
by amvandenhurk | Plant-Based Eating, Vegan, Vegetarian, Vegetarian Slow Cooker
The Quintessential French Summer Dish
Ratatouille is the quintessential French summer dish using the garden’s harvest. Up until recently I never made ratatouille before. Shocking I know. No clue why I haven’t. Glad that changed.
Simple Dish, Complex Favors
I came across “Ratatouille Reimagined: 8 Ways to Enjoy” in Forks Over Knives, Summer 2021 magazine. They had the basic recipe then 8 additional ways to serve it. I had all of the ingredients so I made it. There are two ways to make it. The traditional way is to slice then arrange veg in a dish and bake. Since it was hot and I was lazy, I took the slow cooker option which is basically chop, dump, stir, then forget until dinnertime. While it doesn’t look as fancy, it tastes delicious.
Ratatouille makes a diverse base where you can build a bunch of different meals. Good idea to make a big batch where you can handle it out. Over the week, I made it with pasta by adding canned white beans topped with fresh basil, and nutritional yeast and then to finish it off, Provencal chili by canned dark kidney beans and corn over brown rice and topped with avocado and cilantro. Both tasty and filling meals. I used canned diced tomatoes and Newport Sea Salt’s Herbes de Provence.
Looking for recipes for eggplant that can be served at room temp or cold? Try Turkish Eggplant Tomato Casserole.
- 1 pound tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 15-oz can diced tomatoes undrained
- 1 pound zucchini, halved and thickly sliced
- 1 medium eggplant cut into chunks
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped chunky
- 2 cloves garlic minced or 1 tablespoon minced jarred garlic
- 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
- 1 bay leaf
- 1. Prepare all veg and place in slow cooker.
- 2. Set on high for 4 hours stirring halfway if you remember.
by amvandenhurk | Pasta, Plant-Based Eating, Vegetarian
The Traditional Pasta Cacao e Pepe
We’ve been rewatching Somebody Feed Phil with Phil Rosenthal and recently came to his Venice episode and binge watched Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy. During Tucci’s Rome show, he visited Japanese chef Kotaro Noda’s Bistro 64. Chef Noda made the classic Roman dish, Cacio e Pepe.
While we were watching it in the morning, my mouth was watering and I knew what we were having for dinner. I adore pasta (and actually most carb rich foods). To me a bowl of pasta is comfort food therefore, I don’t need an excuse to make it. It took me a couple replays of the segment to get the ingredients and technique down.
A Humble Dish
This is a truly simple and humble dish with six ingredients… seven if you count the pasta water. The stars of the dish are freshly ground pepper, Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses. In 15-minutes you could have this meal.
Looking for another quick and simple meal? Try a bread salad from Tuscany, Panzanella.
- 8 oz Spaghetti
- 1-2 cups salted pasta water
- 3-4 Tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon freshly grown black pepper
- 1 cup finely grated Pecorino
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
- - Cook spaghetti according to the directions adding a generous helping of salt to the water.
- - Drain pasta reserving 1-2 cups of pasta water.
- - Melt butter in large pan stirring in the pepper toasting for a minute.
- - Add a cup of the pasta water and bring to a simmer.
- - Add pasta then slowly add in cheeses tossing together until a "creamy" sauce forms. If the pasta is too dry then incorporate more of the pasta water.
- - Finish the dish with more freshly ground pepper.
by amvandenhurk | Dinner, Meatless Mondays, Plant-Based Eating, Vegetarian
A fresh and simple meal: roasted vegetable hummus tart.
Folks have it in their minds that preparing good food has to be hard. Good food doesn’t have to be complex. Simple is just as good and often even better. We tend to overthink food. Yes, there are some recipes that complex in terms of techniques, tools, and/or ingredients, but for the most part, simpler is better. Making a veggie hummus tart for dinner. Simple, fresh ingredients.
There is nothing easier than making this roasted veggie hummus tart. All the ingredients are stars in this recipe. Start with simple, fresh ingredients you may have on hand. Chopped up some red peppers, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes and/or eggplant with some fresh chopped basil. Add olive oil with salt and pepper tossing. The end result is delicious roasted veg which will be the topping for the tart. Spread hummus – store bought or homemade – on the baked puff pastry then top with the roasted veg. Perfection. This dish can be served warm or cold.
Roasted Vegetable Hummus Tart Recipe
Roasted Vegetable Hummus Tart
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon chopped basil
- 2-4 cups mixed chopped vegetables such as peppers, red onion, tomatoes, and zucchini
- 1 sheet of puff pastry (room temperature)
- 1 container plain hummus
- Preheat oven to 430F.
- Place chopped basil and vegetables in a bowl.
- Drizzle the oil over the vegetables and basil adding a dash of kosher salt and a few generous turns of the pepper grinder then toss.
- Spread the mixture on the medium roasting tray lined with foil roasting for 20-25 minutes.
- Prepare the puff pastry sheet by scoring an inch border around the sheet and prick the middle with a fork a few times to stop it puffing up too much.
- Cover with dish towel and place in the fridge until the roasted veg is done.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and top with the hummus, then top with the roast vegetables.
by amvandenhurk | Dinner, Plant-Based Eating, Vegetarian
We all have them. The meal that is your go-to dinner when no one feels like cooking, didn’t go to the grocery store, or don’t want to order delivery. For us, it is black bean quesadillas. We can always count on them filling out bellies quickly and easily. It is a simple and quick meal made in 15 minutes with a handful of items I always have on hand:
- minced garlic
- canned black beans
- canned tomatoes with green chiles
- canned “Mexican” corn
- fresh cilantro
- shredded cheddar cheese
- flour tortillas
I do my best to keep my pantry stocked and fridge filled with essential fresh veg for moments listed in the previous paragraph. I always have a bottle of minced garlic, limes, and fresh cilantro in the fridge since I cook them with 3-4 times a week. I don’t know if flour tortillas go off, but they seem to last forever and we haven’t die yet.
Kitchen Tip: To keep herbs fresh put trimmed herbs in a jar filled with cold water, put a plastic bag over it, and keep in fridge changing the water every 3 days or so.
The key to lazy meals is knowing what works for you and building your pantry around it. Our schedules are hectic though we try to keep them in check. There are days dinner is the last on my mind and having a list of go-to meals I can throw together in 15 is wonderful. Take out is great, but it does take a toll on your waistline and wallet.
Back to our go-to meal of black bean quesadilla which was based on a recipe from Real Simple magazine from years ago and has evolved. It is flexible as to how you make it. It is what I call a drain and dump meal. I like to add a splash of lime juice just to the bean mixture for a zing. We add cheese, but it tastes nice without cheese making a good vegan meal.
Looking for other quick meals? Have a look here.
What’s your go-to meal?
- - 1 tablespoons minced garlic
- - 1 can black beans
- - 1 can tomatoes with green chiles
- - 1 can "Mexican" corn
- - Handful fresh cilantro
- - 2-3 handfuls shredded cheddar cheese
- - 4 flour tortillas
- - Preheat broiler.
- - Heat pan with a splash of olive oil.
- - Drain and rise black beans and corn. Add tomatoes on top.
- - Chop cilantro.
- - Add garlic to pan cooking for a minute or until brownish.
- - Add black beans, tomatoes, corn, and cilantro to pan cooking for 5 or so minutes.
- - Using a slotted spoon arrange bean mixture on to tortillas topping with cheese then folding into a half-moon shape.
- - Broil until cheese is melted or until slightly browned.
by amvandenhurk | Dinner, Plant-Based Eating, Vegan, Vegetarian
A New Classic: Vegetarian Cassoulet
We all know the class French dish, cassoulet, with pork, chicken, and sausage. It is perfect on a winter’s evening for dinner. But what if you aren’t eating meat? A vegetarian cassoulet is a delicious non-meat alternative to this rich traditional version. While is without meat, it doesn’t lack flavor and fills you up. And what makes this dish even better than the original? It is simple to make and can be on the table in under an hour. The dish is respectable enough to serve on Sunday and to company. Even my meat loving guys enjoy this dish not missing the meat.
Simple Ingredient for Big Flavor
Simple ingredients you may have in your fridge and pantry. It is leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, ground clove, and canned cannelloni beans. I like to use fresh herbs even in winter, but you can substitute dried herbs. I bring my herbs inside keeping them in my mud room so I have fresh thyme, parsley, rosemary, and oregano to use in my cooking. I was fortunate when I made this vegetarian cassoulet last I had fresh leeks from my garden. They were little ones, but so good. I took pride in using them in my dish. The cassoulet has a garlic breadcrumb topping. Depending if I have stale homemade bread, I will make my own or I use store bought bread crumbs.
This really is a meaty dish. You can serve it with a salad and a baguette.
- - 3 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
- - 4 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch-wide pieces
- - 3 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch-wide pieces
- - 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- - 1/4 cup olive oil
- - 4 thyme sprigs
- - 2 parsley sprigs
- - 1 bay leaf
- -1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- - 3 cans cannellini rinsed and drained
- - 1 quart water
- For garlic crumbs
- - 4 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs
- - 1/3 cup olive oil
- - 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- - 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1. Halve leeks lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces.
- 2. Wash well and pat dry. Salad spinner is helpful.
- 3. Cook leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic in oil with herb sprigs, bay leaf, cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 15 minutes.
- 4. Stir in beans, then water, and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes.
- 5. Make garlic crumbs while cassoulet simmers.
- 6. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
- 7. Toss bread crumbs with oil, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a bowl until well coated.
- 8. Spread in a baking pan and toast in oven, stirring once halfway through, until crisp and golden, 12 to 15 minutes.
- 9. Cool crumbs in pan, then return to bowl and stir in parsley.
- 10. Discard herb sprigs and bay leaf.
- 11. Mash some of beans in pot with a potato masher or back of a spoon to thicken broth.
- 12. Season with salt and pepper.
- 13. Just before serving, sprinkle with garlic crumbs.