Spicy Asian Slaw

I’ve never been a fan of coleslaw. Before I was vegan, I hated coleslaw. After I became vegan, I hated coleslaw. There’s never really been any version of coleslaw that I’ve liked. Then, one day I realized that the main reason I didn’t like coleslaw was because every time I had it, it was always mushy. And I have texture issues with mushy food. As I dug deeper into my disdain for for this BBQ side dish staple, I realized another reason I didn’t like it was because I wasn’t crazy about the combo of veggies that was often found in it. So, I set out to make my own slaw, because that’s what food is all about. Creating new flavors; taking the old and breathing new life into it, reinventing dishes and creating entirely new flavors altogether. It’s taken some time, but I’m finally starting to break away from the limitations I put on myself with food. I’m making sweet tofu scrams, experimenting with the flavor of veggies and just doing whatever I want because that’s usually how the best dishes are created. A little bit of creativity, a little bit of science, and in my case, a whole lotta crazy.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup beets, spiralized (you can buy them pre-spiralized or spiralize them yourself)
  • 1/2 cup Bosc pear, diced
  • 3-4 tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
  • Additional cilantro for garnish
  • 1/4 cup wasabi mayo*

What to Do:

  1. on a cutting board, slice the spiralized beets roughly to create smaller shreds and spirals. Leave some different lengths but try not to have any pieces that are more than 2-3 inches in length.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beet spirals, red cabbage, scallion and pear.
  3. Mix until well blended.
  4. Add the wasabi mayo and mix again until mayo is well blended into the slaw.
  5. Add cilantro and mix into the slaw.
  6. Transfer slaw to a serving dish and garnish with more fresh cilantro; you can enjoy alone or as a side with another meal. I also used this slaw as a filling for some delicious summer rolls!**

* To make the wasabi mayo, combine 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (I used Trader Joe’s vegan spread and dressing) and 1 heaping tbsp. of wasabi paste. Mix the two items together vigorously until well blended. You can find wasabi paste in the Asian or international foods section of your local grocery, or go to an Asian market.

** This recipe is for a small batch of slaw that will yield about 2-3 servings. The dressing measurements also allow for the slaw to remain crunchy and not become soggy, even after sitting overnight. To make a larger batch, simply double the amounts of everything, but try to keep the ratios of dry and wet ingredients the same so you do not make the slaw too wet.

 

Date posted on Instagram: 12/16/18

Indian Stir-fry

Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines. I love all food, but I don’t think I’d ever turn down Indian food. A stir-fry is typically associated with Asian culture — specifically Chinese cuisine. India is in Asia too, but technically, it’s South Asia. So, although this stir-fry has a title that indicates it is different from your typical Chinese stir-fry, it’s all the same good food, from people on the same continent but in different regions. Instead of considering this dish a mashup of East meets West, consider it a mashup of North meets South. And I’ll pat myself on the back for creating another multi-cultural masterpiece.

Indian Stir-fry

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets, finely chopped (fresh or frozen is fine; I usually go fresh with broccoli)
  • 1 cup oyster mushrooms, chopped*  (baby bella or white mushrooms can also be used)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves (removed from stems)
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2-3 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

 

What to Do:

  1. Heat a medium-sized skillet (or wok!) over medium heat with olive oil.
  2. Once hot, add red and yellow onion to skillet and saute for approximately 2 minutes.
  3. Add entire can of chickpeas to skillet and continue to saute for another 2-3 minutes, moving ingredients around pan sporadically to avoid burning.
  4. Add broccoli and mushrooms and continue to saute. Add in curry powder and salt and stir well into stir-fry. Continue to saute for another 3-4 minutes, stirring ingredients ever so often.
  5. Saute until onions are translucent and broccoli is slightly tender.
  6. Make sure that chickpeas do not burn or become too crispy, unless that is the desired texture you are trying to achieve. Avoid this by stirring the stir-fry frequently.
  7. Remove from heat and stir cilantro into stir-fry. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with additional cilantro.
  8. Serve as is, over basmati rice or with naan bread.

 

*  I used oyster mushrooms because they have a great, meaty texture and I thought it would go well with a stir-fry.

 

Date Posted on Instagram: 9/22/18

Spicy Dumpling Soup

I was excited to make this dish for two reasons:

  1. I love dumplings.
  2. I found the dumplings I used for this recipe in my local supermarket, and they were specifically marketed as being vegan on the package, and they weren’t vegan because they were veggie dumplings because they were also filled with tofu!

My local supermarket has started carrying tofu and other vegan friendly items such as these dumplings and I love seeing more new vegan-friendly products whenever I shop there. This soup was quick and easy to make and was SO delicious. And if you omit frying the dumpling beforehand, it would be even quicker. But I love to fry things. And anyway, it’s vegan — so frying vegan dumplings in oil is essentially the equivalent of eating about 1 serving of vegetables, right?

spicy dumpling soup close-up

 

 

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 package of Nasoya vegan dumplings (they have different varieties; I used the tofu vegetable flavor)
  • 1/4 cup scallion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup enoki mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh green beans
  • 2 cups miso broth
  • 2-3 tablespoons hot chili oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)

 

What to Do:

If you do not want to fry your dumplings, go straight to step 4! Start by sauteing your veggies, or simply skip the saute and frying processes altogether and add everything to the broth and let simmer over low heat until veggies reach desired tenderness!

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once oil is very hot, add dumplings to skillet — I used about 7 dumplings for this recipe which is suitable for one serving of soup.
  3. Pan-fry the dumplings on either side until golden brown, approximately 2-4 minutes per side. Once all dumplings are golden brown, remove from heat and set dumplings aside on a dish covered with paper towels to drain off excess oil.vegan dumpling pack
  4. In the same skillet, place green beans and baby bella mushrooms inside and saute over medium heat until mushrooms start to become tender and darken a little, approximately 5 minutes.
  5. While veggies are on the heat, place 2 cups of miso broth in a saucepan over low heat.
  6. Once mushrooms have become a little tender, transfer veggies to broth and let sit.
  7. Add enoki mushrooms, scallion and salt to broth and stir. Heat broth until hot. Once hot, remove from heat.
  8. Add hot chili sauce to broth and stir.
  9. Add dumplings to broth as well and stir soup.
  10. Transfer soup to a serving bowl and top with black and white sesame seeds.

 

Date Posted on Instagram: 9/14/18

Tofu Miso Ginger Soup

Soup is so perfect for crisp and cool autumn weather. It’s also perfect for cold and windy winter weather. But most people don’t think about soup in the summer. Yet sometimes, we just crave that warm, cozy feeling that soup brings us. This soup not only gives you that warm, cozy feeling, but it’s also light enough that it doesn’t feel too “winter-y”. And anyway, who doesn’t love a good miso soup? Don’t even answer if you’re gonna say “me!“, because that was definitely meant to be a rhetorical question. You’re probably a complete loser if you don’t like a good miso soup. I’m just kidding — but you probably are.

miso ginger tofu soup

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 package of organic, extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 2 stalks of scallion, diced
  • 1/2 package (or approximately 1 cup) of snow peas
  • 2 cups miso ginger broth (I got mine from TJ’s)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoons salt

What to Do:

  1. Pour broth into a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  2. Add tofu, scallion, snow peas and ginger to broth.
  3. Stir all ingredients well.
  4. Turn up heat to high and bring just to a boil.
  5. As soon as broth starts to boil, reduce heat immediately to a low simmer.
  6. Add salt to soup and stir.
  7. Simmer soup for approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  8. Transfer to serving bowl. Bon appetit!
  9. miso ginger tofu soup ingredients
  10. Only four simple ingredients!
  11.   

Date posted on Instagram: 7/1/18

Red Curry Tofu and Sautéed Bok Choy

This was a really fun dish to make because it was my first time using bok choy. That may (or may not?) come as a surprise to some, but as I have mentioned many times before, eating super healthy is new to me — and I really only started eating a variety of veggies after going vegan. I knew that for my first time using bok choy, I wanted to keep the whole stem fully intact, simply because the bunch I got at the farmer’s market was so beautiful and I didn’t want to cut it up. This dish is what I came up with. It allowed me to still keep up my obsession with sauteed veggies, and also to display the bok choy with awesome plating, in all its glory.

Red Curry Tofu and Sauteed Bok Choy

 

ATTENTION: This recipe requires 2-9 hours of prep time! Please plan accordingly!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of cooked white rice
  • 1/3 block of organic, firm tofu
  • 1 small to medium stalk organic bok choy
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons salt (additional salt to taste for bok choy)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • cast iron skillet (to cook tofu)
  • Glass dish with lid (to marinate tofu)

 

What to Do:

  1. Slice tofu into even-sized cubes and place them into glass dish.
  2. Add red curry paste, salt, and curry powder to dish; mix seasoning and paste into tofu pieces well but be careful not to break the tofu.
  3. Cover with lid and place in fridge to marinate.*
  4. Remove tofu from fridge and set aside to become room temperature.
  5. Prepare rice (boil water, add rice, stir and bring to a boil again, turn heat to a low simmer, cover and let simmer for approximately 20 minutes or so– use approximately 1 3/4 cup of water for every one cup of rice). Set aside.
  6. Slice stalk of bok choy directly down the center (see insert).**
  7. Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  8. Once hot, add tofu pieces to skillet (be careful of oil splatter!) and fry for approximately 5 minutes, turning pieces intermittenly.
  9. Continue to fry for another 3-4 minutes while continuing to turn pieces to fry evenly until pieces have browned and seasoning is stuck to tofu.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  10. Heat a large skillet on low to medium heat with 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  11. Once hot, place both pieces of bok choy in skillet, with the inside part down into oil (see insert).

    Sliced Bok Choy example
    Slice bok choy down the center as pictured. The piece on the left is the inside.
  12. Saute bok choy for approximately 3-5 minutes on each side, until each side acquires a light browning.
  13. Transfer rice to center of serving dish.
  14. Place red curry tofu around rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  15. Place bok choy around red curry tofu. Bon appetit!

 

PRO TIP: I plated this dish with the full stalks for aesthetic purposes because the bok choy was so beautiful! When you’re ready to dig in, it will be helpful to slice the bok choy width wise a couple of inches from the stalk to break up the pieces!

 

* I suggest marinating for at least 2 hours, however, I made this marinade before I left the house that day and then made the recipe when I got back. Total marinade time for my tofu was 9 hours. As you know, the longer the tofu marinates, the better!

** Rinse pieces thoroughly with water, especially in the crevices near the stalk; if you bought the bok choy organic, there is probably dirt there! Set aside to dry.

 

 

Date posted on Instagram: 6/19/18

Sesame Shirataki Glass Noodles with Korean BBQ “Beef”

I think I’m in love. With shirataki noodles that is. I love when foods fall into certain categories, independent of the flavor profile– versatility and low-price points go a long way with me. Food that are both versatile and cheap are amazing — you can use them over and over in so many dishes, transforming them into so many things. That’s why you see staple foods such as kale and mushroom popping up in so many of my recipes (those foods are also full of nutrients I need). These noodles are healthy, versatile and pretty much take on the tofu-like quality of being able to soak up whatever flavor you want them to. I’ve been experimenting with Asian-inspired dishes, but I hope to use my creativity to create other palette pleasing flavors with these noodles as well.

Glass Noodles with Korean BBQ Beef

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 bag of shirataki noodles, fettuccine style
  • 3/4 cup of Gardein beefless tips
  • 2-3 sprigs of cilantro (remove the herb from the stem)
  • 1/2 cup of Trader Joe’s Korean Style BBQ Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

What to Do:

  1. In a small skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Once hot, add beefless tips and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and stir; continue cooking tips for another 3-4 minutes, until they  are all heated through, and have acquired a light browning to them.
  4. Remove tips from heat and add BBQ sauce to skillet. Mix sauce into tips well.
  5. In a separate skillet, place over medium-high heat and empty entire bag of shirataki noodles into skillet, with water.
  6. Parboil* the noodles for about 2-3 minutes; remove from heat and drain noodles but leave in skillet.
  7. Add sesame oil to noodles and stir, being careful not to tear the noodles.
  8. Transfer noodles to serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  9. Spoon BBQ tips on top of noodles.
  10. Garnish with cilantro and serve. Bon appetit!

 

* These noodles do not require cooking. If you want them heated up, the package states that you can parboil them for a few minutes — parboiling is partially cooking something via the method of boiling. But again, this is not necessary, and you can eat them straight out of the package! To parboil, heat the noodles up with the water inside the pack on high heat for 2-3 minutes, just until warmed. When done, remove from heat and drain. Run under cool water for a few seconds to fully stop cooking, if desired.

 

 

Date posted on Instagram: 6/14/18

“Seafood” Stir-fry

I finally got my hands on some kelp granules, and so this will be the first of many seafood-y dishes I’ll be making (hellooooo ceviche!). The flavors that many people associate with the sea are, in actuality, derived from some plant-based items such as kelp and algae. Yes, I get that everything that people eat that comes out of the water doesn’t taste exactly like plants, but if you taste the granules you’ll see what I mean. And it makes sense because the creatures of the sea consume the algae and kelp both intentionally and as part of their existence within that habitat– which just goes to further prove the saying: “you are what you eat”. Thanks for helping us vegans prove a point Mother Nature.

Seafood Stir-fry

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green beans
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli florets
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 3 teaspoons kelp granules (I used Main Coast Seasoning Organic Kelp granules)
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (I used Kikkoman’s teriyaki baste and glaze)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce ( I didn’t use low-sodium because I didn’t add any extra salt)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

 

What to Do:

  1. Prepare rice in a small saucepan (boil water, add rice, stir and bring to a boil again, turn heat to a low simmer, cover and let simmer for approximately 20 minutes or so– use approximately 1 3/4 cup of water for every one cup of rice). Set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet on low-medium heat with 2 tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Once oil is hot, add carrots and saute for approximately 2 minutes.
  4. Add broccoli and continue saute for another 3-4 minutes, stirring carrots and broccoli occasionally.
  5. Add green beans to veggie mix, stir, and let saute for approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Add onion and ginger powder and stir.
  7. Add soy sauce, teriyaki sauce and kelp granules; stir. Saute for a few more minutes, until onions have become translucent. Remove from heat.
  8. Transfer stir-fry to serving dish.
  9. Transfer rice to serving dish and sprinkle remaining teaspoon of kelp granules on rice. Bon appetit!

 

 

Date posted on Instagram: 5/20/18