Warm Asian Quinoa Salad
A couple of months ago I traveled with my family to St George, UT. Many people drive by St George on the way to Zion National Park but don’t stop to shop their cute downtown much less look for vegan food. After shopping in one of the antique shops in downtown St Geroge I stumbled upon a great vegetarian/vegan/gluten free restaurant, Twisted Noodle Cafe. They had a great selection of vegan entrees and desserts! With so many delicious choices I couldn’t decide but ultimately I went with the Asian Quinoa Bowl. It was delicious! The veggie and quinoa mix was topped with marinated fried tofu all tossed in a wonderful soy sauce-sesame seed oil dressing. A few weeks later I found myself craving a yummy bowl. As I was trying to decide what to take for lunch one day I thought about replicating the bowl but as a salad. Sometimes you don’t want to loose precious time microwaving food, well, at least I don’t. So here is my version of the Twisted Noodle Cafe’s Asian Quinoa Bowl.
Asian Quinoa Salad
2 c quinoa
1/2 c shredded carrots
1/2 c shredded purple cabbage
1/4 c green onion
1/2 c shelled edamame
1/4 c chopped cilantro
3 T soy sauce
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 T toasted sesame seed oil
1 tsp grated ginger
Mix all the dressing ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl mix the salad ingredients. Toss the salad ingredients with the dressing until well incorporated. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!
What’s your favorite way to eat quinoa?
I’ve always considered myself a terrible Mexican. I can’t cook real Mexican food if my life depended on it. Sadly, I don’t know more than the typical American about the culture either. Sometime this summer I decided that had to change so I’ve been researching what real Mexican food is. So far I’ve made a list of things I want to learn how to make, a sort of cooking bucket list with the added challenge that it must be plant based.
My first attempt at tackling an item on my list came after a trip my parents took to Tijuana. There’s an outdoor market there that sells everything you can possibly think of, one day I’ll actually go and see it myself and share pictures with you. In this trip my mother decided to bring back a brick/block of Mole.
If you’ve never had Mole(pronounced mol-ay) its a sauce made of roasted dried chiles and spices. The paste made from the chiles and spices is then dissolved in warm broth and usually poured over chicken.
It can be made spicy or a little sweet depending on what part of Mexico you are from. Obviously we don’t have big blocks of mole on this side of the border but the boxed or jar variety is widely available. So what was I to make with such a wonderful ingredient? I must confess, I wasn’t brave enough to just throw it on tofu but I’m working on it. ? So instead I decided to merge two favorites, mole and enchiladas to create a savory vegan mole enchilada dish. The wonderful thing about this recipe is that the filling for the enchiladas is only limited by your imagination!
I chose to go with a more savory plantain sauteed with shallots and mildly seasoned.
Mole paste(jar or boxed)
1/2-1 c Veggie Broth
1 large shallot, minced
1 large plantain, peeled and cubbed
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oil
Start by dissolving mole paste into 1/2 c broth. Sauce should be somewhere between thick and runny so if you need to keep adding to dissolve the paste add broth carefully so it doesn’t get too runny. In the meantime start sauteeing the shallots and plantain in the olive oil until cooked though.
When the mole is boiling turn it off and start heating up your corn tortillas. Start an assembly line of warm tortillas, filling and sauce.
Fill the tortilla, roll it and pour the mole sauce over the enchiladas. Serve with rice fr a more traditional(but healthier) version of the original dish.
Enjoy! Be sure to let me know what you think of this recipe!
What is your favorite thing to eat at a Mexican restaurant?
2 Minute Power Oats
A few months ago, thanks to my Vegan Cuts snack box, I received the best tasting quick cooking oats I’ve ever had. I never got a chance to review it on the blog and now I can’t even share with you the images of my box(thanks broken desktop). I knew as soon as I tasted them I needed to replicate them. It takes a total of maybe 15 minutes to measure and mix everything but once you do you will have a super blend of quinoa, amaranth and oats ready to go to start your morning.
1 c old fashioned oats(gluten-free if you prefer)
1/2 c amaranth
1/2 c quinoa
2 Tb flax seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Optional: 1/4 nuts, 1/4 c dried fruit
Start mixing all the dry ingredients. If you have chosen to add dried fruit to the mix do so once all the dry ingredients are well mixed or you can add them in later.
Super simple, right? I love having this oatmeal mixed and ready to go so all I have to do is add your favorite milk and microwave for 2 minutes. The best part of this recipe is that it’s so versatile. Can you see yourself adding pumpkin puree and maple syrup to this for a bit of fall flavors in your breakfast?
I like to add a few pecans to mine and some fresh fruit. It’s the perfect quick and healthy breakfast and as a bonus kid-friendly!
What’s your favorite quick and easy breakfast?
Tacos are such a quick and cheap way to feed your family and they are so easy to make! Growing up my mom always made lentils as a soup but it wasn’t until I was older that I appreciated all the nutritional benefits. These tiny legumes are packed with fiber, folate, iron, protein, and other vitamins and minerals and are a great meat substitute! I’m a big fan of PF Chan’s Lettuce wraps so this recipe was a nod to both those lettuce wraps and Mexican tacos. To add more of a Mexican flavor I sautéed some soy chorizo with my lentils and added some veggies to add body to my tacos. Overall, super easy to make.
2 c cooked lentils
1/2 package soy chorizo
2 large carrots, cubed
1 large potato, cubed
Salt & Pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin and
1/4 tsp ground corriander
Lettuce leaves or corn tortillas
1 Cook the soy chorizo, carrots and potatoes until the potatoes are soft.
2 Add the cooked lentils and spices to the pan and continue cooking until flavors are well incorporated.
3 Serve in a traditional corn tortilla or on romaine lettuce leaves and top with your favorite salsa.
Super easy right? I like to cook my lentils ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until I’m ready to use them but the times I have found myself without cooked lentils I turn to prepackaged cooked lentils from Trader Joes. ?
What’s your go-to weekday recipe? Do you like lentils?
I’m back! Sometimes you just need a break from everything, ya know? I’ve been working on veganizing my favorite foods, one being pizza. I found a great restaurant that offers vegan pizza and other menu items, Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza. Sadly, after a few times of going my wallet started protesting. In the past I had attempted to make pizza and it was less than stellar and then I followed that attempt with polenta pizza(why did I think that would be easier?) that was…interesting. So I have since been reluctant to try again. When I bought my Vegan Cooking For Carnivores book I saw it, the recipe for pizza dough. I figured everything else I’ve made from this book has been delicious, why not try this recipe for pizza dough? So I went for it. I even recruited an assistant. ?
First we prepped the dough. I liked that this recipe was large enough for several pizza crusts. I managed to make two medium sized pizzas and two extra crusts. I could tell my little sous chef had fun but really you don’t need any assistance as this recipe was super quick and easy. And did I mention the end result was delicious?
Vegan Pizza Dough
(adapted from Vegan Cooking for Carnivores)
3/4 oz active dry yeast
2 tsp organic white sugar
1 3/4 c warm water
3 c organic, unbleached, all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
2 c organic whole wheat flour
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
Mix yeast, sugar and water and stir until dissolved. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Mix the remaining ingredients and add yeast. Once the dough ball is ready place it in a large resealable bag and place in a warm area to rise.
Dough should double in size. It takes about 1 1/2 hrs.
If you are using the crusts now you can roll them to a traditional pizza shape and add toppings or bake them at 475 degrees for 3-4 minutes and freeze until needed.
Very simple right? I don’t know what I was so afraid of! When my crust was ready I added my homemade sauce and topped it with shredded Daiya Mozzarella, tomatoes and basil.
Of course for her hard work my little sous chef got her own pepperoni pizza.
We enjoyed the pizzas with a simple lettuce and tomato salad. I kinda like the rustic look. Perhaps with time my pizza rounding skills will improve.
Have you ever tried making pizza at home? What’s your favorite kind of pizza?
No Fish Tacos
Maybe I was inspired by my daughter watching ‘Finding Nemo’ several times last week(“Fish are friends, not food”) or my love of Baja style fish tacos but I came up with a keeper for this weeks meatless Monday. I came up with a simple and baked ‘fish’ taco adapted from some recipe online(Pop Sugar I think) I don’t know but I added my own twists.
If you’ve never had real Baja fish tacos they are light, pieces of fish dunked in a special batter and fried. They are topped with cabbage, cream and salsa. I know form personal experience the batter is what makes the taco so I tried hard to replicate delicious friend goodness with spices. The end result was almost stubborn meat-eater approved, my dad wouldn’t try them but did say they smelled delicious. Secretly I think he refuses to try my vegan food because he fears he might like it. He does love my veggie burgers though.
Well, here is my version of ‘fish’ tacos, the tofu is baked instead of fried and it is coated in panko break crumbs instead of dunked in batter. I think this will be a great addition to your Meatless Monday repertoire. I apologize in advance for the bad lighting in the pictures, my mother’s kitchen has terrible lighting at night.
1 block firm tofu cut in 1/4 inch thick pieces
3/4 c Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 small purple cabbage, shredded
1/2 small green cabbage, shredded
2 small carrots, grated
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 c vegan mayo
2 scallions, chopped
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
tortillas(my grocery store had these lovely green cactus tortillas but feel free to use any variety you can find)
1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2 Combine garlic, oil, salt, pepper, and cumin. Add the tofu blocks and let them marinate for at least 10 minutes.
3 Break tofu in panko crumbs and spread on baking sheet. Bake 15- 20 minutes
4 While tofu is in the oven make the slaw. Combine mayo, scallions, onion powder, apple cider vinegar, cabbages and carrot and mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Putting the tacos together: heat tortillas and add and to two pieces of tofu per tortilla. Top with slaw.
Optional garnishes: avocado, lime, chipotle creme (recipe below)
(adapted from Vegan Cooking for Carnivores)
1/4 cup vegan mayo
1-2 tbs chipotle adobo sauce
Mix until well incorporated. Can be used as a sandwich spread or on top of tacos.
And remember, fish are friends, not food. ?
Do you like fish tacos? Have you tried making a healthier version?
Ah delicious tangy ceviche, how I miss thee! I’ve been craving this dish for a few weeks and after my stomach trouble there was no way I was taking a chance with the real thing. I took this as an opportunity to try another recipe from my favorite vegan cook book, Vegan Cooking for Carnivores. It is quick, simple and is great for a hot day when you don’t want to turn on the stove. The real thing is just as easy to make, the only difference obviously, is the fish and shrimp. Either way it is a tasty treat that is perfect for a hot summer day. Enjoy!
Adapted from Vegan Cooking for Carnivores
2 cans (14 oz each) hearts of palm, cut lengthwise then cut again crosswise into 1/4 inch strips
Juice of 2 limes
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 medium red onion, diced
8 plum tomatoes
1 bunch cilantro
1 firm avocado
Salt and pepper
Toss the hearts of palm, lime juice, cumin, coriander, garlic powder and allow the mix to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Mix the remaining ingredients with the marinating mixture.
Serve over tostadas or with chips and top with your favorite salsa.
Have you ever had ceviche?