Egg Roll Fried Rice

You know those meals some people refer to as refrigerator meals or kitchen sink meals? The name comes from the fact that you just take a bunch of random ingredients to make something pretty awesome. That’s pretty much how this recipe came out.

I had three different needs for cabbage in one week but none of them required a lot of it which means two small cabbages would have been perfect. But life isn’t perfect and the market only had giant cabbages fit for holidays like Thanksgiving or for industrial kitchens. I figured I could make a big bowl of cole slaw and use it on sandwiches since two different markets had no sprouts for sandwiches. Aw, sad face.

Long story short-ish…I had too more cabbage than need for cabbage and the only thing I knew was that I wanted to do something with an Asian flavor. A big shocker for me, I know.

And egg roll fried rice was born.

When I say this is a super easy weeknight vegan dinner I mean it!

Check out this ingredient list: smoked tofu, onions, garlic, ginger and cabbage. And rice. Duh.

Start with the onions and tofu first, giving them a head start on getting crispy before tossing in the garlic and ginger. Slowly add the cabbage and add water as needed to help it cook down. You can also cook it stir-fry style on a very high heat, but I chose the steam method. Stir and season as needed while you go. Add the already cooked rice at the end and some spicy stuff if you want, and bam…easy and satisfying vegan dinner in about 30 minutes.

Maybe 35.

I used basmati rice because for some reason it’s my favorite. The grains separate nicely making it very easy to eat with chopsticks.

Keep soy sauce and sriracha or sambal on hand in case you need more salt or spice.

The longer you let the smoked tofu cook, the saltier and crispier it will become and you’ll see exactly why this is called egg roll fried rice.

Spicy Tofu & Red Quinoa Bowl

Been busy finishing up my latest book but I wanted to share another Buddha Bowl with you. The thing I love most about them, aside from all the healthy stuff, is that you get a little bit of a variety of foods. After a tough workout or just because I’m feeling really hungry, I crave them.

So when I found this organic red quinoa at the nearby Kaufland, I knew it would go nicely with the beautiful broccoli florets that were already in the shopping cart. Okay, the truth is that I had a vegan Buddha bowl on the menu but I wasn’t sure which grain I would use until I checked out what was in stock.

I’m pretty new to the quinoa bandwagon so I put them on first, adding  salt and turmeric to the water when it started to boil.

Next came the onions and bell peppers because I wanted to pop them into the oven to get a little char on’em. As you can see, I got a little more than I wanted but some of that was because of the spice rub I used. Same with the tofu.

Put together your favorite spice blend for the tofu, I used a tandoori spice blend with sumac and baharrat and some other stuff, with a few drops of oil and tomato paste. Rubbing it on both sides of the tofu and pan fry it or pop it in the oven when the onions & bell peppers start to cook.

Steam the broccoli and toss with your favorite seasonings. I used vegan butter and minced garlic. Easy peasy.

Feel free to make a sauce if you like. I thought about it but after tasting it all, I didn’t think it needed it.

This was a quick 30 minute vegan meal that you can use over and over again. Take your spice cabinet around the world and mix up the veggies for an endless supply of easy vegan recipes.

Vegan Barbecue & Broccoli Bowl

One of the hardest things for me to get over during my first year or so as living vegan, was how I thought of meals. I was so conditioned ot think of a meal, especially dinner, being protein, vegetables and starch or grain. Period. End of story. Eat up and to go to bed.

But when there’s no animal protein to act as the star of the meal, you had to be a little more creative. At least that’s how it feels today compared to when I became a vegan in 2017. But that’s about the same time I discovered the elusive Buddha bowl, which was kind of fortuitous if you think about it.

I mean, Buddha bowls provide you with a lot of food and a lot of variety, plus tons of nutrients. What’s not to love?

Seriously, can you think of one thing?

This beauty was made by my hubs. It’s barbecue tofu steaks, turmeric rice, steamed broccoli along with oven roasted carrot & onions. Probably the only thing that might be a turn off about this meal is that everything has to be prepped and prepared separately. The good news is that the rice takes no time at all, depending on what type and style of grain you choose. The carrots and onions get a quick seasoning and tossed in the oven until they’re cooked through. Steaming veggies is something most vegans–and adults–can do in their sleep so really, the biggest focus will be on getting the tofu steaks seasoned juuuust right.

Let’s just take a moment to admire the beautiful vibrant color of that broccoli…

Okay. The barbecue sauce was sweet and tangy with a hint of heat and soy sauce. It was delicious and oven baked, which means you don’t have to stand over the stove for forty-five minutes watching your vegan barbecue sauce reduce and thicken.

Use any blend you want to create the sauce, but here’s a tip: cook the tofu how you want it and toss it in the (warmed through) sauce until coated right before serving. That way it isn’t soggy, but sticky and hot.

Vegan Buddha bowls are, in my opinion, the perfect autumn meal. They are hearty without being too overwhelming or caloric, they offer a variety of foods so your taste buds never get bored and you can mix and match in thousands of ways. You can use whatever you have on hand, or plan it out.

This is one of our go to vegan meals because as long as you have grains an vegetables on hand, then you’ve got a meal to feed your family.

You can add sauces or creams, salsa or anything else that whets your appetite. The point is when it comes to vegan bowls, change it up. Try something you think you don’t like and make it in your favorite style. No one thought buffalo cauliflower wings could be as delicious as they are yet…

What’s your latest food obsession? Drop a comment down below!

How Make A Vegan Burrito Bowl

As many of you may or may not know, I love a good bowl. I have mentioned it a time or two but today instead of just teasing you with another delicious burrito bowl, I’m going to walk you through creating your very own burrito bowl.

The next time you’re in the mood for a taco, a burrito or even a fajita but you’re looking for a way to cut down on calories or carbs, consider tossing out those tortilla shells in favor or…something else.

Today’s lesson in vegan burrito bowls starts at the bottom. We’re gonna stack this baby up the way it should be, so let’s start with the grains at the bottom of the bowl.

If you want to stick with a Mexican-style bowl, choose your favorite grain of rice. Basmati, jasmine, brown, wild…whatever you like, try it out. If you want a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern flair, use bulgur or couscous. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider quinoa or amaranth, even! The point is, experiment with grains and keep stackin’.

I like to add a little bit of turmeric to the water when I put the rice in for the health benefits.

And the color!

Next, are your greens. I’m partial to Romaine so its my go to but feel free to use butter lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale or any other leafy green that floats your fancy.

Now we’re at the protein portion of the dish and this is where you can get super creative. I used oyster mushrooms because when you slice them into shredded pieces and cook them until they start to crisp around the edges, you’ll get a magnificent flavor that will blow your mind. Add in some sliced onions and bell peppers, and you’ve got a delicious shredded mushroom burrito bowl.

As a vegan, I’m sure you’re no stranger to beans or tofu, both of which are great alternatives. Or feel free to dice up vegan burgers, nuggets or setian sausages and use those instead. Just make sure you season it to fit in with the theme of your vegan burrito bowl.

Now it’s time for my favorite part…the toppings!

I’m a simple girl, give me salsa and jalapenos and I am good to go. But others, like my hubs appreciates a good guacamole, shredded cheese and sometimes even sour cream. If you’re going for another type of cuisine, try vegan yogurt sauce with mint, lemon and cucumber. There are plenty of things you can do, so be creative and when in doubt, consult Google.

I ALWAYS make salsa fresh because I love the taste of fresh tomatoes over canned ones. The recipe is simple: tomatoes, onion/shallot, garlic, parsley, jalapenos, lime juice and hot sauce. Toss in some oregano, cumin, chili powder and paprika and…voila!

Top with jalapenos and serve alongside a nice cold cerveza/beer.

The Lazy Vegan’s Totally Plant Based Buddha Bowl

Lazy moments happen to the best of us and all you can do about it is either complain about it or push through it. Personally, I prefer to do a little bit of both, mostly complain while I push through it.

But that’s just me.

One of my go to meals when I’m feeling lazy because, for example, the temperature has been creeping up towards forty degrees Celsius and you just don’t wanna be in the kitchen, is a Buddha bowl. All you have to do is take a quick look around this blog and you’ll find enough vegan bowl recipes to wonder if I know how to cook anything else.

I do, but Bowl meals are an excellent way to provide your meal with:

Variety

Tons of nutrients

Carbs

A mix of veggies

And you can do it without adding any animal products or unnecessary fats.

Today’s Bowl is aptly called, The Lazy Vegan’s Buddha Bowl

There are a few reasons this recipe is made for the lazy vegan and the first is, the oven. You can put everything in the oven (in stages) and it will do all of the hard work for you.

The best part of all? This recipe is completely plant based!

Here’s what you need: Corn on the cob, potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms & couscous…easy, right?

The mushrooms and potatoes went into the oven first because potatoes take forever, especially on our 50 year old stove in our Romanian rental and also because…potatoes. The mushrooms will need to cook out a lot of that water if you want them to have a substantial feel to them and also, a little bit of a bite.

Season them however you want. I used a blend of cumin, harissa powder, salt & pepper, turmeric, smoky paprika and baharrat. These are the main spices I used for just about everything, only mixing it up so they all blended together beautifully. The corn I seasoned with salt, black pepper and garlic granules and vegan butter, wrapped it in foil and cooked about 15 minutes in the oven.

Okay, I lied, the broccoli was already done when I popped it into the oven to give a bit of crispiness on the edges. And it was delicious!

If you think this meal is a little too bland–it isn’t–then you can whip up a quick vegan pesto cream like I did.

Take your favorite pesto recipe and add some vegan yogurt to the mix and voila, you’ve got a nice sauce to add on top of your vegan Buddha bowl!

The pesto is a mixture of basil, parsley and carrot greens but feel free to use whatever makes you do the Yum Yum dance.

Just plate it, eat it and then brag to all your friends that you got to eat all this for just 539 calories!

What’s your favorite type of Buddha bowl?