Spicy Asian Vegan Beef & Pasta

I hope everyone is all right out there, wherever you are in the world.

Today’s post is another installment of our very own Tokyo Diner and in the spirit of competitive fun, extra time on our hands and a love of mushrooms, I gave my husband two ingredients: crimini mushrooms & Beyond Burger.

This is what he came up with.

This dish was one of my favorites because it has two of my favorite elements: Asian flavor and pasta. I have never and will never deny my love of carbs and since my Hubs knows that, he found another tasty creation.

This will work with any type of pasta, but remember my aforementioned love of pasta? Well it means I’m always on the look out for unique shapes of pasta so that I can experiment with different sauces. This pasta is called caserecce and this is what it looks like.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions and he says to do it last. I’ll tell you why in a moment.

Chop and cook the Beyond Beef first so you can use the rendered fat to cook the mushrooms in. He cooked it over a medium-low heat and I swear to you, the difference was in the taste. The mushrooms had a nice richness to go with the crispy edges that just upped the taste factor on this dish by…a lot. I might be biased, though.

When the mushrooms have reached the done-ness you prefer, add the Beyond burger back to the skillet and toss in minced garlic.

That’s it.

Okay well not totally, but the only thing left to do is make the sauce and it was also pretty simple.

Hoisin sauce, vegan Worcestershire, cornstarch, tomato paste and Shaoxing vinegar. Oh, and water. Mix it in a bowl and toss it over the mushroom mix and let simmer. When the pasta is ready add it straight from the water into the sauce. Stir until blended and it’s time to nom-nom.

There is one thing left to talk about: the spice. I always prefer my dishes on the spicier side but he can only handle so much and there was about a tablespoon of spicy Romanian pepper paste in it and it worked well because it’s way too salty on it’s own, but its the perfect thing to finish off a dish…if your tongue can handle it.

What are you cooking while you’re at home? ARE you cooking more or eating quick & easy?

Spicy Asian Tofu & Broccoli (AKA Vegan beef & broccoli)

When I’m in a bind or a rut, Asian is my go-to cuisine. Udon, Soba or Ramen noodles? Yes please. A little bit of Thai Curry? Fo sho! Pho? Gimme some more!

But sometimes you want something simple. Something easy. And sometimes you find the perfect head of broccoli and you know exactly what you want to make with it. Enter a dish I haven’t eaten or thought about since the funky Asian joint in the small town I grew up in America. Beef & Broccoli.

This is by no means my favorite dish in the vast world of Asian cuisine but it is something I’ve always loved because, broccoli. I’ve always been a fan and this is one of the few dishes where they give you loads of it. Not just a few florets inside a stir-fry, I’m talking enough broccoli to make you worry about noises for the rest of the night.

The thing I love about this dish is that it isn’t just easy, it’s pretty quick to make as well.

What you’ll need: TVP (or textured soya protein), Broccoli (as much of it as you can stand), Garlic, Ginger, Scallions, Rice, Soy sauce & Korean chili flakes.

Feel free to add onion or bell peppers or any other vegetables you want, I was just really in the mood for something simple and delicious.

Don’t be afraid to use the stalk of the broccoli either. You might have to peel some of the tough outer skin but it’s totally edible and pretty delicious. In fact, I’m thinking of testing out some vegan broccoli chips sometime in the near future so stay tuned!

The key to any good vegan beef & broccoli is the sauce. You’ll need soy sauce, corn starch (or whichever starch you’re most comfortable using), rice wine vinegar, sesame oil or Chinese black vinegar. Choose wisely and don’t be afraid to test out new styles….that’s how good things happen on a plate!

You can add rice or noodles to this dish for a different flavor or texture, and pair it with something cold like an icy beer or a fun cocktail. Either way, enjoy your vegan beef & broccoli with a smile & a beverage.

What’s your favorite takeout dish to recreate at home?