Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, International vegan cuisine, Noodles, oil free vegan recipes, Salads, Sides, Vegan

Vegan Banana Blossom “Meat” & Hong Kong Style Noodles w/ Crunchy Vegan Side Salad

Yep, here we are again back in my vegan kitchen with noodles on the menu. I know what you’re thinking, does this chick eat anything other than noodles? The answer is yes, I do eat plenty of other grains but Asian cuisine is my favorite and I love to experiment with it.

And I love to eat noodles.

It’s somewhat of a comfort food for me in that it is the perfect backup when I’m testing out a new recipe because noodles make everything better. If I screw it up, at least we’re having noodles, right?

So there are noodles but there are also banana blossoms. Don’t judge because I know what you’re thinking, here we go with another of those specialty ingredients that are impossible for normal vegans to find. I would have said the same thing, except I was just browsing the Asian section of Kaufland and happened up these canned banana blossoms in water. Of course I grabbed them, because all these vegan chefs have been making everything out of it from vegan fish to vegan chicken and I was curious to try it out.

But deep frying? Not for me, please and thank you. I decided to keep it simple and go with a sauteed version that does still serve as a vegan meat alternative, but subtly so.

And this dish is the end result.

Delicious vegan noodles with banana blossoms

This vegan dish is easy to make and it feels as if it takes a lot more time than it does, which means its a great way to impress vegans and non-vegans alike!

Continue reading “Vegan Banana Blossom “Meat” & Hong Kong Style Noodles w/ Crunchy Vegan Side Salad”
Posted in Asian Food, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Vegan

Easy Vegan Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts Recipe

When it comes to Brussels sprouts there are usually two types of people: those who love Brussels sprouts and those who have bad taste. Hahaha, just kidding! Seriously though if you have a love-hate relationship with Brussels sprouts, I have a easy vegan recipe that is guaranteed to change your mind.

It’s Brussels sprouts season here in Romania and pretty much around the world, which means there’s plenty of time to experiment and find a way to eat Brussels sprouts that you absolutely love.

Why?

For starters this cruciferous vegetable can help you with health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease. It can also help stave off many different types of cancer. And I mean who doesn’t love baby cabbage?

I personally love Brussels sprouts and this week I found a new (to me) recipe to challenge my husband and change the way we think about Brussels sprouts. Kung Pao Brussels sprouts is a fun twist on a Chinese takeout favorite that is totally vegan, super flavorful and really easy to make.

Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts recipes

So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Continue reading “Easy Vegan Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts Recipe”
Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, Grains, International vegan cuisine, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Sweet & Sour Vegan Cauliflower

Hey there my fellow vegans and vegan-curious readers!

One of the things I like to do when it comes to vegan takeout recipes at home, is to make a few compromises. Instead of choosing vegan meat alternatives like TVP, vegan beef or seitan, is to go totally plant based and vegetable based to minimize my calorie intake.

If you’re interested, check out my General Tso’s Soy Strips, or  Takeout at Home for the Lazy Vegan or the Mongolian Tofu recipe.

I know, I know, it sounds obsessive if you’ve never struggled with weight problems in the past, but now that I know what I did so wrong for so many years, I refuse to repeat that behavior. So instead of sweet sour vegan chicken, I chose sweet and sour cauliflower.

Why?

Cauliflower is super satisfying and it takes on a variety of flavors really, really well. It’s the perfect vessel for a dish that’s full of flavor. If you’d rather eat a shoe than cauliflower, do your thang. Just switch out cauliflower for any other vegan main dish you desire.

Now, let’s get into this Sweet & Sour Vegan Cauliflower recipe.

Easy vegan cauliflower recipes

You can cook this recipe in the oven or on the stovetop, and if you’re really feeling energetic, you can fry the cauliflower first and toss it in the sweet and sour sauce.

The choice is always yours, it’s just a matter of what you feel like doing in the kitchen!

Continue reading “Sweet & Sour Vegan Cauliflower”
Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, International vegan cuisine, Salads, Vegan

Vegan Sushi-Style Salad

As much as I love when the weather turns warm, it’s always kind of a daunting task to find things to make for lunch that are calorie friendly, cold-ish and not salad.

Not that I have anything against salad, you know, it is one of the dishes I love and eat most frequently. You can check out some of my favorite salad recipes here, here and here. But the truth is that a girl needs a little variety in her life to switch things up, ya know? And no matter how many different ways you make salad, something other than dark leafy greens and tomatoes and cucumbers needs to go in my tummy.

Anyway on this particular day I was feeling a little bit creative so I went a little crazy with this idea of a sushi style salad in that it is sushi-like but not actually sushi.

And it began with the idea of a soy sauce and wasabi style salad dressing. Weird, right?

I know.

But here we are, vegan sushi salad.

Quick & easy sushi salad

Change up any of the ingredients you like or don’t like, or add some vegan ingredients I don’t have access to like vegan salmon or something similar and tag me on it.

Continue reading “Vegan Sushi-Style Salad”
Posted in Asian Food, International vegan cuisine, Italian, Noodles, Vegan

Vegan Bulgogi Ramen Bolognese

Sometimes you get a very specific craving for a dish and it might not exist yet or make any sense but you really want it. So what do you do?

Hack it, of course!

There’s been no secrets here regarding my love of Asian food and my even greater love of the almighty noodle. I’ve made Gochujang Spiced Vegan Chicken, Mushrooms & Rice, Vegan Meatball Coconut Curry & Noodles, and even Asian Fusion Risotto. One of my favorite vegan Asian recipes, and most popular, is the Sushi Salad Bowl, so I guess you could say I’m a bit obsessed.

Obsessed and proud of it, thank you very much.

But that all brings me to the point of today’s post and recipe. I had a craving for Bolognese but I also wanted Ramen noodles so I wondered to myself, how can I achieve combining these two things while keeping it healthy and vegan and delicious. My first step was to hit up the ol’ Google Machine to see what kind of ingredient substitutions I needed to make for the Bolognese ingredients.

My second step? Making sure I had those substitutions or something close to it so that I could make it NOW. This is the result. *Gong Gong*.

I don’t know, I felt like the Law & Order gongs were appropriate right here, or maybe I’m just stoked that the OG Law & Order is back on television. 🙂

Vegan Bulgogi Bolognese with Ramen recipe.

So I’m going to tell you right off the bat that the ingredients list is intimidating but only at first glance. Stick with me and you won’t be disappointed.

Continue reading “Vegan Bulgogi Ramen Bolognese”
Posted in Asian Food, International vegan cuisine, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Healthy Vegan Takeout: No Delivery Required ~ Teriyaki Tofu w/Sauteed Kale & Rice

Can you tell that I have a deep and abiding love for Asian food? Maybe it was the Mongolian Tofu that gave it away? Or the Kung Pao Cauliflower? It could just be the wealthy of curry recipes from Aloo Keema to Vegan Meatball Coconut Curry. Either way, it’s safe to say that I’m in love with this varying cuisine and since I’ve been in Romania for a few years now (thanks pandemic), I have been without any Asian-Vegan takeout options.

When life provides you with zero takeout options you know what you have to do.

Make it yourself!

That’s right folks, we have another vegan takeout recipes, and this time it’s healthy. Well, healthy-ish. And easy.

Oh so, easy.

Vegan takeout recipes – Tofu Teriyaki (tvp) & rice.

This recipes follows my simple yet healthy equation for lazy vegan meals too. Grab a protein, a grain and a big ol’ heap of veggies and call it done. Raid your spice cabinet and make whatever cuisine type you desire.

Continue reading “Healthy Vegan Takeout: No Delivery Required ~ Teriyaki Tofu w/Sauteed Kale & Rice”
Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, International vegan cuisine, Noodles, Plant Based, Vegan

Fire Noodles & Mongolian Style Tofu

These days I’m loving the mix & match meals that my partner and I have been enjoying. What is a ‘mix & match’ meal, you ask?

Easy, it’s a meal that can actually be two separate meals but you decide to put’em together to create something vegan and delicious. Some people, fancier people than me, might call it fusion but it’s not meant to be a modern statement on any particular cuisine type or anything like that, just a way for the greedy vegan in you to enjoy two things at once.

My hubs wanted Mongolian style vegan beef and fire noodles, and he asked which one would be easier to make and since he was so sweet to ask…I made them both.

The recipe name might not be pretty and to be honest, my photos leave A LOT to be desired. But what you really want to know is, was it delicious?

Hell yeah, it was!

You might think that making two separate dishes is more time consuming, but it’s not. Well, not as long as you do a little bit of prep work.

Step one: Gather your ingredients

I made enough for two adults who eat proper portion sizes, so use that as your best estimate for how much to use, or sign up for Cronometer or any other calorie tracking app. If you’re not there yet, consult the nutrition information on the package.

Step Two: Hydrate the TVP
Obviously if you’re using tofu or seitan or tempeh, you can just follow those instructions, but I used TVP so if you do that, I recommend getting it going as early as possible.

Step Three: Cook ginger, onion, chili pepper, garlic & scallions
I didn’t use any oil, just a bit of water to get it going before seasoning, but cook your veggies how you like.

Step Four: Add TVP to air fryer
I wanted the soy to be nice and crispy before adding it to the vegetables and sauce, if you want it less crispy, drain the TVP and toss it right in once the vegetables are done.

Step Five & Six: Make the SAUCE
The Mongolian sauce is soy sauce based with brown sugar and a cornstarch slurry to thicken. I added chili peppers and Korean chili flakes to spice it up, but you can add ketchup or bbq sauce or premade teriyaki sauce if you like.

For the fire noodles, I used Korean chili paste, butter, tomato paste, spicy mustard and water to thin out the sauce just enough that it was easy to toss the ramen noodles with it.

and there you have it, a quick and easy vegan dinner that will satisfy your craving for noodles, Mongolian beef or just Asian food in general. Don’t be afraid to improvise and taste as you go along.

What’s your favorite vegan mix & match meal?

Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, Grains, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Sweet & Spicy Apricot Mushrooms & Tofu Vegan Dinner

I don’t know about you guys, but I love to cook. I don’t have a problem with blasting some music or listening to a true crime podcast while I get busy in the kitchen. Whether it’s making my favorite dessert from scratch–brownies–or any other thing that’s asked of me, I’ll do it.

But that doesn’t mean I’m all that creative in the kitchen. I will mix and match with the best of’em. For example, I recently made Jerk Cabbage Ramen and it was delicious, if I do say so myself. But vegan cooking isn’t my main job, or even my second job. It’s more of a passion so when it comes to creativity, I have no problem looking to others for inspiration.

One of my favorite vegan food blogs is Rabbit & Wolves because they have tons of unique vegan recipes and they’re just complicated enough to be challenging without pissing me off. So a few weeks back I was scrolling through recipes in search of something delicious and made with mushrooms, and most importantly, something I hadn’t eaten in the past, oh I don’t know, six months.

And that’s when I spotted it. Sticky. Apricot. Mushrooms.

Yep, you heard me right. I was like, “what?” And then I immediately knew what I wanted my partner to make on our next Midnight Tokyo Diner night. But when that night rolled around, there were no apricots and no apricot jam anywhere in the house, because who the heck keeps apricot jam on hand?

Continue reading “Sweet & Spicy Apricot Mushrooms & Tofu Vegan Dinner”
Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, Grains, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Vegan

Vegan Mushroom Mapo Tofu

If you’ve never heard of Mapo Tofu, then you are in for a real treat. I came across video by Wil Yeung on YouTube and you know what happened next? That’s right, it ended up on my plate a few days later!

For those of you not in the know, Mapo Tofu is a Chinese dish from the Sichuan province . It is delicious and spicy and pretty easy to make. And best of all? Easy to make completely vegan.

The key to this vegan version of mapo tofu is perfectly cooked crimini mushrooms. I like to start the mushrooms in the oven and finish’em off on top of the stove so you get that nice crispy earthy flavor on the outside and a nice bit of moisture on the inside.

Continue reading “Vegan Mushroom Mapo Tofu”
Posted in Asian Food, International vegan cuisine, Noodles, Plant Based, Vegan

Vegan Fusion: Falafel Ball Noodle Soup

When it comes to cuisine, I’d love to say that I have no rules. But I do. A lot, in fact. Except when I want something that goes against the rules, in which case I’m the first to proclaim that the evolution of cuisine always starts with someone doing something they aren’t “supposed” to do.

And you know what, I’m totally fine with that because sometimes you just want what you want, and in this day and age when so many of us are spending more time than ever in the house, less time eating out at restaurants and all that jazz, rules must be broken once in a while.

Or longer…whatever you prefer.

Speaking of, let me introduce you to a Pho Style falafel ball rice noodle soup, my own vegan contribution to the vegan fusion movement. (Is it a movement or am I making that up?)

Let’s start with the falafel balls because they went in the oven and they needed time to cook and crisp up.

Falafel Ball Ingredients:

Chickpeas (rinsed & drained & dried)
Scallion
Ginger
Garlic
Smoky & Spicy paprika

Place all the ingredients into a food processor until you get a crumbly mixture. If you’re not sure whether it’s crumbly enough, scoop some into your hands and press it together. If it sticks, it’s good. I recommend you pop it into the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes, but it’s not totally necessary.

Form into uniform balls, whatever size you prefer, and lay out on a baking sheet at 180c/375f for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown & crispy.

That’s it. Pretty easy, right?

For the soup, I started with another batch of waste free broth as the broth base.

You will also need: onion, bell pepper, garlic, mung bean sprouts, tomato paste, soybean paste coconut milk, soy sauce and Pad Thai rice noodles.

Start with a big pot and give the vegetables a light saute for a few minutes and then add soybean and tomato paste, stirring until everything looks kind of messy. Then it’s time to add the broth! Stir well until everything breaks apart and starts to resemble a soup. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until the flavors are what you want.

Cook the noodles according to the package and drop them in your bowl first. Top with broth & veggie mixture and then falafel balls and you are–technically–ready to put it in your belly.

But you can also add garnishes such as jalapeno peppers, basil leaves, lime juice, Sriracha & soy sauce.

And there you have it, my own little twist on vegan fusion food and Asian fusion although I guess it should be vegan Asian-Middle Eastern fusion? That’s a mouthful but not as much as this delicious soup, which I will totally add to the rotation, using all kinds of vegan ball varieties.