Crispy Tofu, Smashed Potatoes & Mushrooms with Carrot Green Pesto

Some days you know exactly what you want for vegan dinner goodness and then there are those days when you’re just hungry but you have no idea what you want. We’ve all been there and where I live vegan takeout isn’t really an option so we have to do something.

Oh, the pressure!

So when one of us doesn’t actually know what we want for dinner but it’s our night to choose, we’ll just toss out a few ingredients, like say; pesto, mushrooms and potatoes. From there, the world is the cook’s #vegan oyster. You can do whatever you want as long as it contains the aforementioned ingredients.

This vegan dinner recipe is the result of one those nights.

Crispy Tofu, Smashed Potatoes & Mushrooms with Carrot Green Pesto

The other great this about this is that it is a super quick and easy vegan recipe, with most of the work being done by kitchen appliances. But before we get to that, let’s get to the ingredients.

Chinese Takeout at Home for the Lazy Vegan

Most of the time, especially in this strange year we’ve all found ourselves caught in, your desire to have vegan takeout is prompted more by convenience than by taste. Right?

When I lived in Los Angeles and, to a certain extent Germany, there were more than a few takeout places that just had damn good food. But, more often than not it’s the case that the best selling point of the vegan takeout is that I don’t have to cook it. Which doesn’t say much good about you or the restaurant.

But the absolute best thing about 2020 is the abundance of options when it comes to vegan food choices. You no longer have to make your own vegan eggroll wrappers and hope for the best, now you can just buy frozen vegan eggrolls, vegan potstickers, dim-sum, or whatever your favorite vegan Chinese takeout is, and make it yourself!

And that’s just what we did. Quick and easy vegan fried rice with tofu and vegetable gyoza.

We kept it simple with vegetable fried rice and vegan potstickers, but if you’re in search of more, don’t skip the frozen section of your local market because even here in Romania, they are always adding new vegan options to their shelves.

Is Vegan Sushi A Thing?

Prior to becoming a vegan, I went through sushi phases. When I was a teenage girl reading romance novels and dreaming of practicing law in New York City, a big part of the dream was eating sushi with my girlfriends. And I did enjoy it.

For about two weeks.

There was something about the blend of seaweed (nori), soy sauce and raw fish that absolutely did NOT agree with my taste buds. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to actually like the taste of sushi, which went a long way in re-crafting my vision of the future. As you can imagine, when I went vegan a few years ago, I stopped thinking about sushi altogether, assuming that it would no longer have a place in my life.

So imagine my surprise when we happened upon a sushi restaurant that had two all important words for any traveling vegan, vegan options.

I really wanted edamame and miso soup because miso is one of my top 5 all time favorite soups, but there were three different vegan sushi rolls so I knew I’d get to try them because my husband used to love sushi.

I’ll admit that this miso had a lot more ingredients than I was accustomed to, including mushrooms and sesame seeds. It was still delicious, if different, but I can usually count on miso soup being a satisfying, low calorie food option. Not so much with at least a full tablespoon of sesame seeds.

I didn’t need to add anything to the soup, not even soy sauce, which in my book is considered a win.

The edamame beans were…fantastic. Perfectly steamed (I guess) and served with pink Himalaya sea salt, they were tasty and fun to eat.

They were warm this time, which is the first time I’ve ever eaten them warm. There’s a nice restaurant in Culver City, CA that serves the most amazing chilled edamame. It was the first place I’d ever had them and by far, my favorite way to eat them. But Sushi Han in Ploiesti, came in a distant second.

So what exactly does vegan sushi contain?

Good question.

The red you see in the photo above is tomato and bell pepper. It’s a “Vega Roll” with cucumber, tomato and lettuce sushi roll, with some red bell peppers thrown in for texture and flavor. It wasn’t my favorite because there was also avocado on it, but the Hubs liked it. My favorite was the little green topped ones you see in the left corner of the photo–Hosomaki Hiashi–made with rice, seaweed and something called chuka which was slightly sweet, very green and damn tasty.

The other was avocado and rice which I didn’t even bother to try because…avocado.

The options were underwhelming for me but the chuka roll was delicious as was the soup and the edamame.

There was a noodle dish because we can’t forget my love of Asian noodles, but it was greasy and the Udon noodles were actually spaghetti. Overall it wasn’t worth a photo or mentioning, which is something that was never true before when it comes to sushi. Usually the hubs and I have to compromise when he’d want sushi. We’d have to find a place that did a good teriyaki or udon too, so we’d both be happy.

Now, thanks to a vegan lifestyle, we can both enjoy sushi.