13 November 2010

Use Your Noodle!

I was never a fan of noodle dishes when I ate at Chinese restaurants. Why would I get lo mein when I could have sweet and sour chicken? I am also not the biggest fan of soup so would avoid those dishes like the plague. Now that I no longer delight in chicken, it was time to give serious thought to noodles. Right off the bat I love the look of udon noodles, like thicker, soft spaghetti. Second, the brand I bought was fully cooked and came in two packages so I didn't need to cook more than what I needed for myself. (I'm kicking myself right now because I can't find the picture of the package!) The finished product of this lightly fried dish was heaven and I was so happy to have some leftover for lunch the next day. It re-heated very well in the microwave.

I've adapted this recipe from "The Kind Diet" with my changes in green. [side note: the following pictures reflect the recipe as written with a few additions. I did not limit the paprika as I suggest you do]

Fried Udon Noodles
(serves 2)

1 8-oz package udon noodles
2 T olive oil
2 c sliced green cabbage
1 c half-moon onion slices
2 t finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 T sweet paprika (1 T or 2 t paprika, depending on your taste)
1 T low-sodium Tamari
salt & pepper to taste
chopped parsley to garnish

1. Cook udon noodles as per package directions and set aside. (This is where I used the Tamari. I think I will heat them in water first instead so they don't fry as long, then add the Tamari to the cabbage when I add the onions).

2. Heat 1 T oil in large skillet or wok over medium heat. (I'm so excited, I just got a wok at IKEA for $4!!! I can't wait to use it next time). Add cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender, about 15 minutes. Add a teaspoon or so of water to the pan if the cabbage begins to stick or burn.

3. Heat the remaining oil over medium-high in a separate pan. Add onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika. Cook until onions are translucent, again add a teaspoon of water if the onions start to stick. (This may be hard to tell when the onions are ready. The paprika really coats those suckers! I would give it about 5-8 minutes). 

3. Add onion mixture to the cabbage and stir to combine. Add drained noodles and toss together until heated through. Sprinkle with parsley and serve!

I really shouldn't have put this in a red bowl, but you get the idea. It was so delicious!! This is a great recipe for Meatless Monday or a quick dinner.

06 November 2010

Vegan MOFO

So, it's Vegan MOFO (Month of Food) and bloggers all around the world are participating. As a vegan flirt and lazy food blogger (really, I think I would post more if I had the internet at home, but it's a real pain in the tukus to upload, transfer, download, load, etc. etc. etc.). Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yea, so for the above reasons I am not participating. I am trying to eat more vegan meals this month and so far so good. I promise to post some of my delicious creations very soon!

One of my favorite bloggers, An Opera Singer in the Kitchen is participating and she posted a really cool survey that I am totally stealing. I changed some of the questions to reflect a vegetarian lifestyle and not just vegan. Thanks!!!

1. What is one food you thought you’d miss when you went vegetarian, but don’t?
Steak. I thought I would miss it more than anything but it's the weird things I miss, like hot dogs.

2. What is a food or dish you wouldn’t touch as a child, but enjoy now?
Anything with veggies! I only liked green beans, carrots, and ice berg lettuce. Period. Now, I eat all kinds of interesting things like asperegus (in small quantities), avocados, cabbage, radishes, parsnips, etc.
3. What vegan dish or food you feel like you should like, but don’t?
Vegan cheese, except Daiya but that's only good for pizzas or quesadillas or where ever it can be melted. This is one of the reasons I am not vegan.
4. What beverage do you consume the most of on any given day?

Water or pomegranet cranberry juice

5. What dish are you famous for making or bringing to gatherings?

I don't know! I think I'm just famous for bringing something homemade.

6. Do you have any self-imposed food rules (like no food touching on the plate or no nuts in sweets)?

Oh, I'm sure there are a lot I just can't think of. I am still nervous about a few veggies like beets and Brussel sprouts. I don't like nuts in desert (though the vegan brownies at Spiral Diner are amazing!)
7. What’s one food or dish you tend to eat too much of when you have it in your home?

Fudge. Or at least that's what I'm guilty of eating right now!

8. What ingredient or food do you prefer to make yourself despite it being widely available prepackaged?

Pizza. I love homemade pizza!
9. What ingredient or food is worth spending the extra money to get the good stuff?

10. Are you much of a snacker? What are your favorite snacks?

I try not to keep a lot of snacks around but it's usually a piece of candy or something. Thankfully, I can easily eat just a few spoonfuls of ice cream or gelato, or just a couple pieces of fudge.
11. What are your favorite vegan/veggie pizza toppings?

Field Roast Italian Sausage. I am also in love with marinated artichoke hearts on pizza. yum!
12. What is your favorite vegetable? Fruit?

Green Beans and apples.
13. What is the best salad dressing?

It changes. I eat a lot less Ranch dressing now that I'm vegetarian which is weird. Maybe it's just that I've grown up. I usually do a simple Balsamic with oil, or French dressing, or homemade Mustard Shallot dressing.
14. What is your favorite thing to put on toasted bread?

American Cheese! Honey is a close second.
15. What kind of soup do you most often turn to on a chilly day or when you aren’t feeling your best?

Okay, I think I can answer one of the above questions better now. I am not a soup fan. Growing up soup always meant you were sick. Now, I like it every once and a while and I always keep some on hand, but I never really go for it. That being said, Whole Foods makes an amazing Roast Garlic Potato soup that I really like with crostini.

16. What is your favorite cupcake flavor? Frosting flavor?

Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Icing.
17. What is your favorite kind of cookie?

Chocolate Chocolate Chip (vegan)

18. What is your most-loved weeknight meal?

Tempeh Piccatta (converted from "The Kind Diet")
19. What is one dish or food you enjoy, but can’t get anyone else in your household to eat?

It's just me so none! Though, I'm nervous about my birthday this year. Where can I go that my parents will also enjoy??
20. Favorite non-dairy milk?

So Delicious Coconut Milk Unsweetend. It is yummy in oatmeal, eggs, deserts, anything. I'm still having a problem drinking it straight, but what are you gonna do?
21. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?

Disaster? Failure? I know none of these things! (Although, as much as I love to make curry, I don't like that my apartment smells like it for days afterward)
22. Favorite pickled item?

Pickles! I'm also on the hunt for an inexpensive Kimchi.
23. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?

Apples, eggs, and black bread
24. Fondest food memory from your childhood?

I loved watching my Dad cook. He and my mother had completely different styles. He never used a recipe and rarely measured anything. The whole house would smell great while he was concocting something new.
25. Favorite vegan ice cream?

I like gelato. So Delicious Coconut Water gelato in Lemonaid is wonderful!
26. Most loved kitchen appliance?

Is it lame to pick my rubber spatula? It's perfect for flipping and mixing and stirring. I heart it.
27. Spice/herb you would die without?

Shallots. I am obsessed.
28. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?

Strawberry Rhubarb
29. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?

Enchilada's with seitan and peppers. My best friend couldn't believe they were vegetarian!
30. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?

Tempeh. I'll change my answer to seitan when I learn how to make it from scratch!

31. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?

I love breakfast. I only really cook it on my days off so it's a real treat. I also love to make nibbly bits for parties.
32. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.

Frozen veggies and fruit, puff pastry, Quorn Turk'y Roast
33. What’s on your grocery list?

Food grade lavender blossoms. I think I'll have to special order them and it bums me out.
34. Favorite grocery store?

Whole Foods or Central Market
35. Name a recipe you’d love to make vegetarian, but haven’t yet.

City Chicken- a pan fried veal dish my Dad makes
36. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa’s because I know you check it everyday).
Some days I feel like that's all I read! I like An Opera Singer in the Kitchen, C'est la Vegan, and Kirsten's Kitchen
37. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?

Vegan chocolate chips are awesome. Also, Oreo's are now vegan!

38. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?

I bought this crazy salt that I still haven't used. It's a really pretty lavender colour and smells divine! I think I'll use it in my next egg dish. I also finally bought liquid smoke and my Boca burgers thank me!

03 November 2010

It's Pronounced Nj-okie

Is there something better than gnocchi on the planet? Okay, that may be a totally false statement but it doesn't detract for the fact that I love these little Italian potato dumplings. I've always wanted to make them at home but they seemed labor intensive, not to mention space intensive. Lucky me to discover you can by pre-made gnocchi at better food stores. These came from Central Market and were chosen for the soul reason that there were more ingredients I recognized and the Nutritional label was a bit better (in terms of salt, fat, etc).

They were also super simple to make, though if you are trying gnocchi for the first time it could be tricky. It's hard to tell when these suckers are ready! I topped mine with some sauteed garlic and homemade pesto. So yummy!

What to do with leftovers? I combined them with a bit more olive oil, cheese (Italian blend) and topped with breadcrumbs to bake at about 350 for about 10 minutes or until the cheese was melted and the bread crumbs crisp. Pretty yummy. I would have loved a bit more sauce in the baked version and will probably make a light, vegan white sauce next time. If only I had white wine on hand that night...