Rice Noodles with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Mint

Finding a recipe that both Ian and I can eat right now is nearly impossible, since we are both dealing with very restrictive medically prescribed diets. Add my vegetarian diet, his gluten free diet, plus both of our lactose intolerance, and there’s nearly nothing we can both eat. I was intrigued by this dish since it uses rice noodles instead of flour noodles, but incorporates Italian flavors rather than the usual Asian flavors I associate with rice noodles.

I’ve made it twice now. The first time I did quite a bit of tweaking based on what we had in the house and Ian’s restrictions. The second time I stuck to the recipe. I liked my first version much better. Both Ian and I really loved it and had multiple additional helpings. I think the original recipe is too low on veggies and I like a basil/mint mixture better than mint alone. I’ve also found it’s much better with cherry tomatoes than with large tomatoes or canned. Whatever version you make, this is a simple, quick, weeknight dish. I made simple pan fried tofu for a protein on the side and Ian ate it with chicken. Here’s my adjusted version:

  • 2tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2garlic cloves (to taste), minced (optional)
  • 1.5 pound zucchini, cut in ¼-inch dice
  • 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt to taste (I use about 1.5 tsp)
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 7 to 8ounces thin rice sticks
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, torn

I follow the instructions from the original recipe. If I leave out the garlic for Ian, I just skip that step. I honestly didn’t notice a big flavor difference between having the garlic and not having it. I think the key to the flavor of this recipe is really high quality ingredients, since it’s so simple. Great olive oil and sweet cherry tomatoes really make the dish. I also like spaghetti style rice noodles better than the fettuccine ones for this dish because they have more bite.

Tomato Salad with Cucumber and Ginger

Since my garden is overflowing with cucumbers and tomatoes right now, I’ve been looking for salad recipes to keep up with the onslaught. This very simple Asian salad recipe seemed promising since it would use both veggies as well as my end-of-season basil.

Indeed, this was a real winner. After the mushy cucumber disaster of the cucumber avocado salad, I just made the dressing ahead of time and chopped the cucumber and tomato I needed for a single meal. This strategy worked well. I used Thai basil, which was quite yummy as well. I added Marinated Asian Tofu from Veganomicon to make this a meal. And voila! A very simple tasty fresh lunch was born. I’ll definitely make this again next summer.

Corn and Green Bean Salad with Tomatillo Dressing

I didn’t plant tomatillos this year. But two volunteer plants sprouted up and they have been super prolific. So I found myself with more tomatillos than knew what to do with and looking for something other than enchiladas to do with them. I found this recipe for a summer salad with tomatillo dressing on the New York times.

This was super easy to make, and really yummy. Since it uses the broiler, it doesn’t heat up the house too much. I left out the cheese and found I didn’t miss it. Since I’m eating low FODMAP right now, I used half a deseeded jalepeno, which added flavor but not spice. Again, I didn’t find that the lack of spice messed up the recipe at all. This is definitely something I’ll make again. I was eating it as a main course and found their serving sizes were off. I doubled the recipe and I think I got 3 or 4 meals out of it. So next time if I want to eat this all week I’ll make it as a side or triple the recipe. I found adding avocado made it more of a meal and was extra tasty.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014218-corn-and-green-bean-salad-with-tomatillo-dressing?action=click&module=RecipeBox&pgType=recipebox-page&region=tomatillo&rank=0

Sesame Cucumber Salad

It’s the time of year when my garden is overflowing with cucumbers. I made this impromptu salad and brought it to a communal dinner. It was quite a hit and I enjoyed the leftovers the next day as a snack.

1/2 inch piece of ginger, graded

3 cloves garlic, pressed or grated

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sea salt

3 large shallots

4 medium cucumbers

2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

  1. Combine the ginger, garlic, oil, salt, and vinegar.
  2. Cut the cucumbers into quarters lengthwise, thinly slice
  3. Thinly slice the shallots
  4. Combine and vegetables
  5. Add the sesame seeds.
  6. Let sit for at least an hour before serving.

Vegan Quinoa Caesar

This recipe was next up on my list of salads to try from my new cookbook Isa Does It. I was really intrigued by the idea of a vegan caesar salad made heartier by some extra ingredients. In addition to lettuce and dressing, Isa adds tempeh croutons, avocado, and quinoa to make this salad not just a full meal, but truly indulgent. She also adds some arugula to make the salad a bit healthier.

I really really liked this salad. Once I made it, it was all I wanted to eat all week. I actually had it for lunch and dinner on the same day! The dressing was delicious and the smoky flavor of the tempeh was complex and satisfying.

I will definitely make this again. The only change I will make is to increase the romaine a bit. I thought the quinoa, romaine, arugula recipe was just a bit too heavy on the arugula and quinoa. I think I’d use 10 ounces of romaine instead of the 8 called for by the recipe and 5 cups of quinoa instead of 6.

This link is the same as far as the salad ingredients and dressing from the cookbook. But it exchanges the marinated tempeh for breaded tofu.

Stewed Black Eyed Peas

I wanted to make something really simple to enjoy my last black eyed pea harvest of the season. I looked at a recipe for stewed black eyed peas on the New York Times and, using this recipe as my inspiration, made this recipe for stewed black eyed peas:

2 cups Fresh Black Eyed Peas

6 cups water

2 Leek Tops (Green Part Only)

1 onion, cut in quarters

Tsp salt

2 garlic cloves, peeled

I put everything in my small slow cooker and cooked on high for 5 hours. The result was delicious. Flavorful, soothing, and with surprising depth of flavor. This is my favorite black eyed pea recipe I made all summer.

There was enough broth to use in another recipe. I used it in this one, and I suspect that’s the reason that the recipe was so flavorful. https://nimbleveggies.wordpress.com/2021/11/15/farro-with-mushrooms

Farro with Mushrooms

I was looking for a recipe to use up the remainder of the mushrooms I had bought for a recipe I’d made the week before. I came upon this recipe on the New York Times and was intrigued. I used the mushrooms I had (fresh cremini and chanterelle and dried shitake) instead of those that were called for. I used half white and half red wine since I ran out of white.

Dried shitake was not a great choice. They were too chewy for the recipe. The chanterelles worked well. Even with all my changes and the odd dried mushroom choice, the recipe was very good. It is sort of reminiscent of a risotto with farro, but much faster to make since you add the liquid all at once. The flavor is really deep and rich and the fresh parsley adds complexity. I only used 5 cups of broth instead of the 6 that were called for. I’ll be making this again.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1013008-farro-with-mushrooms?action=click&module=RecipeBox&pgType=recipebox-page®ion=all&rank=5

Note: I used the broth from this recipe. I think it’s one of the main reasons the recipe came out so flavorful. https://nimbleveggies.wordpress.com/2021/11/16/stewed-black-eyed-peas/

Hummus with Fennel and Golden Beets

I was looking for a recipe that would feature my homegrown beets without overpowering them. I saw this recipe from page 76 of The Greek Vegetarian Cookbook and was sold immediately. I love fennel and the pomegranate seeds sounds yummy too. Since I’m lactose intolerant I left out the fennel and didn’t miss it. The recipe came out really well. I’ll definitely be making it again. It was super yummy, healthy, and looked pretty too. The only issue was that I ran out of beets before everything else. Next time I make it I’ll add an extra beet. The recipe is intended to be paired with chickpea hummus. I used a the walnut hummus recipe from Fresh Food Fast. The pairing was very good.

Masoor Dal

I have a very old, well-loved 1981 copy of Madhur Jeffry’s World of the East Vegetarian Cooking. The pages are yellow and a whole chunk of the book has come unbound. Yet, it’s such a standby for me that I’d never think of replacing it. This week I wanted to make masoor dal and turned to Madhur Jeffry. Her very simple recipe for massor dal on page 96 did not disappoint. The recipe only contains 8 ingredients but the result was so interesting and full of flavor I would never have known.

The original version is meant to be made on the stove, but I adapted it to go in my slow cooker. Instead of adding the ginger an tumeric immediately after the lentils started boiling, I let the lentil cook in my slow cooker for an hour before adding them. In total the lentils were in my slow cooker for about 4 hours. Instead of turning off the heat before adding the fried cumin seeds and dried red pepper in asefetida, I left the slow cooker on for another 10 minutes after adding them. I’ll be making this again.

1 cup massor dal

1 quarter-sized slice of fresh ginger

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp vegetable oil

pinch of asafetida

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 whole, hot dried peppers

Warm Green Beans and New Potatoes with Sliced Eggs and Grilled Onion

I was looking or a recipe to highlight my homegrown summer green beans. This recipe from page 102 of Fresh Food Fast fit the bill. I don’t love mustard, so I wasn’t sure how it would come out. But I have to say, I really liked it. It was fresh, filling, and wholesome, with a little bit of surprising flavor to boot. The new potatoes really added a level of indulgence that the average summer salad doesn’t have. It’s intended to be served warm, but I think I liked it even more cold. I’ll be making this again.

Update: I’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe:

I use 1 tbsp of oil instead of 3

I prefer to put the green beans in a bowl with the salt and then pour boiling water over them. The green beans remain crisper this way than by cooking them for 3 minutes as the recipe calls for.