After 6 months had passed on my one-year lease of The Veggies Chinese Takeout Cookbook by Kwoklyn Wan without me trying a single recipe, I picked out this recipe for Chinese Broccoli in Garlic Ginger Sauce on page 40 to accompany Crispy Tofu with Spring Onions. The recipe is easy and super fast (20 minutes tops).
I used conventional American broccoli since I didn’t have any Chinese broccoli on hand and added some asparagus from my garden as well. The asparagus wasn’t a perfect fit, but it was fine in the dish. I’m sure Chinese broccoli would have been even better, but conventional broccoli was good too. If I hadn’t added the asparagus, the recipe would have been low fodmap since I swapped the garlic for garlic oil.
This dish is super flavorful and would be great if you have broccoli and ginger in the house and not much time or energy to make dinner. It would also be great when you were just in the mood for some great Chinese broccoli. My one complaint about the dish was that it didn’t make enough. I’d definitely double it next time at least. I could have eaten so much of this.
I love mushrooms. But oysters are the only mushrooms that have been tested and deemed low fodmap by Monash University. So I haven’t had mushroom since last spring. I was at my local Asian market and was excited to see they were selling king oyster mushrooms. I had no idea what to do with them, but bought them anyways. When I got home and started searching online, I was surprised to find there weren’t a ton of king oyster recipes available. One thing I did see in several places were recipes that used king oysters as a substitute for scallops. This seemed intriguing. I made this recipe, but only the marinated scallops not the accompanying garlic sauce.
I liked but didn’t love the flavor and texture of these. I don’t imagine they’re anything like actual scallops. I just left them marinating in the fridge and then sauteed them as I wanted to eat them. I ate them over paella, which was a nice combo. Although I think risotto might have been better. I think they probably would have been even tastier with the garlic butter sauce, maybe I’ll try making that at some point.
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.
I fell in love with pho while living in D.C. A restaurant called Pho 14 in Columbia Heights serves a delicious vegetarian pho made with a broth made from fuji apples. After I moved to North Carolina I found myself craving that pho and unable to find anything like it. Most pho restaurants that attempt a vegetarian pho broth use something that tastes like mock chicken broth to me. Not at all what I was missing. I decided to try to make it myself. I started by googling “fuji apple pho recipe”. This took me to this blog https://southofparadise.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/vegetarian-pho-with-homemade-fuji-apple-broth/. The person writing it was in the same position as me. Trying to recreate a beloved restaurant meal without any recipe. Using this recipe as a starting place, I’ve been tinkering with the recipe for the last five years, adding in some elements from this recipe when it was published a few years ago https://food52.com/blog/19080-how-pho-genius-andrea-nguyen-makes-a-richer-vegan-broth.
Here is the result.
7 Fuji Apples (cut in half)
3 celery stocks
1 tsp coriander seeds
3 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
Put all the ingredients into an instant pot or a 6 quart slow cooker.
Fill it up with water, leaving 1-2 inches of space at the top
Cook on high (if your slow cooker has settings) for 10 hours
The idea behind this broth recipe is to make a concentrated broth so that it can be stores easily or combined with boiling water for a hot bowl of pho without having to microwave the broth. I put the broth in jars in the freezer and enjoy pho all season without having to constantly make more broth. I find that the right combination of water to broth is 1/3 broth 2/3 water.
Once you have the broth made, there’s only one more thing you need to make ahead of time before you’re ready for an almost instant delicious weeknight dinner: the tofu. I played around with various options for recreating the delicious deep fried tofu found in pho restaurants. I’ve actually decided that the best no deep-fry option is to bake the tofu. The tofu comes out crispy and tough. It’s not the same as restaurant tofu but it gives me the same textural satisfaction in the bowl. Here’s how I do it:
Preheat the oven to 425 Fahrenheit
Cut a block of medium tofu into 2/3 inch squares
Put 1 tsp of canola oil on a cookie sheet and spread it around.
Put the tofu on the cookie sheet and spread it around flipping it on all sides to make sure all sides get coated in oil
Cook the tofu, flipping it halfway through, until all sides are golden.
Now you’re ready for almost instant weeknight pho. Here’s how I do it. The proportions are for 1 large bowl of pho.
2/3 cup of pho broth, left out to room temperature
1 cup Broccoli, in bite size pieces
1/2 Carrot, cut into 1/4 inch slices
4 Dried mushroom, in bite size pieces
1/2 cup Vermicelli rice noodles
1/5 block cooked tofu
Lime or lemon juice
Boil 3 cups of water (I do this in a kettle)
Put rice noodles into a heat-proof large bowl or pot, breaking them up so that each piece is 2 inches long
Add the veggies to the bowl
Add 2 tsp of soy sauce to the bowl
Once the water is boiling, pour it into the bowl with the noodles and veggies
Let sit for 5-10 minutes, until everything is soft
While ingredients are soaking, boil another 1 1/3 cup water
Put the soft veggies and noodles, along with the tofu, into the bowl with the broth
Pour in the boiling water
Add lemon juice, hoison, siracha, basil, and bean sprouts as desired
I discovered Gado Gado a couple summers ago when I was looking for vegetarian Indonesian recipes. I love it because there it’s cool and fresh for hot summer days, while I’ll being very filling. It’s pretty much been a hit with everyone I’ve made it for, from my four-year-old niece to my brother’s Persian father-in-law. It was my mom’s number one request for my parent’s 50th anniversary party.
I use this recipe for the peanut sauce, but follow my own sense of what to do for the salad its self from reading a lot of different recipes. One note. This makes A LOT of peanut sauce. You can make the whole batch and freeze it. Otherwise I recommend cutting it in half, or possibly even in a quarter if you’re only making it for one or two people.
For the salad my favorite combination uses the following:
Vermicelli rice noodles
Shredded Chinese Cabbage
My favorite way to prepare the tofu is to bake it. I brush it with a small amount of oil, cut it into small cubes, and cook it in the oven, turning it over every 20 minutes or so until all sides are brown.
To cook the long beans and vermicelli, I boil a kettle of water and pour the boiling water over them, letting them sit in the boiling water for about three minutes before draining.
Everything else should be served raw.
In my experience the best ratio is as follows: 2/8 noodles, 1/8 tofu, 2/8 cooked veggies, 3/8 raw veggies
This recipe is from page 259 of Diet for a New World. I LOVE this recipe. I’ve made it a ton of times. You can pretty much put in whatever veggies you feel like, as long as you include the tomatoes (I used canned). I really like it with kale. The recipe says to cook the second round of veggies (broccoli plus whatever else) for 5 minutes, but I’ve found the broccoli ends up a bit overcooked this way. I recommend 4 minutes instead. The tahini broth is so indulgent and rich. And yet I feel healthy eating it because veggies and soup? Plus it only takes a few minute to make if you’ve already pre-cut the veggies. This is a winter staple for me.
This recipe from page 85 of Peter Barley’s Fresh Food Fast is a standby for me and a great way to use up a ton of zucchini from my garden. The mixture is super fast to make and can be premade, allowing for super fast dinner all week. I make a few adjustments to up the veggie factor and lower calories:
Black Beans: The original recipe calls for 2 cans or 3.5 cups of black beans. I make the recipe from dry beans and use 4 cups cooked.
Zucchini: The original recipe calls for 2 lbs zucchini, which should be about 4 cups pressed and shredded. I use 6 cups.
Cheese: The original recipes calls for 12 ounces Monterrey jack cheese. I use 8 ounces.
Tortillas: The recipe calls for flour. I use whole wheat.
My sister has transcribed the recipe on her blog the Captious Vegetarian. Here’s the link: