Potato kugel is a staple Ashkenazi dish that I’ve eaten many many times. But I don’t actually like it all that much. It’s always kind of bland and uninspiring, especially next to the triumph that is my grandma’s dairy dairy kugel. Still, for some reason I decided to make potato kugel recently. I found this recipe for crispy kugel (which actually translates to extra oil) on New York Times. Usually I cut down the oil in recipes, but I kept this about the same as what the recipe calls for. Totally worth it.
I adapted the recipe to make it low fodmap. I used onion oil instead of an onion. Then I added a bunch of chopped wild onions (green parts only) to the potatoes. The recipe doesn’t specify an amount of sale. I think I used 1.5 or 2 tsp table salt.
The dish came out so flavorful. I think it has more egg than the average kugel, which makes it more satisfying than most. This dish is an absolute winner. I’ll definitely keep it in my back pocket for guests. It’s easy and something everyone (but vegans) will like. Just be sure to have some greek yogurt or sour cream on hand when serving.
This recipe was inspired by a recipe from New York times, but I made a lot of changes to the flavor profile and the greens and also made it low fodmap. This was possibly the best rice dish I have ever made. So so good, super easy, and all in one pot. A great weeknight dish. It also keeps really well for leftovers. Here’s the recipe:
2 cups long-grain rice, such as jasmine or basmati (I used white basmati)
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 bunch wild onion or scallion, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated (I used the wild onion that grows in my yard)
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon ground dry turmeric
1/4-1/2 tsp grated fresh tumeric
1/4 tsp black pepper (or more to taste)
1(14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
3 strands of saffron
2 tsp kosher salt
2 bunches collard greens
1 lime, zested and juiced (keep zest and juice separate)
Rinse rice until water runs clear. Drain and set aside.
In a medium pot or Dutch oven, toast the coconut and sesame seeds over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. (Adjust heat as needed to prevent burning.) Transfer to a small bowl.
In the same pot, melt the coconut oil over medium-low. Add the scallion whites and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until as dark as possible without being burned (4-8 minutes)
Use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic and scallions (If you don’t need this to be low fodmap you can skip steps 3 and 4 and just add the scallions and garlic in with the coconut oil in step 5)
Add the ginger and fresh tumeric to the oil. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the ginger is cooking, bloom the saffron in small bowl of very hot water.
Add the dry tumeric and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 1-2 minutes
Add the rice and stir together. Cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, saffron with its water, and 1/2 tsp salt. Fill the empty can of coconut milk with water and add it to the pot. Give the mixture a good stir to separate any lumps and bring to a boil over medium-high.
Once boiling, cover, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
As rice cooks, remove and discard the tough stems of the collards. Cut or tear the leaves into bite-size pieces.
When the rice has cooked for 10 minutes, arrange the greens on top of the rice in an even layer and add final 1/2 tsp salt.
Cover, and cook until the rice is tender, 5 more minutes. In the last minute of cooking, stir in the lime zest.
Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 5 minutes.
Stir in lime juice, coconut-sesame mixture, and the scallion greens.
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
This recipe is from page 162 of Fresh Food Fast. I don’t actually make this recipe as intended, as tostadas. But the black bean seitan mixture is an all time favorite for me. About as meaty, fulfilling, and indulgent as vegetarian recipes get. I skip the tostada shells and just make the filling with cherry tomato salsa on the side. I make it with homemade seitan and dried black beans. You’re welcome. You’ll be eating this all week.
I’ve made hummus at home tons of time. It’s always good, never great. Then I ventured into this walnut hummus recipe from page 35 of Fresh Food Fast and…oh I couldn’t get enough. No more hummus leftovers growing mold in the back of my fridge. I think the secret of the amazing flavor is in toasting the walnuts before adding them to the hummus. It creates a surprising warmth of flavor that I don’t get in standard sesame hummus. I try to avoid using the oven in summer. I used the toaster oven to toast the walnuts and was happy with the results. I’ll definitely be making this again.
This recipe is from page 161 of Veganomicon. I’ve only made it once because the crust is a lot of work, but it is SOOOO good. One of my all time favorite recipes. The veggies, the crust, the seitan, I think about it often. One of these days I’ll make it again.