Vegan Chow Mein

This is a Cantonese-style chow mein, served on a bed of crispy fried noodles. Traditionally, one would use egg noodles, but here I’ve replaced that with thin rice noodles, to keep it vegan! As usual, not exactly authentic, but not too far off either.

Prep Time: ~45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp garlic, peeled and minced.
  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced.
  • 1 tsp crushed chili peppers.
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil.
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced.
  • 1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets.
  • 1 large handful snow peas, washed, with the ends trimmed off.
  • 2 bunches baby bok choy (or a small handful of cabbage), cut into thin strips, leaves separate from the stems.
  • 1 small handful water chestnuts, sliced if desired.
  • small handful green onions, finely sliced.
  • 3 tbsp vegan oyster sauce – this can be bought at some supermarkets, or if you’re feeling adventurous, make it yourself! Here is a pretty good recipe with ingredients that are pretty easy to get ahold of.
  • 1 tsp soy sauce.
  • 1 tsp sugar.
  • pinch of white pepper.
  • splash of water.
  • thin rice noodles (such as vermicelli).

Cooking Instructions:

Place a large frying pan or wok over medium heat with some vegetable oil in the bottom. When hot, toss in the ginger, garlic, and crushed chilis. Fry those for a few minutes, stirring often, until they become fragrant.

Next, add in the carrots and the broccoli, and cook until they begin to soften slightly. Add in the peas and bok choy stems, fry for a minute, then the bok choy leaves, water chestnuts, and green onions. Fry everything for a minute or two, then add in the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, pepper, and water. Stir to coat, then reduce the heat slightly until your noodles are ready.

Heat up another frying pan on medium-high heat with a splash of oil in it to fry off the noodles (you don’t have to fry them, but it makes the dish so much better!) Boil the noodles until just cooked, then drain them and splash them with a bit of cold water to prevent them from going soggy. Toss them in the frying pan and stir them often, cooking until they begin to go nice and crispy.

Scoop some noodles into a bowl, then top with the vegetables, and enjoy!

 

 

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Kale and Cauliflower Salad

Another salad that incorporates roasted vegetables. A little more effort than usual, but I find that mixing the salad while the roasted vegetables are still warm helps the kale tenderize a little bit more and taste better. This particular salad uses cauliflower, red peppers, and carrots – only the cauliflower is roasted, though!

Gluten-free
Serves 6
Prep time: ~30 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 8 large handfuls of chopped kale.
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced.
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets.
  • 2 large carrots, peeled if desired, finely grated.
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar.
  • 1/2 cup olive oil.
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard.
  • 1 tsp agave syrup.
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely grated.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper. Tumble all of your cauliflower florets onto the baking sheet, and season well with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until soft and cooked all the way through.

While the cauliflower cooks, it’s time to make the dressing. Mix together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, agave syrup, salt and pepper. You can blend everything together using an immersion blender, food processor, or standing blender, but you can also just mix it all by hand if you don’t mind the dressing being a little less smooth and uniform.

Once the cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. This is a good time to dice up your red pepper and grate your carrots.

When the cauliflower is mostly cooled, but still a little bit warm, place all of your kale into a large bowl and mix in the cauliflower. This will allow the kale to wilt down slightly and become tender and easier to eat. Add in the bell pepper and carrots, and mix those through as well.

Dress well and serve immediately, or serve with dressing on the side to allow everyone to add as much or as little as they like!

Mango and Red Cabbage Coleslaw

Coleslaw, at least the traditional creamy kind with mayonnaise, isn’t my favourite. But throw in some fresh fruit and dress it up with a vinaigrette instead, and I’m in heaven! This particular variety uses mango, green apple, red cabbage, and carrots.

Use as much or as little of the dressing as you like.

Raw
Gluten-free
Serves 6-8
Prep time: ~20 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ripe mango.
  • 1 head red cabbage
  • 2 large carrots, peeled if desired.
  • 1 red onion.
  • 2 green apples.
  • 1 large handful fresh mint.
  • 1 large handful fresh coriander.
  • 1 lime, juiced.
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice.
  • 2/3 cup olive oil.
  • 1 tbsp whole grain mustard.
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup.
  • 1 clove garlic.
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, about 2 cm square, peeled.

 

Cooking Instructions:

To make the dressing, place the ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, mustard, and maple syrup into a food processor/blender/use an immersion blender, and blend until combined.

Slowly stream in the olive oil until nicely emulsified. If you don’t feel like doing that, just do it by hand in a bowl.

Set the dressing aside. Slice the mango and the apple into thin strips. Use either a grater or a mandoline to shred the cabbage, red onion, and carrots. Chop the coriander and mint very finely.

Mix all of the vegetables in a large bowl, and add in the lime juice. Pour in the dressing and toss it all together.

Let sit in the fridge for a little while to let all the flavours mingle together, then serve!

Vegan Rice Bowl

Kind of similar to the Quinoa Black Bean Bowl I posted several months ago, this is a relatively easy recipe that can be tailored to your personal tastes!

I’ve included two variations of this style of bowl – one with brown rice, fried tofu, and fresh vegetables, and the other with a brown-and-wild rice medley with roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, and beans.

This recipe can be gluten-free if you use gluten-free soy sauce and substitute the flour for another gluten-free flour (I’ve used brown rice flour for this, and it works quite well).

Serves 6
Prep time: ~30 minutes for the tofu bowl, ~45 minutes for the sweet potato bowl.

Ingredients:

For the tofu bowl:

  • 200 g extra firm tofu.
  • 2 tsp sesame oil.
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice.
  • 2 tsp soy sauce.
  • 1 tsp grated ginger.
  • 1/2 – 1 cup flour, for coating the tofu.
  • pinch of black pepper.
  • 2 cups brown rice, rinsed.
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated into thin strips.
  • 2 large beets, peeled and grated into thin strips.
  • 1 bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow), sliced into very thin strips.
  • 6 large handfuls spinach (or other greens – bok choy would work nicely), washed.

For the sweet potato bowl:

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • 2 tsp Za’atar (Middle Eastern blend of herbs and sesame seeds), or other herbs.
  • 1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets.
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets.
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon.
  • 1.5 cups brown rice, rinsed.
  • 1/2 cup wild rice, rinsed.
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed.

For the dressing (goes with both bowls):

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce.
  • 1/3 cup apple cider/balsamic vinegar.
  • 2 tbsp tahini.
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped.
  • splash of hot sauce.
  • pinch of black pepper.
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (olive oil works well).

Cooking Instructions:

For the dressing:

Add the soy, vinegar, tahini, garlic, hot sauce, and vinegar to a blender/food processor. If you have an immersion blender, use the beaker that came with it. Blend the dressing, slowly dribbling in the oil.

Alternatively, mince the garlic very finely, and then just mix it all together in a bowl with a fork. Depends on how much effort you want to expend.

For the tofu bowl:

Cook your brown rice in a rice cooker, or in  a pot on the stove according to package directions. Add a splash of oil and a pinch of salt to the water. While it cooks, it’s time to press and marinate your tofu.

This is how I like to press my tofu – place it on a bed of paper towels on a large plate, then place another plate on top. Put something heavy on top of the plate (a couple of cans or a cookbook work well!), and allow it to press on the tofu for at least 10 minutes.

Once you’re done pressing the tofu, cut it into 1 cm cubes. Place the cubes in a bowl along with the sesame oil, soy sauce, five spice, and ginger, and mix well. Set aside to marinate for at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, grate your carrots and beets. You want them to be as long as possible, but nice and thin! If you don’t have a grater, you can sliced them into a very fine julienne. Slice your peppers up too.

When the tofu is done marinating, get a large frying pan on high heat, and add enough oil to generously cover to bottom of the pan.

Prep a large shallow bowl with the flour. Add a pinch of black pepper to the flour for seasoning. Roll the tofu in the flour, tapping off the excess, and then add it to the pan. Fry the tofu, flipping it so it cooks evenly on all sides. Once the tofu is browned and crispy all over, remove it from the pan and pat off excess oil on a paper towel. You could also deep-fry the tofu, if you feel like going to the effort of it.

Serve with the brown rice in the bottom, then the spinach, then the sliced vegetables, then the tofu. Add as much or as little dressing as you like!

For the sweet potato bowl:

Mix the rice all together and cook either in a rice cooker, or on the stove. This amount of rice should use about 4 cups of water and take about 45 minutes. Add a splash of oil and a pinch of salt to the water used to cook the rice. Now, time to prep everything else.

Toss your sweet potatoes with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and the Za’atar. Pop them in an oven at 400 F/190 C for approx 30 minutes, until they’re crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

When the sweet potatoes have about 10 minutes left in the oven, heat a lidded frying pan over medium heat with a splash of oil in the bottom. When the oil is hot, add your broccoli and cauliflower. Cook, covered, for a couple minutes, then add your lemon juice. Stir every so often, keeping the lid on the pan, so that the vegetables steam in the lemon juice. When they become tender, season with salt and pepper, then take them off the heat.

Stir the black beans into the rice mixture, then serve with the rice on the bottom, then the broccoli and cauliflower, and top with the sweet potato. Add as much or as little dressing as you like!

 

Mulligatawny

An English soup, based off of an old Indian recipe. The name comes from the Tamil words “Milaku”, meaning pepper, and “Tannir”, meaning water.

This soup often has rice in it, but I personally prefer to use red lentils – they add a nice colour to the soup, and they’re chock full of nutrients!

You can puree this soup if desired, but I personally prefer to leave it as is.

Prep time: ~60 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup mild vegetable oil.
  • 1 onion, sliced into thin strips.
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced.
  • 1 zucchini, diced.
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed/minced.
  • 1 thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and finely diced (or grated).
  • 2 small apples, peeled if desired, cubed.
  • 1 can tomatoes.
  • 2 tsp curry powder.
  • 2 tsp ground cumin.
  • 1 tsp ground coriander.
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika.
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg.
  • 1 tsp crushed red peppers (or to taste).
  • 1/2 cup red lentils (uncooked).
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (you may want more).
  • 1 can coconut milk.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.
  • 1 small handful fresh coriander, to garnish.

Cooking Instructions:

 Place a large pot on medium heat, and add in the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic, zucchini, and carrots. Cook, stirring often, until the onions become soft and translucent. Next, add the ginger and the apples. Stir well, and cook for a few more minutes.
Dump in the tomatoes, along with all of your spices. Stir well, making sure the spices have been mixed throughout evenly. Now add in the lentils and your vegetable stock.
Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. When the lentils are cooked and the vegetables are soft, stir in the coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper, then serve piping hot, with a sprig of fresh coriander on top.

Tomato, Kale, White Bean Soup

A slightly spicy soup with tons of amazing flavour. Inspired by a soup I had at work!

Prep time: ~45 minutes
Serves 4-6
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, peeled and roughly diced.
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed/finely minced.
  • 1-2 tsbp olive oil.
  • 2 tsp chili flakes (add as much or as little as you like, really).
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, stripped from the stem, and cut/torn into bite-sized pieces.
  • 1 can whole tomatoes, roughly chopped, with the juice reserved.
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 2 carrots, peeled if desired, sliced into thin half-moons.
  • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced.
  • 6 cups vegetable stock.
  • 1 small handful fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme).
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat a large pot on medium heat with the olive oil in it. When it’s nice and hot, toss in the onion. Cook until it begins to soften slightly, then add in the garlic.

When the onion is soft and translucent, and the garlic is fragrant, add the carrots and celery. Reduce the heat slightly and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to caramelize. Next, add the kale, and cook until it starts to wilt slightly.

Dump in the tomatoes, their juice, the beans, and the tomato paste. Stir well, until everything is combined. Allow to cook for a minute or two, then add the chili flakes and the thyme. Stir well, allowing everything to combine for a minute, then add the vegetable stock.

Bring the whole pot to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently until all of the vegetables are tender. Season well with salt and pepper, and serve piping hot!

 

 

Kale, Walnut, Pomegranate Salad

A light salad with loads of fresh flavours that work really well together. The dressing used on this salad requires a few more ingredients than your standard vinaigrette, but it’s totally worth it, and goes great with tons of other salads!

Prep time: ~15 minutes
Serves 4-6
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale, washed.
  • 1 large carrot, peeled if desired.
  • 1-2 large handfuls pomegranate seeds.
  • 1-2 large handfuls walnuts, crushed.

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar.
  • 1 tsp tahini.
  • 1 clove garlic.
  • pinch of salt.
  • pinch of pepper.
  • 1 tsp maple syrup.

Cooking Instructions:

Remove the kale from the thick stems and slice or tear into approximately bite-sized pieces. Grate (or slice) the carrot into thin strips. Toss all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

For the dressing, pulse everything in a food processor or blender until smooth. Taste, and make sure it’s to your liking, adjusting the seasoning if you please.

 

Thai Curry Soup

A Thai-inspired soup. Not at all authentic, but still tasty! Slightly spicy, full of vegetables, and served with noodles. You could easily serve this soup with rice instead of noodles, if that’s what you’d prefer.

Prep time: ~45 minutes
Serves 4-6
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tbsp sesame oil.
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced.
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed/minced.
  • 1 large carrot, peeled if desired, sliced into thin, long ovals.
  • 1 large Chinese eggplant (sometimes called Japanese eggplant), sliced into long ovals.
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced into thin, long ovals.
  • 1-2 Thai chilis, thinly sliced.
  • 2 large handfuls bean sprouts.
  • 1 bunch coriander, stalks and leaves separated, stalks finely sliced.
  • 3 green onions, finely sliced.
  • 2 tsp soy sauce (make sure to use gluten-free soy sauce if cooking for someone who can’t have gluten!)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder.
  • 1 can coconut milk.
  • 4 cups vegetable stock/water.
  • 1 handful per person rice/sweet potato noodles.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat a large pot on medium heat with the oil in the bottom. When hot, toss in the onion. Stir often until it begins to soften, then add the garlic.

Once the onion is soft and translucent and the garlic is fragrant, add the carrot, coriander stalks, and Thai chilis. Reduce the heat slightly and cook, stirring frequently, until the carrot begins to soften, then add the zucchini. When the zucchini starts to soften, add the eggplant.

Once all the vegetables are softened, add the soy sauce, coconut milk, and curry powder. Stir well, until the curry powder is fully mixed with everything else, then add the vegetable stock/water. I recommend using the stock/water to rinse the coconut milk can out, so you get everything you can out of it.

Bring the soup up to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently until all the flavours are acquainted. Taste, and season accordingly, adding more soy sauce if needed.

While the soup simmers, cook your rice/sweet potato noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, and set aside.

To serve, place the noodles at the bottom of a bowl, then layer some bean sprouts on top. pour in the soup, then garnish with a generous sprinkling of green onions and coriander leaves.

 

Potato Leek Soup

One of my favorite soups ever. Super flavorful, it’s chock full of nutrients, and really easy to make!

Prep time: ~30 minutes
Serves 4-6
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 2 large leeks, sliced into thin half-moons.
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed/finely minced.
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 5 large potatoes, peeled if desired, cut into bite-sized chunks.
  • 4 large carrots, peeled if desired, sliced into half moons.
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced thinly.
  • 1 large handful herbs (dill, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, whatever you like!).
  • 6 cups vegetable stock.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat a large pot on medium heat with the olive oil in it. When it’s nice and hot, toss in the leek. Cook until it begins to soften slightly, then add in the garlic.

When the leek is starting to become slightly translucent and the garlic is fragrant, toss in the carrots and celery. Reduce the heat slightly, then cook the vegetables until the leek and garlic caramelize nicely, stirring often.

Tumble in the potatoes, then continue cooking, again, stirring frequently. When the carrots begin to soften slightly, add the herbs, stir well, then add the vegetable stock.

Bring the soup to a boil, the reduce the heat, allowing the pot to simmer gently until all the vegetables are cooked through and tender. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or normal blender (careful not to splash yourself! I’ve done that so many times), then serve piping hot.

 

White Bean Soup

A soup made from white beans with leeks, carrots, celery, spinach, a squeeze of lemon, and plenty of herbs (thyme and oregano) to make it tasty. Add in some noodles at the end if you want, just make sure you add extra water to cook them with!

Prep Time
Gluten-free
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 1 large leek (or 2 small), sliced into thin half-moons.
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced/crushed.
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced into thin half-moons.
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced thinly.
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 large bunch spinach, washed well.
  • 1 small handful each fresh thyme and oregano (or 2 tsp each dried).
  • Squeeze of lemon juice.
  • 6 cups vegetable stock.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. When the oil is hot enough, add in the carrot, celery, leek, and garlic. Stir frequently, and cook until slightly softened.

Next, add the beans, spinach and herbs, and fry with the other vegetables for a minute. Squeeze in the lemon juice, then add all of the vegetable stock.

Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat, until the soup is just simmering. Let simmer for at least 20 minutes, or until the carrots and celery are tender. Season with salt and pepper.