Recently, my co-op began selling WildWood Pasta Slim, so I grabbed a bag of spaghetti-style. These low-cal noodles seemed perfect for a more grown up version of ramen noodles. In my early vegetarian days, the oriental flavored ramen was an emergency last-resort food...and now I kinda miss it! Luckily, this version I created is not only healthier (no MSG or animal products!), I also think it tastes better than the original. For a more authentic tasting soup, use vegetarian "chicken" or "beef" flavored bouillon. These fake-meat broths can be pretty high in sodium, so for a healthier option, use low sodium vegetable bouillon.
"Better Than Ramen" Noodle Soup Serves 2-4
4 cups water
2 vegan bouillon cubes
1 tablespoon Bragg's liquid aminos
7oz. package of spaghetti-style WildWood Pasta Slim (you can substitute cooked rice vermicelli)
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
In a saucepan, heat the water and bouillon cubes over medium heat. Whisk until the cubes are fully dissolved. Add the liquid aminos and stir well. Drain the pasta and add to the broth. Once the noodles and broth are hot, serve with a dash of black pepper.
There's nothing better than fresh, hot pancakes on a lazy weekend morning. I made these both last Saturday and Sunday morning...what a great way to start the day! These are adapted from the Brainless Banana Pancakes from How It All Vegan, where I've added cinnamon and some whole wheat flour to make them a little healthier.
Cooking notes: Vegan pancakes can be a little tricky compared to their non-vegan counterparts. I've noticed vegan pancakes are more likely to brown too much without the center fully cooking. Putting a lid on the skillet while you're cooking them makes all the difference in the world! It will help the center cook without over-browning the cakes.
Banana-Cinnamon Pancakes Serves 2 as a main course
1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon vegan dry sweetener (sucanat works well)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 medium-sized ripe banana
1 1/4 cups soy milk, divided
canola or vegetable oil for cooking
your favorite pancake toppings (ex. fresh fruit, maple syrup, etc.)
In a large bowl, sift the flours, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir to combine. In a small bowl, use a fork to mash the banana. Add 1/4 cup of the soymilk to the banana and stir until there are no lumps. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until "just combined." Heat a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat. When it's hot, pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of batter into the pan to make small pancakes (pictured). For big pancakes, pour 3/4 to 1 cup of batter. Cover with a lid. When little bubbles have formed, flip the pancake over and cook until the bottom is golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is gone. Serve with your favorite pancake toppings.
I love love love this potato salad. My grandma has been making this potato salad for as long as I can remember. And it's already vegan! Unlike most potato salads, the dressing is vinegar and oil-based rather than using mayo. This is a perfect dish to bring to a summer cookout, potluck or outdoor party. In fact, I just made this for my sister-in-law's graduation party. (None of the omnis were scared of it! Yay!)
Grandma's Potato Salad Serves 4-6
2 pounds waxy potatoes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped parsley, lightly packed
Wash potatoes and cut into 1 inch chunks. In a stock pot or large sauce pan, bring potatoes with enough water to cover them to a boil. Cover and reduce heat, cooking until potatoes are tender enough to be pierced with a fork (around 15 minutes). While potatoes are cooking, combine lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, mustard and garlic in a small bowl. When potatoes are done, drain them and transfer to a large serving bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the potatoes and add the green onions and parsley. Stir until potatoes are evenly coated. Allow the potatoes to cool. Serve at room temperature or chill potatoes before serving. (It's good both ways!)
So clearly I haven't been posting new recipes for a while...but I have a good reason! The day Viva Vegan! hit the stores, I snagged myself a copy and can't stop cooking from it. Normally I get excited about a new cookbook, but this is probably the most excited I've been in a long time. As with any cookbook, I started by reading all the introductory material and then skimming through all the recipes and writing down ones that sound good. Then, my hubby will go through my list and mark the ones that sound especially good to him. After that, we'll use the list to plan our meals.
The first recipe I tried was for the Michelada (a spicy, salty beer). Not a pleasant experience for me personally. I don't like Bloody Marys, so I should have realized I wouldn't like spicy beer either... Luckily, this was the only thing I tried but didn't like out of the cookbook. The Peruvian Potatoes with Spicy "Cheezy" Sauce were wonderful alongside the Chorizo Seitan Sausages. The Fried Sweet Plantains make a cheap and delicious snack or light meal. Ohhh, and I'm totally addicted to the Classic Roasted Tomatillo Salsa. It's so easy to make and tastes way better than anything from a jar. I also really enjoyed the Drunken Beans with Seitan Chorizo. Normally I don't like going through all the effort of making bean dishes from scratch, but this was well worth it! And last but not least, the Chipotle, Seitan, And Potato Tacos are to die for!!! That was only a small number of recipes from my long list of ones I want to make. I have a feeling this could take a while...everything sounds so yummy!
The one downside to Viva Vegan! was finding some of the specialty Latin ingredients. Kansas isn't the best place to find specialty food stores...unless you live in the KC metro. One of these days I'll have to drive out and explore some of the specialty shops and stock up on all the ingredients I can't find at Dillon's (a Midwest grocery chain). The Vegan Latin Pantry section is well explained and has lots of interesting information...but a substitution list would be helpful, since not everyone has access to a Latin foods store.
So, overall, this cookbook rocks!!! I would highly recommend it to anyone, vegan or not, who enjoys Latin American food.