veggie udon noodle soup.

udon

The cold weather has me craving some hot veggie noodle soup! One of my favorite meals in the winter is the udon noodle soup at  at Tokyo Lunchbox; so I tried using what I had on hand to come up with something…My son LOVED this recipe and ate every last bite (as did my husband and I!)

here’s what you need:

2 bundles of dried udon noodles

Broth:
6 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
1 vegetarian bullion cube
2-3 T miso paste (i used yellow miso)
1 tspn minced ginger or ginger paste
1/4 cup soy sauce

vegetables such as
carrots
brocolli
spinach
zuchinni
green onions

tofu

First prepare your tofu. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Slice tofu into about 1 inch thick strips and place on a baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes and then flip, baking for about 10 minutes more. When cooled, cut into 1 inch squares. Set aside.

Clean and chop all of your veggies; set aside.

Prepare your udon noodles according to package directions; set aside.

Put all of your ingredients for the broth into a big stockpot and add the chopped carrots; Bring to a boil and then sort of simmer – after about 10 minutes add the zuchinni and green onions.  After about 5 minutes or so, add the tofu – and right before serving toss in the noodles, broccoli and spinach until the spinach is blanched (about 2 minutes or so – you dont want mushy brocolli)

Ladle into bowls and serve with Japanese seven spice to give it a little heat!

mac and cheese with roasted brussel sprouts and seitan bacon.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

It has been COLD here in Chicago. Record breaking low temperatures mean all I want is comfort food. Earlier in the week I made nachos for dinner, last night I made my favorite vegan mac and cheese recipe, but took it to a whole new level.  I posted this photo on instagram and everyone was going crazy, so I promised to post the recipe. This is hands down, my favorite, go-to vegan mac and cheese recipe. I’ve made it tons of times – its really easy and fast and I always have the ingredients on hand. It’s also pretty speedy, which makes for easy weeknight meals!

Original recipe can be found in Vegan Diner, but below is my modification.
(P.S. This is one of my favorite cookbooks! I’ve made lots of things from it, and they are all comforting, delicious and simple to make. If you are contemplating this book, bite the bullet and own it, because its totally worth it.)

1 bag of noodles fit for making mac and cheese (elbows, shells, fusili, etc)
1/2 cup raw cashews
6 T Nutritional Yeast
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 T cornstarch
2 T flour
2 tspn granulated garlic
1 1/2 tspn onion powder
1 1/4 tspn smoked paprika
Dash of sea salt
Bit of black pepper ( to your liking)

Brussel Sprouts
olive oil
Seitan bacon (Uptons is my favorite!)
more salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Slice up your brussel sprouts and coat with 1-2 T olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes.

Get your water for the pasta ready to boil. When your water is boiling, add the pasta to the water and cook according to package directions.

While that’s happening, dump all of the sauce ingredients into a high powered blender and blend until the cashews are smooth. If you dont have a vitamix, or something similar, make sure to soak your cashews for a few hours, or preferably overnight.

Add the cheese sauce to a sauce pan over medium heat and whisk every so often until it starts to thicken. When its thick, lower the heat to low until your pasta is ready.

Make sure to fry up your bacon and cut into bits too!

When everything is ready, strain your pasta and put back into the pot. Dump your cheese sauce in and mix it in really well, adding some more crushed black pepper. Throw your brussel sprouts in there and your cut up bacon and enjoy!

veggie pot pie.

potpie

Its definitely starting to feel more like winter in chicago, than fall, which is leaving me craving warm, comforting foods. Pot Pie was definitely on the brain. I searched the internet for some recipes, and then combined a few to make something that worked for us, and was simply delicious. I opted for a thick biscuit crust on top, rather than a flaky pie crust, to make it healthier, and it did the trick. Delicious!

8 ounces super or extra firm tofu
Olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 celery rib, diced
2-3 carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Russet potato, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen green beans
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
Salt and pepper

For the crust:
1 ¾ cups unbleached or whole wheat pastry four
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
2 Tbs. earth balance
¾ cup plain soy milk mixed with 3/4 tspn apple cider vinegar

For the Filling

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Cut tofu into 1/3-inch dice and press between clean kitchen towels or paper towels to rid of excess water.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook tofu until golden on all, or most, sides. Remove tofu from skillet and set aside.

Heat a little olive oil in the same skillet. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent.

Add potato to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until tender but not mushy.

Add flour, nutritional yeast, and soy sauce to the skillet and stir into the vegetables.

Add vegetable broth and stir until combined, scraping all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add tofu, green beans, peas, sage, and thyme and stir until combined.

Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour into pie crust and prepare your biscuit topping.

In large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut butter or margarine into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. In measuring cup, combine soy milk and apple cider vinegar. Add liquid to flour mixture, stirring with a fork to form a stiff dough. Add more soymilk if dough is too dry. Knead lightly in bowl, 3 to 5 minutes, until dough is no longer sticky. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Roll out into shape to cover casserole dish or cut into wedges.

Lay biscuit topping lightly over filling. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes.

lentil soup.

soup

It is COLD in chicago. The high today was 9 degrees. When I saw smitten kitchen post this recipe today – and I just happened to have everything on hand to make a vegan version of it…it was a sign that I needed to make it for dinner!  It’s the perfect comfort food when the weather is as cold as it is. Were going to serve it up with some crusty garlic bread and spend the rest of the night under the covers!

Here is my take on it!

olive oil
half a package of uptons italian sausage seitan
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced or diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into half-moons or diced
4 cloves garlic
Kosher salt
A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
6 cups water
Freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 cups shredded or thinly ribboned  kale

Heat olive oil  in a large pot on medium heat. When hot, add the seitan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it starts to cook a little bit (maybe 2-3 minutes). Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, a pinch of salt, and if you like your soup spicy, a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook with the seitan until the vegetables soften a bit, another 5 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, water, more salt and black pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. (It might be necessary to add more water if the soup gets too thick.)

When the lentils are cooked, add the kale and cook until the leaves are tender, just a few minutes more.

13. slowcooker pot pie.

Hoping to cook more healthy, homeade meals, I picked up Vegan Slow Cooker. I feel like other than oatmeal and chili, I dont ever know what to make in my crock pot. This book definitely breaks that mold; there are lots of stews, casseroles, breads, and even seitan recipes. I was very intrigued. The first thing I attempted to make was this pot pie recipe. I don’t know that I ever even had a pot pie before. What was really interesting about this recipe is right before you are done cooking it all day, you roll out some biscuits, throw those on top and you have a biscuit-like crust to serve with your pot pie. This was really comforty, perfect for winter, and it felt so healthy to be eating lots of fresh vegetables. The recipe calls for frozen vegetables, but other than corn, I used all fresh. Don’t leave out the green beans; those were my favorite part!

Heres how you do it:

Cut up onion, 2 cloves garlic, carrots, celery, green beans, peas, corn, etc (it also says to use leftover beans, tofu, or whatever else you have on hand) and dump in crockpot. Add 1 cup water, 1 veg-chicken bullion cube, 1 teaspoon dried thyme. Cook this in your crockpot for about 4-6 hours. (add a little more water if you are going to be cooking longer)

Once its almost done cooking, add 2 tablespoons of flour and mix.
Saute some seitan (I use uptons original style) and add to the crock pot.
Prepare your biscuits: Combine all biscuit ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork until it comes together in a dough.
1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 tspn salt, 1/2 tspn thyme (optional), 1 1/2 tspn baking powder, 3 Tablespoons olive oil (i think i only used 2), 1/2 cup unsweetened non dairy milk

Turn this mixture onto a floured surface and roll out about 1/2 inch thick and cut into circles with the rim of a glass. Place in the slow cooker on top of the filling. Turn the slow cooker up to high and cook about 30-45 minutes.