For many there is still a lot of mystery behind what vegans eat. I have been offered fish more than once yet asked, “can vegans eat peanut butter?” just as many times. There actually isn’t much secret behind what we eat, and preparing food is really quite easy – you just leave out the animals.
I’m using Vegan MoFo to take an A-Z trip through my pantry to bring you 26 easy recipes to show you that anyone can cook vegan. Eating vegan, well, it’s as easy as ABC.
Nash has been waking up around 4:30am recently. Most days I actually don’t mind this. He will sit quietly in his highchair nibbling on puffs while I drink my coffee and enjoy the rare silence. I think as a parent of two very young children one learns how to function on significantly less sleep than that of the past. Before kids I average 8+ hours of sleep and with any less it was nearly impossible to function. These days I’m lucky if I get 6 hours of sleep and although most mornings I find myself either pouring syrup into my coffee or spooning coffee grounds over my oatmeal, I’m handling it all right.
This morning (Tuesday) Nash outdid himself with a 4:05 wake up. And so while he sips on a mixture of plain and chocolate almond milk and eats sweet potato puffs, I’m sneaking in a little time to get just a bit closer to this Vegan Mofo finish line.
Udon noodles are one of those things that I ate a lot back when I first when vegan. The limited vegan cookbooks available plus my non-existent cooking knowledge meant that I relied a lot on stir fries. I was probably eating stir fry at least 4 times a week by which I mean an assortment of pan-fried vegetables tossed in some soy-sauce based sauce then served over rice or noodles. Over the last 8 years (my vegan anniversary is coming up next week!) my meal choices have evolved a lot. I don’t often eat gluten, rarely even tofu anymore. And sweet soy sauce sauces often feel heavy to me now. But every once in awhile I like to indulge and this stir fry is the perfect way to do just that.
With crispy pan fried tofu covered in sweet sesame sauce and mixed together with stir fried vegetables and udon noodles, it’s a delicious meal to welcome in the colder weather (still waiting on that to happen) and relive my vegan beginnings.
- 12 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into 1/4" triangles
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup frozen edamame
- 8 ounces udon noodles
- 2 large handful of spinach
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp fresh ginger root
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp agave nectar
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 2 green onions, chopped
- sesame seeds
- Sriracha or other hot sauce
- Heat up a large pot of water and cook udon noodles according to the package's directions. Once cooked, strain and set aside.
- Heat a cast iron skilled over medium heat. Add cooking oil and continue to heat for another minute. Add the tofu (it should sizzle when it hits the pan) and cook on both sides until brown, 4-5 minutes per side. Place the tofu on a paper towel to soak up excess oil.
- In the same skillet saute the carrots and bell peppers until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the edamame and stir to combine. Add noodles and tofu and stir fry for about 7 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce. Add sauce to the noodles, along with the spinach. Remove from heat and cover until the spinach is wilted.
- Top with green onions, sesame seeds, and hot sauce and serve.
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