Thai Zoodle, Fresh and Flavourful!

A few months ago I bought a spiralizer and started really loving zoodles or courgettis. It is so easy to take up a zucchini and transform it into noodles. Since I’m gluten-free, this is the perfect option as it is inexpensive and replaces wheat pastas really well. I really like to make thicker noodles that remind me of udon noodles. To go with this, I made a Thai-inspired stir fry with a glorious peanut butter sauce. Yum!

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I really like how the zoodles keep this dish light, yet satisfying. The creamy peanut butter sauce makes everything gooey and comforting; something you don’t need to feel guilty about as you are basically eating a vegetable bowl. Amazing!

Here is what you need:

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy, but use the type your prefer)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbs sesame oil

For the strir fry:

  • onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 200g firm tofu
  • 4 large oyster mushrooms
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (or about 4 to 6 medium size carrots in julienne)
  • 4 green onions
  • 2 tbs water

To serve:

  • 1 spiralized zucchini per person
  • cilantro and thai basil leaves

Here is what you do:

  1. Mince all the stir fry ingredients or cut them to bite size pieces.
  2. In a large sauce pan, add the 2 tbs of water and sauté the onion and garlic until fragrant.
  3. Add the mushrooms and sauté on high heat until their water is out, and they have a nice golden colour. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add the tofu to your pan and stir until golden. You can use a little bit of water or a tablespoon of oil to prevent sticking . Add the mushrooms, onions and garlic back and mix well. Add the carrots and green onions and sauté until everything is cooked. Turn off the heat. If you want to cook your zoodles a little bit, I suggest removing the stir fry from the pan and using it to soften the zucchini noodles by letting them sit in the hot pan while you prepare the sauce.
  5. In your blender, add all the sauce ingredients but the water and start mixing. Add the water gradually until you get a consistency you like.
  6. Add the sauce to the stir fried vegetables and mix until everything is well coated.
  7. Serve a generous amount of vegetables on top of the zoodles and garnish with cilantro and Thai basil.

This recipe is very quick to make and is full of flavour. It is also quite filling and makes for a fun lunch. You can easily personalize it to use the vegetables you have on hand, and you could also add some toasted sesame seeds as garnish. Anyways, let me know if you try this out!

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Easy Plantain Dessert

Plantains are one of my favourite ingredients to cook with because they are equality great with savory and sweet recipes. Talk about versatility!

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This week, I was really craving them, and I love fried plantain. However, since my mom has raised me to be completely terrified of  deep-frying things, I tried baking them: success!

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The coconut-plantain combination in this recipe is fairly obvious, but so yummy!

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Here is what you need:

  • 4 yellow plantains (1 per person)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil/ plantain

For the coconut sauce:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp rum (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Cut the two extremities of the plantains and slice the skin open to remove it.
  2. Slice each plantain diagonally, or straight down depending on your preference. You want them to be about 7mm-10mm thick. Place your slices in a large bowl.
  3. Melt the coconut oil and pour over the plantains and mix until all the pieces are well coated.
  4. Place the plantains in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Slide in the oven set at 350F. Let cook for 15 minutes. Flip over and cook again for 15 minutes. If you want, you can set the oven on ‘broil’ for the last 5 minutes to have a nicely caramelized top. Yum!
  5. For the sauce, mix the coconut milk with the corn starch and put in a sauce pan on medium heat. Stir until it starts to thicken up. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  6. Serve the plantain slices with the warm sauce on top.

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This is so easy to make and so delicious! All the flavours complement each other nicely and make for a very yummy dessert. I really like how you can caramelize the top of the slices for maximum flavour! So simple, and way less scary then deep-frying them!

Let me know if you try this out and what your favourite plantain recipe is!

 

 

 

Vietnamese Recipe: Vegan “fish” sauce

Many Vietnamese dishes require the traditional and hugely famous Nuoc Mam or fish sauce. As a vegan, this can be really discouraging and sad. However, a few months ago, my mom visited a new vegetarian restaurant in Montreal and brought me a bottle of soy-based “fish” sauce.

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I was so excited to try it out! Of course, this is only one of the ingredients that are used when making the traditional dipping sauce that I referred to in the Chia Gio and Banh Cuon recipes.

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp nuoc mam chay (vegan fish sauce)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp chili sauce

Here is what you do:

  1. Mix everything together until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Check and adjust the amount of sugar and salt to your taste.
  2. You can add more chili if you like or also finely chopped garlic for more flavour.

This sauce is great for dipping fried rolls, spring rolls, tofu, veggies, anything really! It has a really complex flavour that comes from the fermented soy beans used in the mock fish sauce. I really think it is as tasty as the original Nuoc Mam.

Let me know if you try it out and if you like it!

 

Vegan Cream Cheese or Mayo?

When I made my carrot smoked salmon, I wanted to have some cream cheese to go with it, but my boyfriend had eaten all the cashew nuts. So, I jumped on a box of silken tofu.

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup of silken tofu
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tbs nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Blend everything together.
  2. Keep in the fridge.

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This sauce is a little bit too liquidy to pass as cream cheese, but is a little too thick for mayo. It is still a great dupe for both of these in a sandwich. It really gave the right amount of acidity to the carrot lox toasts. I think this would also be great with vegetables as a dipping sauce, or as a garnish on baked sweet potatoes. Yum!

Let me know if you try this out!

Easy Thai Inspired Salad Dressing

While in San Francisco, one of the best salads we had was the Thai Salad from Hot Spud. Nothing fancy, but the spicy peanut dressing was really tasty and delicious.

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So, I tried to make something similar to it, and this is what I came up with.

This dressing is very creamy, adds a ton of flavour, gives you some protein and is a breeze to make. You don’t even need a blender! What else it there to ask for?

I don’t think there is much “Thai-ness” to this, but it is very yummy, so please give it a try!

Here is what you need:

  • the juice of 1 lime (about 1/3 cup) + the zest of it
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 2-3 tbs of crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp tahini butter
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup of water
  • salt

Here is what you do:

  1. Mix the lime juice and zest, sesame oil, hot sauce, tahini and peanut butter together.
  2. Add water until you get the consistency you enjoy most.
  3. Add salt to taste and mix well.

This dressing will keep for about a week in the fridge.

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What I like about this sauce is that you don’t have to make a salad dressing: depending on the amount of water you put in, you can use this as a spread for sandwiches, a quick pasta sauce to eat with noodles and a bunch of greens, a dipping sauce for vegetables, and the list goes on and on.

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For this salad, I use chicory lettuce (also known as curly endive), cilantro, green apples, pomegranate seeds, beets, roasted potatoes and yams, and walnuts: a one dish, filling and tasty salad. Yum!

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Let me know if you try this out and if you like it 🙂 What’s your favourite salad dressing?

Christmas series: Cranberry Sauce!

This is my first time making cranberry sauce, and I seriously don’t know why: it’s so easy and tasty!

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Here is what you need:

  • 200g cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 clementine
  • water

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Pulse the peeled clementine in your blender.
  2. Add water to the blended clementine so that you have 1/2 cup of liquid.
  3. In a sauce pan, put the clementine juice, the sugar and cranberries.
  4. Bring to a boil while stirring.
  5. Bring down the heat, and cover. Let sit for a few minutes until all the cranberries have popped (and enjoy the sound of it!).

If you do not have a clementine on hand, you can also substitute it and the water with orange juice.

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Once chilled, this cranberry sauce is a lot like jam. It is perfect with desserts or grilled vegetables. Very versatile indeed! And look at that color!

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Keep on the look out for what I’ll do with it! 🙂

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Orange Sauce Stir Fry

About two years ago, I posted a recipe for General Tao Tofu. However, there was nothing truly amazing about this recipe as the sauce, which is the heart of the recipe, was store bought. Since then, I have been on the look out for recipes to make my own Chinese restaurant inspired recipes.

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I served some stir fried vegetables and tofu in this sauce with some sweet potato hash browns. Yum!

Well, I came up with a great orange sauce to add to your stir fries that really has a great flavour and will kick over all the store bought versions. It’s really easy, you probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen, and it is really impressively tasty.

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Here is what you need for the sauce:

  • 3 cups orange juice (you can use store bought, or pressed. I usually go with a carton of pulpy orange juice.)
  • 3 tsp corn starch
  • 2 tbs tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha or to taste
  • 1 tbs maple syrup

Here is what you do:

  1. Once you have your basic stir fry going (mixed vegetables, tofu or tempeh) and almost cooked, lower the heat to medium.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the sauce ingredients with a whisk until the corn starch is completely dissolved.
  3. Pour the liquid mix into your pan and stir. After a few minutes, the sauce should start to thicken up. Mix to make sure all the vegetables are well coated in the sauce.
  4. Serve hot, garnish with sesame seeds and green onion, and enjoy!

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This is the most amazing sauce I have prepared so far. It is thick and packed with orange flavour. It goes well with whatever stir fry you want to prepare: I made a “traditional” stir fry with greens and tofu, a chickpea sauté and just a vegetable dish. They were all delicious and quite popular too!

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Let me know what you think, and how it goes if you try it out!