Daily Vegan Lunch for 20 December, 2013: Lemon Bok Choy, Tofu, and Mushrooms

lemon bok choi, mushrooms, and tofu IMG_3851

3 mini bok choys or one normal sized bok choy
1/2 cup dried black fungus, also known as cloud ear mushrooms
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
1 cup extra-firm tofu, cubed

4 cups vegetable broth
Reserved mushroom soaking water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic (about 2 teaspoons) minced
Half a lemon’s juice or to taste
1 – 2 teaspoons lemon rind (I used the same lemon I juiced)


Wash the bok choy and pre-soak the shiitake and cloud ear mushrooms in water until they expand, about fifteen minutes.  Once the mushrooms expand, cut the cloud ears in half and de-stem the shiitakes, slicing them into smaller pieces.  Cut the tofu into cubes.

Prepare the broth.  Combine veggie broth (you can also just use water and salt), soy sauce, and garlic in a large pot.  Add the bok choys, cloud ears, shiitakes, and their soaking water to the pot.  Bring to a soft boil at medium high heat and immediately turn down to medium.  Allow to simmer for about three minutes.  Add the tofu cubes.

Use a lemon zester or the fine side of a grater to make lemon zest (the yellow outside skin is the zest).  Squeeze the lemon and stir the strained juice into the pot.

Serve over cooked rice, ladling the broth over it and sprinkling everything with a little lemon zest.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 8 November, 2013: Spicy Spaghetti with Spinach and Pinto Beans

fat free spicy pasta with greens and olives


5 cups cooked angel hair pasta

1 teaspoon oil (optional)
1 tablespoon chili sauce
1 cup pinto beans, drained
2 tablespoons prepared spaghetti sauce
3/4 cup vegetable broth

3 cups spinach leaves
1 cup sliced black olives
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pine nuts, to serve


Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, set aside. In a frying pan on medium heat, heat oil and briefly fry garlic, about 30 seconds. Add pinto beans, chili sauce, spaghetti sauce, and vegetable broth. Heat through, about 2 minutes. Add spinach leaves and black olives and cook until spinach wilts. Serve on angel hair pasta. I sprinkled it with pine nuts as you can see.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 16 October, 2013: Fat-Free Jackfruit and Cucumber Salad



1.5 cups jackfruit chunks (I used a fresh one that I sliced up and boiled in water for 10 minutes, you can also buy it in tins, make sure to get water-packed and not in sweet syrup)

1 cup chopped, seeded cucumber, do not skin

1 tablespoon chopped green onions

1/2 cup shredded or julienned carrots

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (or 1 half teaspoon paprika and 1/2 teaspoon celery salt)

Additional salt to taste


In a blender or food processor, combine the jackfruit, Old Bay seasoning, and salt. Pulse a few times until just barely chopped. Transfer the jackfruit mixture to a small bowl and combine with cucumber, carrots, and green onion.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 22 July, 2013: Tteokbokki, Korean Rice Cake Stew

vegan tteok stew, korean rice cake stew


This stew reminds me of Campbell’s Tomato Soup in a weird way. It’s sweet, hearty, and thick, definitely comfort food. My Korean friend Kimie Kim suggests putting ramen noodles or cabbage in it. I used cabbage.


2 cups shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water
6 cups water
1 veggie broth cube or 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon
2 tablespoons gochujang (spicy soybean paste sold in Korean grocery stores)
1/4 cup sugar or to taste
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 pound tteok (Korean rice cakes/mochi sold in the refrigerator section of Korean grocery stores, any shape)
1.5 cups chopped green onion
3 – 5 cups white cabbage (it will cook down)
3 green onions, minced
2 teaspoons sesame oil or to taste

Salt to taste

Soak mushrooms for 10 minutes or longer, reserve the liquid. Add the mushrooms and bouillon cube or paste and the mushroom water to a pot of 6 cups of water and bring to a near boil and then turn down the heat to medium-high so it still boils but not robustly. Add sugar, rice vinegar, and gochujang. Taste test the broth and add salt or gochujang to taste. Add the Korean rice cakes and cook them for 15 minutes or until the rice cake is yummy, soft, and chewy, about the texture of a giant al dente noodle. Turn heat down to low and add cabbage and/or ramen noodles. Stir the cabbage until wilted or the ramen until just softened. Add green onion and sesame oil and serve immediately.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 8 June, 2013: Fat Free Cucumber Pasta Salad

fat free vegan cucumber pasta salad


1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 cup frozen corn, thawed in microwave and drained
3/4 cup green onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped

4 cups cooked pasta


3/4 cup cilantro or parsley, minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon fennel
Salt to taste


Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.  Chop all salad ingredients except corn.  Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl, toss to combine.  Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl and pour over salad, stir well.  Chill for two hours before serving.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 26 January, 2013: Fat-Free Cauliflower-Potato Curry

Fat-free cauliflower potato curry


1 cup water
1.5 cups raw cauliflower, chopped
1.5 cups Yukon gold potatoes, pre-cooked in the microwave
1/2 an onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce or puree

OPTIONAL: 1/4 – 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon coriander
3 cloves fresh garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan over medium-high heat, saute onion and cauliflower. You are actually braising them, which means steaming them in a fry pan. Meanwhile, stab 2-3 small potatoes with a fork and put them in the microwave for 3 minutes. Keep cooking the potatoes a minute at a time until they seem soft. Chop the potatoes on a cutting board and add them to the cauliflower mixture. Make a well in the center of the vegetables, turning the heat down if necessary to medium. Add the spices in the well you’ve made, but don’t let them burn. Add the tomato sauce and garlic and heat through. Add salt and pepper to finish.

I ate this on a bed of wilted organic spinach and millet (it is all about millet right now) though it would be even better over jasmine or basmati rice.