Daily Vegan Lunch for 3 September, 2013: Peanut Butter Basil Udon

vegan peanut butter and basil udon

4 cups udon noodles, cooked
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon agave nectar (optional)
1 cup peanuts
1 tablespoon chili sauce or 2 teaspoons Sriacha or tabasco
1.5 cups basil, packed

1 cup green onion, chopped
Cilantro, to garnish

Cook udon noodles according to package directions, rinse and set them aside.

Combine peanuts and basil in a food processor or blender.  In a pan on medium heat, melt the peanut butter and mix it with the soy sauce.  Stir the cooked udon noodles into the melted peanut butter sauce and add the chili sauce and basil/nuts from the food processor.  Garnish with cilantro and green onion.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 2 September, 2013: Coconut Curry Basil Noodle Soup

can of massaman curry seasoning, vegan no palm oil

If you like Malaysian or Thai food or spicy, tropical flavors in general, you’ll really want to get to an Asian grocery store or an online grocery store for curry paste. I am very blessed to live close to a big Korean market that happens to sell a lot of Thai, Chinese, and Japanese food along with Korean offerings. In this grocery store, there is a whole wall of curries that are designed to add to soups, stews, and whatever. It’s quite amazing that so many of these curries contain no animal ingredients, however, I take issue that most of them list palm oil as the first ingredient. As a rule, I try to avoid palm oil because its use is destroying the habitats of many beloved creatures like orangutans whose homes are destroyed so palm oil plantations can flourish. After much looking, I found a great red curry paste in a can called Massaman that had no palm oil. It was perfect! If you can find or order Massaman, buy it. It sure beat hunting down all of the ingredients it already contains, like tamarind, lemongrass, and galangal.

vegan noodle basil curry coconut milk



3 cups water
1 vegan broth cube
1 tablespoon Massaman curry paste or other prepared curry paste, found in Asian grocery stores
1 handful rice or sweet potato (glass) noodles

1/2 cup coconut milk

1.5 cups fresh basil leaves
1 green onion, chopped


Combine water and broth cube in a large pot and bring to a boil. As it boils, add a heaping tablespoon of curry paste and let it dissolve. Turn the heat down to medium high and add the glass or rice noodles, pushing them down with a spoon. After 5 minutes of cooking in the broth, noodles are already done. This is the joy of rice or sweet potato noodles versus typical Western spaghetti — they cook much, much faster. And they’re gluten free. Anyway, add the coconut milk and turn the heat off. Honestly this did not need coconut milk to be good but I was trying to be authentic.

Chop the basil and green onion and stir into the soup shortly before serving.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 16 July, 2013: Miso Buckwheat Noodle Soup

miso buckwheat noodle soup


1 teaspoon oil
2 cups onion
About 3 cups cooked buckwheat noodles or soba
3 cups spinach
6 cups water
2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon or salt
1 tablespoon miso, any color
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine, sake, or dry sherry


Cook noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside. Fry onion in the bottom of a large pot in oil on medium high heat until translucent. Add water, bouillon or salt, and spinach. Once the spinach wilts, turn the heat off. Add miso, sesame seed oil, and wine. Finish by adding noodles, stir only a little bit to cover noodles with broth.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 13 July, 2013: Improvised Korean Spicy Cold Noodles (Bibim Guksu)

vegan bibim guksu korean cold noodles

vegan bibim guksu korean cold noodles

This recipe could be made with any noodle, even linguine. I liked the heartiness of buckwheat noodles though. Buckwheat noodles are known as soba in Japanese cuisine. The kind I bought were from the refrigerator section of the Korean grocery store, so they were fresh. Buckwheat noodles do not refrigerate well, so it makes sense to only make what portion you plan on eating.


10 ounces buckwheat noodles (memil guksu or soba, about 3 bundles, I used fresh ones from the Korean grocery store)


2 tablespoons miso, any color
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame seed oil
2 teaspoons hot sauce such as Sriacha or 1 Tablespoon hot chili sauce or 2 teaspoons chili flakes
1 Tablespoon agave or 2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons sesame seeds


Shredded or julienned carrot
Julienned cucumber
Chopped green onion
Slices of fresh firm tofu
Optional: Fresh spinach leaves or mung bean sprouts

Prepare toppings, set aside. Prepare sauce by mixing all sauce ingredients in a small bowl, set aside.

Cook noodles by boiling them for less than 2 minutes or until al dente — soba and/or Korean buckwheat noodles cook very fast which is what makes them so nice for summer recipes. Rinse the noodles in cool water in a colander, finish by rinsing them a bowl of ice water. Drain them well. Top with sauce and toppings and serve immediately.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 8 July, 2013: Vegan Pad Woon Sen with Tofu

The secret to a good-tasting stir-fry is to turn up the heat as high as it will go and cook very, very quickly.

vegan pad woon sen



2 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
8 cups of cooked rice thread noodles or Korean glass noodles (noodles made of sweet potato)
1.5 cups firm tofu, drained
2 cups mung bean sprouts
1 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic (optional)


In a large pan, turn the burner on the highest heat possible. Add oil to the pan and wait until it smokes. Add tofu and stir — the tofu will brown quickly. Toss it around so it browns evenly and gets broken up into small chunks. Add sugar and then quickly add sprouts, red bell pepper, glass noodles, and onion. Add garlic, if using, and soy sauce. Toss for about one minute and serve.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 24 June, 2013: Dill Cucumber Spinach Noodles

Fresh dill, lemon, and spinach give this recipe a spanakopita flavor — spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) recipe will be coming in a few days.

vegan dill cucumber noodles


4 cups cooked Korean noodles or linguine
2 cups spinach leaves
1 cup water
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh dill weed
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 a lemon’s juice (about 2 teaspoons) or to taste
1 teaspoon coarse or regular salt, or to taste


Pre-cook noodles according to package directions, set aside. I set mine aside in the colander and rinse them in cool water right before using them in stir fries to get them not to stick.

In a large fry pan, wilt spinach by placing it in the pan on medium heat and pouring water on it. Wait about 2 minutes, stirring once the water starts boiling off. Add the dill weed, olive oil, and cucumber to spinach and stir them around for about 1 minute. Add the garlic, allow it to cook about 30 seconds. Rinse and add the noodles, mixing them with everything else in the pan. Finish by adding lemon juice and salt to taste.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 23 June, 2013: Mushroom Red Pepper Noodles

vegan mushroom red pepper noodles


4 cups cooked Korean noodles or linguine
2 teaspoons oil
1 portobello mushroom, sliced
1 cup sliced onion
1 cup roasted or fresh sweet red pepper, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup apple juice
1 Tablespoon agave nectar or sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil


Cook noodles, set them aside. I used Korean noodles because they are much faster cooking than regular linguine. I leave them in the colander until the veggies are stir-fried, then add them quickly after a brief rinse in cool water.

Fry mushroom slices and onion in a large pan on medium-high heat in oil until mushrooms darken and onions begin to soften, about 1-2 minutes. Add red pepper, stir briefly. Add noodles (rinse them in cold water if they are sticky) and mix in soy sauce, apple juice, garlic, sesame oil, and sugar. Cook for about 30 seconds more, mix well, and serve.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 21 June, 2013: Vegan Jap Chae with Yuba

I am so happy my friend Yoshie from the natto post prompted me to buy Korean glass noodles. This was my first time making jap chae. My husband thought it was very tasty!

vegan jap chae korean glass noodles


1/2 package Korean glass noodles (noodles made from sweet potatoes or yams)
Water for boiling
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted in 1 cup water for 10 minutes or more
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups spinach leaves
1/2 cup water
1 large carrot, julienned
1.5 cups sliced onion
1.5 cups broken up yuba, reconstituted in water — I used the mushroom soaking liquid after I soaked the mushrooms overnight
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon agave nectar or sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil


Reconstitute yuba by soaking it in water, drain, set aside. Boil Korean glass noodles in water for about 7 minutes or according to package directions. Drain the noodles and rinse them in cool water, set them aside. In a large pan or wok on medium-high heat, stir fry mushrooms and onion in oil until onion is slightly translucent. Add carrots, spinach leaves, and water to the pan, cover, and wait about 30 seconds for carrots to steam and spinach to wilt as water sizzles off. Add noodles to the pan, toss well for about 30 seconds. Add yuba, soy sauce, agave, and sesame oil. Toss until just mixed.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 19 June, 2013: Spaghetti Arrabiata with Chickpeas and Mint

vegan chickpea mint arrabiata




1 tablespoon oil
3 hot peppers or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder or 1 tablespoon tabasco/chilli/hot sauce
1.5 cups onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1.5 cups cooked, drained chickpeas
1 tablespoon agave nectar or sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 cup fresh mint, minced


Fry onion and hot peppers in oil in a large pan or medium sized pot on medium-high heat. If using another form of heat, wait until after the tomato sauce goes in. Add onions, toss them until they are translucent. Add chickpeas, toss until heated through, about one minute. Add garlic and herbs, including mint. Toss around for about 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant. Turn the heat down to low. Add tomato sauce, sugar or agave, and salt to taste.

Serve with cooked pasta.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 18 June, 2013: Stir Fried Udon Noodles With Cucumber and Yuba

vegan cucumber udon





One bunch cooked udon noodles (the amount is pictured in my hand above)
3 teaspoons oil
1.5 cups onion, sliced
1/2 a cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 cup crumbled yuba (soybean curd sheets found in Asian grocery stores, optional but yummy)
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame seed oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar or sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons sesame seeds, optional


This was a great use for all of those broken pieces of yuba that fell to the bottom of the package! Immerse yuba in 1 cup of water to reconstitute it. Wait about 5 minutes, drain and set aside. Stir fry onion in oil at medium high heat for about one minute. Add cucumbers and yuba, tossing them around for another minute. Add noodles, soy sauce, sesame seed oil, and agave nectar or sugar. Stir until combined. Make a small well in the center of the noodles and add garlic. Add a teaspoon of water so garlic cooks slightly for about 30 seconds. Add sesame seeds, mix well, and serve.