Daily Vegan Lunch for 28 December: Hot and Sour Curry Rice Noodles

hot and sour vegan curry rice noodles

1/2 package of rice noodles, or about 4 cups cooked
1/2 a lemon’s juice, about 2 tablespoons
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups snow peas a.k.a. mangetouts
1 cup julienned carrot
1 cup frozen green beans
1 cup green onion, minced
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced or 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup cashews
1 tablespoon chili sauce or 2 teaspoons sriacha or tabasco
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala


Cook rice noodles by bringing a pot of water to boiling and immediately turning off heat.  Add the rice noodles and let them sit five minutes.  You wouldn’t think they’d be soft and edible in such a short time but they will.  Drain them and set them aside.

Steam the carrots, peas, snowpeas, and green beans by cooking in about a cup of water in the stove until the peas are unfrozen, about five minutes.  You can also use the microwave, which only takes 2 minutes.  Drain the water and set the vegetables aside.

In a blender or food processor, combine chili/hot sauce, lemon juice, and cashews.  Pulse until cashews are chopped, less than 10 seconds usually.

Fry the garlic in a tablespoon of oil in a large pan on medium-high heat for about 30 seconds.  Add the strained vegetables, noodles, and cashew-lemon juice mixture from the food processor.  Stir to combine.  Heat through for up to two minutes.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 10 October, 2013: Peanut Fried Brown Rice

vegan peanut brown rice


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1.5 cup peanuts
2 green onions, minced
1 carrot, chopped small
1 cup frozen peas
5 – 6 cups cooked brown rice
1 tablespoon soy sauce


Pre-cook chopped carrot and peas in a small bowl by covering the carrots and peas with water and microwaving 2 minutes or by boiling the carrots and peas in water for 2 minutes in a small pan on the stove top. Strain, set aside.

Set all ingredients within easy reach of the stove. Heat a large fry pan to high heat with one tablespoon of oil. When the oil smokes, add the peanuts. Quickly toss the peanuts (so they don’t burn) for 30 seconds. Add the carrots and peas, onions, and rice. Stir to coat the mixture with oil and distribute the ingredients. Add the soy sauce, stir and take off of heat.

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 25 August, 2013: Sprouts, Carrot, and Cucumber in Peanut Sauce

vegan sprout salad thai style


3 cups mung or soybean sprouts
1 cup shredded or julienned carrot
1 cucumber, julienned or spiralized
1 green onion, minced


1 heaping Tablespoon peanut butter
1 cup apple juice
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1 – 2 teaspoons tabasco, Sriacha, or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)


Combine sprouts, carrot, cucumber, and green onion in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and whip with a fork until blended.

Pour dressing over salad just before serving.

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 14 April, 2013: Fresh Mango Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

mango spring rolls and peanut sauce


Makes about 6 rolls


Rice wrappers
2-4 cups water
1/2 a cucumber, julienned
2 cups cabbage, julienned
1 mango, pitted, peeled, and chopped
About 1.5 cups tofu, cut into small slices or cubes
1 cup cilantro


1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon agave nectar, maple syrup, or 2 teaspoons sugar (see directions below)
2 drops of sesame oil (optional)
1 teaspoon Tabasco or Sriacha, or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Other optional ingredients I did not use this time:

Cooked vermicelli or rice noodles
Daikon radish
Spinach leaves
Green onion


Rice wrappers, a.k.a. banh trang or spring roll wrappers, are from Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. You can get them in Asian markets or in the Asian food section of the grocery store.

Prepare all your filling ingredients ahead of time and lay them out in piles on a cutting board or in small bowls.

They are kind of annoying to work with but the spring rolls are so yummy it is worth it. To use them, heat 2 cups of water until the water is warm but not hot. Pour the water into a dinner plate with sides. Take one of the hard, translucent disks out of the banh trang package and lay it in the water. As soon as the water begins to absorb, flip it over. The disks are usually stamped with a pattern. The kind of banh trang I have a pattern that looks like a tire tread. The moment the tire tread is gone, lay out the banh trang on the board and fill it with ingredients. Don’t stuff it too much, think of it as a rice burrito. Fold the outer edges in over the ingredients and then roll it up like a burrito as tightly as you can. Banh trang are stretchy which is why they can be difficult to work with. Yes, they totally look like rice condoms.

Make the peanut sauce. If you’re using normal sugar, mix it with the water and microwave for 1 minute to melt sugar. Add all peanut sauce ingredients together and beat until smooth with a fork. Thin it down with more water if you like thinner peanut sauce.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 4 March, 2013: One Pot Thai Coconut Soup

Spicy coconut, lime, mushrooms, carrot, and noodle soup when it is snowing outside… Yum.

thai coconut soup

5 cups water
1 veggie broth cube
3/4 cup shiitake mushrooms
1 carrot, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1.5 cups firm tofu, cut into cubes
Quick cooking Korean noodles or linguine. If using linguine, soup will take about 10 minutes longer in cooking time

3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons red chili sauce, Sriacha, or tabasco or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Juice of one lime

1 can coconut milk (13.5 ounces)

Fresh cilantro

Soak mushrooms in water in an large pot on the stove for about 5 minutes. Turn burner on and add veggie broth cube, carrots, onion, and tofu. Bring it to a soft boil at medium-high heat, then turn the heat to medium. Add quick cooking noodles. Noodles should be done in about 2 minutes, longer if using regular linguine.

Once noodles are al dente, add garlic, chili sauce, and lime juice. Stir in coconut milk and simmer for about 3 more minutes. Serve with fresh cilantro.