Everyday Vegan Cooking

Vegan Recipes for Everyday Meals

Category: VERY easy

Quick and Easy Vegetables and Tofu Fried Rice

Everyone in our family likes fried rice and there are many variations on fried rice that I’m making at home regularly. The key for having a delicious Thai style fried rice is two fold: you need to fry a lot of garlic (red onions will also be a nice addition to the flavor) and you need a special soy sauce that will substitute the fish sauce. Other than that, you can add any vegetable you like and cut it however you like, whatever you see and eat in your favorite Thai restaurant will do.

In regards to the soy sauce to use in vegan fried rice I highly recommend  Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce. It has a unique flavor that really helps in achieving a Thai style fried rice flavor. Any other soy sauce will do, but again, this one is the closest to the fish sauce flavor without adding the “fishy” taste to it (which I didn’t like anyways).

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Some other tips:

1. Fried rice turns out better with a day old rice. You can store your rice in the fridge in an air tight container or in a big ziplock. It will still be good for fried rice up to four days later.

2. You have to fry a lot of chopped garlic and turn it slightly brown, this is giving the fried rice they unique Thai flavor.

The version that I’m suggesting here is a very quick and easy one that can serve as a full meal as it is full with protein and nutritious veggies. The way I cook the Tofu in this recipe mimics the fried egg that you occasionally find in non vegan fried rice dishes.

3. Use high heat during the whole cooking process, not medium-high. This will reduce the cooking time significantly and will also improve the flavor while maintaining the nutritional values of the veggies you use.

Ingredients:

10-15 garlic cloves – finely chopped

1 red onion – sliced

1 package of Tofu – crumbled

1 cup of broccoli florets

2 corn kernels – or one can of corn kernels

1 large carrot – diced

2 TBS oil

4 cups of cooked rice

2 TBS of turmeric or curry powder

1/4 cup Golden Mountain seasoning sauce or any other soy sauce.

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Directions:

1. Place a wok with the oil heat the oil over high heat.

2. Add the garlic and saute until slightly brown (about 40 seconds). Add the onions and saute for about 1 minute. Add the crumbled tofu and saute for about 2 minutes.

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3. Add the turmeric or curry powder and stir well until the tofu is yellow and resembles scrambled eggs.

4. Add the veggies and Saute for two more minutes.

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5. Add the rice and the soy sauce and saute for about 3-5 minutes. You can add about 1/3 cup of water, if you like your fried rice to be more “sticky”.

6. Serve.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Quick and Easy Vegetables and Tofu Fried Rice
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 10-15 garlic cloves - finely chopped
  • 1 red onion - sliced
  • 1 package of Tofu - crumbled
  • 1 cup of broccoli florets
  • 2 corn kernels - or one can of corn kernels
  • 1 large carrot - diced
  • 2 TBS oil
  • 4 cups of cooked rice
  • 2 TBS of turmeric or curry powder
  • ¼ cup Golden Mountain seasoning sauce or any other soy sauce.
Instructions
  1. Place a wok with the oil heat the oil over high heat.
  2. Add the garlic and saute until slightly brown (about 40 seconds). Add the onions and saute for about 1 minute. Add the crumbled tofu and saute for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the turmeric or curry powder and stir well until the tofu is yellow and resembles scrambled eggs.
  4. Add the veggies and Saute for two more minutes.
  5. Add the rice and the soy sauce and saute for about 3-5 minutes. You can add about ⅓ cup of water, if you like your fried rice to be more "sticky".
  6. Serve.

 

Red Lentils Omelet / Savory Pancake Recipe

Before I’ve transitioned to a vegan diet, one of the most common dinners that I used to have was an omelet and a salad (usually along other condiments and bread). Since the transition, I’ve explored and developed many vegan omelets recipes that I love which I will probably share in the future. I’ve recently started making this recipe and I find it to be one of the tastiest versions of a vegan omelet. These vegan lentils omelets are very nutritious and full of protein and I bet you and your family will love to have it for dinner.

Please note: you will probably need a strong blender like the Vitamix to prepare this recipe as weaker blenders cannot create a smooth enough mixture from red lentils.

Ingredients for 8 medium omelets:

Must haves:

1 cup of red lentils – washed
1 cup of water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Olive oil for frying.

Optional – for flavor:

Small bunch of parsley
1 glove of garlic
3 TBS nutritional yeasts – will add nutritional values as well as egg yolk flavor
1 shallot
1/2 tsp Kala namak – a salt with a taste and a smell of sulfur – will give the omelet an egg like taste

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Directions:

1. Place the lentils, water, clove of garlic, nutritional yeasts, salt, half of the parsley and Kala Namak in the blender container and blend for about 2 minutes until very smooth and creamy. It is better to put the lentils and water first, when you start preparing the ingredients for this recipe so the lentils will soak in water for few minutes. Add the other ingredients as you have them ready.

2. Pour the mixture into a bowl, add the chopped shallot, chopped other half of the parsley and the baking powder. Taste the mixture to see if it is salty enough for your taste, I like it less salty than others.  Mix well.

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3. Preheat a nonstick pan on a medium heat, add some olive oil. Using a ladle put from the mixture in the pan and fry from one side for about 2-3 minutes until the top part is slightly dry.

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4. Flip the omelets using a flexible flip turner, the omelet should be slightly brown. Fry the other side of the omelet for additional 2 minutes.

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5. Transfer the omelets to a plate lined with paper towels. It is ready.

Serve warm or eat cold a day after in your sandwich or lunch box. I suggest to serve it with fresh raw salads, tahini, hummus, olives and bread.

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Red Lentils Omelet / Savory Pancake Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 8 Medium
Ingredients
Must haves:
  • 1 cup of red lentils - washed
  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Olive oil for frying.
Optional - for flavor:
  • Small bunch of parsley
  • 1 glove of garlic
  • 3 TBS nutritional yeasts - will add nutritional values as well as egg yolk flavor
  • 1 shallot
  • ½ tsp Kala namak - a salt with a taste and a smell of sulfur - will give the omelet an egg like taste
Instructions
  1. Place the lentils, water, clove of garlic, nutritional yeasts, salt, half of the parsley and Kala Namak in the blender container and blend for about 2 minutes until very smooth and creamy. It is better to put the lentils and water first, when you start preparing the ingredients for this recipe so the lentils will soak in water for few minutes. Add the other ingredients as you have them ready.
  2. Pour the mixture into a bowl, add the chopped shallot, chopped other half of the parsley and the baking powder. Taste the mixture to see if it is salty enough for your taste, I like it less salty than others. Mix well.
  3. Preheat a nonstick pan on a medium heat, add some olive oil. Using a ladle put from the mixture in the pan and fry from one side for about 2-3 minutes until the top part is slightly dry.
  4. Flip using a flip turner, the omelet should be slightly brown. Fry the other side of the omelet for additional 2 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. It is ready.
Serve warm or eat cold a day after in your sandwich or lunch box. I suggest to serve it with fresh raw salads, tahini, hummus, olives and bread.

 

Quinoa Dish with Herbs and Steamed Vegetables Cooked in One Pot

Quinoa is high in protein content, low in fat and is the perfect substitute for rice or pasta dishes. You can serve it plain, with grilled or steamed vegetables, mixed with raw veggies and herbs or with your favorite pasta sauce. I often hear people complaining about how hard it is to cook Quinoa, how sometimes they get quinoa porridge and how sometimes it is under cooked and that sometimes it is even bitter. In this post I’ll explain the various ways to cook quinoa that will yield results that will be delicate and perfectly fluffy. I will also explain how you can make a delicious quinoa dish in one pot with about 5 minutes of preparation time.

How to cook the perfect quinoa?

There are many ways to cook quinoa that will yield good results:

  1. Cook it like you would cook pasta – boil water, season with salt, add the quinoa, lower the heat and cook for about 12 minutes until it reaches satisfactory texture. Drain and use in your favorite recipe.
  2. Cook it like you would cook rice – measure out 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups liquid, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, fry the quinoa for a minute in oil, add liquid and some salt bring to boil and cook for 15 minutes. Leave the lid covered for another 5 minutes.
  3. The method I use in this post’s suggested recipe – measure out 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups liquid, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer – place the quinoa and the liquid in a pot. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes, Leave the lid covered for additional 20 minutes.

It is important to rinse the quinoa as it has a natural coating called Saponin, which tastes a little bitter or soapy. rinsing under running water will help you remove this coating and the quinoa will not be bitter.

How to make quinoa that will actually taste good?

  1. Cook with vegetable stock instead of water – Well, almost any recipe that calls for adding water will benefit from adding vegetable broth instead, this is also the case with quinoa.
  2. Add some diced vegetables and herbs to the cooking water – Since I don’t always have  vegetable broth ready to use, I usually add to the water 1 clove of garlic, some chopped parsley and even some diced celery and carrots – these are the staples in any vegetable soup and will enrich the flavor of your quinoa.
  3. Add salt – about 1/2 of a teaspoon for each cup of dry quinoa.

Quinoa Dish with Herbs and steamed vegetables cooked in one pot

I usually make a variation of this recipe as a lunch to take to work. It doesn’t require a lot of preparation time (perhaps 5-10 minutes) and the overall process takes about 30 minutes, so it’s the perfect way to make sure I have a healthy and nutritious warm meal at work.

Ingredients:

1 cup of quinoa – washed

2 cups of water or vegetable stock

1/2 bunch of parsley – chopped

1 tomato – diced

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup of broccoli florets

4 leaves of kale, washed and teared into bite size pieces

Roughly chopped chives (optional)

Directions:

1. Place the quinoa, water, parsley, tomato and salt in a tall cooking pot. We would like the pot to be at least 4 times taller than the volume of the quinoa as the boiled quinoa tend to boil over the top of lower pots.

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2. Put the lid and bring to a boil (about 2 minutes)

3. As you see the steam coming out of the lid, reduce the heat to low medium and put a timer for 10 minutes.

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4. Once the timer rings, place the kale, brocooli and chive on top of the partially cooked quinoa. This is how we are going to steam the kale and broccoli. You can squeeze some lemon on top and sprinkle some salt if you’d like.

In this stage, the quinoa is only partially cooked, the rest of the cooking process will be only steaming

In this stage, the quinoa is only partially cooked, the rest of the cooking process will be only steaming

Add the broccoli and the Kale and Cover with a lid for 20 minutes of steaming

Add the broccoli and the Kale and Cover with a lid for 20 minutes of steaming

5. Turn off the heat source! Place the lid back and put the timer for additional 20 minutes (of steaming).

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6. It is ready. Serve with some tahini, chopped cilantro/parsley, preshly cut tomatoes. I also like to dice a slice of lemon and add it to the mix.

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Tips and Variations:

– Cooking with vegetable stock instead of water will yield even tastier Quinoa

– Try adding raw vegetables like diced zucchini, celery, carrots, tomatoes, fennel, yams etc’ during the first phase. Or any other herb (Step 1 above).

– Try adding spinach, kale, cilantro, parsley to the steaming process (Step 4 above).

5.0 from 1 reviews
Quinoa Dish with Herbs and steamed vegetables cooked in one pot
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
I usually make a variation of this recipe as a lunch to take to work. It doesn't require a lot of preparation time (perhaps 5-10 minutes) and the overall process takes about 30 minutes, so it's the perfect way to make sure I have a healthy and nutritious warm meal at work.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of quinoa - washed
  • 2 cups of water or vegetable stock
  • ½ bunch of parsley - chopped
  • 1 tomato - diced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup of broccoli florets
  • 4 leaves of kale, washed and teared into bite size pieces
  • Roughly chopped chives (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the quinoa, water, parsley, tomato and salt in a tall cooking pot. We would like the pot to be at least 4 times taller than the volume of the quinoa as the boiled quinoa tend to boil over the top of lower pots.
  2. Put the lid and bring to a boil (about 2 minutes)
  3. As you see the steam coming out of the lid, reduce the heat to low medium and put a timer for 10 minutes.
  4. Once the timer rings, place the kale, brocooli and chive on top of the partially cooked quinoa. This is how we are going to steam the kale and broccoli. You can squeeze some lemon on top and sprinkle some salt if you'd like.
  5. Turn off the heat source! Place the lid back and put the timer for additional 20 minutes (of steaming).
  6. It is ready. Serve with some tahini, chopped cilantro/parsley, preshly cut tomatoes. I also like to dice a slice of lemon and add it to the mix.
Tips and Variations:
- Cooking with vegetable stock instead of water will yield even tastier Quinoa
- Try adding raw vegetables like diced zucchini, celery, carrots, tomatoes, fennel, yams etc' during the first phase. Or any other herb (Step 1 above).
- Try adding spinach, kale, cilantro, parsley to the steaming process (Step 4 above).

 

Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob

Oven roasted corn tastes much different than corn cooked in boiling water. You can cook your corn using different cooking techniques and even eat it raw: you can boil it, grill it, with the husks, without the husks, brush it with oil and spices or just serve it with some salt. It is very hard to ruin a fresh corn on the cob when cooking it.

This is yet another very simple recipe that will help you make perfect corn! no more guessing if it has boiled long enough or burning it on the grill. the corn comes out hot, tender al dente and absolutely delicious! It is also the perfect solution for parties, as it is easier to fit many more corn in the oven than in a pot.

This technique will yield a more firm, crunchy and juicy corn and can serve as a template recipe that you can adjust to your particular taste. If you are up to it, you can follow the same steps described in the directions but instead of using an oven, use a grill. it will be ready in less time but will require more attention. If you would like more detailed instructions about grilling corn, please leave a comment and I will reply to it.

Ingredients:

4 ears fresh corn
Optional:
Olive oil
Soy sauce
Mirin
salt
Sweet chili sauce

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180C).

2. Place corn husks directly on the oven rack and bake for 30 minutes.

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3. Take the corn out of the oven using oven gloves and place on a surface like a big plate or a cutting board. I really like these gloves that I linked to, they are heat resistant and still gives you enough flexibility when handling hot things you take out of the oven.

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4. You can peel down the husks, using the oven gloves and use as a handle when eating. You can sprinkle some salt and eat it as is, it will be delicious! However, you can proceed with the next step, which will make it more special.

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5. Wash the husks in water, this will prevent it from burning while you roast the corn the second time. Twist the husks a little, so it will be easy to hold. You can also make a knot if you feel extremely creative 🙂

6. Brush the corn with some flavored liquid or sauce: Olive oil and salt – will not overpower the corn taste but will enhance its flavor. 3 Parts of soy sauce + 1 part of Mirin – will give you a Japanese style corn (especially if you use your grill instead of your oven). Sweet chili sauce – will give it a sweetness and spiciness. Be creative and flavor it as you like. If you are brushing it with a thick dressing that might drop in your oven – it is wise to place a baking pan underneath the corn rack.

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7. Place the corn back in the oven and bake for additional 15-30 minutes until slightly brown.

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8. Serve.

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Sauteed Broccoli – Simple and Delicious Side Dish

Do you remember the sauteed green beans recipe I posted? This recipe calls for the same technique.  The broccoli will stay crunchy, yet juicy with a complex flavor as the slightly burnt parts complement the parts that are still green. Adding the grated Brazil nut on top of this dish, will help balance the slightly sour flavor of this dish, it is recommended but optional.

Ingredients:

2 cups broccoli florets

2 TBS olive oil

1-2 garlic cloves – sliced

1 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup water

2 Brazil nuts – grated

Directions:

1. Heat a large wok or a pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and the broccoli florets.

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2. Saute (fry and mix occasionally) for about 3 minutes so the florets get a little brown side.

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3. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, until you can smell its fragrance.

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4. Mix the water, lemon juice and salt and add to the pan.

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5. Saute for about 3-5 more minutes until most of the water has been evaporated.

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6. Grate some Brazil nuts and serve. BTW, I use this Microplane grater, as it yields the fluffiest result.

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Sauteed Broccoli - Simple and Delicious side dish
 
Prep time
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Ingredients
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves - sliced
  • 1 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 Brazil nuts - grated
Instructions
  1. Heat a large wok or a pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and the broccoli florets.
  2. Saute (fry and mix occasionally) for about 3 minutes so the florets get a little brown side.
  3. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, until you can smell its fragrance.
  4. Mix the water, lemon juice and salt and add to the pan.
  5. Saute for about 3-5 more minutes until most of the water has been evaporated.
  6. Grate some Brazil nuts and serve.

 

Baked Potatoes – Just wash and bake!

Sometimes I come home after work and I don’t have enough time to spend in preparing dinner. This side dish is so easy to prepare but it requires having a Pizza or Baking stone.

The recipe is pretty simple. You pre-heat an oven to 500F (260C), you wash some potatoes (any potato variety will do),  you place the potatoes on the baking stone:

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After about 45-60 minute, depending on the size of the potatoes, when a you stick a fork in it and If it comes out easily, it’s done.
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Serve as a side dish, you can drizzle some olive oil, crack some pepper and salt or serve with some vegan mayo and chives. Delish!

 

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Baked Potatoes - Just wash and bake!
 
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The simplest way to make potatoes
Ingredients
  • Potatoes
Instructions
  1. Wash and rinse the potatoes
  2. Place on top of a baking/pizza stone
  3. Bake for 45-60 minutes.