Grilled Mushrooms with Soba Noodles

Recipe altered from the Thug Kitchen Official Cookbook

Sometimes we find the perfect recipe: Easy, cheap, quick, but not all the ingredients are to our liking. If you’re new to veganism, you’ll find this with lots of your recipes, especially the ones with meat, dairy, or eggs 😉But not to worry! One of the best parts about being a new vegan is getting to try all types of new plant-based foods and selecting your specific style. Once you’ve found your stance in the vegan lifestyle you’ll be able to substitute like a pro.

In this recipe, for example, the original calls for eggplant. Since I don’t like eggplant, I substituted with mushroom and added kale for some extra protein. I also doubled the recipe, so I could meal prep and freeze the extra!

INGREDIENTS

Mushrooms and Marinade

  • 1 cup of rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of agave syrup
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
    • Typically, if the minced garlic is from a jar (or pre-minced) I’ll use 1/4 or 1/2 tablespoon per clove – depending on how much you enjoy garlic
  • One 8 oz container of white mushrooms
    • You can use another type of mushroom, for example, sometimes I will use two cubed portabello caps
  • 2 great big bushels of kale

Noodles

  • Two 8 oz packages of soba noodles
  • 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons of water
  • 2 tablespoons of basil (fresh preferred)
  • 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds (optional)

PREPARATION

Marinade

  1. Mix all marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl (or just a regular bowl – it really doesn’t matter what you mix it with as long as it’s mixed)
    • If you plan to pour the marinade on the mushrooms then have two bowls, one for each
    • If you plan to drop-in the mushrooms after they are sliced into the marinade bowl, just make sure the bowl is big enough
  2. Remove your mushrooms from the package and slice them to your desired size
    • If you’re using mushroom caps then cube them, or slice them – this is your world I’m just giving suggestions!
  3. Depending on the amount of time you have you can marinate for 15 minutes all the way to overnight, or while you’re at work, while you’re at the gym after work – The options are endless

Noodles

  1. Cook the soba noodles according to the package directions. DO NOT forget that you have double the noodles so you’ll need to DOUBLE the directions
  2. Drain and rinse with cool water after the noodles are finished, to prevent sticking
    • You also want to prevent the noodles from continuing to cook and becoming too soft. If the noodles are too soft they will begin to crumble and fall apart, which is no fun

Mushrooms

  1. Bring your pan to medium heat
  2. Put oil in the pan to prevent sticking – I use EVOO
  3. Pour the mushrooms and marinade into the pan and let cook until they are the desired tenderness
    • This will take about five to ten minutes if your pan is already hot. If you just turned your pan on before you placed in the mixture it may take longer.

Spinach

  1. If you have fresh kale, still on the stalk, fold the leaf at the stalk (in the middle) put your non-dominant hand on the now exposed stalk and pull the leaves off the stalk with your dominant hand
    • Rip the leaves to the desired size, or cut into your desired size (it is unlikely you will want to eat the whole leaf you’ve just pulled from the stalk in one bite)
  2. Place the kale leaves into a pot
  3. Fill the pot about 3/4 of the way with water
  4. If you have time put the pot on low heat and let cook
    • If you don’t have time, put the pot on high heat and place the kale in the water once it begins to boil
    • Turn the heat down to medium heat and keep a close eye on the leaves until they are your desired texture – Remember the more you cook kale the less nutritional value it has

Have a large bowl on stand-by for when all your steps are complete and you’re ready to combine everything. Enjoy!

Tofu Ricotta-Stuffed Pasta Shells

Recipe Brought to You by One Green Planet and Rana Yassine

Recipe modified to my taste – as seen in picture

Usually I will make one or two large meal on Sunday nights to last me throughout the entire week. It’s my way of cutting down the cost of being vegan, while also respecting my wallet and not eating out too often! This dish lasted me one full week, and I did not make nor use all of the shells and mixture that I had cooked. This would be a great meal for a vegan family to eat off of, or for my vegan followers who, much like  myself, are trying to stretch meals throughout the week! So of my non-vegan friends and family tasted the dish and found it to be both filling and delicious – Enjoy!

INGREDIENTSIMG_9078

  • Jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 14-ounce package of firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 2 medium portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 large onion, cut finely
  • 1 bag of Follow Your Heart vegan mozzarella
  • 1 jar of organic marinara pasta sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

PREPARATION

To Make The Shells:

  1. Cook shells according to package until slightly underdone. Drain and rinse with cool water to prevent sticking
  2. In a pan, cook the onion, portobello mushrooms, and parsley until golden. Once done season with salt and pepper and let sit until cool
  3. Preheat oven to 355°F

To Make The Ricotta:

  1. Put vegan mozzarella (to your liking), onion, portobello mushrooms, and parsley into a large bowl with tofu and use hands to mix together
  2. Mix contents until it consists of small crumbles and all contents are distributed evenly
  3. Put olive oil on the bottom of the rectangular pan, to make sure pasta does not stick to the bottom
  4. Use small spoon or fork (depending on your preference) to fill shells, and place side by side in the pan until the bottom of the pan is completely covered
  5. Sprinkle any leftover “cheese” over the top of the pasta
  6. Pour sauce in the dish to just cover the pasta
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the dish is to your liking

Can I Get Some Bacon With My Eggs, Please

Everyone LOVES breakfast! Before I became a vegan breakfast was the number one meal I looked forward to actually having time to make on the weekends. From crispy bacon to eggs, pancakes, and hash browns, it all just sounds so mouth watering! I’m sure not to your surprise however, once I became a vegan it was increasingly hard for me to enjoy my favorite meal. Oatmeal became the staple with toast and fresh fruit. Which sounds amazing when you only have to eat it every once and a while, but when you force yourself to eat it almost every day it gets a little tiresome. So what I did was set out for some vegan breakfast alternatives to bring some excitement back to my breakfast menu. Now, I preface this by saying I suggest these with no dietitian license, but based solely on the recommendations of others, my individual tastes, allergies, health needs, and enjoyment!

What I did first was look on the PETA website. They have some great lists for vegan items you can easily find at your local grocery store. There are bagels, pancakes mixes, bread brands, etc. that are easy to make, find, and low cost. I recommend Melt vegan butter and Follow Your Heart vegan cream cheese, as well as Tofutti vegan cream cheese as basic refrigerator essentials. I’m going to do another post on vegan cheeses, because I have put a lot of work into this search, but one thing I will tell you is that in my opinion, for the new vegan and for many other vegans, Daiya is not a good tasting cheese. It melts very well, but it does not taste good, again in my opinion. I was very disappointed when most of the websites I looked on suggested Daiya and upon purchasing it I had to throw it away, because I just could not eat it. Oh well! A story for another day!

vegan-rice-paper-bacon-3
Image From Shannon @ Yup, It’s Vegan

But two sites that have helped me tremendously with my transition are Vitacost.com and Vegan Essentials. They are both online grocery stores that carry vegan items. Vitacost also carries regular groceries and non-vegan products, but gives you the option to shop explicitly vegan, which I love! Vegan essentials is exactly how it sounds and carries everything from food to clothing, all vegan! I wasn’t too excited when I became forced to start getting a lot of my non-refrigerated products from online stores. I thought the prices would be out of this world, and for Vegan Essentials it is very pricey to shop, but I get most of my items from Vitacost which is very cost effective for the vegan on a budget, like myself. Pictured above we have The Vegg French Toast Mix, which for the price gives you 235 servings of delicious french toast. It is also very easy to make by only using 3 ingredients.

Next, you see Follow Your Heart’s vegan eggs. I was skeptical about this product at first, but now I find that I can’t live without it! The eggs take a little longer to cook, but are incredibly delicious and genuinely comparable to actual eggs. Last pictured above are 3 slices of vegan bacon by Lifelight. Now, when I tell you I am a bacon expert that is no exaggeration. I have tried every type of bacon from Turkey to thick maple, and when I gave up meat I never thought I’d find something even remotely close to my one true love. Guess again! Smart bacon, while different from turkey bacon by having to be cooked on the stovetop, takes just like turkey bacon! Now, if you never liked turkey bacon then I would continue looking for another substitute, but for those of you that do enjoy it look no further!

Breakfast doesn’t have to be boring and repetitive just because you’ve decided to do your part in saving the world 😉 . It can be exciting and tasty just as it was before, and I’ll be here for new vegan’s in search of advice on transitioning and product/food replacement to help along the way. I thank you for your sacrifice and pray for your good fortune and that you always remember to just Be You.!