Try This—Vegetarian Pancit (Filipino Rice Noodles)

“when the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into four or eight slices, I said, four. I don’t think I can eat eight.” —Yogi Berra

Now that’s the kind of portion control I can get on board with, especially when it comes to pizza or rice noodles. I went to the Asian supermarket on Saturday and picked up 12 bundles of rice noodles. Rice noodles are a pantry staple in my house. I literally can eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Super quick to prepare and the possibilities are endless. I’ve been ODing on Pancit lately, and I just have to share my favorite recipe with you. Pancit (pronounced PUN-SIT) is a Filipino dish that I’ve loved since I was in high school.

When my older sister was at Cornell University, her dorm mate was Filipina and she used to cook the most amazing food. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 12 years old, so her dorm mate made all of these traditional Filipino dishes for me with no meat. Did I mention she was super sweet?! Anyway, my absolute favorite has always been Pancit, but up until recently, I’d never tried to make it on my own. Then I found this recipe courtesy of the Veggie Chick, and it’s about as close as you can get to the Pancit I remember. You must try this!!!

Vegetarian Pancit (Filipino Rice Noodles)

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
  • 1 package (15 ounce) extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1 inch pieces and pressed with paper towel to remove all moisture
  • 1 white onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large carrots, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 3-4 cups chopped green cabbage (about 1/2 head)
  • 2 cups baby broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon dried ground ginger)
  • 1 veggie bouillon cube
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt

Directions

  1. Place the rice noodles in a large bowl; cover with warm water and let sit. When the noodles are soft, after about 20 minutes, drain and set noodles aside.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons sesame oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and sauté until browned, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the tofu from the wok. Reduce heat to medium.
  3. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to the wok. Sauté the onion and garlic for 2 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add the carrots, cabbage and broccoli. Stir fry until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tamari, ginger, veggie bouillon cube, vegetable broth and sea salt. Stir until the bouillon cube is dissolved. Add the cooked tofu, rice noodles and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Serves 8. Best served immediately. Stays fresh in the fridge for 1 day.

Recipe: the Veggie Chick for more plant-based cooking inspiration go here.

Try This— Vegetarian Lebanese Stew

I’d rather spend half an hour rearranging things in the dishwasher to fit in that last mug than spend the 20 seconds it would take to wash it by hand. Are you sure you want to turn me loose on meal planning? Ok. Let’s go! If my dishwasher ambition tells you anything, it’s that I crave efficiency. I like the idea of making a big meal on a Sunday evening and eating the leftovers throughout the week. Cook once, eat all week. I’ve found that when the weather is as cold as it’s been, there’s nothing more satisfying than a piping hot bowl of stew. Served over rice, mashed potatoes, with a side salad, or as a stand alone meal, vegetarian stews are probably the easiest weeknight meal you can make.

In the past, I’ve always just sliced up root vegetables and dumped them in a slow cooker with some pre-made soup (carrots, turnips, parsnips, onions, potatoes, and yams, with a butternut squash soup base is my favorite). Totally easy way to make a stew, but after a while it can get a little boring. I decided to play with some Middle Eastern flavors in the stew I made last night and I’m so glad I did! Oregano, mint, and cinnamon take this stew to new heights. It’s hearty, stick-to-your-ribs good, yet still seems fresh and lighter than most stews. You must try this!

Lebanese Vegetarian Stew

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped. You pick the colors. I like green peppers in this stew
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced.
  • 3 baking potatoes, peeled and chopped.
  • 1 16 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 16 ounce can of white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 26.46 ounce box of Pomi Strained Tomatoes or a 28 ounce can of tomato puree
  • 13 ounces or a generous 1-1/2 cups of canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of white wine or a couple of splashes of dry vermouth (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
  • Drizzle of honey or about a teaspoon of sugar to balance the acid in the tomatoes.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano. Rub it between your fingers to release the flavor.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried marjoram (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried mint
  • A couple of pinches of ground cinnamon
  • Olive oil for cooking and drizzling
  • Sea salt or kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions

  • In a large dutch oven or an oven safe pot with a lid, saute the onions and bell pepper on medium to medium high heat with some olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Once the pepper and onions are soft, add the potatoes, garlic, chickpeas, white beans, tomatoes, vegetable broth, wine/vermouth, sugar, dried herbs, spices, bay leaves and more salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a gentle boil. Immediately turn down the heat, simmer, covered for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • After 5 minutes of stove top simmering, place the pot in the oven and cook for an additional 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • When the stew is finished cooking, remove bay leaves.
  • Adjust the salt and pepper. Also add a pinch more of dried oregano, mint and cinnamon.
  • Serve with rice or a salad and a dollop of sour cream.
  • Enjoy!

This recipes makes a pretty big pot of stew. If you’re cooking for yourself, you can place the leftovers in mason jars and store for up to a week in the refrigerator, and up to 2 months in the freezer. Bonus: If you’re feeling like you want a pot pie (and really who doesn’t?), this stew makes the perfect filling. Just pour this into your pie pan and bake. Seriously, how easy is that?!

Pro tip: I prefer to use Pomi tomato products because they come in a box instead of a can, and somehow always retain a garden fresh flavor.

recipe adapted from Vintage Kitchen

Try This— 6 Avocado Toast Recipes That Are Perfect for Autumn and Winter

Rules are made to be broken. Avocados are totally a summer staple, but who says you can’t enjoy them year round? My love affair with this tasty green fruit kind of begins with avocado toast. I have literally made and devoured every possible avocado toast recipe you can think of. There’s nothing more satisfying, wholesome, and downright delicious.

True, avocado toast gets a lot of hype. Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen dressed up as avocado and toast this Halloween, fitness experts swear by the nutritional properties of the mighty avocado, and there’s certainly no shortage of avocado toast recipes floating around the internet. Many of those recipes though are your basic run of the mill take on avocado toast as a Summer treat…salt, pepper, a squirt of lemon juice. Totally delicious, but what if you’re a daredevil, an avocado rebel like me? Say no more, these avocado toast recipes are just what you need. You must try this!!!

1. Autumn Avocado Toast With Pear, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts

Pears, crumbled gorgonzola, walnuts, honey and cinnamon. Yes. It’s as delicious as it sounds. Find the recipe here.

Autumn Avocado Toast With Pear, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts via Arsenic and Old Place

2. Cornbread Avocado Toast

Sometimes the easiest way to change of your avocado toast is by changing up the toast. Swap out your usual bread for cornbread. You’re welcome. Find the recipe here.

Cornbread Avocado Toast via Arsenic and Old Place

3. Garlicky Avocado Grilled Cheese With Pesto

For those colder Autumn days when you want to spice things up a bit, this recipe, like your classic grilled cheese, goes great with a bowl of hot soup. Find the recipe here.

Garlicky Avocado Grilled Cheese With Pesto via Arsenic and Old Place

4. Avocado Toast With Citrus, Pomegranate, and Goat Cheese

A little bit sweet, a little bit salty, a little bit tangy, and a lotta bit creamy, avocado paired with orange and pomegranate is a match made in Heaven. Find the recipe here.

Avocado Toast With Citrus, Pomegranate, and Goat Cheese via Arsenic and Old Place

5. Avocado Toast with caramelized sweet onion and grape tomatoes

If you’ve never added onions to your avocado toast, this is the perfect recipe to start with. Find the recipe here.

Avocado Toast with Caramelized Sweet Onion and Grape Tomatoes via Arsenic and Old Place

6. Avocado Toast With Chili Flakes and Crushed Pistachios

You said you’re a daredevil, right? Don’t be shy about the chili flakes on this one, you won’t be sorry. Find the recipe here.

Avocado Toast With Chili Flakes and Crushed Pistachios via Arsenic and Old Place

Try This—Spanakopita Grilled Cheese

So I broke my Huel diet last night on the most divine sandwich I’ve had in a long time. I didn’t feel much like cooking some elaborate meal so I opted for the tried and true grilled cheese sandwich. I usually put sliced tomato directly on a grilled cheese instead of making a side of tomato soup. Two birds, one stone. But alas, I had no tomato. I had no tomato soup. I didn’t even have any cheddar cheese. So as it goes with most tasty new recipes, last night’s sandwich was born of a combination of desire and improvisation. I bring to you the Spanakopita Grilled Cheese. You must try this!!!

Spanakopita Grilled Cheese

ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 4 slices good-quality bread
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced thinly
  • One 10-ounce bag baby spinach, or 2 big handfuls
  • Pinch salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dill
  • 2 ounces feta, crumbled
  • 4 thin slices provolone cheese

Directions

  • Preheat your panini press (you can make this on the stove top, but for next level sandwiches you really should invest in a panini press).
  • Divide butter evenly between the four slices of bread, spread thinly on one side of each slice.
  • In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, add the garlic and shallot, and cook about 4 minutes, or until the garlic is golden-brown. Add spinach and salt and pepper, and cook for a few more minutes, until the spinach is wilted and most of the moisture is cooked out. Add dill and feta, turn off heat, and mix.
  • Assemble the sandwiches by placing two slices of bread butter side-down on your press or pan, add one slice of provolone to each, then divide the spinach mixture in half and place half on each slice. Top with the remaining 2 slices of cheese and slices of bread, butter side-up.
  • If using a panini press, put the lid down and cook for about 5 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. If using a pan, flip after about 5 minutes, then cook on the other side for 3 minutes. Enjoy!

Source: Alexandra V. Jones

Try This—The Mozzacado: A Next Level Caprese Sandwich

There’s really no way for me to be modest about this, so I’m just gonna come right out and say it. I am a sandwich aficionado. Like seriously a sandwich making guru. There’s really no challenge too great when it comes to making a vegetarian version of a classic sandwich. Still don’t believe me? Try this incredible vegetarian take on a Vietnamese favorite or this amazing vegetarian halloumi burger or any of these. I’ll wait.

Yup. When I’m right, I’m right. But maybe the biggest challenge for a guru like me, is to bring you a knock-your-socks-off recipe for an already vegetarian friendly sandwich. I’m up to the task though. I think I might have a slight advantage here, because who doesn’t love a caprese? Mozzarella. Tomato. Basil. Mmmm. Nuff said. But I, for real, just took my caprese to the next level. Sky high with avocado. Mozzacado! Yaaaaassssss!

This is a super easy recipe, but the payoff is like hitting the lotto. Full disclosure: I ate two of these sandwiches on football Sunday. Whatever. It’s more than a little delicious and it didn’t leave me feeling guilty at all. Fuller disclosure: The second time around, I put that Mozzacado on a panini press. I have transcended. Seriously, if you love sandwiches as much as I do, get your hands on the Cuisinart panini press that I use. Your sandwich game will never be the same. Anyway, the name says it all. The Mozzacado. You must try this!

Mozzacado Caprese Sandwich

Ingredients

makes 2 sandwiches

  • 4 thick slices sourdough bread
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 small ripe tomato
  • 4 slices whole milk mozzarella, sliced thick
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves
  • flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  • Lightly toast the bread
  • Smash the pitted avocado with a little salt and pepper
  • Spread a thick layer of smashed avocado on the warm bread
  • Layer the cheese with the basil and tomato over the avocado