My Vegetarian Kitchen

Stories of a vegetarian food snob in Northern California


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Spicy Eggplant with Rice Noodles

I stopped in at an Indian grocery store this weekend (rare occurrence as you can probably tell with the lack of Punjabi recipes on my blog) and picked up these wonderful little eggplants, amongst other things.

I really wanted to use the eggplants in some sort of Thai flavours, but I forgot to pick up basil, so I decided to get creative using the frozen basil cubes from my freezer. I considered this experiment to be extremely successful – this season, I think I might freeze up thai basil cubes as well to allow for a quick stirfry.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick rice noodles (my favourite are Annie Chun’s Brown Rice Noodles)
  • 6 baby eggplants cut into wedges
  • 1/2 white onion sliced in thick strips
  • 1 green pepper cut into thick strips

For the sauce:

  • 1 frozen basil cube
  • 1 tbsp mushroom flavoured soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 4 to 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 to 2 thai chilies

Instructions

  1. Start by soaking the rice noodles in warm water – when using these noodles in a stirfry, I find the consistency to be much better as opposed to boiling them.  They remain slightly undercooked, but throwing them into the pan right before serving keeps them from being too gummy.
  2. Using a little bit of oil, allow the eggplant to cook well. I like my eggplant to be fully cooked through and don’t enjoy biting into undercooked pieces.
  3. Add in the peppers and onions and turn off the heat to allow the residual heat to slightly cook the peppers and onions – unlike the eggplant, I enjoy a bit of crunch in the other veggies.
  4. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in a bowl – if it seems too thick, add a bit of water.
  5. Drain the rice noodles and mix the sauce into the noodles until they are well coated.
  6. Add the noodles in with the vegetables, turn up the heat and gently toss it all together.


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Tofu with Brown Rice Noodles and Chinese Broccoli

I need to start this post by mentioning how much I enjoy Deborah Madison’s recipes.  Her recipes are vegetarian, which means I have to skip over some of the recipes that contain eggs, but I still enjoy reading her recipe books.

Brown rice is a staple for us for weeknight dinners.  Occasionally, I will make the rice in the morning before I head out for work but if that doesn’t work out, I usually look for different options for dinner.  I recently came across Annie Chun’s Brown Rice Noodles at Whole Foods, and I love that the only ingredients are brown rice flour and water and that they are so quick to make.

So back to Deborah Madison – her book “Vegetarian Suppers” has a recipe for Tofu and Mushroom Noodles.  I was out of mushrooms, but did have Chinese broccoli, so opted to use that instead.  The most interesting part of the recipe was that she recommended simmering cubed tofu in salted water for 2 minutes and then draining prior to adding to the stirfry.  I loved the chewy texture of the tofu after this technique, and it did not fall apart in the stir fry afterwards either.  I love new tofu techniques!

I followed her recipe fairly closely, but of course, I added my own touch.

For the sauce:

    • 3 tbsp mushroom soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp brown sugar
    • 3 tbsp garlic
    • 1tsp black pepper
    • sea salt to taste

Instructions

      1. Follow the package directions to make 1/2 a box of the rice noodles.
      2. After draining the noodles in a colander, bring more water to boil, and salt it generously before adding the diced tofu. Simmer.
      3. Stir fried 1/2 an onion in a bit of oil, and then add the tofu to the mix.
      4. Once the tofu had browned around the edges, add the sauce to the mix.
      5. While that simmers on low heat, quickly stir fry the Chinese broccoli in a separate pan.
      6. Mix the noodles into the tofu and stir gently so the noodles and tofu were completely covered in the sauce.
      7. Add some fresh scallions for an additional bite. There’s a lot of garlic in the sauce, but you’ll enjoy the garlicky goodness!