Category Archives: Main dish

Simple Pancit :Filipino Noodle Dish

It is considered as one of the “complete” meals in the Philippines… Because of the combination of noodles (carbohydrates) vegetables and meat (real or fake for protein). Taste and texture can vary depending on how you prepare your Pancit, and the type of noodles you use; fresh or dry. Noodles also come in different shapes, size, length, texture and flavor. Most pancit noodles are made from rice flour, there are other types that are made from bean flour, cornstarch, wheat and buckwheat, to name a few.

The most common type of noodles we use in making the regular pancit is the dry, thin, rice noodles but it is not uncommon to use a combination of different types. While making Pancit dish can be a little tricky, just remember a few simple tips: Do not oversoak the noodles. Cook first the tougher ingredients. Do not overcook vegetables and noodles. Stir gently… And do not be afraid to try again if your first attempt did not turn out the way you wanted it to be! Just have fun and enjoy the Pancit! It’s not that hard to make, not really! 😉

I made this simple Pancit recipe per friend’s request. For related recipe check Pancit using thick noodles.

SIMPLE (Basic) PANCIT RECIPE

Classifacation: Vegetarian, Vegan, with Gluten-free substitute

Good source of carbohydrates, fiber, protein

INGREDIENTS:

rice noodles – one 16 oz (454 g) pack dry noodles
veggie meat – 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups, strips (You may use baked or fried seasoned tofu)
coconut oil – 3 TBspoons
onion – 3/4 cups, diced
garlic – 5 large cloves or 2 TBspoons chopped
cabbage – 1/2 of a medium sized (4 cups, cut in strips)
carrots – 2 cups, strips
green beans – 2 cups
vegetable broth – 4 cup, divided (you can make homemade broth recipe using this seasoning here)
soy sauce – 1/4 cup
country-style seasoning or Chicken-style seasoning – 1 TBspoon
onion powder – 1 teaspoon
garlic powder – 1 teaspoon
mushroom seasoning powder – 1/4 teaspoon (optional)

Note: You can also use frozen mix vegetables for quicker preparation. The fresher the vegetables, the better! You can use other vegetables like snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, sprouts, chayote, and other veggies of your choice.

PREPARATION:

1. Soak noodles in water for about 5 minutes. If you use warm water do not soak for more than 10 minutes as it can cause your Pancit to be mushy if you use the suggested amount of water (4 cups). Drain and cut into 3-inches length using scissors.

Note: Some noodles you can easily break/cut without using kitchen scissors before soaking in water (like the brand of noodles I use in this recipe).

2. In a big pan or wok, sautee garlic, onions and veggie meat on a medium heat setting. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add soy sauce. Stir, and cook for another minute or so.

3. Add 3 cups of vegetable broth or water. Bring to simmer before adding the noodles. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or so. If you use plain water you may need to increase the amount of your seasoning to enhance flavor.

4. Add green beans and carrots and the rest of the seasoning. Add cabbage about 3 minutes or so later so as not to over cook it. Stir thoroughly and cook until noodles are soft, but not over-cooked. Stir occasionally but gently to prevent noodles from sticking. Use your judgment: Add the last cup of water or broth if the mixture is too dry and the noodles are still tough. If the mixture is too wet don’t add anymore liquid. Add salt to taste.

Note:

Tips: The longer you soak your noodles the less you use broth in cooking. It is important to note that noodles absorbs more flavor when it’s not over-soaked in water.
– As an option, cook vegetables and noodles separately, then combine them before serving.
– Sometimes you can add the noodles first with the broth, (and a little longer) instead of vegetables especially when the noodles are thicker and tough even after soaking.
-It is OK to have firmer texture vegetables than mushy noodles.

Pancit is ready when the noodles are soft and not chewy. Garnish with green onions. Squeeze some fresh lemons for a different flavor. Enjoy!

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Healthy Holiday Roast

To my dear friends who asked me for the vegan holiday roast I’ve made on Thanksgiving Day, here it is! This is actually my modified recipe of Holiday Roast from Vegan Flavorista blog. I doubled the amount of ingredients, added a few ingredients and flavor enhancers. The result? Yummy! My family and some of my friends who happened to taste it liked it too! It’s pretty easy to make. I’ve also named a few substitute flour for those wheat-gluten intolerant. This is a great meatless recipe for any special occasions! To make the sauce that goes with this recipe click holiday gravy. 

Classification: Vegan vegetarian, can be wheat and gluten free

1. Pre-heat oven for 350*F (175*C).
2. In a pot put some water and bring it to simmer.

Stuffing Ingredients:

coconut oil – 1 TBspoon
onion – 1 cup
mushroom – 1 cup, chopped
(alternative to mushroom could be walnuts or peanuts – 4 TBspoons, chopped, or you can use combination of mushroom & nuts)
sage – 1 teaspoon
thyme – 1 teaspoon
vegetable stock – 1/2 cup
cubed bread – 2 cups
salt – 1/4 teaspoon or more to taste
mushroom seasoning powder – 1/4 teaspoon (optional)

METHOD in making the stuffing:

1. Sautee onion and mushroom with coconut oil.
2. Mix in the rest of seasoning, vegetable broth and bread cubes. Stir well until liquid is absorbed.
3. Turn off heat and set it aside until ready for filling.

If using walnuts or peanuts, sautee it with onion and garlic before setting aside.

Note: If using walnuts or peanuts; Mix it

Loaf Ingredients:

coconut oil – 2-3 TBspoons
onion – 1 cup, minced
garlic – 2 TBspoons. minced

vital wheat gluten flour – 4 cups

Note: Amaranth flour, Barley flour, Buckwheat flour, Brown rice flour, corn flour and millet flour, are a few substitutes to wheat flour. You may use chia seeds flour or ground flax seeds to add to your dough mixture as a flour binder instead of gluten flour.

garbanzo/chick peas flour – 2 cups
nutritional yeast – 1 cup
sea salt – 1 and 1/2 teaspoon

tofu (firm) – 2 packs of 6 oz.
vegetable stock – 2 cups
tamari soy sauce (or regular soy sauce) – 1/2 cup *Tamari soy sauce is gluten free
sage – 1 teaspoon

Method in making the Loaf:

1. In a separate skillet sautee first four loaf ingredients (oil, onion, garlic).
2. Cook in medium heat until tender and brownish. Turn off heat when done.
3. In a large mixing bowl mix the dry ingredients; gluten flour, garbanzo flour, nutritional yeast, and sea salt. Mix well and set aside.
4. Drain and press firm tofu to remove excess liquid. Crumble and put in blender or food processor. Puree until very smooth.
5. Add vegetable stock, soy sauce and sage to the mixture then puree one more time until smooth.
6. Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture and form it into dough.
7. Knead the dough well. Texture should be soft but not too sticky. Add about 1/4 flour or so as needed.
8. Cut the dough in half. Gently flatten each piece of dough to form a round shape. Spread half of the stuffing evenly on top of the flattened dough, and roll it gently to form into a bread loaf. Seal the ends and put in an oiled loaf pan. Repeat the same process on the other half of dough.

OPTION: Cut the dough into four equal pieces (You will need 2 equal pieces for each loaf pan). Flatten two quarter size of the dough and form into oval shape. Press a quarter of the dough into a loaf pan. Spread half of the stuffing in the middle of the dough and form it into an oblong shape. Top with another quarter size of dough and press it very firmly together into a nice loaf shape. Repeat the process for the remaining dough and stuffing.

9. Oil the top of loaves lightly with olive oil or coconut oil.
10. Pour hot water into a baking pan. Cover with foil. Bake in a preheated oven (350*F or 175*C)for about 2 hours.

The roast should be quite firm. Cool on a wire rack and loosen gently from the pan by running a knife around the edge.
Makes 2 holiday roasts!

Enjoy your healthy, vegan, holiday roast with holiday gravy!

Note: You can always adjust the ingredients. Half of the ingredients makes one holiday roast.

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Creamy, Cheese-less Pasta

Here is another family favorite pasta dish that I’m sharing with you. This is my adaptation to vegan Macaroni and Cheese in  7 Secrets Cookbook. The recipe is simple and easy to make. If you have the ingredients, give it a try. You can modify the recipe to suit your taste. This recipe proves to me and my family, that you don’t have to have cheese in your macaroni or pasta. It’s healthy and tasty! 🙂

Classification: Vegan

Good source of fiber, carbohydrates, protein

INGREDIENTS:

 

4 cups dry pasta

1 cup coconut milk

2 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes

3 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

3/4 cup raw cashews

1/2  cup pimento pepper (fresh or canned)

2 TBspoons lemon juice (preferrably fresh squeeze)

1/3 cup cornstarch or flour

1 TB onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 cup soy milk (supreme) powder (or increase cashew to 1/2 cup if soy powder is not available)

1 cup mushroom, diced (or 1 cup peas, or 1 cup sliced olives)

1 TBspoon paprika powder, as garnish

1/2 to 3/4 cup bread crumbs (optional)

1/2 cup green onions, diced (optional)

 

STEPS:

 

1. Cook pasta in 3 quarts (12 cups) boiling water with 2 teaspoons salt, until soft. Follow package instructions for whole grain pasta.

2. For about 2 minutes, blend remaining ingredients (except mushrooms, paprika, green onions and bread crumbs) in a blender until it’s smooth.

3. Drain cooked pasta. In a pan pour blended mixture and drained pasta, and cook together until thick. Add mushrooms (peas or sliced olives). Stir gently. 

4. Place cooked pasta in an oiled  casserole or baking dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs, green onions and paprika. Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 350*F (175*F). OR, cover and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Makes about 8 servings. Enjoy!

TIPS:

If made ahead and heated the next day, stir in some water before heating.

The cheese-less sauce in this recipe may be replaced with Basic Cream Sauce or Vegan Melty Cheese.
Creamy, Cheese-less Pasta

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Black Beans (Mexican style)

Many years ago, a Mexican friend of ours gave me and my husband a gift bag. Inside that gift bag was a pack of black beans, some seasonings and a recipe for cooking black beans as one of her wedding gifts to us. We thought that was special because that friend of ours knew how much we like beans 🙂 And yes, as vegetarians, dishes with beans are part of our diet. It’s good and healthy! There are a lot of recipes out there that use beans. It is one of those main ingredients that you can cook in many different ways.

Mexican style of cooking black beans is simple and easy to make. Depending on the amount of ingredients you put in, your black beans can get extra hot and spicy. So if you do not like spicy food, you may want to reduce the amount of hot pepper you put in your cooking. Want to try some Mexican dish without going to a Mexican restaurant? Try this recipe out.

Classification: Vegan
Good source of: protein, fiber, molybdenum, copper, folate, manganese, vitamin B1, phosphorous, magnesium, iron

INGREDIENTS:

16 oz (1 lb or 453 grams, or about 2 cups) uncooked black beans *You may use canned black beans and adjust the amount of the ingredients.
1 TBspoon coconut oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup green pepper, diced
3-4 bay leaves (laurel)
1 TBspoon salt or more to taste
1/4 mushroom seasoning powder (optional) *I used it as a flavor enhancer.
2 cups vegetable broth or chicken-style broth as needed
**make instant chicken-style broth by mixing 1 TBspoon country-style vegan seasoning into 2 cups of water

2 TBspoons dried oregano leaves or 1/2 cup fresh finely chopped

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder or 1 medium size jalapeño pepper
**if oregano is not available, use whatever available spice/s you have

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder (optional)
3 TBspoons lime or lemon juice, or more to taste (optional, if you want it in your taco, burrito or enchiladas)
1/2 cup diced fresh cilantro or green onion as garnish

STEPS:

1. Wash and soak beans for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the next day.
2. Cook beans with just enough amount of water in a crock pot (for overnight cooking) or cook in a regular pot. When the beans are soft, add 1 TBspoon of salt. *Do not add salt when cooking beans as it takes longer for beans to get soft..
3. In a pan, stir-fry garlic, onion, and pepper with coconut oil for about a minute.
4. Add cooked beans, vegetable broth and the rest of the ingredients. Cover, and cook for about 5 minutes.
5. Before serving remove bay leaves. Sprinkle garnish on top.

Serve with plain cooked rice, rice pilaf, baked/cooked potato, taco, burrito, fajita or anything you want to go with it. You may also use
grated cheese or tomato as toppings.

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Black Beans (Mexican Style)

Greens Curry with Coconut Milk

When we think of curry, we think of Indian cuisine! Is it not right? Maybe because it’s more popular in India 🙂 (it is!). Where I grew up we also ate food with curry, we usually used fresh turmeric root and cooked it with vegetables, some spices and fresh coconut milk. Turmeric is good for our body, and coconut milk is a natural source of oil; not just an ordinary oil but a creamy and healthy plant-based fatty, oil! I must say, this is one of the healthiest and tasty vegetable dish I like. Perfect with rice or baked/steamed potato!

Classification: Vegan
Good source of: manganese, magnesium, iron, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, fiber, copper, potassium, protein, omega 6 – fatty acids, calcium, and many more!

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup water:

3 TBspoon garlic, minced

1 cup onion, diced

2 TBspoon ginger, smashed or thinly-sliced

1-2 teaspoon mild curry powder (you can also use fresh turmeric root or make your own mixture of curry powder using equal parts of turmeric powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, pepper flakes, ginger powder, ground mustard seed [optional] and fenugreek powder)

1 medium-sized carrots, sliced (about 3/4 of a cup)

3 1/2 cup kale leaves, chopped (spinach or chard greens or a combination)

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

1 cup tomatoes, diced

2 cups white beans, cooked & seasoned (or any canned beans; garbanzo/chick peas, black beans or lentils)

1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz or about a cup coconut milk)

1 teaspoon salt or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

STEPS:

1. Place garlic, onion, ginger, and 1/2 cup water in a medium-sized pan. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes.

2. Add sliced carrots and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Add chopped Kale greens and cook for another 3 minutes.

3. Add cooked beans, tomatoes, curry powder, turmeric powder, coconut milk and salt. Cover and simmer for 3 more minutes. Serve over rice or cooked potato.

TIPS:

If you want a thicker curry, just blend about 1 cup of the cooked curry in a blender and blend for a few seconds. Mix and stir into the pot of curry and heat.

 

Makes about 8 servings. Serve with baked/steamed potatoes or rice! Yummy!

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Lunch Ideas: Mushroom Gravy on Potato with simplilicious Sides.

I am sharing with you one of the simple and common foods you can find in the western world’s dining table… potato! I love my rice and I like ‘taters’ too 🙂 Don’t want to eat plain steamed and baked potatoes? Make yourself some gravy to go with it, instead of buying pre-mixed, you’ll save money and avoid unwanted ingredients and preservatives. This gravy is easy to make and the ingredients are simple. You can even make it with only flour, water, a little oil and seasoning if you don’t have mushrooms and cashew nuts.

Some days my lunch plate looks like what’s in the picture: Steamed potatoes with mushroom gravy, Oat burger, cooked green beans and fresh veggies.

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Classification: Vegan

INGREDIENTS: 

1 cup cashew nuts (you may use roasted peanuts)

3 cups water (divided)

1 Tbspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste

1 TBspoon nutritional yeast flakes

1 1/2 TBspoon beef-like seasoning powder (you may use available alternative)

1 1/2 TBspoon low sodium soy sauce

1 TBspoon parsley flakes (optional)

3 TBspoons flour or cornstarch

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1/2 cup onion, diced

4 oz can or 3/4 cup diced mushrooms

1/4 mushroom seasoning powder (optional, use alternative if you may)

STEPS:

1. Place 2 cups of water and other ingredients in blender except last four ingredients (oil, onion, diced mushrooms and mushroom seasoning). Blend on high for about 2 minutes until smooth.

2. In a medium size pan, saute onion with coconut oil, diced mushroom and mushroom seasoning for 2 minutes. If you use fresh mushrooms, it may take about 3-5 minutes to thoroughly cook it. Cover to cook and stir occasionally.

3. When mixture in the blender is fine and smooth, pour into pan to mix with sauteed mushrooms. Add the last 1 cup of water to the blender, swish it around to clean it and add it to the mixture. Bring it to boil over medium heat until mixture thickens. Stir occasionally to avoid lumping. When gravy sauce is thick enough remove from heat.

4. Taste it, if you think your gravy needs more seasoning you may add a little bit more to meet your desired taste. If you want a thicker gravy/sauce, just add more flour or cornstarch dissolved in cool water. Return gravy sauce to heat and stir. Simmer to thicken.

Enjoy!

Makes about 4 cups.

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Vegan Frittata :Italian Dish

Okay, to some of my friends this menu may be unfamiliar. Just like when I first heard the dish name “Frittata” I was curious and couldn’t wait to try it — the vegetarian/vegan version, of course. Frittata and Quiche have some similarities; the preparation and even the taste as they both use eggs. A quiche often has a pastry base, whereas a Frittata does not. Basically, a Frittata is Italian and Quiche is French. Frittata is more of like an omelette. Thickness can vary from thin and pancake like to thick with a golden crust and creamy center. Frittatas can be filled with anything you want with it.

In this recipe, I tried to make it as simple but tasty as possible. I have eaten quiche with eggs before and I thought it was good. And since I am more into vegan cooking I thought I’d stick with using tofu as my egg replacement. See homemade tofu recipe. So if you prefer to use eggs instead of tofu, feel free to do so.

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CLASSIFICATION: Vegan
INGREDIENTS: 

2 TBspoons coconut oil/cooking oil

2 TBSpoons garlic. minced

1 cup onions, diced

4 green onions/bunching onions (separate the greens from the bottom)

2 medium size potato, thinly sliced

1/2 cup red pepper. diced

1 cup cut spinach (or other greens you like)

1 tsp sea salt or more to taste

1 teaspoon non-dairy butter

1/4 teaspoon pepper (optional)

4 TBspoon nutritional yeast flakes (or other non-MSG seasoning available. Quantity may be reduced)

1/4 teaspoon mushroom seasoning powder (optional)

3/4 cup water

1 pack 12 oz. firm tofu

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

shredded soy cheese (optional)

STEPS: 

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a pan, sautee garlic, onions, bottoms of the green onions in cooking oil for about 1 minute. Add non-dairy butter, potatoes, mushroom seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until potatoes are more soft (but not overcooked).

2. In a blender, blend tofu, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast until texture is smooth and well-mixed. Mixture will be somewhat thick, so add water as needed.

3. Pour blended mixture into the pan and mix with the sauteed ingredients. Add spinach, red pepper and green onions at this point. Stir well, cover the pan and cook on medium-low heat for another 2 minutes.

4. Pour mixture in an oiled 9 inch pie pan. Sprinkle some cheese on top (or you may do so after broiling when it’s still hot). Broil (or bake) for about 35 minutes until top is more firm and cooked all the way through.

Allow Frittata to cool slightly before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

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