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Vegan Pho with Tofu

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I was very excited to try out Pho, I heard so many great things about it and how flavorful it is! The very first time I tried it in resturant, it was instant love at first bite and I just knew I would have to try to recreate this on my own. Now, I will consider this an “easy pho” because I do use a pre-made vegetable broth for my base but I am really happy with how it turned out! Hope you guys enjoy 🙂

Serving: 4 Large bowls

What you need: 

  • 2 Whole cinnamon sticks
  • 3 Whole cloves
  • 2 Star anise
  • 4 Inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 TBS of dried basil, paprika & garlic powder
  • 2 TBS of black pepper
  • 3 TBS of low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Large yellow onion, Quartered
  • 32 Oz low sodium vegetable broth
  • 4 Cups of water
  • 1 Bag of Maifun rice sticks or any brand rice noodle
  • 1 Bag of baby bok choy
  • 1 Cup of sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • Mung bean sprouts
  • Green onion, chopped
  • Thinly sliced jalapeno
  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Container of extra firm tofu
  • Avocado oil

Method:

  1. In a large pot without any oil, toast cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Once toasted add broth, water,  soy sauce, onion, ginger and seasonings all together in pot. Let simmer together for about 30-40 minutes. Once done, sift out the cloves, cinnamon, star anise and onion. (The smell is amazing!!)
  3. To prepare the tofu: Allow tofu to drain on a paper towel for about 15 minutes to get excess water out of it. Cube in small pieces,coat with olive oil and bake until golden brown and crunchy on the outside.
  4. Saute mushrooms in 1 tps of avocado oil until tender and set a side.
  5. Peel apart bok choy in individual leaves and quickly saute in pan with 1 tsp of avocado oil, set a side.
  6. Chop jalapeno and green onion.
  7. For the rice sticks or noodles, cook according to the directions on the box.
  8. Add 2 large spoon fills of hot broth into bowl and add handful of noodles
  9. Garnish with tofu, bean sprouts, green onion, mushrooms, bok choy, mint and cilantro. Add more broth over the top to fill bowl.

I also added a little crush red pepper for some added heat! The smell of this Pho was so amazing and I loved the delicate flavors!

Until next time,

-T

Being Vegan is Harder Than I Thought!

index When I first took the plunge to become vegan a little over a month ago, I didn’t think it would be very challenging. After all, I had already been a vegetarian for almost 7 years and didn’t eat many dairy products as is but I was wrong! Being vegan is actually a bit more of a challenge then I imagined it to be. My challenge isn’t in wanting meat or anything like that, my biggest rift is finding convenient food! Here in Charlotte we have vegan restaurants, so that is not the issue, the issue is when I am out and I skipped breakfast so I need to grab a quick bite but I can’t because nothing easy is vegan. And breakfast!!! I love breakfast and when I am out and I want to get breakfast food, I can’t because NOTHING IS VEGAN!!! Now, I am not saying vegans have no options because they is so untrue but in terms of “I need something quick” It is really hard. I suppose I will need to start having a snack pack with me when I go out. I am also feeling hungry all the time! With my PCOS, I try to stay away from carbs as much as possible, so when I eat I fill up on vegetables and it’s great..but an hour later I am feeling empty again. I know my body is just trying to get adjusted though. When I first became a vegetarian I was hungry 24/7 but I ate carbs on top of carbs, with my carbs and a side of carbs. This time however, I can’t rely on my starchy friends to keep me sane. This upcoming week I am going to focus of high protein vegetables and eating more beans and tofu and nuts to help fill the void. I will also be snack packing when I go out so that I am not in my car for 2 hours trying to figure out where to go to get a quick bite. Now don’t get me wrong guys, I LOVE being vegan!!! I just need to find away to adjust that works well for me and my schedule!

Also, for an update, I am currently taking my hormone medication to get myself back balanced. The pills make my stomach hurt but I know they are necessary. The rapid weight gain has stopped, so I feel more comfortable going to the gym now. With the PCOS is going to be challenging loosing this extra weight but as long as I stay motivated, I have complete faith in myself.

Until next time,

-T

Vegan Stuffed Peppers!

IMG_20170923_212830_753[1] Sometimes the best recipes are the simplest ones and it took no time to get these yummy peppers prepared and on a dinner plate. My favorite thing about stuffed peppers is that it is an all in one meal, no sides needed! So if you’re looking for a quick and fulfilling dinner that will have you off your feet and in your plate in no time, look no further! Enjoy 🙂

What you need:

  • 4 Large red peppers (Feeds 2-4)
  • 2 Cups of brown rice
  • 4 Shallots, chopped
  • 1 Cup of mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of kale
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 Jar of your favorite pasta sauce. ( I used whole foods brand garlic and basil sauce)
  • 1 TBS of crush red pepper flakes, black pepper & garlic powder
  • 2 TBS of dried basil
  • 2 TBS of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of Daiya cheddar style shreds

Method:

  1. Cut the tops off of the red peppers (cut about a half an inch from the stem) and removed the seeds.
  2. Boil Brown rice until tender and drain (Make sure to not make it mushy, it will cook a little more in the oven)
  3.  In a pan add olive oil and once hot saute shallots, mushrooms and garlic.
  4. Once tender add kale (You can add 1/4 cup of water after adding kale to help it simmer down and avoid the kale from getting to greasy from the oil).
  5. After kale has cooked down, add rice and stir together.
  6. Then add pasta sauce and seasonings and stir. Let simmer for about 3 minutes.
  7. Take rice mix off of the heat and add the cheddar shreds, mix until shreds are completely melted.
  8. Coat an oven safe pan with olive oil
  9. Stuff each pepper with a fair amount of mixture. Any left overs you can save for a rainy day.
  10. Place tops back on peppers and let bake on 350 for 10 minutes.
  11. Let peppers cool down for 5 minutes before serving. Your red peppers should be tender but still have a little crunch to them.

Talk about delicious! I was hoping for left over the next day but most of the time my household never leaves food around that long. I plan on making these again very soon!!

 

Until next time,

-T