DDD #125 – Vegan Thai Pad Gra Prow – Spicy Beef & Basil – with Wide Rice Noodles & Bok Choy

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Click the image above to watch the video.

OK!  Vegan Thai Pad Gra Prow – Spicy Beef & Basil – with Wide Rice Noodles!!!  I added fresh noodles that I bought at Bangluck but this would go just as nicely over rice – or in lettuce wraps.

This dish is very easy & doesn’t use anything especially exotic.  I recommend it very highly!

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Vegan Thai Pad Gra Prow – Spicy Beef & Basil – with Wide Rice Noodles & Bok Choy

SERVES 2 well

INGREDIENTS

A 1-2 TBS sesame oil (or olive oil)

7 (or more) ounces vegan beef (I used seitan)

16 ounces fresh rice noodles (or cooked pasta or cooked rice)

1/2 red bell pepper – sliced into strips

1/2 small onion – diced

2 jalapenos – diced

2 heads bok choy – cleaned (optional) & chopped a bit

5 garlic cloves – chopped

1 TBS liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari) – plus extra

1 tsp dark soy sauce – plus extra if you think it needs more

1 tsp vegan oyster or mushroom sauce

1 TBS sambal oelek

1/2 tsp agave nectar (or brown sugar)

1/2 – 1 cup basil leaves (I used a mixture of Thai sweet basil & Thai holy basil but any basil will do – Thai ones being preferred)

GARNISH – lime wedges, cilantro

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DIRECTIONS

If using noodles – separate them under cold running water.  If using pasta or rice – cook it & set aside.

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Heat the sesame oil (1 or 2 TBS) in a wok or large saute pan.

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Add the red bell pepper, onion & jalapenos.  Saute until soft.  Add all the other ingredients except the garlic & basil (and the garnish).  Heat the noodles & meat through & let the bok choy wilt.  I added a bit of extra liquid aminos here because I thought the dish needed a tad more salt & moisture.  This is your call.  Once the bok choy is wilted & the ingredients are well-combined – stir in the garlic & basil.

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Serve with cilantro & lime wedges!

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Vegan Thai Pad Gra Prow – Spicy Beef & Basil – with Wide Rice Noodles & Bok Choy

Leave a comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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So – last week on Tuesday – I began a test to see how long I could go without spending ANY money on groceries.  The only cheats allowed would be the delivery of vegetables I get every two weeks from Farm Fresh To You & any restaurant meals.  I eat out VERY seldom so – that second one is not much of a cheat.  Still, I started the challenge out eating that Gardenburger from Carney’s.  That cost me $10 with fries & a drink.  Then, I spent the next week eating things like these:

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Vegans, beware!  The Morning Star veggie sausage is merely vegetarian – not vegan.  If I ever eat breakfast (and I seldom do) – it typically looks like that above.

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I eat tortilla pizzas a SHOCKINGLY frequent amount of dinners per month.  I adore them.  And that cheese there is vegan!    It is Parmela Creamery cheese.  I like it A LOT more than Daiya which – I think – tastes funny & doesn’t melt easily.

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More often than not – I eat a giant, zero-carb, 100-calorie bowl of vegan pho for lunch.  Made with shirataki noddles – it is a wonderfully filly & guiltless soup.

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That is a salad of red lettuce, tomatoes & (I admit) a bit of goat cheese.

I also ate my Vegan Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchilada Casserole with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce and my Vegan Potato, Leek, Fennel & Turnip Soup with Carrots & Pepitas – seen below, respectively, so I had a pretty well-fed week.  In the past when I attempt the pantry challenge – I do not allow the acquisition of ANYTHING if it can be avoided.  Almond milk for coffee & wine being notable exceptions.  In the past, once the fresh produce ran out, I became reduced to frozen leftovers & lots & lots of dry, white food – like pasta & rice.  Panicked friends began delivering fresh produce so – to avoid a full-scale panic – I am allowing (as I stated) a 2x monthly delivery of veggies.

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Well – everything was going great – until yesterday.  I had not spent one cent on food since that burger at Carney’s – 8 days before.  But, yesterday, I got bored.  I wanted to cook.  I wanted to post something on this blog.  So – I cheated & allowed myself a stop in the CRAZY inexpensive Thai market – Bangluck.   Shit is practically free in there but I still managed to spend $52.  Here is the bulk of what I got there:

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Those two jars of gluten look like lab specimens but I could not resist.  Each of those cans of varied mock meats are gluten & all cost under $2.  I bought that tofu above for under $2 each – far better than the price at Gelson’s – about a mile away – below.

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Drunk from my misbehavior & shopping orgy – I drove by Sacred Farts.  Yes.  Sacred Farts.

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I Googled it & I guess it is a dance & yoga studio.  Who knew?

Well, my will weakened, I decided to stop by Silom Market – also in Thai Town.  This place is super sketchy and always has a security guard at the front door.  Armed guard to protect bulk spices?  Sorta seems like Silom might be a front for something else – but I digress.   If you go there & decide to buy some of the fresh items they make & sell there – be sure to check ingredients.  By check – I mean GOOGLE.  Let me recount an experience I had there once.

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In the cooler section – they had what seemed to be a large selection of locally produced pre-made sauces & curries & pastes….sold in the lidded plastic containers delis use to sell you potato salad. I looked at a bunch of them, mouth watering as I thought of how authentic my dishes would taste if I used these expertly prepared flavorings.  I saw one that looked dark & spicy & read the ingredients

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Ingredients: Chili, onion, garlic, mangda, sugar, salt, fish, tamarind paste.  It was called Nam Prik Mang-da.  I love prik pao squid at my beloved Torung & this stuff looked like culinary gold.  I didn’t know what mangda was but wrote it off as an obscure name for a common thing – like my recent anise pepper experience.  $5.  Sold!

Upon closer inspection – I see these curries/pastes are made in-house at Silom!

When I got home – I Googled the name of the chili paste I just bought looking for culinary inspiration.  I was ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIED when the search engine spat out its results.  Here – take a peek and see what MANGDA means – HERE.  Don’t look at the horseshoe crabs.  In fact – here is a stock photo of your garden variety MANGDA:

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Yes, folks.  Mangda means giant water bug!!!!!!  OMG!  I’m gagging just looking at that thing!  And I should have known better.  This isn’t my first time crossing paths with these fuckers.  No!  I pointed them out to you guys in my Bangluck Market post.  You can buy 4 of these guys whole, in the refrigerated section, for $4.49 – and they have 35 calories in the 4 together – 15 of which come from fat.  Yeah – they are nearly 50% fat.  Gag.  Needless to say – I threw the $5 container in the trash and pronto.

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So – I have learned to be a careful label reader in Thai markets.

Anyway – here are some new things I found at Silom:

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It is vegan & it is $5.  It didn’t seem very appetizing so I passed on it.

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 Vegan crispy balls?!  I have no idea what they are but I fucking BOUGHT some!

Then I found fresh, frozen jackfruit but I already had 4 cans from Bangluck – so I passed.

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That is how the stuff is displayed in the freezers at Silom.  I dug into one & pulled out a package almost totally obscured by frost.  I scraped it off & discovered this!

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Vegan strip steak!   And then I found this!

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I was VERY excited by these two discoveries but stopped my impulse to buy the entire stock before I had put them to the taste test.

I also bought keffir lime leaves & some other stuff  (some of the stuff below came from Bangluck):

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So – I dropped another $35.  And – when I got home – I realized I wanted red bell peppers for this beef dish so – I went to Gelson’s.  I had a $5 off a $25 purchase so – of course – I had to spend $25.  I filled my basket with what I guessed would just be $25 but I miscalculated.  It never crossed my mind that two red bell peppers would cost over $6!   I also bought the chorizo below.  Gelson’s has a sorta fun (if very expensive) selection of vegan things.  I bought the chorizo – but here are a few of the other vegan delights they offer.  Anyway – I dropped another $40.  So – there’s that.

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OK!  On to this Vegan Thai Pad Gra Prow – Spicy Beef & Basil – with Wide Rice Noodles!!!  I added fresh noodles that I bought at Bangluck but this would go just as nicely over rice – or in lettuce wraps.  The revelation is this AMAZING S.P.A. vegan beef!  Read that nutrition label above.  Non-GMO soy protein.  This shit is guiltless and looks EXACTLY like slices of steak!  It is pretty innocuous in the flavor department so – like chicken – it kinda just takes on the flavors you add to it. HERE they are on Facebook.  I will DEFINITELY be buying more & more & more of this stuff.   Once my pantry challenge is over.

This dish is very easy & doesn’t use anything especially exotic.  I recommend it very highly!

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Vegan Thai Pad Gra Prow – Spicy Beef & Basil – with Wide Rice Noodles & Bok Choy

SERVES 2 well

INGREDIENTS

A few TBS sesame oil (or olive oil)

7 (or more) ounces vegan beef

12 ounces fresh rice noodles (or cooked pasta or cooked rice)

1/2 red bell pepper – sliced into strips

1/2 small onion – diced

2 jalapenos – diced

2 heads bok choy – cleaned (optional) & chopped a bit

5 garlic cloves – chopped

1 TBS liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari) – plus extra

1 tsp dark soy sauce

1 tsp vegan oyster or mushroom sauce

1 TBS sambal oelek

1/2 tsp agave nectar (or brown sugar)

1 cup basil leaves (I used a mixture of Thai sweet basil & Thai holy basil but any basil will do – Thai ones being preferred)

GARNISH – lime wedges, cilantro

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DIRECTIONS

If using noodles – separate them under cold running water.  If using pasta or rice – cook it & set aside.

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I did not bother to defrost the beef.  It might be easier if you do.  Either way – heat the sesame oil (2 or 3 TBS) in a wok or large saute pan.  Cook the beef until it is seared on both sides.  Set aside.  (I only used 1/2 of the cooked beef in the noodle dish & reserved the rest for another recipe.)  I covered the beef while it cooked to hasted the defrosting.

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In the same pan – add a bit of olive (or sesame) oil & heat it.  Add the red bell pepper, onion & jalapenos.  Saute until soft.  Add all the other ingredients except the garlic & basil (and the garnish).  Heat the noodles & meat through & let the bok choy wilt.  I added a bit of extra liquid aminos here because I thought the dish needed a tad more salt & moisture.  This is your call.  Once the bok choy is wilted & the ingredients are well-combined – stir in the garlic & basil.

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Serve with cilantro & lime wedges!

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Vegan Jackfruit Spicy Szechuan Dan Dan Noodles

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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OK – I had never heard of Dan Dan noodles but they are, it seems, a Chinese staple & even on the menu at P.F. Chang’s.  I began researching recipes & they seem to vary a lot – going from a pho-like soup to a drier noodle dish.  Spices varied a lot but they all seemed to have a preserved vegetable thing in them.  I went on Amazon looking for “ya cai” (preserved mustard greens) or “tianjin” (preserved cabbage).  I thought I bought some of one or the other but this is what showed up.

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So – fuck it.  That is what I used.  I used light & dark soy sauces but regular would likely be fine.

You really should use Szechuan pepper (anise) and dried red chilies for the heat & flavor factors.

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And I used this chili oil – which is not the right kind.  I will be making my own chili oil today so I can try a new version of Dan Dan tomorrow!

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I used these fresh egg noodles – but any noodle would work.  If you are vegan, obviously, egg noodles are NG.  Use fettuccine or ramen or chow mein noodles – or whatever you prefer.

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The revelation here is the jackfruit – above.  I had seen it used online in recipes for pulled chicken & pork but I had no idea where to find it.  Then, at my favorite Thai market, Bangluck, I spied an entire shelf of the stuff.  That can cost about $1.40.

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Wikipedia says, “The jackfruit, also known as jack tree, jakfruit, or sometimes simply jack or jak) is a species of tree in the Artocarpus genus of the mulberry family. It is native to parts of South and Southeast Asia, and is believed to have originated in the southwestern rain forests of India, in present-day Goa, Kerala, coastal Karnataka, and Maharashtra. The jackfruit tree is well suited to tropical lowlands, and its fruit is the largest tree-borne fruit, reaching as much as 35 kg (80 lb) in weight, 90 cm (35 in) in length, and 50 cm (20 in) in diameter.[9]

The jackfruit tree is a widely cultivated and popular food item in tropical regions of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Jackfruit is also found across Africa (e.g., in Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania, Madagascar, São Tomé and Príncipe, Ethiopia, and Mauritius), as well as throughout Brazil, west-central Mexico, and in Caribbean nations such as Jamaica. Jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh.

Because unripe jackfruit has a meat-like taste, it is used in curry dishes with spices, in Bihar, Jharkhand, Sri Lankan, Andhran, eastern Indian (Bengali) and (Odisha) and Keralan cuisines. The skin of unripe jackfruit must be peeled first, then the remaining whole jackfruit can be chopped into edible portions and cooked before serving. Young jackfruit has a mild flavor and distinctive meat-like texture and is compared to poultry. Meatless sandwiches have been suggested and are popular with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian populations.”

(these two images below of the jackfruit tree & the split fruit were stolen from Google)

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So – excited – I bought a can.  I was planning on making a Dan Dan recipe with Beyond Meat beefy crumbles but I HAD to try this jackfruit immediately – so – I made Jackfruit Dan Dan.  I opened the can & it looks like that above.  But, it is thready & breaks down the way chicken & other meats do.  Look at these images of cooked jackfruit.  Convincing – no?

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(above from the Chow Vegan)

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(above from Food 52)

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Jackfruit is the greatest Goddamn thing ever!  Look HERE to see the health benefits – including glowing skin & hair growth – low in calories & zero fat!  Genius!

*Here is a little tip I read today about fresh noodles: if you are using fresh noodles (even fresh spaghetti or whatever) – steam it for 5 minutes & then boil it.  The steaming gives the noodles a chewier texture – more like ramen.  I tried it.  It worked.

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Vegan Jackfruit Spicy Szechuan Dan Dan Noodles

serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb noodles of choice (if using fresh noodles – see the *tip above)

Bok choy

for the “meat”

1 (10 oz) can of jackfruit (in water or brine – NOT syrup)

2 tsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves – chopped

1 TBS fresh ginger – minced

3 dry red chilies – cut the top off & shake the seeds out & discard the seeds

1/2 tsp whole Szechuan pepper corns

2 TBS preserved vegetable (ya cai or tianjin, ideally, or the preserved radish I used and I used all 3.5 ounces in the packet)

2 TBS light soy sauce (or low sodium or regular or tamari)

for the sauce

1 tsp ground Szechuan peppercorns (I crushed mine with a mortar & pestle)

4 tsp tahini sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 TBS dark soy sauce (or low sodium or regular or tamari)

1 TBS light soy sauce (or low sodium or regular or tamari)

1 TBS chili oil

2 garlic cloves – mined

1/2 cup water (reserved pasta water is best)

for the garnish

chopped scallions, crushed peanuts, Thai basil or cilantro

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DIRECTIONS

For the sauce – mix the sauce ingredients – except the water.  Add the water from the pasta pan after you cook the pasta.  Or – just use hot tap water & make it all at once & set aside.

For the meat – heat the oil in a pan & add the Szechuan & red chili peppers for one minute.  Then add everything else & heat it through.  Smash the jackfruit up until it looks like pulled chicken or pork.  Set on the lowest heat & set aside.

If using fresh noodles – steam them for 5 minutes then put them in boiling water – adding the bok choy – and cook for about a minute or until it is done.  If you were waiting to add pasta water to the sauce – do that now & drain the rest.

If using dry noodles – cook according to instructions – adding the bok choy when the pasta is about one minute from being ready.   If you were waiting to add pasta water to the sauce – do that now & drain the rest.

Ladle some sauce into two bowls, add noodles & top with the jackfruit.

Garnish & eat it all up.

And look back here soon – because I will make another version of this presently.

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Spicy Asian Lemon Chicken with Bok Choy (Vegan)

1 Comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

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Very easy!  Very yummy!  Very healthy!  Very vegan!  No downside at all!

I have a lemon tree in my yard & I love lemony recipes – so – expect more stuff featuring these fragrant, clean & flavorful fruits!

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Spicy Asian Lemon Chicken with Bok Choy (Vegan)

Serves 2 with rice or noodles

INGREDIENTS

Cooked rice or noodles for two

5 heads bok choy – ends cut off & washed

9 oz vegan chicken

Zest & juice of 1 lemon (at least 3 TBS lemon juice)

1 tsp ground coriander

1-3 tsp crushed red pepper (spice to your tolerance level)

Pinch of salt

1 TBS olive oil

1 cup vegetable stock

1 TBS sesame oil

1-3 tsp sriracha (to suit your heat tolerance)

4 garlic cloves – minced

2 tsp soy sauce

1 TBS cornstarch dissolved (whisked) into 1/4 cup warm water

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DIRECTIONS

Cook your rice or noodles.

Toss the chicken with the lemon zest, coriander, crushed red pepper & salt.  Set aside.

Over med-high, heat the olive oil & brown the faux chicken.  Feel free to cube it up in the pan – or leave it in strips.  When browned a bit – put it on a plate & set aside.

Add the stock to the pan & bring to a boil.  Lower heat a bit & add the bok choy.  Steam for about 3-4 minutes & put it on the plate with the chicken.

Return the stock to a boil.  Add the sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce & sriracha.  Then add the cornstarch dissolved in water.  Boil until it thickens – a few minutes.  Lower heat to lowest setting or turn it off.

Now – plate it up layering some rice then bok choy & then chicken & then generously douse the contents of each plate with the lemon glaze.

Serve with lemon wedges – or not.  Your call.  ENJOY!

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