Vegan Chicken & Vegetable Pad Thai Rice Noodles and Silom Thai Market & Vegan Meat GALORE!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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

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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.

I have written about my favorite local Thai market, Bangluck, many times.  I have also mention Silom market.   Silom is where I found the vegan beef I used in my Vegan Spicy Szechuan Orange Beef & Wide Rice Noodles – seen just above.   But – while I was impressed with the vegan meat discoveries in the center freezers – somehow – I missed that they have an entire WALL of freezers – stocked to the brim with vegan meat options!  Look at this shit!

They have dozens & dozens of options.  Some are already prepared – like orange or sesame chicken – and some are not.  Huge bags, small bags.  Seafood, beef, pork & chicken.  Just a regular vegan wet dream!  INCREDIBLE find!  Not sure how I missed it all these years.

The store itself is very ghetto and the security guard out front suggests Silom is a front for some other more nefarious industry than peddling soy products.  But still – it is CHOCK full of cheap but exotic rices & sauces & veggies & BIZARRE-looking desserts & bug-based pastes.  Yes – bug.  That story is HERE.  Here are a few more views of the mecca that is Silom.

That is some fine looking jewelry!

Anyway – I love this place & they almost always have Keffir lime leaves which are like a Thai restaurant in a tiny bag.  They smell SO good!

Anyway – I digress – because I used my favorite faux chicken ever – Beyond Meat – in this Pad Thai.  I used the Pad Thai noodles you see above because they were handy at Silom.  You can use some like this or ramen noodles or even regular pasta.

I also used tamarind paste (also from Silom) but it is not critical.  Not critical but it does add authenticity.

If you cannot find the ingredients I used (tamarind paste or the homemade vegan fish sauce) – there are plenty of other options.  I will list a few in the ingredients list.

Vegan Chicken & Vegetable Pad Thai Rice Noodles

serves 2-4 (depending on appetites)

INGREDIENTS

1 lb pad thai (or other) noodles – cooked according to the package

9 oz vegan chicken

2 TBS coconut oil (or other cooking oil)

1 red bell pepper – cut into slivers

2 cups shredded or matchstick carrots

2 garlic cloves – chopped

1-2 red (or green) jalapeno peppers – diced (optional)

1 small head broccoli – cut into florets

1 cup sprouts

GARNISH – cilantro, lime wedges, chopped peanuts (I used crushed almonds)

for the Pad Thai sauce

(double this recipe if you like a heavy sauce on your noodles)

3 TBS of brown sugar (more if you like a sweeter Pad Thai)

1/4 cup liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

2 TBS rice vinegar

2 TBS lime juice

2 garlic cloves – minced

1 TBS chili paste –  sambal oelek (or sriracha if you cannot find chili paste) – OPTIONAL

1 TBS tamarind paste (or tomato paste or peanut butter – each will be very different but still tasty)

2 TBS homemade vegan fish sauce (or just more soy sauce)

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the noodles & set aside.

Either whisk the sauce ingredients together or warm them on a stove until the sugar dissolves.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan.  Add the red bell, sprouts, broccoli & carrots & saute until tender but not soggy.  Add chicken & garlic & combine for one minute.  Add noodles & sauce (if you doubled the sauce recipe, add it incrementally until you have a ratio that suits you).  Combine & heat through.

Serve with peanuts, cilantro & lime wedges.

Easy 5-Ingredient Fresh Mint & Zucchini Pasta (Vegan or Vegetarian)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

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

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I started this blog on about July 5, 2012.  On July 13, 2012, I posted one of my all-time favorite recipes.  It is one I got from my good friend, Naomi Priestley.  It is Zucchini & Mint Pasta with Parmesan (seen just above).  But – it is such a divine dish – I thought I would post it again with a few new options.  1) It can be made without cheese altogether or 2) without cheese but with a squeeze of lemon juice or 3) with vegan Parmesan.

Do not be thrown by the idea of mint in a pasta dish – it is delicious!  It is especially lovely when you use fresh, homemade pasta – but dry pasta is fine, too.  If you do not consider oil and S&P to be legit ingredients – this is a 5 ingredient dish & comes together in less than 20 minutes.

I bought this ridiculous $5 micro basil because it looks pretty.  It is tasty, too, but it is certainly an unnecessary indulgence.

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Fresh Mint & Zucchini Pasta (Vegan or Vegetarian)

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta – cooked & drained

Olive oil

3-5 zucchini – either grated or spiralized or sliced (you can use as much zucchini as you like to mitigate the amount of pasta you eat or to, at least, lighten up the dish)

1-3 cloves garlic – chopped

1/4 cup fresh mint – chopped

S&P to taste

OPTIONS – Parmesan or vegan Parmesan (to taste) and or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Garnish: chopped mint and/or parsley and/or basil, more cheese, crushed red pepper

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DIRECTIONS

Cook & drain the pasta.

I spiralized the zucchini but you can grate or slice it.  Spiralizing is a good way to bury veggies in a spaghetti dish so your kids do not notice the veggies in there.  I sliced the ends that were too short to spiralize.

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Heat a glug or two of olive oil in a large saute pan.  Saute the garlic for about 30 seconds & then add the zucchini.  Saute a few minutes & then add mint and season with S&P.   When the zucchini is soft – add the pasta & combine.  Add cheese or vegan cheese here – if you are using it – or squeeze in some lemon – if you are going that route.  Plate & serve with cheese and/or chopped herbs (mint or basil or parsley).

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Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta with Fried Sage (Vegan or Vegetarian)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

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

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Pretty much everybody has a pumpkin or two around at this time of year.  After they have served their Halloween purpose – there are a lot of great reasons to re-purpose them.  Reason number one – fresh pumpkin puree (seen above).  That can be used in many recipes – soup, pasta sauce, pie filling, panna cottagnocchi, dog biscuits, dog treats, and even as a healthy additive to your dog’s dinner.  Pumpkin is a great canine diarrhea cure.   You can toast the seeds (seen blow) as a healthy snack.  The recipe for toasting the seeds is HERE.

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So – today I made this dish.  It is delicately flavored & creamy & delicious.  I made this vegan but real cheese would also be nice.  You could use canned pumpkin but I made mine fresh.

Homemade Roasted Pumpkin Puree

INGREDIENTS

Fresh pumpkin (I used two small pie pumpkins & got about 4 cups of puree from them)

Water

S&P

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the tops off & then pumpkins in half (or quarter them, if your pumpkin is large), seed them (keeping the seeds for roasting!) & roast for about 40-50 minutes or until the skin is soft & the meat is fork tender.

Let them cool a bit & then scoop out the meat & puree in a food processor or blender.  I added about 1 cup of water to mine to thin it enough to blend.  Add a bit of S&P.

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Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta with Fried Sage (Vegan or Vegetarian)

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 lb pasta – cooked & drained

3 cups pumpkin puree (recipe above – or canned unsweetened)

20 fresh sage leaves

4 oz (vegan) cream cheese

1/4 – 1/2 cup of (vegan) Parmesan

1 TBS nutritional yeast (optional)

2 TBS (vegan) butter (or olive oil)

2-5 oz coconut milk

1 – 3 tsp crushed red pepper (optional or to taste)

S&P

Potential garnish: some reserved fried & crumbled sage, chopped parsley, grated (vegan) cheese or Parmesan

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DIRECTIONS

Melt the butter & fry the sage a few minutes being careful not to burn it.  Drain them on a paper towel.

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Add the pumpkin puree to the sage butter & add the rest of the ingredients – except the coconut milk – and maybe reserving some fried sage for garnish.  Once the other ingredients are combined – add as much coconut milk as you like – either to taste or to achieve the level of creaminess you desire.  My puree was pretty thin so I only added about 2 oz of coconut milk.  Season with S&P.

Add the pasta & heat through.

Serve with garnish of choice.

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Vegan Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” with Roasted Golden Beets, Swiss Chard & a Collard Green & Pepita Pesto

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

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

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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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I have never gotten into spaghetti squash. In fact – I don’t know if I have ever had it before today.  I knew it made a decent & guiltless pasta substitute but – when I want pasta – I want PASTA.  The one exception to this is my shirataki (zero calorie) noodle pho – seen just above.  I can eat that for lunch every day.

Still – I intentionally ordered a spaghetti squash from Farm Fresh to You this week to force myself to try it and I am glad I did.  It was easy to use and, while not convincing as pasta, it was good enough that I did not mind & it is so guiltless!

I made a collard green & pepita (pumpkin seed) pesto for this.  Click that link for the recipe or use your own favorite pesto variety.  It makes no real difference.  The real revelation here is how satisfying the spaghetti squash is – so – try it at least once.  I added roasted golden beets – you guessed it – because I had some.  They are a lovely addition but not critical.  As to the chard – you could use any other greens you like, instead.  If you are not vegan – tossing some Parmesan or goat cheese in this could be nice, too.

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Vegan Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” with Roasted Golden Beets, Swiss Chard & a Collard Green & Pepita Pesto

Serves  2 VERY well – more if used as a side

INGREDIENTS

Collard Greens & Pepita (Pumpkin Seed) Pesto – or 1 cup of other pesto

1 large spaghetti squash

6 Swiss chard leaves – spines removed but retained & chopped with the leaves (or about 2 cups)

3 (or more) golden beets – leaves & ends trimmed off

Olive oil

S&P

Garnish – either a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, vegan Parmesan or other vegan cheese or (if you are not vegan) real cheese (I used grated Asiago here)

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Ignore those collards there.  🙂

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 375.

Cut the squash in half & scoop out the seeds.

Trim the beets & cover both the beets & squash with a bit of olive oil & some S&P.

Wrap the beets in foil.  Put the squash face-up on a cooking sheet & put the bundle of beets on the sheet, too.  Roast for 45-60 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Depending on the size of your beets – they might take longer.  Allow everything to cool.

When cool enough to handle – scoop out the squash flesh & set aside.  Rub the skins off the beets under running water & cube them.

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Heat a little olive oil in a large saute pan.  Saute the chard over high heat.  I added about 1/4 cup of water to help steam the chard into wilting completely.  Add the beets & the spaghetti squash & combine.  Heat through.  Using two forks – stir in enough pesto to suit your taste.  Combine.  Season with S&P.

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Garnish maybe with an extra dollop of pesto or nutritional yeast or some cheese (vegan or otherwise).

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Baked Vegetarian Penne Pasta alla Siciliana with Smoked Mozzarella & Grilled Eggplant

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

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

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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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This is rich & comforting & easy to make.  I made the sauce but you could use a jar of your favorite kind.  I used real cheese – you can use a vegan alternative – or even omit it.    If you go with no cheese – there is no reason to bake it & you can serve it right from the stove top.  The real key to this is grilling the eggplant – to get rid of that texture & add a smokiness that adds to the autumnal flavors of this dish.

Baked Vegetarian Penna Pasta alla Siciliana with Smoked Mozzarella & Grilled Eggplant

Serve 4 well

INGREDIENTS

1 lb dry pasta

Olive oil

1 eggplant – sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

28 oz chopped tomatoes

6-10 cherry tomatoes – quartered (optional)

1-6 garlic cloves (to taste) – chopped

8 oz smoked mozzarella – grated

1 cup regular (or more smoked) mozzarella – grated

1 tsp – 1 TBS crushed red pepper (to taste)

1 tsp oregano

1/4 cup fresh parsley – chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil – chopped

S&P

Garnish: more grated cheese (Parmesan or Asiago), chopped fresh basil or parsley

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven (if you are using cheese) to 350 degrees.

Cook & drain the pasta.

Either brush the eggplant with olive oil r spray with cooking spray & grill (or a grill or grill pan) – for a few minutes on each side until they are nicely grilled.  Cool & chop.

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Heat a TBS or so of olive oil in a stock pan.  When hot – add the garlic & cook one minute.  Add the chopped tomatoes, crushed red pepper, oregano, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, basil & parsley.  Cook on low for a while until it thickens & the flavors meld.  Maybe 20 minutes or so.  Add the cooked pasta & toss.  If not using cheese – serve & garnish once it is heated through.

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If using cheese – add the 8 oz grated smoked mozzarella & toss.  Put it into a greased casserole & top with the remaining cup of grated cheese.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted & bubbling.

Garnish with cheese or herbs & serve!

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Vegan Creamy & Healthy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Cauliflower

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

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

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This one is easy & healthier than you might guess – because both the pasta & the sauce are chock full of cauliflower.  No cream is used & you can control the ratio of pasta to cauliflower to suit your tastes & needs but the cauliflower in the sauce is a great way to get extra veggies into your kids.

I used fresh roasted red bell peppers but you can used jarred.  It is not difficult to roast them.

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Fresh Roasted Red Bell Peppers

Ingredients

Red bell peppers

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DIRECTIONS

Roast on a grill or on the burners of your stove (or in the over at 500 degrees for 30-40 minutes) – turning often until completely black on all sides.  Wrap in foil & allow to sweat a few minutes.  Under cold running water – slide the skin off the peppers & remove the stem & seeds.  Done!

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Vegan Creamy & Healthy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Cauliflower

Feeds 4

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil

1 large head cauliflower – cut into florets

3-5 red bell peppers (The more you use the stronger the flavor & brighter the color.  I used 3 in this.) – roasted & peeled as described above OR an equivalent jarred roasted peppers.

1 large leek – sliced & washed (or onion or shallots) – pat them dry to avoid splattering the oil

1-6 cloves garlic (to taste) – chopped

1 – 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh basil (plus extra for garnish)

Crushed red pepper to taste

S&P

1-2 TBS nutritional yeast (optional)

1/4 cup vegan Parmesan

12 oz pasta

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DIRECTIONS

Cook the pasta, drain & set aside.

Meanwhile, boil the cauliflower 5-7 minutes – until soft.  Drain & set aside.

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In a very large saute pan, heat about 1 TBS olive oil & saute the leeks until soft.  Add crushed red pepper & garlic and saute another minute.

Put the leeks, about 1/2 the cauliflower florets, roasted red peppers, nutritional yeast, vegan Parmesan, fresh basil and s&p (to taste) into a blender or food processor.  Puree adding as much milk as you need to get the sauce to a consistency you like.

Return the sauce to the pan & add pasta & remaining cauliflower.  Heat through & season to taste.  Serve with basil as garnish.

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Fiery Shrimp fra Diavolo with Squid Ink Pasta

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

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

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This is my first recipe posted since June 16th.   On June 20th, I came home from a 14-hour day at work to find my beautiful, 4-year-old pug, Memphis, dead.  Without explanation.  My world shattered.  Posting recipes seemed so trivial & like an insult to my loss.  I still cry almost every day.  I cried when I opened this blog & saw my last post – explaining my absence here.  He was one of the very, very special ones & I miss him agonizingly.  So – please pardon me if I just post this recipe & have nothing much more to say.

This is VERY easy, very spicy (but you can adjust that) and a very rare seafood recipe from me.  I gave up seafood three years ago or so – but I could not resist this squid ink pasta when I saw it & shrimp seemed the best way to serve it.  So – without further adieu – let me present my Fiery Shrimp fra Diavolo with Squid Ink Pasta.

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Fiery Shrimp fra Diavolo with Squid Ink Pasta

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb squid ink pasta (or any pasta of your choice)

1/2 to 1 lb raw shrimp – shelled & cleaned

1 TBS olive oil

5 oz – 10 oz cherry tomatoes – halved (reserve a few for garnish)

1-6 garlic cloves – sliced, crushed or whole (or to taste)

1-3 jalapenos – chopped (or to taste)

1 tsp to 1 TBS crushed red pepper (or to taste)

1 cup pasta sauce of choice

S&P

Chopped parsley

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DIRECTIONS

Cook the pasta.

Meanwhile – heat the olive oil & ad the jalapenos & tomatoes.  saute over high heat until the tomatoes soften a bit.  Add the crushed red pepper & garlic & saute one minute.  Add the tomato sauce & heat until bubbly.

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Add S&P to taste.  Just before the pasta is done – add the shrimp to the sauce & cook through – being careful not to overcook the shrimp.

Drain the pasta & toss with the sauce.  Serve garnished with fresh, chopped parsley & quartered, raw cherry tomatoes.

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