DDD #141 – Vegan Spicy Thai Basil Noodles with Sesame & Garlic

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2019

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.

This is yet another easy one.  It comes together in ten minutes & it is really flavorful.

I used jarred ginger & this chili oil below is available at Asian markets but also at most large supermarkets in the Asian food aisle.   Fresh ginger is available in most stores, too, if you can’t find this very convenient jarred stuff.  The real key here is the Thai basil as it packs a real flavor punch & tastes distinctly different from regular basil – but regular basil will do if it is all you have access to.

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Spicy Thai Basil Noodles with Sesame and Garlic

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1 pound noodles (even spaghetti works)

2 TBS sesame oil

4 TBS ginger

8 garlic cloves – minced

4 TBS soy sauce or tamari

4 TBS balsamic vinegar

2 TBS agave nectar (or sugar)

1 TBS chili oil (or another TBS of sesame oil & 2 tsp crushed red pepper)

1 cup Thai basil – chopped

2 scallions – sliced

A handful of crushed nuts ( I used almonds – peanuts are more traditional) – optional

Vegetables are optional but I added 1 carrot cut into matchsticks & a dozen or so sugar snap peas.  Other options: broccoli, red bell pepper, zucchini, edamame, bok choy, or any veggies you fancy.

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat & saute the ginger & garlic for one minute. BEWARE OF SPLATTERING OIL!   If you are using sesame oil & crushed red pepper rather than chili oil – add them to the pan, too.  Stir & whisk in the soy sauce, balsamic, agave, and chili oil.

If using regular pasta – add the vegetables you are using in the final 1-3 minutes of the noodle cooking time – depending on the density of the veggies.  Drain & toss with the sesame oil mixture.

You can let these sit for an hour & really soak up the flavors & serve at room temperature – or eat them warm.  When you are ready to eat – toss in the basil & scallions & stir well.  Add nuts & you are good to go!

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DDD #124 – Easy Vegan Garlic Sesame Chicken

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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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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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Click the image above to watch the video.

There is nothing easier than putting raw ingredients into a crock pot & walking away – only to return in a few hours to a home that smells yummy & food that is delicious.  But this comes together on the stove top in about 5-10 minutes.

This is the easiest fucking dish ever.  I used Beyond Meat’s vegan chicken one & Morning Star Veggie Pulled Pork the next time.

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Easiest Ever Vegan Garlic Sesame Chicken (with or without Honey) for the Slow Cooker

Feeds 2 well with rice

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan chicken or other vegan faux meat

6 cloves garlic – minced

1 small onion – diced

1/4 cup of some dark berry jam – I used blueberry but blackberry would be great

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1 TBS agave nectar

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1 TBS sesame oil

1 – 2 TBS cornstarch (optional)

1 TBS dark (black) soy sauce (optional – for color)

For garnish:

Scallions, sesame seeds and/or Thai basil and cooked rice

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Directions

Cook some rice.

STOVE TOP VERSION

Heat the sesame oil & cook the onions until soft.  Add the garlic & after one minute – add the remaining ingredients (the corn starch is optional).  Heat through.  Add water if it gets too thick – cornstarch if it is too watery.  Add the dark soy sauce if you want a darker color.

Garnish as you desire & serve over rice.

SLOW COOKER VERSION

Put everything EXCEPT THE CORNSTARCH the garnishes in your crock pot.  Stir it all up.  My crock pot has no settings so I assume it is just always on high.  Leave it alone for an hour or two – stirring it if you can or want to but it doesn’t need it.

Once it was all bubbly & hot, I used a slotted spoon & took the chicken out and used two forks to sorta shred it – like a pulled pork.  I whisked about 1-2 TBS cornstarch into the sauce to thicken it & then returned the shredded chick to the pot.  I let it sit a while longer but it didn’t need it.  It didn’t REALLY need the shredding or cornstarch, either, so if it looks good to you right outta the pot au naturale – go for it!

Then I garnished it & ate some over rice.  I enjoyed it.

True story.

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DDD #101 – Vegan Big Mac with Beyond Burgers & Copycat McDonald’s Special sauce

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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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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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These came out UNBELIEVABLY well!  I was a lifetime Big Mac whore & no other fast food ever appealed to me.  My Big Mac pizza was pretty successful but this burger puts that to shame.

Above, beneath my Big Bam pizza, is a real Bic Mac – followed by my copycat & then a side by side.  Doesn’t the vegan one look BETTER?  This really is the closest I think you can come to the real thing.  Click the image below to watch the video.


DDD #101 – Vegan Big Mac with Beyond Burgers & Copycat Special sauce

Makes 2 Big Macs

INGREDIENTS

1 package Beyond Burgers (or 4 vegan burger patties)

3 sesame seed buns (or just two – if you are not interested in the center piece of bread)

4 slices vegan cheese

Iceberg lettuce – chopped

Onion – minced

Pickles – sliced

Copycat Special Sauce

1/4 cup vegan mayo

1 TBS vegan French dressing

1 TBS sweet relish

1 TBS minced onion

1 TBS yellow mustard

1/2 tsp white vinegar

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powdet

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

DIRECTIONS

Whisk the sauce together.  et aside.

If using Beyond Burgers – make each patty into two thinner patties.

Cook the burgers & top with cheese & melt.

Assemble the Big Mac: smear two bottom buns with sauce & top with onions, pickles & lettuce.  Put a cheeseburger on each & stack them.  Top with the bun.

Devour!

DDD Ep. #15 – Vegan Big Mac Pizza with Copycat Special Sauce

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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 just 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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DDD Ep. #15 is up! It is my Vegan Big Mac Pizza! Plus, some pop art & pop culture references for you! And the boobs in this episode are not mine.

Click the link for the video (or watch it here) & please subscribe!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvKWQ4FPKQg&feature=youtu.be

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Ever since I was a child – I have been obsessed – addicted even – to McDonald’s.  McDonald’s – specifically.  No other fast food tempted me in the least.  Not Burger King or Taco Bell or any of the other burger chains.  Sure – I would sometimes eat a Fatburger – which inevitably – made me agonizingly ill and an occasional burger from the Tommy’s on Beverly at Rampart – mainly because that Tommy’s was so old school & cool.  But if there had been a McDonald’s next door – I probably would have gone there.  I have always been to insanely addicted to Big Macs that as a kid – I could eat 2.  And McDonald’s fries are the best on Earth.

Then I gave up meat, in the late eighties.  Fuck.  That meant Filet-O-Fish sandwiches for me – which I put up with for a while until I was struck my supreme inspiration.  I bought a Big Mac AND a Filet-O-Fish.  I took the patties out of the Big Mac & fed them to the dogs & put the fish patty in there, instead.  I dipped fries in the tartar sauce on the Filet-O-Fish bun & shoved that fishy Big Mac into my pie hole like I hadn’t eaten for days.  I began doing this regularly.  So many times – I would go spinning & then go the the McD’s drive-thru – still actively sweating from class & get this combo & pull over to a random curb & make my custom sandwich – like a junky cooking dope.  I even included this process in my novel – Bathing & the Single Girl.  Here is the excerpt:

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I decided to make a trip to McDonald’s to take the edge off my panic and maybe finally end my waning hangover. There is nothing like McD’s. It is the only fast food chain I patronize. I’ve been a fish-eating vegetarian for over twenty years but McDonald’s remains my own personal crack. I have to pretend I do not know that there is beef tallow in the French fries and block out the fact that McD’s are a great supporter of the factory farming that spurred my vegetarianism to begin with, but when I am hung over, McDonald’s is my best friend.
I ordered a #1 Big Mac value meal with fries, a diet Coke (gotta save calories somewhere) and a Filet-O-Fish. Once out of the drive thru, I pulled over on a side street like a drug addict jonesing for a fix. I took several big gulps of the best fucking diet Coke I had ever tasted while throwing furtive glances around to make sure I was not being watched. I opened the fish sandwich and scooped all that tartar sauce up on the top bun. This would serve as a bowl and dip for the fries. I grabbed the golden goodness of the square fish stick looking back at me and threw the bottom bun of the fish sandwich in the bag. I took the top off of the Big Mac and threw it in the bag. I removed the burgers and put them aside for my dogs. I placed the fish patty on the middle bun piece and flipped it over onto the bottom bun and its remaining ingredients. Special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions and a filet of fish on what was once a sesame seed bun. I rammed it into my mouth and nearly fainted with pleasure. Every cell in my body reacted negatively to the toxicity and I felt zits popping out on my face as I chewed. I didn’t give a fuck. I dipped a handful of fries in the fatty tartar sauce and forced them into my mouth before I swallowed my first bite of sandwich. I was disgusting. I felt the shame of a tweeker turning her first trick for drugs. My eyes flashed a scan of the horizon searching for the PETA police. My pants felt a size tighter. I finished that food in less than two minutes, literally drinking the last bit of fries from the cardboard container. It was glorious.
Slouched in the car, high from whatever it is in McDonald’s food that made Morgan Spurlock’s liver begin to shut down in Supersize Me, the plan to dine with The Albino seemed like it might actually be a fun adventure.

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So – maybe now you understand the extent of my problem.  That problem got even worse when I gave up eating fish, too, a couple of years ago.  Now – there is no excuse to go into a McDonald’s – because the fries really do have beef tallow in them – so there is literally nothing in there for me to eat – especially as I am inching my way to veganism.

Still – my Big Mac addiction festers without relief.   The smell of McDonald’s still makes my hands want to turn into those drive-thrus – but I can’t.  I won’t.  I shan’t!  And – yeah – I guess I could make a faux Big Mac with a veggie burger (Beyond Meat makes GREAT ones) – but the shitty bun is part of the charm & the special sauce isn’t just Thousand Island – no matter what detractors try to tell you.  It is more magical than that.  My fake Big Mac would be off just enough to leave me feeling cheated.

And then it came to me!  Big Mac PIZZA!  That way – the differences would be more forgivable – because it wasn’t a lame Big Mac – it was a glorious Big Mac pizza!!!!!  And so – I did it.  I did it last night.  After taking two heated spinning classes in 14 hours – I undid all that good – all that blood, sweat & those tears.  Undid it and gave zero fucks.  This fucking pizza is the best Goddamn thing on Earth.  It will be difficult not to eat these every night this week – after all – I have like an infinity of my copycat special sauce.  I can’t wash that gold down the drain – when my gullet is right here craving it – wanting to drink it – inhale it.  So – sure – I have a birthday coming up & it might be nice to NOT be at my absolute FATTEST on that day – but shit happens.  Sometimes things are out of your hands.  Sometimes life presents tough choices.  But – enough about that.  Let me present – my Big Mac pizza!

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Vegan Big Mac Pizza with Copycat McDonald’s Special Sauce

INGREDIENTS

for the special sauce

3/4 cup vegan mayo

2 TBS sweet relish

2 TBS yellow mustard

2 TBS French dressing

1 tsp (or more) each: onion powder, garlic powder, paprika

Water

for the Big Mac Pizza

Pizza dough (I used this HERE)

Vegan ground beef (I used Beyond Meat beefy crumbles)

Shredded lettuce

Vegan cheese (I used some Parmela Creamery sharp cheddar, Chao original & some of my own homemade mozzarella)

Sandwich pickle slices

Onion – diced

Sesame seeds

Jalapeno – sliced (not in a real Big Mac but fuck it)

Semolina flour (optional) for rolling out the dough

Parchment paper (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

for the special sauce

Whisk the ingredients together & add a bit of water to thin it.  Taste it & adjust at will.  I added 2 more tsp of onion powder to mine.

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for the Big Mac Pizza

Heat the oven to 450-500 degrees.

Roll out the dough (I do this in semolina flour because I find it adds to the crispiness of the crust – but regular flour is fine).  Put the dough on a greased cooking sheet (I just use parchment paper – and I recommend it highly).

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Top with cheeses & ground beef.  Cook for about 10-12 minutes or until your crust is done.  I added grated mozzarella at this point & cooked it another minute but only because the pizza looked a bit barren.  You can just dump the meat & cheese on there – cheese under & over the beef.

Once the crust is done – top with the remaining toppings & get your fucking eat on!

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DDD Ep. #8 – 5-minute Sticky, Spicy, Korean BBQ Chicken with Sesame Hibachi Noodles (Vegan)

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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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I am reposting this recipe from August 27, 2015 because it is episode #8 on my cooking show – Delightful Delicious Delovely & Video Vegan.  Go there for all my long & short format cooking videos & please subscribe.

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Holy fucking shit!  This 5-minute Sticky, Spicy, Korean BBQ Chicken is AWESOME!  Honestly, the sauce on them takes 5 minutes & will blow your socks off!  The noodles are more delicate in flavor & accompany the chicken well – and will take as long to cook as the package directs but this whole thing can be don in under 20 minutes.  These noodles are probably more authentically prepared with soba noodles but I just used this spaghetti here.

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I used the best faux chicken on the market – Beyond Meat.  Click that link to find a store locator & maybe grab a coupon!  I used vegan butter & I am pretty sure that vegetarian hoisin in vegan (I am not yet 100% vegan).  If you fear it is not – substitute with a vegan teriyaki sauce.

***NOTES – I used gochujang – a Korean spicy paste.  I see it at my local grocery store in the Asian section but you might have to go to a Korean market or buy it online.  It is like a thick & spicy ketchup.  One suggestion to substitute it is:

“Per tablespoon – Make a paste of 1 tablespoon red chilli pepper flakes moistened with soy sauce and add a little sugar. This will not replicate the complexity but a similar flavor profile.

HERE is another option to substitute using sambal oelek.

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Sesame Hibachi Noodles

Serves 4 (cut this recipe in half to match the chicken quantity – or just treat yourself to leftover yummy noodles)

INGREDIENTS

1 lb noodles (your choice of spaghetti or soba or linguine etc) – cooked & drained

2 TBS vegan butter

2 TBS brown sugar

2 garlic cloves – minced

4 TBS low sodium soy sauce (or tamari)

1 TBS hoisin sauce (or teriyaki sauce)

1 tsp to 2 TBS crushed red pepper (I like shit hot – you might not – so adjust to suite your taste)

1 TBS sesame oil

Sesame seeds

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DIRECTIONS

Cook the noodles.

Meanwhile – heat the butter in a saute pan.  Add the garlic for one minute & then add sugar, hoisin (or teriyaki) and the crushed red pepper.  Bring to a boil & let it thicken a bit.  Add the sesame oil & then immediately toss with the drained, warm noodles

Sprinkle with sesame seeds & maybe extra crushed red pepper.

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5-minute Sticky, Spicy, Korean BBQ Chicken

Serves 2 (double this recipe to match the noodle quantity)

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan Beyond chicken – cubed

3 TBS agave nectar (or honey – if you are not vegan)

2 garlic cloves – minced

1 tsp to 2 TBS crushed red pepper (Again – I like shit hot – you might not – so adjust to suite your taste)

1 TBS gochujang (see notes above)

1 TBS low sodium soy sauce (or tamari)

Juice of 1/2 lime

2 tsp sesame oil

Scallions – sliced – as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Thaw & cube the chicken.

Put the rest of the ingredients (not the chicken) into a sauce pan & bring to a boil  Simmer a few minutes until it thickens – less than 5 minutes.  Add the chicken & cook until the sauce is thick & clinging to the chicken – maybe even letting a few bits brown or char.  Be careful not to burn it.

Garnish with scallions & serve with the noodles.  YUM!

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Vegan Vegetable Pasta Salad with Spicy Asian Sesame Peanut Dressing

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

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Pasta salads.  Who doesn’t like them?  I guess – people who don’t like pasta but do such people exist?  Pasta is a universal thing – like bread.  Is there anyone that doesn’t like bread?  Anyway – lots of pasta salads are drenched in mayo-based sauces & there is no shortage of those that object to mayo.   Even those of us that love mayo are hesitant to eat a pasta salad with mayo that has been sitting out in the backyard BBQ too long.  So – why not eliminate two major objections & make a vegan pasta salad?  Nothing in it quick to spoil & nothing white & creamy to freak out the mayo-haters.

I used ingredients I happened to have so – this is a very flexible salad.  I wanted to use edamame but only had Lima beans – so fuck it.  I used Lima beans.   I had those gorgeous watermelon radishes but they were used primarily for their looks.  You could eliminate any ingredient – or add some – with no negative impact.   This is a light & clean alternative to accompany the entrees at BBQ’s which – let’s face it – tend to be meaty & heavy.

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Vegan Vegetable Pasta Salad with Spicy Asian Sesame Peanut Dressing

INGREDIENTS

1 lb of pasta

6 oz edamame (or Lima beans)

1 small head of broccoli – cut into small florets

4 carrots – grated

2 bell peppers (red, yellow or orange are prettiest) – grated or diced

1 (15 oz) can chickpeas – drained & rinsed

1-4 jalapenos – seeded & either grated or minced

4 radishes – grated or chopped

3 scallions – sliced

1/4 cup cilantro – chopped

1/2 cup slivered almonds

3/4 cup roasted peanuts

GARNISH – extra radish slices. cilantro, extra peanuts

for the dressing

1/2 cup peanut butter (I used chunky)

4 TBS hoisin sauce

4 TBS liquid amino acids (or low sodium soy sauce or tamari)

4 TBS rice vinegar

4 TBS agave nectar

4 TBS sriracha

1 tsp chili oil

2 TBS sesame oil

1-4 garlic cloves – minced

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Whisk together the dressing & set aside.

Cook the pasta & add the broccoli for the last minute or two that it cooks.  Drain & rinse pasta & broccoli under cold water.

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Toss the salad ingredients together.

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Add some dressing & toss.  Add as much as you like – which might be less than you made.  Overdressed salads get icky so add dressing incrementally until it is where you like it.

Garnish & serve.

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Burnt Eggplant with Pomegranate Seeds & Cucumber – or Really Fancy Baba Ganoush

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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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31 years ago today – I moved to Los Angeles intending to establish residency & go to a state school (UCLA) for film – hoping to one day direct. I was 19 & did not know anyone else in LA – and – I had never driven a car (and lived here for 2 1/2 years without car or even a driver’s license) and lived for the first week in a creepy, rent-by-the-week motel on Whitley just north of Hollywood Blvd – until I found an apartment at Sunset & Normandie – where I lived for the next 4+ years. 19 and alone – very far from anything familiar and, apparently iron-clad balls because I can’t imagine being that brave now.  And to be honest – I cried almost every day for the first year & had to deflect my mother’s repeated offers to fly out here, pack me up & move me back home.  Honest to God – I have no fucking idea what I was thinking or how my mother let me go in the first place. I look at my friends’ kids who are at or near that age & cannot imagine sending them off to a seedy big city (which Hollywood really was in 1984) – 3000 miles away. I am very, very proud of my 19-year-old self & what that kid pulled off – through sheer willpower. I wish I had the nerve & gumption now that I had then. I am very grateful to live in LA. It is a great town – despite what the haters will tell you. So, anyway – happy anniversary to me & my youthful courage.

See Los Angeles in all its coolness!

Below are some images of me from that general era.  Notice the shaved sides in the top picture that I tried to mask with bangs in my first ever headshot – just below it.  Little did I know that the edgier me was going to be the key to my ever working as an actress.  Conformity – or my attempts at it – fooled nobody.

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Burnt-Eggplant-(2)

So – onto this gorgeous recipe!  I saw it on The Iron You (seen in their photo above) and could not resist the chance to photograph something so gorgeous.  I made a few minor tweaks – in the interest of it being vegan & a little less caloric – but it is really their recipe – and is is CRAZY delicious!   As The Iron You states – “The end result is an addictive, creamy, smoky, tart, sweet, salty, and aromatic dip/spread/salad.  It can stand on its own as a dip or condiment or as a side to meat or fish or it can be served as a refreshing Middle Eastern inspired salad.”

Funny that I often co-opt Iron You recipes because their primary focus is a Paleo diet which – in reality – is almost the opposite of my focus – a vegan diet.  But they use lots of veggies & their photographs (like that one just above) are so inspiring – I am a big fan!

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This is easy & requires no special tools.  I used a food processor but out of laziness – not need.  Chopping the mushy eggplant would be almost as easy by hand.   It is basically a fancified hummus – but using eggplant rather than chick peas.  I think it is virtually guiltless – as far as calories & it really does have a complexity of flavors that is delightful!  And just LOOK at it!  Can you imagine a pretty holiday appetizer?

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Burnt Eggplant with Pomegranate Seeds & Cucumber – or Really Fancy Baba Ganoush

Serves several as an appetizer served with pita wedges

INGREDIENTS

1 large eggplant

1/3 cup tahini

1 TBS plus 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp agave nectar

1 garlic clove – minced

3 TBS chopped parsley

1/2 large pomegranate

1/2 cucumber – peeled, seeded & diced

Sesame seeds

S&P

More parsley & maybe olive oil for garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Roast the eggplant by placing it directly on a burner over a high flame.  You might want to protect your stove with foil – but I didn’t.  Turn frequently – and don’t walk away from it – lest it catch fire.  This should take 10-15 minutes & the skin should be charred almost all the way off & the flesh of the eggplant should be soft.  Allow to cool & then rub off the burned skin & stem top under cold, running water.  Allow to drain in a colander for 30 minutes.

Get the seeds out of half the pomegranate.  HERE are some tutorials showing how to do that.

If you do not have a food processor – chop the eggplant as finely as possible.

If you do have a food processor – pulse the eggplant a few times.

In either scenario – then mix/pulse in the tahini, lemon, agave, garlic & parsley.  Then fold in the cucumber & 3/4 of the pomegranate seeds.  Season with S&P.  Salt adds depth to this so definitely use some.

Garnish with the remaining pomegranate seeds, some chopped parsley & some sesame seeds.  Traditionally – olive oil is drizzled on top but I see no need to add those calories.  Knock yourself out if calories are of no concern to you.

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Spicy Vegan Sriracha Miso Cole Slaw

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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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This is super easy – especially if you buy some of that pre-chopped slaw mix.  And why not?  Why buy two heads of cabbage & spend time chopping & then not use all the cabbage & have two half heads in the fridge – laying a guilt trip on you until they turn brown enough to warrant tossing them?   Who needs that shit?  Cabbage likes to pop all over the place, too, like cauliflower.  So – do yourself a favor and buy a bag of cole slaw mix.  Or not – your call.

This can be served as a side or as a burger topping or, as I did last night, put on top of tacos.  Creamy, yummy & cruelty-free.

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Spicy Vegan Sriracha Miso Cole Slaw

Makes about 3 cups

INGREDIENTS

8 oz (3 cups) of chopped cabbage (I used a bagged slaw mix) & carrot shreds

1/8-1/2 cup sriracha – start small & add in increments until you reach your spice level

1/3 cup vegan mayo – (increase if you like wetter slaw)

2 TBS white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)

2 TBS miso paste

1/2 tsp sesame oil

2 TBS agave nectar

1/4 tsp salt

2 TBS chia seeds (optional but very good for you)

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DIRECTIONS

I literally put everything in a tupperware container & just shook the bejesus out of it.  You can just stir it all up in a bowl.  Increase mayo or sriracha or salt to taste.

Chill & serve!

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5-minute Sticky, Spicy, Korean BBQ Chicken with Sesame Hibachi Noodles (Vegan)

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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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Holy fucking shit!  This 5-minute Sticky, Spicy, Korean BBQ Chicken is AWESOME!  Honestly, the sauce on them takes 5 minutes & will blow your socks off!  The noodles are more delicate in flavor & accompany the chicken well – and will take as long to cook as the package directs but this whole thing can be don in under 20 minutes.  These noodles are probably more authentically prepared with soba noodles but I just used this spaghetti here.

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I used the best faux chicken on the market – Beyond Meat.  Click that link to find a store locator & maybe grab a coupon!  I used vegan butter & I am pretty sure that vegetarian hoisin in vegan (I am not yet 100% vegan).  If you fear it is not – substitute with a vegan teriyaki sauce.

***NOTES – I used gochujang – a Korean spicy paste.  I see it at my local grocery store in the Asian section but you might have to go to a Korean market or buy it online.  It is like a thick & spicy ketchup.  One suggestion to substitute it is:

“Per tablespoon – Make a paste of 1 tablespoon red chilli pepper flakes moistened with soy sauce and add a little sugar. This will not replicate the complexity but a similar flavor profile.

HERE is another option to substitute using sambal oelek.

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Sesame Hibachi Noodles

Serves 4 (cut this recipe in half to match the chicken quantity – or just treat yourself to leftover yummy noodles)

INGREDIENTS

1 lb noodles (your choice of spaghetti or soba or linguine etc) – cooked & drained

2 TBS vegan butter

2 TBS brown sugar

2 garlic cloves – minced

4 TBS low sodium soy sauce (or tamari)

1 TBS hoisin sauce (or teriyaki sauce)

1 tsp to 2 TBS crushed red pepper (I like shit hot – you might not – so adjust to suite your taste)

1 TBS sesame oil

Sesame seeds

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DIRECTIONS

Cook the noodles.

Meanwhile – heat the butter in a saute pan.  Add the garlic for one minute & then add sugar, hoisin (or teriyaki) and the crushed red pepper.  Bring to a boil & let it thicken a bit.  Add the sesame oil & then immediately toss with the drained, warm noodles

Sprinkle with sesame seeds & maybe extra crushed red pepper.

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5-minute Sticky, Spicy, Korean BBQ Chicken

Serves 2 (double this recipe to match the noodle quantity)

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan Beyond chicken – cubed

3 TBS agave nectar (or honey – if you are not vegan)

2 garlic cloves – minced

1 tsp to 2 TBS crushed red pepper (Again – I like shit hot – you might not – so adjust to suite your taste)

1 TBS gochujang (see notes above)

1 TBS low sodium soy sauce (or tamari)

Juice of 1/2 lime

2 tsp sesame oil

Scallions – sliced – as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Thaw & cube the chicken.

Put the rest of the ingredients (not the chicken) into a sauce pan & bring to a boil  Simmer a few minutes until it thickens – less than 5 minutes.  Add the chicken & cook until the sauce is thick & clinging to the chicken – maybe even letting a few bits brown or char.  Be careful not to burn it.

Garnish with scallions & serve with the noodles.  YUM!

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Sriracha Ginger Soy Sugar Snap Peas

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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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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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These are extremely easy & quick to make.  The hardest part is cutting each of the sugar snap peas in half.  Apparently, you can break the stem end of them & pull down on the string, like a zipper, and string these guys but that didn’t work on mine.  Maybe they were not fresh enough.  I don’t know.  But – if you want to string your beans – knock yourself out.  Mine were great without that step.

I used vegetarian hoisin sauce in these but if you cannot find that (or regular hoisin) – do not be discouraged.  These are awesome without that one ingredient, too.

This really makes just one serving so increase as needed to suit your head count.

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Sriracha Ginger Soy Sugar Snap Peas

Serves ONE as a side dish

INGREDIENTS

8 oz fresh sugar snap peas – strung (see note above) and cut almost in half along the seam  (split them but not totally in half)

2 TBS soy sauce or tamari (I always use low sodium)

1 TBS sriracha

1 tsp sesame oil

1 TBS hoisin sauce (optional)

4 garlic cloves – cut in half or in thirds (you want big chunks so it doesn’t burn)

1 TBS minced fresh ginger (or 3-4 slices about the size of a quarter)

2 tsp olive oil

Sesame seeds – black and/or white as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Whisk together the soy sauce, sriracha, sesame oil & hoisin sauce.  Set aside.

Prepare your sugar snap peas.

Have everything ready to go because these cook fast.

Heat a pan on HIGH HEAT for a minute & then add the olive oil.  Once the oil is hot, add the garlic & ginger (beware splatter).  Cook one minute & then add the sugar snap peas.  After about 2 minutes, add the sriracha mixture.  Cook on high – stirring continually so the garlic doesn’t burn –  until most of the dressing cooks off – maybe another minute.

Serve with sesame seeds.

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Spicy Thai Basil Noodles with Sesame and Garlic

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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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This is yet another easy one that also just happens to be vegetarian (and could easily be made vegan).  It comes together in ten minutes & it is really flavorful.  I was inspired to make this because I found these fresh egg noodles in my local Asian market – Bangluck.   This is enough for 4 and it cost $1.49.  Pretty great!

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If you cannot find this kind of fresh noodle or if you are vegan, angle hair pasta works fine.  And thin noodle would work.

I used jarred ginger & this chili oil below is available at Asian markets but also at most large supermarkets in the Asian food aisle.   Fresh ginger is available in most stores, too, if you can’t find this very convenient jarred stuff.  The real key here is the Thai basil as it packs a real flavor punch & tastes distinctly different from regular basil – but regular basil will do if it is all you have access to.

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Spicy Thai Basil Noodles with Sesame and Garlic

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 pound noodles

1 TBS sesame oil

2 TBS ginger

4 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS soy sauce or tamari

2 TBS balsamic vinegar

1 TBS agave nectar (or sugar)

1 TBS chili oil (or another TBS of sesame oil & 2 tsp crushed red pepper)

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup Thai basil – chopped

2 scallions – sliced

a handful of crushed nuts ( I used almonds) – optional

Vegetables are optional but I added 1 carrot cut into matchsticks & a dozen or so sugar snap peas

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat & saute the ginger & garlic for one minute.  If you are using sesame oil & crushed red pepper rather than chili oil – add them to the pan, too.  Stir & pour into a bowl & whisk in the soy sauce, balsamic, agave, chili oil & salt.

Boil water for the noodles.  If using fresh noodles, add the vegetables a minute before you add the pasta.  Fresh noodles cook very quickly.  Drain & toss with the sesame oil mixture.

If using regular pasta – add the vegetables you are using in the final minute of the noodle cooking time.  Drain & toss with the sesame oil mixture.

You can let these sit for an hour & really soak up the flavors & serve at room temperature – or eat them warm.  When you are ready to eat – toss in the basil & scallions & stir well.  Add nuts & you are good to go!

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Easiest Ever Vegan Garlic Sesame Chicken (with or without Honey) for the Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

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

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There is nothing easier than putting raw ingredients into a crock pot & walking away – only to return in a few hours to a home that smells yummy & food that is delicious.

This is the easiest fucking dish ever.  I used Beyond Meat’s vegan chicken but if you insist that meat be involved – just use it.

I used honey but I am not vegan.  If you are – don’t get your panties in a bunch.  Either use agave nectar or just omit it & don’t sub anything else.  I don’t think it is critical as the jam adds all the sweet this dish needs.

There are no photos of the process because there is no process.  Just dump the shit into your crock pot & go for a hike.  Come home & shove this in your pie hole.  You can thank me later.

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Easiest Ever Vegan Garlic Sesame Chicken (with or without Honey) for the Slow Cooker

Feeds 2 well with rice

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan chicken

6 cloves garlic – minced

1 small onion – diced

1/4 cup of some dark berry jam – I used blueberry but blackberry would be great

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1/2 cup honey (if you are not vegan) or agave nectar (if you are) – optional

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1 TBS sesame oil

1 – 2 TBS cornstarch

For garnish:

Scallions, sesame seeds and/or Thai basil and cooked rice

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Directions

Cook some rice.

Put everything EXCEPT THE CORNSTARCH the garnishes in your crock pot.  Stir it all up.  My crock pot has no settings so I assume it is just always on high.  Leave it alone for an hour or two – stirring it if you can or want to but it doesn’t need it.

Once it was all bubbly & hot, I used a slotted spoon & took the chicken out and used two forks to sorta shred it – like a pulled pork.  I whisked about 1-2 TBS cornstarch into the sauce to thicken it & then returned the shredded chick to the pot.  I let it sit a while longer but it didn’t need it.  It didn’t REALLY need the shredding or cornstarch, either, so if it looks good to you right outta the pot au naturale – go for it!

Then I garnished it & ate some over rice.  I enjoyed it.

True story.

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Spicy Vegan Miso Sesame Chicken

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

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

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Labor Day!  September 1st – and I haven’t posted since July 31st.   I have never dropped the ball for so long and I apologize.  But – I was out of town for a few weeks – in Mississippi shooting

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and then celebrating the third anniversary of meeting the badass, Miles Miller, at Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham.

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The film promises to be fantastic & Sidewalk is always a perfect experience.

That said – back to food.

This recipe can be tweaked to accommodate a carnivore or a vegan.  Easy, quick & spicy – it is just another great way to use Beyond Meat’s amazing vegan chicken.

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Spicy Vegan Miso Sesame Chicken

Feeds 2 with rice & a steamed vegetable

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan (or real) chicken

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 TBS agave nectar (or honey – if you are not vegan)

3 TBS miso paste

2 TBS sambal oelek (or other hot sauce)

4 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS toasted (or other) sesame oil

Cooking spray or olive oil

cilantro or scallions or micro greens for garnish

cooked rice

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DIRECTIONS

Steam some rice.  I used brown Basmati.  I also added some broccoli to the cooking rice in the last 5 minutes.

Mix the rice vinegar, agave or honey, miso paste, hot sauce, garlic & sesame oil in a bowl & pour over the chicken.  I did this right in the bag the chicken came in.  Marinate for an hour or more, if you can – but that isn’t totally necessary.

Remove the chicken from the marinade & put the marinade in a pan & heat over high heat until it thickens – maybe 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, treat a pan with cooking spray or olive oil & cook the chicken until it browns.  If using real chicken – be sure to cook it through.

Now – simply serve the chicken over some rice & drizzle with the glaze or add the chicken to the pan with the glaze & then put some on the rice.  Your call.

Garnish with scallions or cilantro or some greens.  Eat it up!

HAPPY LABOR DAY!!!!!!!

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Roasted Sesame Garlic Broccoli

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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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Pardon my pimping my debut novel but I am SO EXCITED!  It is HILARIOUS & raunchy & a total guilty pleasure.  I hope you will check it out!

www.BathingBook.com

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Meanwhile, a gal still has to eat.  Last night, I made this delicious roasted broccoli.  It came out a tad overcooked for my taste but I am having oven issues & cannot really be sure whether the cooking was a result of my oven being hotter than I thought or maybe my timing was off.  I will recommend only that you check yours as it cooks to avoid overcooking.

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Roasted Sesame Garlic Broccoli

INGREDIENTS

1 head broccoli – cut into florets (cut the florets in half for even faster cooking)

4 garlic cloves – minced

1 TBS olive oil

1 TBS soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

Sesame seeds – toasted until fragrant in a dry pan (maybe 1-2 minutes) – optional as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450.

Prepare a cooking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment.

Whisk the olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce & crushed red pepper together.  Toss the broccoli in this until it is well coated.  Arrange on the cooking sheet & roast for 5 minutes.  Remove it from the oven & toss in the garlic.  Roast another 5 minutes & test to see if the broccoli is done.  If not – not more than another 5 minutes should do it.

Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds & enjoy while ordering a copy of my book!  🙂

http://www.amazon.com

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Pepper & Sesame Crusted Seared Ahi with Spicy Mayo or Wasabi Mayo & Salad with Matsuhisa Dressing

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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

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If you read this blog regularly, you know I burned $5 recently on a little container of micro arugula.  It is that little shamrocky looking stuff in these pictures.  I just wanted to follow up on my confession that I bought something so silly by pointing out how much mileage I am getting out of it!  It is really a pretty (and SPICY) little thing & it dresses up food spectacularly.  And it really does add flavor so – that might not be the last time I splurge on it.  So there.

There is nothing easier than this recipe.  The hardest part is finding a quality piece of fish & then ponying up the cash for it.  I got two 3/4 pound slabs at Costco recently for about $20.  That felt steep but then I saw the same fish at Gelson’s for $27 a pound so I felt better.

I felt even better when I used this stuff.  You might have already seen my pretty Sushi Tower

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which was a massive success both on the plate and in my mouth.  This seared option is also wonderful & far easier to pull off.  The two sauce options are really easy, too.  I am posting a little baby kale & arugula salad I made here, too, because it isn’t really a recipe that warrants its own post but the Matsuhisa dressing is so unbelievably delicious – I had to share it with you.  It would go well on any salad or seafood or chicken.  Crazy yummy!

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Matsuhisa Dressing

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup finely diced sweet onion

2 TBS plus 2 tsp soy sauce

2 TBS plus 1 tsp rice vinegar

2 tsp water

1/2 tsp sugar

pinch of salt

1/4 tsp powdered mustard

pinch fresh ground pepper

4 tsp grapeseed oil

4 tsp sesame oil

DIRECTIONS

Shake together.

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OK – now onto the mayo concoctions.

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Wasabi Mayo

Blend 1/3 cup mayo with 2 tsp prepared wasabi.

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Spicy Mayo

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup mayo of your choice

2 TBS sriracha

1 tsp sesame oil

DIRECTIONS

Blend together.  If you have a squeezy bottle to put it in do – because then you can make pretty designs on the plate with the mayo.

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As to the tuna, I used a mortar & pestle to grind up

1 TBS peppercorns

1 TBS white sesame seeds

1 TBS black sesame seeds

1 tsp ground pepper

It was hard to grind them.  Next time – I will just use a pepper mill for grinding the pepper & not bother grinding the sesame seeds.

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Then – simply press your ahi into the mix.

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Press the spice mix in with your hands.  Then, on a very hot grill, sear for about two minutes on each side.

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Cut it up right away to disperse the heat & to keep it from cooking more.  Dress with your mayos & serve with Wasabi Mashed Cauliflower and/or the salad with Matsuhisa dressing!  What a fabulous, light & healthy meal!

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Ahi Sushi Tower with Mango Salsa & Avocado, Spicy Mayo and Baked Wonton Crackers

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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

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Isn’t that pretty?  Tasted even better!  Like most of my recipes, there is nothing difficult about this beyond the fact that it requires a few ingredients some might find a bit exotic & it takes several steps to accomplish.  Still, once you have made the rice & the salsa & the sashimi & the guacamole – you have the stuff to make many of these in minutes.  As to the ingredients, I think nearly everything I used can be found in most major supermarkets.  If there is something I use that you cannot find – Google that ingredient followed by the word “substitute.”   Usually – someone out there will have posted a simple solution to your dilemma.

There are two sauces on the plate here with this dish.  One would do so if making both overwhelms you – make the one that sounds tastier to you.

I bought two pieces of ahi at Costco yesterday at $14 pound.  They are each about 3/4 of a pound & look like this:

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This same fish is $27 a pound at Gelson’s.  If you buy ahi at a supermarket with a full service seafood department – I recommend having them dice the fish for you.  Tuna has fat running through it that resists cutting & gets all gross & sinewy if you try to cut across the grain or with the grain – whatever way is the wrong way.  I managed to salvage most of this slab but some was beyond repair & was eaten eagerly by my three dogs.  Giving already spoiled dogs sushi grade tuna is outrageous – but cutting the fish incorrectly will leave you in the same situation.  In fact – before I venture into my second slab tonight – I am going to watch one of these tutorials HERE.  Maybe you should, too.

I am going to give the ingredients & directions to each of the levels of this tower individually.  This tower is topped with a pinch of micro arugula which is CRAZY spicy for such a delicate looking little herb but it costs $5 for a small container.  I splurged on it yesterday – rationalizing that I’d save so much on the tuna that I could afford it.  Nobody can afford it.  It is obscene to spend $5 for just a garnish but sometimes you just gotta say “fuck it.”

OK – so – the tower is comprised of a layer of sushi rice, a layer of mango salsa, a layer or avocado & then the ahi sashimi.  The wonton cracker atop was DELICIOUS & so easy to make so I really recommend you make a bunch of these to use as scoops to devour your creation.  I decided to try making them because I couldn’t bring myself to buy a lesser version in the chip aisle at Gelson’s, pay $5 for them & get a bag that, despite weighing 3 ounces, somehow packed 1600 calories.    MAKE THESE.  You won’t regret it!

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Baked Wonton Crackers

INGREDIENTS

Wonton skins

Sesame seeds (black or white)

Egg whites – whisked

DIRECTIONS

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Swipe some egg white wash on each wonton & sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Bake about 5 minutes on each side or until they are golden & crisp.

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Spicy Mayo

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup mayo of your choice

2 TBS sriracha

1 tsp sesame oil

DIRECTIONS

Blend together.  If you have a squeezy bottle to put it in do – because then you can make pretty designs on the plate with the mayo.

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Soy-Mirin Sauce

INGREDIENTS

3 TBS soy sauce

2 TBS mirin

1 TBS rice wine vinegar

1 TBS lemon juice

1 tsp sesame oil

A few drops hot chili oil (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Blend together.

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Avocado Layer

INGREDIENTS

1 large ripe avocado – diced

1 TBS lemon juice

1 TBS lime juice

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Mix together.

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Mango Salsa

INGREDIENTS

1 ripe mango – chopped

1/2 red onion – minced

2 scallions – minced

1/2 red bell pepper – minced

1 jalapeno (or 2 serranos if you love heat) – minced

S&P to taste

Juice of half a lime

Juice of half a lemon

DIRECTIONS

Mix together.

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Sushi Rice

INGREDIENTS

3 cups Japanese sushi rice

3 1/4 cups water

1/3 cup rice vinegar

3 TBS sugar

1 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

Rinse the rice until the water runs clear.  I used a rice cooker here & made the rice with just the water.  Stove top – I imagine you boil the water, add the rice, lower heat, cover & cook as long as the package suggests.

While that cooks, heat the rice vinegar in a small pan.  Add the sugar & salt & dissolve them.  Remove from heat & allow to cool.

Once cooked – cool the rice completely.  Fold in the vinegar without mushing up the rice & set it aside until you are ready to use it.

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Ahi Sashimi

INGREDIENTS

3/4 pound of high grade ahi tuna

2 scallions – chopped

1 tsp sesame oil

1 TBS olive oil

2 tsp black sesame seeds

2 tsp white sesame seeds

1 TBS white truffle oil (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Watch a Google tutorial on cutting raw tuna for sushi – the cube the ahi up.  Mix with the other ingredients.

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To assemble the tower:

I used a food ring mold.  I love my ring mold & I recommend you get one!  If you do not have one – you can assemble this free form (rice then salsa then avocado then ahi) or in a backward sequence in a bowl (sprayed with cooking spray), ending with the rice, then just flip in onto a plate.  Drizzle with either the spicy mayo or the soy-mirin sauce – or both!  Top with micro arugula, if you are a spendthrift or with more diced scallions and/or avocado or more mango salsa.  Serve with the baked wonton crackers.  Impress yourself as well as your friends!

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