Nước chấm is a popular condiment and staple of Vietnamese food. It’s a multipurpose sauce, used as a dip for egg rolls, summer rolls, bún (rice noodle dishes), and lots more. It’s made with fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, garlic, and Thai bird chili peppers, but I haven’t had fish sauce in my pantry in a couple years. I’ve found that I can achieve similar flavors with plant-based umami sources – mushrooms, soy sauce, mushroom seasoning, vegan chicken boullion cubes,… Read more »

The other week, I was at the San Mateo farmer’s market, and there was a vendor selling all sorts of sprouted beans and lentils. I’ve never sprouted lentils before, but I do love me some red lentils – in chili, soups, and stews, and I wanted to make a salad out of some. You can’t eat lentils raw, but you can eat them raw if they have been sprouted. They become more readily digestible, phytic acid content is reduced (phytic… Read more »

I make a huge bowl of pasta once a week, whether it be spaghetti with vegan meatballs, Asian wheat noodles with tofu and mushroom-soy-ginger seasoning, pesto pasta, or a simple vegetable pasta. These dishes come together pretty quickly, and last a couple meals between the three of us (and with all the food my Ironman-to-be hubby eats, a pasta dish is always a sure bet!). What’s usually in your quick meal plan? A pasta with all the goodies Print Recipe… Read more »

A staple in my fridge these days is cooked lentils. I buy them pre-packaged, and even though I do have dried lentils to put in soups and chilis, this saves me about 20 minutes, which I so desperately need sometimes. Cooked lentils are so versatile that you can use them in the same way you’d use ground meat in a recipe. Lentil tacos, lentils with rice in burritos, lentil sloppy joes (I make this recipe over and over again, and… Read more »

This dish just screams “fall food!” It’s vibrant in fall colors, earthy, rustic, and packed with nutritious whole grains and plant love. I thought of this dish when I was prepping my menu for a cooking class, with the theme “Falling for the plant-based meal.” The same night I was making this dish, we were supposed to go out for dinner with some friends. But the day turned into a wet and rainy one, and we decided to forego walking… Read more »

The first time I taught a cooking class, I struggled with timing. How long it would take to prep for the class (all that chopping, cleaning, organizing), how long it would actually take to prep the meal, and all that stuff. The guy I worked with during my first few classes said that he’s seen some people take a lot of time measuring ingredients out, following recipes exactly to a “T.” Oh gosh, I’m SO NOT LIKE THAT. I was… Read more »

This dish pretty much kicks butt. I made this one night, when it was getting colder and we needed a hearty “no-meat and potatoes” type dish. My hubs was so enthusiastic about this, which to me is great, because this meal takes no effort to put together! Roast potatoes with fresh rosemary, saute the seitan for a few minutes, then pour the seitan mixture over the potatoes. Done and done! I’ve made this with other root vegetables too, all with… Read more »

Beans do not normally appear too often in Asian recipes, save for soybean products (tofu, tempeh), sweet red bean paste in mochi (Japanese), and mung beans in sweet coconut soup (che, in Vietnamese). I have set out to change this! Beans are awesome, because they’re a plant-based source of protein, essential for eaters who heavily rely on plants to keep them running. As you all know, I do a lot of food prep on the weekends. Cooking dried beans, some… Read more »

These little bean and rice wraps are pretty much a staple in this house these days. I love making them, because collard greens are a greater source of nutrients and fiber than white flour tortillas or rice paper summer roll wrappers (although I love those as well, but you gotta make the majority of your intake nutrient-dense!). And for your wallet’s sake, a whole batch of these wraps costs less than $5 to make. I’ll even get into some nutrition… Read more »

These tacos are a great way to introduce vegan food to a crowd that doesn’t normally consume things like seitan, tofu, and tempeh. I served seventy of these (SEVENTY) to my friends at church the other day, and was elated when I got great reviews (because, honestly, I get a little nervous before I do things like this). I got comments on how they tasted so flavorful and “meaty,” and out of seventy tacos served, only one person said that… Read more »