Tag Archives: vegan

Veguary day 3: ‘Accidental Salad’.

Remember how, the other day, I posted about failing happily? Well, today’s culinary experiments were a great example of that. I had been planning on making these vegan spiral wraps:

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Don’t they look tasty? And, well, easy? The recipe is pretty foolproof: spread some roasted capsicum spread on lavash bread. Add various other ingredients. Roll. Consume.

still managed to screw these suckers up.

The key ingredient, as you can see above, is edamame – delicious little Japanese beans that are pretty popular in the foodie world (you can find a billion recipes incorporating them on Pinterest). I expected to at least be able to find canned or frozen edamame, but neither Coles nor Woolworths came up with the goods, and even the local Asian supermarket (surely!) had nothing. Oh well. I shelved the idea until today, when I figured the wraps would be a good way to use up various leftovers. With edamame out of the picture, I scoured my shelves for some other protein, and came up with a can of chickpeas. Brilliant! Off they went into the oven to be roasted, along with a red capsicum and some pumpkin that I parboiled in the microwave first to save time.

For my wraps I used mountain bread, which I’ve been keen to try out for a while now. It’s only 74 calories per wrap, which is teensy. If you’re following the rule of quarters and want to up your veggie quotient while decreasing carbs, it’s a good substitute for bread! I do love me some nice, silky-soft grain bread, but every once in a while it’s good to change things up.

First step: spread the wrap with roasted capsicum spread, add 1 grated carrot, then go nuts with whatever veggies you want to use up. I added spinach (as per usual), 1/4 avocado and the aforementioned red capsicum, pumpkin and chickpeas. Look at it, all ready to roll!

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Aaand then I tried to roll it up. Turns out mountain bread, due to its thinness, has a tendency to completely rip to shreds if you try to roll too much stuff in it. Whoops. After a brief detour via the toasted sandwich maker to try to salvage the situation, this was the end result:

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Yup. That’s a fail. I accepted the embarrassing fate that I’d have to eat my ‘wrap’ with a knife and fork, so it was really more of a salad with large mountain bread croutons than anything else. Having said that, it was still super tasty! Next time I may have to streamline the ingredients somewhat, rather than trying to stuff as many veggies in there as possible. And maybe I’ll manage to track down some edamame before Veguary is out and make these things according to the recipe!

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Miso excited.

Veguary starts tomorrow! I’m giving up meat for the month of February in the hopes that I’ll discover some new healthy recipes, save a bit of dosh and do a teensy bit for the ol’ environment. I’m inappropriately excited about it. Today I went shopping and bought a stack of ingredients I’ve never used before to use in recipes over the next few days. Tofu! Enoki mushrooms! Miso paste! Mountain bread! 

…and then I got a bit overexcited and decided to start early. I had all these great ingredients in the house, and my curiosity got the better of me, so although I’d planned to make this tomorrow and blog about it then… well, I just had it and it was awesome. Presenting:

Vegetarian Miso Soup!

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But Lou, you may ask, isn’t miso soup vegetarian already? Well, that’s a common misconception! Miso soup is traditionally made with a dashi (stock) that incorporates fish shavings. Yes, that’s what I said. Fish. Shavings. You can make a vegetarian version by using dried mushroom shavings instead, but alas, when I went to my local Asian grocery store, the only dried mushrooms they had were enormous bulk bags and I wasn’t about to pay $8 for a stock flavouring. Hence this, somewhat improvised, recipe!

  • 100g firm tofu
  • 1 portabella mushroom (not particularly Japanese, I know, but the only shiitake mushrooms I could find were canned and I am a firm believer that fresh is best.)
  • 50g enoki mushrooms
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach (you could use bok choy for a more authentic miso… I just really like spinach and always have it lying around, so I chucked it in!)
  • 45g soba noodles
  • 1 tbsp red miso paste
  • dash of soy sauce
  • cooking spray

Press your tofu. Put a small pot of water on to boil. Lightly spray the bottom of a saucepan and place on medium heat. Stir-fry the tofu in the saucepan until it’s got a slight golden sear on each side. Slice the portabella, cut off the roots of the enoki and then add both mushrooms to the tofu. Is your water boiling yet? Add the noodles and set a timer for 3 minutes. Keep stirring the mushrooms and tofu while you wait. When the timer rings, drain the noodles and chuck them into a bowl of cold water so they don’t cook any further. Add 2 cups of water to the mushrooms and tofu, then add the spring onions (cut into 1cm pieces) and spinach. When the water starts to bubble, turn your burner down to a low heat and add the drained noodles and miso. Gently incorporate the miso by stirring it through the water until it dissolves. Don’t boil the miso! Apparently this is a cardinal rule and will result in weird-tasting miso soup from which all the nutrients have boiled away. Or something. Serve straight away. Add soy sauce to your taste.

That’s it! Miso soup. You can add whatever you like to it (you can even poach an egg in it as it cooks for an extra bit of protein!) or just have it by itself, if you’re after more of a savoury snack. I went a bit easy on the miso paste because it was new to me, but you might like more! White miso is a bit sweeter than red, and yellow is a bit meatier. Red is the happy medium – probably a good choice for first time miso-ers. This recipe serves one (it’s easily doubleable, though) and comes to a total of 354 calories, so it’s a pretty light meal but thanks to the warm, brothy, umami goodness it’s super filling.

Souper filling!

Right? Right?

*Sigh.*

See you tomorrow for more vegetarian goodness – the official start of Veguary!

PS: Inspired by my lovely vegan friend, I’ve decided to up the ante and go vegan for one day each week during Veguary. And that day will be… Vegan Vednesday! If you have any vegan recipes you think I should try, let me know in the comments!

PPS: Thanks so much to those who have sent in health and fitness questions for my ‘agony aunt’ series! If you have a question about losing weight, exercise, food, nutrition or anything that you think I might be well-equipped to answer (as you can see, soup puns are my forte, so feel free to ask about that as well), send it to me at luluintherunningshoes@gmail.com or post it as a comment.

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