My first vegan dish!

My co-worker and good friend is a vegetarian, and often brings in vegetarian or vegan cook books and magazines to share with me, knowing I’m a halfetarian. So, I compiled a few recipes that I wanted to try and set out to fit them in my weekly routine.

This week, I decided on not one, but two recipes! One vegan, and one vegetarian. So, here’s the vegan dish first!

This comes from the book, Vegan Yum Yum, which has A LOT of seriously delicious looking and sounding recipes from breakfast, lunch and dinner, to dessert and drinks! So I of course grabbed a few recipes from this book, that I’ll be sure to make in the future. This time, I went with the Seven Spice Udon Noodle recipe.

I have to admit, since I’m becoming more comfortable with cooking, I no longer feel the need to follow recipes exactly. A prime example would be this recipe. This is partially because of limited resources, and also sheer laziness. I’m not too sure where any Chinese/Japanese markets are near my apartment, so I relied solely on ShopRite. They didn’t have dried Udon noodles, so I went for the packaged ones. Also, they didn’t have Japanese 7 Spice, but they did have Chinese 5 Spice. You might be thinking to yourself, this completely changes the dish! The spice count is in the name! My retort? Meh. I also went for a package of shredded veggies (red cabbage, broccoli, carrot, etc.) I also of course added in a ton of red pepper flakes, being the spice lover that I am.

So really, I used this recipe merely as a suggestion. But hey, it was a good suggestion! I really liked this recipe because it was simple. Just a few ingredients and in no time at all dinner was ready. I also loved how customizable it was. Sure, I didn’t stray too far from the recipe, but you could easily throw in some tofu, or completely negate the vegan aspect with some chicken.

I would definitely make this recipe again, however, I’d go for a little more flavor. The five spice just didn’t cut it. Maybe it was those two extra spices from the Japanese seven spice that would have made a difference. At any rate, it was good, and it’ll go in my recipe drawer. Who said eating vegetarian or vegan had to be boring?!

Speaking of delicious vegetarian meals, my stove is currently working away at tomorrow night’s dinner that I had to prepare early due to a busy Tuesday night (gym and meetings). This one is a Vegetarian Black Bean Chili w. Dark Ale. My fiancé just walked in the apartment and said he could smell it from outside. It smells fabulous. So stay tuned for that post!

If you feel so inclined to vegan-out, here’s the recipe (give or take some spices, in my case):

Seven Spice Udon

3 small bunches of udon noodles (dried)
2-3 tbsp oil
5 brussel sprouts, shredded
1 large carrot, shredded
1 3/4 tsp Japanese 7 spice (1/4 & 1 1/2 tsp amounts)
3 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar

1. Cook noodles according to package. Rinse & cool, coat with oil to prevent sticking
2. Heat 2 tsp oil, sauté brussel sprouts & carrot with 1/4 of spice till tender (about 2 minutes)
3. In same pan, add 1-2 tsp oil, mix in noodles over high heat for several minutes, without stirring. It should form a “noodle pancake.”
4. Turn noodles, add veggies and soy sauce, rice vinegar & spice

Happy animal friendly nomzing!

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