New cookbook equals dinner experiments

Yesterday my mom and I went to Barnes & Noble to explore as we sipped our chai lattes (with soy milk of course). We came across a vegan cookbook, Chloe’s Kitchen, that actually seemed realistic. It actually had recipes we would take time to make and had ingredients we liked. Though we are not partial to a vegan lifestyle (we are cheese and yogurt lovers in my house), we thought it would be a nice change to incorporate some vegan meals into our household. 

We flipped through this cookbook and headed to Whole Foods where we picked up ingredients for our Vegetarian stir fry dinner (the actual recipe is called Chinese Takeout Chow Mein). 

This recipe called for Asian noodles which we opted out since my mom is doing a “eating for your blood-type” diet and she can’t do noodles. We replaced the noodles with brown rice, nixed the ginger and coriander, carrot and mushrooms and ended up with a lean, green, powerhouse of a stir fry (we pretty much made our own version of this recipe but it was still amazing).  

One thing I truly enjoyed about this stir fry was the sauce. It called for 1/4 of a cup of hoisin sauce, 1/4 cup of vegetable broth, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce (we replaced with Braggs Liquid Aminos- soy sauce would have added too much salt) and 2 teaspoons of chili-garlic sauce. The flavor combination was incredibly and authentically asian and livened up the veggies. I love hoisin sauce. It’s sweet, tangy and has a hint of heat. Once you mix the hoisin with these other ingredients it’s a party in your mouth. Trust me, this recipe is so easy you’ll want to make it often. 

Here’s Chloe Coscarelli’s (a lifelong vegetarian and vegan since 2005- and WINNER of Cupcake Wars on the Food Network for her fab vegan cupcakes) recipe for Chinese Takeout Chow Mein:

What you need:

8 ounces spaghetti/Asian noodles

2 cups broccoli florets

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1/4 cup vegetable broth

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce

2 tablespoons canola oil (I used sesame oil!)

1 onion, thinly sliced

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks

4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 cup bean sprouts

Sea Salt (to taste)

1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions.  Add broccoli to the pot for the last 5 minutes and cook until broccoli is fork tender. Add peas to boiling pasta right before draining. Drain and set aside. 

**NOTE: Since I didn’t make pasta/noodles I skipped this step and moved to the sautéing process- I like my veggies a bit crisp. Besides, the sauce will help cook the veggies a bit more once you add it.**

2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by mixing hoisin sauce, broth, soy sauce, and chili-garlic sauce in small bowl. Set aside. 

3. In a large skillet (or wok), heat oil over medium high heat and sauté onions, mushrooms, and carrot until vegetables are soft and lightly browned. Add scallions, garlic, ginger, and coriander; let cook a few more minutes until fragrant. 

**NOTE: I sautéed the onion, 2 of the sliced scallions and garlic until fragrant then added my broccoli, snap peas, baby bok choy, etc. **

4. Add cooked spaghetti, broccoli, and peas and let cook a few minutes more. Add bean sprouts and sauce. Let cook, stirring constantly, until pasta is heated through and coated with sauce. Add salt if needed and serve immediately. 

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The best part about this recipe is how versatile it is. Mix it up to your liking with your favorite veggies. I’m definitely making this again.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Peace, love and no beef!

Guramrit 

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