Friday, March 15, 2013

Embracing Asian Cuisine

One of the first things I did when I started to think about transitioning to a vegan diet was to think of foods that already were vegan, rather than trying to veganize other recipes.  The obvious go-to cuisine for the vegan foodie is East Asian since there is very little dairy in the East Asian diet and eggs can be easily avoided.  Fun fact: studies have reported that between 90 and 100 percent of East Asians are lactose intolerant (likely due to diet patterns). 
Last night's dinner was a super easy, Asian-inspired meal that worked out really well and tasted great.  The biggest time element was pressing tofu (I was impatient and pressed mine for about a half hour, but some people might prefer to press it longer). 

Here's my tofu pressing between two cutting boards with a 5-lb medicine ball on top. 
I don't have exact amounts, because it's impossible to go wrong here.  Just toss in as much of each ingredient as your taste preferences call for.

My easy Asian meal:

Pressed tofu, cut into bite-sized chunks
Broccoli, also cut into bite-sized pieces

Saifun bean threads, prepared according to package directions (mine called for soaking in hot water for a half hour - do this while pressing the tofu)
Sesame oil
Red pepper flakes
Peanut sauce

After you have pressed the tofu and washed and cut up your broccoli, stir fry the tofu for a bit in sesame oil until it is golden on all sides.  When you turn the tofu to its final side, add the broccoli to your pan.

While the tofu and broccol is cooking, drain your bean threads, cut them up a bit to make eating easier, and toss with a bit of sesame oil and red pepper flakes.  Finally, toss the tofu and broccoli with peanut sauce (thanks to Whole Foods for this find) and serve over bean threads. 

This meal was a winner and gave me enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow - no soup woes this time!

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