Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sweet Orange Tempeh and A Week of Asian Meals

Asian meals are great for summer because they are often light and quick to whip up. These noodle dishes taste great cold as well, so feel free to make the night before, have leftovers for lunch, or bring something more interesting than pasta salad to a picnic!

I ate Asian meals almost every night last week:

  • Vegan Yum Yum's Lime Peanut Noodles with Seitan, Kale and Carrots 
    • This dish is rich and light tasting at the same time, with creamy peanut butter flavor balanced by lime and spice from chili flakes.
    • Ingredients: Wide flat noodles, kale, carrots, and a sauce of peanut butter, lime juice, sugar, ginger powder, chili flakes, and tamari.
    • My changes: I subbed seitan for tofu, and used skinny flat noodles instead of extra wide. I didn't add peanuts but did add broccoli.
    • Tips: Make sure not to overcook the noodles; flat noodles get way too soft when overcooked, and you'll end up with a bowl of sticky mush.
    • The result: YUM YUM!
  • Vegan Yum Yum's Nearly Raw Tahini Noodles (**Husband Approved!)
    • Similar to the above dish, but with a somewhat tangier taste from tahini. 
    • Ingredients: whole wheat pasta, with a tahini, chili flakes, soy sauce, and rice vinegar dressing, with "nearly raw" cabbage and broccoli chopped in small pieces. 
    • My changes: I lighty steamed the cabbage and broccoli by adding them to the whole wheat pasta in the last 1-2 minutes of cooking. I also added carrots.
    • The result: My husband said: "You need to make a logo for your blog that says Husband Approved." Maybe... coming soon? Of course, I liked the above dish better, and he liked this one better. Go figure. Both were really good though.
  • Sesame Orange Ginger Stir Fry - adapted from this recipe
    • Originally, I was going to use soba noodles here, but after the above 2 dishes, I was ready for a mainly veg meal! 
    • Ingredients: tempeh, fresh orange juice and zest, a can of mandarin oranges, fresh grated ginger, tamari or soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, agave syrup, sesame seeds, bok choy, broccoli, carrots, and whatever veggies you want to stir fry! See below for more on my sweeeeeeet orange tempeh!
    • The result: A totally quick and delicious meal! And I discovered a great new way to enjoy my tempeh.
Sweet Orange Tempeh
  • 1 package tempeh
  • Juice and zest from 1 small orange
  • Drizzle of agave syrup (no more than 1 Tbsp)
  • 3 tsp tamari/ soy sauce mixed with 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 additional tsp sesame oil
  1. Cube the tempeh
  2. Heat 1 tsp of the sesame oil in a pan. Add the tempeh and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring.
  3. Add the orange juice, zest, and agave syrup, and stir. Cook for a minute or two before adding the tamari and oil mix.
  4. Continue to cook until lightly browned, adding a little more soy sauce or juice if needed. 

This tempeh was so yummy! Lightly sweet and orange-flavored, I loved it. It went especially well with the stir fry's veggies, sesame seeds, and fresh ginger.

Another Asian meal fave around here is spring rolls in rice paper wraps: thin vermicelli noodles with thinly sliced carrots, cucumber, and marinated tofu, with fresh mint and basil wrapped in a rice paper wrap, and served with peanut sauce. They are a little bit of a pain in the butt to roll, but oh light and delicious!

Happy chopstick mealing! ;-)

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