I love recipes that turn a classic dish on its side. Lately I've been seeing an abundance of posts on Instagram about "Lasagna Soup", and I've been intrigued. But, I have and entire family of non-tomato sauce loving people (well, okay, one of them loves tomato but the feeling isn't reciprocal. The smallest two, however, just flat out despise it, unless it's on top of a pizza.)
But I really wanted to try lasagna soup (read: I really wanted something that tasted like lasagna but didn't involve all the effort because, see above.)
So I thought about what my family does love: creamy sauce. And I figured, well...since lasagna can be made with a cream-based sauce, why can't Lasagna Soup?
Turns out, it can. And it's good. Like they finished off the entire pot good. The creamy sauce, laden with tons of gooey vegan mozzarella is hearty and soothing and perfect for a cold winter night. You could load this soup up with tons of sauteed veggies or add a faux meat (which we did). It's totally up to you. Just don't skimp out on the cheese (because lasagna is all about the cheese) and be sure to add the noodles at the very end, because they'll soak up that soup faster than you can!
1. Cook pasta according to box directions. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. Lay a cooked and cooled noodle on a flat surface and, using a a pasta cutter or a knife, cut lengthwise in half, then cut each piece in half again lengthwise so that you have four long ribbons. Trim each ribbon into thirds so that you have small ribbon pieces. Repeat with all remaining noodles. Set aside.
2. In a large pot, heat oil on med-high heat. Add white and green onions and saute for 3-4 min. Add mushroom slices and saute until golden and dark, about 5-7 min.
3. Add chickn pieces and saute for 4-5 min until lightly browned on outsides. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
4. Add coconut milk, vegetable stock, vegan chicken soup base and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine. Bring to a light boil on medium high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low.
6. Stir in shredded cheese and black pepper. Simmer on medium low heat until cheese melts, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.
7. Remove from heat. Add noodles to soup; garnish with parsley (if using) and serve.
I made a huge batch of this dish the other night and I'm basically living off the leftovers.
The weather here keeps changing from freezing cold to mild but damp (and back) and I feel like I'm always cold and soggy. But bowls full of big chunks of sweet potato, carrot, zucchini, tofu and bright sugar snap peas coated in a thick coconut milk base curry satay sauce and lots of rice noodles are keeping me nice and warm.
My most favourite curry ever is Panang Curry. Probably because it includes peanut butter...oh where I would be without peanut butter? Panang Curry is spicy, sweet, sour and salty and has more of a Thai influence than an Indian one (spoiler alert: Thai food is my favourite!)
I’ve been dreaming of a Panang Curry for a while now, but since it wasn’t a takeout night, and I didn’t have the time (or ingredients) to make a legit homemade version, I improvised, and turned my “curry in a hurry” sauce into a pseudo-Panang sauce thanks to the addition of some peanut satay paste and fresh limes.
What I love best about this dish is how quickly it comes together - and how much multitasking it does. It's a very rustic dish, which means you don’t have to spend a ton of time dicing and slicing. It’s on the table in about 30 minutes and it’s perfect for cold winter nights.
Golden Satay Veggie Curry
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add carrots and sweet potatoes and boil until *just* barely fork-tender (about 6-7 min). Use a slotted spoon to remove veggies and set aside. Toss rice noodles in the already-boiling water and cook according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water to prevent noodles from sticking/clumping together.
While the potatoes and carrots are cooking, heat olive oil in a deep pan on medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent (about 5-7 min) Add mushrooms, tofu, zucchini and garlic and continue to cook until just tender (5-7 min). Add potatoes, carrots and spinach and saute until spinach is wilted.
Stir in coconut milk, vegetable broth, curry paste and satay paste and mix to combine. Simmer for 10 min. Add sugar snap peas. Add cornstarch slurry and stir to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Toss rice noodles in the pan and gently combine.
Divide into bowls, sprinkle with fresh lime juice and serve.
Put down that takeout menu! This Sweet and Sticky Sesame Tofu will blow the doors off anything your local Chinese place makes. (And it's healthier too!)
Now I need to figure out a way not to eat this all before dinnertime...
Sweet and Sticky Sesame Tofu
For the dish:
2 packages extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 package cremini mushrooms, sliced (you can use any mushroom really. We prefer cremini)
1 sweet onion, diced
1 each, red, orange and yellow pepper, chopped
1.5 cups diced fresh or canned pineapple
Sautéing liquid of choice (we use vegetable broth, but oil or water or vegan butter are acceptable too)
2 sliced green onions (optional: for garnish)
For the sauce:
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine or apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp tomato paste
1-2 tsp sriracha (to taste)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 cup water
1 tbsp maple syrup (or agave/brown rice syurp if you prefer)
¼ cup mirin (or white wine)
¼ cup sesame seeds
2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 4 tbsp cold water
1. Lay tofu on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes until tofu is lightly golden. Set aside.
2. In a large sauté pan on medium high, cook onions and mushrooms until onions are translucent and mushrooms begin to darken, about 5 minutes. Add peppers and continue to sauté until mushrooms are dark and peppers soften.
3. In a medium size bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, tomato paste, sriracha, garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, water, maple syrup and mirin.
4. Add tofu, pineapple and sesame seeds to sauté pan. Pour in sauce and stir to combine. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Pour in cornstarch slurry, stirring constantly until sauce thickens. Simmer for 2-3 more minutes.
6. Remove from heat and serve on rice. Garnish with sliced green onions and more sesame seeds.
Seriously, you could order a lean corned beef sandwich AND sweet and sour chicken balls at the same time. To six-year-old me, this was brilliant. In some way, it probably led to my current love of taking everyday favourite foods and giving them an international twist.
Ginsburg and Wong hasn’t been around for a very long time, and even if it were there now, grown up, vegan me wouldn’t have much interest in it, but tonight’s dinner reminded me how much fun it is to mix cuisines and create something wonderful. Like my Asian-inspired “chicken” noodle soup.
My littlest one has been sick all week, and hasn’t has much of an appetite, but bow-tie pasta and clear soup are two things she will almost never turn down. And with the weather being what it is (hello Fall in Canada), soup is pretty much on everyone’s mind lately. When I was sick as a kid, Lipton’s chicken noodle soup was my go-to comfort food. That bright yellow broth and slurpy noodles...it was like a hug in a bowl.
An acquaintance recently introduced me to the vegetarian chicken soup base at Bulk Barn (which is 100% accidentally vegan!) and it’s been my number one soup and flavour base ever since. So off I went to make her some vegan ‘chicken’ soup. But I also had some mushrooms, green onions, smoked tofu and ginger lingering in the fridge that needed to be used up. So I grabbed a little soy sauce, hoisin and sriracha and BOOM! Asian ‘chicken soup was born.
It’s like the hugs of my childhood, with a spicy, rich twist.
Quick and Easy
1 package of pasta/noodles, cooked according to package directions
6 cups water
⅓ cup vegetarian chicken soup base (or two cubes of vegan chicken bouillon)
2 tbsp olive oil
½ large onion, diced
1 thumb ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetarian hoisin sauce
Sriracha to taste
½ block of smoked tofu, sliced into strips
Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside.
In a large soup pot, heat oil on medium-high heat until shimmering. Add white onion and saute for 5-7 minutes until soft and slightly translucent. Add mushrooms and continue to saute until mushrooms are lightly browned and soft. Add green onion, garlic, ginger and simmer and additional 3 minutes.
Add water, veg soup base, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and sriracha. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 7-10 minutes. Add pasta and smoked tofu to pot. Adjust heat level (sriracha) and seasoning (soy or hoisin sauce) to taste. Serve immediately.
We are in the dog days of August, where the air is so thick and humid you can cut it with a knife, and the mere thought of turning on kitchen appliances makes you break out into even more of a sweat, but yet somehow, that wasn't enough of a deterrent for this carb-loving mama yesterday.
I've had garlic bread (and all things garlicky and buttery) on the brain lately - ever since my Dad and Stepmom were visiting us from Florida and my hubby made his signature homemade garlic bread rolls with dinner one night. But it's been a crazy week and I needed something quick to put on the dinner table.
One-pot pastas are a great way to serve a full meal without slaving over (and washing) a million dishes. I'll be honest and admit I haven't found too many that I love and that my kids would eat. So I was a little skeptical about testing out this one. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. The kids devoured it. Like there-aren't-enough-for-leftover-camp-lunch devoured it. (I may have had a hand in that too...)
What I love about this dish is how creamy the sauce is - without the use of any plant-based dairy alternatives. It's garlicky and rich and buttery...and there's just the perfect amount leftover in the bowl for sopping up with a crusty baguette.
Best of all, it's on the table in less than 30 minutes, which makes it a perfect weeknight dish.
1 500 gram package dry pasta of choice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp + 2 tbsp (divided) vegan margarine
½ medium onion, diced
4-6 cloves of garlic (depending on your tolerance), minced
½ lemon, juiced
2 tbsp vegan chicken soup base (or 1 bouillon cube)
¼ cup nutritional yeast
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
Black pepper to taste
Dried parsley to finish
In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, heat oil and 2 tbsp of vegan margarine on medium high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute - stirring frequently - until onions are golden coloured and garlic is cooked (about 7-8 minutes).
Add lemon juice and saute an additional 1 minute. Pour in veggie broth, water, veg chicken soup base (or bouillon cube) and nutritional yeast and stir to combine.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to lowest setting. Stir in pasta, then cover and cook on lowest setting for 15-20 min depending on your choice of pasta (I used shells and cooked for 18 min). Stir occasionally to keep pasta from sticking. Pasta should be softer than al dente and most of the liquid should be absorbed when done.
Stir in remaining 2 tbsp margarine, and season with black pepper to taste. Garnish with dried parsley before serving.