Vegan Pad Thai with Tofu

On this day last year: Gluten Free Cranberry Apple Crisp (2014) & Tempeh Tacos with Avocado-lime Sauce (2013)

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I love love love Thai food. Other than chocolate (obviously), I think Thai food is my only food craving is for Thai food- specifically drunken noodles.

My boyfriend and I have found this scrumptious place not too far from campus that does excellent Thai take out (it was a dangerous discovery). In the last few months we have generated a habit of calling in for Thai food on really busy homework nights, hunkering down on the couch side by side to chow down on those delicious flavors, and then hitting the books! It’s a beautiful and delicious tradition.

Unfortunately, as a graduate student, eating out is not always the best financial option. In most scenarios it is more affordable to eat in than eat out. Thus, I have racked up my fair share of Thai dishes (Cue the Thai Peanut Vegetable Dip, Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce, and Vegetable Wontons).

As a lover of Thai food, Pad Thai is about as traditional as it gets! This is a delicious noodle dish, commonly served with bean sprouts, fried egg, crushed peanuts, and peanut flavors. I created my own tofu marinade to add to the pad Thai, in order to add some complete proteins to the meal. However, if you’re not a tofu fan, or want to save yourself a step, you can definitely leave the tofu out, or substitute it with tempeh!

I hope you like it as much as well did!

Happy cooking and come back soon!

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Tofu Ingredients:

  • 1 block tofu (or Tempeh!)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Bankok Peanut Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lemon garlic spice mix
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Pad Thai Ingredients:

  • ½ lb. dried rice noodles (width of linguine)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons hot chile sauce
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into narrow strips
  • 8 to 10 green onions, halved lengthwise, then cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 2 Tablesoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 lime sliced (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  1. Cut the tofu into small cubes and press the water out of the tofu. (Generally, I will place the tofu on a plate lined with paper towels, and then will use either several paper towels to press water out of the top, or a thin dish towel. It also can be smart to place paper towels over the tofu squares, and then place a plate on top to help apply pressure to the soaking process. The more water removed from the tofu, the crispier it is!)
  2. Once a significant amount of water has been removed, place the tofu in a large Tupperware, so that the chunks cover the bottom in one layer, combine the remaining tofu ingredients into a smooth marinade, and toss with the tofu. Allow the marinade to set while you prepare the pad thai.
  3. In a large bowl with warm water, soak the rice noodles for about 20 minutes, or until limp and white.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, chile sauce, and 1 Tablespoon of water.
  5. In a large wok or deep skillet, heat the olive oil on high heat. Stir fry the ginger and garlic for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the carrot strips and green onions and stir fry for an additional minute.
  6. Drain the noodles. Add the lime juice and noodles to the wok. Toss with tongs until the noodles soften and curl.
  7. Add the sprouts and tofu, and sprinkle with peanuts, a slice of lime, and cilantro as desired. Serve and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Adapted from: Vegetarian Times
  • Gluten free? Most rice noodles have flour in them, so if you want gluten free rice noodles, make sure to read the ingredient list!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links found below!):

Garlic Parmesan Mushrooms

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One of the best parts of my week is the community potluck that takes place in the basement of my building. Every Tuesday night, about 20 of us Seminary students gather together to eat. It’s a glorious few hours filled with a lot of food and laughter.

I made these mushrooms for one of our community potlucks a few months ago. At first I was nervous, because a lot of people don’t like mushrooms. I cannot understand that because I love mushrooms, and find them to be incredibly delicious! Thus, because I thought I might be alone in that love, I did not photograph the mushrooms for this post. I was sorely mistaken.

These scrumptious mushrooms were devoured at that potluck! There were zero leftovers- nothing left for me to enjoy or photograph! I could not be upset about that, because I was very grateful the group enjoyed them, and it gave me an excuse to make them again!

One fun fact about mushrooms is that they contain twice the amount of protein as other vegetables, making this side dish a very healthy option at your vegetarian dinner table. Thus, in addition to your regular vegetable health benefits, you are also racking up on protein points- a win-win in this situation!

Bookmark this recipe! With a little bit of salt, garlic, and parmesan, these mushrooms will disappear before your eyes. You’ve been warned.

Come back soon!

With love,

A Rented Kitchen

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 Ingredients:

  • 24 oz. mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Prepare the mushrooms by rinsing, removing their stems, and slicing them into strips.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat.
  3. Once melted, add the mushrooms and garlic to the pan, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the garlic salt (to taste), and stir.
  5. Remove the mushrooms from the heat, place in a bowl, and toss with Parmesan cheese until the cheese is melted and dispersed.
  6. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: yourLDSblog 
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious vegetable dishes by ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (recipe links found below photos):

Marinated and Roasted Eggplant with Smoked Almonds & Goat Cheese


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For those of you following this blog, it should be no surprise to you that goat cheese is my weakness. (Proof: Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Goat Cheese, and Cranberries over Barley; Sweet Potato Pizza with Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese, and Kale; Balsamic Mushroom and Fruit Summer Salad– the list goes on!)

When I stumbled upon this recipe on pinterest, and saw a photo of the warm goat cheese atop a large pile of baked eggplant, I literally had to stop myself from drooling. TMI?

I knew this recipe was going to be good the moment I saw the goat cheese, however what I did not anticipate was the amazing marinade combination that truly knocks this dish out of the park.  Trust me when I say this, sooo good. I think for two days straight the only thing I ate for lunch was an enormous bowl of eggplant, and I loved it.

If you’re looking for something delicious, simple, and incredibly flavorful, look no further. Your whole house will smell amazing, your friends will be begging for the recipe, and you will feel good about what you’re eating- a win, win, win!

Stay tuned for more end-of-summer recipes coming your way, and don’t forget to subscribe so you won’t miss a thing!

Happy hump day.

Love, a rented kitchen.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants, about 2 pounds
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 Tablespoons
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup flat parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup smoked almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled and divided
  • ¼ cup finely chopped scallions

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Rinse the eggplant and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a large bowl, sprinkle lightly with salt, and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, smoked paprika, and cumin.
  4. Use a dishcloth to dab away any water that has beaded up on the eggplant, and then drizzle with the marinade. Toss until the eggplant is thoroughly and evenly coated, and then stir in the garlic.
  5.  Spread the eggplant out on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 40, stirring every 15 minutes or so, or until very tender and lightly browned.  Watch the eggplant closely after 30 minutes to ensure it does not burn!
  6. Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice and soy sauce (save a dish and use the same marinade bowl used before!). Once cooked, return the eggplant to a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice mixture.
  7. Stir in the parsley leaves, smoked almonds, and most of the goat cheese.
  8. Sprinkle the top with the remaining goat cheese and scallions. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 4
  • Source: The Kitchn
  • To make vegan, omit the goat cheese and swap out agave for honey as desired!
  • If you like this recipe, try these other delicious options from ‘a rented kitchen!’ Click the links below for the recipes.

Orange and Garlic Roasted Green Beans

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My memories of green beans begin in childhood.  My mom would often heat a few cans of green beans on the stove for dinner, maybe sprinkling a little salt to add to the taste.  I am sure for her, as a mother, every vegetable she could get my brother and I to consume was a victory in those early years.  Fortunately for her, as a child I loved those canned green beans. Canned green beans do not have any weird stems, they were easy to chew, and probably had a lot of added salt- what’s not to love as a five year old?

As I have grown up and developed my own habits in the kitchen, canned fruits and vegetables is something I generally try to stay pretty far away from.  I eat canned beans, but that’s about it. Thus, when I moved out of my parents home, I stopped eating green beans from a can, and pretty much forgot about the vegetable all together. That is, until last week.

While produce shopping I noticed that my grocery store had an enormous pile of green beans on sale last week. They looked so fresh and healthy; I immediately got a craving for them!  So that night I threw together this recipe, served them up with my dinner, and was happy all around.  Grateful for the simple things in life.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Pounds green beans
  • 3 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • Optional: dash of salt and shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and brush a baking sheet with a thin layer of olive oil.
  2. Rinse the green beans and remove the stems if desired.
  3. Combine the orange juice, orange zest, and minced garlic in a large Tupperware. Add the green beans, seal, and shake until the green beans are coated in a thin layer of garlic and orange juice.
  4. Spread the green beans out on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping in the middle.
  5. Serve warm with shredded parmesan cheese and a dash of salt. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • If you like this recipe, check out these other delicious dishes from ‘a rented kitchen’:

Garlic Hassleback Potatoes

Potatoes are one of those foods you can’t go wrong with- seriously. You can French fry them, bake them, mash them, twice- bake them, grill them, slice them, hash brown them- the list goes on. This particular recipe is a little bit more work than your standard baked potato, however the taste and the presentation are fantastic. Hassleback potatoes are historically a Swedish tradition, but quickly are becoming more and more common in the states. Catch hold of the trend, and try something new. Spice up that generic potato and try a hassleback potato. For something so simple, it’s terribly delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 6 potatoes
  • 2-3 Tablespoon oils of olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic (or garlic powder)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 and brush a thin layer of olive oil on a baking sheet.
  2. Wash each potato, and one by one lay on a cutting board, with the flattest side on the bottom.
  3. Using a sharp knife, slice each potato into thin slices (about 3 or 4 mm wide), making sure not to cut all the way to the bottom.
  4. Cut the cloves of garlic into small pieces and arrange in between some of the potato slices. (If you’re a big garlic fan, feel free to sprinkle a little garlic powder on top as well!)
  5. Place each potato on the baking sheet and brush with a light layer of oil.
  6. Sprinkle each potato with sea salt and ground pepper and bake for 40 minutes, or until crispy on top and soft all the way through.

Notes and Tips:

  • This potato can be flavored with things other than garlic, that is simply a suggestion. Feel free to sprinkle the top with parsley, rosemary, or your other favorite spices instead!
  • If you like this recipe, you should check out my Spiced Beans and Rice recipe and my Parmesan Zucchini Chips!