Vegan Pad Thai with Tofu

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

pad tha

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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!):

Thai Veggie Burger with Peanut Sauce

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It’s amazing how, when life gets busy, one can manage to eat, but not really eat a full meal. As a senior in my last semester of college, I have become remarkably good at ‘food on the run.’ Disgustingly good, actually. You know the drill- the protein drinks, granola bar, or fast food thing routine you have going on. I personally, am a fan of the clif bar for lunch and a handful of chips on the way out the door routine. Not exactly my best effort.

After a while, this on-the-run meal plan is bound to become draining. I unfortunately, can vouch for that. Sometimes you just need to slow down, enjoy a meal at the table, share it with someone you love, and absorb some nutritious and delicious food! That, my friends, is the beauty of cooking. Cooking a full meal, forces you to slow down. You cannot make water boil any faster than it’s already doing.

This meal was the forced result of a very busy semester. I found myself craving a warm and hearty meal that I could enjoy all week long, that would satisfy my taste buds, and give me a minute to slow down. The result- one very happy tummy, three envious roommates, and a recipe worth sharing!

Therefore, without further ado, I give you the Thai Veggie Burger with Peanut Sauce. Dig in people! The time is now!

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Burger Ingredients:

  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tsp. olive oil, divided, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup water or veggie broth
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas (or 1½ cup cooked chickpeas)
  • ¾ cup old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion

Slaw Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green cabbage
  • ½ cup shredded carrot
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Peanut Sauce Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • Toasted burger buns
  • Coarsely chopped peanuts

Directions:

  1. In a fine mesh strainer, rinse the quinoa. Shake as much water as possible, and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the drained quinoa to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly roasted.
  3. Add the water or vegetable broth to the quinoa, bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork when done and set aside to cool for five minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, while the quinoa is cooking, combine the chickpeas, oats, cornmeal, salt, paprika, garlic, and sesame oil in the food process, and blend until finely ground. Once mixed, add the egg, and blend until evenly moist.
  5. Transfer the chickpea mixture to a large bowl and fold in the quinoa, pepper, onion, and additional 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
  6. Using your hands, form 6-8 patties, depending on your size preference.
  7. To cook the patties, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Once lightly browned and cooked through, remove and serve!
  8. To make the slaw, toss the cabbage, carrot, and cilantro together in a bowl.
  9. To make the sauce, whisk together the sauce ingredients in a liquid measuring cup until smooth.
  10. Assemble the burgers by lightly toasting the buns, then topping each patty with a handful of slaw, a drizzle of peanut sauce, and a squeeze of lime juice and/or chopped peanuts as desired!

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Notes and Tips:

  • Yield: 6-8 servings
  • To make gluten free, make sure you are using guten free oats and a burger bun! Enjoy!
  • Source: Annie’s Eats
  • If you like this recipe, check out these other delicious eats from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (Recipe links found below photos):

Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

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I have an internship now. As a senior in college, my professors want their students to know what it feels like to be working out in the real world.  Thus, I went and spent too much money buying some business-casual clothes (as compared to my norm of oversized sweaters and cotton everything!), and got to work!

What I did not realize about having an internship from 9-2 three days a week, is that similar to high school, I had to pack a lunch. What?!

This process has been the most comedic of all, because I somehow manage to forget almost every single morning, and end up packing a bizarre assortment of random foods. For example, a few weeks ago I took those vegetarian homemade pigs in a blanket to work with fruit snacks and pretzels- real professional, I know.

This absolutely fantastic salad was made in an attempt to have something nutritious and delicious, that doesn’t make me look like I have the eating habits of an 8 year old as well. You win some, you lose some.

So here’s my advice: Whether or not you are considering making this dish for your family dinner, a potluck, or your lunch at work- Do IT! This salad is absolutely addicting. You’re welcome in advance.

Happy cooking!

Love, a rented kitchen.

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Salad Ingredients

  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1-2 cups shredded red cabbage (depending on how much crunch you like! I went with 2!)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup diced green onions
  • ½ cup cashew halves or peanuts (honey-roasted is good)
  • Optional: 1 cup edamame or chickpeas
  • Fresh lime, for a bit of tang

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup  peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 3 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon honey (use agave if vegan)
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Water to thin (if necessary)

Directions:

  1. Quinoa: Prepare the quinoa by rinsing the quinoa with cold water in a mesh strainer.  Then, add 1 ½ cups water to the quinoa in a medium sized saucepan, and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer for 15- 20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Then, fluff with a fork, remove from heat, and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, while the quinoa is cooking, prepare the dressing.  Microwave the peanut butter and honey (or agave) in a microwave safe bowl for 20 seconds.
  3. Add the ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and olive oil to the peanut butter, and stir until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the dressing to the quinoa, and then fold in the red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro.
  5. Top with cashews or peanuts and green onions.
  6. Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Monique from Ambitious Kitchen
  • If you want a thinner dressing, add about teaspoon of water and/or oil to the dressing mix!
  • One perk to this recipe- the quinoa absorbs the flavors of the dressing and tastes even more flavorful after a few hours/days! So go ahead, make your dinner in advance, you over achiever.
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from ‘a rented kitchen’! Check below for the recipes!