Category Archives: International Food

Quick Stir Fry Noodles

 

Asian Noodles

From college students to parents, noodles are a staple of dinner. There’s a reason for this: noodles are easy! If you can boil water, you can prepare pasta. And you don’t need to plan ahead: this is the perfect on-the-go dish for on-the-go people.

The Quick Stir Fry Noodles offer the ease of plain noodles but with a little something extra. The ingredients amp up nutrition and provide a well-rounded feast full of flavor. It’s a dish so good your kids will eat their veggies without hours of protest.

 

Time : 30 minutes  Serves : 4

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of noodles – any kind can be used from spaghetti to quinoa-based
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced white cabbage
  • 1 cup sliced red cabbage
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp of reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp of Sambal Oelek chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 bunch scallion
  • 1 cup tofu cubes, sauteed

 

spring veggies

How to prepare:

1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Then drain well, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

3. Add ginger, scallions, cabbage, squash, zucchini, and bell pepper.

4. Cook and stir frequently until tender.

5. Add chili paste and soy sauce, then stir.

6. Serve immediately.

7. Garnish with cilantro and crushed peanuts.

This dish is great when you need to be fast. It’s full of fine flavors and good health that lasts!

 

Enjoy!

 

Saute’ Veggies

 

 

Seven Layer Mexican Dip


This seven layer dip is always a huge hit at parties. Your guests will love you after this one.

It can be made in advance and refrigerated, making it the perfect dish if you have to bring something to a family gathering or party.

Similarly, we have a Homemade Salsa Recipe that is another party hit: Fresh & Mild Salsa

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

2 Can Jalapeño Bean Dip
1 Container Sour Cream
1 Container Avocado Dip
Small Bunch Scallions, washed & cut
3 Large Tomatoes, chopped
1 Can Black Olives
1 Bottle Salsa
1 Cup Cheese, grated
1 Packet Taco Seasoning
 

Directions:

  1. Spread out the beans in a flat pan.
  2. Add taco seasoning to the sour cream. Spread the mixture gently on top of the beans.
  3. Spread either a homemade or store-bought avocado dip on top of the sour cream.
  4. Spread salsa to taste.
  5. Sprinkle cheese on top of the salsa.
  6. Now garnish with black cut olives and green onions.
  • Health Benefits: Avocados are an excellent source of the healthy monounsaturated fat oleic acid, which helps lower cholesterol and can help protect against breast cancer. They also contain the highest amount of the carotenoid lutein among commonly eaten fruits, along with high amounts of other carotenoids and vitamin E, which together have been found to inhibit different types of cancer growth.
    Additionally, because healthy carotenoids are fat-soluble, consuming avocados, which are naturally rich in monounsaturated fat helps to enhance your body’s ability to absorb these healthy nutrients from other vegetables.
    Cilantro, sometimes referred to as Mexican or Chinese parsley, has a strong flavor that people usually either love or hate. In Mexican cuisine, it’s a popular herb used in guacamole, salsas, and sauces.
  • Health Benefits: Cilantro is rich in beneficial phytonutrients, flavonoids and active phenolic acid compounds, which may be responsible for many of its health benefits. Cilantro and its seeds have been found to help control blood sugar, lower cholesterol and fight inflammation and free radicals. Cilantro may also have antimicrobial properties.
    Fresh and dried chili peppers are what give Mexican dishes their characteristic spice, though specific peppers are used for flavor while others are used for heat. Some popular varieties include jalapeno, poblano, serrano, guajillo, chipotle, pasilla, habanero, ancho, Mulato, and cascabel.
  • Health Benefits: Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers, giving them not only their spice but also their health benefits. In fact, the hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it contains. This spicy compound has been found to Fight cancer, prevent sinusitis and relieve congestion, fight inflammation also helping burn fat, provide pain relief and a major factor in protecting the heart by a reduction in cholesterol, triglycerides, and platelet protection
    Beans are yet another staple ingredient in Mexican cuisine, perhaps second only to corn. While a variety of beans, like pinto, lentils, kidney beans and fava beans, are used in Mexican cooking, the focus is on pinto and black beans because they’re far more common in Mexican cooking and they offer many nutritional benefits — loads of antioxidants. Normally Mexican beans are served boiled or fried.
  • Health Benefits: Pinto and black beans are rich in antioxidants, beans are high in dietary fiber, which is an excellent cholesterol fighter, and the complex carbohydrates they contain help keep your blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day — essential for staying alert and feeling energized.
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment! I love to hear from my readers!
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Asian Noodle Bowl

 

 

A Power Bowl punch for lunch is a great idea.

Recently I’ve been trying out various “bowl recipes”, which is essentially real food in the easiest way: one simple bowl.

The great thing about this recipe is that you only need a few basic ingredients, and can just throw in whatever you have on hand.

I like to use leftover beans, but you can substitute those for any ingredients that you love.

This recipe is courtesy of Reena.

Asian Noodle Bowl Recipe:

Serves: 4; Level: Easy;  Total Time: 15 minutes

Vegan

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp Garlic and ginger paste
  • 1/2 cup onion cube
  • 1/2 cup cut carrot
  • 1 cup kale or spinach
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 vegetarian bouillon Knor brand
  • Salt and pepper to taste Less is better
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Chinese Five spice
  • 1 cup Rice noodles
  • Few sticks of lemongrass tied

How To prepare:

  1. Cook rice noodles separately. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan heat the oil. Saute onion, garlic.and ginger.
  3. Add carrots, spinach and any other veggies you want.
  4. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  5. Add quinoa, vegetable bouillon, salt, pepper, soy sauce and Chinese Five Spice.
  6. Let it boil and cook for five to seven minutes.
  7. When its ready, add noodles into bowl and top with hot soup.
  8. Feel free to garnish with sprouts, crushed peanuts, spring onion and my favourite: cilantro.

Sautéed Tofu cubes are a great addition to this meal.

This soup tends to be on the watery side, so it is fun to slurp it up.

I enjoy this soup thoroughly and I think you will too!

I would love to know which are your favourite toppings to add to this soup!!

Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

Effortless Vegan Chocolate Pie

Vegan Chocolate Pie

Cooking Difficulty Level: Easy
Cooking Time: 15 Minutes (Plus 6 hours to refrigerate)

Recently I made this vegan chocolate pie and served with aquafaba. No need to say everyone was in love at first bite.
Ingredients:
1       Keebler 9″           Graham cracker pie crust ready made

2 Package Two Package Baker’s Semi-Sweet or
Sweet Chocolate Bar
1 Teaspoon One tsp Vanilla

one tsp maple syrup

1 12.3 Oz. Package One 12.3 Ounce Silky Tofu NORI-NU silken firm tofu
White Chocolate & Raspberries to Garnish
Cool Whip Optional

How to Prepare:

  1. In a glass bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave for one minute. Stir and add one minute till it melts.
  2. Using an electric mixer, blend the vanilla ,maple syrup and tofu into the melted chocolate until smooth and creamy.
  3. Let it set in a refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Garnish with raspberry and shaved white chocolate.
  5. Add Aquafaba to substitute whipping cream.
  6.  Yum! Enjoy!

Refreshing Lychee Ice Cream

Recipe by Guest Chef Tushar
Summer is the season for ice cream. Last February, I toured New Zealand and I was surprised to find so many different flavors of ice cream. With so many choices available, I tried a new one every day. For those not familiar with lychees, they’re a fruit with fragrant perfume-like taste. Recently, my cousin treated me to this homemade ice cream. I cannot deny that it was delicious.
Fresh lychees

Fresh lychees

Lychee Ice Cream

Cooking Difficulty Level: Easy

Cooking Time: 10 Minutes 

Ingredients:

2 cans Drained Lychees
8 oz Cool Whip
1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream
8 oz Condensed Milk
8 oz Evaporated Milk
Flavor/Essence of your choice:
• Optional & Available in most grocery stores
• Pineapple & Pineapple Essence is Recommended
• Pistachio, Almond Powder, and Saffron can also be added

 

How to Prepare:
  1. Mix all ingredients and add to ice cream maker.
  2. Add ice and salt to run ice cream maker.
  3. Let the maker run for 30 minutes.
  4. When finished, if the consistency is soft, store the mixture in the freezer until firm.
  5. Enjoy!

Papaya Salad

Finished Papaya Salad

Papaya is easily available all over India and Thailand. One of my favorite salads is made with papaya. It is healthy, tasty, and adds exotic flavor to any meal.  I’d like to share my version of the traditional Indian way of making papaya salad.  It is low in fat, packed with antioxidants, and high in vitamins.
Cooking Difficulty Level: Easy
Cooking Time: 15 Minutes
Recipe Type: Vegan
 
Ingredients:
1 Small Slice Green Papaya (check freshness by denting
with fingernail–milk should ooze out)
1 Small Green Chili cut into piece lengthwise
1 Tsp Sugar
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
1/4 Tsp Mustard Seed
2 Tsp Oil
1/4 Tsp Asafoetida(optional)
Salt to Taste
Fresh Chopped Cilantro

How to prepare:

  1. Wash papaya well. Peel and grate with grater.
  2. Add sugar, salt, lemon juice, and mix together.
  3. In a small butter warmer, add oil on medium heat.
  4. Add mustard seeds, green chili, Asafoetida and turmeric.
  5. Add mixture on top of grated papaya. Add cilantro.
  6. Mix well and serve.

Tip:  Green papaya is available in an Asian store near you.

Falafel Sandwich

I love food so naturally I love to dine at fancy restaurants.  There’s something so special about being served on white linen and I savor a fine cup of coffee with dessert.  But there is one exception to my usual preference for fine dining: the falafel sandwiches served at a certain fast food restaurant around the corner.
For those of you not familiar with falafel, it is basically when you take fried balls made from chickpeas or fava beans and put them in a pita pocket  (as you can see in the picture above).
My family is my fan club. My friends and my cousins favor falafel over any food item from India. It is bit time consuming but it’s all worth it.
I am sharing my recipe with you. I don’t know if it can be called authentic or not, but I enjoy it every time I make it.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: Approximately 1 Hour
Serves: 4-5

Falafel Patties or Balls

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 Cups Lentils
  • 1 Cup Dried (not canned) Chickpeas
  • 1 Head of Lettuce (washed and chopped – can be mixed with romaine for extra nutrition)
  • 1 Bunch Parsley
  • 1-3 Green Chili Peppers (or Jalapeños)
  • 1 Small Fresh Ginger
  • 4-5 Cloves of Peeled Garlic
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds

Wash lentil and chickpeas very thoroughly and check for stones.

How to Prepare:

  1. Soak lentil and chickpeas for at least three hours in warm water.
  2. Cut and chop parsley, green chili, ginger, and fresh garlic.
  3. Add salt, cumin, coriander seeds, and red pepper flakes.
  4. Grind all of ingredients together to make a batter.
  5. Heat the oil on medium in a frying pan.
  6. Make small balls from batter and us a teaspoon to drop them into hot oil.
  7. Once fried, the falafel balls/patties are ready for the sandwich.

Sauce recipes below:

Green Tahini Sauce
Ingredients:
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro (washed & chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Cup Cucumber (chopped garden or seedless)
  • 1 Small Ginger and Chili (to your taste)
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream or Drained Yogurt or Garlic Cucumber Dressing with Buttermilk (from store)
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 3-5 Cloves Garlic

Blend all ingredients together. Now your green sauce is ready for the Falafel sandwich.

Red Sauce
Ingredients:

4-5 Cloves Fresh Peeled Garlic
1 Red Hot Chili or Red Bell Pepper (for mild taste)
Salt to taste
10 Oz. Tomato Sauce Can
2 TBsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 TBsp Lemon Juice
2 TBsp Ketchup

Blend all ingredients together. Your red spicy or mild sauce is ready for you.

Tips:

  • Pita pockets are very tasty and come in a variety of flavors. I either pop them in the toaster and or warm them at 200º in a toaster oven until till they puff up.
  • Usually I mix two different kind of lettuce: Romaine and head lettuce.
  • Top everything off with 3-4 washed and cubed tomatoes.

I am pretty sure you will enjoy this dish over and over again. I also enjoy Baba Ganoush, Hummus, and Parsley Salad with Tahini and Spicy Garlic Sauce. Because of my culinary curiosity, I always come home to my kitchen and make these things with my selected ingredients.

Easy Eggless cheesecake

www.thevegfusion.com

 

My family and I love cheesecake, but it is impossible to find one without eggs in the supermarket. So I created a eggless cheesecake for me and my family to enjoy!

Prep time : 20 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ready-made graham crust (10″ inch)
  • 24  oz softened cream cheese
  • 3 Tbsp sour creamwww.thevegfusion.com
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch + 3 Tbsp water blended
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla essence
  • Fresh lemon zest

For Layering:

  • 5 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp sugar

For Strawberry Topping:

  • 1 Tsp corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp orange Juice
  • 1 Tsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp of water
  • 1 Pint Fresh strawberries washed and cut lengthwise (or you choice of berries)

PREPARATION:

1. Heat the oven to 350 Degrees.
2. Mix the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla essence and lemon zest with mixer till it is well blended.

CheesecakeMixing

Before mixing…

www.thevegfusion.com

…After mixing

3. Pour mixture into crust.
4.  Bake the cheesecake in a water bath to keep the oven moisture high and the heat distributed evenly. Make sure you don’t overheat the cheesecake because it could burn.  (A water bath is when you put water in a large pan and then set a smaller baking pan inside it. See Picture.) 

Water bath

Creating the water bath

5. Cover the crust with foil.
6. Bake for 45 minutes. Let it cool for 4 hours or overnight.

 

For Toppings:         

1. Mix sour cream with sugar.
2. Apply an even layer of sour cream on cool cheesecake with flat spatula.

ready from Oven without cracks

Ready from oven without cracks

 

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Apply Layer of Sour cream and Sugar

 

For Strawberry Topping:www.thevegfusion.com

1. On low heat, add cornstarch, orange juice, sugar, and water in a small pan.
2. Whisk until mixture is translucent. Let it cool.
3. Fold in the fresh strawberries.
4. Spread across cheesecake.

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Liquid pre-Strawberries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Putting on the Finishing Touches

Tips: 

For healthier eating, you can substitute Ricotta for the cream cheese. Sometimes I add lingo berry preserves for variety.

I’ve heard that you are a good cook if your cheesecake does not crack. Let me know how yours turned out in the comments!

Making Cheesecake eggless

Making  Eggless Cheesecake

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

I’m not usually a big fan of cold appetizers or soups, but once I tasted these cold spring rolls in a new Thai restaurant, I instantly became a fan. So I invited my fellow foodie, Phung Li, to try this recipe with me. This recipe originally came from Chow.com’s Vietnamese-Style Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce.  I modified it to be Vegan/Vegetarian friendly by switching the shrimp to tofu, so you’re still getting plenty of protein.

With summer coming, these are sure to be a major hit at summer cook outs. This dish would go especially well with my delicious Yellow Thai Curry recipe, so be sure to check that out.

Most of the ingredients are available in the Asian aisle of the grocery store.

Vegan

Time: 30 minutes

Makes: 8 rolls

Peanut sauce

The peanut sauce.

Peanut Sauce (Whisk  all ingredients together and set aside)

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp chili garlic paste (with rooster picture)
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • 2 Tbsp crushed peanuts

_________________________________________________________

INGREDIENTS: Spring Rolls

  • 1 packet extra firm tofu
  • 1 packet 8 round rice paper wrappers. They are clear by nature. (I have used Red Rose brand)
  • Rice noodles
  • 16 pieces of basil
  • 1 cup sprouted mung beans
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 8 leaves of bibb lettuce, cut into halves
  • Fresh scallions cut cross wise
  • Garden English seedless cucumber
  • Serrano or jalapeno chilis (cored, seeded, and thinly sliced) – optional

PREPARATION:

1. To store the wrapper, place a wet paper towel or wet cheese cloth at the base. Then cover with saran wrap so it does not dry out.

2. Drain tofu. Cut into cubes. In a wok, lightly season with soy and ginger paste. Set aside.

Tofu cubes

Seasoning the tofu

 

3. Clear an area on a cutting board or flat surface to roll spring rolls.

4. Wet the rice paper and lay flat on a cutting board.

5. On top of the rice paper, layer a half lettuce leaf, mint, basil, sprouts, tofu, cucumber, and chili. End with a second half leaf of lettuce.

Spring roll filling

Ready to roll!

6. Try to roll on one side. Fold in sides.

Wrapping Spring Rolls

Wrapping up the spring rolls

6. Roll in a way so it is firmly tucked in and shows green lettuce on the top.

Finished spring roll

Ta da! This is what your finished roll should look like.

 

For more inspiration, join our newsletter (you can find the form in the right hand column). Also, I love to hear from my readers, so leave your comments below and tell me how this recipe turned out for YOU! Let me know what I should try next.

Silken Tofu pudding

 

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Silken Tofu Pudding

I love my Indian rice pudding which is made with cow’s milk. I was in impression that pudding without the cow’s milk will be no pudding at all.

To my surprise  when my friend Debbie served  me with silken tofu pudding I could not believe that it is vegan pudding! It is extremely simple to make.

Prep time :10 minutes        Serves :3      Very easy     Vegan    Gluten Free

Ingredients:

  • 1 Block firm or extra firm silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar /Agave nectar/maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp of turmeric for color
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries

How to prepare:

1. Drain the water from tofu.

2. Blend in food processor silken tofu, lemon juice, sugar and turmeric till smooth. Serve in individual dishes and chill in refrigerator for two hours.

3. Garnish with berries.

Is this real ? Velvety smooth taste of pudding? Try it and Let me know in your comments!