Cold Chili Noodle Salad

There’s a heatwave happening all over the globe right now. My pen pal tells me they are running in the high eighties in England right now. And they are dying of heat. Lol! Meanwhile, it was 106 degrees here yesterday. Whew!

Today I went swimming and came home to make this. It’s super flavorful and light. Perfect for a miserably hot day.

This is a cold noodle salad from Will Yeung over on YouTube. If you don’t subscribe to his channel, I highly recommend him. You can follow him here making this salad. Thanks Will!

It was very easy to put together, the only thing time consuming was making Will’s chili oil which is another recipe listed at the end of this one. You will need 2 tsp. of this oil for your noodle dressing.

Ingredients:

1/4 lb. – Rice noodles

1-cucumber, chopped into matchsticks

1 -Fiji apple, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp. – Fresh cilantro, chopped

2 Tbsp.- Fresh basil, ripped apart

2 Tbsp- White sesame seeds

For the dressing:

2- Tbsp. – Soy sauce

Splash of Sesame oil

Splash of Rice vinegar

2 – Tbsp. of his chili oil (a separate recipe, I’ll add at the bottom of this recipe.)

Stir together and drizzle over top of the assembled dish

Directions for the noodle salad:

Boil noodles according to package direction. When done, rinse in cold water and set aside.

Cut cucumbers into matchsticks and set aside

Cut apples into thin slices and set those aside

Make the dressing and set aside

Cut up cilantro and basil set aside

When that’s done, toast a handful of peanuts until warm and fragrant over medium heat. When almost finished, add a Tbsp. of sesame seeds and turn heat off rotating the pan until they are toasty and gold.

Now, assemble!

Plate the rice noodles. Top with slices of apples, handful of cucumbers, cilantro, basil, drizzle with dressing and then top with roasted peanuts and sesame seeds.

That’s it! Enjoy!

Recipe for Will’s chili oil which will store for up to 6 months.

1-cup grape seed oil

1- inch piece of ginger

2 tsp.- Sichuan peppercorns

4 tsp. – Red pepper flakes or gochugaru. (I did not have these two ingredients and made my own concoction with cayenne, chipotle, and red pepper flakes. It turned out great, but I will make this again after I get to the Asian market.)

2 tsp. – sesame seeds

1- star anise

1- bag leaf

1 -tsp. Sesame oil

Directions to make chili oil: Here is Will making it.

Add grape seed oil to small pan with ginger and heat. Cool until ginger us brown and take off heat and discard ginger.

Heat oil until the ginger is brown. Discard the ginger piece or pieces. Cool.

Add the dried ingredients to the jar and add the oil over top. Store in dry pantry. Do not refrigerate.

*Add 2 tsp. of this to the dressing above for this salad.

If you’d like to support Will, you can buy his cookbook here.

If you’d like to support me, you can buy my memoir here.

Potato Corn Chowder

Rainy season! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!Sometimes hot and rainy, sometimes cool and rainy, but wet! And you know they that means! Blankets and staying inside.

It’s my favorite weather and the perfect time to make soup and bread, whether hot or cool. Hashtag soupgirl!

This recipe is from Ambitious Kitchen and when it came up in my FB feeds a few weeks ago, I had everything to make it. And then… I made it a few days later. It’s really goood!

Maybe you have everything to make it too?

Ingredients:

4 – 5 peeled medium sized golden potatoes

2 – cups corn, fresh off the cob or frozen. I used frozen.

1- jalapeño, seeded and diced

1 – 15 ounce can light coconut milk

2 and 1/2 cups- vegetable broth

1- small onion diced if use onion powder. I used powder.

1- Tbsp. Olive oil

3 cloves -garlic chopped

Directions:

Add olive oil to heavy pot, sautéed onion and garlic till translucent and aromatic. Add in potatoes and cook for a few minutes stirring occasionally.

Once potatoes start to soften a bit, add in corn, vegetable broth and stir. Cook for a few minutes.

Stir in light coconut milk and stir and cook until potatoes are fork tender.

At this point you can eat this as is, or you can do one of two things for extra creaminess. You could add 1/4 cup sour cream to thicken if you eat dairy, or you can remove half of the chowder to a blender and blend smooth. Adding it back to pan with the unblended soup and stir. I blended mine.

Top with green onions, salt and pepper. Serve with hot bread fresh from the oven.

Hope you like it as much as we did!

Watermelon Pizza

There’s two words you don’t see used together, buuuut… it’s delicious! Great for a hot day when you crave something sweet, but not toooo sweet. This would be a great for your 4th of July.

Ingredients:

1 – watermelon

Fruit – your choice.

1 – vanilla dairy-free yogurt

Cinnamon

Crushed pistachios

Directions:

Cut watermelon into 1-inch think round piece in the shape of a pizza.

Spread your dairy-free yogurt onto it like you would spread pizza sauce onto a pizza crust.

Cut your chosen fruit pieces up into bite sized pieces, (I used blackberries and strawberries) and sprinkle them around the top of the yogurt.

Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Crush your pistachios and sprinkle those on top.

Cut into pieces and serve.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

Topping suggestions I think would also be great: any nuts, seeds, toasted coconut, dairy-free chocolate chips, blueberries.

Tip: wipe knife between each cut to keep it pretty!

Caldo sans Huevos

This recipe is from Pao from 90-Day Fiancé and the show Foody Call on Discovery +. It’s originally called Caldo (warm) con (with) huevos (eggs.) So, I’m guessing that this vegan version would be called Caldo sans (without) eggs. 🤷🏻‍♀️

This is the most bland soup I’ve ever made as its “broth” consists only of water, almond milk, garlic, cilantro, green onion and salt. Pao said this was a soup that people eat in Colombia during a hangover or when they are sick. I wanted to make it because I love tofu and have never had it in a soup. She compared it to miso soup, which I have also never had.

And as bland as it is— it’s strangely addicting. It goes well with a rainy day, Discovery + binge-watching and a blanket, which we are having and doing today. My favorite!

Try it and let me know what you think.

Ingredients:

2- medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced.

8 cups -water

Himalayan pink salt

4-green onions, chopped

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

2- cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup- almond milk

4 -large eggs or if vegan 1 block of organic tofu, pressed and diced into bite-sized pieces

Directions:

Peel potatoes and add to a large saucepan with eight cups of water and season with salt. Boil until potatoes are fork tender.

Add green onions, garlic and cilantro and cook another five minutes. Add plant milk and tofu and stir. Allow to heat through. You can do this by turning off the heat and letting it sit for ten minutes.

If using eggs: omit the milk and carefully add four raw eggs to the broth after swirling the pan just a bit to create a swirl. Gently drop your egg into the swirl. This keeps your egg circular and prevents it from spreading into the others. Poach your egg until the whites are soft and the yolk is set, about five minutes.

Before adding milk
After adding milk
Aren’t these bowl holders the cutest? They were a gift from my husband’s manager for Christmas. We use them all the time!
Great for sitting in front of the TV!

Tofu with Broccoli

I probably make this weekly and never think to add it here, but I am now… you know, so I can get the photos off my phone. It’s my favorite.

Ingredients:

1- block of organic firm tofu, pressed

Cornstarch, enough to coat each piece

Oil for frying, enough to cover bottom of skillet

1- head of broccoli, washed and cut into manageable pieces, placed in steamer basket or microwave-safe dish and cooked until fork tender

Cooked white rice, as much as you want, cook ahead according to package directions and set aside

Sauce ingredients:

3 – scallions, chopped

1/4 cup- soy sauce

2 teaspoons- toasted sesame oil

Gochugaru (or Korean hot chili flakes), or just some hot pepper flakes from your cabinet to taste will be fine too.

1 1/2 tsp – sugar

1 clove- garlic, minced

1 teaspoon- sesame seeds

Directions:

Cut tofu into bite sized pieces and coat with cornstarch (potato or tapioca starch will be fine too)

Coat skillet with enough oil to coat bottom well

Toss in your tofu and stir-fry until golden brown about five to seven minutes

Meanwhile, steam broccoli in a steamer basket on the stove (10-12 minutes) or in the microwave in a bit of water, until fork tender (6 minutes)

When tofu is golden brown, add in the sauce and stir well, continuing to stir fry for another few minutes.

Remove broccoli from steamer basket or microwave dish and add it to the tofu and sauce, mixing well to incorporate the sauce with the broccoli as well.

Plate cooked white rice, top with tofu and broccoli, and garnish with more sesame seeds.

Enjoy!

Japchae with Vegetables

I made this last week and forgot to upload it. It’s Japchae and it’s a Korean noodle dish made with translucent noodles made of sweet potato starch. You will sometimes find them referred to as glass noodles and most times this noodle is made with tons of colorful vegetables and meat. In place of meat here, I add mushrooms and we don’t miss the meat at all.

This recipe is from my recipe book from Maangchi’s Big Book of Korean Cooking. If you don’t follow her on Youtube already, you’re missing out. She is a pint-sized dynamo and is so delightful to watch and listen to! I love her! She is such a warm and wonderful being you just want to pick her up and hug her. She is that amazing, adorable and awe-inspiring! There’s nothing this woman cannot do. Check her out here. Find her book here. 5.55 million subscribers can’t be wrong. That’s almost the entire population of the Earth!

Anyway, this recipe was vegan, but I wanted to try the egg garnish on top (the yellow ribbon above) so it’s technically vegetarian because of that. I didn’t find the egg to do much of anything for the dish, so I feel you won’t be missing out if you decide to leave it off.

Here we go!

Ingredients:

8 ounces – sweet potato starch noodles cooked on the stove in boiling water until al dente. When done, drain them over your spinach that sits in the colander in the sink to wilt it. (I find this to be easier than the way it’s written in the book.)

1- large carrot, cut into matchsticks

1 -red bell pepper, cut into strips

4-6 scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces

8 ounces – spinach, washed and cut into pieces

8 ounces of mushrooms (any kind you like: wood ear (soaked for 30 minutes) oyster, King oyster, portobello shiitake, or white button or a combo of any of these), sliced

1 egg yolk for paper strips (optional)

1 tablespoons- toasted sesame seeds

1/4 cup soy sauce (tamari if gluten-free)

1 – tablespoon toasted sesame oil

5 cloves- garlic, minced

3 tablespoons – brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon- black pepper

1/4 cup – vegetable oil (I used olive oil)

Directions:

Drain noodles over spinach to wilt

Mine looked like this. I couldn’t find the kind of spinach she used in the video I will list below, so a bag of spinach is fine!

Using scissors, pull noodles up from colander with your fingertips (this is hot, so cool fingers with cold water in between) and cut noodles into 5-6 inch lengths until it looks even (potato starch noodles are really long.)

Combine 1/4 cup soy sauce, minced garlic, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and black pepper in a bowl until sugar dissolves

In a large bowl, combine mushrooms, carrot, scallions with 1/4 cup olive oil, and splash of water and coat all vegetables your using with the oil to prevent the ingredients from turning brown from the soy sauce mixture, but also prevent burning.)

Stir-fry the coated vegetables for five minutes, stirring occasionally

Add in your seasoning sauce and cook for another five minutes

Toss in your noodles and stir fry for another minute or so, and plate

Top with egg ribbon (if using,) and sesame seeds

Enjoy!

Note: To make egg ribbon, add oil to pan and heat up. Turn off heat and wipe oil out with a paper towel just so the pan is lightly coated. Separate egg yolk from white, scramble in a bowl and add to hot skillet that doesn’t have any heat under it. Move skillet around and let set. When cooked, turn over and the hot pan will cook the other side. Once cooled, roll egg yolk and slice into paper ribbons. Add garnish to the top and serve.

Egg yolk, cooked. Roll and cut slices to get ribbons.
Egg yolk ribbons

This is the video where Maangchi is making Japchae in her New York City apartment. Watching this first may bring to light things that are not clear here.

Anyway, we love this recipe and it’s not as difficult as it seems. It’s a sweet and savory sauce over al dente noodles and a whole lotta crunch going on with the vegetables. It’s definitely a keeper for us!

Thank you Maangchi!

Arepas with Vegan “Beef” Filling

Last night my 90-Day Fiance lovin’ husband found a show on Discovery + called Foody Call. It’s where the reality TV personalities of 90 Day share their favorite recipes and give relationship advice mostly sexual in nature to viewers with questions, hence the name Foody Call, like Booty Call.

This recipe was shared by Paola and Russ. Pao is from Colombia and Russ from Oklahoma. And although it looks labor intensive, it’s really not. I was shocked at how quickly the arepas came together.

You can make the Arepas ahead of time and then set them aside until you need them. I made everything at one time, today. Like, I’ve spent my entire Saturday in my kitchen cooking, yikes! My feet and back are not happy, but our stomachs are nice ‘n content. 🙂

Ingredients for the Arepas:

2 1/2 – cups of warm water

2 cups – precooked corn flour (or masarepa)

1 cup – shredded vegan mozzarella

2 large pinches – sea salt

2 Tablespoons – coconut oil, liquidfied

Directions for making the Arepas:

Add the warm water, corn flour, salt and vegan mozzarella and mix well. Once everything is mixed well, set aside and allow to rest for five minutes.

After five minutes form enough dough in your hands to make 1/4-1/2 inch thick discs; larger than a biscuit, smaller than a pizza. Cover these with plastic wrap if you’re not ready to fry yet.

Or, you can fry them immediately and once done set them aside while you make the filling.

Dough

Let’s fry now:

Heat your coconut oil in a skillet on medium-high heat.

Fry each side until golden brown about 5 minutes per side; adding more oil as it evaporates if necessary to prevent sticking.

I was able to get 6 (six) arepas out of this dough.

Set aside on a plate until ready to use.

Fried. Makes six.

Filling ingredients:

Make right in the same pan you made the arepas in. No need to clean.

2 – tablespoons coconut oil, heated

1 – pound plant-based meat filling (note: if you are gluten-free like I am, please be sure to read the ingredients in vegan meat fillings as most contain wheat. Dr. Praeger’s vegan beef filling does not.

1 teaspoon- turmeric

3- scallions, chopped

2 – ripe tomatoes, chopped

4 – slices of vegan smoked gouda (this stuff is SO GOOD!)

1 – ripe avocado, mashed per person (if eating two each like we did.)

Directions for the “meat” filling:

Melt coconut oil over medium high heat. Add in your vegan beef filling and fry until golden brown with some pink left in it. Follow package instructions. Once it starts to look like ground beef, add in your diced green onions and stir fry 5-6 minutes. Add in turmeric and stir well until fragrant. Add in tomatoes last and stir, heating them through for about a minute or two. Season with salt. Take off heat and set aside.

Slice open the avocado, remove pit, and scoop out. Mash avocado gently with a fork and add a little sea salt.

Cut open the arepa on the side like you would see a pita opening (sliced through the middle, but not all the way through) go slowly here or they can crumble or you can poke through the other side.

Smear on your mashed avocado, one slice of cheese per areap (I folded mine until I got four squares of cheese and added them here and there.)

Add in your filling, as much as you can allow for without splitting the arepa. I was not able to put a lot of filling or avocado in the arepas, so use a fork when eating, as you will have lots of spillage over the sides.

These are the tastiest things I have ever made. I told my husband if this is what Colombian food tasted like I was ready to visit! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Also, try one of the corn cakes as a pancake and drizzle it with agave syrup! You’re welcome!

Follow your heart brand mozzarella and gouda were both used. And Amarillo brand corn flour.
Gluten free plant based ground

P.S. – If you’d like to support me, you can do so by buying, reading, and reviewing my memoir here. It’s available in paperback only on Amazon and Kindle edition e-book. Thanks so much!

Hummus and Israeli Salad

If you watch 90-day fiance like my husband does, you come to know a lot about the reality TV stars over time and you end up with your favorites. And Alex and Loren are two of our favorites. Last night on Discovery + he found a show called Foody Call (like Booty Call) where the shows participants share their favorite recipes and relationship advice to callers and viewers with questions; most of which are sexual in nature.

This recipe is from Alex and Loren Brovarnik. Loren is a young lady from Florida who married a young man from Israel. They are the cutest couple and now have an adorable little baby.

They made these two recipes along with a stuffed chicken and ambrosia dessert last night. But, since we are primarily plant-based, and I am dairy and gluten-free, I made these two dishes today for a tapas-style grab and go. In the heat of Florida, it’s great to have tapas on the lanai or just sitting out on the counter for a healthy grab and go. (See, the blue dishes? I made all those.)

Ingredients for Hummus:

1- 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed.

3/4 – teaspoon baking soda

1/2 – cup warm water

1/2 – cup tahini

4 – lemons, juiced

4 – cloves of store-bought roasted garlic, (I did roast my own, because I didn’t know store-bought roasted garlic was a thing?) Roasting your own garlic is easy, but takes 40 minutes. How? Cut off tops of the garlic with a knife, place in tin foil, drizzle well with olive oil, twist it tight at the top to close and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Place a pan under it since it can drip and cause smoke or fire.) It should look like this when it’s done:

Hello little fellers, Imma eat cha!

Kosher salt or sea salt

Za’atar, for topping

Extra virgin olive oil, for topping

Pita bread cut up into dippable triangles

Cucumber and carrots and celery, optional

Directions:

Place the chickpeas in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Add baking soda and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chickpea skins are coming off and some are floating to the top. This will take about 15 minutes.

Remove to a colander and run under cold water removing as much of the skins as possible.

Place chickpeas, 1/2 cup of warm water, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more water as needed if it’s too thick (a tablespoon at a time) until it’s your desired consistency.

Plate or place in bowl, top with drizzle of olive oil and dust with any herbs you’d like, like parsley, Za’atar, garlic, cumin, etc. Dip pita bread and vegetables, serve with Israeli Salad below and enjoy.

Israeli Salad Ingredients:

1-2 ripe tomatoes, or one red bell pepper, chopped

1- English cucumber, cut up into small bite sized pieces

1- red or yellow onion, I used 1/2 of a 1/2 red onion. 😉

Fresh parsley, mint or cilantro, chopped. I used Cilantro.

1/4 EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)

2 – lemons, juiced

Kosher or sea salt and fresh black pepper

Directions:

Combine tomatoes, and/or red bell pepper, cucumber, onion and herbs to bowl

Drizzle with olive oil, and lemon juice

Season with salt and pepper

This can be eaten right away or left out for the flavors to incorporate. No need to refrigerate until you’re ready to because there’s nothing in this that can go bad.

Enjoy!

Thanks for sharing your life with us Alex and Loren and thank you for the recipes!

*Note: Za’atar is a blend of cumin, sesame seeds, marjoram, thyme, and sumac a pungent lemony flavored Middle Eastern spice.

Additional Information you may like to know:

Best Gluten Free Pitas, ever! See if you can find them where you live.

P.S. – If you’d like to support me, you can do so by buying, reading, and reviewing my memoir here. It’s available in paperback only on Amazon and Kindle edition e-book. Thanks so much!

Potato Candy

We were watching a new show called The Laundry Guy on Discovery + last night and in addition to doing laundry for people, he shares recipes, and tips and tricks that he uses in his own life. He shared the recipe for potato candy in the first show and it reminded me that I’ve always wanted to make it. Well… it’s not as easy as he makes it looks even though this has the least amount of ingredients of anything I’ve ever made.

Here are a few of my most notable mistakes.

He used one potato, so in my mind… two would be better! Ugh! Do not do this. I ruined the recipe by using another potato, because, for every potato you use, you need a front loader full of powdered sugar to create dough! Or should I say, “Doh!”

One. Potato.

I also didn’t let the mashed potato (one) cool enough the first time. It never formed into a dough no matter how much powdered sugar I added which was every bit I had left in the house. Mine was soup and would have never firmed up with the ratio of potatoes I used.

“Honey! Can you please go to the store and buy two large bags of powdered sugar?” 🚗 The answer is always “yes.” Because: food. Sweet food. 😂

On to the next problem… rolling! I rolled it onto parchment paper and it squished out the sides. I had to pick it up and place it back on the parchment longways (on the long side of the paper) and roll it that way. Soft dough is hard to pick up and maneuver while having the parchment paper roll back up. (Use what you have to hold it down.) By this time, I wanted to chuck this batch into the garbage. But! If there is a will there is a way!

I had powdered sugar all over my kitchen and now… my dough was starting to crack 😖 but, I kept going…

I won’t bore you with the rest…

Ingredients:

1 — potato

6-7 cups — powdered sugar

1 tsp. — vanilla extract

1 1/2 Tbsp. + — Peanut butter, spread out about an inch from the edge. (You can add jelly or jam too. I made both.)

Directions:

Peel potato, cut into small pieces, boil until soft, then mash.

Let it cool.

Add one cup powdered sugar at a time. This will still liquify, even when cool, but keep going. Add vanilla before it becomes a dough. You might use 6 cups of powdered sugar, a little less, or a little more. This all depends on the size of the potato you start with.

You will have a large ball of dough from kneading. Cut into two pieces and roll each ball into rectangles.

Spread with peanut butter. Roll up.

Place the log of potato candy into the refrigerator and tuck the ends of the parchment underneath.

Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Cut with a sharp knife, wiping the knife between each cut. Place in a plate to serve.

See photos for (most) of the process… you should work as quickly as possible once it’s a dough ball.

My dough. Work quickly.
Roll out into a rectangle. Use avocados, rolling pin, measuring cups, fire extinguishers, etc… to hold the parchment down. 🤨
This is too much peanut butter.
Roll.
Is that avocado giving me a side eye?
You should not see peanut butter on your parchment.
Seam should close without seepage.
Extreme close-up!
Not the prettiest, but yummy nonetheless!

If you’re still here. Thanks! I hope you give this a whirl and tell me about your experience. I’ll be here cleaning powdered sugar out from under my nails.

Vegan Blueberry Scones

I made myself vegan blueberry scones last night, so I’d be able to have one with my morning coffee on Mother’s Day. — Yum! #selflove

Happy Mother’s Day to me!

Ingredients:

2 cups — gluten free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 baking flour.)

1 Tbsp. — baking powder

1/4 cup — sugar

1/2 tsp. — salt

Flax egg: 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed and 3 Tbsp. water

6 Tbsp. — coconut oil, room temperature

1/2 cup — fresh or frozen blueberries or whatever berries you like.

Add flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and mix.

Add flax egg, and coconut oil and mix until crumbly.

Add in berries, gently fold in.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until top is slightly brown or it looks dry and crisp.

Happy Day!

They were cones.