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By Popular Demand: Quick Lo-Mein

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Vegan Planet: By Popular Demand: Quick Lo-Mein

Thursday, May 27, 2010


By Popular Demand: Quick Lo-Mein

By a slim margin, Quick Lo-Mein was voted the recipe from Vegan on the Cheap you’d most like to see. I can’t help but think voters were swayed by this luscious looking photo taken by Tami at Vegan Appetite.  But, in addition to being photogenic, I think this recipe is a good choice because it’s versatile, easy to make, delicious, and, of course, inexpensive  Here are just some of the ways this recipe can help you eat “on the cheap”:

1. It doesn’t call for any exotic ingredients, so you should be able to make it with what’s on hand.

2. It’s a great way to use up leftover spaghetti or linguine, as you only need about 4 cups of cooked pasta for this recipe. (You can even use reconstituted ramen noodle bricks if you have them on hand. Just throw away the seasoning packets, break the bricks into pieces, and place them in a heatproof bowl. Cover them with boiling water and set aside to reconstitute.)

3. You can easily swap out different vegetables according to what you have in the fridge. Instead of (or in addition to) the cabbage, you could use broccoli, snow peas, green beans, etc. If you have leftover steamed veggies, this is a great way to use them.

4. The recipe makes about 4 servings, but can be easily stretched by adding extra noodles or veggies, in which case you’ll want to double the sauce ingredients so there’s enough to coat everything.

5. Instead of tofu, you could instead add seitan or tempeh — or leave them all out in favor of more vegetables.

MORE WAYS TO WIN: There are two more opportunities to win a copy of Vegan on the Cheap. The first is at Savvy Abby, the new VegNews blog with money-saving tips (where I did some guest posting this week). Here’s the link to the giveaway where you will also find some of my Cheap tips and recipes. For yet another chance to win a copy of the book (and see another recipe), visit PETAPrime.

Now, here’s that lo-mein recipe:

Quick Lo-Mein

Recipe from Vegan on the Cheap by Robin Robertson © 2010, John Wiley and Sons.

16 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 medium carrot, shredded
4 to 5 scallions (green onions), chopped
4 cups shredded green cabbage (or  napa cabbage or bok choy)
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
4 cups cooked spaghetti or linguine (or reconstituted ramen)

1. Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch dice. Toss with the cornstarch and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook until golden brown all over, about 7 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
3. Add the remaining oil to the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, carrot, scallions, cabbage, and mushrooms. Season with salt and stir-fry to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the soy sauce, rice vinegar, ketchup, and sesame oil. Add the reserved tofu and the cooked noodles. Toss to combine, adding a bit of water (or extra sauce) if the mixture is too dry. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve hot.

Note: Enjoy as is, or garnish with regular toasted or black sesame seeds or chopped parsley or cilantro. For a spicy version, add a drizzle of sriracha.

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That looks like a great recipe to try out!! You're right, it does look photogenic, thus makes me want to try it out too :)
We made this tonight along with the Hot and Sour Soup from Vegan Planet. What a fabulous meal! We are definitely going to be getting a copy of the new book. Thanks!
Love it :D favorite vegan food.I’m in love with noodles and pasta. It’s Yummy and simply irresistable. But the thing I’m afraid is it contains so much carbohydrate. But now I found a new way to replace normal Pasta and noodles. Do you know about Vietnamese brown Rice noodle? It’s 100 percent good for your health. So thrilled to come across this Vietnamese noodle soup Happy Pho. It takes 15 mins for me to cook & has super healthy ingredients, so it’s tasty and doesn’t make me feel terrible afterwards like a lot of Asian prepackaged products. I found it at Whole Foods Berkeley but I think they’re at a bunch of other stores too
I love your books. So many of the recipes are great. So why can't I get the cookie recipes to work. I tried the chocolate chip cookies and the peanut butter cookies in 1,000 vegan recipes and the dough comes out very dry and won't stick together. I added some water and a touch of oil and then it was too wet. My daughter is convinced I am missing something. Would you give me a clue to a solution to this problem?
Thanks Rice Palette and Lea. I hope everyone who voted for this recipe enjoyed it too!

Hi Ellen. Unruly cookie dough can often be the source of frustration. This can be due to a number of factors such as humidity, altitude, differences of dryness and/or moisture content of ingredients.

As a general rule, if the cookie dough is too dry, add a very small amount of liquid at a time until it holds together (as you say, if you add too much, then it’s too wet). If cookie dough is too wet, sprinkle on a small amount of flour a little at a time and incorporate until the dough holds together.

In the case of the Chocolate Chip Cookies, there was a typo in that recipe in the first print run (which has since been corrected). In ingredient list, please change 1/2 cup vegan margarine, softened” to “1 cup vegan margarine, softened.” That should do the trick!

For the peanut butter cookies, maybe your peanut butter and/or flour are more “dry” than the ones used to test the recipe. Simply add a little more liquid a tablespoon at a time until the dough holds together.

By the way, an easy alternative way to make those cookies (instead of rolling them out) is to pinch off a bit of the dough, roll it in a ball and place on a cookie sheet, then press to flatten, making a traditional “criss-cross” on the top with a fork.

I hope this is helpful and that you have better luck with your next batch of cookies.
Thanks for posting this! I enjoyed it a lot. Just made it with some broccoli that I had on hand and some noodles from the International Farmers Market. Will be buying your cookbook when I have a bigger discretionary budget!!
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