Category Archives: Vegetarian Recipes

Doable Doaba

Just 10 blocks south of Columbia, Doaba Deli is a hidden gem serving delicious Indian food. This family owned restaurant is small, but the food is certainly excellent.

Doaba Deli Info

945 Columbus Ave

New York, NY 10025

b/t 106th St & 107th St

Manhattan Valley

Sun-Sat. 6am-5:30 am

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When you step in, you only see about three different tables and a glass display case with various foods. Though this eatery is small and easy to pass by, the food is both affordable and tasty.

I ordered the palak paneer, which consists of spinach, a tomato gravy and paneer (a type of cheese). It was spicy and delectable. Although the dish is not served with rice, you can order the various types of breads or rice on the menu. This is a bit of an inconvience, but the food that I tried was still appetizing.

 

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I also ordered the mango lassi (of course) and it was a bit thinner than some other lassis I have tried before. Though it was not my favorite, it was still tasty.

Everything is under $10, so this place is perfect for those of us who do not have too much money to spend on outside foods. Doaba Deli is also not that far from campus, so it is easy to stop by if you have some time during the day. Though it is not a fancy sit-down restaurant, it is an excellent option to consider when you want to eat some no-nonsense foods.

Most of the food on the menu is vegetarian, and they make it very apparent when you look at the available dishes.

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Therefore, I would give Doaba Deli three and a half Bobby Flays.

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Thanks for checking in!

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30-Minute Gourmet: Spinach Mushroom Quinoa Skillet

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I have to correct myself and say that this recipe wins the prize for most versatile, despite my praise for the One Pan Pasta I posted previously. Similar to the pasta, this is one of those recipes where you throw everything in and the rest is almost done for you. Just some light mixing with a wooden spoon or spatula to sauté the ingredients and it’s done in five minutes.

Although this recipe may seem bland (I mean, quinoa, spinach, and mushrooms don’t exactly have the reputation of being the most flavor packed ingredients out there), cooking the spinach and mushrooms brings out flavor many don’t know exists. For my version, I added ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, and Sriracha to add a bit more kick to the dish, but it is really up to the palette of the chef and audience.

And the wonderful thing about this recipe is that you can alter the ingredients according to taste. I have always wanted to try kale for a bitterer, earthier taste, or chard to add some color. I use baby bella mushrooms, but portobello or shitake also can alter the profile dramatically, depending on the tastes. Lastly, something I meant to add this time around but regretfully did not, was cilantro. I, luckily, am not afflicted with the hatred of cilantro, and it would be interesting to try the combination of the earthier mushrooms with the cleaner bite of cilantro. Even if that didn’t work, the legendary combination of cilantro and Sriracha might be enough to save the dish.

Depending on how you cook your quinoa, this could takeover thirty minutes, however I have always been able to throw it together before passing the limit. Furthermore, the quinoa can be cooked previously, as it heats up in the pan once added. Cooking the quinoa the night before could make put the time stamp on this recipe at about five minutes, maybe eight or ten depending on the heat of your stove. Overall though, since cleanup is a breeze with the absence of sticky sauces and the use of only one pan (or two depending on when you cook the quinoa), the cooking time for the actual skillet recipe almost cannot exceed twenty minutes, unless you are really that determined.

 

With all that being said, here is the recipe for my Mushroom Quinoa Skillet:

 

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(Adapted from Julia’s Album)

 

Spinach Mushroom Quinoa Skillet

  • 10 oz baby bella mushrooms
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 oz fresh spinach (to taste)
  • 2 oz fresh arugula (to taste)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

Heat butter and olive in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and garlic and sauté over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes until mushrooms get soft and golden-brown color. Season with salt.

Add fresh spinach and arugula to skillet and reduce heat to low. As spinach begins to wilt, sauté with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add 2 cups of cooked quinoa to the skillet and cook on low heat for another minute, allowing quinoa to warm and spinach to wilt more. Add Sriracha, red pepper flakes, and ground black pepper, and mix/sauté to incorporate.

 

30-Minute Gourmet: One-Pan Pasta

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If you are looking for a quick and versatile recipe to add to your collection, look no further. This recipe for one-pan pasta is probably my #1 go-to when I need to make something impressive. It can easily be prepped, cooked, and cleaned in less than thirty minutes, making it a perfect recipe for nearly any occasion.

 

Even beyond the speediness, its taste alone will make it one to ad to your bookmarks bar. Cooking all the ingredients together allows the water to absorb all the flavors, which is then absorbed by the pasta. Instead of having a heavy sauce coating the pasta, the recipe relies on the natural flavors to give the pasta a much lighter and subtler taste.

 

Something else I love about this recipe is that it can stand alone or be a perfect side to nearly any main course. One of my favorite pairings for this recipe is a lightly seasoned salmon. Just a light brushing of butter, salt, and pepper draw out the natural flavors of the fish, much like this recipe does for the pasta, making it a perfect match. And the recipe is highly malleable. I have tried different ingredients and found that as long as the proportions are right, there are very few ingredients that would pair poorly with this pasta. I altered my personal recipe based on food sensitivities and other preferences, so it’s good to try many different variations to develop a personal recipe for your taste.

 

One final thing I have to compliment this recipe on is that cleanup takes less than five minutes. The cutting board and knife can be cleaned while the water is heating, leaving just the pan, tongs, a fork, and a plate or bowl (unless of course you are sharing the pasta). And because there is no sauce, there is hardly any mess to take care of. Really, it is so simple it can be done in a matter of seconds.

 

 

Now onto the actual recipe I have been raving about.

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One-Pan Pasta (Adapted from Lottie + Doof  )

 

12 oz linguine

12 oz cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large

3 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms

1 small onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

7 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 sprigs of basil

3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

3 teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon pepper

4 ½ cups of water

 

Combine all the ingredients in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs until water has nearly evaporated. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

 

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The Eggocado | Breakfast Obsession

Breakfast and brunch, when done right and with love, have to be some of the most enticing and delicious meals (yes, I count brunch as a meal). Eggs, butter, carbs, protein-overload – I love it all.

A THING OF BEAUTY IS A JOY FOREVER.
A THING OF BEAUTY IS A JOY FOREVER. (credit to Laura Manach)

After learning about eggocado’s versatility and simplicity, I’ve been experimenting with this 2-ingredient, bursting-with-flavor brunch dish consisting of a single egg nestled in half a carved avocado, seasoned to one’s liking.

After a few minutes of prepping and only 15-20 minutes of baking, you have yourself a nutritious, mouth-watering, and addictive choice to start your day. I truly believe mornings are for decisions, the most important decision of all being how you will choose to go about your day. Your mindset. #Eggocados are a great way to catalyze happy mindsets. It’s also a particularly suitable choice for us broke frugal college students looking for a filling, easy, and spectacularly healthy and quick meal. Want a snack in between classes? The eggocado is your best friend. Feeling savory for breakfast or brunch? Look no further than this green well of happiness.

My first attempt, pairing a slightly-overcooked eggocado with two of my favorite fruits, strawberries and grapes, was mediocre at best. The yolk wasn’t slightly runny as I preferred, it was under-seasoned, and the avocado wasn’t fully ripe, making it underwhelming in terms of flavor and texture. Even though avocado, egg, strawberries, and grapes sound like the last things I’d ever imagine harmonizing together, the acidity from the fruits and the heftier tones of the eggocado melded well.

The next time I tried, I made sure to use specific seasonings, even over-salting a bit to ensure that the flavors were more multi-dimensional. I also chose a particularly ripe and gorgeously green avocado, careful to carve out the pit and its surrounding fully so the egg would “sit” comfortably. This is an important step –the egg may be larger than you think, and it wouldn’t do well to have it spill over the sides of the avocado. Using a blend of sesame seeds, minced garlic, pepper, and some chili flakes, I popped it into the oven and was far more pleased with the consistency of the egg and the overall texture/flavor. I highly recommend this combo, in addition to having bananas on the side; two famously buttery friends mixing perfectly.

Tips for your eggocado:

  • Use a sufficiently ripened avocado. It should be dark green, almost black, and “cushiony” to the touch. Not too hard, not too mushy.
  • Season, season, season!
  • Cut a small bit off the rounded edge of your avocado half, so it sits nicely on your pan/rack/plate, etc. It also prevents your egg from spilling over and away!
  • Try to use a convection oven, rather than a microwave. The oven will distribute heat most evenly, resulting in overall better quality and taste.

Have you tried the #eggocado? What’s your favorite way to prepare it?

“Spaghetti” and Tomato Sauce

Welcome to the first ever blog post for ‘Gluten-Free Dorm Room Cooking!’

(Disclaimer: This series is in NO WAY limited to the gluten-intolerant/celiacs of the world. It’s for anyone who loves food as much as I do!)

Living a life that lacks gluten may seem impossible at first. Sure, initially you may think it will be okay, but then your friend orders a bagel for breakfast and you want to cry. Do not despair! With a little creativity and devotion, eating a gluten-free diet can be transformative for your health, and for your creative mind in the kitchen. If you’re like me, being gluten-free doesn’t limit your options, it expands them and forces you to think outside the box. It’s what made me fall in love with cooking.

Enough about me, let’s eat! I’m sharing with you today what I believe to be the ultimate comfort food: (zucchini) spaghetti and tomato sauce.

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This dish is extremely flavorful, and also ridiculously healthy. It satisfies and surpasses any pasta craving whether you are gluten-free or not. To prove this, I fed a friend whose intestines are perfectly capable of digesting gluten. She agrees.

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Here’s what you’re going to need to feed two hungry people…

Grocery List:

  • Zucchini (x2)
  • Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Onion (1/2)
  • Garlic (2 cloves)
  • Fresh Basil
  • Fresh Mozzarella

From the Pantry:

  • Canned Tomatoes (diced preferably)
  • Tomato Paste
  • Salt n’ Peppa
  • Olive Oil
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Italian Herb Blend (Oregano, Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, or any that you have on hand)

Special Tools:

  • Spiralizer (I use the Veggetti. You can get it at almost any drug store.)

P.S. If you are gluten-intolerant or a celiac, and you do not have a spiralizer, leave your computer NOW and go get one. It will change your life.

FIRST, get the magical spiralizer ready. Wash your zucchinis well because we are leaving on the skin. Turn both zucchinis through the machine and into a small pot. Once they’re both spagghetti-fied, pour a splash of water into the pot. Set it on a burner with extremely low heat. Stir every now and then to make sure all of the strings get some steam and warmth at the bottom.

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NEXT, dice up your half an onion, and mince your two cloves of garlic. Throw them in a small saucepan with just enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Turn the burner to high heat, and let them cook until the onions turn translucent. When people on your floor start to peek their heads in and ask where the amazing smell is coming from, that’s your cue.

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NEXT, dump a generous amount of whole cherry or grape tomatoes into the onion/garlic mixture. Let everything cook and sizzle until the tomatoes begin to blister and pop. It should look like this…

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NEXT, stir in half the can of diced tomatoes. Gently pour some of the excess fluid from the pan into the sink. Once everything is mixed together, you’re going to add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste to thicken the sauce. Carefully fold in the paste, and make sure there are NO CLUMPS. Eating a chunk of tomato paste is not so fun.

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SEASONING TIME. Remember to never season any sauce until it is done cooking. If you season prematurely, the heat will cook away almost all of the flavor. No one wants that. So, now that your sauce is cooked and looking delicious, add a generous amount your Italian spices (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme.) You can also add a dash of crushed red pepper flakes if you like a kick of spice. Finally, salt and pepper the sauce to your liking. It’s always good to sample the sauce at every stage of the seasoning process.

GARNISH the top of the sauce with fresh basil. To cut, layer the leaves one on top of the other, roll them up tightly, and slice the roll.

This is me staring lovingly at my sauce because it is so beautiful!
This is me staring lovingly at my sauce because it is so beautiful!

FINAL TOUCHES. Dice up your fresh mozzarella. Give your zucchini spaghetti once last toss to make sure its warm in all areas. Throw a handful of spinach onto each plate as a base for your spaghetti.

Finally, build your plate and enjoy!!

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Why I’m obsessed with Chia Seeds and you should be too.

I eat Chia Seeds every day, and they have become such a staple in my diet, that I wanted to begin my CU Culinary Society adventure by sharing my experiences with them. In this article you will learn about the nutritional benefits of Chia Seeds, and how easily they can be incorporated into any diet!

 

Chia seeds are white or black when fully matured.
Chia seeds are white or black when fully matured.

 

The Benefits

High Protein Content

Chia seeds have a complete protein profile (meaning they contain all essential proteins) and are also very high in protein compared to other plant-based foods. Approximately 15% of their weight is made up of protein. This makes chia seeds a desirable protein source, especially for vegetarians.

High Fiber Content

For every 12 grams of carbohydrates in an ounce of chia seeds, 11 grams are fiber, which essentially makes it a low-carb food. Chia seeds also contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, unlike most foods, which only consist of insoluble fiber (which our bodies cannot decompose further). Fiber aids in digestion and also slows it down, which reduces blood sugar spikes, thus making chia seeds a great food for diabetics.

High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Most foods have much more Omega-6 than Omega-3, but Chia seeds have 3.5 times as much Omega-3 as Omega-6. Even people who regularly eat fish and eggs are Omega-3 deficient. Fish, eggs, milk, and meats all lack many valuable nutrients that they used to have including Omega-3. (This is due to the recent shift to feeding livestock grain rather than grass for the sake of convenience, speed and costs.) Note: The Omega-3s in Chia seeds are mostly ALA, which your body needs to convert into EPA and DHA, so if you consume Chia seeds for Omega-3 content, it is recommended to take a tablespoon of coconut oil with the Chia seeds.   This will help your body to more efficiently convert the ALA into EPA and DHA.

In addition to these benefits, chia seeds are also very high in antioxidants, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium and vitamins B1, B2, and B3.

 

How to incorporate Chia Seeds into your diet:

My favorite way to eat chia seeds is to have chia seed pudding for breakfast. (Because of their high fiber content, chia seeds have the ability to absorb up to 40 times their weight in liquid and form a gel-type texture when put in liquids.) Chia seed pudding is extremely convenient for me, because I make it the night before and it’s ready for me in the morning when I wake up! See the recipe below.

For my chia seed pudding, I use ¼ cup chia seeds with 1 ½ cups of some sort of milk. I usually use soymilk, but sometimes use almond milk, coconut milk, or some combination of the three. Pictured here, I combine them in a bowl because I am making this on a Friday night, but I often make it in in Tupperware, because I can just cap it (instead of wrapping with saran wrap) and then bring it with me to my morning classes.

 

This variation is made with coconut milk, hence the chunks of coconut meat.
This variation is made with coconut milk, hence the chunks of coconut meat.

 

Tip: Make sure you put the milk in the bowl first, and then add the chia seeds and mix immediately(!) so that they don’t clump. I have let them sit before mixing before, and de-clumping is an annoying and somewhat time-consuming process.

The simple steps:

  1. Combine ¼ cup chia seeds with 1 ½ cups milk and (optional) sweetener.
  2. Mix well
  3. Mix one more time before going to bed (at least 10-15 minutes later)
  4. Wrap or cover and keep in the fridge overnight
  5. Wake up to a nutritious and yummy breakfast!
Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

 

Here are some chia seed pudding variations that I enjoy:

Vanilla (cinnamon) chia seed pudding:

  1. 1 ½ cup soymilk
  2. ¼ cup chia seeds
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. (cinnamon)
  5. 1 tablespoon agave nectar or maple syrup

Chocolate hazelnut chia seed pudding:

  1. 1 ½ cup soymilk
  2. ¼ cup chia seeds
  3. 1 tablespoon Nutella
  4. 1 tablespoon cacao powder

Coconut chia seed pudding:

  1. 1 cup coconut milk
  2. ½ cup soymilk
  3. ¼ cup chia seeds
  4. 1 tablespoon agave nectar or maple syrup

I also sometimes top my pudding with fruits and nuts in the morning before consuming (strawberry and sliced almonds on vanilla pudding and mango slices on coconut are two of my favorites!)

Coconut Chia Seed Pudding with Mango
Coconut Chia Seed Pudding with Mango

 

Chia seeds can also be easily incorporated into your diet in other ways! You can sprinkle them on top of oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt, add them to your smoothie or pre-workout drink, or bake them into anything! I also often add them to salads.

I hope that after reading this article, you can start incorporating chia seeds into your diet. Please comment and let me know about your chia-seed adventures and maybe some new variations on chia seed pudding that you discover!

Time to change your mind about Brussels Sprouts

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From the blog, The Neurotic Kitchen, http://www.neurotickitchen.com/2012/10/restaurant-inspiration-ilili-brussels.html

Brussels sprouts. My mother never really cooked them when I was a kid. The first time I heard of them, I also heard that they tasted like rotten socks. And so I avoided at all cost for the majority of my life until I had them as a mezze at Ilili, a modern Lebanese restaurant in Flatiron. They were bitter, salty, sweet, and tangy all at the same time. Recently, I’ve decided to try my hand at making them. I looked up the recipe online and made them for myself and I was so surprised at how easy they were to make. There really aren’t any measurements involved, and so I’m not going to give quantities in this recipe.

All you need are brussels sprouts, a good quality fig preserve, yoghurt, and fresh, finely chopped mint.

First, blanche the vegetables by cooking them in salted boiling water for 3 minutes.

Then, on high heat, shallow fry the sprouts in vegetable oil until they become very golden brown and crispy.

Next, make a mint-yoghurt by adding the amount of mint that you’d like to the yoghurt. Mix equal parts fig preserve and water, and heat them in the microwave until you get a nice smooth mixture.

Finally, assemble your dish by layering the mint-yoghurt, and fig jam over the fried sprouts. Optional but delicious toppings are fresh grapes, cut in half, and toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped. This is a really easy recipe to make, and I hope that it changes your mind about brussels sprouts the same way it did for me!

Image taken from the blog, Marisa's Healthy Kitchen, http://marisashealthykitchen.com/2011/06/05/figgy-brussel-sprouts-with-grapes-and-walnuts/
Image taken from the blog, Marisa’s Healthy Kitchen, http://marisashealthykitchen.com/2011/06/05/figgy-brussel-sprouts-with-grapes-and-walnuts/

 

Cooking While You Sleep

Everyone knows that mornings can be a huge issue. You wake up too late, you have to do homework before class, you don’t know what you want for breakfast. For me, it’s generally oatmeal to the rescue. By generally I mean very, very often. Oatmeal is one of those things that keeps you going for the whole day, because it’s full of energy and fiber. Overnight oats are the kind of oats that sound really fancy and impress people because they have the word ‘overnight’ in them and so people assume that they’re the fancy version of instant oatmeal. Luckily, they’re a thousand times better but almost as easy to make. Actually, a lot of the work happens while you’re asleep, so it almost makes no sense not to make oatmeal this way. I used to be really intimidated by them and stuck to the ten minute kind until I figured out how to make them, and then it was like a whole new world of oats had come alive. Breakfast got better, so life got better.

peach topped oats

The magic rule here is the ratio: 1 to 1 oats to liquid – whether that liquid be water or milk (almond, soy, dairy, pick your poison). I usually use water, and use a little bit less liquid because I like my oats really thick, but the consistency is up to you. Put it in a bowl, or a container that you can put in the fridge, and add toppings. Toppings make just about any meal better, and that holds true for oats. Add a few pinches of cinnamon, a small spoonful of maple syrup, a drop or two of vanilla extract, or a spoonful of jam, depending on how flavor-y you want your oats. Then add chia or ground flax seeds, coconut flakes or something of the dried fruit variety – cranberries, raisins, mango or dried banana. I tend to like fresh fruit on top, added at the last minute, so I go with a combination of cinnamon, vanilla extract because vanilla makes everything better and chia seeds. Another favorite is raspberry jam and coconut flakes, which is seemingly not good but is actually very good.

So you have all of it in a bowl. Cover the bowl, and put it in the fridge while you sleep. Everything absorbs and melds together. Wake up, cut up some fruit or throw in some granola, and you’re good to go. Easiest homemade oatmeal ever. And it’s actually good. I like peaches on top, because they give the entire thing a fresh summery feel, but stewed blueberries or pomegranate seeds are other options that can work really well for winter. The fact that you can just put it all in a mason jar the night before and grab n go in the morning is just the flax on top of the whole situation.

Quick n Easy Salad

Today was one of those dark, grey days that really feel like the worst of winter. Definitely not a day to go to the grocery store. So, when lunch time hit, I had to make do with what was left in the fridge. That meant onions, micro greens, and tomatoes. And not just any micro greens: micro arugula, sunflower sprouts, and baby beet leaves. Just so everyone is on the same page, baby beet greens are bitter. Really, really bitter. So eating a salad of really small greens wasn’t gonna cut it, flavor wise. I was rescued by the on the vine tomatoes, which would be sweet and warm, and the yellow onions, which would be even sweeter. It ended up feeling like the perfect Saturday afternoon snack, and was super easy to make but still felt pretty gourmet. I think it was the micro greens. Those little leaves feel fancy.

For this recipe, get some sprouts or other small greens. If you can’t find the ones mentioned above, go for kale or raw spinach and chop it up really fine so it looks like ribbons. You’re going to need two onions, about ten small to medium sized tomatoes, and enough green to fit in a salad bowl. That’s usually one to two bunches.

First, plop the tomatoes onto a baking sheet, put a little bit of salt  and a drizzle of olive oil on them, and put them in the oven. Leave them for about twenty minutes. Ten minutes in, start the onions. Saute them with a little bit of olive oil for about ten minutes, so that they start to caramelize. Basically chop the onions, push them around the pan when they start to stick, and take them out when they begin to brown. Put the onions on the bottom of a bowl. Pile whatever greens you want on top, and season to your liking. When you can smell the tomatoes – or they look like an oozing mess – they’re done! Take them out put them right on top of the salad, and viola! If you’re feeling like it needs something else to really beef it up, then cut tofu into squares and bake them at 350 degrees for about twenty five minutes, and throw those in there too. The tofu will add texture and turn it from mid day snack to full on meal.

 

 

So Cal Cooking: Mushroom Pancit

I’ve actually only eaten pancit in my friends’ homes, usually cooked by their mothers or fathers. The recipe itself is relatively easy, since the staple ingredients of thin rice noodles, soy sauce, and citrus are the only things one really needs. Everything else is subject up change: you can add shrimp, vegetables, or beef. It’s super easy, and a perfect dish to make a huge batch of and then reheat leftovers. It can be a main dish or a side dish, and you can jazz it up by serving it with lumpia!

 

Ingredients:

1 15oz pack of chinese noodles

1 head of green cabbage

1 onion, sliced

3 green onions

1 large carrot

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of oyster sauce

4 cups of sliced mushrooms

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 cans of vegetable broth

3 teaspoons cumin

A dash of curry

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Mushroom Pancit

Directions:

1. Chop the garlic and the onions.

2. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a medium sized skillet on medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and mushrooms and cumin.

3. Cook the onions and garlic for 3-5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent

4. Add the chopped carrots and cabbage, and continue to cook on high heat. Reduce the heat once the cabbage and carrots have softened.

5. In a separate medium sized pot, add the vegetable broth, oyster sauce, and soy sauce. Heat on medium.

6. Once the sauce mixture is boiling, add the noodles. Cook the noodles for 5-8 minutes, or until they are soft.

7. Add the noodles to the vegetable mixture. Turn up the heat to high, and fry for about 8-10 minutes, frequently stirring the noodles.

8. Remove heat, and let the pancit sit for a few minutes. Serve when ready!