Vegetables Recipes

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Vietnamese Fried Bean Curd Soup (Hu Tieu Chay) Recipe

Lulu calls hủ tiếu chay (fried bean curd soup in Vietnamese) the ultimate Asian comfort food. The hearty broth is flavored with bold Asian ingredients, such as ginger, garlic and mushroom seasoning salt. There are a couple of uncommon elements; I used Fuji apples and rock sugar to add a touch of sweetness to the broth, and a Vietnamese variety of cured daikon radish (củ cải khô) that provides the signature flavor of hủ tiếu broth.

The real treat though, is the addition of fried tofu skin. It's used throughout vegetarian Vietnamese cuisine as a substitute for fried pork or chicken skin in mock meat dishes. The texture is crispy, yet chewy, and really shows off the versatility of tofu.

Bean Curd Noodle Soup


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Fresh Ginger Apple Celery Carrot Juice Recipe

When I look back at my New Year's resolutions, you know, those lies we tell ourselves at the beginning of each year, I realize that I haven't made good on my resolution to use our juicer more. I think the only time I used it this year was to make plum juice for a tofu recipe.

My other resolution has gone pretty well. I started this food website on January 1st of this year as our way of keeping track of what we eat and helping the girls have easy access to my recipes when they want to make them on their own. I thought it would help me be more mindful of my family's diet and maybe lose weight. It seemed like a great way to add some discipline to my life.

There are fewer than 90 days left in 2009, so today I decided to break out the juicer and make us some juice. I recently bought a lot of carrots, celery and Fuji apples. All three are perfect for juicing. I combined them in the juicer, and I threw in a touch of ginger to give it a little zing. It tastes delicious and makes a great breakfast.

So clearly I'm not on my way to becoming the next Jack Lalanne, but at least I've made good on another resolution. Now if I could just figure out how to lose 5 pounds before our 5-year-anniversary trip to Cancun at the end of the month...


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Roasted Buckwheat with Sauteed Vegetables (Kasha) Recipe

Roasted buckwheat (kasha) is a staple starch in Eastern Europe. I serve it once in a while in place of rice or potatoes. I especially make it for the vegetarians in the house to provide a little variety to their diet. Buckwheat is very healthy, and has a nutty flavor and lentil-like texture.

This preparation in particular is reminiscent of a daal recipe that is served dry as opposed to soupy. If you've never had buckwheat before, it's certainly worth a try!


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Asian-Style Red Rice with Mixed Vegetables Stir-Fry Recipe

My uncle (the one who likes angel hair pasta) has been trying to convince me and Lulu to switch to red rice. Red rice is unpolished rice. It is short-grained, non-glutinous and has a maroon-red color. I've been giving Lulu brown rice with his meals for health reasons, but apparently red rice has a greater source of vitamin B, fiber and iron. 

Cooked red rice has a nutty aroma and is a lot chewier than regular white rice. Just make sure you cook red rice slightly longer than any other rice, such as brown rice.

I stir-fried the rice with some mixed vegetables to enhance the flavors. I added edamame for extra proteins. It's the perfect side dish for poultry or steamed fish.


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Stir-Fry Pea Shoot Tendrils in Garlic and Black Bean Sauce (Rau Muong Xao) Recipe

Rau muống xào tỏi, literally fresh stir-fry pea shoot tendrils in Vietnamese is my favorite Asian vegetable. It is a staple that can be found on almost every dinner table in Vietnam. This is mostly because it is very easy to grow and very cheap in Vietnam.

In America, pea shoot tendrils can be quite expensive. I always find it interesting that foods that are considered working-class fare in their country of origin can be so expensive in other place. Maybe it's because they are not grown in great abundance here or maybe it's because immigrants crave the foods of their childhood and are willing to pay more for the memories.

In terms of preparation, pea shoots couldn't be easier. Just stir-fry the vegetables very quickly over high heat. Blend in some garlic and black bean sauce and you're set.


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