Simply Ramen

pablo

I love Ramen noodles, plain. Sometimes I will even eat them dry as a little crunchy snack. This recipe came to me one day at the office when I was thinking about something warm to make for dinner. It was winter and very cold outside, so soup it was! I absolutely love wasabi paste dissolved in soy sauce, so I added a couple tablespoons at the end as a bit of a liquid “garnish”. Anyway, this is a totally versatile inexpensive dinner or lunch.


INGREDIENTS

2tbs coconut oil

Half Yellow Onion (Chopped)

1tsp minced garlic

1/2 C frozen broccoli

1/4 C chopped mushrooms

garlic salt + red pepper to taste

2 C water

1 serving of dry Ramen noodles

“garnish” wasabi paste soaked in 1/4 C low sodium soy sauce

(optional: extra firm tofu squares or hard boiled egg)


INSTRUCTIONS

Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan. Add the chopped onion, garlic, broccoli and mushrooms. Add salt and red pepper to taste. Cook until onions are transparent. Add 2C of water and bring to a boil. When boiling, add Ramen noodles. Cook 3 minutes. Optional: add wasabi + soy sauce. Serve.

Makes 1-2 servings.

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Chickpea Curry with Rice

pablo (1)

This chickpea curry is perfect for a foggy autumn afternoon. It is spicy, fragrant and warm. I like to eat this with a nice piece of pita bread or naan. It’s easy and quick to whip up and the leftovers are great for lunch. Add cut up chicken breast for additional protein.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups basmati rice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Red pepper flakes to taste

2 teaspoons curry powder

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup vegetable stock

Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

One 13.5-ounce can coconut milk

INSTRUCTIONS

Cook the basmati rice according to the package instructions.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook until the onions are dark brown and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in the vegetable stock and stir to scrape up all the brown bits in the pan. Add the chickpeas and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Warm the pita or naan in the microwave. Serve the curry over the rice with the warmed naan. Garnish with the cilantro.

This recipe is Ree Drummod’s from Food Network.com. Ree adds honey and sriracha to her curry. I omit them and add red pepper flakes.

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I Broke-Up With Veganism

pablo

Look at this! I can’t resist! Looooooook!

First of all, I tried. I really tried. It was me, not you–veganism.

I threw away all my non-vegan staples. I started to build my recipes and pantry. I thought I could do it. Then it hit: the taco craving.

Vegan tacos just wouldn’t cut it.

I caved.

After the taco massacre, I started questioning the real reason why I was going vegan. Was it for animal rights? Not really. My primary motivation was stomach issues and eating healthier. That being said, I really respect anyone who makes such a drastic lifestyle choice based on their values. I just need more flexibility.

However, I learned to be super mindful about what I put in my body. I look closely at labels now. I buy more locally sourced produce. Plus, I can still protest factory farming, dairy farms, and animal cruelty in other ways e.g., monetary donations, purchasing cruelty-free products, and even eating vegetarian most days of the week.

Yet, I just can’t quit you . . . tacos.

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Is Being A Vegan Expensive?

pablo (1)

I am going vegan.

“It’s going to be so EXPENSIVE!”.

Yes, some items are more expensive than others, but that is also true of food products non-vegans use. Below, I’m going to show you how switching to the vegan lifestyle will not break the bank. Here are some price quotes from Walmart, Sam’s Club, Amazon and Costco on non-vegan staples:

  • Bertolli Oil Extra Virgin Rich & Fruity Olive Oil, 51 oz $14.74
  • Milk Gallon, Whole $3.00
  • Sugar Great Value Pure Cane, 4 Lb $3.02
  • Brown Sugar Great Value Lite , 32 Oz $1.74
  • Butter – First Quality Bar – Salted (7 ounce) $4.98
  • Mayo Great Value Real, 30 fl oz $2.98
  • Eggs Great Value Large Grade A, 12 ct $1.08
  • Cheese Great Value Finely Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, 16 oz $3.98
  • Tenderloin Steaks (Filet Mignon) $18.99/pound (2lbs $37.98)
  • Ground Beef Chuck Tray 4.5lb 80/20 $14.33
  • Chicken Breasts Tyson® Boneless, Skinless with Rib Meat $3.13/pound (2lbs $6.26)
  • Bacon, Hormel Black Label Original, 16.0 OZ $4.48
  • Salmon Farm Raised Fresh Atlantic Salmon Fillet, 2.5-3 lbs $8.64
  • Tuna Sustainable Seas Canned Solid Light, 100% Pole Caught, in Water, 4.1 Oz (4 cans) $11.52

Non-Vegan Total: $118.73

I found these staples in an article called, “The Well Stocked Kitchen“.


Now here are the prices on some vegan proteins and staples again quoted from Walmart, Sam’s Club, Amazon and Costco:

  • Tahini Once Again Organic 16 oz – Vegan $8.26
  • Coconut Oil Spectrum Naturals Organic, 14 oz $6.64
  • Maple Syrup Organic/non-processed Galone Bottle $10.99
  • Agave Nectar Madhava Naturally Sweet Organic Blue Low-Glycemic Sweetener, Amber Raw, 46 Ounce $9.98
  • Ground Flax Seed Spectrum Ground, 24 Ounce $7.64
  • Vegetable Stock Kitchen Basic Unsalted Vegetable Stock, 32 Fl Oz $2.68 
  • Rice Great Value Jasmine, 5 lb $4.44
  • Black Beans Great Value 15.25 oz $0.72
  • Organic Garbanzo Beans Great Value No Salt Added, 15 Oz $0.92.
  • Quinoa Great Value Organic White, 16 Oz. $3.92
  • Tempeh Soy-Free Tempeh Starter Culture $5
  • Tofu Nasoya® Organic Extra Firm Tofu 14 oz. Tray $2.98
  • Nuts: pinenuts, almonds, cashews: Fisher Chef’s Naturals Pine Nuts, 2 oz $3.48; Great Value Whole Natural Almonds, 14 oz $5.98; Great Value Deluxe Cashews, 16 oz $7.98
  • Fruits & Vegetables $20

I found these foods in an article titled, 15 essentials for a vegetarian or Vegan Pantry.

Vegan Total: $101.61


So, as you can see, the staples of each lifestyle are very close in cost. I mean, I know that people are not going to eat Filet Mignon every night. Just like I’m probably not going to spend $20 on organic fruits and veggies all the time.

The thing that I really enjoy about the vegan lifestyle is how mindful it is. You really must think about what you put in your body and how it impacts the environment. I am excited to see how I feel 6 months down the road and if I can keep up with it.

Oh ya, I can drink coffee. It should be shade grown, organic and rainforest alliance/bird-friendly beans. Whew . . . this is gonna take some getting used to.

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