Who moved my wok?

Two best friends, one kitchen, endless possibilities.

Archive for the category “Side dishes”

Garlic stir-fried green beans.

Look Mom! I'm a big girl now!

Despite that fact that for much of my youth I refused to come near anything green, I now call most green vegetables some of my favorite foods.  Somewhere around the end of my high school career, I had a transformation and it has only continued since becoming vegan.  Luckily, vegetables are affordable and accessible here in China, so Elizabeth and I decided to re-create one of our favorite Chinese dishes that we usually devour when dining out.  And I have to say, we came pretty darn close.

These aren’t like southern green beans all mushed to pieces and they’re more flavorful than just regular steamed ones, too.  Just don’t make these for a first date…they are full of flavor and they’ll make sure your breath knows it, too.  🙂

This was the only photo I managed to snap before they were gone!

Start by chopping a yellow onion into tiny pieces and throwing it into the wok with a smidgen of oil and a few minced garlic cloves (see what I’m saying about the breath thing?).  While those begin to saute, cut fresh, whole green beans into 1-1.5 inch long pieces and add them into the wok with a few splashes of soy sauce.  You can also sprinkle some ground garlic powder and black pepper on for good measure.  We then took our soup pot lid and covered the pan with it to make the green beans cook faster and to brown them a bit for extra flavor — we try to be resourceful with what we have!

After a couple of minutes, remove the lid, stir and add in more soy sauce and pepper to taste.  Don’t be afraid to add liberally.  These green beans should be bursting with lots of delicious flavor.  Continue this pattern until onions and green beans are cooked and a little brown around the edges.  This dish would be delicious on its own or next to some hearty rice or whatever other dish you choose.  Just make sure you make plenty because it will go fast!

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Asian citrus cole slaw.

I love making such colorful dishes!

Now, this isn’t your grandma’s traditional cole slaw.  Those generally have too much vinegar or mayonnaise in them for my taste, which make them too soggy.  This cole slaw is more of a salad with its larger pieces, crispy texture and light and citrus-y taste.  And while it goes nicely with Asian dishes or eaten alone as a snack, I think it would also be delicious sitting next to a yummy boca burger or veggie dog, too.  Plus, it’s super easy to make, can be whipped up in no time and doesn’t require a food processor!

All mixed up and ready to enjoy!

To begin, chop up green and purple cabbage (maybe half of each head) into slightly longer than bite-size chunks and strips.  Set this aside in a mixing bowl.  Next, finely chop cilantro and peanuts and add them to the top of your cabbage mixture.  Then, in another bowl, mix up the dressing.  The dressing consists of  the juice of one whole lime, about 1-2 teaspoons of yellow mustard, one teaspoon of cumin (one of our new favorite spices), a splash of honey and a sprinkling of black pepper.  Stir this up and pour it over your cabbage.   Then, you can stir or cover and shake all of this together until well mixed.

This can now be eaten right away or stored and chilled until ready to devour!  Hope you enjoy!

Let’s salsa!

The main ingredient.

Unfortunately, our cooking is infinitely better than our dancing, but that doesn’t stop us!  However, this post is about food, particularly Mexican food, and man do I love Mexican food!  It’s something that Elizabeth and I have dearly missed since leaving the good ol’ US of A.  In America, it’s hard to beat; it’s affordable, generally with vegetarian and vegan options, and the most important part: free, unlimited chips and salsa!  While we have found decent Mexican options in Beijing, our favorite is not conveniently located and has no viable vegetarian options on the menu (the chef made something special for us when we went).  There are two other Mexican restaurants down the street from our apartment, one considerably better than the other for food and atmosphere, but neither has mastered the fine art of salsa and both charge ridiculous prices for it.  MADNESS.

Wanna see me cry? Chop onions near me.

So instead of being filled with rage at the thought of paying too much for mediocre food, we decided to make our own.  Success!  This salsa is SO, so good.  It’s not what you typically find in your average Mexican restaurant at home, but it is totally satisfying and feels so incredibly fresh!  And though it looks quite similar to our bruschetta, it has an entirely different taste and is perfectly paired with the lentil and carrot tacos (coming to a blog near you, very soon!) we made last night.

To begin, I chopped four tomatoes, two large and two medium-ish sized.  These tomato chunks were slightly larger than the ones I used in the bruschetta.  Then Elizabeth very finely chopped a yellow onion and ground in a light sprinkling of garlic powder.  After that, we added in chopped cilantro and several spoonfuls of green salsa from a can.

Finished and ready to devour.

Mix all of that up and give it a taste test.  This time, we couldn’t find our normal green salsa and found the one we used here a little lacking, so we added in some extra salt and more cilantro.  PERFECTION.  This salsa is awesome on its own with tortilla chips or added on top of tacos or fajitas.  It also works nicely added into tofu scrambles…that is, IF you have any leftovers.  🙂

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