Sometimes you just don't have time to cook, man. I know all about that these days. I'm participating in Memphis' 30-Day Car-Free Challenge for all of April, and that means busing, trolleying, and biking around town as much as possible (I've driven a couple times for far-away work meetings and to my parents' house in Arkansas though). It's pretty cool to try and navigate my city using alternative and public transit, but it does mean longer commute times. And that means less time in the kitchen. (By the way, I'm blogging about my car-free experience on the city of Memphis website, and you can read about my experience here on Tuesday).
Enter Robin Roberton's More Quick-Fix Vegan. It's the third volume in Robin's series of cookbooks dedicated to easy-peasy recipes that you can throw together in 30 minutes or less. And this ain't no "open a can of beans and microwave 'em" kinda cookin'. This is gourmet stuff but guaranteed to be quick and easy.
I chose to try the Banh Mi Noodles first because banh mi flavors are, like, the best flavors on the planet. Am I right? This has brown rice pad Thai noodles, hoisin-seasoned tofu, carrots, cilantro, celery, and dressing of vinegar and sugar. Oh, and it's topped with peanuts and sriracha!
Robin's publisher was nice enough to let me share the recipe with y'all, so that's at the end of this post. But first, I want to talk more about this book. There are chapters on soups and stews, bowls, stir-fries, sandwiches, pasta, baked treats, and even desserts that only take 30 minutes or less to prepare. I had a hard time choosing which recipe to try first because everything looks so good.
Sriracha eggless salad sandwiches with avocado, seitan shawarmas, general tso's tofu, greens and black-eyed peas with smoky grits, tempeh reuben bowls, smoky tofu caesar wraps, bajan macaroni pie! Oh and the desserts — butterscotch figgy bites, mango fried rice pudding, pumpkin brownies. Delicious, right?
We're all pressed for time these days, whether it's because you bicycle everywhere or because you have kids or because you're a workaholic. Whatever your reason, you probably need this book. Sadly, it doesn't have any photographs though. As the author of a cookbook that only has a few pics in it, I know getting a full-color cookbook deal is like the impossible-to-obtain Holy Grail. But I'd have been happy with a few color photo spreads in More Quick-Fix Vegan. But hey, the book is still amazing and loaded with delicious dishes.
Now I promised you a recipe.
Banh-mi, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: So far I’ve made you as the traditional sandwich, a deconstructed salad, and even a pizza. Here, all the flavors of my favorite sandwich are tossed with noodles. Win-win!
8 ounces rice noodles or linguine
2 large carrots, coarsely shredded
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
⅓ cup chopped scallions
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons natural sugar
1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil
8 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into thin strips
⅓ cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
1 to 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
3 to 4 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts
Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain well and return to the pot. Add the carrots, cucumber, scallions, ginger, cilantro, vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar. Toss to combine and set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and stir-fry quickly to brown it on all sides.
In a small bowl, combine the hoisin, tamari, water, and sriracha, stirring to blend. Pour the sauce mixture onto the tofu and stir-fry for 2 minutes longer. Add the cooked noodle mixture to the tofu mixture and stir-fry until heated through, about 2 minutes longer. Serve hot, sprinkled with the peanuts.
From More Quick-Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC