Travel brings power and love back into your life.
A few months back I sent a tweet to some of my vegan blogging friends after a few week (well three weeks to be exact) stint of avoiding dairy entirely and feeling pretty proud of myself. While I won't delve too deeply right now into my thoughts on the matter of to be entirely vegan or not to be entirely vegan (I am not), I can definitely share that the dairy free streak didn't last for me (it never really does). I've always felt best with a small amount of animal protein in my diet, even if I can't even stomach the thought of eating meat or fish of any kind (never have been able to). And that is just never going to change!
What has stuck though, is the newly fresh approach to food that my eldest daughter has taken up, which in truth was the impetus for my latest break-up with dairy in the first place. Yup, my girl has gone vegan, and she's never felt better! It's incredibly gratifying to see as a mom, and even better to actually enjoy the goodness she now creates for her and those lucky to be around her all on her own (me). At 16, she's cooking and creating delicious foods, and is truly loving trying new & exciting creations, which happen to also be delicious. It's just the best! What strikes me most in this time we are now living in, is that for a girl of 16, and for all her friends around her too, eating well and taking care of yourself is now officially cool (oh gosh if I only I had been a teenager now!). It's nothing short of awesome, and is the inspiration for this meal, now that I have less reason than ever to fuss with extra dairy in our diet, as it's always been something I personally consume sparingly. Add to that our newly discovered love for grocery shopping in Chinatown, and you've got a cheap tasty meal in minutes.
All amounts here in this recipe are suggestions, as the flavours here are totally adjustable depending on your mood or the ingredients on hand - use this as a base to create your own healthy noodle stir-fries because, short of crazy over-salting or burning all your veggies, you really cannot go wrong here, I swear :) Buy your package of salted, or 'fermented' black beans in an Asian supermarket, and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge - they'll keep in there for months and will go very, very, far.
In other news, me and the husband just booked a quick trip to NYC (actually he did, he's our travel agent)! After a few sacrifices this year that included foregoing a much-anticipated trip to France, we are finally able to get away on our own for a weekend. It's amazing what can change when you've got something awesome to look forward to :) We can't WAIT to spend time with old friends and see one of our favourite cities again just the two of us. YES. I hope you like this easy recipe as much as we do, and I'm sending loads of love to all of you, as always. xo
Brown Rice Vermicelli with Salted Beans, Veggies & Edamame:
- (1/2) package brown rice vermicelli, as thin as you can find it
- (5) cups mixed chopped vegetables (I used carrots, cauliflower & broccoli)
- (1-2) cups frozen edamame, (buy it shelled)
- (2-3) tbsp vegetable oil (such as canola or peanut)
- (3-4) heaping tablespoons salted black beans
- (1/4) cup soy sauce
- (2-3) tbsp toasted sesame oil
- (2-3) tbsp Mirin or Seasoned Rice vinegar
- Sambal Oelek or your favorite hot sauce to taste
- Chinese plum sauce
Start by washing & chopping all of your vegetables into pieces of similar sizes. In this stir-fry, carrots, cauliflower & broccoli all cook together as they have similar cooking times, so feel free to prep them all and set them aside together (softer veggies like peas & greens only need a minute or so to cook so should be kept aside separately if using).
Put up a kettle to boil with plenty of water (you will need it twice) and add your frozen edamame to a clean bowl. Break the rice noodles and put them into a separate bowl and set aside. Measure out all of your sauce ingredients, and whisk together in a bowl and set aside. When the kettle boils, pour hot water with enough water to cover the frozen edamame. Cover with a plate to keep the heat in and set aside, allowing the edamame to thaw in the boiling water while you cook the veggies and prepare the noodles.
When ready to cook the veggies, heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Add the carrots, broccoli & cauliflower and cook, stirring constantly over high heat until browning and just tender (feel free to lightly salt as you go with a few pinches of sea salt), cooking no more than 4 minutes. While the veggies cook, put up the kettle to boil again and when boiling, pour water over the noodles in the bowl and cover for one minute. Drain the noodles when done and rinse quickly with cold water, trying to allow as much water to drain as possible. Drain the edamame.
Once the veggies are tender, add the cooked noodles, edamame, salted black beans and all the sauce ingredients and stir until heated through - about another 3-4 minutes. Serve with hot sauce and plum sauce, as desired.