Lovely Noodly Lunch

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In an effort to recreate the great “Saien Soba” noodles I had at Wagamama’s recently, I threw this together after getting back from the supermarket this afternoon.  My ‘naughty’ tip for max flavour is to get some cheapo instant noodles (unless you are watching your salt intake!).  They are usually vegan anyway.  Here are my ingredients – the only thing I used that isn’t in the picture is some veggie stock.
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Ingredients list:
Some oil, for stir frying (ie, NOT Olive oil!)
1/2 small packet stir fry veg
1/2 packet shiitake mushrooms
1 spring onion, sliced
1/3rd packet of asparagus tips
1 packet (portion) of instant chicken noodles (vegan)1 mug of vegetable stock
Tamari soy
Sesame Oil

Here is how it worked…
1. Prepare the noodles as per the pack instructions.
2. Meanwhile, slice the shiitake mushrooms and any of the stir fry elements that need to be a little smaller (to allow even cooking), and slice the spring onions.Image
3. Heat a frying pan (or wok) until very hot, add oil, then the shiitake mushrooms and whichever veg will take longest to cook (in this case, broccoli).
4. Fry, but don’t stir too frequently (the ‘real secret of stir fry’) so the veggies catch and caramelise slightly on the edges.  You want the shiitake mushrooms to brown, to bring out the depth of flavour.
5. When the noodles are cooked, tip them and their liquid into a large bowl.
6. Make up a mug full of veggie stock (I used Marigold vegan bouillon powder), and pour it over the noodles.
7. Tip the cooked stir fried veggies on top of the noodles, and drizzle with a little soy (I used tamari soy) and sesame oil.

Enjoy!

And a little bonus recipe suggestion… (my supper as I write this).
There’s nothing like some fresh strawberries on bread with marge – but make it a little richer by adding some Tofutti cream cheese spread and sprinkle with sugar.  Instant cheesecake!Image

Incredible Chickpea Curry

This curry is pretty simple but amazing.  Normally I use a Patak’s Rogan Josh paste for this instead of the whole spices, but really, using whole spices totally makes this dish more fragrant and complex and delicious…

In all, my rice took 25 minutes to cook, and it took the same time to prepare and cook the curry too.  The thing to remember with curries, is that if you have all the ingredients, it’s easy. If you don’t, the ingredients list can look daunting.  Always check out your local Indian food shop – the spices are cheaper than the supermarket and they usually have a great range.Image

You will need:

Some veg oil and a little knob of dairy free spread (Vitalite is nice and buttery)
I medium onion, chopped,
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon black onion seeds
1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
pinch of hing/asafoetida
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 tsp chilli powder (adjust according to your taste pref)
1/2 400g tin of chopped/plum tomatoes
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup stock
few lumps of frozen spinach, defrosted (in microwave)
pinch of dried fenugreek leaves
shake of shake o cini mushroom powder (optional!)
salt, sugar (agave nectar/maple syrup) to taste.
To serve: tomato relish can be great, but this went beautifully with a sweet, smokey aubergine pickle (from Waitrose).

How to:
1. Heat oil in the pan
2. Add cumin, black onion and mustard seeds and fry until sizzling. Add the dairy free spread.
3. Add hing/asafoetida, and stir.
4. Add onions and fry until they are good and soft and starting to brown.
5. Add the ground coriander, chilli and turmeric, stir and cook for 1 min.
6. Chuck in tinned tomatoes and stir.  cook for a few minutes (usually until you see the oil separating from the tomatoes).
7. Add tin of drained chickpeas and stock.
8. Put the spinach in also, stir in the dried fenugreek leaves.  Then season with salt, sweeten with syrup/sugar, add mushroom powder and let simmer until the stock has cooked down and you have a nice sauce.
9. Serve  – with brown basmati rice and pickle.