Vegan Month – part 1 (Chinese)

After years of “issues” I thought I’d go see a nutritionist. Ange suggested I take a MetaMetrix BloodSpot test to check against 30 food types for any sensitivity. After much hesitation at the thought of deliberately and consciously injuring myself to take blood samples I went for it – a tiny prick on my middle finger. The samples were sent off to the lab and the results came back a week later. The results showed a severe sensitivity to eggs and milk! Great. So here I am just over two weeks into a month of being a vegan. After a month I can start to slowly reintroduce milk, eggs, cheese to see how my body reacts. I crave cheese on toast and omelettes.

I thought it would be easy, and in some ways it is, but I have to read the ingredients on EVERYTHING so shopping takes time and planning meals takes more thought. On the plus side it has helped me to stop snacking and I think I am losing a little weight.

So having tired of hummus and felafel I thought I’d try a tasty, protein rich stir fry, but with a twist. So here is my tofu and mushrooms in black bean sauce with buckwheat noodles served together with pak choi, stir fried with ginger, garlic and chili.

This served 4 with a little left over for tomorrow’s lunch

For the Tofu and Mushrooms
1 slab of firm tofu (Dragonfly is better than the more readily available Cauldron Foods)
approx 12 mushrooms – cut onto chunks
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
A drizzle of sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
handful of unsalted cashew nuts
3 tablespoons black bean and chili sauce
large handful of buckwheat noodles

Drain the tofu, wrap in a clean tea towel and place a smallish weight on top. Leave for 15 minutes until fairly dry. Cut into bite sized chunks.

While the tofu is drying put a pan of water on the hob to boil. When boiling add the noodles, simmer for 3 minutes then drain and set to one side.

Heat the oils in a wok. When smoking add the tofu and fry gently, stirring occasionally until browned and starting to crisp. Remove from the oil.

Put the cashews in the wok, fry for a second then add the mushrooms and soy sauce. Fry on a medium heat and keep stirring. After 3-4 minutes add the fried tofu pieces and black bean sauce. Stir then add the drained noodles. Stir to make sure everything is well coated with the sauce and heated through.

For the pak choi
Large pack of pak choi, bok choi, choy sum or Chinese broccoli. Large heads can be sliced in half.
1 red chili – finely chopped
1 clove garlic – finely chopped
3 spring onions – finely sliced
2 teaspoons root ginger – finely chopped
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Heat the sunflower oil in another wok or a large frying pan. When hot add the chili, garlic, ginger and spring onions. Stir fry gently for about one minute. Now add the greens, the sesame oil and the soy sauce. Stir well then cover the wok or pan with a lid and let the greens sweat down a little. When starting to wilt they are done. The stems should be crunchy while the leafy ends quite soft.

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