New Vegan Dishes I Tried

Image by D. from Pixabay

I am almost a vegan, but still not quite there yet since I can’t get rid of occasional eggs or Campbell’s chicken noodle soup or a slice of turkey breast for sandwich or one or two silk scarves (throwing them away is unthinkable by the way) or the daily fish oil capsule or…. The list is getting longer if I really count the animal products in my life. I guess a lot of people are like me who try to be as much a vegan as possible, but will never reach the point of being one.

And of course eating plant based food is quite boring. To fight against the boredom, I have to think of new dishes to try regularly. Now to think of it, we do a lot of things in life for the sole purpose of getting out of boredom. Sometimes one would wonder about one’s friend: why did he or she do such and such a thing? It is quite irrational, inexplicable, uncharacteristic, or against self interest etc. It is very hard to explain the unexplainable, and I have to say a lot of it are due to the fact that the friend is bored out of his or her mind.

Anyway, I tried the following dishes last week and I am going to make them again this weekend. Among them, crunchy carrot is my favorite for the simple reason that I had never liked carrot before. Raw carrot is too tough–chewing it feels like eating a piece of wood or cardboard; cooked carrot is too soft with a distinct carrot flavor that’s not to my liking. I never liked it, but last week I tried a new way of cooking carrot by accident and I really liked it. It was based on a YouTube video, which demonstrates how to make soy sauce pickled cucumbers at home. This kind of picked cucumber is sold in Asian grocery stores around here, but its price has soared 100%, from $2 for a little 13 oz jar to $4 or $5. So I thought I would make my own. I had one stick of carrot in the refrigerator, which I used for decoration only–sometimes a little red color can make a dish look more appetizing. So I cut the carrot into little pieces and mixed them with the cucumber slices. The result was that I didn’t really like the homemade cucumber pickles, but I liked the crunchy carrot slices.

Crunchy Carrot

Cut one pound (0.45kg) carrots into slices of 0.3 to 0.4 inch (0.7 to 1.0cm) thick. Prepare the pickling liquid: 4 oz soy sauce (preferably the low salt variety), which is about 120ml. Add equal amount of water and half a cup of sugar, which can be substituted by sweetener. The added water can be replaced by 2 oz vinegar and 2 oz cooking wine if you like, but it is optional.

Heat the pickling liquid until boiling. Add carrot slices to it and wait for exactly 2 minutes. At the end of the 2 minutes, when the liquid is about to boil full scale, turn off the gas immediately. Take the carrot slices out of the boiling liquid and spread them on a big plate to let them cool down as soon as possible. After they cool to the room temperature, taste them to see if they are to your liking. If you think they are still too hard and too tough, add them back to the boiling liquid again for exactly 2 minutes. Take them out again to spread them on a big plate to let them cool.

Voila! It is done. You can taste it to see if you like the texture. If it is still too tough, repeat the 2-min boiling process again. You can also add garlic, ginger, pepper, or other spices, but I am a little lazy. Also the carrots are tasty enough without adding more ingredients.

The carrots don’t taste so good when it is still cooling. You want to stick them into the refrigerator to let it cool further. It taste much better when it is cold.

Homemade Pickled Daikon

Daikons can be cut into slices and go through the same procedure as the carrots. Both fresh daikon or Japanese (or Korean) pickled daikon can be used. You can find Japanese pickled daikon in packages in Asian grocery store, which have a yellow or white color, with prices varying from $2 to $5.

I don’t like the flavor of Japanese or Korean pickle. So I usually slice them up and immerse them in water for half an hour to one hour. After that, I will let them go through the same procedure the carrots go through. Often two 2-min boiling session is sufficient to convert the Japanese pickle to my own taste. And if one 2-min session is not enough, add another 2-min session.

Tofu Tomato Soup

This soup is very easy to do. I just use one can of Campbell tomato soup, add one can of water, add several slices of tofu. Bring it to a boil for 1 to 2 minutes, and add one egg (slightly beaten) to it. It is quite tasty.

15 thoughts on “New Vegan Dishes I Tried

  1. Why exactly are you going vegan? Is it for the environment or is it for health reasons? If the latter, what’s wrong with eating particular foods and being more plant-based and hardly eat meat?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I should write a post on this and thank you for your suggestion. It is part for health reasons since I have colitis and I have to be very careful with what I eat. And chicken is the only meat I can eat.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I get you (I don’t have colitis) but I have to be very careful with meats other than chicken and fish. Other ones are too heavy and make me feel terrible.

        Even though you didn’t come after me, sorry for prying. 😓 I don’t wanna look awkward seeming like I’m telling you what to do or questioning you.😥 If I sound like that, I’m sorry.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you for your comment. I understand you perfectly and you sound quite normal. I do have colitis and I have been taken good care of myself. Human bodies are not made for too much meat–we are not like cat– and it is normal that you feel that some of the meat is heavy.

          Liked by 1 person

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