Pad Thai – because I said it is

PadThai2.jpg I’ve been hesitant to post this recipe because Pad Thai is one of those dishes that people are a) very loyal to and b) very scornful about its authenticity. “Ketchup in Pad Thai is just so wrong,” I’ve heard people sneer.

Well hey… guess what. Sometimes I want a tangy, saucy, tomato-y, rice-noodle dish and simply don’t have a Thai street-food vendor handy. Anything else is indeed essentially unauthentic, and yet slurpy delicious anyway.

I made this dish with what I had on hand and was simply happily riffing in my kitchen. The next version I make will include some of the optional ingredients I list below.

So let’s make Audie’s vegan version of Pad Thai.


222 g rice noodles (about 8 ounces)

1 Tbsp coconut or peanut oil

1 small eggplant diced

1 red pepper cored and diced

1 small can bamboo shoots drained

12 oz firm tofu crumbled into fingertip-sized chunks

Other optional vegetables you could add: baby corn, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower

Sauce ingredients

1 cup Jufran hot banana sauce (or ketchup) divided in half

I Tbsp sesame oil

2 Tbsp soya sauce or tamari

1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses or tamarind sauce

Serve garnished with bean sprouts, diced peanuts, hot sauce, lime wedges and basil leaves


Cook the rice noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.

In a large pot or wok, heat the coconut or peanut oil. Add the crumbled tofu and heat and stir as if you were making scrambled eggs. Add ½ cup of the hot banana sauce (or ketchup) and stir to coat the tofu. Add whatever vegetables you’re using and stir fry until the vegetables are just heated through and just slightly softened (you want to keep that vegetable crunch!). Add the remaining sauce ingredients and toss everything to combine. Add the cooked rice noodles and toss everything again so the noodles are coated.

That’s it! Serve up with lime wedges, diced peanuts, basil and hot sauce.


Fennel and apple soup – elegant and satisfying


Now that autumn weather is definitely here, it’s soup season. This fennel and apple soup is easy to make, has a rich taste and texture and is elegant enough for company.

There are two recipes in one here – one for the soup and another for the cashew cream.

Soup ingredients

1 bulb fennel cleaned and diced (reserve some fronds for garnish)

1 large apple cored, peeled and diced

1 shallot sliced

1 rib celery sliced

2 cups of vegetable stock

the juice of ½ lemon

salt and pepper to taste (about 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper)

1 tsp Dijon mustard (I used grainy mustard)

1 cup cashew cream (see below)*


Place the fennel, apple, shallot, celery, stock and salt and pepper in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes.

When the vegetables are tender enough to easily pierce with a fork, turn off the heat and blend the soup mixture. I use a hand-held immersion blender, but you can also use a regular blender, working in batches.

Add the lemon juice, Dijon mustard and cashew cream and stir together. Taste and adjust the salt, if needed.

Serve with a bit of fennel frond for garnish.

Makes 4 servings. The soup will last for up to 3 days in the fridge.

*Ingredients and directions for the cashew cream

1 cup raw cashews

2/3 cup water

Juice of ½ lemon

¾ tsp salt

Soak the raw cashews in water for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 8 hours. Drain the cashews and blend in a high-speed blender with the remaining ingredients. The cream will thicken as it sits and will last in your fridge for up to 3 days. You will have about 1 ½ cups of cashew cream – more than you need for the fennel and apple soup – so reserve the remaining amount to have with borscht or perogies or natchos/tacos or wherever else you’d use sour cream.

Edamame hummus – green goodness

EdamameHummus.jpgHummus is one of those easy-to-make, easy-to-tote, go-to dishes that people love. Except for my sister. She hates chickpeas and she hates hummus. Her preferences got me wondering if there were other types of hummus out there and OF COURSE there are. I found this recipe, which I modified only slightly, on the Oh She Glows blog.

You need a food processor for this recipe and the foresight to thaw your edamame, if you’re using frozen.


1 ½ cups shelled edamame – you can use frozen and allow the edamame to thaw at room temperature for 45 minutes

1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped

Juice from ½ lemon

1/4 cup tahini

2-4 tbsp water, to thin as needed

1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt (or to taste)

about 1/4 tsp ground pepper

1/4 tsp ground coriander (optional)

½ tsp Franks hot sauce (optional)



Put everything in your food processor and whir until the ingredients are smooth and well-blended. You may need to scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl a couple times. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.