I believe we start eating crap because when living with our parents we don’t get to choose what to eat. We basically have to eat whatever our parents like. Even I, a.k.a. the best mum ever, will forget that a certain food I love is the materialization of a nightmare for my children (i.e., broad beans & mint). They will grow to love it, my heart says. They’re traumatized, my eyes inform me.
And I do believe this crap eating thing because it happened to me. When my parents cooked rice with butter and parsley (shivers dowm my spine as I type – I loathe butter) and grilled steak I would eat a whole bag of crisps afterwards – no regrets. (This was, of course, when I was not a vegan yet.) Granted, I wouldn’t eat much of the meal itself, but it was still a way to resort to something pleasant.
Unfortunately, food is not merely about survival. Otherwise, we would just go twice a day to an allotment and eat some raw and unseasoned cucumbers, tomatoes and cauliflower and call it a day. Instead, when a meal is not satisfying we wend up eating a cookie here and drinking a soda there. And those things are addictive, they have lots of sugar, for instance. If you start getting used to them, that’s what your body will demand when you’re hungry. Or nervous.
So if brocoli is not your thing, replace it with cauliflower or courgette alright? I am only allowed by law to culinarily traumatize my 4 children.
Having said this, I am using a supermarket brand of black bean sauce as it is cheap. I will not say your dish will taste exactly like the special Thai restaurant you love but it will be really nice.
2 tsp of ginger and garlic paste
1 brocoli head for 3 people, half for 1 very hungry person, you get the picture…
2 small tomatoes or one big one
half a bag of spinach
4 ssp of Sainsbury’s black bean sauce
4 vermicelli nests
Organic tamari or shoyu sauce (fancy way of saying organic soya sauce, see previous post https://whatveganrecipe.wordpress.com/2017/07/09/whaaaat-sine-qua-non-ingredients/)
Sunflower oil (to stir fry)
chilli flakes (if you like spicy food)
You’ll see, this is the easiest thing you’ll do all day. One thing I like doing as well, so that cooking can become a mindful operation instead of a stressfull thing, is to have all the ingredients lined up next to my chopping board or the stove. This prevents looking for stuff, dropping jars of sauce on the floor and cutting fingers. Chop everything beforehand (like in those cooking shows where they just pour minced ingredients from little bowls onto the pots and pans – stylish). Any manual activity carefully thought through and planned is relaxing. Unless you really really hate cooking. In that case, do the same or you’ll hate it even more.
So the first thing to do is to mince the onions, cut the tomatoes in quarters and the brocoli in half florets. Pour the equivalent of 2 soup spoons of sunflower oil in a medium sized wok or a frying pan and stir fry these ingredients together. Don’t forget to add the tamari sauce to taste (it really depends on you, if you like a strong presence of the soya sauce or just a hint). Add the ginger and garlic paste and a whole glass of water. Mix it all up regularly.
In the meantime, boil some water so as the vermicelli nests are covered up once you put then in the pan. let them cook for 3 minutes and turn the heat off.
At this point, add the spinach. It cooks quicker than the other veggies so it’s always better to add it at the end.
Once the vegetables are cooked (it will take about 5 minutes), add the black bean sauce. Stir for another 3-4 minutes and add the vermicelli.
You’re good to go. Enjoy it with some chilli flakes on top, fresh chopped coriander or crispy onions.