Who doesn’t love Chinese takeout? Ok, probably some people, but just about everyone I know loves it – how simple it is to just pick up dinner (or have it delivered!) and the chance to eat something that they don’t normally cook at home. Well, since I love to cook, especially any sort of Asian food, it only makes sense that I would cook my own takeout. Really, the only downside to takeout is the fact that it can get rather spendy…and cooking at home is always less expensive than eating out! Plus, eating in restaurants that don’t specifically say things are vegan on the menu can be complicated. What’s in that sauce? But, really? And there are things we can’t have on those menus! Like fried rice!
It had probably been about 6 or 7 years since I’d had fried rice before 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of the East came into my life. First I stopped eating it because it’s unhealthy, and then by the time I got over that I was vegan. Normally, fried rice has eggs in it, but this recipe uses grated tofu as a substitute, which is not only delicious, but genius, as the texture was spot-on. The addition of liquid smoke gives the dish that slight smoky flavor and smell that is so uniquely…fried rice. The peas and carrots give it that extra touch of authenticity. The only change I made the to the recipe was to use brown rice instead of white, since, as usual, I had extra time on my hands. Brown rice is just so much better than white! Nutritious and delicious!
I made Szechuan Tempeh from the same book to go with the rice. This recipe was mighty tasty, but next time I’ll marinate the tempeh to give it some extra flavor and add some extra hot peppers, because it wasn’t quite spicy enough for me! I like it hot, though. The sauce was very flavorful, and coated the veggies and tempeh nicely – and it went perfectly with the rice! With just a little extra effort, the taste and aromas of Chinese takeout were in my house, and the dollars were still in my pocket. Win!
Oh, I forgot to mention that the recipe for the rice made tons, so I had plenty for leftovers throughout the week. The tempeh, not so much, but I went out for Chinese for lunch with a friend after I made this, so I ate those leftovers with the rice (left their boring white rice at the restaurant). See? Even I can’t fight off the temptation for lunch away from home once in a while!