The best vegetarian meals are those that are both nourishing and simple to prepare. And there's noting else much simpler than a one-pan meal. It’s as straightforward as one pan + fresh ingredients = dinner for two on any night of the week. The right recipe, though, is the key.
With an emphasis on reducing prep time and an overflowing sink full of dishes, a recent book by cooking instructor Carla Snyder serves up some simple, complete, and truly delicious vegetarian recipes. “One Pan, Two Plates: Vegetarian Suppers” offers up seventy perfectly sized for two vegetarian meals—think Butternut Risotto, Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms and Edamame, African Peanut Stew, Moroccan Chickpea Stew, and Eggplant Rollatini—all requiring only one pan and one hour or less to prepare.
Whether you are a committed vegetarian, or just dabble a couple of nights a week in meatless meals, this book will work for you. And the great thing is that the recipes are paired down for just the right amount of food for two--which means you won’t need to eat the same thing six days in a row.
While the featured recipes are all vegetarian, this book is also about preparing wholesome food in today’s hectic world. It allows for our busy lifestyles but offers up a way to enjoy delicious and healthy plant-based meals without spending all day in the kitchen.
The book is broken down into six chapters: Warming Soups & Stews; Eggs & Cheese, Please; Garden-Fresh Dinners; Grains & Beans; Pasta for Dinner; and Pizzas, Tarts, Tartines & Piadinas. You can follow the seasons, what you happen to have on hand or what you feel like eating by flipping around the various chapters. Each recipe also features beverage pairings (not necessarily only limited to only adult beverage suggestions either) and an "Extra Hungry?" suggestion for heartier appetites or if you decide to have company over for one of the vegetarian meals.
Need a recipe for dinner tonight? Read on for one of the vegetarian meals from the book, “One Pan, Two Plates: Vegetarian Suppers.”
Lo Mein with Snow Peas and Peanut Sauce
Start to finish 25 minutes
Hands-on time 25 minutes
This is a classic, quick-and-easy one-pot meal. Just toss some noodles, snow peas, bean sprouts, and cilantro with store-bought peanut sauce and sprinkle peanuts on top. It’s the perfect ending to a busy workday. Relax—this is another great meal that comes together super-quickly.
8 oz [230 g] dried lo mein noodles or Italian linguine, broken in half
1 cup [120 g] chopped snow peas
1/2 cup [120 ml] peanut sauce
1 carrot, peeled and shredded with a julienne peeler or grated
1/2 cup [60 g] bean sprouts
Freshly ground black pepper
Chile-garlic sauce for seasoning (optional)
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup [30 g] peanuts, preferably salted
1. In a 3-qt [2.8-L] saucepan over medium-high heat, bring 2 qt [2 L] water to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt and the noodles and cook until al dente (usually a minute or so less than the package directions). To check for doneness, fish out a strand and bite into it. It should still be chewy, just a little underdone.
2. Immediately add the snow peas to the boiling pasta and cook until the snow peas are tender-crisp, about 30 seconds.
3. Reserve 1/4 cup [60 ml] of the cooking water and then drain the pasta and snow peas in a colander in the sink.
4. Return the pasta and snow peas to the hot pan and pour in about half of the pasta water, the peanut sauce, carrot, and bean sprouts. Toss the pasta with two wooden spoons or tongs to completely coat the pasta and vegetables. The pasta will absorb the sauce so add more of the pasta water if it seems dry and sticky. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if it needs it, and chile-garlic sauce, if you like it spicy. Sprinkle with the cilantro and peanuts.
5. Scoop the hot noodles into heated bowls and serve hot.
It’s that easy: One of my favorite things to do with this dish and its kissing cousin, pad thai, is to roll the noodles up in rice-paper wrappers and serve them as a fun eat-with-your-fingers appetizer or picnic dish.
Extra hungry? Buy a jar of pickled vegetables, such as carrots, cauliflower, and peppers, and serve them on the side. Their tartness will offset the rich- ness of the peanut sauce, and it’s a great way to get your veggie quota in.
In the glass: A Chenin Blanc from South Africa is a good choice to pair up with this nutty, spicy dish.
(Excerpted with permission from One Pan Two Plates: Vegetarian Suppers)
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