Roasted Red Pepper and Zucchini Spicy Soup

I have been making a real effort to not waste food.  About once a week, I try to take inventory on what I have left in my fridge and see if I can throw it all together to make one fabulous, unique cooking experience.  Some weeks are better than others, but a lot of times you can really surprise yourself!

Not only is this recipe great for any leftover vegetables you may have, but it is so simple.  You really only need a few items and about 20 minutes to throw it all together.

Here is what you’ll need:

Produce

  • zucchini, sliced – 1
  • red pepper, sliced –
  • onion, sliced (optional) – 1/2
  • lime – 1/2

Pantry

  • vegetable stock – 48 oz (one box)
  • rice, basmati – 1/2 cup (most other rice will work if you don’t have basmati)
  • sriracha
  • salt and pepper – to taste
  • olive oil

If you don’t have zucchini or red pepper, feel free to substitute other vegetables.  You could also add some sliced mushrooms to the mix or some green onion.  This recipe is really flexible!

The first thing you’ll want to do is start your rice.

Next, preheat the oven to broil.  Lay sliced red pepper on a baking sheet and put it in oven once hot.

While the rice is cooking and the peppers are roasting, put the veggie stock in a large pot.  Head stock over medium high heat.  Once stock is hot, reduce to low to keep warm.  Squeeze 1/2 lime into the stock and add about 1 tbsp of sirarcha.  Add more if you like a little extra heat!  Mix well.

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Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet.  Add zucchini and cook until soft.

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Check on peppers and flip them over.  This will help them to brown on all sides.

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That’s it!!!!!

Wait for the rice to finish cooking.  By this time, the red peppers should be done too.  Chop the red pepper into bite-size pieces.  Add the broth, rice and veggies together and serve!  Add some sliced onion as garnish on top and additional srircha if you like it spicy!

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So simple and so refreshing!  And, 100% vegan!

This recipe should make two servings.  You can easily double the recipe to make more!

Enjoy!  Here’s to easy cooking!

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Turmeric Shitake Mushrooms, Tofu and Rice Noodles

Good lord, where have I been!?  It has been a crazy week and I have been MIA, but I’m back in full force!

First, I’d like to note that I cooked vegan all of last week and lost 5 pounds.  So, that’s awesome.

Not only did I lose some weight, but I had some great food throughout the week.  These were some of the best recipes I’ve come across in a while.  I love meals full of lots of veggies.  I have more energy and don’t feel bloated throughout the day.

I also LOVE shitake mushrooms….they are my favorite!  This recipe is full of them.  If you don’t want to spend the money on shitakes (as they can be expensive), just use white button mushrooms.

I also used tofu, however you could easily substitute shredded chicken for a little more protein.

Here is what you need!

Produce

  • garlic cloves, minced – 4
  • shitake mushrooms, sliced (stems removed) – 16 oz
  • scallions, sliced (white and green) – 4
  • lime juice – 1 1/2 tsp (2 small limes)
  • spinach leaves – 2 heads

Herbs/spices

  • turmeric – 1 1/2 tsp
  • dill – 2 tbsp
  • salt – to taste

Pantry

  • rice noodles – 16 oz
  • rice vinegar – 1 tbsp
  • sesame oil – 2 tbsp
  • olive oil
  • tofu, extra firm – 1 container

For tofu, as usual I seared each side to get it nice and crispy.  Unless I am going to put the tofu in a soup, I usually do my tofu this way.  I think it gives it a nice crunchy outside and only takes about 10 minutes to prepare:

For crispy tofu:

Remove tofu from package and let rest on several paper towels.  This helps to remove some of the moisture.

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Slice tofu into desired thickness…I usually slice into three equal slices.

Heat about 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet.  Add slices of tofu to skillet.

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Heat on this side for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown.  Flip over and repeat.

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Once second side is nice and brown, remove from pan and let rest on paper towels.

You can set the tofu aside until the end of the recipe.  Just be sure to dice it before adding.

For the rice noodles:

Soak rice noodles in hot tap water for recommended time (usually about 30 minutes) or until tender.  Once tender, drizzle with rice vinegar.

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For the stir fry:

Make sure you have minced your garlic and sliced your shitakes.

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Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a wok, dutch oven or large pot.

Add the turmeric and toast it for about 1 minute.

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Add garlic and shitake mushrooms and cook until mushrooms start to become tender, about 3 minutes.

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Add the green onion.

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Add rice vinegar and lime juice and cook 2 minutes longer.

Add spinach.

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Cook spinach until wilted.

Add diced tofu to wok.

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Stir to combine.

Taste test and add salt and pepper if necessary.

Feel free to add sriracha, chili paste or red chili flakes for a little kick.

Put noodles on a plate and spoon tofu/spinach mixture on top of noodles.

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Doesn’t that look so yummy!  It is, trust me!  This should make about 8 servings of food.

Like I said, if you are not interested in the vegan version, feel free to add some shredded chicken in place of the tofu.  I recommend poaching it beforehand and shredding it.  Just add it to the wok at the very end and stir to heat through.

As usual, please message me if you have any questions about this recipe or anything else for that matter!

Here’s to easy cooking!

-The Left Brain Chef