Mommy Cafe

Vegetarian home cooking, kid tested and approved

Vietnamese Noodle Soup


With the cold weathVietnamese Noodle Souper, I have been on a huge soup kick.  I first made this soup as a warm-up for after trick-or-treating.   It was a great way to chase away the chill of walking outside for two hours, and a healthy contrast to the candy in the bucket!

This recipe was modified from a beefy version I found in Fitness magazine.  When made 100% vegetarian, it misses that great beef flavor.  If you want that flavor, you can either use beef broth instead of vegetable broth (making it not vegetarian) or stir in a little Worcestershire (again, not exactly vegetarian) or Marmite.  Be sure to use a good quality vegetable broth.  A weak broth has nowhere to hide in this soup!

The best part about the soup is that it’s so quick and easy to prepare.  The ingredient list is long, but don’t let it fool you!

Prep and cook time: 25 minutes       Approximate cost: $8-12 (homemade vegetable broth makes a big price difference!)


Vietnamese Noodle Soup

  • 4 oz thin rice noodles
  • 1 block tofu, cubed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger, minced
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 T fish sauce
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 pound snow peas
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts

Cook noodles according to package directions and drain.

While the noodles cook, cube tofu and season with salt, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice.  Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add tofu and cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the broth, fish sauce and honey, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and add the snow peas, bell pepper, and noodles.  Simmer for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add bean sprouts.

Serves 4


December 11, 2010 Posted by | Learning to Love Tofu, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian | , , , | 2 Comments

Veggie Fried Rice

One of our local restaurants used to serve the best fried rice I’ve ever had, chock-full of veggies and tofu.  Over the years it has become more and more greasy, and the veggies have become less and less varied.  Eventually, I started making it at home, trying different recipes and techniques to get it just right.  I think I’ve finally come close enough to call it a match! 

This is one of my miracle meals.  It’s fast to prepare, it’s a great use for leftover veggies, and it’s a big winner with Will.  The tofu is always the first thing he eats, then he scarfs down the rest and asks for more while I’m still finishing my first bite.  I don’t usually plan this meal ahead.  But if I do, I’ll center my other meals for the week around the veggies I want in this dish.  If I end up with less vegetables left than I anticipated, there’s always a variety in the freezer that is easy to throw in at the last cooking minute.  The recipe below lists my favorites, but mix it up to your preferences… or whatever is in your fridge!

I like my tofu fried, but to cut down the fat content the tofu can be baked instead.  In this case, reduce the oil in the recipe by 1 T, and bake the tofu cubes in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Prep and cook time: 20 minutes   Approx. cost: $2 per serving (if not using leftover veggies)

Veggie Fried Rice

  • 3 T vegetable, corn, or wok oil, divided
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 2 cups chopped/sliced/cubed vegetables (my favorites include zucchini, red onion, red bell pepper, sweet peas, corn, bean sprouts and bok choy or spinach)
  • 1 cup cold, cooked rice
  • 2 large eggs, beaten slightly
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • Dash of white pepper

Heat 1 T oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook tofu, turning every few minutes, until evenly golden brown.

In a wok, heat 1 T oil over high heat.  Add harder vegetables such as onion and bell peppers, and stir fry for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add softer and frozen vegetables, bean sprouts (if using), and rice, and continue to stir fry for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until hot. 

Push mixture to the sides of the skillet.  Add remaining oil to the other side and cook eggs, stirring constantly, until eggs are thickened.  Stir eggs into rice mixture and add the cooked tofu.  Stir in soy sauce and white pepper.

Serves 4 (unless Will is dining with you, then you may want to double the recipe!)

April 23, 2010 Posted by | Learning to Love Tofu, Recipes, Vegetarian | , | 1 Comment

Peanut Millet with Tofu

Yum!!  That’s about all I can say about this dish!  It was my first experience with millet, and it was a happy one.  I’m a huge fan of peanut butter, so this dish was right up my alley.  The peanut sauce recipe come from Vegetarian Planet, a must-have for all kitchens, vegetarian or otherwise.  You could easily substitute pasta, rice, or any grain for this recipe and end up perfectly happy with the results!  The veggies can also be varied to your liking.  I tried red pepper and wasn’t excited about the flavor combination, so I’ve omitted it from this recipe.

Prep and cook time: 30 minutes.Peanut Millet with Tofu

Peanut Millet with Tofu

  • 3 cups roasted or grilled vegetables (my faves are carrots, zucchini, and bok choy), chopped into 1/4″ pieces
  • 1 package firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 c. millet
  • 1/4 c. peanut butter
  • 1/2 c. coconut milk
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 3 T. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp dried cilantro

Drizzle chopped vegetables with 1/2 T olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place on the grill over medium-high heat or roast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Cook millet according to package directions.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Add tofu cubes and pan fry until golden brown.  Blot excess oil with paper towel and reserve.

While vegetables, millet, and tofu are cooking, make peanut sauce.  In a large bowl, whisk together peanut butter and coconut milk until the mixture is smooth.  Add soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and cilantro.

Combine vegetables and tofu and stir in peanut sauce.  Serve over millet.

Serves 4

April 18, 2010 Posted by | Learning to Love Millet, Learning to Love Tofu, Recipes, Vegetarian | | 2 Comments