Posts tagged asian

Black Bean and Kale Stir-Fry with Coconut Rice

Black Bean and Kale Stir-FryI made the most amazing stir-fry EVER last night, and I’m currently eating the leftovers (pictured). My bff over at Cuisine Vegan told me I’ve been eating too much soy, which is true, so I wanted to make something last night with no soy but lots of protein and fiber. I threw some brown rice in my rice cooker with coconut milk instead of water. Then I went to the gym, did the elliptical while watching Law & Order: SVU on my iPhone, and when I got back, my rice was so fluffy and sweet-smelling.

The stir-fry I just made up as I went along because I couldn’t decide whether to have something Asiany or TexMexy. What I came up with was/is the most delicious meal I have made in quite awhile. It is so filling, too! The rice really needs to be made with coconut milk to produce such a fantastic blend of flavors. Here is my stir-fry recipe.


  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 large kale leaves, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper, and let them caramelize a bit. Next, add the soy sauce, garlic, and black beans. Stir-fry for a few minutes, and then add the kale. Don’t worry if the kale is really leafy and it looks like you just put a shrubbery in your yummy food; the kale will cook down in about 5 minutes of stir-frying. Last, add the sriracha and seasonings, mixing well. Serve over a bed of coconut rice and enjoy!

Review: Butternut Squash Restaurant, Chapel Hill

For a special Christmas dinner, my boyfriend and I decided to check out Butternut Squash restaurant in downtown Chapel Hill. Located in the University Square shopping center, around back facing Granville Towers, Butternut Squash is a classy joint perfect for a date night or family meal.

At Butternut Squash, everything on the menu is vegetarian. They also have plenty of vegan options, which are clearly denoted on the menu; plus, our server was very knowledgeable about the vegan items. I’m used to doing preemptive googling and phone calls before going out to eat, so this whole dining experience was a breath of fresh air.

Thai Style Seitan Skewers

Thai Style Seitan Skewers

I ordered the Thai Style Seitan Skewers for dinner, and the Vegan Chocolate Cake for dessert. The seitan was deliciously moist and cooked with just a little crispness on the outside. Its accompanying sauce was a mild, creamy peanut sauce topped with black sesame seeds. I enjoyed the seitan so much that since this meal, I have been searching for seitan chunks in my usual grocery stores to no avail. I want to make this dish at home and amp up the spiciness with some sriracha sauce. Prepackaged seitan is available online at bulk food stores, and I’m pretty sure it’s at Whole Foods and Earth Fare, too. Those stores are just too long a drive for me. Has anyone seen it sold elsewhere in Raleigh?

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sauce

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sauce

My chocolate cake was great, but I was so enamored with the icing I didn’t eat much of the cake itself. The combination of the chocolate icing and the raspberry sauce was just incredible.

My only gripe with Butternut Squash is their lack of alcohol. They do let you bring our own, but I wasn’t aware of that before we got there, so we stuck with water. Next visit, I will come armed with red wine. Other than that, the meal was perfect. Butternut Squash gets two thumbs up!

Baby Bok Choy Drizzled with Ume Vinaigrette

Baby Bok Choy

Baby Bok Choy drizzled with Ume Vinaigrette and Sesame Seeds

The other night, I made this simple dish from Alicia Silverstone’s book, The Kind Diet. If you’ve never tried bok choy, you should give it a go. Bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage that is high in Vitamins A and C. Eaten raw, it has a bitter taste, but steaming it for just 1 or 2 minutes removes the bitterness and makes it a wonderful leafy green to serve with a “meaty” entree, with brown rice and ginger, or as a healthy snack. Alicia’s recipe calls for a dressing made of umeboshi plum vinegar mixed with extra virgin olive oil. I wish I had left the dressing on the side and dipped my bok choy into it, because the recipe yields way too much vinaigrette in my opinion. It masked the natural flavors of the bok choy, which has a delightful taste and texture on its own. Next time, I think I will steam the bok choy with some fresh grated ginger and serve with the Gardein Beefless Tips that are so yummy.

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