Beef and Broccoli Noodles Vegan Style

Beef and broccoli noodles are a classic Chinese American takeout dish. Here the dish receives the vegan treatment, by replacing the meat with brown mushrooms. This is neither lacking flavour nor vegetables, a real win-win situation.

Is it just me or are they eating Chinese takeout in literally every film and on every TV show? The characters always sit around the coffee table, that is covered with Chinese takeout boxes containing the entire menu, whilst talking. How is it realistic or feasible that people eat that much takeout food? Wouldn’t that be too expensive? Where are all the cheap characters refusing to pay lots of money for fried noodles they can make at home that feed four people for the same price as one takeout dish? I really don’t feel represented in most forms of media. Eating all that takeout food cannot be just an American thing, right? It is probably more of an entertainment thing. People actually cooking their own food while talking would be so unrealistic and cost efficient. Beef and broccoli noodles still look appetizing on TV, so I figured that I would cheaply make it at home.

Replacing the beef with mushrooms was not necessarily a choice influenced by budget, though it certainly keeps the cost of this dish very low. There are many reasons to lower your meat consumption or stop eating meat as a whole, whether for health, moral or environmental reasons. Whenever I come up with a new recipe I try to make a vegetarian or vegan version of it, as I also try to eat less meat. With a wide variety of vegetarian or vegan recipes one is less likely to fall back on eating meat out of sheer convenience, making it easier to eat meat only once a week or not at all. There is never a struggle coming up with vegetarian or vegan dishes throughout the week, hence lowering environmental impact by not eating meat. Especially when considering the environment it does not have to be all or nothing. One does not have to be vegan or vegetarian to make an impact, because if everyone were more conscious about the food they ate it would make a huge difference. At least that is what I think. What do you think?

Mushroom and Broccoli Noodles

• 1 tbl vegetable oil
• 1 onion, diced
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 250 gr brown mushrooms
• 250 gr Mie noodles (egg free to be vegan)
• 1 stalk broccoli, cut into florets
• 3 tbl soy sauce
• Salt and pepper
• Sesame seeds as garnish

1. Prepare the vegetables as stated above as there is little time once cooking starts.
2. Bring some well-salted water to a boil in a large pot and add the Mie noodles. Four minutes before noodles are supposed to have cooked add the broccoli to the pot. Drain them and douse them in cold water to keep them from clumping together.
3. Whilst getting the water to a boil sauté the diced onions in a wok or large pan with the oil until translucent.
4. Add the minced garlic and sauté just until fragrant before adding the mushrooms. Brown the mushrooms well.
5. Once the mushrooms are browned, add the soy sauce and mix.
6. Add the noodles and broccoli, mix everything together well and let it come to temperature together.
7. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and sprinkle sesame seeds on top before serving.

As you can see this is a super easy and relatively cheap recipe. It is certainly one of my favourites with a lot of vegetables and flavour. Vegan food doesn’t have to be boring and this is super flexitarian friendly. What is your favourite takeout dish?

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