Posted by: Ernest Barteldes | July 22, 2015

Meatfree Somedays – for Summer

By Ernest Barteldes

As I wrote a few weeks back, during summer I avoid using the oven unless I absolutely have to during summer because it is just unbearable to stand in my kitchen when the mercury hits 90 (or 31 in Celsius). However, that is not the only thing I try not to do – I also avoid making dishes that take too long to cook even if I’m using the stovetop – this might seem something difficult to accomplish, but the truth is that it really isn’t – if you are willing be a bit open-minded.

Vegetarian dishes are among the easiest and fastest to cook – in fact many times the actual cooking time runs below 15 minutes – sure, there might be a lot of slicing and dicing at times, but once the whole dish comes together quite quickly. Sure, meat lovers might question having that hole in their plate (as Paul McCartney himself stated when he and his late wife Linda decided to ‘go veggie’ almost four decades ago), but I am sure that going meat-free could be an option once or twice the week when you don’t want to spend too much time by the stove and still don’t want to order takeout.

A few weeks back Renata and I returned from an afternoon at our local stretch of beach on Staten Island (it’s not the best place, but it sure beats the obnoxious boom boxes on Coney Island). It was a hot and sticky day, but I was definitely prepared: with simple ingredients I whipped up a simple and nutritious meal that only took some angel hair pasta, tofu and a few veggies sautéed in sesame oil – dinner was ready within minutes, accompanied by a simple green salad topped with avocado and blue cheese dressing.

Do you really need anything else?

Vegetable Lo Mein

Vegetables Lo Mein

(4 servings)

Source: The Higher Taste

½ lb. angel hair pasta

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium carrot cut in thin strips

2 cups cauliflower cut into small florets

1 green pepper, thinly sliced

¼ Chinese pea pods, trimmed

½ lb. firm tofu, cubed

3 tablespoons soy sauce (more to taste)

2 tablespoons sesame oil


Cook spaghetti, just until tender, Drain and rinse in cold water. Place in a large bowl, toss with 1 tablespoon oil, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Combine all the vegetables with the tofu and set aside.

In wok heat 2 tablespoons oil and add spaghetti. Stir gently until it is evenly coated. Continue to fry the spaghetti over medium heat until lightly browned (about 5 minutes). Mix in the vegetables and tofu. Stir fry for 5 minutes longer. Add soy sauce, cover, and stem over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove lid, stir in sesame oil and serve hot.

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