I’ve always liked Asian cuisines for their explosion of flavours, but since transitioning to a largely plant-based diet, I really appreciate curries, stir-fries, and Asian-style soups! The variety of fresh herbs, spices and vegetables in combination with rice or noodles and potentially some tofu or tempeh (if you tolerate soy) or quorn (if not strictly vegan) ensures maximum satisfaction sans meat and is a great option for when herbivores and omnivores get together as it will please to all tastebuds. Enter my healthy Asian broth.
This is my express version of a Vietnamese pho as it were. Of course, this is not a traditional pho, but it’s the quickest and easiest and -dare I say, healthiest- pho you’ll ever make. You can also just call it a broth. Depending on size and add-ons, this could be a quick lunch, afternoon pick-me-up, small starter or a bigger, comforting meal. For this particular version, I used “zoodles” (spiralized zucchini) to ramp up the veggie content
and save my carbs for something else. But if you crave carbs, you could easily use rice or soba noodles. When it comes to the protein, I used quorn, but depending on your preferences and dietary requirements, you can of course use tofu, tempeh, chicken, beef, seafood or simply add more of your favourite vegetables. When it comes to cooking, recipes are generally just a matrix – you can mix and match!
oil for frying (can use water, tamari or stock instead if oil-free)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece ginger, grated (can be omitted)
1 l organic vegetable stock
400 g vegetables of choice
2 celery stalks, chopped
200-400 g protein of choice, cooked, prepared and cubed (quorn, tofu, tempeh, meat, fish….)
dash of lemon juice
zoodles/rice noodles/soba to taste, prepared
fresh chili, to serve
fresh coriander, to serve
Heat the oil, if using, in a nonstick frying pan, and add the garlic and ginger if using. Turn the heat down and fry spices until soft and aromatic. Add stock, bring to a simmer, then add vegetables and zoodles/noodles. Simmer for a few minutes, then add your prepared protein. Finish with lemon juice and serve with chilli and coriander.