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Archive for the ‘Asian’ Category

It’s nearly summertime and the farmer’s markets are beginning to burst at the seams with produce! Use whatever vegetables you have on hand in this. Aside from the gorgeous okra I picked up, I added some crisp bell pepper, carrots and green cabbage to give this stir-fry some color and wonderful texture.

Okra and Yuba Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

2 cups dried yuba bowtie knots, rehydrated in warm water

2 cups okra, sliced lengthwise

2 carrots, sliced into coins

1 green bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/4 head cabbage, cut into a large dice

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/4 cup sake

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup ponzu sauce, without bonito [could substitute soy sauce or tamari]

1 tsp roasted sesame oil

1 tsp garlic chili paste

cornstarch, divided  [Mix 1 T in 1/2 cup cold water to thicken the sauce.  You shall also need some to dredge the yuba in.]

ground ginger

coconut oil

Directions:

Spoon a little bit of coconut oil into a pan and heat to medium-high.  Drain yuba in a colander and pat dry.  Toss with a small handful of cornstarch seasoned with a bit of ground ginger. Allow excess cornstarch to fall off and add to the hot pan,  Cook until the edges have crisped.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add another drizzle of oil to the pan, if needed, and stir fry all vegetables except the cabbage.  When the vegetables begin to cook yet are still crisp add in the cabbage.  Stir fry for a few minutes longer then add vegetables to the bowl with the yuba.  Add all the sauce ingredients except the cornstarch to the pan and bring to a simmer.  Add cornstarch a bit at a time until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Return yuba and vegetables to the pan and mix well to coat with sauce.  Serve over steaming brown rice.

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The New Black

…is an ancient black.  Forbidden rice not only has all the nutritional goodness you find in brown rice such as a high fiber content and B vitamins, it’s also packed full of anthocyanins.  Bite per bite the rice contains more of these antioxidant flavonoid pigments than blueberries.  It’s satisfyingly chewy in texture like my beloved short-grained brown rice and tastes wonderful.  We have rice or grain bowls for meals on a regular basis and usually steam some kale and another vegetable [carrots in this example] and then add a wonderfully flavorful sauce to the mix.  Bowls also make fantastically easy and filling lunchbox meals.  Here is a quick and tasty gingered carrot sauce that’ll flavor up any bowl or steamed vegetable.

 

 

Gingered Carrot Sauce

Ingredients:

16 oz carrot juice

2 T sake

1 T light miso

½ tsp sesame oil

1 tsp chili garlic sauce

2 tsp freshly minced ginger

1 T cornstarch dissolved in ¼ cup cold water

Directions:

Reduce the carrot juice by half over medium heat.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.  Add the cornstarch slurry a tablespoon at a time, allowing the sauce to come to a simmer in between additions until you achieve the consistency you desire [1 T of the slurry was perfect for me].

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This soup will play with your tongue in an amazing way.  The raw tahini [still rich in calcium because the seeds were unhulled] is an integral component that adds a luxuriant richness to the broth.  It has become one of my favorite soups to make because of  its compelling  flavors, wonderful texture and, importantly, because it’s so easy to make.  It literally takes 5 minutes to whip up this soup broth.  I know that come summer, when we’re out hiking and biking all day long, this raw soup broth will be a lifesaver when it comes to time and a meal that we’ll look forward to often.

Silken Tahini Miso Soup 

This soup broth can be kept raw if unheated and enjoyed at room temperature or cold.

[Serves 2]

Ingredients:

½ cup light miso [I use South River miso products because they’re beyond fantastic.]

¼ cup raw tahini [Artisana makes an outstanding raw tahini.]

¼ cup soaked almonds [Soak for at least 4 hours in filtered water; overnight is fine.]

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 ½ T nama shoyu

3 kaffir lime leaves

1 lemongrass stalk

½ inch piece of ginger, coarsely chopped

1 garlic clove

1 cup baby spinach leaves

½ cup zucchini, diced

½ cup carrot, diced

½ cup diced red bell pepper, diced

*sprouted wild rice, optional [Simply soak wild rice overnight in filtered water and then drain.  Place into a nut milk bag and rinse twice daily for 5 days.]

Directions:

Place the soaked almonds, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, ginger, red pepper flakes and garlic into a blender along with 4 cups of filtered water.  Blend until smooth.  Strain through a nut milk bag or fine cheesecloth into a pot large enough to accommodate the soup.

Whisk in the raw tahini, miso and nama shoyu until homogenous.

[At this point, you have a lovely raw, silken and incredibly flavorful soup.  If you dig completely raw vegetables, then simply add the diced vegetables and serve as is.  I prefer to have some of  the vegetables quickly blanched to give the carrots a slightly softer texture and to remove the raw squashy flavor of the zucchini.]

Into a pot of simmering water add the diced carrots.  Set the timer for 2 minutes.  At the one minute mark, add in the diced zucchini.  Drain and place into a bowl of ice water to quench the cooking.  You want the vegetables to maintain their crispness and not continue to cook.

Into each of two bowls, place ½ cup of spinach leaves, ½ of the diced red bell pepper and ½ of the blanched vegetables.  Pour half of the soup [warmed on the stove top or room temperature to maintain the raw state] over the vegetables and serve immediately.

As an optional ingredient, you can add in some sprouted wild rice for a nice textural contrast while still keeping it raw.

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Coconut Basil Satay

 

This is a really great “wheat meat” to use in rice paper wraps with rice noodles, fresh veggies, cilantro and mint.  It’s also wonderful as the anchor for a southeastern Asian-styled meal.  Seasoned from the inside out with coconut milk, Thai basil, ginger and chili pepper, it’s full of flavor and has a chewy texture that is very satisfying.

 

Coconut Basil Satay Seitan

Dry Ingredients:

2 ¼ cup vital wheat gluten

½ cup nutritional yeast

¼ cup garbanzo bean flour

2T Bill’s Best Chik’Nish Vegetarian Seasoning

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp lemon pepper

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp allspice

Wet Ingredients:

1 medium onion, small dice

8 cloves garlic, minced

1 stalk lemongrass, fibrous outer leaves removed

1 serrano pepper, finely diced

½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

½ cup Thai basil, chopped

1-inch knob of ginger, finely minced

5.5 oz can coconut milk

2 T soy sauce

2 T sweet chili sauce

2 T coconut oil, for sautéing plus more for pan-searing the satay patties

Cold water

 

Directions:

Add all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together until homogenous. 

Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger and Serrano chili in the coconut oil over medium heat until soft.  Using a spatula, scrape the contents of the pan into another bowl.  Add the remaining wet ingredients except for the coconut milk and water.

Add the coconut milk to a measuring cup and then add enough cold water to bring the liquid volume to 2 ¼ cups.  Add to the bowl with the wet ingredients.  Mix well.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients using your hands to gently knead them together until you no longer see any dry ingredients in the bowl. 

Break off whatever sized pieces you wish to form the patties with.  [Mine were roughly golf ball-sized.]  Using your hands, form them into the patties and then either cook in a pan with a bit of coconut oil for about 4-5 minutes per side over medium heat, or place in a Panini press for about 5 minutes.  [I used a Panini press for this and it worked beautifully.]  The length of time is going to be determined by how firm you wish the patties to be.  The longer they’re cooked, the more they toughen up in texture.   You can also place a flat lid,  that is smaller than the pan in which they are cooking, atop them to add some weight to hasten cooking time.

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I haven’t posted a homemade tofu recipe in a long time and decided that it was long overdue.  Aside from making the actual tofu, I took the easy way out and used a pre-prepared red curry paste for this variation and freshened the flavors of the dish with some shredded kaffir lime leaves.  To add to the southeast Asian flavors, I dredged the tofu in a mixture of almond meal,  shredded coconut and red pepper flakes, and then pan-fried it in a little bit of coconut oil.   I served this over some brown basmati rice. 

[You could use store-bought tofu for this dish and marinate it in a slurry of red curry paste made by adding a bit of water or vegetable stock to give it the consistency of a marinade .  If you choose this method, cut the block of tofu into the size of the pieces you wish to pan-fry so that you get maximum exposure to the marinade for the greatest flavor.  I would also suggest marinating overnight.]

 

 

Red Curry Tofu

Ingredients:

One recipe homemade tofu at curd stage [Procedure here.]

4 ounce jar Red Curry Paste

4 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded

Directions:

Transfer the tofu curds to a bowl and gently add in the red curry paste [Add a little bit of water to loosen it up beforehand] and lime leaf shreds.  Allow to marinate for 30 minutes.  Place the contents in a tofu press and press for an hour.  Cut the block into whatever sized pieces of tofu you wish to pan-fry.  [I cut mine into two bite-sized chunks so that there would be more crunchy batter per bite than if I’d pan-fried larger sized pieces.]

 

 

Almond and Coconut Batter:

Ingredients:

1 T ground flax seeds

1/3 cup almond meal

1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1/3 cup water

coconut oil, for pan-frying

Directions:

Blend the ground flax seeds and water together and transfer to a bowl.  Let sit for a few minutes to form a slurry.

Place a pan over medium high heat on the stove and add a sufficient amount of coconut oil to evenly cover the bottom of the pan.

Place the almond meal, coconut and red pepper flakes in a processor and pulse a few times to break up the pepper flakes.  Transfer to a bowl.

Dredge the pieces of tofu into the flax wash and then through the coconut and almond flour. 

Pan-fry on each side until browned and crispy.

 

 

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I have fallen in love with Tofu Shirataki noodles.  They’re packed full of fiber and calcium and have such a low calorie count they are almost an afterthought.  I’ve been using them lately in everything and wanted to spread the word to those of you who may be looking for interesting and less caloric pasta choices.  They have a somewhat squidgy texture, but they’re soft unlike kelp noodles which are crunchy and brittle-textured.  Here I tossed them with some quickly sautéed kale [we have to get in our daily cruciferious fix!], shiitakes and garlic in a really quickly freshened Asian-style sauce.

 

Orange and Mushroom Noodles with Kale

Ingredients:

1 bunch lacinato kale

2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, plus the zest of one orange

¼ cup vegetarian oyster sauce [aka mushroom sauce easily found in Asian groceries]

1 – 8 oz package Tofu Shirataki, or noodle of your choice

Directions:

Add a couple teaspoons of neutral oil to a sauté pan and bring to a medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and onion.  Sauté until softened. 

Add the orange juice, zest and vegetarian oyster sauce to a small pan and bring to a low simmer.  Allow this to simmer and reduce slightly while the vegetables cook.

Put a pot of water on to boil to heat the noodles.

Add the garlic and kale to the pan containing the mushrooms and onions.  Once the kale has wilted down [should take about 10 minutes], add the sauce and set aside.

Rinse the noodles under running water and then add to a pot of boiling water.  Boil for 2-3 minutes.  Drain and toss with the vegetables and sauce.

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Coconut-Kaffir Lentil Soup

 

So…I’ve been on a lentil kick lately.  I love them and just can’t seem to get enough of these wee legumes.  Not a bad predilection to have, I suppose,  since lentils are nutritional superstars.  You’ll dig this soup.  It’s rich, thick and amazingly flavorful. 

Coconut-Kaffir Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

1-15oz can lite coconut milk

1 quart faux chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup lentils

1 medium onion, sliced

1 lime, zest reserved for garnish

4 kaffir lime leaves, plus some sliced thinly for garnish

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 T fresh ginger, finely diced

1 ½ tsp curry powder

½ tsp red pepper flakes, plus some for garnish

toasted coconut flakes, for garnish

coconut oil

Directions:

Sauté the onion and garlic in a drizzle of coconut oil until softened.  Add the curry powder, ginger, red pepper flakes and lime leaves and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add the coconut milk and broth.  Bring to a low simmer and add the lentils.  Cook over medium low heat for 30 minutes.  Transfer the soup to a blender and purée until smooth.  Add the juice of one lime and blend to mix thoroughly.  Return to the stove and taste for seasoning.   Adjust as necessary with salt and pepper.

Garnish with lime zest, red pepper flakes, toasted coconut and thinly-sliced kaffir lime leaves.

 

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