Monday, March 31, 2014

Kombu Broth for Miso Soup

One of the mother broths in Japanese vegetarian cooking is the kombu or kelp clear broth. It's a good broth to cook kabocha (pumpkin) in or make miso soup, vegan ramen broth or udon dashi. You can also add goodies and just use it as a clear broth soup.
It's pretty simple. Kombu (thick kelp that comes in a sheet) put in about 8-10 cups of cold water and 2 pieces of kombu. Put it in a glass container and let it sit for about 30 minutes, but I have left it in for half a day. 

It's not heated because kombu has naturally occurring glutamates (like MSG) and it is heat sensitive.  After about half an hour, take the konbu out and discard. The broth will keep for about a week in the refrigerator. If there is a white film at the bottom, it has spoiled and toss it.

For the clear broth, I took the kombu out and added dehydrated daikon (turnip), dried shiitake mushrooms and some wakame/hijiki. Once the broth heated up, I took the mushroom, daikon and larger pieces of wakame, rough chopped it, added frozen edamame and some tri-colored somen. 

Eat like this with green onions or add about 1/4 cup miso dissolved in broth first and added in. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Oil-free dressings of the week

I am trying some of the recipes from Healthy Girl's Big List of No-oil Salad Dressings. One has potential, but for the other one I cannot figure out what I am going to do with it yet.

Balsamic Vinaigrette is adapted from "Chef AJ's Husband's Favorite No-Oil Balsamic Vinaigrette"

1 c balsamic vinegar
4 T nutritional yeast
3 T low sodium soy sauce
3 T Hawaiian lehua honey (or date syrup or maple syrup)
1 T Dijon mustard (Big Spazz made his own mustard with mustard seeds and beer)
1/2 tsp chia seeds

Put in a blender. We like the vinegar shoyu honey combo probably because we're Asian so it suits our palette.

Cashew raisin is the Cashew Currant recipe here. Maybe the problem is that my almond milk from Costco is the unsweetened vanilla so it has a little after taste. Not sure. I will probably try this with some plain veggies steamed with this as dipping sauce, but the sweetness may throw it off. 

I tried this with a red bell pepper and the sweetness made the bell pepper taste salty. Weird.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Rosemary and Macadamia Nuts

Our new favorite roasted brussels sprouts recipe (in other words, something boy 3 will eat)

2 lbs. of brussels sprouts, brown bottoms cut off, and halved if the sizes don't match up
1 shallot, sliced
3 T. olive oil
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, coarse chopped
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Prepare brussels sprouts, and shallot. Toss with oil, salt, pepper and rosemary and put on a large baking pan.
Bake for 40 minutes, tossing once or twice so it cooks evenly. In the last 5 - 7 minutes sprinkle with macadamia nuts.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Basil Vinaigrette

I send Big Spazz off to work with a salad that looks like this and then jazz it up with a new oil free dressing or some "fat" just to keep it lively. It's a way for me to keep notes on what he likes and doesn't like. After 26 years of marriage, we're still learning.

He does not like avocado in his salads as the "fat" although he does like pesto, curry pea edamame salad and his homemade pastrami (haha).

The togarashi dressing I made the other day is a little too spicy. It actually gets spicier the longer it sits in the refrig until by day 5 it was much too spicy for my taste buds.

I adjusted a recipe for a raisin balsamic vinaigrette and took advantage of the extra basil I had after making this week's pesto. The handfuls of basil makes the dressing look like green goop or a pesto shake, but I like it.

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar (the original recipe calls for 1/2 a cup of white balsamic vinegar but I ran out of my white balsamic)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup raisins
1 large clove garlic
3 fists of basil leaves chopped up
3 tsp fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
1 T lemon juice
2 tsp Chia seeds
1 tsp miso

Put it in a Vitamix or other high speed blender and whir it up.
I will try this again with 1 T of dijon or 1 tsp of tahini next time.