Sunday, December 22, 2013

Korean-style cold and spicy noodles

This dish is very similar to the Korean dish called Nangmyon. However, I use different noodles. Instead of buckwheat, because they are typically not gluten free, I use sweet potato glass noodles which are normally used to make Jjapchae. I am always craving this, and whip it up at say... 9 PM when I should be thinking about sleeping but get too excited about traveling and I work up an appetite packing.

1 T vegetable bouillon (not necessary)
2 servings of sweet potato noodles, or whatever you prefer
1 heaping T Korean hot paste (sunchang is normally gluten free)
1 T soy sauce
2 tsp white distilled vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp pureed pear, or sugar
1 T sesame seeds

Boil the bouillon in several cups of water in a large pot. Boil the noodles until tender, then drain and rinse in cold water. Reserve the liquid from pot in order to modify flavor of your noodles. While the noodles are cooking, mix the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Once noodles are rinsed, add to the bowl with the spicy mixture, and mix well. If you need to dilute your noodles due to spice, add the bouillon water from boiling your noodles. I usually ice this water before adding to noodles.

Some add cucumbers and fried egg to this. Well, most do. However, at 9 PM, this is what I'm giving myself!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Miso like you've never had it!

I love good miso soup. This soup was fantastic! I've seriously never had miso that tasted this good, and it was my first attempt at home-made miso. There's a little twist, since my mother-in-law made it this way once and I just love it. I didn't have tofu, so I didn't add it, but it would be a great addition to make this more of a meal!

4 cups water
2 T sweet white miso paste (I find this in the refrigerated section at the local health food store)
1 T vegetable bouillon
1 jalapeƱo, sliced
handful chopped cilantro

Bring the water to a boil, add the miso paste and bouillon. Stir until dissolved, then add jalapeno and cilantro. Now go try it and love it!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Chipotle Quinoa

I have honestly never liked chipotle. I love every pepper in the world it seems, with this exception. I found this recipe as well in the the Food Matters Cookbook and decided to give it a try. I was blown away, both by the great flavor of the dish and the heat of the chipotle... a great thing! If you don't like spice, don't add any of the adobo sauce and just use one pepper.


3 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 T minced garlic
2 canned chipotle chiles, minced with some sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
3/4 cup quinoa
salt and black pepper
1 cup cooked or canned black beans, drained
1/2 cup corn
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
lime wedges

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until onion is clear. Add peppers and adobo, and oregano. Turn heat up to medium-high, add quinoa, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and stir frequently for a few minutes. Add beans, corn, stock and boil. Stir, reduce heat to low and cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Serve with lime wedges.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ma-Po Tofu without the fluff!

When I lived in China, I was always all over Ma-Po Tofu. It's normally stir-fried with pork, but I'm obviously cooking without pork these days. I modified this recipe from an incredible cookbook I picked up a while back, called The Food Matters Cookbook. It's got all kinds of great plant-based recipes, with meat included as well, just not the star of the dishes. This dish surprised both my husband and I in that it was so good! He's a meat-lover by all standards, and thoroughly enjoyed this. I swear, it was danged-delicious!

1 T olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 T minced ginger
1/2 tsp chile flakes, to taste
1/2 cup chopped scallions
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable stock
14 oz firm tofu, cut into cubes
2 T soy sauce
black pepper
1 drizzle sesame oil

Heat oil in large skillet. Add garlic, ginger and chile flakes until they sizzle. Add scallions, tomatoes, and stock. Cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant, then add tofu. Stir occasionally until heated through. Stir in soy sauce, salt, black pepper, and sesame oil. Serve over rice and enjoy!

Roasting Seaweed

I've posted a while back about how great of a snack seaweed is. I love it with a bit of rice. In some households, kids eat chicken fingers all day. Well in mine growing up, my brother and I were all over seaweed and rice. I guess we both still are! You can buy little packets of it in the store, but it's incredibly expensive, especially when it takes all of 5 minutes to do in your own kitchen and it tastes so much more fresh.
This is all you need:
A package of seaweed... as much of it as you like.
A brush for food
sea salt
sesame oil
large pan... my mom just used her stove top

Lay out each piece of seaweed, paint on thin coat of sesame oil, then sprinkle with the amount of salt to your preference. I love salt so I throw it on very generously. You may want to hold back and just sprinkle a very light amount. With the pan heated on high, use your fingers or a tong to lay a piece of seaweed in there for about 3 seconds (until it starts to crinkle a little) then flip for a couple of seconds and continue until all seaweed is done. You can chop it into fourths, which is what I prefer since I like a mouth full of seaweed, or into sixths which is what is normal. Serve it alone or with a teaspoon of rice per piece of seaweed for a light lunch or snack.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Edamame and vegetable pasta

Has anyone read The China Study? I have had many reasons to stop eating dairy in the past, but after reading this book, I'm sold. No more dairy, very little (if any) meat, and I'm sticking with my veggies!

It's not that I'm so easily sold by reading a book by a former farmer who did a huge study to prove and directly link dairy and meat to cancer, Alzheimer's and chronic disease. It's more that I was wanting a good reason to stop eating meat. I'm not a fan of it in the first place, and I hate the way dairy makes me feel. I used to go to bed at night feeling guilty if I didn't eat a piece of animal protein at every meal. Yes, I'm free now! If you haven't read the book, go get it!

Anyway, this is my first night of yummy plant-based eating. I made a delicious pasta with my favorite vegetables, and here's the recipe.

1 package brown rice pasta
2 T sesame oil, divided
1 cup steamed and shelled edamame
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
5 cloves of garlic, minced (I love garlic, but if you don't, just put 2 cloves)
heaping handful of spinach
1/4 cup soy sauce, or liquid aminos, reduced sodium preferred
pinch black pepper
pinch of crushed Korean red pepper (or just red pepper if that's what you have)

Boil pasta according to package directions then drain. In a large pan or wok, heat 1 T sesame oil. Once hot, add the garlic and onion until onion is wilted. Toss in the spinach and edamame and stir. Turn the heat down to medium-low, then add the pasta and remaining ingredients. So easy and so yummy! You can add whatever vegetables you want. Mushrooms would be a great addition to this!