Who Knew? Miso Soup is so Quick and Easy on a Cold Winter Day!

031misoo soup

I have always loved miso soup. The richness of the broth lead me to believe, in my early uninformed years, that there was a meat base to the broth.

I was so happy to learn that this is not the case.

Dashi is the base of many Japanese soups and sauces and can be made from dried sardines, mushrooms, and in my case sea weed.

I used 2 “leaves” of Kombu Sea Vegetable to 12 cups of water. ( I made a big batch; we’ll discuss this later).

The sea vegetable expands greatly in the water so I would suggest breaking it into small peices before boiling.

This saves time cutting it up later.

You can also purchase the kind which is cut or shredded.

Boil until soft.

You can buy Dashi but it is not always easy to find and making it yourself is so easy…why not?!

Now, making this soup in large quantities is not the best idea and I now know why.

You should not boil the miso.

And if you have to warm leftover soup you won’t be able to avoid over cooking.

Also, the scallions which add such a nice delicate flavor would not taste great or retain their texture if submitted to too much heat.

I wish that I would have known this befor I started.

I now know why cooking suggestions were given for one and two cup servings.

I would highly suggest making this soup in small portions for optimum flavor and quality.

011miso soup

Ingredients

3 cups dashi soup stock
1 block tofu
3-4 tbsps miso paste
1/4 cup chopped green onion

Method

Put dashi soup stock in a pan and bring to a boil.

Cut tofu into small cubes and add them to the soup.

Simmer the tofu for a few minutes on low heat.

Scoop out some soup stock from the pan and dissolve miso in it.

Gradually return the miso mixture in the soup.

Stir the soup gently.

Stop the heat and add chopped green onion.

Remember not to boil the soup after you put miso in.

*Makes 4 servings

010miso soup

Making the Dashi.

017miso soup

Measuring the Miso.

022miso soup

Mixing the Dashi with the Miso.

023miso soup

Disolving the Miso in the Dashi before adding to the Dashi Broth.

028miso soup

Mixing everything together in the soup pot.

040miso soup

I always need to add alittle heat!.

  

Brown Rice with Tofu, Scallions, Ginger and Black Bean Sauce!

053brown rice with black bean sauce

After a long Saturday spent writing; cooped up in the house on a snowy afternoon I just needed something fresh, spicy and satisfying.

Brown rice with tofu and black bean sauce was the ticket.

Ginger and scallions added the fresh crunchy spicy thing.

014brown rice with black bean sauce

022brown rice with black bean sauce

027brown rice with black bean sauce

Make sure to sautee the ginger or add it while the rice is boiling.

Too raw and it can be intense!

025brown rice with black bean sauce

029brown rice with black bean sauce

031brown rice with black sauce

045brown rice with black sauce

048brown rice with black bean sauce

I added alot of crushed red pepper.

I love the heat!

052brown rice with black sauce

  

Fried Red Skin Potatoes with Garlic Parmesan Cheese Sauce and fresh Scallions!

028baked and fried red skin potatoes

Fried potatoes and cheese sauce!

This is a more grown-up version of a comfort food favorite.

005Garlic Parmasean cheese sauce

The scallions and garlic parmesan sauce make these sophisticated and pleasing on many levels.

Creamy sauce, crunchy potaoes, and the fresh burst of flavor from the scallions.

015red skin potatoes

Start by chopping small red skin potatoes in quarters.

Wrap in aluminum foil loosely.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for an hour or until soft.

013red skin potatoes baked then fried

Remove from oven and fry potatoes in a hot skillet with about 1/4 inch of oil and a large chunk of butter for flavor.

I added crushed red pepper flakes for a little heat!

Fry until crispy.

These came out a little lite. I would’ve like to cook them some more but my crowd was hungry!
010Parmasean cheese sauce

While the potatoes are baking I made the cheese sauce.

I combined 1/2 cup shredded parmesan to about 1 1/2 cups half and half and about 5 cloves of crushed garlic.

Allow everything to come to a boil and remove from heat and pour over the potatoes and garnish with fresh scallions!

009fresh green onion garnish

This is a new family favorite and a great side dish for any meal.
023baked and fried red skin potatoes

  

Meatless Monday! Whole Wheat Linguini with Peas, Scallions and a Spicy Peanut Basil Sauce!

020Meatless Monday whole wheat pasta with basil peanut sauce

It was just me for Meatless Monday! today.

I was hungry for pasta, which I rarely eat, and I wanted to keep it simple and fast.

I also didn’t want to shop for any ingredients. So, Meatless Monday! was a really low carbon footprint meal.

Let me also add that the peanut butter which I use is a no sugar added, natural brand made from roasted Valencia peanuts; that’s it!

I scavanged the pantry and the freezer for what was available.

I just happen to have a basil plant on my patio.

005Meatless Monday Veggies Peanut basil pasta

I am sure that there is a better peanut sauce recipe but I improvised with what I had.

009Meatless Monday Peanut sauce

Ingredients:

Whole wheat pasta

1 cup frozen peas

5 scallions

1/2 cup broccoli florets

Sauce:

1 Tbspn peanut butter

1 Tbsp Bragg’s Aminos

1/2 lime, juiced

1 Tbspn crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup fresh basil chopped

011Meatless Monday peanut basil pasta

Method:

Boil the pasta.

Chop the veggies.

Mix together the peanut butter, Bragg’s Aminos, lime juice and crushed red pepper.

Place veggies in the colander and pour linguini and water over veggies and allow to drain.

Mix the sauce and chopped basil into the pasta, mix and enjoy!

014Meatless Monday whole wheat pasta with peanut basil sauce

I like the idea of gently “scalding” veggies with the pasta water. It brings out the flavors of the veggies and warms everything nicely.

Meatless Monay Pasta

Just me, dining al fresco!

023Meatless Monday whole wheat pasta with basil, peanut sauce

A cool cucumber salad with red onion complimented this meal and tamed the heat a bit.
016meatless Monday cucumber salad

  

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Corn, Roasted Red Pepper, Tomatoes, Scallions, Cilantro and Lime!

030quinoa salad bowl

We love quinoa!

It is a great alternative to pasta in that it delivers the same creamy, chewy, texture but is high in protien. A complete protien, as a matter of fact.

Aside from it’s nutrtious profile it is delicious and versatile.

We love this salad!

It is a power packed meal that delivers flavor and energy for very little expense.

Get creative and use your favorite fresh ingredients to create your own quinoa delights!

022lime

I used lots of lime in this dish. It compliments the cilantro and brightens the tomatoes.

014Quinoa salad

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water
5 scallions
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 roasted red pepper
1 cup black beans ( canned are fine )
1 cup corn
1/2 cup of finely chopped cilantro
2 Tbspn olive oil
1-2 limes

Method

Boil the quinoa. 10-15 minutes

Set aside and chop all the veggies

combine and add salt and pepper to taste.

Sqeeze lots of lime on the salad!

019quinoa salad

I mix the fresh veggies in when the quinoa is still a bit warm; it seems to bring all the flavors to their peak yet not cook them at all.

021quinoa salad lime

There is always room for more lime!

025quinoa salad

Garnish with avocado for an even richer flavor!

  

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