{Savory | Warm Me Up Sesame Miso Soup w/ Grilled Tofu}

It just keeps getting colder and colder! It’s gotten to the point where I have my space heater blowing hot air directly in my face. I’m now considering turning the oven for extra heat.  I can be dramatic like that.

For this soup I did add an egg. I was craving an egg, so in went an egg. And ofcourse, I ate it with kimchi.

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{Warm Me Up Sesame Miso Soup w/ Grilled Tofu}

Ingredients
1) firm tofu
2) 2 miso paste (but if you want saltier you can use more)
3) dried seaweed (optional)
4) watercress (optional)
5) quinoa (optional)*
6) peas (optional)*
7) egg (optional)
kombu seaweed
9) sesame oil

*the quinoa and peas I had as left over dinner last night and I just wanted to use up so I just threw it in my soup

1) dry off the tofu, cut into your preferred shape, and grill on either side until it has the type of grilling texture you think you like. Just make sure you really dry the tofu, or the wetness will cause oil splash back, which is annoying to clean up.

2) while tofu grilling, boil hot water for the soup, add in a few pieces of kombu. they say to use it only to flavor the soup and you shouldn’t eat it since its really thick texture..but sometimes I eat it…so up to you.

3) Once water is boiled turn down heat to low – add egg and grilled tofu.

4) Now, place the 2 tablespoon miso into a separate l bowl. Pour some of the soup water into this small bowl (I poured in about 2 ladle-fulls and soften the miso and whisk everything together. Once combined, pour contents of this small bowl back into main soup pot…. the reason to do this is it gives the miso that nice bloom in the soup, and doesn’t kill all the nutritional miso properties from over boiling it.

5) Take your serving bowl and put some watercress. Pour broth into bowl. float a few pieces (or a lot of pieces) of dried seaweed ontop.

Other topping considerations:
– chopped spring onion
– shitake mushrooms
– kimchi
– rice cakes

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{Savory | Comforting Miso Soup}

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“soup or salad”? the server usually asks whenever I order a sushi or sashimi combo. Typically those type of entrees come with a side choice of miso soup or salad. Often, I always choose the miso because soups are my style of comfort food.
For me, a hearty pot of miso soup really hits the spot on cold night and I can always save some for the next day.  Here are some benefits I find with miso soup:
– easy and quick to make
– filling
– high in protein
There are many types of miso’s on the market. For your reference, I pulled a snippet published by The Kichn on the different types of Miso:

White Miso: This miso is made from soybeans that have been fermented with a large percentage of rice. The actual resulting color can range from white to light beige, and the miso has a definite sweet taste. It’s best used in condiments like mayo or salad dressings, or in light sauces.

Yellow Miso: Yellow miso is usually made from soybeans that have been fermented with barley and sometimes a small percentage of rice. It can be yellow to light brown in color. This miso has a mild, earthy flavor and is better for general use in not only condiments, but soup, marinades, and glazes.

Red Miso: This is also typically made from soybeans fermented with barley or other grains, though with a higher percentage of soybeans and/or a longer fermentation period. It can range in color from red to dark brown. The deep umami flavor of red miso can overwhelm mild dishes, but is perfect for hearty soups, braises, and glazes.

Black Miso: Our information on black miso isn’t entirely clear. Some sources say this paste is made entirely from soybeans, others say that it’s made from soybeans fermented with hearty dark grains like buckwheat. Regardless, this sounds like the strongest flavored miso around
Everyone’s taste buds rejoice differently, so I’d recommend trying a few types to see which one delight’s you best!
I use yellow miso for my recipe.
{Beat The Cold! Comforting Miso Soup}
  • 1 – 2 sheets dried roasted seaweed (you will be cutting this up into squares or, like me hand rip them into squares)
  • Scallions
  • Extra firm tofu
  • 2 table spoons of miso paste – or follow the amount of miso to use on the packaging
  • Handful of shitake mushrooms (ofcourse you can use other kinds, I’ve used enoki and simple button mushrooms before)
  • Handful of kale (optional)
  •  ½ large carrot, peeled (optional)
  • 6 cups water
This will serve 4 people, but since I’m 1 person, I have lots of left over. Also, note all the “optional” items. Like many of the things I make, there is lots of room to add ingredients to personal taste.
Bring water to a boil, and add in the shitake mushrooms and simmer until soft, and then add in the kale and tofu until cooked through. Turn off the heat.

Now, place the miso into a small bowl. Pour in some of the soup water, and soften the miso. Pour everything back into the pot and stir until  the miso is well integrated into the soup.

Lastly, serve the dish by placing the shredded carrots ontop and float the torn dried seaweed and scallions on the surface of the delicious broth.

{Savory | Kale Chips}

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Everyone has been raving about how Kale chips are “just like potato chips”. They’re nothing like potatoes chips. Seriously. Nothing can every really replace the deliciousness of a potato chips. That crunch! The salt! The mouthful of soul shattering oil!

Kale chips are made from…kale, a vegetable. There’s no comparison!

BUT!

That doesn’t mean Kale Chips aren’t good. They are delicious in fact! Just a different type of deliciousness from potato chips.

Making Kale Chips is also super easy, and you can customize the flavor to however you want. I like a good old fashioned salt and garlic Kale Chip.

Here’s my method:

{Kale Chips}

Preheat over to 350

1) Tear Kale leaves into bite sized pieces (wash them, and dry them really really really well, not a lick of water on them or they won’t crisp up right)

3) In a bowl, throw in the torn off kale leaves, add in a little oil (coconut oil, olive oil, whatever you want), just enough to cover the leaves.

4) Then sprinkle in a little dried garlic, a pinch of dried onion, and some salt. I don’t have any measurements, because I leave the amount and intensity of flavor up to you. You can munch of leaves as you go, so you know just how much of the spices you want to put in

5) Take a cookie sheet, and lay out all the kale leaves on it in one layer.

6) Put it in the oven for about 7 minutes (I start checking it at 5 minutes), and let it cook until it has “crisped” up to your satisfaction. Take it out and let it cool.

Please know, the kale chips, will never be as crispy as a potato chip. But, they are fast, easy and healthy snack to have on hand!

{Savory | Vegan Low Carb Soup}

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I just threw a bunch of left over veggies into a pot and let it simmer a few minutes and to it I added delicious kimchi. Here’s what I made:

1) 3 cups of water to boil

2) Added gluten free soy sauce (Tamari) – I eyeballed the amount and tasted the broth until it was salty enough for it

3) Once everything came to a boil I added mushrooms, green beans, watercress and arugula (basically whatever greens was left in the fridge, so use whatever you want!), and let everything boil for about a minute or so – again, I eyeballed it

4) Turned off the heat and put everything into a bow, and to it added a solid dollop of delicious kimchi

Terrific, easy low carb vegan weekday dinner!

{Savory | Vegan Sushi}

And it’s easy to make!

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I first had this at a local vegan place. But…I thought $15 for 5 “rolls” was a bit much, especially since it was vegan and didn’t contain any fancy fish.

 

I looked at the ingredient list and felt that I could make something similar at a much lower price point.  I love being right!

{Ingredients}

Almond butter (walnut butter works too)

onion powder (or finely freshly ground)

garlic powder (or finely freshly ground)

parsley power (or finely freshly ground)

carrots (julienne)

cumin powder

lemon juice

sea salt

sprouts

nori (seaweed wraps)

sushi roller (optional but helpful)

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{Prep}

1) the almond butter needs to cover most of the seaweed wrap, so scoop out enough in a bowl that will do so. Eye ball it. To make 3 rolls, I used half a jar of almond butter.

2) To the almond butter add a little bit of water, about half a little less than half a cup. This breaks up the consistency so it isn’t so thick. Then add in onions, garlic, parsley, cumin, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and a pinch of sea salt — add more or less to taste. This isn’t exact science. Then stir! stir! stir!  

3) Peel, cute, julienne carrots

Unroll the sushi roller and place single piece of seaweed onto it.

4) Spread almond butter onto the seaweed. Cover all the way to the edges.

5) Add carrots in a single layer, on top of carrots add the sprouts, then if you want to go a big mac effect, add another layer of carrots onto of the sprouts.Image

6) Commence rolling. Using the sushi roller, start creating the roll, pushing down slightly as you roll forward. Roll firmly. 

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7) Once you have your sushi log, use a cerrated knife to cut into pieces

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{Tips}

– It’s hard to describe sushi rolling. It’s much easier to show. I had to youtube how to do a simple sushi roll, there are a ton of video’s on it, I would recommend doing this if you’ve never rolled sushi before.

– Once I’ve made the final roll, sometimes I use a dab of water on the sushi to make the seaweed seam stick together

– I will mush and pinch along the final log to make sure everything is tightly packed together

– After the rolls are cut, if there is room, I will use a chop stick to stuff in some more sprouts (be gentle so it doesn’t make the roll pop)

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Ta da! Vegan Sushi Rolls!  Let me know how you made yours and if you made any variations!