March 2010
Vol. 9 Issue 3

Featured Recipes

Soba Miso Soup

This delicious version of Miso soup is a bit heartier with the addition of buckwheat soba noodles.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

6 cups water
1/3 cup white miso
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 package firm silken tofu, cubed
12 ounces cooked buckwheat soba noodles (see hints below)
1 cup packed baby spinach leaves
1 bunch green onions, chopped
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Place the water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Remove about ¾ cup of the water and place in a bowl with the miso. Whisk until very smooth. Return to the pot and add the remaining ingredients. Heat through for about 1-2 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover and let rest for about 5 minutes.

Hints: Cooked buckwheat soba noodles are available in some areas of the country which saves a bit in preparation time. If you cannot find pre-cooked soba noodles, use about 4 ounces of dried soba noodles and cook according to package directions before using in this recipe.

Wok-stirred Noodles

Preparation Time: 15 minutes (need baked tofu)
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

10 ounces baked tofu, cubed (see recipe below)
12 ounces fresh chow mein style noodles (see hint below)
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons mirin
Dash sesame oil
¼ cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup grated carrots
¾ cup julienned red bell pepper strips
½ cup sliced green onions (1 inch)
Handful of spring pea shoots (optional)

Bake the tofu as directed below, cut into cubes and set aside. Soak the fresh noodles in warm water to separate. Combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mirin and sesame oil in a small bowl and set aside.

Place the vegetable broth in a large sauté pan. Add the ginger and mix well into the broth. Add the cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, bell pepper, and green onions. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes, until vegetables are quite soft. Stir in the pea shoots.

Drain the noodles, and add them to the vegetable mixture along with the tofu and the sauce mixture. Cook and stir gently for about another 5 minutes to allow flavors to combine.

Hints: O’Hana House makes a variety of fresh organic noodles available in the refrigerated section of many markets. If you can’t find fresh noodles (made without eggs) then use dried noodles and cook before using in this recipe. You will need about 6 ounces of dried Chinese-style noodles. Buckwheat soba noodles may also be used in this recipe.

Baked Tofu

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Marinating Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 25-30 minutes

20 ounces extra firm tofu
¼ cup soy sauce
1/8 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Dash sesame oil (optional)

Drain tofu and cut into ¼ inch thick slices. Place in a large flat baking dish. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the tofu slices. Allow to marinate for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour. (Or place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Remove from marinade and place on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning once halfway through the baking time. It should be brown and crispy on the outside. Remove from oven and cool. Slice into strips or cubes for use in recipes calling for baked tofu.

Hints: Use as much as is needed in the recipe above, save the remainder in a covered container in the refrigerator and use within a few days. Or freeze for later use. This tastes much better (and is less expensive and healthier) than the baked tofu found in packages in many markets and natural food stores. Other seasonings may be added as desired, such as garlic, ginger, balsamic vinegar, or rosemary, to change the flavor of the tofu. It’s also delicious just marinated in plain soy sauce. The marinade may be saved in a covered jar in the refrigerator a couple of weeks for later use. The tofu may also be cubed before baking with slightly crispier results.

Asparagus and Pea Salad

I got the idea for this salad from the Martha Stewart Living April 2010 issue. Since I love pea shoots I couldn’t resist trying this salad. I made mine with a much healthier dressing than the one in the magazine. This is a perfect springtime treat!

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 3-4 minutes
Servings: 6

1 12.3 ounce package soft silken tofu
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ tablespoon miso
1 bunch chopped chives
1 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

¾ cup fresh shelled peas
1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
5 cups pea shoots (see hint below)

Place the tofu and water in a blender jar and process briefly. Add the remaining ingredients and process until very smooth and green. Set aside.

Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes and set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop in the peas and cook for 3 minutes, add the asparagus for 30 seconds longer. You just want to barely cook the asparagus. Drain into a colander and transfer to the bowl of ice water. Let cool, then drain again. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl, add the pea shoots and toss with about 2/3 cup of the dressing. Serve at once.

Hints: Reserve the remaining dressing for use later as a dip for raw veggies or a topping for salad greens. The asparagus may also be used raw in this salad, although I prefer the asparagus to be cooked just slightly. Pea shoots may be purchased in many markets at this time of the year, or check out your local farmer’s market for this wonderful crunchy addition to salads.

Spanish Garbanzos and Spinach

This is a fast meal that is really delicious and easy to prepare as well.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

1 ¼ cups water
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 15 ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch of Spanish saffron
4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves

Place ¼ cup of the water in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining water, the garbanzos, tomatoes and seasonings. Mix well, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach leaves and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Serve in a bowl with some fresh whole grain bread on the side, or ladle over whole grains or potatoes.

Hints: Spanish saffron is the world’s most expensive spice-but you only need to use it in very small amounts. It is sold in both the powdered form and in threads. The powdered form tends to lose its potency more readily. The threads should be crushed just before using.

Overnight Multigrain Cereal

This is a fast way to cook steel-cut oats, resulting in a delicious, chewy breakfast combo.

Preparation Time: 2 minutes
Soaking Time: overnight
Cooking Time: 8 minutes (microwave)
Servings: 2

2/3 cup steel cut oats
¼ cup pearled barley
2 ½ cups water
1 sliced banana

Place the oats, barley and water in a 2 quart microwave-safe bowl. Mix well, cover and refrigerate overnight. Uncover bowl, place in microwave and cook at high power for 4 minutes. Stir and cook for 4 minutes longer. Divide into 2 bowls and top with sliced banana.

Hints: This may also be cooked on the stovetop. Place the soaked grains and water into a saucepan and cook uncovered over low heat until the water is absorbed, about 12-15 minutes.

Low-Energy-Dense Soup

This is a simple, nourishing appetizer soup similar to the one in the research paper that was referred to in this month’s newsletter Favorite Five. Start your meal off with this soup and you’ll eat less food!

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8

1 onion, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups chunked red potatoes
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon marjoram
½ teaspoon sage
¼ teaspoon thyme
Several twists of freshly ground black pepper or a dash or two of hot pepper sauce
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups cauliflower florets

Place the onion and ¼ cup of the broth in a large pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion softens, about 2-3 minutes. Add remaining broth and the carrots, potatoes, nutritional yeast, soy sauce and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Add broccoli and cauliflower and continue to cook for another 20 minutes.

Hints: To make this soup even easier, use two 1 pound bags of frozen carrots, broccoli and cauliflower (usually called California Blend) in place of the fresh, and all you’ll have to do is chop the onions and potatoes. Cook the potatoes and seasonings first and add the frozen vegetables for the last 20 minutes of cooking time. This can easily be varied by adding a can of chopped tomatoes and using another blend of frozen vegetables.

Sunny Citrus Salad Dressing
From the kitchen of Eileen VanTassel

Mary says: The product used in the recipe, Instant Clear Jel, was new to me. I have researched it, consulted with Jeff Novick RD about the product, ordered it, and used it and it works well to thicken dressings and sauces that are not going to be heated. Regular Clear Jel can be used to thicken sauces, gravy and puddings that are going to be cooked.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 10 minutes
Servings: makes 1 ½ cups

1 ½ large lemons or two small ones
1 large orange
¼  cup water
1 tablespoon evaporated cane juice sugar or Stevia to taste
1 teaspoon dry mustard
½  teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon instant clear jel

Juice the lemons and orange. This should make 1 ¼ cups juice.  Place in a
blender jar and add the rest of ingredients except instant clear jel.  Blend briefly, and while blender is running add the instant clear jel. Dressing will thicken slightly in the refrigerator.  If a thicker dressing is desired, add another teaspoon of the instant clear jel.

Hints: Instant clear jel is a modified corn starch and is used to thicken uncooked products. It is great for making salad dressings, and fresh fruit sauces.  Strawberry sauce is especially good made this way.  Blend a few strawberries in a blender, add a little sweetener and the instant clear jel while blender is running, then pour the sauce over sliced strawberries. The regular clear jel works for cooked items, and is better than
cornstarch as it stays smooth and silky even when chilled.

It can be purchased in some natural food stores, and online.  Google Instant Clear Jel for more information. Here is a link to Amazon.


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