Sweet and cold. A nice summer side dish. A cake of tofu is in the salad dressing. I haven’t made this dish for such a long time. I was flipping my old scrap cooking recipe book and I saw something like this in it. I reduced amount of sugar. I love sweets, but too sweet is too sweet. You can make this ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for a few days.
1/2 cake konnyaku
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 slice aburaage (fried tofu pounch)
1 cup snap peas, green beans, or shelled edamame (or steamed and roughly cut spinach)
1 cake tofu (300 g)
3 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 1/2 cup mushroom soaking water
- Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in 1 1/2 cups warm water.
- Drain tofu by pressing it between palm of your hands.
- Boil konnyaku for 5 minutes.
- Pour hot water from tap over aburaage. Squeeze water out.
- Cut carrot, aburaage, and konnyaku in thin strips.
- Cook carrot, aburaage, konnyaku and dried shiitake mushrooms in mushroom soaking water + other seasonings for 5 minutes until carrot becomes soft. When it is cool to touch, cut stems out of shiitake mushrooms and cut the caps in thin strips.
- Boil snap peas for a minute until they become bright green. If you are using frozen edamame, thaw them and shell them.
- Make tofu dressing. Pulse sesame seeds in a coffee grinder for a few seconds. Mix all other tofu dressing ingredients well with a hand blender.
- Drain vegetables. Lightly mix them with tofu dressing.
It’s summer! Local fresh tomatoes are in the market, cheap and plenty. I meant to make a simple tomato sauce, but ended up making roasted tomatoes with sea salt because I had an oven going for roasting potatoes and sweet potatoes. It’s so simple and delicious. I had them over pesto pasta. Yummmm.
as many tomatoes as you want
- Halve tomatoes. Coat with olive oil. Sprinkle some sea salt in. Place them on a baking sheet with face down.
- Bake at 375ºF for about 20 minutes. They sizzle. Their skins get wrinkled. Some juice comes out.
- Scoop over pasta or a toast with the juice.
I told M to make pesto pasta for dinner, thinking a bunch of basil that I bought at a farmer’s market yesterday and has not used. I thought the recipe was on my blog, but it was not. It’s so simple, but good. A taste of summer.
a bunch of fresh basil (about 2 cups packed)
3 Tbsp pine nuts or walnuts
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white miso
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp nutritious yeast
1 tsp sea salt
a pinch of cayenne
- Pluck all the leaves out of the stems. Use flowers as well if they have any.
- Peel and press a clove of garlic.
- Put all the ingredients in a tall container and mix with a hand mixer until it becomes smooth.
- Cook your favorite pasta al dente. Coat the pasta with pesto. Use about 5 Tbsp for 1 serving, but please adjust the amount according to your taste. I like to use brown rice fusilli and make pesto heavy.
I was talking to my Mom on a phone. She mentioned what she made for herself the night before. Eggplant miso stir-fry, boiled spinach with sesame dressing, miso soup with tofu and wakame seaweed, rice. Pretty good. I don’t make that many dishes for 1 dinner any more unless It’s a special occasion. I love eggplants, but I don’t buy them often enough. Their season is now, late summer to beginning of fall. I saw Chinese eggplants at the local farmer’s market on last Sunday. I decided to make this classic dish.
5 Japanese eggplants or 3 Chinese eggplants (about 1 lb)
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
For the Sauce:
2 Tbsp miso (I like dark soy miso, but any miso would work)
1 Tbsp sake or mirin
1 Tbsp sugar
1″ ginger (grated)
1 tsp hot sesame oil
5 Tbsp water
- Cut eggplants in a bite size. Cut bell peppers in strips. Slice onion in 1/2″ strips.
- Heat 3 Tbsp vegetable oil in a wok or a large skillet.
- Toss eggplants in. When they become little bit soft (~5 minutes), add bell peppers and onion.
- Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Add it in the wok. Stir with a spatula for a few times to coat the vegetables with the sauce.
- Put a lid on. Turn the heat to low. Simmer for 3 minutes.
- Serve with a bowl of rice.
Raw Chocolate Fudge
Raw Fudge Label
I work at a local food coop. I saw raw chocolate fudge for $3.70. For a 2-bite size treat, that was so expensive, I thought. But I needed a treat. I had to try it. It was so good and totally hit the spot. I flipped the label on the back to see its ingredients. Almonds, cacao, cashews, agave syrup, vanilla, Himalayan salt. That was it. So my experiment began. I used maple syrup instead of agave syrup because I don’t believe in goodness of agave syrup any more. They are all highly processed. My fudge came out a bit soft side, but it was sooo good.
Ingredients for 4 small squares:
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Tbsp dried cranberries (for optional chewiness)
- Grind almonds and cashews into meals. I used a coffee grinder.
- Grind dark chocolate chips into coarse meals, not to powder.
- Mix all the ingredients well. Place the dough in a small square container. Press the dough down by a wet spoon’s heel.
- Freeze it for 30 minutes before you eat. Once it is hardened, you can move it to a refrigerator section.
Yes, a tea. My new friend invited me to her charming little tea house up over a tool shed in a loveliest English community garden in the afternoon of 4th of July. She made up the little table with a 3-tiered-scones and a dark cherry pie and waited for us in a pretty little white dress. I made my mean vegan potato salad and the newest recipe, walnut beet dip, and lemon dates balls. Another friend brought freshly brewed hibiscus tea and lemon balm tea. I’ve met a few more new friends who live nearby and had a lovely time. Then after 9 p.m., we went up to the rooftop of her apartment building across the street. M called it success. I call it wonderful.
All of my food, potato salad, walnut beet dip, and lemon dates’ recipes are listed on my blog.
Walnut Beet Dip
When I was working at a local food co-op last time, a woman came in and asked for walnuts. We were out of walnuts for a couple of weeks and I wanted to get some, too. She added if there were walnuts, she wanted to make Walnut Beet Dip and it is really good. This idea was in my head today. I googled for Walnut Beet Dip recipes on web. I printed out 3, and ended up making up my own. The result? Awesome. The color is beautiful and slightly sweet from beets.
1 lb beets
1 cup raw walnuts
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs sherry vinegar
1.5 tsp sea salt
ground black pepper to taste
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic
a few fresh rosemary leaves
a few fresh mint leaves
- Scrub beets clean and cook them until done. I steamed them in a pressure cooker for 6 minutes. Let them cool.
- Grind walnuts to paste in a coffee grinder.
- Process cooked beets, ground walnuts, crashed garlic clove, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper in a food processor or by a hand mixer until they become uniformed.