Tofu Dressing Salad

Tofu-shiraae

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.

Ingredients:
1 carrot
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)

Tofu Dressing:
1 cake tofu (300 g)
3 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soy sauce or tamari

Cooking broth:
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 1/2 cup mushroom soaking water

  1. Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in 1 1/2 cups warm water.
  2. Drain tofu by pressing it between palm of your hands.
  3. Boil konnyaku for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour hot water from tap over aburaage. Squeeze water out.
  5. Cut carrot, aburaage, and konnyaku in thin strips.
  6. 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.
  7. Boil snap peas for a minute until they become bright green. If you are using frozen edamame, thaw them and shell them.
  8. 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.
  9. Drain vegetables. Lightly mix them with tofu dressing.
  10. Chill.

 

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Roasted Tomatoes

Roasted Tomatoes

Roasted Tomatoes

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.

Ingredients:
as many tomatoes as you want
olive oil
sea salt

  1. Halve tomatoes. Coat with olive oil. Sprinkle some sea salt in. Place them on a baking sheet with face down.
  2. Bake at 375ºF for about 20 minutes. They sizzle. Their skins get wrinkled. Some juice comes out.
  3. Scoop over pasta or a toast with the juice.

Perfect Vegan Pesto

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.

Ingredients:
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

  1. Pluck all the leaves out of the stems. Use flowers as well if they have any.
  2. Peel and press a clove of garlic.
  3. Put all the ingredients in a tall container and mix with a hand mixer until it becomes smooth.
  4. 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.

 

Eggplant Miso Stir Fry

Eggplant Miso-Itame

Eggplant Miso-Itame

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.

Ingredients:
5 Japanese eggplants or 3 Chinese eggplants (about 1 lb)
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1/2 onion
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

  1. Cut eggplants in a bite size. Cut bell peppers in strips. Slice onion in 1/2″ strips.
  2. Heat 3 Tbsp vegetable oil in a wok or a large skillet.
  3. Toss eggplants in. When they become little bit soft (~5 minutes), add bell peppers and onion.
  4. 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.
  5. Put a lid on. Turn the heat to low. Simmer for 3 minutes.
  6. Serve with a bowl of rice.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Fudge=a little bite of goodness and love

Raw Chocolate Fudge

Raw Chocolate Fudge

Raw Fudge Label

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)

  1. Grind almonds and cashews into meals. I used a coffee grinder.
  2. Grind dark chocolate chips into coarse meals, not to powder.
  3. Mix all the ingredients well. Place the dough in a small square container. Press the dough down by a wet spoon’s heel.
  4. Freeze it for 30 minutes before you eat. Once it is hardened, you can move it to a refrigerator section.

 

Lovely 4th of July Tea

July 4th teaYes, 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

Walnut Beet Dip

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.

Ingredients:
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

  1. Scrub beets clean and cook them until done. I steamed them in a pressure cooker for 6 minutes. Let them cool.
  2. Grind walnuts to paste in a coffee grinder.
  3. 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.