Thursday, 3 January 2013

Dinner Time!


The star of today's deliciousness is.... Sea vegetables!!
These underused (in western cooking) super foods are detoxifying, alkalinizing, tumour fighting, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral... They're chock full of vitamins and minerals and they taste great!!  They're also super accessible and easy to use in cooking.  They can be roasted for a crispy treat, used raw or marinated in salads, tossed into your stir fry.  I encourage everybody to try playing with them!

So today's dinner is... Drumrolllll... Miso soup with a side of sticky quinoa (think sticky rice) and teriyaki mushroom.  To start the miso soup, you have to make dashi (Japanese soup stock).  Being that I'm not eating animal products this month, today's dashi is kombu (kelp) only.  If you find kombu dashi too mild you can toss in some dried shiitake mushrooms.

As a side note: I'm not a big advocate of the use of soy.  There is a lot of soy in this particular meal.  When choosing your soy product try to go for the non-gmo stuff.

Dashi:
1 piece of kombu cut in half (between a half foot to a foot long strip should do - use more if you use more than the recommended amount of water)
4 cups of water

Wipe, don't rinse, the kombu to get some of the excess salt off.  Put the kombu in a pot with the water and soak for roughly 30 minutes on the stovetop.  Once soaked, put the burner on high.  When the water is almost boiling turn down to low and simmer covered for 10 minutes and remove kombu.  The kombu can be used again (I'm going to add it to the stir fry later).

Miso soup:
4 cups dashi
4 tbsp miso paste
2 tbsp green onions
1 to 2 tbsp of nori
tofu to taste/preference
Mushrooms (optional)

Miso paste comes in a few varieties, today I'm using red miso paste because its a bit richer/more flavourful than some of the lighter varieties and I'm using just the kombu dashi which is pretty mild.  Also, since my dashi is freshly cooked I'm not going to re-boil it, but if you're using pre-made dashi or dashi granules in water you'll want to boil for a couple of minutes (2 minutes) first.  Add the miso paste to simmering dashi (on medium heat) and whisk to soften the miso paste and mix into the broth.  Add green onions, nori and tofu and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Super easy!!  This is my go to soup for winter/times when I'm not feeling well.

Sticky quinoa:
1 cup quinoa
2.5 cups broth (use your favourite cooking broth)
Sesame seeds

Today I'm breaking my usual quick and dirty quinoa cooking rule and adding extra liquid to the mix.  This is because I want to over-cook the quinoa a little to create the "sticky" effect.

Soak quinoa for at least 15 minutes (see my post about quinoa).  Strain and rinse quinoa and put in pot with broth.  Cook on stovetop on max heat until almost boiling, turn burner down to medium heat and let quinoa simmer until all the liquid is absorbed. Top with sesame seeds, fluff and let stand for 2 minutes.

Teriyaki portobello mushroom:
1 large portobello mushroom
1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce

Slice portobello mushroom top into thin strips.  Add 1 tsp sesame oil, teriyaki sauce and soy sauce to ziplock bag or container and add sliced mushroom.  Allow to marinate for 15-30 minutes.  Preheat pan to medium heat with 1 tsp sesame oil and add marinated mushrooms.  Stir fry mushrooms for 5 minutes or so and add some sesame seeds continue to stir fry for 30 seconds.

Bon app├ętit!
Talia

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