Tuesday, November 30, 2010

CSA week 4: Japanese supper (vegan)

Japanese supper

Today's supper (counter clockwise from top left):

-Roasted sweet potatos
-Steamed eggplant and zucchini with tahini sauce
-Pressed sallad
     (Pak Coi and Wakame sea plant)

-Brown rice with gomashio
     (black sesame seeds with salt)
-Miso soup (daikon, carrot and spring onion)
-Pickled daikon and plum
     (not shown in the picture)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

CSA week 2: Arugula, pesto alla genovese (vegan)

Arugula pesto

Every time I go grocery shopping or receive my CSA veggies, immediately I wash leafy veggies, take bites of them and imagine how I will be cooking with them.  Having 3 young kids makes my schedule very tight so I enjoy thinking and preparing ahead.  Knowing what we will be eating not just for today but tomorrow and the day after (yes!) makes my life easier.  Does it sound too stressful to some of you?  It works for me!!!
So the arugula.
This arugula was very beautiful, full of flavour but almost too 'spicy' for my family to eat as salad.  But I didn't want to steam or stir fry this time.  So I took the approach when I have leftover greens with strong character such as parsley, cilantro and basil.  Make pesto alla genovese.
Your choice of green
olive oil
roasted pine nuts
Parmesan cheese (optional)
(I had no pine nuts or Parmesan cheese so I used walnut instead and no cheese.  Still works.)

I can't give you exact measurement, but you just have to mix all the ingredients in a food processor.  You may surprise the amount of oil required.  In that case, try to make very thick paste at first to store (it will be good for a week in air tight container) and as you cook either use it as dip or paste for pasta... you can add more oil, water, soy+rice milk or veggie stock to thin it out.

I made this paste this morning and I could tell the overall flavour got a little milder by afternoon.  My kids had this as snack.  They seemed to enjoy it, told me it was still 'spicy'  but went well with the sweetness of carrot sticks.
That gave me an idea for this sandwich. 
Arugula pesto sandwich

Next morning, I baked 50% whole wheat bread, add lettuce and Emmentaler cheese slice and made this sandwich.  This was a hearty lunch for everyone.  What I did was simply add shredded carrots, finely chopped raisins and salt in the pesto the night before.  By the next morning, those additional ingredients softened and helped take more edge off from the pungent arugula but still you can enjoy distinctive flavor of this wonderful green.

Friday, November 19, 2010

CSA week3: The HomeSweetFarm Delight (Vegan)

These vegetables from Home Sweet Farm are so beautiful, I simply decided to steam them for dinner.

 We have this big donabe (earthen) pot with steamer.  I love it.  I love how it looks and cooks.

 In the picture there are turnips but actually I cooked them in the hot water below along with carrot, daikon, konbu, and dried shiitake mashroom.

  I made two kinds of dipping sauce.  Goma dare*(white sesame sauce) and Ponzu (Shoyu, mirin, sake and lime.... yes, lime works much better than lemon since we don't have 'yuzu' here)  I don't buy sauce and dressings because I don't like additives and it's not that hard to make ones and especially ponzu, it stores well over 6 month(if it lasts that long.)

 After enjoying all the vegetables and miso marinated tofu**, we took out the steamer and add frozen udon noodles in the hot water.  The broth was so good and sweet from the veggies, just sprinkling chopped spring onions, finely cut nori, and Japanese 7 spices (Shichimi) was the perfect way to end this meal.

*Goma dare
  Tahini paste:4 Tbs.
  Rice vinegar: 6 Tbs.
  Rice Syrup:  3 Tbs.
 Soy sauce: 2 Tbs.
 White sesame seeds: 4tsp. (grind half for more fragrance)
  Grated ginger, garlic or both: 1 to 2 tsp.

** Miso marinated tofu
  Drain extra firm tofu for 10 min.  Cut 3 pieces in lengthwise.  Smear miso (2-3 Tbs) all around.  Keep in the container for overnight to one week.  Remove the paste before cooking.  I use this for grilling, frying, deepfrying or eat as they are.  I used to heat same amount of sake(remove alcohol), mixed it with miso and used it as the paste.  But just using miso works fine too.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

CSA week3: Roasted veggies --- Flavor of Autumn (Vegan)

Vegetables full of life. 
Roast ,coating them with:
-canola oil
-minced garlic
-all spice

 chop them up, season with more salt and pepper,
sprinkle chopped parsley.