26 September 2010

Hints of Green

It has not been a particularly eventful food week for me.  For one reason or another, cooking and kitchen experimentation were of low priority, reflected in the obvious lack of variety gracing my plate whenever mealtime rolled around.  Leftover dishes or components of leftovers carried me through the week, all similar in that they contained some sort of leafy green, be it bok choy, cabbage, spinach (the most ubiquitous of the three veggies), or a combination.  In lieu of more interesting fare, I share with you the types of green-infused eats I've nonetheless (repeatedly) enjoyed these last few days.


Tofu with baby bok choy and Napa cabbage
Preparation of this Chinese-style dish, like much of what I cook on a whim, involved little more than simply combining items that needed to be used up with other ingredients from the fridge and pantry.  I blanched the bok choy and cabbage in lightly salted water and a touch of cooking oil.  The tofu was lightly pan-fried with ginger, garlic, vegetarian oyster sauce (made from mushrooms), sambal oelek, shoyu, and black pepper.  I added the blanched greens to the pan, threw in chopped green onion, and warmed everything through.  It was a hearty and savory dish with a tiny kick--good with plain, steamed rice, although I found that it's perfectly tasty on its own, too.


Miso soup with spinach and satsumaimo
I hardly tire of soup, especially when the air is crisp and chilly.  Miso soup, that simplest and in my humble opinion, one of the most satisfying of broths, is no exception.  I've long forgone the oatmeal-for-breakfast routine in favor of miso soup most mornings, if not at least for lunch.  Basic components involve miso, water or konbu dashi, and green onion, but I try to switch things up now and then.  With the reemergence of satsumaimo (Japanese sweet potato) at local farmers' markets, I felt compelled to add a few chunks of the roasted tuber to my soup, along with spinach and a sprinkling of shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice).  The added veggies made the reliably belly-warming soup that much more filling.


Refried beans and blanched spinach
I tend to prefer whole beans over refried, but then again, I had already cooked up pinto beans for lack of black beans, and I wanted to try the recipe for Refried Beans from 500 Vegan Recipes anyway.  I had never attempted to make my own refried beans up until that point, and thought it just as good a time as any to ring in another "first."  The recipe was simple, very easy to follow, and yielded a thick batch of refried beans that weren't nearly as greasy as other prepared versions I've tasted--a plus for my off-and-on digestive issues and mental block for particularly fatty edibles.  Due to the aforementioned preference for whole beans, I removed some of the beans prior to mashing the rest, then added them back in, which gave the refried beans more texture.  A few dashes of hot sauce brought the heat level to my liking, although the beans were already delicious in their mild state.  I had been eating the dish with rice for much of the week, but mixing a hefty scoop of it with some leftover chopped, blanched spinach has proven an adequate alternative to its usual grain pairing.


I have some dishes in mind that I've been meaning to attempt, so perhaps more interesting food will appear here in the near future... In the meantime, I hope you all enjoy the rest of the weekend!

12 comments:

  1. Tiffany,
    That miso soup looks gorgeous. I didn't know the name for Japanese sweet potato...thanks for enlightening me:)
    Have a nice Sunday afternoon,
    Aimee

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  2. It all looks delicious - especially the tofu dish - thanks for sharing!

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  3. Often the simplest food can be the best! I would love to eat these dishes all week!

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  4. I definitely love this type of food- simple, healthy, and delicious!

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  5. What healthy food! That miso soup looks to die for.

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  6. All of those meals look delicious- I really like the flavors and textures you're pairing. Very well balanced!

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  7. All of them look good, but its the first one with tofu and Bok choi. Now I am def going to have bok choi on this weeks menu.

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  8. I eat a very similar miso soup combo almost everyday for breakfast! :)

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  9. I eat a very similar miso soup combo almost everyday for breakfast! :)

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  10. All of those meals look delicious- I really like the flavors and textures you're pairing. Very well balanced!

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  11. I definitely love this type of food- simple, healthy, and delicious!

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  12. Often the simplest food can be the best! I would love to eat these dishes all week!

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Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)