Our Supper Tonight

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Supper tonight!

Tonight for supper my husband and I had an Asian inspired feast. While almost all our supper was vegan, my husband had a pot of chicken and vegetable soup to begin his meal. He requested I make him chicken soup as he is recuperating from an operation and this is a comfort food for him. Although he mostly eats vegan meals at home, I respect that he is not totally vegan or plant-based and if he has a request I like to honor it. After all, he’s had a lifetime of eating a certain way culturally and socially,so to insist that he change his choices to my choices is presumptuous and unfair. He does agree he feels better when he eats plant-based and it has helped him bring down his cholesterol, and as a result he is eating, enjoying and requesting more plant-based meals. And if eating this way keeps him healthy and feeling good, then that is enough to make me happy.

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Huge Asparagus Spears!

On the way home from work today, I stopped to shop and I found these absolutely beautiful fat asparagus spears on sale, and I knew this was one of my husband’s  favorite veggies, so naturally I picked them up. I steamed them over a water bath, and really used no seasoning at all. They were tasty all on their own, steamed to tender crisp.

The thick ends I had trimmed off the stalks, and steamed them separately and for a longer time until they were very soft. I intended to use the softened and cooked trimmings to make a creamy asparagus soup over the next day or two.

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Edamame

Next, I steamed frozen edamame for just a few minutes, and tossed them with a teaspoon of coarse ground sea salt to make a protein packed side dish. Don’t eat the tough outer  shell- you only want to eat the tender beans inside.

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Korean Radish Kimchi

As another side dish, I scooped out of a jar kept in my refrigerator, a kimchi I had made from korean radish. Korean radish (also called Mu) is similar to Daikon radish, but is not quite as long and more rounded, and it comes in a variety of sizes. I learned to make Kimchi from  You Tube personality, and Cookbook author, Maangchi. You can find her and her recipes by going to Maangchi.com her recipes are easy to follow, tasty and well presented. I love Maangchi and had the pleasure of meeting her in a meet-up in Connecticut  where we all gathered for a picnic of delicious Korean food and went for a walk in the park afterward. It was a very fun day ! I did veganize the kimchi recipe, but once you know how to do it , it’s very easy to make accommodations, and Maangchi will also at times give ideas on how to veganize her recipes. She is awesome!

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Brown Rice, Beluga Lentils and Green Peas

My next side dish was the rice course. This was a medium grain brown rice cooked with black beluga lentils and green peas. The lentils and riced cooked together and took about 40 minutes to cook, and then I folded in a cup of frozen peas, turned off the heat and let the pot sit, covered, for about 10 minutes before I served it with supper,

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Teamed Tofu with Gochujang and Soy Sauce Topping
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Yum!

For another dish, I cut tofu into bites-sized pieces and steamed them for 10 minutes, until they were hot all the way through. Then I made a sauce by mixing together gochujang ; which is a spicy red pepper paste found in the Korean section at the grocery store, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, a little brown sugar, roasted sesame seeds and thinly sliced scallions. I topped each bite of tofu with a small amount of dipping sauce, and then garnished them with a slice of scallion and a small drop of sesame oil. So tasty!

I drank with my meal a small cup of teeccino, an herbal coffee substitute and my husband had a cup of tea.

All in all it was a very good meal, and we had our fill, and really only had three asparagus spears leftover.

I am so glad I’ve learned to cook this way – its simple food, prepared simply, and yet it is filling and satisfying and celebrates the arrival of spring and the clean flavors of foods that are nourishing to the body and beautiful to behold.

Happy Spring ! Thank you for visiting my post today!

 

Black Bean Paste Soup

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Knowing I would have a late night at work coming up in the next day, I had to come up with a meal easy to cook, that would be nourishing and filling. The idea of prepping and building a soup which would be put in its cooking pot and stored in the fridge until time for cooking, came into my mind. I always loved the Korean Fermented Bean Paste soup, called Doenjang Chigae, and began to crave that for the kind of soup I wanted to make. But, while gathering ingredients,  I realized I was out of Doenjang, or fermented bean paste. I did have in my fridge black bean paste, and I wondered if I could use that instead. It would definitely change the flavor of the soup, but it might be an acceptable substitute. 20160127_131347so, this is how it went down…

For the prep work, I chopped all the following into bite-sized pieces, or chunks:

  • one medium sized white potato
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 carrots
  • couple handfuls of Songee mushrooms (which are a cross between king oyster mushroom and oyster mushrooms. I found them at Hmart)
  • 1/2 block firm tofu
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 green chili pepper

Then I added

  • 1 Tbsp Veggie mushroom powered stock
  • 1/4 cup black bean paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb sized knob of ginger, minced

 

Next step was putting everything into the cooking pot, and covering everything with filtered water. I rinsed the brown rice and put it into a pot as well and covered the rice with water, too. The advantage of adding the water  was twofold, the potatoes in the soup pot would not discolor in the water and the brown rice would actually cook faster, needing approximately 20 minutes from the boil.

20160127_132042Then,  everything in the fridge to await cooking the next evening, after I got home from work.

After the soup simmered about 30 minutes, I garnished with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions, or scallions and we were ready to sit down to a warm and nourishing dinner without the usual hour or more wait, and without having to cook a meal from conceptual start to actual finish when I was tired after a long day at work.

The black bean paste did give the soup a different appearance in color and a different taste. But it was good, and filling and did the job I asked of it, which was practically cooking itself, and making an easy night of dinner prep.

Remember to plan.

Remember to cook good, healthy foods.

It is a big part of taking care of yourself, and your family!