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.
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.
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.
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!
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,
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!