Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Breakfast Option and Yet Another Great Dinner

I had a 100% vegan day today.
Half way through the day,
all I could think about was something, 
anything smothered in cheese.
But I stuck with it, 
and I have to say,
I'm very proud of myself.

Here is what I ate:

Breakfast: Shake
Snack: Savory Rice Bowel (recipe follows)
Lunch: Veggie Burger (We have a huge pack from Costco)
Snack: Miso Soup
Dinner: One - Pot Vegetables and Tofu with Sesame Rice (recipe follows)

I didn't realize I was going to be able to share 
two recipes with you all today!
Be excited.

One bummer element, I think for all vegans,
is the elimination of eggs.
I love having eggs in the morning.
I ate two eggs every morning religiously for a good 13 years.
Tofu scrabbles are a great morning egg replacer (yes! I'll share a recipe soon!),
but I try not to eat tofu more than once a week,
so I find myself very sad that I'm missing out on eggs.
This is a great alternative and I'll be using it more often.
No, it doesn't taste like eggs, but it's good!
Nice to have something different than sweets for breakfast.
I'll probably be tweaking it a lot.
Adding different veggies.
We'll see!

I'm not usually a fan of nori (the seaweed used to wrap sushi)
but I shredded it very fine so it made this dish taste great 
without having to deal with the seaweed texture.
I didn't have the rice condiment nor the kimchi.
I'm sure those make the dish taste so much better
but I still enjoyed it without them.

One major downside is that it takes about an hour and a half to cook. 
Yup, it's got to get all porridgy.
So I drank my shake,
and while it was cooking I cleaned my bathrooms,
did my laundry, picked up the house, 
spent time with my adorable daughter
and then rewarded myself with this great dish.
Once it's cooked it's pretty easy to throw together.

Savory Rice Bowl

 servings 4


1 cup short-grain brown rice
6 cups water
Regular or low-sodium soy sauce, for serving
Toasted sesame oil, for serving
Sesame and seaweed rice condiment (available at Asian markets), for serving
Finely chopped scallions, for serving
Finely chopped kimchi, for serving
Finely shredded nori, for serving


    Rinse the brown rice, if desired.
    Combine the rice with 5 cups of water in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low; stir, cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Ideally, the rice should have a porridgelike consistency.
    Uncover; if you still see a fair amount of liquid in the saucepan, cook for 15 to 30 minutes. Alternatively, if the rice seems dry, add as much of the remaining 1 cup of water as needed; cook for 15 to 30 minutes (on low or medium-low heat) to achieve a porridgelike consistency.
    To serve, divide the rice among individual bowls. Top with dashes of the soy sauce and toasted sesame oil, and with sprinkles of the sesame-seaweed condiment, scallions, kimchi and nori.

    Now.....Oh my heavens, the One-Pot Veggies.
    Let me tell you, I've made this before, and I really enjoy it.
    It's so simple, just wash, chop, boil, done.
    Seriously, love this dish.
    It has very basic flavors, but the colors are stunning.
    I feel like I'm eating a bit of Asia when I'm eating this.
    We serve it up on top of brown rice and we always eat it with chopsticks.
    The tofu helped me with the cheese craving I'd been battling.

    I have to tell you, 
    for a few days we've had a major battle every evening with my toddler.
    She hasn't been cooperating in eating her veggies, 
    or anything we put in front of her.
    She ate this without complaining! Yes!!

    I made it without the watercress and I didn't use the garnishes.
    It was healthy and delicious enough for me without it.

    Seriously, how beautiful is that?

    1 medium onion
    2 cups bite-size broccoli florets
    ½ butternut squash, peeled and cubed
    2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
    ¼ head green cabbage, cored and sliced
    ½ pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
    3 ounces fresh shiitake or other mushrooms, stemmed
    About 1 cup water
    ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
    1 piece (5 inches) ginger, peeled
    ⅔ cup mirin (Japanese cooking wine) or dry sherry or sweet marsala
    ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
    1 container (14 ounces) firm tofu, drained and cut into ¾-inch cubes
    ½ bunch watercress, stems removed

    2 scallions, thinly sliced
    1 sheet nori (seaweed) cut into thin strips (optional)

    Quarter the onion through the stem end, leaving the quarters connected. Remove the peel. Place in the middle of a large skillet. Arrange the broccoli, squash, carrots, cabbage, sugar snap peas and mushrooms in clusters around the onion, keeping each vegetable separate from the other and arranging so that the colors are balanced and attractive. 

    Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the pan. Cover and turn heat to high. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the squash is crisp-tender, about 12 minutes

    Meanwhile, finely grate the ginger over a paper towel or sheet of cheesecloth, and then squeeze the pulp to extract 2 teaspoons of ginger juice. Place in a bowl with the mirin and tamari. Add the tofu, and toss to coat.
    Spoon the tofu mixture over the vegetables, and simmer uncovered until the tofu is hot, about 5 minutes. Add the watercress and simmer until it wilts, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, and set it on a trivet in the middle of the table.
     Pass the scallions and nori strips for garnish.
    Serves four.

    I had a very satisfying day!
    Hope you all try one of these recipes soon.
    Especially the one - pot veggies.
    Holy cow, that's going to be a staple here.


    Heather04 said...

    This looks super yummy! I really like colorful dishes - they make me excited that something so pretty is also healthy for me. :) I plan to try out this dinner dish over the weekend.

    Btw, did you notice in your first recipe here, the ingredients section has a backgound color of green? It makes it hard to read without highlighting it... fyi.

    Arisa and Daniel said...

    Thank you for letting us know. We changed it! Let us know if you like it. The flavors are super simple!

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