Monthly Archives: January 2013

Pasta salad with vegetables and tempeh

This meal brought me back to my childhood when I used to love pasta salad with rich creamy mayonnaise. It´s really quick to put together when you use some convenient ingredients such as tofu mayo and already fried and seasoned packaged tempeh. But you can definitely make your own tofu mayo (there are plenty of recipes on the webs) or season and fry plain tempeh according to your wishes.

I cooked some corn pasta al dente. On a pan I sauteed onion on olive oil for a couple of minutes. Then I chopped up leek, celery (stalk plus leaves) and tempeh and I grated carrot and celery root on the coarse side of the grate. Afterwards I added all these veggies to the onions, sauteeing until soft and shiny. You can season them with fresh cracked black pepper. Mix the veggies and the pasta and add as much tofu mayonnaise as you like, mix well, voila!

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Filed under Pasta and noodles, Recipes, Tofu and tempeh dishes

Millet-pumpkin mash and tahini vegetables

How delightfully simple macrobiotic cooking can sometimes be! You don´t always need to go for five or six different small dishes, sometimes less is really more…

I just cooked up some millet until soft (achieved by cooking in a 1:3 ratio of grain to water), adding small chunks of pumpkin in the beginning. After about 20-30 minutes of cooking both can be mashed up with a potato masher or surikogi (wooden pestle), anything that works…Serve with or without gomasio. It´s a really lovely combination, so sweet and nourishing!

As a side I made water-sauteed matchsticks of carrot and kohlrabi, with salt to season and some organic corn kernels thrown in, and a spoon of tahini to add extra flavour and texture.

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Filed under Complete meals, Grain dishes, Recipes, Vegetable dishes

Thai flavoured deep-fried sushi rolls

What a twist on the classical Japanese-styled sushi roll! For me sushi is travel food. I actually never make it for any other occasion, because we usually have enough of sushi eating when we go somewhere for a trip and need to pack a portable lunch 😀 But this brings it all to a whole new level! Deep-fried crunchy rolls, and even with a spicy Thai flavour, mmmm!!

You can really play with this – use fillings to your liking and don´t be afraid to experiment! I made my usual sushi maki rolls of brown rice and nori sheets and filled them with raw carrot and leek strips. The raw vegetables give a nice contrast (and balance) to the rich oily taste, but you could of course use some lightly blanched or steamed veggies as well. I also smeared the rolls with a thin layer of Thai curry paste (the one that comes in plastic tubs in several varieties :-D). But next time I might try my usual umeboshi paste instead to get a more sushi-like taste, the curry paste was very tasty, but maybe a bit overpowering.

After rolling up the sushis, I dipped them in a glutenfree tempura batter of rice flour, a pinch of salt, water and  a small pinch of baking powder (added for extra crispiness). The batter must not be too runny, otherwise it will slide off the rolls. Of course, you can also use regular or whole-wheat flour, if gluten is not an issue. Deep-fry in hot oil until crunchy and slightly golden. Serve with some raw grated daikon and lightly blanched vegetables to digest better 🙂

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Filed under Complete meals, Grain dishes, Recipes, Snacks

A perfect cold weather meal featuring Parsnip-millet mash

First of all, sorry for the not appetizing picture, taking pics in the evening light of my dark kitchen sucks :-p

Nonetheless, this dish should not totally escape your attention, as I think it´s really great for those cold days when you just want something soothing, yet not bland!

The thing that looks like mashed potato is a variety of the popular “millet mash” which is usually made with cauliflower. Instead I cooked a cup of millet with a roughly equal amount of chopped parsnip, a pinch of salt and three cups of water, for about half an hour on a low flame and under a lid. Then I mashed it up with a potato masher (actually, I might have used the wooden pestle for making gomasio as I often do! :-D) and seasoned with some fresh cracked black pepper and nutmeg. I topped the mash with shiso leaf powder (shiso is the leaf used when pickling umeboshi plums) – but I think I must have sprinkled it on top after taking the picture 😀

I baked pumpkin with three different toppings: salt only, salt+thyme and salt+ginger juice+cinnamon. Yes, playing around 😀 The pumpkin bakes for about half an hour on 180°C but that really depends on your pumpkin (and oven)!

And I made a lovely stew of sliced cabbage, onion and carrot, simmered gently in a liquid made of diluted white (shiro) miso, apple juice and organic mustard 🙂

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Filed under Complete meals, Grain dishes, Recipes, Vegetable dishes

Quick buckwheat and sauerkraut pie

No, this is not really a pie, because there is no real dough made out of flour. Nevertheless, the dish is baked in a casserole and can be cut up into squares, so why not imagine you´re making a fancy “savoury pie”? 😉 Sometimes it´s  important how we present our food and also how we think of it ourselves.

This recipe is again from my favourite cookbook by Czech macro author, Dagmar Lužná.

All you need to do to make this lightning-fast “pie” is to bring two parts of water to boil, adding a pinch of salt, and then to add one part of cracked buckwheat. I make my own by grinding buckwheat groats very coarsely on my hand mill, but at least here the cracked buckwheat (“lámanka”) is sold in health food shops. Once the buckwheat is mixed with water, turn the flame off and let it soak up all the liquid, which should take five to ten minutes. Meanwhile sautee one large coarsely chopped onion in a pan with about 5 tablespoons of sesame oil, until the onion turns golden. Add 150 g of sauerkraut, cover with a lid and let simmer for 15 minutes, you might need to add some water as well. Stir the cooked sauerkraut into the buckwheat, season with salt and caraway seeds, and transfer to a greased casserole dish. Smooth out the surface with your hand and bake for about 10 minutes in a pre-heated oven, until golden. When done, cut up into squares and serve for example with fresh parsley leaves and small cubes of smoked tofu roasted on a dry pan.

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Filed under Grain dishes, Recipes

Macrofied “svíčková” – traditional Czech creamy root vegetable sauce with dumplings

Svíčková is the queen of Czech cuisine, at least in my heart and mind. It´s one of the trademarks of our culture, so to say. You can find it on the menu of almost any restaurant that serves typical Czech food. Do I need to say that I have many happy memories connected to it? Although normally it is heavy with milk cream, this version  tastes almost exactly as the one of my childhood – that´s pure magic!

Credits for the recipe go to Dagmar Lužná – you can find it in her cookbook.

You will need 2 large carrots, 2 large parsley roots, 2 large onions and a smaller piece of celery root, all vegetables should be cut into larger chunks. Spread 3 tbsp of sesame oil on the bottom of a pot, place the veggies inside and cover with water so that they are submerged. Sprinkle with salt, add 2 bay leaves, 3 pieces of allspice, 3 cloves, 3 pieces of juniper and 3 tbsp of ume plum vinegar. Simmer on a low flame until the vegetables are soft. Transfer to a blender and blend everything until smooth. Return to the pot, simmer for a bit longer, add more vinegar if needed, and at the end add some non-dairy cream as desired(I used rice cream).

I served this lovely sauce on top of millet dumplings filled with smoked tofu: First I cooked millet in a 1:2,5 ratio of grain to water, for about half an hour. When the millet cooled down, I added corn flour until I got a stiff dough that didn´t stick to my hands (it´s tricky to get this right!). Meanwhile I sauteed finely chopped onion on oil and then added smoked tofu cut into tiny cubes, which I sauteed for another few minutes, After cooling down I used this tofu mixture to fill the millet dumplings – just chip off a piece of dough, flatten it with your hand into a “cookie shape”, sprinkle a small amount of the mixture on top and wrap, creating a round tightly sealed ball. Cook the dumplings in salted water until they float from the bottom of the pot up to the surface, the exact time depends mostly on how large the dumplings are.

This meal is sure not something you will whip out in 10 minutes, but don ´t let that discourage you, it´s worth it! 😀

what a nice color and creaminess!

what a nice color and creaminess!

with the millet dumplings and some extra dumpling filling

with the millet dumplings and some extra dumpling filling

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Filed under Complete meals, Recipes, Sauces, Tofu and tempeh dishes