Mercedes is one of my favourite food bloggers – she also studied (and taught) macrobiotics at the Kushi Institute in Amsterdam, now she´s running her own cooking school in Almere in the Netherlands. I yet have to taste her fabulous dishes, but my mouth waters each time I read her inventive recipes which are usually influenced by her Caribbean roots 😀
Check out her dancing soba recipe!
I modified it slightly: Instead of soba noodles I used black rice noodles (made by the Terrasana company), for vegetables I used leek, garlic, carrot, green peas and young savoy cabbage, and I tweaked the ratios of the seasonings a bit (2 tbsp rice vinegar, 3 tbsp mirin and 2 1/2 tbsp tamari).
As a topping I made pan-fried cubes of dried tofu, which you first have to soak, then strain the liquid out (most of it, but not every drop, otherwise it soaks up a bit too much of the oil) and then fry it in a shallow layer of sesame oil until browned and slightly crispy.
Gorgeous looking and tasting soup….
What an odd dish, I can hear you saying! 😀 Well, it´s one of those wild ideas coming from my very own head and I admit it´s not a meal you would read about anywhere in any cookbook…But it turned out rather well, so I am publishing it here for your kind consideration 😀
I cooked separately about two servings of buckwheat pasta (made by a fabulous Czech buckwheat company) and about two servings of long grain brown rice. After cooling down I mixed them together in a large bowl and added some vegetables – raw chopped celery stalk and leek and raw grated carrot and celery root. I seasoned the funny mixture with some shoyu sauce, smoked paprika powder and dried oregano. I poured it into a casserole dish and topped with a topping which I made by combining grated tempeh (you could use fried tempeh or smoked tempeh, any tempeh that is already flavoured and not plain) with corn starch mixed in some cold water and some nutritional yeast powder (adds extra “cheesiness”). I popped the dish into the oven and baked until crusty and browned.
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!
The sauce I make in this blogpost is a modified version of a recipe from one of my favourite vegan bloggers, Christy Morgan aka the Blissful Chef. I should note that I made a double batch (that is four servings) and I didn´t bake the dish in the oven after mixing the pasta with the sauce. The sauce tasted amazingly much like the good old cheese sauce of pre-macro days, so if you are craving cheese, definitely give this a try! 😀
Cook your pasta (I use corn pasta) and save one cup of the cooking water. Whisk the cooking water together with a cup of rice milk (or other vegan milk), one cup of nutritional yeast, 2 tbsp of starch (I used kuzu) diluted in a bit of milk, 2 tbsp shoyu soy sauce, 2 tsp natural organic mustard, 2 tsp white (shiro) miso and some dried garlic powder. Then heat 2 tbsp of oil in a cast iron skillet or pot and whisk in 5 tbsp of brown rice flour. After a minute or so whisk in the prepared sauce, stirring continuously until you get a rather thick creamy texture. Mix sauce together with cooked pasta and vegetables – as you can see in the picture, I used blanched broccoli, and on the plate I sprinkled the dish with some smoked paprika powder.
Aaaaah, my favourite soba noodles! I have them so seldom, because they are so expensive! 😀 While I believe that nothing compares to authentic Japanese soba ( buckwheat and wheat or pure 100% buckwheat noodles), here in the Czech Republic I choose to substitute them with the cheaper local buckwheat pasta. I´m actually happy we have such a great buckwheat-product brand, not every country is so lucky! But here I used my long-saved stack of real soba, bought during our stay in Slovenia..
I made a sauce of long cooked cubed hokkaido pumpkin and onions – nearly cover the cubes with water and boil on low flame until soft. I seasoned the sauce with black Indian vulcanic salt and a generous amount of curry powder. I blended the sauce in a blender for a perfectly creamy texture.
On a pan I sauteed on oil a bunch of green beans, cut into tiny pieces, along with crumbled up tempeh and a splash of shoyu soy sauce.
Layer the bean/tempeh mixture and the pumpkin curry sauce over the noodles 🙂
I like to play with different types of pesto, some time ago I had the purple variety of basil which made for a slightly different taste (if you´re a pesto snob you will notice, I guess :-D), but mostly colour. I admit, the colour is not the most appealing colour you could imagine and green basil makes for a prettier pesto, in my opinion 😀
Anyway…first I roasted one cup of sunflower seeds, then I blended them with a bunch of purple basil and enough water and olive oil to make the blender work (you could use oil only, or water only, or a bit of both, depending on your personal preference). I seasoned the pesto with black pepper, black vulcanic salt (from India), ume plum vinegar, lemon juice and garlic.
For a veggie side I sauteed some onion on olive oil with a pinch of salt, until translucent. Then I added bite-sized green beans and as the last item a large bunch of roughly chopped swiss chard (mangold). I cooked the veggies until the green beans were soft and the chard wilted. I served the pesto and vegetables on top of corn pasta.
Usually when I think of pasta, I think of a rich creamy sauce – yes, the memory of all those thick tomato sauces… well, this time I decided to use some (dried) tomatoes, but instead of a sauce I created some sort of veggie sautee to serve on top of my glutenfree corn pasta 🙂
First sautee sliced onion with a pinch of salt on some olive oil until translucent. Then add a few finely chopped dried tomatoes (allowed to soak for at least half an hour, better more), green beans chopped into bite-sized pieces, thinly sliced leek and thin quarter-moons of zucchini. Add a sprinkle of salt (beware – some dried tomatoes can be very salty) and stir until vegetables become bright. Add dried herbs (I used oregano, basil and garlic powder) and water, cover with a lid and let steam for five to ten minutes until veggies are tender. If you cook the veggies longer, the tomatoes will become more soft which might be nicer, so decide for yourself… I might even try first blending the tomatoes with some water before using them. At the end stir in some fresh minced parsley. Easy peasy!