Today I am just going to link to a post from one great macro blog with recipes you should definitely try! This time the Sweetveg blog inspired me to try a modified version of the “Vegetables with arame and lemony kuzu sauce“.
I followed it quite closely, except I didn´t have celery stalks, so I just omitted those, and instead of the rutabaga (which you cannot find here) I used parsley root. I also used dried/soaked lotus root slices and dried/soaked/sliced shiitake mushrooms (both are suggested at the end of the original post to be used in this recipe). I´m not sure which cabbage was used in the original recipe, but I had the “curly” savoy variety which works great in stews. I didn´t have daikon so I used black radish, which is just another member of the radish family and has a more sharp and earthy taste than the daikon. The sauce I followed exactly. As a sidedish I made a rice/amaranth mixture with roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
This is quite a fancy way to serve arame, especially to people who are not thrilled by the vision of eating seaweed – and there are too many of them! 😀 Adding rich ingredients such as almonds and deep-fried tofu always helps…
First prepare your tofu – you could use regular firm tofu, OR dried tofu, which has both a very different flavour and texture, that I really enjoy – if it´s prepared properly. First soak the dried tofu for about 15 minutes, then squeeze out water with your hands, but don´t squeeze too hard, you want the tofu to stay moist, retaining a bit of liquid, otherwise they soak up too much oil. Deep fry the soaked tofu slices until light golden, let them rest for a while on napkinks to drain excess oil and cut up into cubes when cooled down.
Meanwhile you can take a handful of arame seaweed and soak it, also for about 15 minutes, then drain and rinse with fresh water. Sautee onion in a pot with a tiny bit of sesame oil and a pinch of salt, add soaked arame, chopped carrot, curly cabbage and daikon (I used the green variety). Add roasted almonds (I roasted them for maybe 15 minutes in the oven, on a tray with a silicone baking mat). Season with 2 TBSP shoyu soy sauce, 1 TBSP rice vinegar and about half a teaspoon of dried ginger powder. Add fried tofu cubes and enough water to nearly cover. Simmer on a low flame for half an hour, adding water as needed, but only very little at a time.
I served the arame dish with a rice/hato mugi mixture and some raw greens (edible weeds).
Polenta is a very light summer-style dish if you prepare it just by cooking cornmeal in water on the stove. But you can also make polenta more winter-style if you bake it in a casserole dish. You can really play around with this versatile grain dish.
I first prepared standard polenta by cooking 1 cup cornmeal (or special polenta flour, but don´t use the instant one) with 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt. There are different ways to cook polenta, but I personally soak the flour and water overnight and the next day I just bring it slowly to boil and simmer on a low flame under a lid for about half an hour to 45 minutes, without any stirring or other interfering. Then I let it rest with a flame off for 5-10 minutes, it also helps to unstick from the bottom of the pot.
While your polenta cooks, you can sautee veggies on some oil – I used sliced onion and leek, finely cut curly cabbage and finely diced carrot, with a pinch of salt of course to draw out the juices of the vegetables. I also added some arame seaweed which I soaked beforehand for about half an hour, discarding the soaking water. Season with more salt (the veggies will get mixed with polenta, so you need a stronger flavour), fresh or dried rosemary and some pressed garlic cloves.
When the polenta is cooked, stir in the vegetable/arame sautee and transfer content of the pot into a casserole dish and allow to cool.
Now – you can either pop the polenta into the oven to brown the surface a bit and make the polenta more warming (otherwise it has a more cooling overall effect) or you can just slice it up and eat as is (room temperature, might be nice on hot days), or you can even make slices and pan-fry them with some oil. That´s up to you! 😀
This simple and grounding recipe comes from my favourite Self-healing Cookbook by Kristina Turner.
I changed the amounts a bit and used just half of a medium-sized butternut squash, which I divided lengthwise, scooped out the seeds, peeled it with a sharp knife and chopped up into bite-sized pieces. I sliced a medium onion into halfmoons and soaked a small handful of arame seaweed and another small handful of dried burdock root. I sprayed a silicone baking dish with a bit of sesame oil and covered the bottom evenly with onion, soaked arame and soaked burdock. On top I placed the squash cubes and sprayed all with tamari. I covered the dish with tinfoil and baked on 190 °C, for half an hour covered, and for 15 minutes more uncovered. I served the dish with rice/sweet rice mixture and a salad of shredded chinese cabbage (with some salt massaged in for better digestibility). The butternut squash comes out very very tender and sweet! So if you want a more savoury dish, don´t be afraid to use more salt/soy sauce 🙂
Honestly, most of my meals are not fancy. Most of them are not from cookbooks. Most of them are not beautiful enough to be photographed. Most of them are rather quick and simple and they get rotated regularly, because I am not a full-time blogger nor a full-time macro cook 😀 Usually it´s something like this…
Pressure cooked rice and hato mugi – green beans sauteed with white (shiro) miso diluted in water – carrot roots and tops sauteed on water with a splash of ume plum vinegar – arame cooked in water to cover + shoyu to taste and some raw spring onion mixed in at the end
Pressure cooked rice with rye – leftover cauliflower/millet mash (check my blog for the recipe) – cubes of smoked tofu baked in the oven – umepaste stew ( cover bottom of a heavy pot with a thin layer of ume paste, then continue with a layer of thin onion slices, thin cabbage slices, grated carrot, chopped kohlrabi, finely chopped dill and about two inches of water, simmer under a lid on low until tender, mix in the end ) – nori condiment made from shortly simmering torn up nori sheets, shoyu, mirin and lemon juice
Sweet millet cooked together with cubes of hokkaido pumpkin – fresh rucola – hiziki cooked with water to cover + shoyu to taste + sesame seeds + thinly sliced onion + presoaked dried lotus – nishime of daikon ( with thinly sliced kombu, sliced dried and presoaked shiitake, 1/2 tsp shiro miso diluted in water and 1/4 tsp of lemon zest)
Pressure cooked long-grain rice with hato mugi and lotus seeds – lettuce, red radish, radish sprouts and lightly steamed green cabbage – roasted hokkaido pumpkin and onion sprinkled with cinnamon – leftover hiziki dish (see above)
Rice and hato mugi are one of my favourite combinations! Of course pressure cooked for 45 minutes and sprinkled with some gomasio…
I made a nishime of daikon, turnip (even with some turnip greens), parsnip, topinambour (Jerusalem artichoke), carrot and butternut squash, seasoned with ume plum vinegar.
Arame seaweed was cooked for about half an hour together with finely chopped carrot tops (extremely fiber rich!), presoaked dried daikon and shoyu.
Mung beans flavoured also with a splash of shoyu.
Yesterday I was cooking a whole lot – I gotta practice now that I´m doing the macro school!!
For lunch I had cooked sweet millet (more sticky and creamy than regular millet), with steamed veggies (red cabbage, onion, daikon, carrot, cauliflower, rapini/mizuna), and dry-roasted tempeh with sauce made of tamari, mirin (sweet rice wine) and lemon juice (add after the tempeh is roasted and let evaporate). I burnt my tempeh a little bit, so no picture! 😀
For my dinner I cooked a mix of buckwheat and quinoa (which is truly awesome, the light texture of the quinoa makes the heavy hearty buckwheat less heavy and hearty :-D). I also cooked adzuki beans with kombu (helps soften the beans) and some time before the end added a few chunks of hokkaido pumpkin, mmmmmmm…..
I also had a sidedish of arame (which I presoaked for a bit and used the soaking water) cooked with sliced onion, roasted sesame seeds and corn kernels, and seasoned with tamari. I cooked it long enough to make the water soak in or evaporate. Arame is my favourite seaweed, with a very gentle pleasant taste – good for seaweed beginners!