Here goes another “complete macro plate”! A very warming filling meal great for any cold day…
I first sauteed some sliced onion on oil with a pinch of salt and then added roughly chopped veggies – carrot, burdock root and green savoy cabbage, and sauteed them all for a while together, in a heavy cast iron pot. Then I added cubes of smoked tofu and a substantial amount of sauerkraut. I filled the pot with enough water to almost cover the vegetables, sprinkled some dried thyme and tamari soy sauce on top, put the heavy lid on and let the stew gently simmer for perhaps half an hour. Towards the end I heated oil in a pan and after it warmed up I stirred in a couple tablespoons of corn flour to create a base for a simple thickener for the stew. Once the flour starts turning golden and emitting a roasted smell, you can carefully pour in some water until you get a thick creamy sauce. Stir well to prevent lumps from forming while cooking the sauce for a couple minutes. When the stew is ready, mix the sauce into the veggies and tofu and cook all together for another five minutes or so. Done!
I also had some steamed chinese cabbage to balance the heavy grounding energy of the stew, served with a sauce of white (shiro) miso, tahini and lemon (you could eat the sauce raw, or let it come to boil in a little pan, that way the miso will be easier on your digestion). There was also pressure cooked brown rice with roasted sesame seeds.
Tempeh is great for two things: marinating it and frying it. I like to connect both. But you can do it in several ways and you can decide whether you first want to make your tempeh crispy and then marinade it, or first marinade it, and then fry it up… Well, this time I first lightly pan-fried my tempeh slices in some oil until golden and then I let them sit for several hours in a bowl with a solution of water, tamari soy sauce and apple cider vinegar (the ratios were 2:1:1 – I used 50:25:25 ml to be exact). After a good soak, I took the slices out, made little “sandwiches” by connecting the tempeh slices using a thin layer or organic mustard, and then just heated them up for a few minutes under a lid on a pan on a low flame.
I made a sauerkraut sidedish by first sauteeing onion on oil with a pinch of salt and caraway seeds, then adding the sauerkraut and some water to nearly cover and letting it cook under a lid for maybe fifteen minutes. At the end I mixed through about a teaspoon of organic corn starch diluted in a splash of cold water and let it come to boil and thicken.
The two dishes were served with a rice/amaranth mixture with gomasio and some steamed carrot diagonals.
Yes, again my favourite combo of buckwheat and sauerkraut! 😀
This time the buckwheat is a teensy bit more fancy – I cooked it with allspice (one or two pieces will do) and a bayleaf, which I removed afterwards, you really don´t want to bite into those!
I sauteed a minced onion on some oil with a pinch of salt, added shredded white cabbage and water to cover maybe about half of the cabbage and then I simmered it under a lid until the cabbage got soft. I seasoned it with caraway seeds, marjoram and black pepper. Towards the end I mixed in also some ready-made sauerkraut and simmered together a bit longer.
I mixed the grain with the vegetable and topped them with mock bacon made from celery root – super easy to make! Just make tiny cubes of the celery root, place them into a fair amount of cold oil with a pinch of salt, turn the flame on and sautee while stirring often until the cubes become golden and look a little like bacon bits 😀
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.
Szeged goulash is a typical Czech meal, although its name is derived from the Hungarian town of Szeged where I suppose they make something similar 😀 Of course the original goulash recipe calls for meat, but here we use tempeh instead, which pairs so beautifully with sauerkraut!!
This is another recipe inspired by Dagmar Lužná and her macro cookbook, but I did make quite some adjustments.
First sautee a large onion cut into thin half moons in about two tablespoons of oil. Add a pinch of salt and a good amount of caraway seeds and sautee until onion is shiny. Then add about 200 g of sauerkraut and an equal amount of finely shredded white cabbage. Sprinkle with paprika powder to your liking, I like quite a lot of it so that the sauce gets slightly red/brown. Cook for about 20 minutes on a low flame under a lid, the cabbage has to get very soft. Add in cubed fried tempeh (I buy ready fried tempeh from the shop, made by our lovely Czech macro company). Season with 2 tbsp of shoyu soy sauce and 2 tbsp of rice vinegar. At the end mix in approximately 2 teaspoons of corn starch (or kuzu) diluted in a bit of cold water, and let boil for a few more minutes, so that the sauce thickens a bit.
I served the goulash with store-bought polenta dumplings brushed with oil and baked in the oven until crispy. But you can easily make your own “dumplings” by pouring hot cooked polenta into a shallow dish and letting it firm up in the fridge, just the shape will be different 😀
I don´t often make meals with red beet as beets contain some oxalic acid, nevertheless I do like a roasted beet from time to time. I find they take very long to become soft when just baked in the oven…so it´s best to first steam your beet chunks for some time until they´re semi-soft. Then toss the chunks with similar-size chunks of zucchini (I had yellow one) and tempeh (I used marinated, so better cook yours with some soy sauce first to give it flavour) in a bowl. Stir in olive oil to coat and then some salt, dried basil, oregano and thyme. Transfer into a baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes on 200°C, stirring at times and checking that the veggies don´t burn.
Meanwhile finely shred cabbage (I used both white and red cabbage) and cook in a pot with a lid and a small amount of water, on a low to medium flame. Don´t forget a pinch of salt. You might need to use a flame tamer and stir at times so the cabbage cooks evenly. Halfway add a splash of vinegar (I had apple cider vinegar) and caraway seeds if you like them – in the traditional Czech sauerkraut they are mandatory 😀 Cook long until almost completely soft, and near the end add a splash of mirin. After this step your “sauerkraut” will become done quickly.
I served these dishes with millet and gomasio.
It cannot get more Czech than dumplings, really. When I look into Czech macro cookbooks, whether printed or online, there are always several dumpling recipes. And dumplings go in most cases together with sauce, usually a thick creamy one. And sometimes even with some “meat-like” protein 😀 And/or sauerkraut 😀 Well, I had a bit of all of these in this kinda festive meal…
The dumplings were my very first ones so there is room for improvement, most definitely. I struggled a bit… :-p But next time all will be easier and there will probably follow an improved version! But I think they were quite good… I had a cup of leftover rice with sweet rice, which I pureed in a blender with water (just enough to make blending possible) until I got a creamy porridge-like consistency. Then I added a big pinch of salt followed by a couple of spoons of brown rice flour and spelt flour and some fine oat flakes…and kept adding…and adding…until I got a rather tough firm dough which would not anymore stick like crazy to my hands 😀 It took more flour than I thought…I can´t give any exact measurement, sorry, you have to see for yourselves. I formed two big “sausages” of dough and placed them into a pot with boiling water with a pinch of salt. It is important to keep the water at a rolling boil. It takes about 20 minutes for the dumplings to get cooked, depending on size and consistency. Watch that they don´t get stuck to the bottom (I had to lift mine carefully from the bottom with a spoon). They are cooked through once they float on the surface of the water. But check by cutting one of the rolls, the inside should not be too mushy or raw, but should have a spongey texture with some air holes, more like a bread roll. Cut the dumplings into 1 cm thick rounds with a sharp knife (you will need to hold them in place on the cutting board with a fork) or with a thread (traditional Czech method…) or (if you are a better equipped Czech person) with a dumpling cutter 😀
I think that next time I will: not use sweet rice (it gets too sticky in the dough), not blend the grains in the blender (the grains get too liquid and then you need a lot of flour to make a firm dough)… But you learn by experiment.
For the sauce I sauteed small chunks of onion, carrot, parsley root and celery root, on a small amount of water with a pinch of salt, covered by a lid. I blended the veggies into a puree in a blender and returned to the pot. I thickened the sauce with 1 tsp of arrowroot starch dissolved in a tiny amount of cold water (use a whisk to stir it in) and for flavour added 1 tsp of dark miso, 1/2 tsp natural mustard, a pinch of dried thyme and a dash of lemon juice.
As a “meat” I served cubes of smoked tofu “fried” on 1 tbsp of mirin (I don´t use oil at the moment, so mirin does the job quite well :-D). I also made quick sauerkraut by sauteeing shredded white cabbage with a bit of water, 1/2 tbsp of mirin and 1 tbsp of ume plum vinegar, under a lid, for about half an hour.