Saturday, November 28, 2009

Food continued ...

It took me longer than expected to acquire some of the ingredients I needed, but I got them today at a little Asian market in Nashua, NH. It's called Lanna Asian Market, and they have just about everything you might need for Asian cooking. I needed miso paste, preferably organic, hon-dashi, and soy sauce. The sales girl was very helpful and even offered me recipes.  I would highly recommend them.

So, here's what I made today. I had almost 2 lbs. of fresh mushrooms to use before they spoiled. Since I'd rather not throw money away, I decided to look for a recipe for mushroom soup that did not use cream. I'm trying to maintain as close to a vegan diet as I can. I do feel much better since eliminating animal products, especially beef and dairy. Now I just have to work on the sugar intake, but that's another entry for another day.

I found a recipe on for mushroom soup that I modified just a little bit. Here's what I did:
  • 3 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbs. soy sauce (I used the low sodium kind)
  • 1/2 package extra firm tofu sliced into cubes
  • about 4 cups fresh mushrooms sliced
  • 1 cup carrots sliced
  • 1 cup celery sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 3 cans vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • salt and pepper to taste
In a stock pot, I sauteed the carrots, celery, mushrooms, and onion until tender. Then I added the vegetable broth, soy sauce, and spices and let it simmer to allow the tofu to absorb the flavor. After about 15 minutes, I transferred about 2/3 of the vegetables and tofu into the blender and blended until fairly smooth. Then I put it back into the soup. This is what makes it thicker and heartier than a clear broth soup. After everything is back in the pot, add the barley, simmer and season to taste. That's it! Of course, I had to try some, so I had a bowl for supper. Yummmmmmmmmm ...

I also made a pot of Japanese Miso Soup. Again, I got the recipe from, and it was extremely easy and quick to make. Here is the recipe:
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tsp. hon-dashi granules
  • 3 tbs. miso paste (I used red miso)
  • 4 oz. extra firm tofu, diced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 2 cps. mushrooms, sliced
In a saucepan, bring the water and the hon-dashi granules to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and whisk in the miso paste. I used red miso because it has a heartier flavor than the white. Add the tofu, the mushrooms, and the green onions. Let it simmer for a few minutes before serving so that the tofu can absorb the flavors. That's all there is to it. And it is delicious! I didn't feel the need to add any salt or pepper, but I imagine some people do.

So that pretty much was my day today. Now, since it's after 11:00 p.m. I'm going to think about going to bed. I think the next dish I want to try making is an edamame salad that can be either eaten as is or added to al-dente pasta for a nice pasta salad.

Another culinary quote ...

"…the key dietary messages are stunningly simple:
Eat less, move more, eat more fruits and vegetables,
and don't eat too much junk food.
It's no more complicated than that."

~Marion Nestle~

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