Monday, April 19, 2010

Cold Somen Noodles With Vegan Dipping Sauce



Seriously, if there is one dish I could probably eat daily, it's this one:
Vegan Dipping Sauce for Cold Somen or Soba Noodles

3 1/4 cups boiling water
3-inch piece of kombu

1/2 cup (small handful) sliced dried shitake mushrooms

1/2 soy sauce
1/4 mirin


In a small saucepan, bring 3 1/4 cups of water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat, add the kombu and dried mushroom (see photo below) and set aside for 10-15 minutes.


Add the soy sauce and mirin to the pot and bring to a simmer. Continue cooking on low heat to boil off the alcohol (in the mirin). Remove the pot from the heat, strain the liquid into another container (e.g., a large pyrex measuring cup), and discard the kelp and mushrooms. Set aside until it is cool enough to be placed in the refrigerator, and chill.
Cook the somen noodles according the directions on the package. Somen noodles cook very fast in boiling water, from 3-5 minutes, so be sure to keep a close eye on them.

Drain and rise the somen noodles thoroughly in cold tap water. Place the somen noodles on individual plates. Serve with a small bowl of the chilled dipping sauce and a small plate of scallions and wasabi paste. When ready to eat, add the scallions and stir in some of the wasabi paste into the dipping sauce and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Portobello Tacos with Green Salsa



The cover of the latest issue of Vegetarian Times magazine promised "32 fresh & easy recipes under 350 calories." On Sunday, I chose to make the portobello tacos that were featured in the magazine, mainly because the ingredients were inexpensive. Also, I wanted to make a meal that didn't have to be served piping hot, because the weather outside was very warm that day.

Note: although the VT recipe calls for 6 6-inch corn tortillas, I found that the recipe, as written, will make more than 10 tacos. I used 5 portobello mushroom caps and was able to assemble 11 tacos. Lastly, I served these tacos with yellow rice.

Grilled Portobello Tacos with Salsa Verde
Makes approximately 12 tacos

  • 1/3 cups canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 6 large portobello caps
  • 12 6-inch soft corn tortillas (I used flour tortillas)
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded, and diced
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • Sour cream
Salsa Verde
  • 1 28 oz can tomatillos, drained
  • 1 large green bell pepper or poblano chile, roughly chopped (I used a green bell)
  • 1 large bunch fresh cilantro (leaves only)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 large cloves garlic
  • 3 tsp organic sugar or agave nectar (I omitted this ingredient)
  • 1 1/4 tsp canola oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat your grill or grill pan to high heat.

For the salsa verde, combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

Next, whisk together 1/3 cup of canola oil and the balsamic vinegar. Brush this marinade over the portobello caps. Set the caps on the grill and cook for about 3-5 minutes per side until they soften slightly. Remove the caps from the grill and set them aside. The caps will continue to cook. When the caps become cool enough to handle, slice them into strips.

To assemble the tacos, lightly warm the tortillas on a grill for about 15 seconds per side. Fill each tortilla with the sliced mushrooms (approximately 2 slices), avocado (approximately 1 slice), salsa verde, cabbage, tomatoes, and a dollop of sour cream.