Encouraging Health and Happiness

What’s cooking!- June 15 2012


Asian Salads. 

These 2 salads are both high in anti-inflammatories, protein, iron, magnesium and happen to be delicious!

As previously promised.. I post every Friday, what I am cooking up this weekend for healthy eats and for a great set up for the next week.  This helps keep me on track with healthy choices and it makes my week a heck of a lot easier.

I’ve got one breakfast item planned (Grainola)

And 2 salads – 1 with some grains in it for more substantial eats.

I also am gonna cook  up some yellow squash with Kale and red pepper (to combine with rice or other grain for easy dinner… I love egg and kimchi on top of cooked grains and greens for dinner)

Read below for the Chopped Miso Salad recipe and  Wild Seaweed Salad

These are both anti inflammatory, cleansing and alkaline meals.. as well as great flavors I love – more thai/ japanese

tastes.  Some people crave burgers.. I crave seaweed!  It’s high in protein, iron and magnesium.

Wild Seaweed Salad Recipe

I used wild nori here, but feel free to experiment with different types of seaweed – also, feel free to play with the amount of seaweed you use, I could certainly imagine using more in this particular salad.You can make certain components ahead of time – the dressing and tofu, and the rice.

1 cup of loosely packed (wild) nori seaweed
12 ounces extra-firm nigari tofu

Grated zest of 1 lemon
Fresh ginger, cut into a 1-inch cube, peeled, and grated
2 tablespoons honey
scant 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup unseasoned brown-rice vinegar
1/3 cup shoyu sauce (wheat-free soy sauce)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 cups pecans, toasted
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves/stems, chopped
6 cups cooked wild rice

Preheat your oven to 300F degrees. Toast the nori for 7-10 minutes, or until crisp. Let cool for a few minutes, crumble and set aside.

Drain the tofu, pat it dry, and cut it into rectangles roughly the size of your thumb (½ inch thick and 1 inch long). Cook the tofu in a dry nonstick (or well-seasoned) skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes, until the pieces are browned on one side. Toss gently once or twice, then continue cooking for another minute or so, until the tofu is firm, golden, and bouncy. Leave the tofu like this, or cut into strips, or cubes (whatever you like). Set aside.

In the meantime, make the dressing by combining the zest, ginger, honey, cayenne, and salt in a food processor (or use a hand blender) and process until smooth. Add the lemon juice, rice vinegar, and shoyu, and pulse to combine. With the machine running (or by hand), drizzle in the oils. Set aside.

In a large bowl, just before serving toss the shallots, pecans, cilantro, crumbled seaweed, and wild rice with a generous amount of the dressing. Mix well and add the cooked tofu. Toss (gently) again, taste, add more dressing (and a bit of salt) if needed, and serve family-style.

Serves 10-12.

Chopped Miso Salad Recipe

I used Westbrae Natural Organic Mellow Brown Rice Miso for the dressing. If you like the flavor of sesame oil – go ahead and add it to your dressing in fact you can go ahead and add it “to taste” – although sometimes I like to go a bit more neutral and skip rhe sesame oil altogether. I also had two small heads of little gem lettuce so I threw them in here as well. You can use any kind of extra-firm tofu you like here – this salad works well with baked tofu or plain. Tofu cooked in a skillet for a few minutes to take on some color is great – I cheated a bit and used Soy Deli baked tofu (savory) for the salad pictured up above.

1 1/2 cups shallots, skinned and thinly sliced
splash of extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of salt

2 tablespoons miso
1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard (or a bit of whatever mustard you have around)
2 tablespoons brown sugar (or honey or agave)
1/4 cup (brown) rice vinegar
1/3 cup mild flavored extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon pure toasted sesame oil (optional)

1/2 of a medium-large cabbage
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
3/4 cup chives, minced
8 ounces extra-firm tofu (see headnotes), room temperature

Stir together the shallots, splash of olive oil and big pinch of salt In a large skillet over medium heat. Stir every few minutes, you want the shallots to slowly brown over about 15 minutes. Let them get dark, dark brown (but not burn). if needed turn down the heat. Remove them from the skillet and onto a paper towel to cool in a single layer. they should crisp up a bit.

Make the dressing by whisking the miso, mustard, and brown sugar together. Now whisk in the rice vinegar and keep whisking until it’s smooth. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, and then the sesame oil. Two pinches of fine grain salt. Taste and make any adjustments if needed.

Cut the cabbage into two quarters and cut out the core. Using a knife shred each quarter into whisper thin slices. The key here is bite-sized and thin. If any pieces look like they might be awkwardly long, cut those in half.

Gently toss the cabbage, shallots, almonds, red onion, chives and tofu in a large mixing/salad bowl. Add a generous drizzle of the miso dressing and toss again – until the dressing is evenly distributed. Add more a bit at a time if needed, until the salad is dressed to your liking.

Serves 3 – 4 as a main dish, 6 – 8 as a side.

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