Menu of the Week: Menu Plan Monday and Gluten Free Menu Swap

May 4th, 2008 yum Posted in Dressing of the Week, Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday, Japanese, Menu, Menu Plan Monday, Salad, Spinach 14 Comments »

japanesetrio.jpgPictured: Grilled Ginger Sesame Tofu Recipe, Onigiri with a simple GF soy sauce drizzled avocado cube filling, and the sesame spinach recipe below. It was all absolutely delish!

This week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap is hosted by a relative newcomer to gluten-free blogging, Cooking Illustrated so I hope you’ll all go visit her blog and say hello. This week’s theme ingredient is the potato, one of my favorite things in the world! And as always, I enjoy posting my menu over at Org Junkie. But without further ado… here’s my menu for this week!

Monday: Italian, the boy cooks
DH’s mushroom risotto
Roasted Asparagus

Tuesday: Mexican, Fast
Vegetarian Nachos and/or Vegetarian Tacos

Wednesday: European, Fast
Potato and Sweet Potato Knishes

Thursday: Chinese
Szechuan Green Beans
Tofu Strips with sauce
Brown Rice

Friday: Korean
Spicy Vegetarian Rice Cake Kim Chi Soup

This week I was a busy girl, posting two lengthy articles- one
Review of Mariposa Gluten-Free Bakery in the Bay Area and
a special Gluten Free Raw Foods Company in the Bay Area with a roundup of gluten-free raw recipes.

(*if you’re not listed yet, now is a great time to join in by posting links to your GF raw recipe posts!*)

Please don’t forget to ADOPT A GLUTEN FREE BLOGGER over at Rachel’s Blog. There’s still time to participate! The deadline to post is MAY 11th, so get those posting, adopting fingers ready! I adopted the never Gobsmacked Kate at Gluten-Free Gobsmacked, of course!

And now for our Weekly Feature….
For this salad of the week I chose a traditional Japanese spinach dish that is somewhere between a salad and a tasty, cold vegetable side dish. DH has always been lukewarm about spinach at best, and the happiest thing about this Japanese recipe is that he actually liked it so much he gobbled it up and nibbled at leftovers, without even a comment about “yicky spinach.” He even said… shock… it was YUMMY. so there! The perfect recipe for spinach skeptics. I think it’s the magic of sesame.

Japanese Cold Sesame Spinach Salad Recipe
2 bunches fresh spinach OR 1 med- lg. bag baby spinach
1/3 cup white sesame seeds
2 tbsp. agave nectar(vegan) or honey (non-vegan) (or more, to taste)
1/4 scant cup GF low sodium tamari, like San-j

Wash and prepare spinach. Bring pot of water to boil and blanch your spinach, rinsing under cool water and then draining. Chop and reserve.

Take your sesame seeds and toast or heat them until they start to release their fragrance. Grind in a suribachi/mortar or in a blender, crushing the seeds until they release their oils and start to become like a nut flour, but stopping before they become a paste. Combine ground nuts with your sweetener and tamari, mix, and pour over your chopped, drained spinach. Serve.

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Gluten Free Chinese Food: Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup Recipe

February 8th, 2008 yum Posted in Chinese, Eggs, Soup, Spinach, tofu 2 Comments »

A while back Mountain View was hit by a cold front, with cold air that seemed to sink right into your bones and gray, gray skies that would occasionally open up to pour rain down on all the depressed Californians and my balcony. That is probably what inspired me, on a night when I wanted Chinese food, to pull out the soup pot and make a nice, warming hot and sour soup with extra veggies and seasonings. I made what is usually a small starter soup into a main course, serving it with hot, short grained rice sprinkled with black sesame seeds. DH is always happy when we have Chinese food, and we both enjoyed curling up at home, safe from all the unpleasant weather outside, with a nice, warm bowl of Chinese soup.

I have some great college memories of making egg drop soup with a friend of mine who had spent some of her high school years in Taiwan. It was fun to watch plain old egg turn into the strands that defined the dish, but I hadn’t made the recipe since. This hot and sour soup took the best parts of that recipe, and took it up a few notches to make it the satisfying center of our meal. The recipe turned out well, but I think it might be possible to make it even better with a little tweaking. Any suggestions? In the meantime, the next time you’re craving hot, soothing soup- why not take inspiration from a Chinese soup and make it your own? Winter just might seem a little farther away, with the right soup on the table.

hotsoursoup31.jpg hotsoursouphalf.jpg hotsoursoup.jpg

Hot and Sour Ginger Chinese Soup Recipe with tofu and spinach
Soup  Tofu  Chinese  
1 tbsp. peanut oil
One onion, diced
One knob of ginger, grated
3/4 of a small, firm tofu package
4 cups vegetable broth (from scratch or from GF vegetable bullion)
1 handful dried shitake mushrooms
1 cup boiling water, to soak mushrooms
1 can bamboo shoots
1 cup or more fresh spinach, shredded
2 tbsp. GF soy sauce (San-J low sodium)
3-4 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. sugar (or sub 1 tbsp. mirin for one of the tbsp. of rice vinegar)
salt, to taste, and white or black pepper
1 tsp. chili garlic sauce
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp. corn starch
1 tsp. sesame oil
3 spring onions
Soak dried mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain and chop, reserving liquid.

Slice your tofu and press in a kitchen towel for 30 minutes. Cut your tofu into strips. Heat peanut oil in your favorite pan (Cast iron or nonstick), throw in your onion ad cook it it becomes slightly translucent and then move the onion over to another side of the pan, add a little more oil and saute the tofu until golden and crispy on each side, throwing in your grated ginger and eventually mixing the tofu with the cooked onion. Add your four cups of vegetable broth and simmer for fifteen minutes. Finally add bamboo shoots and spinach, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar/mirin, white pepper, chili garlic sauce and the leftover shitake soaking liquid, as well as sliced white part of the green onions. Heat the ingredients until almost boiling. Mix your water and corn starch in a small bowl and then slowly add to your warm broth, stirring and letting broth thicken slightly. Take your beaten raw egg and either pour it through a fork or whisk through the stock so you get strands of egg throughout the broth. Finally add any extra salt or other seasonings to taste, including sliced part of the green onions and dribble toasted sesame oil throughout the soup or in individual serving. Yummy!

It’s best to only add egg to the portion of the soup you will be consuming right away. If you want leftovers, or to freeze some for later, pour whatever you don’t want to eat right away into a bowl to cool and then just drizzle beaten egg in the pot with the soup you plan to eat.
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