Strong Arms for Kids

 
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Random Ishigaki Photo - I felt like this post needed, at least one photo
I have been doing quite a bit of cooking since I have been home in NY.  I am back staying with my parents, temporarily, and since they eat meat on a pretty regular basis, I, usually, make my own meals (which I really don't have  a problem doing).  I have made some pretty good recipes, but, unfortunately, I haven't gotten around to digging out my camera before digging into my meal.  Besides, my parents think I am weird enough, as is, if I start documenting all my meals on film before eating I don't know what they would think.  I will ease them in slowly and soon enough start taking photos of all my creations again.  But here are some recipes to enjoy in the meantime.  My apologies for the lack of photos.


Wild Rice and Butternut Squash
    
This was adapted from a recipe from Vegetarian Times Magazine.  Its pretty easy to make and so good for you.
  It can be eaten either hot or cold.  I enjoyed it both ways.

Ingredient List

Serves 8

·      2 Tbs. olive oil

·      1 medium-size onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

·      3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbs.)

·      1 16-oz. pkg. cooked wild rice, or 3 cups cooked wild rice

·      1 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

·      1 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

·      bunch of kale, chopped

·      1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

·      1 Tbs. dried oregano

·      1 tsp. ground cumin

·      1/2 tsp. salt

·      1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

·      pepitas

Directions ·      Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until translucent. Stir in garlic, and cook 1 minute more, or until fragrant.

·      Stir in wild rice, squash, beans, kale, mustard, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper and 11/2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil.

·      Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Add in pepitas.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.




Thai Lemongrass Tofu
        This dish was also adapted from a recipe I found on the Vegetarian Times website.  This came out really well.  It was actually my first time using fresh lemongrass stalks and it made a huge difference, I reckon.  You can use lemon in place of lemongrass but the lemongrass makes it so much tastier.

Ingredient List

Serves 4

·      16 oz. extra-firm tofu

   1 eggplant, diced in 1 inch pieces


·      1 stick lemongrass, peeled and chopped

·      1 shallot, finely chopped

·      2 tsp. minced fresh ginger

·      1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce

·      1/3 cup fresh lime juice

·      1/4 cup light brown sugar

·      1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil

·      5 green onions

·      1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves

·      1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped

Directions ·      Drain tofu between 2 cutting boards set on angle over sink, 1 hour. Cut into 16 cubes.


    Prepare the eggplants in similar shaped cubes to the tofu.


·      Purée lemongrass, shallot, and ginger to paste in food processor. Whisk together soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, sesame oil, and 2 Tbs. water in bowl. Transfer half of soy sauce mixture to bowl for dipping sauce. Add lemongrass mixture to remaining soy sauce mixture.

·      Toss together tofu, eggplant and lemongrass–soy sauce mixture, and marinate 30 minutes.

·        Heat some oil in a pan, saute the tofu and eggplant until the eggplant is completely cooked and the tofu in brown on both sides.  Plate on top of rice and add some of the extra sauce on top.  Then  top with chopped peanuts, mint and green onions.  You can also make little lettuce wraps by wrapping  all the ingredients in prepared lettuce leaves. 


 


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