Chinese Cabbage Salad with Orange and Tahini Dressing

I had half of a head of Chinese cabbage left over from another recipe and was looking for something interesting to do with it. I found this recipe for Chinese Cabbage Salad with Orange and Tahini Dressing on page 80 of the Tassajara Cookbook. The recipe was easy enough to make. My only problem was that the tahini clumped and didn’t blend well with the rest of the dressing. I think using a submersion blender would have solved this problem.

I didn’t love this recipe. I liked the combination of cabbage and orange, but the tahini dressing just kind of muted the flavors of the salad. The whole thing was kind of bland and unexciting.

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Green Okonomiyaki

My sister has been raving for years about her okonomiyaki recipe as an easy tasty weeknight dinner. Apparently okonomyaki is a Japanese cabbage pancake. It really never sounded that good to me. But I recently found myself with a bunch of Chinese cabbage so I decided to try making it. Instead of my sister’s recipe, which has high fodmap leeks, I found a New York Times recipe. It was super easy to make, but I didn’t like it. When I made it the way instructed, half the recipe cooked on medium-low for 8 minutes on each side, it came out mushy and uncooked. I added another egg to the second half and cooked a quarter of the recipe at a time. With the extra egg and the thinner pancake, I was able to get it to cook through. But it was way oversalted and basically about as tasty as I thought a cabbage pancake would be. I think I’ll go back to not making okonomiyaki. This one isn’t for me.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1020099-green-okonomiyaki

Rice Cake Soup with Bok Choy and Edamame

I’ve recently started getting the courage to experiment a bit with eating low fodmap beans, after avoiding them for the past 6 months. According to Monash University, people eating low fodmap can actually handle a small serving of edamame. This recipe for rice cake soup with bok choy and edamame was my first foray into eating edamame again. The recipe calls for asian rice cakes, which are squishy and can be found in the refrigerator aisle of Asian grocery stores. Very different than the crunchy American rice cake. I’d never heard of these before, but found them easily enough at my Asian market.

The recipe says that the boiled cakes will make the broth creamy. My broth was a little creamy, but not as much as shown in the picture on the New York times site. I cooked the leek whites in the oil and tossed them out, then used the greens in the soup.

One thing I learned is that these cakes don’t really work if you cook like I do, cook once and eat leftovers all week. The cakes absorbed most of the broth and the next day I no longer had soup. I wasn’t crazy about the flavors in this recipe. Still, this recipe might be a lot better if you use leek whites instead of leek greens, so I’ll reserve judgement. I did like the texture of the cakes. I enjoy gummy foods. If you don’t, these aren’t for you. I’m going to tr yto find another recipe to use the rest of the cakes left in my fridge.

Healthy Carrot Cake Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Carrots and oatmeal are great low fodmap sources of soluble fiber. I was trying to find ways to increase soluble fiber intake and wanted to make a lowfat dessert. These cookies seemed to fit nicely. The recipe is really easy to make. I used a whole egg instead of egg whites.

I liked the cookies when they first came out of the oven, and they were good enough the next day. But as the days went on, I found myself not wanting to eat them. They were too dense, too cakey and not sweet enough. They weren’t terrible, but I won’t make these again.

Tempeh Giardino

Since my only bean intake right now is fermented soy, I’ve been eating a lot of tofu and tempeh. I’ve also had a late summer glut of tomatoes and summer squash and have been pretty low energy as well. So this super simple recipe for tempeh sauteed and cooked with tomatoes and summer squash from Isa Does It, seemed like a perfect choice.

I left out the red pepper flakes since I’m avoiding spicy foods at the moment. Beware, only at the end of the recipe does it tell you to serve over mashed potatoes or polenta. I wasn’t prepared for this and had to rustle up some mashed potatoes at the last minute.

Overall, this was a bit of disappointment. The veggies tasted great. Simple and refreshing. Ian stated them and asked me to make a version without onions or tempeh for him. But frying the tempeh was bland and overpowering. I don’t think I’d make this again, but if I do I’ll experiment with adding a rub or some other seasoning for the tempeh.

Cold Noodles with Tomatoes

It’s cherry tomato season in my garden. So when I saw this recipe in the New York times for a cold noodle soup with oodles of cherry tomatoes, I was intrigued. I added marinated Asian tofu from Veganomicon to add some protein.

The soup was very easy to make, but underwhelming. I didn’t like the flavor of the broth, though I couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong with it. I won’t make this again.

Eggplant Parmesan

I love eggplant Parmesan. I usually make my mother’s vegan version of the recipe. But I felt like trying something new, so I tried a recipe I found on the ny times. I used vegan Parmesan, which worked well. But the recipe had issues. The big issue was that there just wasn’t enough sauce. It calls for 1 28 ounce can of tomatoes. I think it probably needs 1.5x or 2x that. The other issue was that the eggplant didn’t get cooked all the way through, but since my oven is broken, I’m not going to blame the recipe for this. I was able to fix it by pouring tomato sauce over the dish, covering it, and cooking it on the stove until it was cooked through. It made a little mess, but was quite yummy. I honestly think I could make eggplant parmesan without using the oven. And since I really try not to use my oven in he summer, that is quite an appealing prospect. I’m going to try it an report back. I also want to experiment with a gluten free replacement for the breadcrumbs. Lots to try.

Asparagus Frittata

A few weeks back I was getting ready to leave for a trip and needed to use up the asparagus from my garden before I left. I’d be doing a lot to get ready for the trip and didn’t feel like spending a lot of time cooking. Thus, I was intrigued by this quick recipe for an asparagus frittata that called for broiling instead of baking. Alas, in this case you get what you wait for. Speeding up the cooking process under the broiler technically worked, but the result was much less enjoyable than a baked version. The timing on this recipe was a big issue and in order to fully cook the center it was necessary to dry out the top. I can’t imagine cooking for the upper end provided (10 minutes). Even the 8 I used was dubious. It ended up not quite burned, but very dry. The recipe only called for 4 eggs so this was a pretty thin frittata as well, not my preference.

I’d say if you’re in a big pinch you can use the broiler to cook your frittata. But unless you’re in a mealtime crisis, use the regular oven method.

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/trisha-yearwood/asparagus-frittata-2774083

Quick and Easy Braised Tofu (Hongshao Dofu)

I found the instructions for this recipe really confusing. I feel fairly confident that if I had figured out the instructions, the result would have been pretty good. But as I made it I ended up with burned crumbly tofu, mushy vegetables, and little sauce.

The core problem was that the recipe said to turn down the pan to medium while cooking the tofu if it took you more than a minute to flip it all. I did that, but the tofu didn’t actually end up cooked, and then later crumbled once I added the veggies. In trying to compensate for this, I ended up overcooking the veggies. Then I tried to fix it by taking out the veggies and cooking the tofu further, but the tofu burned and all the sauce evaporated.

The flavor wasn’t bad but everything else was a mess. I might try making this again, but I just don’t see how it’s possible for the tofu to fully cook in one minute.

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Casserole

Growing up I didn’t like sweet potatoes. And I don’t like marshmallows. So I’ve never really been into sweet potato casserole. But recently I got some sweet potato casserole at a grocery store hot bar and really enjoyed it. So I thought I’d try making the dish for Thanksgiving. I wanted to make a version without marshmallows and my friend is gluten free. It took my a while to find a recipe with a topping that fit the bill, and this recipe from the New York Times looked like the best option.

But it wasn’t good. It was way way too sweet. The orange juice, which seemed like a good idea, just added more unwanted sweetness. And the brown sugar in the topping was basically like eating candy. We barely ate it.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/331-sweet-potato-casserole