Marinated Tofu Cabbage Salad

On a day when my feet were hurting too much to go to the store or spend much time in the kitchen, I found this simple recipe for marinated tofu cabbage salad in my old copy of Diet for a New World. Except for the celery seed, everything in the recipe, which has a very limited list of ingredients, was a already in my kitchen. It came together super fast. The tofu is just marinated and added to the salad uncooked. I was a bit skeptical of this, but it came out really tasty. The soft texture of the tofu actually works really well in the coleslaw like salad. Instead of using all sunflower seeds, I used half sunflower seeds and half pumpkin seeds, which I think added some extra interest to the dish. I halved the oil called for in the recipe and thought there was definitely enough oil in it. Even Ian who adds extra oil to a lot of things I make ate it without any amendment. This is a fantastic weeknight dish. Easy, satisfying, and surprisingly tasty for something so simple.

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Spinach Raita

Raita is one of my all time favorite foods. As a kid my parents used to take me to an Indian buffet, where I would proceed to only eat raita and naan. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the other dishes, but why eat other things when that would just take up precious raita storage space. As an adult I rarely (but not never) eat raita only meals. But adulthood hasn’t dampened my love of the dish at all. Sadly, eating seasonally means no cucumber raita in the winter. So I was intrigued when I found this recipe for spinach raita in Indian Vegetarian Cooking at Your House.

The recipe is described as a seasoned salad with yogurt and spinach, which is accurate. The veggie to yogurt ratio is much heavier on the veggie side than traditional raita. This recipe has about 3/4 cup of liquid to 1 cup of spinach plus extra veggies. I looked up other Palak Raita recipes and found they usually had a one to one ratio of raita to spinach with no extra veggies.

I really enjoyed the spices and the spinach went well with the yogurt. However, I thought the chopped carrots took away from the blended flavor of the dish. Next time I’d leave them out. I might also add an extra 2-3 tbsp of yogurt. Not as good as cucumber raita, but intriguing, healthy, and easy to make. I might make this again with a few tweaks. I’d like to try a different Palak Raita recipe first though.

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.

Rice Cakes with Peanut Sauce and Hoison

I bought a large bag of Asian rice cakes for another recipe, but I only ended up using a third of the bag. While looking for something to do with the remainder, I found this New York times recipe for pan fried rice cakes and bok choy. The recipe is written for cylindrical rice sticks, but says you can slide rice cakes instead. Slicing these rice cakes was awful and took forever. I ended up resorting to a pizza roller after trying a few different knives.

I’m not sure if the rice cake/rice stick swap was the problem, but my dish did not look like the one in the picture. Instead of nicely browned individual rice sticks, the rice sticks kind of merged together and stuck both to each other and the pan. A cast iron pan or nonstick pan is a must for this dish. Instead of making the peanut sauce in the recipe, I just used leftover peanut sauce from gado gado that I had in the freezer.

The recipe had a great flavor and even though the rice cakes turned into a rice cake clump, I enjoyed their chewy texture. I thought the bok choy needed to be cooked for a minute or two longer. I also found the recipe really benefited from chopped peanuts on top to add a bit of crunch. This was unusual, but oddly good. And it seemed to get better with time. I’d make it again, but would try the rice sticks next time.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1022726-rice-cakes-with-peanut-sauce-and-hoisin

Fast One-Pot Low Fodmap Kale Farfalle

I’ve been super busy for the past week and haven’t had much time to cook or menu plan. So I found myself super hungry at dinner time with nothing made. I made this pasta dish with things in my house. It took no more than 20 minutes to make and was pretty tasty for something I just threw together. All the kale made it more filling than most pasta dishes.

12 oz farfalle

1 large bunch of kale

1/4 cup Garlic oil (if you’re not eating low fodmap you can saute 3 cloves garlic in oil instead)

Zest one lemon

2 – 3 tbsp capers

2 – 3 tbsp pine nuts

1.5 – 2 tsp salt plus a couple pinches

1/2 cup grated parmesan

pepper to taste

  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil
  2. While water is coming to a boil, remove stems from the kale and tear into pieces
  3. Once water comes to a boil, add a couple pinches of salt
  4. Add kale and pasta to the pot. Cook on rolling boil for 9 minutes
  5. While the pasta and kale are cooking, Add the rest of the ingredients to your serving bowl.
  6. Before draining the pasta and kale, reserve 1/2 cup water from the pot
  7. Drain the past and kale. Shake well to dry and press to remove extra water.
  8. Add the pasta and kale to the serving bowl, stir to combine.
  9. Add pepper and adjust salt to taste
  10. Add the Parmesan and conserved water, stir well.

Chickpea, Cabbage, and Dill Soup

I’ve recently reintroduced canned chickpeas into my diet. I’ve been so excited to be eating beans again, even in this limited form. I needed to use up cabbage and dill from my garden that I picked before the cold front. I found this recipe for Middle Eastern Chickpea, Cabbage, and Dill Soup on page 313 Madhur Jefrey’s World of East Vegetarian Cooking. The recipe is super simple and I further simplified by using canned goods.

I made quite a few adjustments. I used canned chickpeas and canned tomatoes. The original recipe calls for you to cook pre-soaked chickpeas for 1 hour and then cook all the veggies with the chickpeas for another hour and a half. Instead, I just cooked everything together for 45 minutes. I thought the potatoes were a little too soft. Next time I’d cook for 30 minutes. I left out the onion. Since I didn’t have flavor from the onion, I used vegetable broth instead of water. Instead of a whole tomato and 2 tsp of tomato paste, I used about a can of chopped stewed tomatoes. Here’s my version:

2 can chickpeas

4 cups vegetable broth

1-2 medium sized boiling potato, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 can stewed chopped tomatoes

3/4 cup chopped fresh dill, firmly packed

2 cups cabbage, cut into 1 inch squares

1.5 -2 tsp salt

Black pepper to taste

  1. Put all the ingredients in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, then turn to low and let simmer, covered, for 30 minutes
  3. Adjust salt and add pepper to taste

For something so simple, this was really flavorful and yummy, this was super easy. A really good weeknight recipe on a cold night. Ian liked it a lot too. The dill didn’t really stand out the way I thought it would though. I think next time I’d reserve 1/3 of the dill and add at the end, to see how that affects the flavor.

Easy Taco Slaw

A little while ago Ian and I decided to do an impromptu taco night. I had a bunch of cabbage I’d picked from my garden before the cold front came in, so I decided to make a taco slaw. This recipe seemed pretty easy and looked tasty. It calls for mayonnaise. I had never actually used mayonnaise in a recipe before. Every time I needed it for a recipe, I just used my mom’s awesome vegan mayo recipe. But that recipe requires silken tofu, which is not low fodmap. Ian ran to the store and bought the mayonnaise for me and I was off to make my first ever recipe with real mayonnaise!

I left out the jalapeƱo since I’m avoid spicy foods. Instead of the chopped garlic, I added about a teaspoon of garlic oil. This was super fast to make and really good! Everyone loved it. The flavor was surprisingly delicious for something so simple. I’m going to keep this one in my back pocket for our next taco night.

Easy Taco Slaw | Kitchn (thekitchn.com)

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.

Soy-Braised Tofu with Bok Choy

I had a bunch of bok choy left over from another recipe and was looking for something fast to make for dinner. I found this recipe for soy-braised tofu with bok choy. The recipe says it takes 20 minutes to make. On a hungry weeknight, that sounded perfect to me! I adapted the recipe to make it low fodmap by cooking the garlic and scallion whites first separately in oil and then tossing them out. Because I added this step, the recipe took my closer to 30 minutes, but was still relatively fast and easy. Also, since spicy foods make me sick, I used only 1/4 tsp of doubanjiang (reluctantly since I love doubanjiang). Since doubanjiang is very spicy, the dish still had a bit of a kick to it. If you don’t like spicy foods, but want a little sizzle, definitely cut the doubanjiang in half.

This was very tasty and as easy as billed. The tofu was so good! My main objection was that there wasn’t enough veggies. I’d double the bok choy next time. I might also add some baby corn, since that makes everything better.