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.
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.
Vegan Miso Marinated “Scallops”
I love mushrooms. But oysters are the only mushrooms that have been tested and deemed low fodmap by Monash University. So I haven’t had mushroom since last spring. I was at my local Asian market and was excited to see they were selling king oyster mushrooms. I had no idea what to do with them, but bought them anyways. When I got home and started searching online, I was surprised to find there weren’t a ton of king oyster recipes available. One thing I did see in several places were recipes that used king oysters as a substitute for scallops. This seemed intriguing. I made this recipe, but only the marinated scallops not the accompanying garlic sauce.
I liked but didn’t love the flavor and texture of these. I don’t imagine they’re anything like actual scallops. I just left them marinating in the fridge and then sauteed them as I wanted to eat them. I ate them over paella, which was a nice combo. Although I think risotto might have been better. I think they probably would have been even tastier with the garlic butter sauce, maybe I’ll try making that at some point.
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
- Put all the ingredients in a large pot.
- Bring to a boil, then turn to low and let simmer, covered, for 30 minutes
- 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.
I’ve been wanting to try making congee for a while now. Simple and soothing, sounds good to me. I was intrigued by this recipe in the New York times for butternut squash congee with chile oil. I couldn’t use butternut squash since it’s high fodmap, so I used acorn squash instead. Maybe acorn squash is way more watery than butternut? Because the congee came out super watery. I’ve never had it before, but I can’t imagine that was the intended consistency. This wasn’t bad, but I do think the butternut would have made for a richer, sweeter porridge. I also didn’t add the chile oil because I’m avoiding spicy foods. I’m sure that would have made it more flavorful as well. This was alright, but I wasn’t jumping to eat the leftovers. Not sure if I’ll try making congee again. Time will tell.
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.
Basic Vinegar Coleslaw
This is my basic vinegar coleslaw recipe. It’s inspired by the coleslaw my mom made when I was growing up, but the proportions are my own.
1/2 head cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp sugar
Add mixture to cabbage, stir well. Let sit for at least 3 hours before serving (ideally at least 8).
Cilantro Walnut Tapenade
Ian made this one night as a sauce for shrimp. I only got to taste the residue on the bowl he made it in, but I was hooked. So he made it again for me, this time putting on an egg scramble. Oh my gosh is it good. We spent a long time trying to figure out what to call it, and finally settled on tapenade, which still isn’t quite right but is the best option we found. Put it on tofu, put it on eggs, put it on pita. It doesn’t matter. It will be delicious. Just remember it has like a gallon of oil, so control yourself.
In a bowl combine:
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2/3 cup diced chives
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup diced walnuts
5 roma small tomatoes diced
2/3 cup diced chives
1/2 cup diced walnuts
5 cherry tomatoes diced
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
Salt to taste
This is my mom’s recipe for baked tofu with a flour exterior. It’s a staple in my family home, easy to make, and very satisfying. There is an ongoing debate between my mom and sister about how much salt is appropriate. I like them with 1.5 tsp salt. If you want to make these even faster, you can double the flour mixture and set aside half for the next time you make them. I find 1.5 recipe gets me through the whole week (7 meals for one person). I usually make coleslaw alongside these. A tried and true favorite. Just make sure you shake off the extra flour after dipping or you’ll end up with a coating that doesn’t stick and is too thick. I left off the garlic powder to make them low fodmap and they were fine without. I just used 3 tsp of parsley flakes instead of 2 to compensate.