Turmeric, miso stew with tofu, tempeh, mushrooms, and potatoes

Sweetened with dates, thickened with flax, and finished with baby kale, this is a rich, spicy stew with lots of strong flavour and colour. If you’re not a turmeric lover, keep the amount low to start.

Ingredients

1/4 cup water
1/2t coarse sea salt
2T scallions, finely chopped (reserve a few inches of green for garnish)
1-3t dried, ground turmeric (to taste — I use 1T)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1t fresh ginger, grated and minced
1/2t dried, ground cumin
1/2t dried marjoram, rubbed
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste — I use about 1/2t)
1 cup cremini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced, about 1/8″
125g extra firm, high quality tofu, 1/3″ cubes
125g tempeh, 1/4″ cubes (use pasteurized)
1 1/2 cups potatoes, 1/3″ dice (I use organic russets)
1/2 cup dried, soft dates, pitted and finely chopped
1T lemon juice
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu, about 2″
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups unsweetened plant milk
3T red miso (or more, to taste)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1T sesame seed butter
2T milled flax seed
3 cups loose baby kale (leave a few leaves for garnish)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: White, yellow, or other shades of miso will work, but they’ll change the final colour. Use freshly grated turmeric (start with 1T) if you have an easy source. Leave out the garlic if you prefer. A little shredded cabbage added with the plant milk and/or a little cilantro for garnish wouldn’t hurt. Add some fresh blueberries to brighten up the flavour.

Method

Warm a large frying pan with a lid on medium heat. Add the water, sea salt and scallion. Water saute for 2 minutes. Add the turmeric, and other herbs and spices. Saute another minute.

Add the mushrooms. Saute for another 2 – 3 minutes. Add the tofu, tempeh, potatoes and dates. Saute another 2 minutes. Add the lemon and deglaze the pan (if necessary).

Add the stock, bring the pan to a light simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Uncover, add the plant milk. Increase heat to medium low.

Simmer another 30 minutes or so uncovered on low heat (as low as you can set it but still simmer) stirring periodically. Remove from heat. Remove the kombu. Add the miso, nutritional yeast, sesame seed butter, flax and kale. Stir to combine.

Let stand 2 minutes to cool. Season to taste. Ladle out into bowls. Garnish with scallion green sliced on an angle and a few scallion greens and serve.

Twice-dressed roasted vegetable, spinach salad

Potatoes, cubanelle peppers, mushrooms, and pears roasted with scallions, chili and garlic, tossed with sundried tomatoes, nutritional yeast and flax, then tossed with baby spinach in a sesame and tamari balsamic vinaigrette.

Ingredients

For the roasted vegetables
2 cups potatoes, 1/2″ dice (I use white grelots and quarter them)
2 cubanelle peppers, cored and seed, sliced 1/4″ length-wise
1/4 cup scallions, finely chopped
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste)
1t herbes de Provence (or similar)
2 cups cremini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
2 bartlett pears, cored, sliced 1/4″ length-wise
1/2T lemon juice
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes rehydrated with 1/4 cup boiling water (use dehydrated, not jarred)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1T milled flax seed
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the spinach
1/2T sesame seed butter
1/2t fresh garlic, minced
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/2T balsamic vinegar
1/2T tamari
1/2t prepared brown mustard
2T water
3 cups loose baby spinach
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the ingredients for the roasted vegetables up to and including the lemon juice. Bake on a lightly oiled or nonstick baking sheet on the middle rack for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the vegetables are lightly browned and the potatoes are fork tender. Ovens vary; use the texture and colour as a guide.

Around the 40 minute mark, rehydrate the tomatoes and set side. When the vegetables are done, remove from heat, pour the tomatoes and their soaking water over the roasted vegetables. Let stand while you prepare the spinach.

Whisk together the dressing for the spinach adding the ingredients in order. Mix until emulsified (shouldn’t take more than a minute or so). Dress the spinach. Season to taste.

Add the flax seed and nutritional yeast to the roasted vegetables and toss to combine. Season to taste. Toss the roasted vegetables with the spinach, let stand 2 – 3 minutes to wilt the spinach, and then serve.

Miso noodle soup with kale and mushrooms

Simple and satisfying with nourishing miso and chewy noodles simmered in the broth. This recipe easily doubles.

Ingredients

For the soup
2T water
1/4t coarse sea salt
1 scallion, minced (2″ – 3″ green reserved for garnish)
75g cremini mushrooms, 1/4″ slices
1/2T lemon juice
1/2T tamari
2 cups water
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 1″)
1-2T red soy miso (to taste)
1 cup green kale, coarsely chopped
Coarse sea salt (or tamari) and black pepper to taste

For the noodles
1/4 cup whole wheat bread flour
2-3T cold water
A pinch sea salt

Optional: Additional sea vegetables will go well in this soup, as would sesame seeds for garnish. Replace the cremini mushrooms with shiitake mushrooms if you prefer. Use white miso or just 1T red miso for something a little more neutral in taste. Add a few drops of toasted sesame oil with the scallions for a little additional flavour.

Method

Make the noodles first, then the soup. Mix the flour, salt and water together until a smooth dough forms. If you need to add extra water, do so a teaspoon at a time. Knead for 3 minutes and set aside in a bowl covered with a warm, moist tea towel. Let rest for at least 10 minutes. Knead another 3 minutes. Return to the bowl for another 10 minutes to rest. Knead another 3 minutes. Return to the bowl for a final 10 minutes.

On a floured board, roll the dough out to a large rectangle, about 1/8″ thick and no less than 9″ long. Using a wheeled pastry cutter, cut 1/4″ noodles, or fold very gently length-wise into thirds (in an S-curve) and cut the noodles with a knife if you prefer. Let the noodles rest while you make the soup.
Bring a large pan with a lid to heat on medium high. Add the water, sea salt, scallions, and mushrooms. Stir fry for 3-5 minutes, or until the pan is starting to brown and the mushrooms are softening. Add the lemon and tamari and deglaze the pan. Stir fry another 2 minutes. Add the water and kombu, and return the pan to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

At the 10 minute mark, add the noodles and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the kale and simmer another two minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 2 minutes to cool. Add the miso and stir to combine. Season to taste. Ladle out, garnish with scallions sliced on an angle, and serve.

Freshly baked garlic, herb bagels

Although it’s the extreme dry heat of a professional oven that makes the absolute best bagels, it’s possible to make a good bagel at home. Many bagels made at corner shops are made with egg wash, honey, or other ingredients. Commercial bagels are often made with micro-ingredients, such as l-cysteine, and they lack the satisfying chew of a freshly baked bagel. This recipe makes half a dozen, but easily shrinks or doubles.

Ingredients

3 cups whole wheat bread flour
A pinch coarse sea salt
1 1/2 – 2 cups warm water
1 1/2T yeast
1/2T green herbs (I use herbes de Provence)
1/2t garlic powder
2 liter water
1T baking soda
1T blackstrap molasses
2T unsweetened plant milk

Optional: There are a lot of variations for bagels. You can braid the dough for something more European. You can make them smaller with a larger hole and sprinkle them sesame seeds for a bagel in the Montreal style. You can also flavour your bagels as you like (e.g., with onion or cinnamon and raising, etc.), but be careful of interrupting the yeast.

For a plain bagel, leave out the garlic and herbs. Unbleached, all purpose flour will give you a bit more fluff (but you made need less water). You can also sprinkle sesame seeds and other toppings toward the end of the baking. You can also change the sweetener, but be careful about changing the pH balance of the water too much — it’s partly what makes the bagel chewy.

Method

Note, to get the fluffiest, chewiest bagels you can, it’s helpful to have a baking stone for this recipe. If you don’t have one, sprinkle a lightly oiled baking sheet with 1/2T coarse yellow corn meal instead. Or, if you have baking paper rated to 450F, use that. You want a hot, dry oven.

It’s also best if you have a pan large enough to boil them all at once. The longer the bagels sit between the boiling and the baking, the longer they lose their heat and the fluff that goes with it. If you have to do the boiling in batches, remove each to a clean, dry cutting board sprinkled with a little corn meal while you do the remainder.

Start by mixing the flour and salt. Mix the water and yeast according to its instructions. Add the wet to the dry and mix until a smooth dough forms. Add additional water as necessary 1 tablespoon at a time. Knead for about 10 minutes. Let the dough rise covered with a warm, moist tea towel for 2 hours, punching down periodically. Roll out on a floured board. Fold in the garlic powder and herbs. Knead for a minute or so.

When the dough is ready, break into 6 equal parts. If you want large, sandwiched sized bagels, break the dough into 4 parts. Roll the dough out to a long thing tube, about 6″ long and 1 1/2″ in diameter, between your palms.

Once rolled, connect both ends of the tube securely into a bagel shape. The size of the hole varies by style. I make mine about 1 1/2″, and I twirl it on my index finger. Repeat until all your bagels are ready. Cover and let rise another 30 minutes or so. Don’t let them over-rise.

In a large pan, bring the water to a light boil. Preheat your oven to 500F (or 450F if your oven doesn’t reach 500F). Add the baking soda and molasses to the water and return to a light boil. Add the bagels, simmering them in the mixture for about 1 minute, turning over and boiling another 30 seconds or so. Remove the bagels from the water with a slotted spoon.

Add your bagels to your baking stone or sheet. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until they are starting to brown lightly (depending on the temperature and whether you use a stone, a baking sheet, etc.). Ovens vary; use the colour and texture of your bagel as a guide.

When the bagels are starting to lightly brown, brush each with a little plant milk. Sprinkle any additional toppings at this point. Bake for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes to an hour before serving. Or, let cool completely and then package up for later.

Black lentil and amaranth soup with sesame and roasted kale

Warm and satisfying, and with the amaranth, a fairly nutrient dense soup. This make a large bowl for 1, small bowls for 2, and easily doubles.

Ingredients

For the soup
3T dried black beluga lentils
3T dried amaranth
2 cups water
1 ‘spring’ kombu (about 1/2″)
1 scallion, minced (1t set aside for garnish)
1T fresh garlic, minced (1/4t reserved for garnish)
1/2t fresh ginger, grated and minced
3T tomato passata (or puree)
1t sriracha
1t prepared brown mustard
1t balsamic vinegar
1/4t black pepper, freshly cracked (or to taste)
1/4t blackstrap molasses
1/2T green herbs (I used herbes de Provence)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the kale
1 cup green curly kale, chopped
1t scallion (as noted above)
A pinch coarse sea salt
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the sesame ribbon
1t sesame seed butter
1/2t lemon juice
1/4t fresh garlic, minced (as noted above)
A pinch coarse sea salt
1t cold water

Optional: Add a tablespoon nutritional yeast to the kale after roasting for some additional flavor and nutrition.

Method

In a medium pan with a lid, bring the water to a light simmer. Add the black lentils and kombu. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer. At the 10 minute mark, add the amaranth.

Simmer until the amaranth has dissolved into the soup (about 20 – 30 minutes). Remove the kombu. Add the remainder of the ingredients for the soup. Stir to combine. Return to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer another 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450F. Toss the kale with the scallion, garlic and sea salt. Roast in a thin layer on a baking sheet or roasting pan for 6-10 minutes until the kale is lightly wilted and a vibrant green. Ovens vary; use the colour and texture of the kale as a guide. When done, remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk together the ingredients for the sesame ribbon in order until the sesame becomes a little fluffy. Set aside until the soup is done.

When everything is ready, season the soup and the kale to taste. Ladle out. Pour the sesame ribbon out in the design of your choice. Add the kale in the center, and serve.

Pillowy, chili-garlic, gluten free potato gnocchi

A simple, gluten free variation of the traditional potato pasta, the tapioca helps keep the softness of the original dish. Shown here with sauteed kale, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, gnocchi goes well with a variety of sauces.

Ingredients

1 large floury potato (about 1 1/2 cups, mashed — I use organic russets)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1t dried basil, rubbed
1/2t dried oregano, rubbed
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste; I use 1/2t)
1/4t black pepper
Up to 1/2 cup tapioca flour (see the note below)
1/4 cup brown rice flour
Coarse sea salt to taste
2 liters water with 2t coarse sea salt for boiling

Optional: Add a couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast to the dough for some additional flavour and nutrition or dust with the nutritional yeast when drained. Traditionally, you would peel the potato once it has cooled, but I don’t. A lot of the fiber and other nutrients are in the skin, the skin provides a lot of the starch, etc. It’s also traditional to add a little nutmeg, but it would be overpowered here.

Method

Boil the potato unpeeled in enough water to cover for about 30 minutes. Drain and chill uncovered in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Puree smooth. Add the herbs, 1/4 cup tapioca, and brown rice flour until a soft dough forms. Add salt to taste (depending on the sauce you’ll use).

Roll out gently into lines about 1/2″ thick and cut into 1″ segments or roll 1T sized bits of dough between your palms for more of a dumpling shape. Lines are more traditional. Decorate each gnocchi with a gentle fork press (striation helps to hold the sauce with the pasta).

In a large pan, bring the 2 liters water and salt to a light boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add the gnocchi and swirl the pan to avoid sticking. Simmer the gnocchi until they float. Don’t overcook. Drain carefully. If you have to leave the gnocchi before saucing, rinse gently but thoroughly with cold water. If not, toss with your sauce and serve!

Note, this makes a soft, light, fairly traditionally textured gnocchi. However, because of the size of the potato, the type, the exact amount of water it absorbs, its age, and how much it dehydrates while cooling, gnocchi often takes a few tries to get the texture you prefer.

If you find your dough doesn’t come together, add more tapioca flour one tablespoon at a time. But start with 1/4 cup. If you’ve never made gnocchi and don’t know from the touch of the dough whether it will hang together, you can also always test one piece and see what the resulting texture is like before committing.

Pepper, tomato and onion stew (lecsó) with black lentils and kale

Inspired by lecscó, my version adds a little nuance with the poblano pepper and rounds the dish out with some kale and black lentils. Shown here with freshly made spätzle (gluten free, plant-only) dusted with nutritional yeast, but fresh bread, roasted or mashed potatoes, rice or similar accompaniments should all go well.

Ingredients

1/3 cup black beluga lentils
3/4 cup water
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 1/2″)
4 scallions, minced (about 1/2 cup)
1/4t coarse sea salt
1 cup red peppers, cored, seeded, 1/3″ dice
1 cup Hungarian peppers, cored, seeded, 1/3″ dice
3/4 cup poblano peppers, cored, seeded, 1/3″ dice
1/2T smoked paprika
1/2T coconut sugar (or a little maple syrup)
1/2T lemon juice
1 cup tomato passata (or puree)
1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 cups green curly kale, stemmed and chopped
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: There are a number of regional variations for lecsó, but tomatoes, onions, and peppers form a common base. Use some fresh tomatoes, slice the peppers and onions in strips rather than dice and use green pepper rather than poblano for a more traditional version. If you do, saute the onions first, add the paprika and sugar and then the rest of the peppers. Lecsó is often stewed. You ca make this dish in a slow cooker if you prefer (just be careful not to overcook the peppers). A tablespoon of cooking oil will also add some richesse to this dish.

Method

Bring the water to a boil in a small pan with a lid. Add the lentils and kombu. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove the kombu and set the lentils aside to cool for 5 minutes, covered.

With the lentils underway, bring a large frying pan to heat on medium high. Add the peppers, scallions and sea salt. Stirfry for 3-5 minutes, or until the peppers are starting to wilt. Reduce heat to medium. Add the paprika and coconut sugar. Saute for 3-5 minutes.

When the pan starts to brown, add the lemon juice and deglaze. Add the passata and stock, and return to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes uncovered or until the passata has been reduced by about 1/3, stirring periodically (but gently).

When ready, add the kale and black lentils. Stir to combine. Let stand 2-3 minutes to cool and to wilt the kale. Season to taste and serve.

Miso soup with tofu, shiitake mushrooms and kale

Simple and nourishing, this makes 4 small bowls or 2 large ones.

Ingredients

1T water
2 scallions, minced about 4″ green reserved for garnish
1 cup shiitake mushroom caps, stemmed and sliced 1/4″
250g tofu, 1/4″ cubes
1T tamari
1T lemon juice
4 cups water
1 ‘spring’ dried kombu, about 1″
2-3T red miso (use low sodium if you can find it)
1 cup green kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
Coarse sea salt to taste
1/2 cup purple carrots, matchsticked

Optional: 1/2t toasted sesame oil add some additional flavour to this dish, and a teaspoon of white sesame seeds will add colour, flavour and nutrition. I often add nori flakes to mine as a garnish as well. White and yellow miso often have a milder flavor than red. Regular orange carrots are also fine for this dish and add a lovely colour contrast.

Method

Bring a medium pan to heat on medium high heat. Add the scallions and water and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the shiitake and tofu stir fry for 2 minutes.
Add the tamari and lemon and deglaze the pan. Stir fry for another 2 minutes or until most of the moisture has been absorbed, the tofu is lightly browning, and the pan is starting to dry again.

Add water and kombu. Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, remove the kombu, add the miso and stir to combine. If you’re new to miso, add 2T to start and add more to taste. Add the kale and stir to combine.

Let stand a minute to wilt the kale lightly. Season to taste. Ladle out. Garnish with scallion greens sliced on an angle and the matchsticked carrots, and serve.

Note, miso ‘tea’ also makes a light, simple snack or breakfast. Bring a cup or so of water to a boil, pour over a 2-3 teaspoons of miso in a mug, and stir until dissolved.

 

Tomato, artichoke drop soup with brown rice and kale

A warm and filling soup. The tapioca binds the artichoke and tofu into a nice, lightly chewy drop dumpling. This makes 4 small bowls or 2 large ones.

Ingredients

For the soup
1/4 cup long-grain brown rice
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups tomato passata (or tomato puree)
1/4 cup scallions, minced, with about 4″ green reserved for garnish
1T garlic
1/2T dried basil, rubbed
1t dried oregano, rubbed
1/2t dried thyme, rubbed
1T lemon juice
1/4t black pepper, freshly ground
2 cups green curly kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2T nutritional yeast
1/2 cup carrots, matchsticked (I use purple carrots)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste.

For the artichokes
120g extra firm, high quality tofu
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/2 cup artichoke hearts (not jarred)
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2t dried ground turmeric
1/2t baking powder
1/4 cup cold water

Optional: Replace the basil, oregano, and thyme with a tablespoon of “Italian herbs” mix or herbes de Provence.


Method

In a large pan with a lid, toast the rice for 2-3 minutes on medium high. Add the stock, return to a simmer, cover reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes until the rice is soft. Add the passata, herbs and spices to the soup. Cover and simmer another 10 minutes.

While the soup finishes, puree the artichoke ingredients until smooth. Uncover the soup and increase the heat to medium to return the soup to a light boil. Scoop about 1T artichoke mixture onto a spoon and drop into the soup. Repeat (quickly) until all of the mixture has been dropped.

Simmer for another 2 minutes (be sure not to overcook). Add the kale and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine. Add the carrots, reserving a few for garnish if you like. Let stand 2 minutes to cool. Season to taste. Ladle out, garnish with scallion green sliced on an angle and serve.

Portobello mushroom, potato and asparagus bowl

With artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, kale and kalamata olives, this is a simple, colourful bowl with a lot of rich flavours. This makes a smaller side dish for 4 or a larger bowl for 2.

<h3>Ingredients</h3>

For the potatoes
2 cups potatoes (quartered minis or 1/2″ dice)
1T tamari
1/2T balsamic vinegar
Coarse sea salt to taste

For the mushrooms and asparagus
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, (dehydrated, not jarred) rehydrated in 1/4 cup boiling water and chopped
2T water
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/4 cup scallions, minced, 4″ reserved for garnish
1T fresh garlic, minced
2 portobello mushrooms, stemmed and sliced, 1/4″
1T lemon juice
1 cup asparagus, cut in 1″ pieces (6-8 stalks)
1 cup artichoke hearts (not jarred), chopped
1 cup packed green curly kale, stemmed, coarsely chopped
2T kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2T nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Stir fry with a little oil rather than water for a richer dish.

<h3>Method</h3>

Start the potatoes, then make the mushrooms. Preheat the oven to 450F. Toss the potatoes in the tamari and vinegar. Roast on the middle rack in a baking sheet or roasting pan until browned and fork tender, turning periodically. Expect about 30 – 40 minutes. Ovens vary; use the texture and colour of the potatoes as a guide. Don’t overcook. Remove from heat when done and set aside.

At about the 20 minute mark, combine the sun-dried tomatoes with the boiling water to rehydrate. At the 30 minute mark, bring a large or wok with a lid to heat on medium high. Add the 2T water, sea salt and scallions and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the garlic and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and stir fry for about 3 minutes, until they start to loose their moisture.

Add the lemon. Toss to combine. Lower heat to medium low, cover and let simmer for 5 minutes. Return heat to medium high. Stir fry until the pan begins to dry (should be 2-3 minutes). Add the asparagus and artichoke hearts. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add the water from the sun-dried tomatoes. Stir fry for another 5 minutes or so until the pan begins to dry again. Add the kale. Stir fry for 1 minute.

Remove from heat. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, potatoes, and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine. Let stand, covered, 2-3 minutes for the potatoes to absorb some of the flavour of the dish. Season to taste. Bowl out, garnish with scallions cut on an angle and serve.