KIMCHI BREAKFAST TACOS

KIMCHI TOFU SCRAMBLE TACOS

Now that kimchi has been added to the recipe collection, it's time to experiment with this spicy, tangy mixture. What better way than to add this spiciness to a tofu scramble. Tofu at times can use a little help, kimchi is a perfect addition and will whip that tofu into shape. This is my vegan version of a recipe I saw for a kimchi scramble using eggs. My tofu interpretation came out amazing and I'm very happy with the results. If you're a kimchi lover and tofu appreciator, than I think you'll agree! I first made this recipe using spinach (which tasted great, of course!) but ultimately decided to use kale here as we try to use the most nutrient dense foods possible whenever we can. I loved the kale, it cooks down beautifully adding a nice pop of green to the scramble. I've kept the seasoning super simple, it doesn't need much as the kimchi will shine through. Best to use your most fermented batch of kimchi, the ripened flavors will work best when cooking with kimchi. These tacos can be eaten any time of day. It pairs great with green tea. If having these for lunch or dinner and you're a beer drinker, I think an Asian or Mexican beer would be great too. Beers like Kirin Ichiban, Sapporo, Corona and Dos Esquis are vegan friendly. To see if your favorite beer or alcohol is vegen, check this great guide: Barnivore. Whatever your drink of choice is, you're going to love every bite of these kimchi tacos! 

KIMCHI TOFU SCRAMBLE TACOS
KIMCHI TOFU SCRAMBLE TACOSKIMCHI TOFU SCRAMBLE TACOS
KIMCHI TOFU SCRAMBLE TACOS

All cooked and ready to go. I could eat it just like you see it above...so good! But we're making tacos here, so fill your warmed tortillas (I used corn), you may like to use two if your mixture is very wet. Top with cilantro sprigs, scallions, sesame seeds and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy to the fullest!

KIMCHI TOFU SCRAMBLE TACOS

KIMCHI TOFU SCRAMBLE TACOS


Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil, optional
  • 1 block (14 - 16 oz) organic tofu, firm or extra-firm
  • 4-5 large leaves of kale, center stem removed and julienned
  • 3 scallions, sliced (divided)
  • 1-2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional
  • 1 cup kimchi
  • cilantro sprigs, for garnish
  • sesame seeds (toasted, black or white), for garnish
  • lime wedges, to serve
  • 6 corn or flour tortillas, to serve

Measure out 1 cup kimchi and let come to room temp.

Open and drain tofu. You may like to give it a quick press to remove moisture if not using a vacuum packed brand. 

In a large wok/skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add tofu, crumbling between your fingers, cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 -3 minutes. Turn heat to medium, carefully add tamari and garlic powder, give a good stir. Add kale and 2/3 - 3/4 of the scallions, cook, stirring occasionally until kale becomes soft and wilts, cover partially to help with the process, about 5 - 7 minutes. Lastly, add the nutritional yeast and kimchi, mix and cook just until kimchi has warmed through, about 1 minute or so. We don't want to overcook the kimchi or it will destroy some of the health benefits of the probiotics. 

Heat your tortillas. I like to heat mine carefully over a gas burner until lightly charred in spots. Use your preferred method.

Layer your tortillas with the scramble mixture, add a few sprigs of cilantro, some of the reserved scallions, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a squeeze of lime. 

Serves 3

Notes: 

Use spinach in place of kale.

Use ripened kimchi, the flavors will be more pronounced. You may prefer fresher kimchi, in which case use your favorite.

You may like to chop your kimchi a bit before adding it to the tofu. I kept it as it was but it's an optiona.

Try adding a drizzle of this Garlic Miso Cashew Sauce, or for extra heat try the Dynamite Sauce or Sriracha Cashew Cream. You can control the heat when adding the spice to each of these condiments. 


KIMCHI

KIMCHI...Freshly packed

Welcome to the world of Kimchi! This tangy, spicy dish is a staple in the Korean culture and is typically eaten with every meal. In fact, kimchi is their national dish. Once you become accustomed to its unique characteristics, you may find yourself hooked! Kimchi is a mixture of vegetables and spices that go through a fermentation process, in our case we'll be using cabbage as our base. Fermenting foods have long been known for their health benefits. Foods like kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, miso and tempeh are probiotic powerhouses. The fermenting creates good bacteria which work directly in the gut to balance and regulate a variety of bodily functions. It can help with IBS, boost your immunity, aid in weight loss and even promote better skin. With kimchi being so simple to make, it's easy to add this beneficial mixture to your weekly meal plans. 

My first  experience with kimchi was with a jar I picked up at a local grocery store labeled Pickled Planet. I fell in love with the spicy flavor. I also have an affinity for all the ingredients listed on the jar and set out to make my own using the list as my guide. Basically it's cabbage, apple, green onion, red pepper, salt, garlic & ginger. After researching I found how kimchi recipes vary. I'll be playing around with different versions and sharing my experience here as I do. It's very easy to make and just takes patience to get through the first day or two. In the last couple weeks, I've tried 2 different spice blends, both delicious and noted below. I've also used different style cabbages, all great. I've even added shredded carrots but will save that for another recipe. Kimchi is a new addiction for me. Its spicy, pungent flavor and versatility keeps me coming back for more. If you've never tried kimchi, I hope this will inspire you to get in the kitchen and give it a try, or pick up a ready-made vegan version and enjoy asap! 

KIMCHIKIMCHIKIMCHI

First, quarter your cabbage and slice laterally into 2" chunks. Cabbage will shrink a bit more during the fermentation process so no need to chop it too small. But you may consider slicing the pieces with thick stalks (mainly the pieces towards the bottom), slicing them in half will do fine. Here I used Napa cabbage as it is the most traditionally used cabbage but you can use green or savoy with excellent results, you may even find you like one of these better.

KIMCHIKIMCHIKIMCHIKIMCHI

Next is the soaking of the cabbage in salt water, this will help draw moisture from the plant cells causing the leaves to wilt. Soaking the cabbage in salt water will move the preperation along a lot faster than than other methods used, it is my preferred method. For your salt, stick with using kosher, pickling or other course salts like sea or mineral salts that do not contain iodine. Iodine, with its antimicrobial properties, may interfere with proper fermentation. Place cabbage in a salted water bath, cover with dish and place weighted object on top to submerge the cabbage, let soak for at least 2 hours, up to 12 if you like but I find 2 hours is plenty.

KIMCHIKIMCHI

Puree the apple, onion, ginger and garlic making a sweet and zesty mixture. The sugar from the apple will help in the fermentation while adding a hint of sweetness. You can also use a pear. Some recipes call for a teaspoon or two of sugar in place of the apple (I will save that method for another kimchi recipe). I like the thought of using an apple but if you're in a pinch without an apple in sight, use 2 teaspoons of organic pure cane sugar, coconut sugar or sugar in the raw....just the puriest sugar you can find. You may like to add a bit of water to the mix as well, about 2 - 3 tablespoons. 

KIMCHI

For the spice, you'll want to source out Korean red pepper powder or flakes known as gochugaru. You can find it at Asian grocery stores or online. I just tried this one from Mother In Laws Kimchi Korean red pepper flakes and thought it had an nice flavor. The peppers are not overly spicy, but I do find that the spiciness will intensify as the kimchi ages. I've also replaced the korean red pepper and used a mix of cayenne pepper and sweet Hungarian paprika, using 1 tablespoon each, and it was delicious as well.

KIMCHIKIMCHIKIMCHI

Make your spice mixtures and combine with cabbage and green onions, mix well to coat. Some use their hands (gloves recommended if you do), I used wooden spoons. Pack your mixture into glass jars or containers with a lid, leaving a little room at the top and cover. Check periodically for the next 24 - 36 hours. Move to refrigerator, kimchi will keep for at least a month, maybe 2. 

KIMCHIKimchi

Kimchi can be served a number of ways. It's great as a simple dish with rice, a little cubed tofu would balance the meal out nicely. I have a Kimchi Tofu Scramble Taco recipe coming up next which tastes amazing! You can also be inspired by these tasty recipes: Kimchi Steamed Buns, Brussels Sprout Kimchi Tacos, Kimchi Fried Rice and Kimchi Tofu Summer Rolls. I have a few other ideas in mind as well so stay tuned...

KIMCHI

KIMCHI

Ingredients
  • 1 medium Napa cabbage, about 2 lbs (savoy, green or any combo works too)
  • 1/4 cup kosher, sea salt or other course salt 
  • 6  cups water
  • 3/4 sweet apple (I used fuji), chopped
  • 1/2 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 inch ginger, chopped
  • 1 - 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons Korean chili powder (gochugaru) or 1 tablespoon each cayenne & Hungarian paprika
  • 3 - 4 scallions (green onions), sliced 1 inch

Preparing Cabbage: Quarter cabbage and chop laterally into about 2 inch pieces. Place cabbage in a an extra large bowl or pot. Combine salt with 2 cups of luke warm water, stir to dissolve salt. Pour salt water over the cabbage and add remaining 4 cups, stir to mix. If you can, place a plate or circular baking dish of sorts on top to submerge the cabbage (I used a pie dish), place something with a good amount of weight on top to hold down if necessary (it's not completely necessary but will help to evenly wilt the cabbage). Give cabbage a good mix every now and then. Let set for 2 hours, up to 12 if you like. I found that 2 - 4 hours was enough and didn't see much change between the two times.

Make your seasonings: While cabbage is soaking, combine apple, onion, ginger and garlic in food processor/blender and process until fairly smooth.

In a small bowl, mix the chili pepper with a small amount of water to make a wet paste. You can just as easily blend it with the apple/onion mixture adding a couple tablespoons of water as well.

Mix everything together: Once cabbage is ready, drain water, reserving 1/2 cup, and rinse well. Place cabbage back in large bowl, combine with the scallions, apple/onion mixture and chili paste. Mix well to coat all pieces. Either use your hands (with gloves on pref to protect from the chili pepper) or simply use wooden spoons to toss everything.

Packing: Place the kimchi in glass jars or containers with lid, pack down the best you can to close air pockets and leave about an inch at the top for air and gases. Top with remaining juices, add reserved brine if needed to cover vegetables.

Fermenting: Let kimchi set at room temp (or in a cool place like a pantry or closet if weather is extremely warm) for 24 - 36 hours. After 24 hours, open kimchi and pack the mixture down with a spoon (the cabbage will have likely shrunk and you'll have more liquids). You may notice it bubbling, this is perfectly normal as the kimchi is fermenting. As your kimchi ferments the flavors will develop, taste every 24 hours and place kimchi in the refrigerator once you're happy with the taste and to slow fermentation, usually after 48 - 36 hours. It should be tangy, spicy and slightly sweet. After moving to the fridge, it's best used within a month, maybe two.

Makes about 3 - 4 cups.

Notes:

Practice makes perfect with kimchi. You may find you like it more or less spicy. After a few tries you'll find the perfect mix to suit your taste. Also, how fermented you like your kimchi will take practice as well. The weather will also play a role in how fast/slow your mixture will ferment. Higher temperatures will progress fermentation while cooler will slow it down.

If you're in a pinch without an apple in sight, use 2 teaspoons of organic pure cane sugar, coconut sugar or sugar in the raw....just the puriest sugar you can find. You may like to add a bit of water to the mix as well, about 2 - 3 tablespoons. 

You can also enjoy kimchi fresh right after you mix it and store it straight in the fridge. You may like to experiment by putting half the recipe in the fridge and the other half in the pantry to ferment & sour to see which flavor is your favorite.

Optional ingredients for color and variation: carrots and/or daikon radish (grated or julienned), about a 1/2 cup of each. If using these, add to cabbage when mixing scallions and wet mixtures together.

If using savoy or green cabbage, quarter cabbage, remove core and roughly slice.

If you don't have glass jars, plastic containers with lids will work just as well. If you have too much room, more than and inch, place plastic wrap over top but sinking it close to the surface of the kimchi and cover with lid.


I'd love to see your noms...
#thesimpleveganista


RUSTIC CABBAGE, POTATO & WHITE BEAN SOUP

RUSTIC CABBAGE, POTATO & WHITE BEAN SOUP

Wondering what to do with a half head of cabbage and potatoes I had sitting around brought about this hearty soup. It's brimming with vegetables, white beans and spices and is enough to feed a small crowd. Add some socca or crusty bread to the meal and you're all set. The socca I made here was seasoned simply with salt & pepper and can be whipped up while the soup is cooking. It's a nice accompaniment, not so much of a soaking bread like crusty bread, but delicious and filling. The soup in itself makes for a complete, nutritious meal with the beans adding a good amount of protein. I used leeks in this recipe, they lend a nice mellow onion flavor, but you can sub in an onion if you like. This turned out to be a great place to use up the leftover produce. I love cabbage in soups, this will be made many times to come. I'm happy to share another hearty soup for the recipe collection to inspire your senses, keeping you plant strong and loving it! 

RUSTIC CABBAGE, POTATO & WHITE BEAN SOUP

Feel free to change up the vegetables. If you're missing one or two, you can still pull this together and have a wonderful soup. If you can't find leeks, use 1 medium onion, diced, in its place. For the cabbage, use your favorite here. I happen to have regular green cabbage on hand but savoy cabbage would be great too. 

RUSTIC CABBAGE, POTATO & WHITE BEAN SOUP

For this time around I chose to use herbes de provence. I love the combination of spices, especially the fennel that I find in this blend from The Spice Hunter. I also added in a teaspoon of fennel here because I love it. Feel free to use any spices you like as most of them will work well here. You can use 2 - 3 teaspoons of an Italian blend or combine a few herbs using 1 teaspoon each: thyme, oregano, rosemary. You can also use sage, marjoram or parsley, savory, etc...in any combination as long it equals about 1 tablespoon. 

When using Better Than Bouillon vegetable broth base, I never use the recommended serving size. I use just enough to flavor the water. For this recipe I used just under 2 teaspoons. This makes my jar last a lot longer and reduces the 'would be' sodium content per recipe. I've just recently (the last six months or so) been using their vegetable broth base and love it!

RUSTIC CABBAGE, POTATO & WHITE BEAN SOUPRUSTIC CABBAGE, POTATO & WHITE BEAN SOUP

This is a one pot soup that's so easy to pull together. Saute the leeks, celery and carrots, add spices and garlic, cook a bit more. Add remaining ingredients ending with cabbage and white beans last as pictured above. Cover and simmer until cabbage and potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Serve with bread of choice. Enjoy often!

RUSTIC CABBAGE, POTATO & WHITE BEAN SOUP

RUSTIC CABBAGE, POTATO & WHITE BEAN SOUP


Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup water or 2 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil (for sauteing)
  • 2 leeks (use white & pale green parts), sliced and rinsed 
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence OR 1 teaspoon each thyme, rosemary, oregano
  • 1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes 
  • 6 - 7 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 2 medium gold potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 head large cabbage, sliced (savoy or green)
  • 3 cups cooked white beans or 2 cans (15oz), drained and rinsed (use cannellini, great northern or navy) 
  • mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley, to garnish

Prepare your vegetables. After slicing your leeks, be sure to place them in a colander and rinse them well under cool running water to remove any dirt and sand that may have collected between the leaf sheaths. If there's a lot of dirt, place sliced leeks in a bowl of cool water and gently swish the leeks around to dislodge any unwanted remnants. Drain water by gently tilting the bowl with one hand and holding your hand over the leeks with the other so they don't fall out, or simply drain into a colander. Repeat until leeks are clear of dirt and sand. Here is a good tutorial from, The Kitchn, on how to wash and prep your leeks. Lastly, another method you may try is this: Slice off the root and the dark green parts. Slice in half vertically. Run under cold running water, opening up the layers as you rinse. Lay on flat surface and slice thinly hortizontally. 

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat water/oil over medium to medium-high heat, add leeks, carrots and celery, saute for 5 minutes. Smells delicious already! Add garlic and spices, saute for 1 minute more or until fragrant. Add tomatoes, broth, potatoes, cabbage and beans, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, until potatoes and cabbage are tender. Taste for seasoning adding salt & pepper as needed. 

Serve topped with parsley and a serving of socca or crusty bread. Enjoy!

Serves 6 - 8.

Notes: 

As noted above, change the herbs to whatever you have on hand. You could also use an Italian blend seasoning if you like. I also like to add in a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

I would suggest using the biggest pot you have for ease, this makes quite a bit of soup.

If leeks are not available, sub in 1 medium onion, diced.

SOCCA (FARINATA)

SOCCA

With cooler weather coming soon, I thought this was a good time to introduce socca to the recipe collection. If you're not familiar with socca, it's a quick, simple and savory flatbread made with chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour making it gluten free and good source of protein and fiber. It's a popular dish in and around the area of Nice, France and province of Genoa, Italy. In Italy, where it originated, it's referred to as farinata. Depending on your geographical location, you will find this flatbread served various ways using the same batter base of one part flour to water plus salt and oil. Typically this flatbread is served with a few herbs and spices and eaten with the hands. It can be eaten as is (torn apart or sliced), served with condiments or served topped with various ingredients. It pairs well with soups, salads, a side of hummus or harissa and as meal topped or stuffed (like crepes) with different ingredients of choice. There really are many variations of chickpea flatbread and I'll be happy to experiment in the future with some of the techniques and styles of serving socca. You may already be familiar with the Savory Chickpea Pancake which is another way to use chickpea flour. It's made like a pancake with vegetables of choice mixed right into the batter. Really so delicious and can be served any time of day...a must try as well!

SOCCASOCCA

You can prepare your socca with just salt and pepper for seasoning or for added flavor you can add a smidgen of various spices like thyme, rosemary, cumin, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, zaatar, etc. There are no rules to the spices, simply use what you love or will pair well with the accompanied dish. Today I added red pepper flakes for a little heat along with a dash of cumin and garlic powder. I tore my socca apart and ate it with a side of hummus. A simple and satisfying snack!

SOCCA

In this recipe I've used a cast iron skillet but you can use any flat, shallow and oven-safe baking dish you have on hand. Once your socca is done, gently lift edges with a spatula, pull apart, or slice, and enjoy hot or warm! 

SOCCA

SOCCA

Ingredients
  • 1 cup garbanzo bean flour (aka: besan)
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + more for pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon mineral salt

optional add-ins for variation:
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary or thyme
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • chopped basil
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • sliced shallots

In a medium size mixing bowl, add flour, water, oil and salt. Whisk until smooth, cover and let set for at least 15 minutes, up to 12 hours, covered, on the counter or overnight in the fridge.

Heat oven to 450 degrees F.

Place a well seasoned skillet on the middle rack while oven is heating (we want it to get nice and hot). Once oven is ready, carefully remove skillet, add 2 tablespoons oil and carefully twirl skillet so the oil coats the bottom evenly. Add batter and place back in the oven for 12—15 minutes, until golden on the edges and firm throughout. Once done you may like to add a more golden and rustic look, turn broiler to high, place skillet under broiler for about 2 minutes, until top starts to golden a bit.

Remove pan, let cool a few minutes, using a spatula gently push under and around the sides of the flatbread. Tip skillet to remove socca bread or carefully flip skillet over to remove. Cut into slices or pull apart and eat. Socca is best eaten right away.

Notes:

Using a 12 inch skillet, pan or baking dish will give you a thinner bread, while a 10 or 8 inch skillet will give you a slightly thicker bread. The one I have shown here is a 10 inch, bread was about 1/4 inch thick.

If you don't have an iron skillet, you can use any flat, shallow oven-safe baking dish.

Chickpea flour (aka: garbanzo bean flour or besan) can be found on-line, at most health conscious stores and at Indian and Middle Eastern markets.


SUGAR SNAP PEA & SOBA NOODLE BOWL + MISO SAUCE

SUGAR SNAP PEA & SOBA NOODLE BOWL + MISO SAUCESUGAR SNAP PEA & SOBA NOODLE BOWL + MISO SAUCESUGAR SNAP PEA & SOBA NOODLE BOWL + MISO SAUCE

Soba noodles have become a favorite of mine. I love the 100% buckwheat noodles from Eden FoodsThey have a nutty flavor with a somewhat chewy texture. Each serving contains 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. I love that they can be served warm or cold making them a versatile noodle choice. They are gluten free using only buckwheat flour, unlike other brands of soba noodles which use a combination of wheat and buckwheat flours. They tend to be a bit more expensive than the mixed flour soba noodles. I happen to see these noodles as a tradeoff for the more expensive items that I don't purchase anymore such as meat, poultry and dairy. Keeping that in mind, the extra expense doesn't bother me. I hope you may have the same perspective as I do when picking and choosing your plant based grocery items.

The addition of sugar snap peas add a perfect dose of sweetness and crunch to the soba noodles. I love sugar snap peas and have them often dipping them in hummus and eating as is. In this recipe we will be adding the pods to the soba noodles half way through as they cook to soften them a bit and bring out their greenest green. 

SUGAR SNAP PEA & SOBA NOODLE BOWL + MISO SAUCE
SUGAR SNAP PEA & SOBA NOODLE BOWL + MISO SAUCESUGAR SNAP PEA & SOBA NOODLE BOWL + MISO SAUCE

Miso is another great addition to your healthy eating habits. With a few additional ingredients it makes for an easy and flavorful dressing for the noodles and sweet peas. A tub of miso will last up to 9 months + in the refrigerator and can be used for soups, dressing/dips and adding richness to vegan cheeses and sauces. It will go a long way in your kitchen and is a great staple ingredient to have on hand.

This is a very easy meal to throw together and will be ready in about 25 minutes or less. I originally planned on having cubed tofu in this recipe but in the end forgot to add it in for this set of pictures. Feel free to add in a serving of tofu (as per the notes). With or without tofu, enjoy this simple, wholesome and delicious meal! 

SUGAR SNAP PEA & SOBA NOODLE BOWL + MISO SAUCE

SUGAR SNAP PEA & SOBA NOODLE BOWL+ MISO SAUCE

Ingredients
  • 1 package (9oz.) soba noodles
  • 8 oz. sugar snap peas
  • 2-3 scallions (green onions), sliced, to garnish
  • toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
  • handful cilantro sprigs, to serve
  • lime wedges, to serve

Miso Sauce
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons mellow miso paste (white miso)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 
  • 3 tablespoons water, + more as needed to thin
  • 1 inch knob of ginger, grated or minced
  • juice of 1 lime (about 1 tablespoon)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes

In a small bowl, mix the miso sauce ingredients together, set aside.

Fill a large pot just under 1/2 full of water, bring to a boil, add a pinch of salt and soba noodles, cook 4 minutes. If using 100% soba noodles, careful to watch the water after 2 minutes or so, it will start to become foamy and bubble over...turn the heat to medium and back up again as needed to keep the water at a boil but not boiling over.

2-3 minutes before noodles are done according to package directions, add sugar snap peas to the noodles and continue cooking until noodles are done. Drain and rinse noodles and peas under cool running water.

Add noodles/peas back to the pot they were cooked in, add sauce and gently toss to coat. Serve in individual bowls with sliced scallions, sesame seeds, cilantro and lime wedges to squeeze over top.

Serves 2

Notes:

If your sugar snap peas are on the larger side, slice them diagonally in the center to make them easier to eat.

Add in a serving or two of cubed tofu for extra protein if you like...either baked, pan cooked until golden or simply diced from the package. You may even like to add in a serving or so of edamame.

If you have soy allergies, try using other miso's which don't contain soy such as chickpea miso. 


BLACK RICE SUSHI BOWL + DYNAMITE SAUCE

BLACK RICE SUSHI BOWL + DYNAMITE SAUCE

Sushi roll, in a bowl!

Black Rice

I've had a bag of black rice in my pantry for far too long. It's one of those items I use on occasion and thought it would be perfect for this a sushi dish. Black rice (aka purple, fortune, Emperor's or forbidden rice) is highly nutritious and a grain that we could all benefit from adding to our meal rotation. It's slightly more nutritious than brown rice and can be used in place of other colored rices, even in dessert recipes. Its main attribution over brown rice is the concentration of anthocyanin anti-oxidants in its dark color. The power of these anti-oxidants can be compared to that of blueberries and other dark colored fruits and vegetables. Its flavor and texture is about the same as brown rice and the nutritional profile is similar as well. After having it here, I can see myself grabbing for the black rice more often...its nutty texture and softly sweet undertone is delicious!

BLACK RICE SUSHI BOWL + DYNAMITE SAUCE

Sometimes it's just easier to throw your sushi ingredients into a bowl, which was just the case for me here. I started out by attempting to make sushi rolls. My knives were not sharp enough making it hard to cut the roll properly. I ended up simply eating it as a hand roll and decided to create a sushi bowl to share with you. I'll sharpen my knives and save the sushi roll for later. I kept the vegetables simple but you can make your sushi bowl your own by changing up the vegetables to whatever you have accessible in your area or on hand. Use julienned bell peppers, enoki mushrooms or pan seared sliced shitake mushrooms, shredded purple or green cabbage, pea shoots, etc. Add in some cubed tofu or edamame for added protein. Whatever vegetables you use, the creamy spicy sauce will finish it off and make it all come together beautifully!  I've been into creamy sauces lately, they're something so satisfying to me, and this was another dressing that hit the spot. As well as being so simple to put together, the dressing can double as a dip or dressing making it versatile. Altogether, this is an easy to throw together sushi bowl that you can enjoy whenever the craving strikes!

BLACK RICE SUSHI BOWL + DYNAMITE SAUCE

BLACK RICE SUSHI BOWL + DYNAMITE SAUCE

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup black rice 
  • just under 1 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 1 - 2 carrots, julienned
  • 1/2 cucumber, julienned
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts, or sprouts of choice
  • 3 radishes, sliced
  • nori sheet, cut into strips
  • sesame seeds, to garnish

Dynamite Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) tahini
  • 6-7 tablespoons water
  • juice of 1/2 small lemon or splash of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 - 3 teaspoons sriracha, sambal oelek or chili garlic (or your favorite hot sauce)
  • pinch of salt

Rinse rice well under cool running water using a fine mesh sieve. In a small sauce pan, bring rice and water to a boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 25 minutes without disturbing. When done remove lid and let rest about 10 minutes, fluff with fork. Please check your package for cooking directions just in case, this was mine.

In a small bowl, mix all the dressing ingredients together, cover and set aside. Add more water to thin your dressing, add more tahini to make it thicker.

To serve, add 1/2 of the rice (about 1/2 cup) into your serving dish and arrange the prepared vegetables over top or to the side. Drizzle with dynamite sauce and add a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Enjoy your deconstructed sushi bowl in all its creamy gloriousness!

Serves 2.

Notes: 

If you don't have tahini on hand, use any vegan mayo of choice, about 1/2 cup + a tablespoon or so of water to thin if needed. Omit the lemon/vinegar juice.

Change up the vegetables using colored bell peppers, pan seared julienned shitake mushrooms, shredded purple or green cabbage,  peas shoots, etc. 

Add in some cubed tofu or edamame for added protein.


I'd love to see what you've created!
#thesimpleveganista


BLACK BEAN, BROCCOLI & AVOCADO SALAD + CUMIN LIME TAHINI DRESSING

BLACK BEAN, BROCCOLI & AVOCADO SALAD + CUMIN LIME TAHINI DRESSING

Hello September! The weather here is still in the upper 90's so I have another salad to share with you. Not much cooking going on here. I've been opting for throw together salads that meet my needs and keep me coming back for more. The inspiration for this salad came about by a recent visit to El Pollo Loco, a local fast food chain. I'm the only vegan in the house and can usually find suitable meals for myself when dining out. Fast food is a little more difficult than sit down dining but I can rework a menu item most of the time. In this case, I ordered their Avocado Salad, omitting the cheese and replacing the chicken with extra black beans (it already came with some). Instead of using their dairy based creamy cilantro dressing, I ordered a couple extra sides of pico de gallo and had myself a great meal. I enjoyed it enough that I wanted to recreate it at home using a creamy cumin lime tahini dressing and it's really quite wonderful! I love the tender steamed broccoli and the creaminess the avocado adds along with the cool crisp romaine lettuce. Black beans complete the salad adding a nice dose of protein. I used my beans at room temperature but you can heat them if you prefer. The salad is easy to throw together and is full of great flavor and texture. A great lunch or dinner salad that's nutrient dense and will fill you up perfectly!

BLACK BEAN, BROCCOLI & AVOCADO SALAD + CUMIN LIME TAHINI DRESSINGBLACK BEAN, BROCCOLI & AVOCADO SALAD + CUMIN LIME TAHINI DRESSING
BLACK BEAN, BROCCOLI & AVOCADO SALAD + CUMIN LIME TAHINI DRESSING

Need a salad inspiration, this is it!

BLACK BEAN, BROCCOLI & AVOCADO SALAD + CUMIN LIME TAHINI DRESSING

BLACK BEAN, BROCCOLI & AVOCADO SALAD + CUMIN LIME TAHINI DRESSING

Ingredients
  • 2 romaine hearts, chopped
  • 1 can (15oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cup broccoli florets, steamed
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/3 cup pico de gallo
  • cilantro sprigs
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, sliced and most seeds removed

Dressing
  • 3 heaping tablespoons tahini
  • 1/3 cup water
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin 
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro

In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients, except for the cilantro. Use a tad more water as needed to thin. If dressing is too thin, add more tahini. Once blended to your liking, taste for flavor, stir in cilantro and set aside.

Steam your broccoli just until al dente and bright green using a bamboo steamer, double broiler or preferred method.

Add romaine to your serving dishes, top with black beans, broccoli, avocado, pico de gallo, a few sprigs cilantro and slices of chili peppers. Top with dressing and enjoy!

Serves 2.

Notes:

This is a great place to add a sprinkle of seeds. Try using pepito's (pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds or hemp hearts.

If you don't have tahini on hand, try using extra pico de gallo and a squeeze of lime. I find it works great! You may even opt to use a dollop of hummus.

Use spinach or any leafy green of choice.