Recipe: Hot-Cold Asian Salad

Don’t forget about the hot sauce discount and the free yoga mat giveaway. Now…

One of my favorite meals is what I call a “hot-cold salad“. It consists of a raw lettuce base and it’s topped with some stir-fry variation. This is the one I made a few nights ago.

Hot-Cold Asian Salad

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1/2 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • handful of alfalfa sprouts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 3 cups sprouts (I think they are soy bean sprouts; I get them in the Asian market)
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1 cup frozen shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce or ponzu sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter OR PB2
  • dressing – hot sauce and hoisin (wish I had Korean red sauce), chipotle ranch dressing
  • base – 1 head of romaine for me; white rice for Bobby

Method

  1. Chop the cucs, tomatoes, and alfalfa sprouts. Set aside.
  2. Heat the peanut oil (other oil is okay, but peanut has a wonderful flavor) over high heat in a wok. Cook the chopped onions for about a minute. Add the soybean sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, red peppers, and cooked shrimp (I use frozen). Saute for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the OJ (optional), soy sauce, and peanut butter. Cook until the OJ evaporates.
  4. Remove from heat and toss in the cucs, tomatoes, and alfalfa sprouts.
  5. Top with any dressing you want (hoisin, Korean red sauce, Chipotle ranch, etc…).
  6. Serve over rice (Bobby) or lettuce (Maggie).

I loved it. So yummy! I ate more of it than Bobby did, and my mom was actually up in the city taking care of us (last week when we were sick) and she tried it too (and liked it a lot).

This hot-cold salad is very good for you – peanut oil is a healthy fat, shrimp are lean protein, tons of veggies provide fiber, and it’s colorful. A trick my old ballet teacher taught me is that in order to eat a balanced diet, eat a variety of colors.

Do you ever make hot-cold salads?

P.S. I’ll give you that update I owe you tomorrow… 🙂

Make A Meal With Side Dishes (Korean)

I adore Korean food. On Sunday I ended up stopping at H-Mart, the Korean market on 32nd Street (it’s in K-town).

At H-Mart I was seduced by pre-made panchan (side dishes; also spelled banchan). I picked up a few of the cheap ones ($1.99 each). First there was an egg pancake thing with some veggies:

Then I got an amazing daikon kimchi. This was slightly sweet and different from any kimchi I’ve ever had. It’s the best kimchi I’ve had though!

I got shredded and pickled daikon too… (A little sweet, a little sour, just right.)

And some steamed (or sauteed?) spinach with sesame seeds and soy sauce. (This is very similar to gomaee, a Japanese spinach dish. My gomaee recipe is here.)

And my other favorite (aside from the cool daikon kimchi) – sprouts! I don’t know how these are prepared but they’re really yum.

I also got a Japanese side dish, takuan (a different pickled daikon). This is one of Bobby’s favorites. We always soak it in water for a little bit before we eat it, otherwise it’s too salty.

We didn’t just have the side dishes though. We took lettuce leaves and filled them with white rice, then added different side dishes for topping, then dipped them in hoisin and hot sauce. I was out of that amazing Korean red sauce, but hoisin+hot sauce worked almost as well. Must remember to pick up the red sauce next time I’m at the store.

They kind of reminded me of the FUSHI I made all the time last summer.

Ahh, yum. I will make that again soon too.

What’s your favorite Korean side dish? Which ones would you want to try?

Souen Again: The Best Dinner Ever

Remember Sunday’s best lunch ever? I went to Souen with Bobby and I loved the food. Well, now I’ve had the Best Dinner Ever. We went to Souen last night (the Union Square location) and it was really awesome (again).

Last time Bobby didn’t like his meal much (I think he ordered the wrong thing), but last night was so different. He started out with a natto roll (fermented soy beans, brown rice, seaweed, and wasabi and ginger) ($4.00).

Then our main dishes came out. I got the Planet Platter ($8.50! great deal), which is very similar to my brunch last week. It’s a huge plate of brown rice, beans, steamed kabocha squash (!), steamed kale, hijiki seaweed, steamed daikon, and steamed carrots.

Ahh, it was heavenly. I got the miso tahini dressing (again). I am a creature of habit, yes. I finished almost all of this at the restaurant; brought home some of the rice for later but caved and had it as a midnight snack.

Bobby got the Chick Pea Croquette (3 pieces of deep-fried chick pea croquette with curry carrot sauce; served with yam and mesclun salad) ($13). It came with veggies and brown rice.

I tried a piece of a croquette at dinner and we took the 3rd croquette home (he was full from the sushi)… which I had with my midnight rice snack. Yum! These were really good but really garlicky – my mouth was so gross this morning, even though I brushed my teeth really well.

I am actually off to Souen again (Soho location this time) to meet a blogger – I have not decided what to get yet. I think the menus are different at each location. I also want to get my nails done today! I haven’t gotten a mani or pedi in ages.

What are you doing this weekend?

Souen Macrobiotic Restaurant: The Best Lunch Ever

This morning after meeting (3rd week in a row!) Bobby and I went to Souen, a macrobiotic restaurant, for brunch. You might remember that I experimented with macrobiotics last year (actually it was just over a year ago this month) and I really enjoyed it. I cultivated my love of kabocha and I learned a lot about how the food we eat impacts the way we feel. Here are some resources:

So today I wanted to try going back to macrobiotics again. I opted for “Brunch A” ($8.50 – well worth it!! Huge portions for me):

  • Kenchin-Tofu Drop Soup: tofu, shiitake, burdock, carrot and watercress in kombu kuzu broth.
  • Corn Bread or Spelt Bread (I got corn bread, duh – with miso tahini dressing)
  • Steamed Vegetables (carrot, daikon, squash and greens)

Bobby got “Brunch B” ($11 – oddly enough this was less food than Brunch A):

  • Yuba: steamed tofu “skin” marinated in kombu-shiitake broth.
  • Mixed Grain of the Day (basmati wild rice)
  • Goma-Ae: steamed special greens with black sesame sauce.
  • Goma Tofu: soy free, creamy and nutty sesame “tofu”.
  • Stewed Vegetables: cooked carrot, gobo, yam cake and lotus root in tamari broth.

I thought this was possibly the best lunch/brunch I have ever had. And there were flowers, soy sauce, and sesame seeds:

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My soup came first. Bobby and I actually swapped soups because we each liked the other’s better.

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The cornbread was really interesting (in a good way) – it was not very sweet at all and tasted healthy (again, in a good way). It came with miso tahini dressing (I finished this dressing and got more – so good). Two related recipes that I made before:

feb 28 2010 007

My veggies came last. The kabocha was ripe and perfectly steamed. The carrots and daikon were also perfectly steamed. Even the kale was delicious! (Sometimes I think it’s boring.)

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Here was Bobby’s spread (clockwise from top left: spinach, rice, tofu skin thing, sesame tofu thing, and soup):

feb 28 2010 009

I thought that Bobby’s gomae (steamed spinach with sesame sauce – I have a recipe here) was really yummy. He thought it tasted a little bit like dirt, but I honestly thought it was great. I also thought his goma tofu (tofu made with sesame) was good, but he didn’t like the texture much. Next time he is getting fish. We’re going to bring his mom here when his family visits in March (!). I think she would appreciate it.

Brunch dessert was a piece of Macasure chocolate. I saw it at Whole Foods yesterday and picked it up. Really good! Bobby liked it too.

macasure_chocolat_bar_angled

I’m gonna end with a mantra that I was contemplating this morning during my hour of silence:

May everyone be happy, well, and peaceful.

How was your weekend?

Ch-ch-ch-changes

I had the most lovely conversation last night with one of my favorite bloggie friends. We chatted and chatted and I walked outside (just up to 70th and back; I live on 60th). Heather and I always have lots to talk about 😉 Like how great kabocha is:

13-kabocha

While I was walking I realized a few things:

  • For one, I really like walking. I think I might be burning myself out a little with all this intenSati.
  • Yes, Equinox and intenSati are awesome…
  • But no, I’m not the kind of person who needs (or wants) that kind of exercise every day, every week, or even every month. I like to walk. I like to yoga.
  • I do love the Equinox showers, but I think I can trade them up for some at-home TLC in the form of some new bath products.

So… I probably will not be joining Equinox at the end of this month’s Warrior Challenge. I will definitely miss EarthRise Yoga (which I went to this morning), but I’ll replace it with podcasts and yoga on my own. (This is my yoga page – full of free recommendations. I’ll be updating this soon! Stay tuned.)

Just because I’m in the city now, that doesn’t mean I can’t make time to cook the food I *really* like. For example, I came up with a lovely lunch today:

  • 2/3 cup (uncooked measure; it gets bigger in the rice cooker) brown rice, lightly salted
  • topped with a few spoons of nutritional yeast (nooch)
  • topped with some organic butter
  • steamed Brussels sprouts and sweet corn

Here is a picture of rice for your viewing pleasure (this is my picture, but it’s not from today and it doesn’t have nooch or butter on it):

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Tonight my brother is coming into the city (he goes to school nearby) and we are going to get dinner at some vegan/vegetarian/raw place (any combination of the 3).

What are YOUR recommendations?