Archive for the ‘grains’ Category

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eight treasure congee (八宝粥)

March 5, 2019

If you want something warm, thick, and comforting – something that will stick to your ribs and keep you full – you’re in the right place. It’s -20F with wind chill here right now, and this was amazing at making me feel better when I got off my bicycle and cuddled up alone under a blanket. It’s like a warm hug from a friend!

•1/2 cup (120 ml) glutinous rice
•2 tablespoons forbidden rice
•2 tablespoons barley (or brown rice)
•2 tablespoons dry red beans (or mung beans)
•1/8 cup (30 ml) raw cashews (or peanuts, or lotus seeds)
•1/8 cup (30 ml) coarsely chopped raw pecans (or walnuts, or chestnuts)
•6 to 10 dried Chinese jujubes (or dried Longan, rinsed) (I used 2 large dates)
•2 tablespoons raisins
•8 to 10 cups of water
•sugar or honey to taste (optional)
•Chinese five-spice powder to taste (optional)

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Soak dry glutinous rice, forbidden rice, barley, dry red beans, peanuts, and pecans in water overnight.

The next morning, add the water into a big pot, boil the water, and then add all ingredients (minus the sweetener).

Lower heat to a simmer. Leave pot open a crack to let some steam out. Stir regularly.

Cook for an hour or so. Add sweetener and serve.

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recipe by Maggie Zhu at Omnivore’s Cookbook and barely adapted by friedsig

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I added the Chinese five-spice powder because I wanted to keep the sugar low. The original calls for 1/4 c rock sugar, but I probably cut it to between a teaspoon and tablespoon of sugar. It was still a bit bland for my taste, so I would say the Chinese five-spice powder is mandatory if you’re cutting the sugar. However, I left five-spice optional in the recipe in case you are making this for someone who is feeling unwell or picky. I think this would be an amazing soft food for someone recovering from nausea, as it’s filling and a complete protein, with no irritating ingredients. Leave a comment and let me know if this helped cure a hangover or some food poisoning!

The original recipe says it’s a special food for a festival. For me, it’s a perfect breakfast and midnight snack. Naturally sweet (from the black rice and nuts,) and filling enough to keep you full for a while. I even had it as a side with dinner! The next night, I drizzled it with honey and had it for dessert! Flexible and healthy. A great porridge that I will definitely be making again.

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soy-cured eggs and rice (tamago kake gohan / tamago no shoyu-zuke)

February 19, 2019

Today, I am sharing one of the breakfasts I eat regularly. It’s one of the fastest and most satisfying breakfasts I know. Pure comfort.

ingredients

fresh or leftover rice
raw egg yolk, or soy-cured egg (see below for recipe)
splash of soy sauce
seaweed flakes, or roasted seaweed (optional)
splash of leftover miso soup (optional)
sesame seeds or Japanese rice seasoning blend (optional)

process

Heat rice. Add rice to bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients on top of the rice and mix til fluffy. Eat.

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soy-cured egg

Soft-boil eggs. Peel. Sit them in a water/soy sauce/sugar for some number of hours. If you want them sooner, heat the marinade before curing eggs. These look beautiful when finished, like a tea egg or other pickled egg.

from rasa malaysia

soy-cured egg yolks

Rest egg yolks in soy sauce/tamari, mirin/sake, and a pinch of sugar for some number of hours. (8? 12? Does it matter? Just depends how strong of a tamari flavor you want.)

from wild greens and sardines

ham dan / salt-cured egg yolks for grating (!)

Rest whole eggs in a blend of salt and sugar. You can add dried onion or garlic for flavor. Ensure yolks are completely covered in the mixture. Chill in fridge for four days, turning often. Brush off excess seasoning and gently dunk into water. Finish curing on your oven’s lowest setting for an hour or two, or in a dehydrator. This method of preserving egg yolks allows them to be kept unrefrigerated for up to a month.

from bon appetit; more info at taste cooking

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tagged “rotation” because I eat this absolutely all the time. Haven’t tried the salt-cured yolks, but the tamari-cured yolks and tamari-cured whole eggs are delicious. A nice way to mix up your savory breakfast routine!

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meatless wild rice and mushroom “meatballs”

February 5, 2019

A long-time quest for the perfect veggie burger or vegetarian meatball recipe led me to vegetarian Swedish meatballs by Pinch of Yum.

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meatballs

2 cups cooked wild rice
1 heaping cup finely chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 eggs
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (can omit salt, since most packaged breadcrumbs are salted – I added around 1/4 t salt and it was still too salty)

The recipe came accompanied with a Swedish meatball sauce. I tried it, and found it really bland. I recommend adding some herbs, which I included here in this adaptation:

2-3 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 teaspoon onion powder and/or garlic powder
2-3 tablespoons flour
enough vegetable broth or chicken stock to thin, ~1 cup
~1/4 – 1/2 c plain yogurt or sour cream, to taste
salt and black pepper to taste
1/8 t sage
1/8 t thyme

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recipe by a pinch of yum and adapted by friedsig

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The gravy is bland – sorry, Sweden! – so kick it up with some herbs or spices if you decide to make it. Otherwise, you might want to serve this with some gravy that has some actual flavor. (Even a decent vegan gravy has more flavor than an unseasoned white gravy!)

My favorite vegan meatballs? I think the winner is still these white bean based vegetarian buffalo “meatballs”. These wild rice “meatballs” have a kind of a meaty bite, since wild rice and mushrooms have a bit of chew to them. However, the buffalo meatballs’ white bean base make them more filling. If you want something that holds together, looks kinda funky, and has a nice chew, you can try these wild rice meatballs. Otherwise, check out buffalo “meatballs”.

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parsnip, mushroom, and barley “stuffing”

September 12, 2018

I was craving stuffing, but trying to cut back on bread and eat more whole grains and veg. Solution? Tried this “parsnip, mushroom, and barley wreath,” with stuffing flavors like sage and nutmeg. My first nut loaf!

I was immediately suspicious of this recipe using a “flax egg” to bind the ingredients. So I made two – a small version held together with the flax egg, and a larger one without. As I suspected, the one with the flax egg was mucilaginous and slimy. It was downright creepy – and to add insult to injury, it didn’t even stay together.

Made a bunch of alterations to the original recipe, which cuts the cost (and sliminess) considerably. I went with hulled barley, which has more of the whole grain, and is therefore chewier and heartier than the white pearled barley you’ve seen in soup. Whole-grain hulled barley requires a lot more flavor than I added. So this recipe is a work in progress. I would add bouillon to stock next time, plus some aromatics like bay leaf or garlic cloves. Mushrooms and parsnips are amazing together – make sure to use a bunch, especially if you’re not using pearled barley – the sweetness will help cut that grain flavor.

Keep in mind that without the flax egg, this is less of a “loaf” and more of a “grain side” – it looks like rice pilaf or fried rice, not a cohesive “loaf”. Experiment with the flax egg if you want, but you’ve been warned…

–adaptation #1–
Prepare barley. If hulled, use way more bouillon than you think you should. Use stock or broth, not water, or it will taste boring. Add aromatics and simmer for an hour.

Separately, roast a half a head of garlic. Start a pan with butter or coconut oil, and add some chopped up parsnip and onion. Caramelize. Add a ton of mushrooms and cook down. Add rosemary, sage, and nutmeg. Turn off heat when completely cooked, and take pan off heat. (optional) Add a handful of hazelnuts and a bunch of grated parmesan or other hard cheese, and stir in.

Grease a loaf pan, ring tin, or casserole dish. Add the mixture. Cook at 400 F (200C/gas 6) til it looks done. Serve garnished with whole pumpkin seeds (or not).

Next time, I will:
– definitely leave out the flax egg
– use way more bouillon in the barley, and maybe some aromatics like garlic or bay leaf, to kill that flat “whole grain” taste
– maybe try some kind of ultra-concentrated flavor, like a stock boiled down with tons of aromatics

Tagged “nope” because I don’t see myself making this again unless I figure out a way to get some more flavor in there. It’s just…. I’ll put it this way: if you love a great whole-grain flavor, and raisin bran tastes exciting to you, this is the recipe for you! Just kidding – this is a great recipe for barley lovers who like a humble, simple, unpretentious nut loaf. For me, though, it’s a nope.

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recipe by Sarah Cook (an appropriate name) for easy cook magazine and bbc food, and adapted by friedsig

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puliyodharai / puliogare (tamarind rice)

December 17, 2017

This rice recipe from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and other parts of southern India, is the perfect fancy vegan dish for your next special occasion. It is a temple dish, offered as prasāda, or an offering to a deity.

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cook a cup of rice as you normally would. use sesame oil instead of butter – about a tablespoon. when it’s done, add a quarter-teaspoon of turmeric and take off the heat.

for the spice blend, toast the following in an ungreased skillet:

dried red chilis (4 if you’re Indian, 3 if you like it very hot, 2 for medium-hot, and 1 for mild)
2 t whole coriander
1 t chana dal or yellow split peas or split chickpeas, and 1 t urad dal or split black dal
1/2 t whole sesame seeds
1/4 t each whole fenugreek and whole black pepper

when golden brown, crush these ingredients in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, along with a pinch of asafoetida if you have it.

set aside this ground spice mixture.

now bust out a big skillet or dutch oven. you will be tempering more spices in here.

heat 3 T sesame oil in the pan. when shimmering and hot, add 1 t urad dal and 1 t black mustard seeds, 1 t chana dal, and 1/4 t peanuts. when golden, add more dry chilis if you like, ten curry leaves, and 1/4 t turmeric. you can add a pinch of asafoetida here if you have it. add tamarind to taste – i used a few spoonfuls of paste mixed with about a cup of water – or you can use 50g of dried tamarind and soak for about a half-hour. salt the mixture. add a pinch of sugar or jaggery if you like. simmer until the mixture reduces a bit and looks saucy. add the ground spice mixture and stir well until it starts to smell incredible. add the cooked rice, stir, and serve.

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based on recipes from veg recipes of india and padhu’s kitchen

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The flavors are unbelievably good. Since it has so much flavor, it’s great served with something a little bland – we had vegan stewed red cabbage with red wine. The sourness of the rice went perfectly with the cabbage. One of my new favorite vegan side dishes!

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lazy leftover fried rice with broccoli

September 8, 2013

Tempted to call for take-out because you don’t have any food in the house? Here’s some Americanized Chinese food for a lazy day!

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Steam broccoli.

In a (separate) frying pan, heat canola oil. fry raw unseasoned meat or meat substitute or mushrooms in it (optional, of course) and set aside.

In same frying pan (no need to rinse it,) fry onions on medium-high, stirring frequently. When translucent, add fresh minced ginger or garlic. When aromatic, add leftover rice. Cook a few minutes.

Re-add the meat or mushrooms, and, if you like, a handful of frozen peas. Remember to stir frequently.

In a bowl, whisk together a fair amount of either tamari, soy sauce, or hoisin if you like it super-sweet. Add peanut or sesame oil, sesame seeds, a little rice wine vinegar, little Sriracha (to taste,) cooking sherry, two drops of fish sauce, and a little miso.

When the broccoli is done steaming, cut it into pieces and throw it into the pan. Crack a few eggs over it and stir immediately. Cook a few minutes.

Pour the liquid evenly over the food while stirring. Cook a few minutes. Eat.

This tastes exactly like Americanized Chinese take-out fried rice. It’s easy to customize – eggplant fried rice, steak fried rice, fish fried rice, whatever you have in the house! A great dinner for those times there’s nothing in the house and you’re tempted to spend money on takeout. This costs almost nothing to make and has big flavor. You can’t go wrong with it – snap peas, carrots, leftover baked potatoes – you can stick any food into fried rice.

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FRIED RICE QUESTIONS

“How come my fried rice doesn’t taste like take-out?”
You won’t like my answer. Restaurants use WAY more oil and sugar than most home cooks would ever dream of.

“Why is it mushy or sticking together?”
Don’t use fresh rice! If you cooked the rice the same day you tried to fry it, that’s your problem. It needs to lose moisture. Make rice, stick it in your fridge, and fry it tomorrow or the next day.
If your rice is leftover, you’re not using enough heat! Kick it up to medium-high, or higher if you have someone to stir it constantly for you while you dump in ingredients. Don’t add anything to the pan until it’s super hot!

“What if I’m totally broke?”
Just go for soy sauce with ginger. Rice wine vinegar is cheap and a great investment, but if limes are cheaper in your area, go for those instead.

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louisiana red beans and rice (+ vegan version)

August 14, 2013

scroll down for a vegan version!

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meaty cajun red beans and rice

1 pound dry kidney beans
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 cups water
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced, or 1 smoked ham hock
4 cups water
2 cups long grain white rice

Rinse beans, and then soak in a large pot of water overnight.
In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, bell pepper, garlic, and celery in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes.
Rinse beans, and transfer to a large pot with 6 cups water. Stir cooked vegetables into beans. Season with bay leaves, cayenne pepper, thyme, sage, parsley, and Cajun seasoning. Add hamhock, if using. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
Stir sausage into beans, and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the rice. In a saucepan, bring water and rice to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve beans over steamed white rice.

modified from here

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vegan louisiana red beans and rice

1 medium onion
1/2 green pepper
2 ribs celery
3 cloves garlic
3 15-ounce cans light red beans (no sugar added), drained and well-rinsed
1 15-ounce can can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt (optional or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 – 1 teaspoon red (cayenne) pepper (to taste)
2 teaspoons hot sauce, plus more to serve
Smoked salt or Liquid Smoke seasoning (optional)
cooked brown rice, to serve

Begin heating a large, non-stick pot over medium-high heat.
Cut the onion into quarters and pulse it in the food processor to mince; add it to the heated pan. Cut the pepper into quarters and chop it finely in the processor; add it to the pan. Cut the celery into 2-inch long pieces and chop it and the garlic in the processor; add it to the pan.
Stir the vegetables well and add 2 tablespoons of water. Cook until soft, about 6-10 minutes.
While the vegetables are cooking, rinse the beans well. Put half of them (1 1/2 cans) into the food processor with half of the can of tomatoes. Process until all the beans are coarsely chopped, just short of pureed.
When the vegetables are soft, stir in the blended beans, remaining whole beans, remaining tomatoes, and all seasonings except smoked salt. Cover tightly, reduce heat to very low, and cook for at least 30 minutes. Stir every 5 or 10 minutes and add water as needed to keep beans moist but not soupy. Like regular red beans, these taste better the longer they cook, so consider 30 minutes the bare minimum and cook them longer if you can, adding water as necessary.
Just before serving, sprinkle with smoked salt or a little Liquid Smoke. Stir well, and serve atop rice with more hot sauce on the table.

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from the fat-free vegan kitchen