Posts Tagged ‘soft foods’

h1

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)

+

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.

+

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

+

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.

Advertisements
h1

sweet potato julius (orange creamsicle smoothie)

February 25, 2019

1 cup almond milk or other milk
1 medium sweet potato, baked whole
2 medium oranges, peeled
1 Medjool date, or more to taste, pitted
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Dash of sea salt
Dash of ground cinnamon

blend everything on a high/smoothie setting; serve with ice

+

recipe adapted by friedsig from mckel hill via epicurious

+

Much closer to liquid sweet potato pie than an orange julius. This recipe was definitely strange. I used the one orange the recipe called for, but the sweet potato flavor far overwhelmed the orange flavor. Next time, I’ll use 2 oranges. The recipe called for 1 t vanilla, but I used 1/2t. The vanilla flavor was detectable but maybe a little too subtle. I think next time I’ll use 3/4t. It was sweet enough without extra honey or other sweetener. I was hoping for a creamsicle, but instead it tasted like a sweet potato pie smoothie. I definitely didn’t hate it, but didn’t love it, either. A good use for leftover baked sweet potatoes. I’ll make it again some time that I am craving a smoothie in the middle of the winter when the only ripe fruit are citrus.

h1

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.

+

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

+

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!

h1

potluck dal (vegan creamy red lentil and apple stew)

February 14, 2019

This is a great dish to bring for a vegan potluck with picky people. Not spicy, not curry – just sweet and hearty.

1.5 Tbsp. coconut oil
3/4 – 1.5+ tsp. cayenne pepper (i used 3/4t and it was mild)
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. garam masala
½ large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1″ piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
1 large apple (unpeeled), pref sour/green apple, grated on the large holes of a box grater
1½ cups red lentils
1 13.5-oz. can coconut milk
fresh lime juice, to taste
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Plain yogurt, cilantro leaves, and toasted unsweetened coconut flakes (for serving)

+

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, spices, and apple; stir-fry until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add lentils and stir to coat. Stir in coconut milk and 2½ cups vegetable stock or water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are completely soft and dal is thick, 20–25 minutes. Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

Divide dal among bowls and top with yogurt and cilantro.

+

recipe adapted by friedsig and originally written by bon appetit

To be honest, I’m crazy about Gujarati dal and other lentil dishes that balance sour and spicy with sweet, and this one is definitely more sweet. I think this would be a great start for people who think they could never like Indian food because they can’t handle spicy. If you’re feeding people who would find the curry leaves and mustard seeds of a Gujarati dal or a panchkuti dal to be too far outside their comfort zone, and the cream and butter in dal makhani to be overwhelming, this coconut-apple-ginger lentil dish is a good bet. It’s also good for someone who is recovering from sickness, as it’s a soft food with medicinal spices like turmeric and ginger, and sweetened naturally with apple and coconut.

No added processed sugars, totally vegan and vegetarian, gluten-free – definitely on the healthy side. Cut down the coconut milk to make it low-fat and lower in sugars – I used about half the can, and it was still sweet. You can’t specifically taste the apple in it. It’s meant to add a naturally sour and sweet kick. If you’re diabetic, use lemon juice instead of the apple. This one is maybe not the most authentic Indian dal recipe, but definitely a keeper for cooking for kids or other picky eaters. I’m calling it potluck dal because I think this is the best lentil recipe to bring to a potluck of picky eaters.

h1

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.

+

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

+

recipe by a pinch of yum and adapted by friedsig

+

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”.

h1

laghataq (vegan eggplant, tomato, and pepper dip from afghanistan)

January 4, 2019

one whole eggplant
one red bell pepper
2 medium tomatoes

2 cloves garlic
1 T whole cumin seed
1 T whole coriander seed
1 t paprika
pinch of garlic powder

1 T tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

+

preheat oven to 300

roast eggplant whole on 425 in skin. strip and discard some skin and anything burnt, and slice eggplant into rounds. place on baking sheet in one layer.

separately, toast coriander and cumin in dry frying pan. grind. grab your blender and add the ground cumin/coriander, a small can of tomato sauce, 1 T tomato paste, 2 whole cloves garlic, lots of olive oil (to taste,) and a pinch of garlic powder.

back to the baking sheet. layer sliced pepper and tomatoes on top of eggplant. top with sauce.

bake 1.5 to 2 hrs, or until eggplant is soft.

let eggplant cool. add everything to blender and pulse until chunky but not pureed.

top with plain, unsweetened yogurt with a little garlic powder and salt mixed in.

+

recipe adapted from Humaira’s recipe at Afghan Culture Unveiled – adaptation by friedsig

+

This was a little disappointing. I felt it could really benefit from lemon juice or vinegar, or something else acidic to cut the bitterness of the eggplant and the tinned tomato sauce flavor. I cut the tomato sauce from a regular can to a small can because I’m trying to eat low-sodium now, and added a bit more olive oil. Hard to imagine this dish with any more tomato sauce – it was extremely tomatoey. It tasted more like a mildly seasoned spaghetti sauce than a dip or an eggplant dish. I used a good quality Palestinian olive oil, but if you only have supermarket olive oil, you may want to skip this recipe, as a ton of the flavor comes from the olive oil. I also cut the cumin and coriander from a tablespoon of ground spices to a tablespoon of whole spices toasted and then ground, because it seemed a bit excessive, but maybe using the whole amount would help cut some of the aluminum can flavor.

Reminds me a lot of Mughlai-style eggplant from India, but lighter without the ghee and heavy cream.

My other tomato paste and eggplant recipe is Georgian-style eggplant stuffed with carrots and parsnips, but laghataq is less sweet without the carrots and parsnips. I think I’d still recommend the Georgian-style dish over this one if you wanted something healthy and interesting and very different from a tomato sauce. You could also serve as a dip with fresh pita, crackers, raw carrots and other veggies, or whatever you like – but I far preferred this as a tomato sauce than as a dip. For my tastes, this laghataq is not exactly a dip. However, if you are looking for a really unique spaghetti sauce, or a tomato sauce to eat with grits, or something to flavor white beans or okra, or something different for an egg dish like shakshouka, or something to freeze and bring down for chicken parmigiana, try this laghataq!

h1

habichuelas con dulce (sweet red beans and sweet potato in coconut milk)

November 24, 2016

if you like sweet red bean paste snacks, you will love habichuelas con dulce, a sweet dominican and puerto rican dessert that’s gluten-free and almost kinda healthy. you can drink it chilled, but i like to sip on hot habichuelas con dulce on a chilly day – it’s filling and sweet.

+

boil a sweet potato

separately, prepare red beans (kidney beans). if using dry beans, cook til a bit overdone. if using canned red beans, use about two cans

cook with a can of evaporated milk (or a half-cup or so of milk or half-and-half) and a can of coconut milk til softer.

blend in a blender, or mash together with a fork if you don’t have a blender or food processor.

add a cinnamon stick and around seven cloves, the cooked sweet potato, sugar to taste, and a handful of raisins, and simmer on low heat til fragrant.

+

recipe by friedsig, based on this habichuelas con dulce recipe