Gluten-Free, Japanese Inspired Dishes, Soups, Vegan

Miso Ginger Broth with Soba.

This is vegan miso broth soul food.  Packed with goodness…and full of the flavours of Japan.   Give your immune system a boost … with this ninja-karate-kicking bowl of wonder 🙂

A traditional miso broth is unlikely to be vegan, so I’ve made a base stock with fresh vegetables, ginger and seaweed to enrich the depth of flavour.

The ginger in this recipe really sings, and I’ve used a dark hearty miso to match it.

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There are some more unusual ingredients included here today – particularly Kombu and Wakame seaweed and also Mirin; Japanese sweet rice cooking wine. Seaweed is just such a good addition to a varied vegan diet, full of minerals and trace elements. Some types are more readily available than others, but a decent whole-food store should have them.  Or else on-line…. chase them down, you won’t regret it 🙂

Any signs of a cough or a cold this winter, and I’ll be making this…. well any excuse actually, it’s just so good.

Hope you enjoy! 🙂

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MISO GINGER BROTH WITH SOBA

serves 3-4

Cook’s note: 100% buckwheat noodles, certified gluten-free tamari and brown rice miso will make this dish gluten-free 

Ingredients: Continue reading “Miso Ginger Broth with Soba.”

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All About Beans, Bread, Mediterranean Dishes, Pasta, Soups, Vegan

Tuscan Bean and Pasta Soup + Olive and Herb Focaccia.

In the last few days I’ve been getting a few seedlings going.  Tomatoes, chillies and sweet peppers.  A gardener always lives in hope.  Spring here in the UK is being erratic, and we are waiting for Storm Katie as I write.

Making this soup has made me remember how delicious home-grown tomatoes are.  I can’t wait.

The bread is easy, and adaptable, instead of olives you can add sun-dried tomatoes, sliced artichoke hearts or diced spring onions….

olive focaccia and tuscan bean soup

TUSCAN BEAN AND PASTA SOUP + OLIVE AND HERB FOCACCIA

Serves 4   

Olive and Herb Focaccia:    Continue reading “Tuscan Bean and Pasta Soup + Olive and Herb Focaccia.”

Bread, Soups, Vegan, Vegan on a Shoestring

Brotchán Roy and Traditional Irish Soda Bread.

Two old and traditional recipes rooted deep in Irish History. My simple offerings on St Patrick’s Day.

Both of these recipes have few ingredients.  I’m always in love with the simple recipes.  The ones based on local produce, local climate and the time of year.  The ones without fuss or fiddle. Leeks overwinter even in frost and snow.  And now, at the very end of winter in the northern hemisphere, there they are when there’s not much else left.

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My father was born on St. Patrick’s Day.  I didn’t really expect a food blog to get personal, but today it has.  Despite the fact that it was his last name, he was always known as Pat.

He had a little bit of Irish in him too, so I guess that means that I do too!  I miss him.

Food for peace on St. Patrick’s Day…. hope you like … 😉

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Brotchán Roy + Soda Bread

Brotchán Roy + Traditional Irish Soda Bread

For 4

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Irish Soda Bread

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

This bread only has 4 ingredients.   Continue reading “Brotchán Roy and Traditional Irish Soda Bread.”

Bread, Growing things, Salads, Soups, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan Snacks

Palestinian Za’atar Flatbreads, served with a simple vegan mezze. § Growing Thyme…and other perennial herbs

vegan middle eastern style mezze

 

It’s been mild this November, and my collection of perennial herbs on the allotment is still looking fresh.

 

 

I picked a bunch of Rosemary, Sage, Winter Savoury, Oregano and Thyme.

Many herbs are very simple to grow successfully, even in pots.  They are forgiving, and giving…they accept neglect and continue to provide beautiful, fragrant, interesting flavours throughout the seasons.

Pick up a healthy small plant at a garden centre, or a garden market stall, pot on into a slightly bigger pot, using compost and soil, or plant it straight in the ground, (remembering that not all herbs are hardy).  If you keep herbs in a pot, water regularly, but sparingly.  Some herbs are regarded as annuals but many will go on year after year.  Growing herbs is an economical way of having herbs in your kitchen all year round.

Herbs have many medicinal powers as well as culinary uses.

Thyme can be infused as a tea (with a little agave) as a cough remedy.

Today I’m offering a recipe using fresh Oregano and Thyme, both herbs grow wild on the hills in Mediterranean countries.  I remember driving through Greek Mountains with the heady fragrance of Thyme and Oregano coming in through the open windows with the warm breeze.  Intoxicating.

common thyme

Za’atar Flatbreads are an everyday bread eaten in many Middle Eastern Countries.

Here is my take on a Palestinian style flatbread…..

Za’atar flatbreads, served with hummus, vegan cheese and olives, rocket, radishes, tomatoes and spring onions, and a hot spicy lentil and tomato soup.

4 servings   Continue reading “Palestinian Za’atar Flatbreads, served with a simple vegan mezze. § Growing Thyme…and other perennial herbs”

Macrobiotic Recipes, Soups, Vegan Ingredients

Quinoa, Miso and Arame Seaweed Soup, with Baked Marinaded Tofu and garnished with Toasted Sesame Seeds and Nori

quinoa miso and seaweed soup + baked marinaded tofu

I have to say, that eating seaweed has never been at the top of my personal ‘to do’ list, but I have warmed to it recently.

There are many kinds of seaweed, and if you’re already a connoisseur, you can skip this bit.

If seaweed is new to you, then I would suggest that the two best types of seaweed to begin with could be Arame and Nori.

dried seaweeds – nori and arame

The following recipe includes  both.   Continue reading “Quinoa, Miso and Arame Seaweed Soup, with Baked Marinaded Tofu and garnished with Toasted Sesame Seeds and Nori”

Soups

Flavours. Sweet Potato Soup.

Five Element Acupuncture and Taste.

Including a great recipe for five-flavours sweet potato soup.

acupuncture chart

In five element acupuncture, the body/mind/spirit is divided into five elements: fire, earth, metal, water and wood.  Each element  houses different aspects of our physical being, our personality, our moods and emotions and our characteristics.  It is a system that is both complex, and wonderfully simple at the same time.  In this blogpost, I hope to elaborate on flavours.

Each element is governed by a particular flavour:

Fire: Bitter flavours such as coffee, raw cacao and certain herbs and spices

Earth: Sweet flavours such as sugar and fruit

Metal: Pungent flavours such as spices and certain herbs

Wood: Sour flavours such as vinegar, lemon juice, onions

Water: Salty flavours such as salt and tamari

Of course, lots of basic ingredients have more than one intrinsic flavour, for example, garlic is both pungent and bitter, and cherries are both sweet and sour.

When it comes to flavouring a dish, it’s very useful to use different flavours to enhance and/or rein in others.  Some dishes, notably many Asian dishes, include all these flavours, and, in the right quantities, they blend together to create complex and well balanced tastes that thrill the palate.  There is an art to this as it can easily go wrong.

Classic flavour combinations may only include two or three different flavours, which can fire each other up to create lively and exciting blends. It’s not necessary to add all five flavours to every dish, just put the right ones together.

A good balanced diet will include all of the flavours, in a creative, interesting and varied way.  An excess of any particular flavour in the diet is not such a good way to go.

What I want to say is this; bearing in mind these flavours, it’s possible to create really great dishes that have a complexity of flavour that exceeds the sum of the parts.  It only requires a little imagination, exploration and experimentation.

A recipe for sweet potato soup that uses all five flavours.

Ingredients: (amply serves 4)   Continue reading “Flavours. Sweet Potato Soup.”