Monday, March 19, 2007

Sorry, change of plans

In my last post I wrote that we were having Bob's Korean friend Sean over again Sunday night for another Korean meal. However, yesterday afternoon Sean called to say that something came up and he wouldn't be able to make it... so we rescheduled for Wednesday. Hopefully our cabbage will live that long!

In Sean's absence, I decided to make something last night that I have been eager to experiement with for awhile.

Seaweed Salad

1/2 cup dried hijiki
1/4 cup dried wakame
2 baby bok choy, thinly shredded
1 medium carrot, sliced into matchsticks
1 cup steamed edamame (run immediately under cold water to stop the cooking)

Rice vinegar
Sesame oil
Olive oil
Chili flakes
Minced ginger

Sea salt
Sesame seeds

Soak hijiki in cold water for 30 minutes to reconstitute, adding wakame during the last 10 minutes. Drain the seaweed well. Place all the veggies in a large bowl. Mix the dressing and let it steep for a few minutes, chili flakes, and minced ginger, and let it steep for just a few minutes. Pour dressing over the salad, and add some sea salt and some sesame seeds.

There was lots of extra, which is what I intended because I hope to make sushi again very soon--and seaweed salad is the perfect accompaniment to sushi. At first, the smell of the hijiki really turned me off--very fishy. But I ended up liking it very much, as there was a good mixture of flavors in the salad so that nothing was completely overwhelming.

This is just a baked sweet potato with some warmed-up black bean chili on top. I love sweet and spicy together--it was delicious and simple.

Speaking of sweet potatoes, when I found this recipe for sweet potato biscuits on Eat Air, I knew I had to try it. The dough was a sticky, sticky mess, but it was worth it--these were delicious. And it made about 10 biscuits, which means frozen leftovers! Score!

So what did I serve with the sweet potato biscuits? Barbecued tofu. I used a pound of extra-firm tofu, which had been frozen and rethawed; I pressed it, cut it into eight slices, and marinated it in the marinade from The Everyday Vegan's Tasty Tofu Tidbits (I added some crushed garlic to the marinade as well). After about half an hour, I brushed the tops of the tofu slices with barbecue sauce and broiled them for about 5 minutes, then took them out, flipped them, brushed the other side, and broiled for another 5 minutes. Done. It was delicious, though the texture was little squishy. Next time, I may try pan-searing them for just a couple of minutes to get the outside a little crispy.

To go with the tofu and biscuits, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Garlic, from VWaV. I have never liked brussels sprouts in my life, but I have heard that roasting them brings out their goodness so I wanted to give them one last try. Verdict? I like roasted brussels sprouts! I don't love them, and I think the recipe had a bit too much garlic in it for me, but I thought it was tasty anyway and ate these little guys right up.

My favorite quick morning oatmeal, this time with blackberries instead of blueberries. Mmm, I love blackberries.

Fantastic French Toast from Vive! I mixed the batter the night before in the Magic Bullet, so this morning when I got up early to study (ugh), it was easy to dip the bread and then throw it on the skillet. It was a treat to have something this good on a Monday morning! The topping is warmed organic blueberry preserves, reduced sugar and all-natural, from Trader Joe's. Yes, there are 4 Trader Joe's stores in Atlanta now, and we shop there every chance we get. Their preserves are amazing.

That's all, folks. I may be busy for the next several weeks, but I'll still be here. Actually, we are having dinner guests tonight, and personal pizzas are on the menu! So you will see that shortly, and the Korean food, and whatever else we cook up! You all are awesome, and I wish you a beautiful week and some spring weather coming your way!


Nikki said...

I can't wait to see your Korean feast! :)

That hijiki dish looks like something they serve at the all you can eat sushi joint I used to go to all the time. It was my favorite thing there aside from the Futomaki rolls!

I thought of you the other day. I went to a big vegan potluck and someone brought vegan Thai tacos from The Grit cookbook. After trying the taco filling I realized that I *must* get that cookbook sooner rather than later!

theONLYtania said...

Too bad Sean couldn't come.. but what you did end up with looks good! I've been craving potatoes lately too.. I barely ever eat them. Can they be cooked in the microwave?

Oooh and I have been wanting to make brussels sprouts too.. I've only eaten them at work, never cooked them myself. French toast looks good, mine stuck to the pan! :-(

Have a great week!

PS I just want you to know that the word verification word right now is whaqzlep.. that's just plain hard to type!

Kati said...

Wow a seaweed salad - I'm so impressed! I'm even more impressed that you liked it. Perhaps I should try mixing my sea veggies with other ingredients to trick myself into enjoying them.

I will have to try those sweet potato biscuits. I made some recently from a different recipe that didn't turn out very well, which was disappointing since they sounded so good. I think it's the perfect accompaniment to BBQ tofu!

Can't wait to see the Korean feast! Don't study too hard... ;)

raising_kahne said...

ohh I lOVE that french toast recipe! What brand of bread do you use?? I liked the brussels sprouts, but i would rather have them w/ our any garlic. Your oatmeal looks great!

laura jesser said...

Nikki, that's awesome about the Grit cookbook! I haven't tried the Thai tacos yet but they're on my (long) list. That's really funny about the seaweed salad too... I just pulled it out of thin air.

Tania, when I was growing up we ALWAYS cooked potatoes in the microwave. Just stab holes in it and microwave it for about 8 minutes, then flip it over and give it another few minutes, depending on how soft it still is in the middle. Doesn't taste quite like an oven-baked potato, but it's fine for a quickie.

Kati, adding other veggies really did cut down on some of the fishiness, so if you want to "tone it down" a bit, I'd recommend trying it that way. But if you don't like the flavor at all, be warned that it still tastes like seaweed salad! On the sweet potato biscuits, you should definitely try them, but be aware that you may have to add A LOT of flour as you try to knead the dough. I made mine 100% whole wheat though (using white wheat in place of the white flour), so that may have made the difference.

Raising_kahne, I actually used homemade French bread to make the French toast. But when I have bought bread for French toast before, I have found that I really enjoy sourdough French toast. I can't remember what brands I have used.

Melody said...

Your seaweed salad looks amazing! I love getting it when I go out for sushi.. I don't think I'd have the guts to make it at home though... just because I think the smell would turn me off to eating it.. but maybe I should try?

Lovely post as usual.. the french toast looks great.

I love frozen tofu..and how it soaks up the flavors so well. it does help to pan sear it first before you bake it.. it's gets nice and crispy that way.

vko said...

Hi Laura

Hope the you are taking lots of breaks in between studying, to make more yummy foods to share with us!

The seaweed salad looks gorgeous. The sushi resturant that I go to makes an amazing hijiki roll. I tend to put wakame in soups- good way to get your sea veggies in.

That french toast is making me drool and the fact that you made it from your own french bread- well that's just perfection!

Anonymous said...

Everything looks amazing. I've never had seaweed salad before but it looks really good. Brussel sprouts have always been one of my favorite veggies but I do think they are an acquired taste.

Can wait to see what you make for Wednesday.

Ellie P. said...

I love that seaweed salad! Now that you have provided instructions I'll have to try making it . . . it's my favorite thing (besides sushi) at Japanese restaurants. Also, that sweet potato with chili looks delicious. Black bean chili is the best.

bazu said...

Isn't the magic bullet the best?? I don't remember how I lived without it. (Oh yeah, constantly washing a big old blender).
Your seaweed salad looks seriously refreshing. And I love chili on top of baked sweet potatoes- that looks so good- and healthy!

Veg-a-Nut said...

Where to start? Everything looks wonderful. I have to try those biscuits. For days I have been craving them. I think I have canned sweetpotatoes, wonder if that will work? I am trying to talk my hubby into a Magic Bullet. I am so tired of washing and dragging that big old blender out. DH has smoothies everyday. Great post!

Anonymous said...

yum, looks great!

Webly said...

Thanks for encouraging me to use seaweed in cooking. It's something I've been meaning to get into.

theONLYtania said...

This is kind of funny.. I just left a comment on Susan's blog and I spelled the verification word wrong on the first try and it made me try again.
Oh yeah thanks for the potato advice! Now I just gotta get me some potatoes!

KleoPatra said...

Lookin' forward to what you make for Sean. So far you've impressed him and how could he not be impressed?? You are a grrrrrrrrreat chef!

i'm also a fan of sweet 'n' spicy together. The sweet po 'n' chili together was probably a treat for the taste buds. i must try that sometime!

That seaweed sald is so beautiful. Look at all that green. And i love the red plate it's on. Nice contrast, for art's sake, but the food atop is soooooooo good. I wish i could have a big bowl of that tonight, i do!!

And i know what you mean about the hijiki... it does smell "fishy," which is a big turnoff, i agree. But then, you think about what it is, and you know everything will be all right!! But i totally hear you, Laura. It's so weird... like eating "faque" meats that seem so REAL. It gets kind of strange sometimes...

BBQ TOFU! Yowza!

And i just got warmed up looking at the oatmeal (way to go MAGIC BULLET!) as well as the sweet bread topping. Mmmmmm... warmed blueberry preserves.

How's the studying going, Ms. Early Riser?! Hope all is well... Thanks for taking the time to share such a nice post, Laura.

Kris said...

Ha! Jim and I were just talking about how great the preserves at TJs are! The best and so cheap... yum.

That seaweed salad was really ambitious... I would have been freaked out, too, from the fishiness. I'm just starting to get into seaweed a little bit, but I'm kind of a weakling.

aTxVegn said...

You're doing great on your breakfasts! And that seaweed salad looks fabulous! I'm glad you posted about the sweet potato biscuits, because they did look great on Chris's blog too.

laura jesser said...

Melody, thanks for the tip about pan-searing the tofu... next time I'll definitely try it! LOL--On the seaweed salad, I have to warn you that the smell is very strong. It didn't bother me too much, but if you are at all squeamish about that sort of thing, just know that before you try it! But it's so tasty, it's worth it to me!

VKO, a hijiki roll sounds like an excellent idea--I'm going to have to try that next time I make sushi!

Midwest vegan, I fell in love with seaweed salad at a local sushi restaurant. It's much cheaper to make at home. If you don't mind the flavor of the nori in sushi rolls, then you would probably like it.

Ellie, seaweed salad is my favorite accompaniment to sushi too! If you make it, get creative!

Bazu, I am LOVING not having to wash a huge blender twice a day! Black beans and sweet potatoes are a match made in heaven. :)

Veg-a-nut, I don't see why canned sweet potatoes wouldn't work. Hah, Bob eats smoothies every day too. The Magic Bullet makes that habit much less obtrusive!

Johanna, thanks!

Webly, I'm just starting with seaweed, but I think it's neat. If you play with it some, I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Tania, I HATE when I mistype the word verification--it makes me feel like such an idiot, especially when I do it twice in a row or something. :)

Kleo, you're right about the smell of the hijiki and other "almost real" types of things. I ordered a bowl of veggie chili once and it had Boca crumbles in it--and I seriously thought I had bitten into chili con carne! It's unsettling, for sure. Studying? Sigh. I'm trying to stay motivated, and that's about the best report I can give right now.

Kris, let's hear it for TJ preserves! I know what you mean--seaweed is intimidating. But it's so expensive at the restaurants... I had to try it. Hmm, maybe you'll become very proficient in seaweed, and your next cookbook will include some recipes! :) I'd surely try them.

Diann, thanks for your comments! My pocketbook has noticed the difference since I've cut waaay back on cereal, that's for sure!

funwithyourfood said...

ok i just need to sat YAY for TJ's


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