Kimchi Stew with Kale, Pork, and Silken Tofu ~ Soondubu Jjigae

Kimchi Stew with Kale, Pork, and Silken Tofu ~ Soondubu Jjigae

Kimchi Stew with Kale, Pork, and Silken Tofu ~ Soondubu Jjigae

My non-traditional version of the popular Korean tofu stew, soondubu jJigae, is flexible. I always start with kimchi and silken tofu, then perhaps add vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms, or daikon; broth can be anchovy stock, chicken stock, or vegetable broth; it can be vegetarian or made with ground pork, beef, pork belly, or seafood; the salty component can come from soy sauce, or fish sauce, or salt; I sometimes add an egg… or not. I make this fast and easy stew often, changing ingredients with whatever is at hand.

I especially like the myriad of flavors, textures, and colors; it’s spicy, silky, and very satisfying. Last night, there was plenty of kale in the fridge, so that went into the stew as well.

My method is somewhat unorthodox too. I always like to cook the meat ahead of time and drain off the excess saturated fat. Then I use the more healthier olive oil to cook the stew. Flavorful toasted sesame oil is used as a finishing oil only, not in the cooking process.

Note: for a more standard version of soondubu jjigae, please visit any of the fabulous Korean bloggers in the side bar below.

Kimchi and Silken Tofu Stew Recipe

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Mustard Greens Soup with Foraged Mustard Flowers

Mustard Greens Soup with Foraged Mustard Flowers

Mustard Greens Soup and Foraged Mustard Flowers
with
Shrimp, Great Northern Beans, Fennel, Onion
Chicken Bone Broth, Parmesan, Lemon

I am surrounded by mustard. Literally. The unusually rainy Southern California winter season has turned our hillsides into a gorgeous brilliant yellow.

Wild Mustard in Palos Verdes

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My Beautiful Matzoh Ball Soup

Beautiful Matzoh Ball Soup

My Beautiful Matzoh Ball Soup with Herbs and Flowers

Among the many Seder rituals, out of innocence the youngest child who is able asks The Four Questions. The first Question posed, “Why is this night different from all other nights? On all other nights we eat leavened bread or matzoh but tonight we eat only matzoh. Why?”

And to all the children at Seders around the world, the first Question is answered, “This night is different because we eat the unleavened bread called matzoh in remembrance of our ancestors’ haste to escape from Egypt’s bondage as there was no time to let the dough rise.”

Among the many Passover dishes, Matzoh Ball Soup is a perennial favorite.

Beautiful Matzoh Ball Soup

Since 2007, I have shared many a matzoh ball here on Taste With The Eyes. But this year, because winter had been especially rainy, cold, and snowy from LA, to Las Vegas, to Chicago…I am giving an extra nod to rebirth and springtime by adding more green herbs and pretty edible flowers to the soup.

Everyone had the same reaction to this bowl of soup. “That’s beautiful!” they said, so here I present the 2019 version called My Beautiful Matzoh Ball Soup.

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Vegetarian Meatloaf, Mushroom Gravy

Vegetarian Meatloaf, Mushroom GravyA Moist, Tasty, Satisfying Vegetarian Meatloaf
made with
Oatmeal, Quinoa, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, and Gruyere Cheese
served with
Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy

The somewhat mysterious walnut loaf on the vegetarian restaurant menu seemed way too heavy for lunch, so I ordered the sprouted salad instead.

While the salad was completely delicious, I was still curious about that hearty, compelling “vegetarian meatloaf” so I decided to make one at home.

While researching vegetarian walnut meatloaf recipes, I came across several that sounded similar to our local restaurant’s version. Upon further investigation, it appears that the original recipe is over 2 decades old, from famous vegetarian chef Deborah Madison.

Madison recently noted that 20 years ago she would add cheese to many of her recipes. These days however, with the variety and quality of vegetarian ingredients, she no longer relies on cheese to substitute for the meat. In this vegetarian meatloaf, cheese does play an important role…but vegan cheese should work fine too.

In my interpretation of the recipe, I substitute oatmeal and quinoa for Madison’s brown rice, and make many other adjustments as well, but credit for the concept definitely goes to her.

Vegetarian Meatloaf, Mushroom Gravy Recipe

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Vegetarian Indian Biryani

Vegetarian Indian Biryani

Vegetarian Indian Biryani

If you were one of the 90,000 people who attended Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center earlier this month, you may have had a chance to sample my uber-popular Indian Biryani with Chickpea Risoni.

My friends at Explore Cuisine introduced this new product at the Anaheim show to rave reviews. Chickpea Risoni is rice-shaped chickpea flour (made into pasta, orzo style) produced in Italy that is gluten-free, higher in protein and fiber than white rice.

South-Asian Biryani is traditionally made with white rice and incorporates chicken, meats or fish to make a flavorful, all-encompassing one-pot dish. Here we substitute chickpea risoni for rice to provide protein for a very substantial vegetarian dish. Exotic spices, garlic, ginger, nuts, fruits, fresh herbs, caramelized shallots, and fresh lime juice all add fabulous textures and flavors.

The recipe is simple and easy…the result is layered and complex.

Vegetarian Indian Biryani Recipe

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Red Lentil Risotto with Chorizo

Red Lentil Risotto with Chorizo

Red Lentil Risotto with Chorizo

My friends at Explore Cuisine have just released a new product, Red Lentil Risoni, an orzo made exclusively of red lentil flour. It is produced in Italy, and has 13 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per 2 oz. serving, it’s organic and gluten-free too.

I am excited to be joining them again this year, at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California on March 7, 8, and 9 to help debut this terrific product. Please stop by Booth #4906 to sample this uber-tasty risotto in a rotation with Edamame Spaghetti with Pesto, Green Lentil Lasagne, Brown Rice Noodle Pad Thai, Black Bean Black Sesame Fettuccine, Edamame Ramen and more. Most of the dishes will be vegan or vegetarian, all are gluten-free.

For this dish, the classic risotto cooking method is applied to the rice-shaped lentils. The result is a creamy high-protein lentil dish masquerading as rice, flavored with spicy pork sausage (handmade by my San Pedro butcher). Just add a green salad for a wholly satisfying meal.

Red Lentil Risotto with Chorizo Recipe

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Trio of Vietnamese Dipping Sauces with California Citrus

Vietnamese Dipping Sauces

A Trio of Vietnamese Dipping Sauces with California Citrus
Grapefruit, Ginger, Fresno Chile Dipping Sauce
Key Lime Jalapeño Dipping Sauce
Tangelo Nuoc Cham

Get your taste buds ready for a wild ride! I’ve spiked traditional invigorating Vietnamese sauces with fresh citrus from my winter garden: grapefruit, key lime, and tangelo. Now those bracing Viet dipping sauces have a sunny California twist.

Try them to perk up grilled chicken or seafood; lift flavors in soups; brighten noodles or rice; add zip as a dressing for salads; to make a vibrant dip for spring rolls; add a tangy heat when paired with beef or pork. All three are magically refreshing, each with a unique combination of sweet, fruity, salty, sour, and spicy flavors.

Vietnamese Dipping Sauces

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