Monday, October 18, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I got this recipe out of the October 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times, and I’m going to come right out and tell you that it has an Achilles heel. Like many Vegetarian Times recipes, it doesn’t fill me up, at least not at anywhere near the suggested serving size. I think VT is very health-conscious, which is great, but their form of health-consciousness is a little different from mine. I think that by eating a wide variety of foods, mostly not-very-processed plants, I am doing OK. I am not trying to lose weight, and I don’t count calories. VT has a little bit of a war on calories. I think 350 Calories is their definition of “lite,” and I think they try to make sure a high percentage of their recipes come in under that mark. I am a hungry girl, and 350 Calories is not a meal for me! I halved the original VT recipe, which claimed to serve 6, and had a little more than a third of it for lunch. An hour later, I was hungry and ended up having a not very nutrition-dense snack of bread and butter. I had the rest of the recipe for dinner, and while I didn’t go to bed hungry, I wasn’t terribly full either. So the original recipe probably serves more like 2-3 people than 6. This is both an advertisement and a warning. This meal is yummy and full of good veggies, but it might not fill you up for long. (In case you were wondering, the recipe says that 1 of their servings, which is 2 patties and 1 cup of salad, has 190 Calories. If I had read that first, I probably would have known that I needed to increase the serving size dramatically.) If you are looking to cut calories and lose weight, this is probably a great recipe for you.
Now that I’ve ranted about VT’s mission to deprive me of satiety, let’s move on to the recipe. The patties are held together by leftover split pea soup and an egg, which I think is ingenious. I have made veggie patty-type foods quite a few times, and often they don’t hold together very well at all. The soup really takes care of that. Some carrot, sugar snap peas, and corn round out the patties. I like that the patties are flavored with sesame oil, soy sauce, and ginger, but those flavors are not overwhelming. It’s served on a terrific bed of cabbage and carrots. This might have been my first time to eat Napa cabbage. It is not exotic to me, but it’s something, like turnips or radishes, that I see all the time in the store and never eat. Napa cabbage is pretty awesome! I guess I kind of just thought it was expensive white cabbage, but it has a less bitter flavor, and the leaves are easier to work with than cabbage leaves. I guess it’s more like lettuce that way. I really liked the crisp texture of the cabbage in the salad.
Split pea veggie patties
makes about 6 patties, 3 VT servings, 1-2 Evelyn servings; multiply as needed
1 cup split pea soup (of course, you could use canned)
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar snap peas, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup corn kernels (frozen are fine)
1 green onion, chopped (both white and green parts)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
Whisk together soup and eggs in a medium bowl. Stir in cornmeal, followed by the rest of the ingredients.
Heat a nonstick or your preferred frying pan over medium. Add some oil if you need it, and once the pan is hot, drop 1/4-cup scoops of pea mixture onto the pan. Flatten into disc shapes with a fork and cook 5 minutes, or until bottom is slightly browned. Flip and cook 5 minutes more.
Serve 4 patties each on a bed of cabbage salad, below.
makes 1 salad; multiply as needed
4 leaves Napa cabbage
1/2 cup grated carrot
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted if you feel like
Miso salad dressing or other salad dressing (An Asian-ish one makes a lot of sense, but I think this would be fine with a vinaigrette or whatever you have. OK, not ranch.)
Thoroughly wash and thinly slice cabbage leaves. Combine with grated carrot and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Dress salad with 3 tbsp or so miso salad dressing (probably less of other salad dressings). Place 4 veggie patties on cabbage salad and dress with a little more dressing to taste.
Friday, October 1, 2010
I had the same package of miso in my fridge for well over a year, and I still hadn’t gotten around to making a salad dressing out of it. I really like miso salad dressings, so on Monday while I was waiting for my split peas to soften, I used the last of the miso to make a salad dressing for my salad at dinner. I love my lemon-sesame dressing, and I think it’s great when I’m in the mood for some Asian flavor on my salad, but I wanted a change of pace.
I figured Mark Bittman would have a miso salad dressing in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, and I was right. I made his recipe with a few variations. First, I added some Thai and regular basil because I have a ton of it and it’s really bright, a nice foil for the richness of miso. I also added some soy sauce. Bittman says to use sake or water to thin the miso. 3/4 cup of sake seemed like too much. I didn’t want to be able to make a cocktail out of my salad dressing, so I used 1/4 cup sake and 1/2 cup water. The sake flavor adds complexity without giving it any alcoholic taste. Bittman uses no oil in the dressing, which means it’s low in fat, but it’s also very thin. In this form, I think it would be a great marinade or sauce for cooked vegetables, but I had higher-viscosity dreams for my salad. I added some sesame oil directly to the dressing and combined about 1/4 cup dressing with 1 tbsp vegetable oil for my salad that night. I recommend that you add some oil when you make it or as you go along if you want a typical salad dressing consistency.
Miso is delicious. Every time I eat it, I promise myself I will use it more often because it’s so rich and has a great slightly sweet, fermented, salty taste. Looking through my mountains of cookbooks and recipes, I see quite a few with miso, and I hope to be trying more of them soon.
Miso-basil salad dressing
makes about 1 cup before adding oil
6 tbsp miso
1/4 cup sake or water
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp sweetener (I used agave nectar; sugar or honey would be fine)
1/2 cup Thai or regular basil, finely minced
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar, or more to taste
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Vegetable oil, optional
Combine miso, sake, and water and whisk with a fork until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients except for vegetable oil. Season to taste with rice wine vinegar. Add vegetable oil until your desired consistency is reached.