Vegan Dinner Miso Soup

Vegan Dinner Miso Soup

Last week, after the storm headed toward the front range was dubbed a “bomb cyclone,” we woke up to rain. And it rained and rained until about 10am when the temperature dropped and the winds started and it began to snow sideways.

It was a perfect storm for Miso Soup.

Vegan Dinner Miso Soup

Miso soup is that brothy, extra light soup you get before your sushi shows up at a restaurant. It’s so cozy, and miso paste gives the broth a complex flavor. But typical miso soup is light — really nothing more than an appetizer. With this recipe I sought out a miso soup that was filling. Something you could have as a meal when you’re snowed in.

Traditional miso soup usually has a few bites of tofu, and pieces of wakame. We added: shiitake mushrooms, rice noodles, and TOPPINGS! (Fried garlic chips, green onions, chili crunch sauce, toasted sesame oil). All in all it makes a more filling soup with out losing the miso-y quality.

Vegan Dinner Miso Soup

The broth for this soup is vegan. It’s not something I was intentional about initially: I had been unable to find bonito flakes and so tried making the broth with kombu and dried mushrooms instead, and the result was delicious. Since so many of the popular recipes on Foraged Dish are vegan, I thought it would be a great alternative to share with you all.

Dashi, the broth used in Miso Soup, is a cook-it-on-the-spot type of broth. No Sunday afternoon spent making stock. It only takes about 30 minutes to make dashi, and if you’re snowed in (or heck, if you’re home doing laundry), I bet you have that kind of time to let a pot simmer!

I know warm weather is on it’s way — but until then, I’ll be souping. :)

Vegan Dinner Miso Soup

Vegan Dinner Miso Soup

Published March 19, 2019 by
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Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 50 minutes



Ingredients:

For the broth (dash):
  • 2 sheets kombu (About 5 inches x 3 inches each)
  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 7 cups water 

  • For the soup:
  • 1/3 cup white miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger juice
  • 2 tablespoons dried wakame, plus about 2 cups of water for rehydrating
  • 1-2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
  • 14 ounce package extra firm tofu, drained and diced into bite-sized pieces

  • To serve:
  • Rice noodles, cooked according to package (I used vermicelli)
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions, white and dark green parts removed
  • Chili crunch sauce (affiliate link)
  • Fried garlic chips (I use avocado oil rather than canola)
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Optional (not vegan - makes the meal heartier): Soft boiled eggs

  • Directions:

    1. Make broth: heat 7 cups of water in a large soup pot with kombu and dried mushrooms. Once the water comes to a boil, remove it from the heat. Allow kombu and mushrooms for roughly 20 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, hydrate wakame in a small bowl. When wakame is completely softened, strain out excess water. Then, roughly chop wakame into bite-sized pieces.
    3. After broth has soaked, use a slotted spoon to remove kombu and mushrooms.
    4. Place miso in a small to medium sized bowl. Ladel roughly 1 cup of broth in the bowl with the miso, and whisk until no clumps remain (this makes it easier to mix into the full pot of broth). Pour miso mixture into soup pot.
    5. Add tofu, shiitake mushrooms, and wakame to the pot, and place back on stove over low heat. Heat until the soup is just barely simmering.
    6. Divide rice noodles amongst serving bowls, and label soup over top. Top to taste with: sliced green onions, toasted sesame oil, chili crunch sauce, and fried garlic (and eggs, halved, if using).

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    Instant Pot Moroccan Stew with Chicken, Quinoa, Chickpeas & Sweet Potato

    Instant Pot Moroccan Stew with Chicken, Quinoa, Chickpeas & Sweet Potato

    An unopened bottle of orange blossom water had been occupying precious real estate in our fridge for months as I debated the best thing to do with it. Finally I opened the bottle, just to smell. One whiff is all it took, and my thoughts were drifting away on a cloud of delicate blooms — soft and white, immensely fragrant. From that cloud, I landed in a darkly lit room, sitting at a large round table surrounded by smiling faces. My tenth birthday party.

    We perch on round, gilded pillows at a low table. Silky fabrics hang from the ceiling, lining the walls and giving the room a sense of mystery. Someone has given me a warm, floral-scented cloth for cleaning my hands. A waiter is sprinkling us ceremoniously with orange blossom water, and the droplets land on my shoulders like the sweetest rain that ever rained. Talk about feeling like Queen for the day.

    Instant Pot Moroccan Stew with Chicken, Quinoa, Chickpeas & Sweet Potato

    There are candles artfully lighting the space, but the most notable ones are balancing on a women’s body. A belly dancer. She gracefully juggles fire from her head to her elbows and back again, never missing a beat. We eat couscous, chicken with almonds, and b’stella pastry (a dish my dad would later take to making at home).

    When it is time for tea, it is time for the greatest show of all. The waiter stacks drinking flutes in a pyramid. He makes a show of pouring the mint concoction from an ornate tea pot, starting with the top glass, and pouring until it pools over, filling the next two. The cascade continues, until each glass is full. (In my mind, the memory is almost a dream-state. I can’t quite figure out the physics of these glasses. How is it that they only spill in two directions? Did they have little spouts? Did he actually pour into glasses individually, and it is my memory that falters?)

    We each take a glass and sip. It is, to this day, glorified as the best cup of mint tea I’ve ever had.

    To say the least, I’ve been on a Moroccan food kick since I stole a breath of that orange blossom water in the fridge. I bought The Food of Morocco (affiliate link) and searched for something reminiscent of that day. I bought harissa paste and slivered almonds and actually started to use the orange blossom water.

    Instant Pot Moroccan Stew with Chicken, Quinoa, Chickpeas & Sweet Potato
    Instant Pot Moroccan Stew with Chicken, Quinoa, Chickpeas & Sweet Potato

    The flavors of Moroccan food are so different from what you find in other cuisines. Flowers take on a large role. Both roses and orange blossoms. Herbs are used fresh. Citrus is a star of the show. Lamb, goat, cumin, paprika; Roses, pomegranate, dried fruits.

    But, this stew is not traditional. It was never supposed to be. Rather, it’s approachable. It’s a one-pot wonder that has been Americanized, Instant Pot-ized, and everyday dinner-ized. It doesn’t ask you to buy a bottle of orange blossom water, which you would surely have to get at a specialty store (or on Amazon (affiliate link), like me). It also calls for quinoa in place of couscous (Couscous is a hand rolled pasta, so not GF, despite it’s millet-y looking appearance). The recipe calls for ingredients you know, but combines them with Moroccan flare in mind. Cumin — lots of cumin. Paprika. Turmeric. And cinnamon, a small amount, something we rarely add to savory dishes here in the US.

    I know it’s starting to look a lot like spring in somewhere, but here — and lots of places - it will still be winter for at least a month. On a snowy evening, this stew is absolutely warming and cozy. Just my style.

    For the curious: The restaurant I had my tenth birthday at, Boulder’s Mataam Fez, has since closed. There is a Mataam Fez in Denver that provides a similar (but IMO, not quite as magical) experience. Plan to make an evening of it.

    Instant Pot Moroccan Stew with Chicken, Quinoa, Chickpeas & Sweet Potato

    Published March 5, 2019 by
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    Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 45 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, cubed
  • 1 16-ounce can chickpeas, strained
  • 1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • For serving: minced parsley or cilantro

  • Directions:

    1. In the bottom of an Instant Pot, heat coconut oil using the Sauté setting. When oil glistens, add onion, garlic, ginger and celery and sauté until onion is transparent.
    2. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine.
    3. Secure lid on Instant Pot and press the “Manual” button. Set to “high pressure” (labeled “more” on some models) and set timer for 1 minutes with vent in the sealed position.
    4. When the timer goes off, turn off the Instant Pot and allow it to set for 10 minutes with out releasing the steam. This will ensure the quinoa is cooked through.
    5. After 10 minutes, release any remaining pressure. Stir, and ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro.

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    Soft & Chewy Flourless Ginger Tahini Cookies

    Soft & Chewy Ginger Tahini Cookies

    In January, well after holiday season was over, a client sent a big box of Tate's Cookies to the office, where they filled the kitchen counter for half a week. It was the worst (but also the best) kind of way to kick off January. I had been wanted to make a gingery version of these tahini chocolate chip cookies for some time -- I even had made a batch over the holidays that didn't quite work out. Despite it being peak resolution season, that counter full of cookies was just the push I needed to dive back into recipe development. 

    The dream: a chewy, rich, flourless ginger cookie with chunks of crystallized ginger. 

    I knew that tahini would be the perfect base, but my first attempt used far too much molasses and the cookies were WAY too soft. I learned, on that attempt, that coconut sugar really imparts enough molasses-y flavor anyhow, as it's unrefined so still carries all of the minerals that are stripped from refined sugars when molasses is made. 

    Soft & Chewy Ginger Tahini Cookies
    Soft & Chewy Ginger Tahini Cookies

    Tips for making these chewy tahini ginger cookies: 

    • STIR THAT TAHINI. This is in all caps because it's no joke. Tahini separates fast and if your tahini is all oil or all solids you're batter won't work. Last time I published a tahini cookie recipe someone asked about how to best stir tahini, which is a really good question because it's not the easiest to stir. But don't worry! Just scrape the entire jar into a blender, and let it rip. OR, carefully put your immersion blender into your tahini container (this is what I do, but also can foresee what a mess this might make in the wrong circumstances) 

    • Let them cool. Really! I too like hot-out-of-the-oven cookies, but these cookies need a minute to set up. More like 5-10. They'll still be warm, and they'll stay soft for a week at room temperature. BUT, if you try to pick one up while it's still piping hot it will just collapse and melt in your hand (if you can even get it into your hand). 

    Ok, "mom" warnings over. Now, the recipe! 

    Soft & Chewy Ginger Tahini Cookies

    Soft & Chewy Flourless Ginger Tahini Cookies

    Published February 21, 2019 by
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    Yields: 16   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup tahini (stirred very well - try blending it with your blender if it is separated)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger grated on a microplane
  • Optional: 1/3 cup ginger chips (like this - affiliate link) or finely chopped crystallized ginger

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine coconut sugar, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves. Whisk briefly.
    3. Add tahini, vanilla, egg, and fresh ginger to bowl, and use a spatula to stir until a stiff, sticky batter forms.
    4. Optional: place bowl of batter in the fridge for 10 minutes to allow dough to stiffen a bit more.
    5. Using your hands, roll dough into spheres by the heaping tablespoonful. Place spheres at least 2 inches apart of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and flatted slightly with your fingers.
    6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies have spread and are golden. Cookies will still be quite soft when you remove them from the oven. Allow them to cool at least 10 minutes before attempting to move them to a cooling wrack or a plate.

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