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November 26, 2006

Autumn Chestnut Rice

Typhoons and red dragonflies are harbingers of Japanese autumn. So are burnished red maple leaves and shinmai, the first rice of the season. Celebrate the majesty of fall and serve this bountiful rice dish, with chestnuts, sweet potatoes and shiitake mushrooms.

2 medium-size dried shiitake mushrooms
2 cups rinsed short- or medium-grain rice, preferably shinmai
2-1/3 cups water (use 3 tablespoons less water if using shinmai)
1 (7-oz.) jar chestnuts in heavy syrup, drained
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons light soy sauce (usukuchi shoyu)
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Radish sprouts (kaiwari daikon) (optional)

Preparation/cooking time: 1 hour

Soak mushrooms in a bowl of warm water 30 minutes. Squeeze dry; cut off stems. Dice mushrooms. In a 3-quart saucepan, combine rinsed rice and water; soak 15 minutes. Rinse chestnuts to remove syrup. Drain well; cut into quarters. Add mushrooms, chestnuts, sweet potatoes, salt, soy sauce and mirin to saucepan with rice; stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Let stand, covered and undisturbed, 10 minutes. Carefully break up rice mixture with a dampened wooden rice paddle or spatula. Spoon rice mixture into serving bowls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and radish sprouts.

Servings: 3 or 4


Teriyaki Sauce

A sweet and tangy teriyaki sauce using the authentic Japanese ingredients.

1/4 cup Soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (japanese cooking wine)
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 cloves garlic
About the same amount of ginger as 2 cloves garlic
Sprinkle of sesame seeds

Mix all ingredients together.
Add some rice vinegar to cut down on the salt.


November 24, 2006

Tofu Pot Pie

Great down-home cooking, veggie style.



3/4 cup barley flour or unbleached white flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
12/ tsp. salt
3 Tbs. oil
1/4 cup water


2/12 cups vegetable broth
3 cups diced potato
1 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup frozen peas, corn or chopped celery (or any combo = 1 cup total)
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 cup soymilk or water (or perhaps milk?)
1 pkg (10-16 oz) tofu, cubed


Mix together flours and salt. Stir in oil, then mix in water. Chill dough while making filling. Note: I recommend increasing the amount of all ingredients to get a bit more crust (maybe 10-20% more).

In large saucepan, bring veg. broth to boil over med-high heat. Add potatoes, cover, and cook 5 mins. Add carrot, onion, celery & cook 3 mins. Add peas, corn, and mushrooms & cook 2 mins.

In a small bowl, mix flour, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Add soymilk or water and beat together well. Gradually add to veggie mixture, stirring well. Over med-high heat, stir constantly for 3 mins, utnil thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat & add tofu and salt to taste.

To assemble: heat oven to 350. Using a rolling pan, roll out dough to fit over the top of a med. casserole dish. Spoon tofu-veggie mixture into casserole and cover with crust, pinching edges to seal (you can make a fun pie design if your want). Cut 4-5 slits on top to let steam escape. Bake for 40 mins until crust is done. Let stand 10 mins before serving.




A Teen's Guide to Going Vegetarian



Corn Chowder with Veggies

A tasty and beautiful treat for fall.


red onion, diced
red bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large potato, diced
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/4 cups veg. stock
1 3/4 oz broccoli florets
3 cups canned corn
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
cilantro to garnish


Saute onion, pepper, garlic, and potato in oil for 2-3 mins.

Stir in the flour and cook for 30 seconds.

Stir in milk and stock.

Add broccoli and corn, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 20 mins.

Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese until it melts.

Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with rest of cheese and cilantro.




What's Cooking Vegetarian, pg. 10



Cashew Paella

Quick and fabulous vegetarian version of the old favorite.


2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. butter
1 red onion, chopped
1 cup risotto rice
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 green chili, sliced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 3/4 oz baby corn, halved
2 Tbs. black olives
1 large tomato, diced
2 cups veg. stock
3/4 cup cashes
1/4 cup frozen peas
2 Tbs. chopped parsley
pinch cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
fresh herbs for garnsih


1. Saute onion in the oil and butter for 2-3 mins.
2. Stir in rice, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, garlic, chili, bell peppers, corn, olives, and tomato. Cook over med. for 1-2 mins.
3. Pour in stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 20 mins, stirring.
4. Add cashews and peas and cook 5 more mins. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley and cayenne.




What's Cooking Vegetarian, pg 118