Udon Noodle Salad garnished with Thai Basil alongside Tempeh-Veggie Wraps with Peanut Dipping Sauce

It started with craving tempeh. The end.

Udon Noodle Salad with Thai Basil

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. mirin

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp. fresh squeezed lime juice

1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced

9.5 ounce bag of udon noodles

1/2 cup Thai basil, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup fresh spinach or collard greens, coarsely chopped

Directions:

Combine soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, lime juice, and ginger(dressing) . Mix together and set aside. In a pot of boiling water, cook noodles until al dente; about 8 minutes.  Drain well.  Add dressing to the noodles and then stir in the basil and spinach. Serve hot or cold.

Tempeh Veggie Wraps

Ingredients: (makes 10-12 wraps)

Tempeh Marinade:

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 cup filtered water

3 cloves chopped garlic

1 Tbsp. minced ginger

1  8-oz bag of tempeh.

Directions: Add soy sauce, filtered water, garlic, and ginger to a bowl and whisk.  Slice the tempeh into strips and place in a sauté pan. Pour mixture over the tempeh and simmer for 20-25 minutes on low.  Set aside.

Wrap Fillings:

1 Pack of rice wraps

1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced

1/4 green cabbage, thinly sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced

12 stalks of asparagus, pre-steamed al dente

10-12 leaves of romaine

10-12 leaves of spinach

3 Tbsp. minced mint

Directions:

Place a bowl of warm water on a prep table.  Make sure there is enough room for rolling and keeping finished wraps apart from one another (they will stick together).  Soak 1 rice wrap in the warm water for 5 seconds until pliable.  Then layer with 2 strips of prepared tempeh, green and red cabbage, red bell, a stalk of asparagus, and one each of the romaine and spinach. Sprinkle with mint. Place all the ingredients into the middle of the rice wrap circle.  Fold both ends inward on top of pile of ingredients, and then roll from one side to the other. Set aside. They will be wet and not easy to work with at first, but they will dry up and stay rolled as they sit.  Complete with remaining ingredients the same as you completed the first. Serve alongside Peanut Dipping Sauce. Made to enjoy cold.

Peanut Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. chopped peanuts or peanut butter

2 Tbsp. honey

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. water

2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk until thoroughly blended.

 

 

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Creamed Curried Coconut Cauliflower Soup

About 15 years ago, our paths intertwined with this amazing couple from our church. Rich and Lucy  are the type of people who light up a room; charming, funny, inspiring, uplifting.  They are the kind of people you can’t get enough of.

One evening, in an unusual torrential Southern Californian downpour, we were fortunate to be the lucky recipients of a meal hosted by them at their cute little Costa Mesa abode.  Fortunately for us, the rain dissipated so we could enjoy their lovely backyard lit up with decorative lights set amidst their quaint city garden to partake of the amazing meal Rich prepared.

Rich is probably one of the best cooks I have met.  He can pair flavors together with such intrigue, that I find myself dissecting the meal so that I can replicate it at another time. But, he is similar to me, in the fact that often times, I prepare a meal and do not write down the recipe.

This wonderful meal consisted of a main dish of creamy curried coconut cauliflower soup. Such a depth in flavor, and the perfect accompaniment for the fresh garden salad, and rustic bread and garlic spread that he created.  Since that evening, this soup has been on my top five favorite soups list.  I cannot prepare it with the same umph, as he, but it comes close enough to where I can allow my palate to be content.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup of olive oil

1 head of  cauliflower, chopped

1 small white onion chopped

2 large cloves of garlic

1/2 tsp. curry powder

1/4 tsp. turmeric

1/2 tsp. coriander

1/2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 cup cashews

1 tsp. sesame oil

6 cups of vegetable stock

* salt and pepper to taste

1 can coconut milk

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl, mix together olive oil, cauliflower, onion, garlic, curry, turmeric, coriander, cumin, sea salt, and pepper. Allow to roast for 30 minutes until cauliflower is softened.  In a soup pot, place the roasted cauliflower mix with vegetable broth, coconut milk, and cashews. Bring to boil for 5 minutes, then simmer for another 15.  Blend with an immersion blender until creamy.  If you don’t own an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender if yours is fine with heat.  Add the sesame oil, and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.

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