De Ma Cuisine

lemongrass Archive

Tuesday

9

February 2016

0

COMMENTS

How to Use 8 Winter Veggies

Written by , Posted in How To, Thoughts, Vegetables

With the colder weather comes the heartier, sturdier winter veggies. Things like kohlrabi, beets, and daikon radishes take the place of the more delicate summer squash, snap peas, and tomatoes. With each season there are some things that are much easier to figure out what to do with than others. This also comes from experience, of course. If you’re in your first season of ever eating beets, they can be a challenge to figure out. But, after a while, they’re a synch.

Here are some of my favorite ways to use some of winter’s finest, and a little bit about them.

Beets

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Beets, while often deep red in color (perfect for staining your hands, so beware), can also be golden or striped in color. They are one of those veggies that need to be cut into to truly show off their beauty. Beets have a sweet, earthy flavor. They are fabulous with citrus, goat cheese, and pasta. They can be steamed, roasted, or sautéed, to name just a few great ways to cook them.

Some of my favorite ways to enjoy beets are as: PicklesTwice Cooked Beets with Pomegranates and Goat Cheese, and in a Warm Beet Salad with Fruit and Nuts.

Daikon Radishes

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Daikon radishes have a more mild and sweet flavor than the smaller red radishes, which can really pack an awesome spicy punch. They are so versatile. I use them in everything from stir fry to soups to raw in a salad. They pair well with carrots, mild cheeses, and other root veggies. They’re a fabulous addition to Hearty Kale and White Bean Quesadillas and Broccoli and Goat Cheese Wraps, and the star of Radish and Feta Toasts.

Escarole

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Escarole is kinda like a sturdier lettuce. Almost like a cross between cabbage and romaine, with a hint of bitterness. It can be eaten raw or cooked, which is a bonus. It pairs well with eggs, beans, and lemons.

I like to chop it up and use it in a Caesar Salad. It’s also great added to soup, near the end of the cooking time like you’d do with the greens in this Ham and Greens Chowder.

Fennel

Fennel

Fennel has a texture similar to celery, but has an anise or licorice flavor and is more pronounced when it’s raw. It’s great used as the boat in Tuna Boats, and in lots of great salads. Since I prefer it to be more subdued, I love it best when it’s cooked. I especially like it in Roasted Stone Fruit with Bulgur and Fennel (in the winter apples could be subbed for stone fruit), on Fennel Pizza, and in a super hearty Chicken Noodle Soup. Fennel pairs well with arugula, beans, and cheese.

Kale

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Kale has a sweet green flavor. It’s not bitter and it’s super sturdy. It can be difficult to digest, but one way to counter that is to massage the kale prior to eating (seriously!). Kale pairs well with citrus, beans, and root veggies (especially potatoes). It can be prepared in so so many ways. It’s great raw and massaged in salads and blended up in smoothies, blitzed up into a pesto and served on Spicy Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes or Garlic and Herb Bread, cooked in Hearty White Bean and Kale Quesadillas, Potato Pancakes, or crisped up as Kale Chips.

Kohlrabi

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Kohlrabi are cute little Yoda-looking veggies. They have a taste similar to a combination of broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Kohlrabi pairs well with cheese (especially parmesan), dill, and vinegar. It’s great raw, in salads or with dip, I love it cooked in Kohlrabi Stew or steamed in Kohlrabi Stuffed with Cabbage and Apples.

Leeks

WinterVeggies-1

Leeks are what I’d consider the onion’s second cousins. They’re milder than an onion or a shallot (first cousins), but still have a sweet oniony flavor. They often have a lot of dirt between the layers, so it’s important to wash well (I like to cut them into rings, swish around in a bowl of water, let the grit fall to the bottom, then remove and chop as desired). But, they won’t make you cry when you cut them, which is a definite bonus. I use leeks, onions, and shallots interchangeably. But, leeks specifically pair well with herbs like parsley, sorrel, basil, rosemary, and thyme, potatoes (like in this Leek and Potato Soup) and other root veggies, and they are great with cheese (you could sauté some leeks and add them to a Winter Squash Dip, or sub the winter squash for leeks and yogurt/cream cheese/blue cheese/silken tofu, or add them to this Artichoke Heart Dip).

Lemongrass

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The taste of lemongrass reminds me a little of Froot Loops, which were a very rare and special treat for my brothers and I when we were kids. It smells kinda like lemon and grass, interestingly enough. It’s fabulous in Asian cuisine, like in this Sweet and Spicy Lemongrass Stir Fry. It pairs well with coconut milk, veggies like carrots, garlic, and ginger, and is great in soups like Thai Basil and Peanut Soup.

Happy Eating!

Some paring ideas from The Vegetarian Flavor Bible.

Monday

31

August 2015

0

COMMENTS

Thai Basil and Peanut Soup

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, Pasta, Rice, Sides, Soups, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

ThaiBasilPeanutSoup-5

Soup, how I have missed you!!

I’d kinda forgotten about soup. I don’t know how. It’s one of my favorite things to cook and eat. Ever. Ever. EVER! I’m aware of the weather. It’s been about 97,000 degrees out lately and it’s just going to get hotter. But, I just can’t help myself.

This is my take on a Thai-peanut-kinda-spicy-oh-so-good soup. And yes, I said peanut. Peanut butter, to be exact. Just trust me, it works.

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To start, I raided the veggie drawers in the fridge. Cabbage, green beans, lemongrass, and chile peppers all made the cut (bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, and greens could also be added, but you’re not missing out without them).

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Then I went to the pantry. Found some peanut butter, ginger, liquid aminos (gluten-free soy sauce substitute – I ran out of the real stuff yesterday), and onion. Along with some tofu from the freezer, the veggies went into a soup pot with some coconut oil to cook away. A few minutes later, the peanut butter and other goodies went in. This soup came together in no time at all.

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I added some veggie stock. Keeping things vegan today. A 30 minute simmer was all it took. If you’ve got less time, that would work too. Just cook until it tastes great to you.

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In the last few minutes of cooking, I added the noodles to some boiling salted water. You can use whatever kind of noodles you prefer – I used soba, but rice noodles would be great too. You can totally add a little more liquid to the soup and cook the noodles that way. I thought about it, but wasn’t sure if we’d have leftovers and didn’t want to risk soup-logged noodles the second time we’d eat it. Since we’re trying to conserve water in the kitchen, I let the pasta water cool and dumped it on the lawn a few minutes ago (ahem – I have no idea if lawns like pasta water, so try at your own risk).

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There are many things that you could do differently. As noted earlier, you could swap some of the veggies and you could use rice pasta if you want to go gluten-free. You could also use rice instead of pasta. It’d be a different soup, but I think it’d still be great. You could also add some coconut milk. I would have done this, but my grocery shopping was already done when I made up the recipe, so it was a use what I have on hand kinda day. However you make it, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. We had it for lunch today and Tim said that it tasted like something you’d find at a fancy restaurant. Well, shucks, honey, that was a nice thing to say. (I agree… I may or may not have licked the bowl.)

Happy Eating!

Thai Basil and Peanut Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 42 minutes

Total Time: 57 minutes

Yield: 2-4

Thai Basil and Peanut Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 C tofu, chopped
  • 1 C green beans, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 chiles, ribs and seeds removed (if desired), diced
  • 1 C cabbage, chopped
  • could also add: bell pepper, summer squash, carrot, broccoli, greens
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, use only an inch or so from the bottom, tender inside layers, chopped
  • to taste salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/4 t ground ginger (or 1/2 to 1 t fresh, diced)
  • 1-2 T liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 T rice vinegar, divided
  • 1/4 C peanut butter
  • 4-6 C veggie stock
  • 1/4 lb. soba noodles or rice noodles (or rice, cooked)
  • 1/4 C Thai basil, chopped, some reserved for topping

Instructions

  1. Heat soup pot, add coconut oil. When oil is hot, add tofu through salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic (and if using fresh ginger, add it now), cook for 1 minute. Add dried ginger (if using), soy sauce/liquid aminos, 1/2 T rice vinegar, and peanut butter, cook for 1 minute. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. During the last few minutes of the soup's cooking time, add the pasta to the water. Cook according to package's directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Remove soup from heat. Stir in Thai basil and remaining 1/2 T of rice vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. To serve, pile some noodles in a bowl and pour soup around them. Top with the reserved Thai basil.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/thai-basil-and-peanut-soup/

Friday

27

September 2013

2

COMMENTS

Sweet and Spicy Lemongrass Stir Fry

Written by , Posted in Dinner, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Vegetables, Vegetarian

SweetSpicyLemongrassStirFry5We ate this for lunch today. Husband is home sick, so he’s been laying around while I work. Today’s work included making a stir fry so I could take pictures of it. After a few bites he exclaimed, “THIS IS LITERALLY PERFECT”. I had to agree.

I’m not sure what I like the most about this stir fry. I don’t know if it’s the hint of spicy that’s behind the sweet gingery sauce. It could be the tender-crisp veggies that are so hot but still bright green. Or maybe it’s the time it takes to prepare this dish from start to finish.

Or… it might be the excitement about finally finding a way to use lemongrass. Even after all these years of getting a weekly box from Abundant Harvest Organics, there are still vegetables that I don’t know what to do with. I was going to make a stir fry anyways, and when I opened the box and saw those lemony sticks sitting in there, it just made sense.

SweetSpicyLemongrassStirFry

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So, I did a little research and figured out how to use it. There are some parts that you don’t want to eat, those could be saved for soups or a creative cocktail. Personally, I think I could just keep a split stalk around me all the time so I could smell it whenever I wanted to. Wow. With all the synthetic fragrances out there, I’m not sure that there’s anything that I’d rather smell than things like lemongrass, basil, or garlic. I’ll take those over an eau de something fake any day. Smell your food, friends. It’s too good to just eat… I think I will use the top portion for soup (which might be what we’re having for dinner – sickness just seems to need soup). I think it would be lovely in a vegetable broth with some zucchini, peas, carrots, ginger, and noodles. I also have plans to make up some sort of cocktail with it. There will be ginger involved. Ginger and lemongrass seem to be good friends. Or maybe I’ll just keep making this stir fry over and over and over again.

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I hope you make this stir fry. We really enjoyed it. And however you use the rest of the stalk of lemongrass, remember to smell it first. For real.

Happy Eating!

Sweet and Spicy Lemongrass Stir Fry

Yield: 2

Sweet and Spicy Lemongrass Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • Soba noodles
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 medium summer squash, julienned
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
  • 1-2 T prepared lemongrass
  • 2 lg cloves garlic, sliced
  • Sauce: 1 T cornstarch
  • 1/2 C cold water
  • 1/2 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 T white vinegar
  • 1 T honey
  • 1/2 t ginger, dried
  • to taste, salt

Instructions

  1. Boil salted water.
  2. Whisk together sauce ingredients. Set aside.
  3. Add pasta to boiling water. When cooked (takes about 4 minutes), drain, toss with a bit of coconut oil, and keep warm.
  4. Prepare lemongrass: Chop off top and bottom of stalk (use only bottom 3-4 inches of stalk). Peel and discard tough outer layers. Mince tender inner layers.
  5. Heat skillet and add oil. When hot add broccoli, squash, chili pepper, and lemongrass. Cook over medium to high heat, using tongs to turn veggies often. After 3 min add garlic and cook 1 min more (or until veggies are tender crisp).
  6. Pour sauce into skillet. Toss with veggies and let it thicken, about 1 minute.
  7. Serve veggies over pasta.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/sweet-and-spicy-lemongrass-stir-fry/


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