Thursday, July 12, 2012

Make this Meal

Sometimes modernity is fantastic.

Today it was in the light breezy feeling I had zipping down the highway at sunset, out on a library run, windows down, music loud. Or the early morning Skype conversation; it still amazes me that I can video chat like I'm on the Jetsons. Or the Facebook discussion between friends, each of the three of us residing in a different country, able to contribute throughout the day. But perhaps best of all, it was finding these two great recipes online- Miso Kale Salad and Quinoa and Grilled Pepper Salad. Nearly everything was local- the kale and onions were fresh from the yard, the peppers and tomatoes from the Farmers Market. We even have a local tofu factory, so it was just the quinoa, cheese, miso, oil and spices that weren't raised within 50 miles. We also enjoyed a side Purple Cherokee tomatoes from the Farmers Market, just sliced, nothing additional needed.

Here's the Miso Kale Salad with Tofu. Our two year old loved the tofu and went so far as to call it "frosting" and "a special treat." If that's not a ringing endorsement, I'm not sure what is. I got the recipe from Marin Mama Cooks, who got it from Eating Well, Fast & Flavorful Meatless Meals. Sharing. Modernity. Yum.

- 1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained and patted dry
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. miso- we used white
- 2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine juice, miso, and garlic. Cut tofu into squares and toss in dressing, bake at 450 for 18-20 minutes.

For the salad:
- 1 large bunch of kale, we used red
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 tsp miso, again we used white
- 1 clove of minced garlic
- Parmesan cheese, we used grated, and just sprinkled it on the salad

Combine all ingredients except cheese and kale, whisk. Add the kale and stir until well combined. Plate the salad, sprinkle with cheese, and top with tofu.

And the Quinoa, from Epicurious. It seems fussy to prepare, but it's really not, and the results are worth it.

- 1 1/4 cups quinoa
-2 large green peppers (the original recipe said yellow or orange)
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 scallions, chopped

Wash quinoa in at least 5 changes of water, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off water, until water runs clear. Drain in a large sieve. Add quinoa to a saucepan of boiling salted water and cook 10 minutes. Drain in sieve and rinse under cold water.
Set sieve over a saucepan with 1 1/2 inches boiling water (sieve should not touch water) and steam quinoa, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, about 10 minutes. (Check water level in pan occasionally, adding water if necessary.) Spread quinoa on a baking sheet to cool.
While quinoa is cooking, grill bell peppers. As it was a weeknight, we did this on a grill pan on the stove top, but it would be great to grill outside as well. Chop peppers.
Whisk together oil, lime juice, soy sauce, and cumin in a large bowl and stir in quinoa, bell peppers, cilantro, scallions, and salt and pepper to taste. 

 Modernity is so good.

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