Sunday, October 4, 2009

Vaguely macro, overtly colorful

When I was home last month I went through a pile of recipes that my mom had clipped from the newspaper and magazines. I took two home with me, and I got to try them out last night. Spiced Coconut Red Lentil Soup? What a great idea, Cooking Light--it will be similar to those sweet potato coconut soups but with more fiber and protein. Yet some changes were necessary: in the original recipe, the cooking times and the order in which you add ingredients were all wrong. The ginger was burning before the garlic and spices were supposed to be added, and the garlic never got cooked. I also swapped out chicken broth in favor of miso broth. In the final analysis, though, this soup was actually too "healthy": just too watery for what it purported to be.

I was also drawn to a recipe for "Moravian Wafers." Distracted by the fact that this cookie calls for ground mustard (A MUSTARD COOKIE!?), I failed to notice that it's mostly just a gingerbread cookie. Still, it's a pretty badass gingerbread cookie: it's not too sweet, the mustard gives it lots of tang, and the copious amounts of black pepper I added give it a lot of bite. I increased most of the spices, used Earth Balance instead of butter, and after struggling to use plastic wrap instead of waxed paper, with a bottle instead of a rolling pin and a wobbly table, I abandoned the "wafer" part of the recipe (which necessitated upping the cooking time).

Finally, as cabbage is the $1 gift to yourself from Jons that keeps on giving, I decided to try out the pressed salad recipe that Myer posted on my blog last week.

Oh, and everyone should make their own gomasio! I ate the soup and the salad with some steamed broccoli with olive oil and gomasio. Just grind toasted sesame seeds and sea salt in a (very clean) coffee grinder, and you have a delectable condiment to use as you would use salt: on vegetables, rice, porridge, and more!

Coconut Red Lentil Soup
(salvaged from a Cooking Light recipe)


2 tsp olive oil
2 c chopped onion
1 terabyte minced fresh ginger
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp cinnamon
3 1/2 c water
1 c red lentils, washed and drained
1 c coconut milk
3-4 TB miso paste (not white)
3 TB chopped fresh basil
2 TB fresh lime juice

Instructions: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until browned. Add ginger, garlic, and spices, and cook until fragrant. Add water and lentils, bring to a boil, cover, lower heat, simmer 30-60 min. Remove from heat. When cool, puree in a blender. Add coconut milk and miso paste (in blender if possible). Return to saucepan and bring back to hot temperature (do not boil). Stir in basil and lime juice, and serve.

Pressed Purple Cabbage Salad
(adapted from a recipe from Cirrus Kohlmoos, via Myer Nore)


1/2 purple cabbage
1/2 yellow onion
2 small persian cucumbers, peeled
1 large carrot
1/2 lemon
1/2 green apple, diced

Instructions: Slice the cabbage into thin ribbons, the onion into very thin moons, the cucumber into slightly thicker slices. Julienne the carrot in 1-in-long pieces. Combine in a large bowl. Add about 1 tsp sea salt to the bowl, then mix and massage until the vegetables are bright, wilty, and wet. Cover with a plate held down by heavy weights (cans, jars, etc.). Let sit for 1 hour. Drain excess liquid. Add a little lemon juice and garnish with diced apple.

Gingerbread Cookies and Rice Milk

Gingerbread Cookies
(adapted from a Cooking Light recipe for Moravian Wafers)

1 1/4 c flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp ground dry mustard
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 c molasses
3 TB vegan butter, softened
2 TB brown sugar

Instructions: Combine and mix thoroughly--dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another. Add dry to wet, mix until just blended. NOW preheat oven to 350*. Freeze or refrigerate dough for 10 minutes. Lightly oil or grease cookie sheets. Take dough out. Form into small balls (1-in diameter). Place on cookie sheets and squash them with a glass or your hand. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Makes 1 or 2 dozen.


myer nore said...

Great pictures, Jules. Everything looks delicious. A "terabyte" may actually be about enough space to contain the information in a tablespoon of ginger, when they finally figure out how to digitize smells and tastes. I must try that cookie with mustard and ginger. I've always added cayenne or jalapeño powder to chocolate or sugar cookies, but I've never considered mustard powder; it seems like it'd be perfect for ginger.

As the weather cools I'm increasingly in the mood for creamy, spicy soups like the one you've given here. I'll have to try this one. Miso master makes this great chickpea miso that's not soy based. I had some leftover hummus from a massive amount that I had made earlier in the week, so I made a sort of hot, creamy soup out of tahini, miso, chickpeas, short grain brown rice, barley, sriracha, and Indian spices. mmmm...

I saw a nice homemade short film that made me think of you the other day. Oddly appropriate for this blog: Sweet Dreams

Julia said...

Ah! I'll have to find this master of miso... I've been enjoying Cold Mountain Miso--especially the yellow one: if you mix it with tahini and put it on crackers or toast, it tastes like the best "cheese spread" never created.

Re: baking with mustard-- I got a killer deal on dry mustard (8 oz for $2!) so if you think of anything that might use up some of it, send it my way.

'Love the short film. :)

Unknown said...

The gingerbread cookies look great, Julia. Just like I taught you...

Gauri Radha गौरी राधा said...

The gingerbread cookies look great, perfect for winter holiday season :-)

Anonymous said...

these cookies are delicious! i just made them and surprisingly they turned out perfectly spiced. i thought that the mustard and black pepper were odd ingredients however they blended right in this recipe. i did reduce the amount of sugar in half and reduced the amount of molasses by four tablespoons. after i refrigerated the mixture, it came out too dry so i added around 1/8 of a cup of applesauce. by then it was a tad bit hard to shape with my hands but i managed.

Julia said...

That sounds great, Stephanie--I haven't made these since I posted about them, but I'd be interested in trying a not-very-sweet version like yours. :)