March 20, 2009

Rachel's Thai Soup

I created this soup today when I realized there was a bunch of broccoli in the crisper that I had completely forgotten about. This soup may not be authentic, but it is inspired by Thai flavors.

-2 T. vegetable oil
-1 med. onion, chopped
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-5 cups vegetable broth
-14 oz. coconut milk
-1 or 2 jalapeƱo
-1 large head of broccoli, cut into tiny florets
-2 roasted red peppers, cut into thin strips
-2 carrots, julienned
-4 oz. pad thai noodles, broken in half
-15 oz. cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
-juice from one lime
-2 T. chopped cilantro
-4 T. peanut butter

1. In a large soup pot, cook the onion and garlic in the oil over medium heat until softened.
2. Once the onions are soft, add the remaining vegetables and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.
3. Add the broth and coconut milk to the vegetables, and turn up the heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the broccoli is fully cooked. Stir in the noodles and beans, cover the pot, and remove from heat.
4. Allow the soup to sit, covered, for 10 minutes, or until the noodles are soft.
5. When the noodles are done, stir in the cilantro and peanut butter, until well combined. Enjoy!

March 03, 2009

Onigiri (Omusubi)

A few weeks ago, my friend Christine and I went to an awesome little restaurant where we ate triangular rice "sandwiches." Basically, they were rice, stuffed with a filling, wrapped in nori. I was instantly in love. These are a great alternative to normal bread sandwiches. Healthy, portable little pockets of goodness!

I went out and bought a mold to make these little wonders, and started to play around with recipes. You can shape the rice in your hands, but it's a bit trickier. Here is my version of onigiri, but you can use any filling that sounds good to you.

-2 cups of cooked, sticky brown rice
-1/4 t. salt
-1 t. rice vinegar
-1/2 t. sesame oil
-1/2 t. agave nectar
-teriyaki flavored baked tofu (I used the Trader Joe's brand)
-sheets of nori

1. Put the rice in a mixing bowl. Add the salt, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and agave nectar, and mix gently.
2. Place a sheet of nori on a plate. Place the mold on the middle of the nori, scoop some of the rice into the mold and press it flat, so it fills about 1/3 of the mold. Cut the baked tofu into thin strips, and place over the pressed rice in the mold. Scoop more rice over the tofu, and press down. Leaving the press on the rice, pull the mold off the rice, leaving a perfect triangle. (If shaping the rice with your hands, wet your hands well before shaping. The rice will stick to you if you don't!)
3. Fold the nori over the rice, pressing gently so that the nori sticks to the rice. If there is extra nori that won't stick, just wet your hands and press the nori together.

To store, wrap the onigiri tightly in plastic wrap, so that the rice doesn't dry out.

Don't be shy to try other fillings, or to be creative with the rice seasonings. Maybe some cumin in the rice, and black beans for the filling, or use fresh vegetables for a healthy filling.