Gourmet Veggie Mama

Category Archives: Asian

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Chili Sauce

You know what’s good? Brussels sprouts. I know, I know — they’re all the rage right now, but I have to say, I’m so glad they’ve been re-discovered and that people are actually doing them right!

Roasting is the way to go, hands-down. You’re not still cutting those little Xs in the bottom of your Brussels sprouts and boiling them are you? Roasting is so much easier, and so much tastier, too.

The hubby and I went out to dinner at Uchiko a little while ago, and, among the many dishes they wowed us with was a side of crispy roasted Brussels sprouts with sweet chili sauce. Since I love Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving and wanted to include them in our feast, I decided to try my hand at a similar recipe. Although ours didn’t come out as crispy (or, truth be told, as greasy*) as Uchiko’s, they were still awesome.

Roasted Brussels Spouts with Sweet Chili Sauce

* Not necessarily saying that’s a bad thing — they were utterly delicious.

I love the combination of soy sauce and sweet chili sauce on these, for a slightly Asian spin that was still perfectly at home with more traditional Thanksgiving foods. We had the rest of the sprouts (recipe testing, round 2) with a dinner of caramelized tofu with ramen noodles a couple nights ago, and it went great with that, too. Definitely a must-try!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Chili Sauce
Author: 
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 Tbs canola oil
  • 2 Tbs tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs sweet chili sauce**
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Toss the Brussels sprouts in a bowl with the oil and soy sauce to coat them, and then spread them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes, or until partially tender.
  3. Toss the sprouts and then raise the oven temperature to 400. Continue to roast for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until tender, crisp and browed, tossing every few minutes to ensure even browning.
  4. Remove the Brussels sprouts from the oven and toss in a bowl with the sweet chili sauce. Serve immediately.
Notes
** Available at Asian groceries or the Asian foods section of some grocery stores.

 

Eggplant Stir Fry with Green Beans and Cashews

I don’t usually write about stir frys, since I tend to put them together often, and on the fly, with no real recipe to speak of. This time, however, I was feeling inspired to try something a little different with the Chinese eggplant we scored in the CSA box. I had been flipping through an issue os Vegetarian Times, and I came across an article on eggplant, complete with a recipe for Eggplant Stir Fry with Green Beans and Cashews.

eggplant stir fry

I’m not usually one to shop for stir fry ingredients, either, but this sounded so delicious — and I was admittedly lacking any green vegetables in the fridge to throw in — that I decided to give it a whirl. I’m glad I sucked it up and bought green beans, because this was a wonderful dish, and one we’ll definitely be enjoying again. The hubby raved, and Nora, who has scarcely tried a bite of anything I’ve cooked for the past three days (sigh) nibbled at it a bit… and then settled for plain rice instead. Can’t win ’em all. I did eat her leftovers, though, so at least there’s that.

Eggplant Stir Fry with Green Beans and Cashews
Author: 
Cuisine: asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
For sauce:
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1½ tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
For stir fry:
  • 8 oz (about 1 cup) fresh green beans, snipped
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2-3 Chinese or Japanese eggplant, sliced crosswise on the diagonal
  • 1 carrot, sliced crosswise on the diagonal
  • 2 green onions, sliced crosswise on the diagonal
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • Crispy fried tofu (about 8 oz before cooking, prepared ahead)
  • Cashews for serving
  • Brown rice for serving
Instructions
  1. Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar and Sriracha together in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside.
  2. Bring 2 cups of water to a rapid boil in a small pot, and blanch the green beans, about 3-4 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid, and rinse with cold water Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the eggplant and stir fry for a few minutes, until beginning to soften. Add the carrots and stir fry for an additional minute or two, and then cover with a lid and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and add the green onions, garlic and ginger, and stir for 30 seconds. Add the green beans and the sauce, plus a splash of the green bean cooking liquid. Stir until the sauce begins to thicken.
  5. Add the tofu and stir to coat. Cook until warm and fragrant. Serve atop brown rice, topped with a handful of cashews.

 

Gourmet Veggie Mama is 2!

Happy second blogiversary to me! It’s hard to believe that my modest little website is turning 2 already. It has been quite a second year! I ran a marathon, made the jump to being a self-hosted site (which was a good decision… I think?), tried my hand at video, went to my first-ever blogger conference (TechMunch, which was great), cooked a lot of delicious food and mixed more than a few mean cocktails. Many bottles of wine were killed over the course of the year, but I like to think they didn’t die in vain. Oh, and I got knocked up and battled wicked morning sickness and food aversions that made it really hard to enjoy (or write about) food.

Earlier this year, Gourmet Veggie Mama was named one of the Top 10 Austin Food Blogs* by the Austin Chronicle. I am still humbled by that recognition — this started out as my creative outlet, and a place to write about the meals I cooked for my family, and it has grown into something more than that.

* Go check out the list — there are some great finds on there!

I want to say a big thank you to everyone who reads, regularly or occasionally, comments and otherwise follows along. I appreciate each and every one of you more than you know, and this whole thing would be no fun at all without you. I don’t know what the next year holds — with a new baby on the way, everything is likely to be topsy-turvy for a while — but here’s hoping for much more kitchen (and cocktail) creativity to come! I hope you’ll stick with me for the journey… and I just might be posting about baby food again this time next year. But I promise it won’t all be baby food.

In honor making it to 2, I’m taking a leaf from my own book from last year and making a list of my 10 favorite recipes from the past year, listed in no particular order. I hope you enjoy them — and if you’ve tried any of these recipes out, I hope you’ll take the time to let me know how you liked them, if you haven’t already. I may not be a professional photographer (puh-lease) or food stylist, but I’m trying to hone the art of recipe writing, and I always appreciate your constructive feedback.

Here’s to another fabulous year!

1. Chard and Mushroom Enchiladas with Hatch Green Chile Sauce.

Chard and Mushroom Enchiladas ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

It’s Hatch green chile season again, and this recipe is one reason I can’t wait to get my hands on some of those green beauties!

2. Chocolate Budino.

Chocolate Budino ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

This is not just any pudding. It’s delicious, creamy, ultra-rich chocolate decadence. Sometimes simple is best.

3. Creamy Roasted Tomato and Orzo Soup.

Creamy Roasted Tomato Orzo Soup ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

Ah, I miss soup weather… but someday it’ll be here again. Here’s the perfect creamy tomato soup to pair with a grilled cheese.

4. Bourbon Peach Cobbler.

Bourbon Peach Cobbler

Bourbon peach cobbler. In a cast iron skillet. Need I say more?

5. Caramelized Tofu with Ramen Noodles and Kale.

Caramelized Tofu with Ramen Noodles and Kale

This is a recent one, but it’s so good, I just had to include it. It’s such an easy, no-press way to prepare tofu, and the sauce is absolutely delicious.

6. Freshly Pressed.

Freshly Pressed ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

I really fell in love with gin this year (sigh…), and this cocktail is just the perfect mixture of delicious grapefruit and gin, made a little more complex with a splash of bitters.

7. Orecchiette with Kale and Breadcrumbs.

Orecchiette with Kale and Breadcrumbs ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

This pasta is creamy, garlicky, kale-y deliciousness. And there’s just something about that quirky little ear-shaped pasta that makes it extra good.

8. Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Coffee Bourbon Sauce.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Coffee Bourbon Sauce ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

Oh yes, I infused my own coffee bourbon… and this was the most awesome thing I made with it.

9. Chickpeas and Spinach with Garlic Aioli.

Chickpeas and Spinach with Garlic Aioli ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

This is a delicious Middle Eastern-inspired dish finished off with a dollop of homemade garlic aioli. The best part? The aioli is incredibly easy to make, and it absolutely makes this meal.

10. Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

I don’t quite know what it is about these muffins that makes them so perfect. They have the perfect, tender crumb, and they’re just amazing. Plus, this recipe is how I first discovered the wonders of white whole wheat flour.

Cool Noodles for Hot Temps

Are you sensing a theme, here? It’s hot. Not that I’m complaining… yet. But I also welcome any recipe that allows me to put a delicious meal on the table without heating up the kitchen too much. Enter soba noodle salad.

soba noodles

Go check out my latest post on LiveMom for the full scoop, and the recipe. Nora’s take?

head in bowl

Yeah, it’s good. Try it!

Shiitake bok choy soup

I’m always on the lookout for a quick, easy meal that doesn’t sacrifice taste. While searching for a new way to use bok choy,* I ran across a recipe that killed two birds with one stone! This shiitake bok choy soup is easy, tasty, and it took 10 minutes to put together, tops, said the hubby, who served as my recipe tester.

* Hey, stir fry is good, but I don’t necessarily want it every week.

Yum.

I had already rehydrated and chopped the mushrooms earlier in the day, and by the time I was ready to head out for an evening run, all that was left to do was chop the bok choy and scallions and put it all together. Fortunately for me, and thanks to my awesome hubby, when I got home, I had a sleeping baby in her crib, and dinner already on the table!

Shiitake Bok Choy Soup
Based on this recipe, originally from Gourmet, February 1999

1 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms**
1 bunch bok choy
4 scallions
5 1/2 cups (approximately) vegetable broth
Japanese rice seasoning (optional)
12 oz soba noodles***
soy sauce

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add the mushrooms. Turn the heat down and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid. Allow the mushrooms to cool and then slice them. Cut the bok choy crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. Cut the scallions diagonally into thin slices.

Add enough vegetable broth to the mushroom liquid to make 6 cups total. Add rice seasoning to taste (if using) and bring the mixture to a boil in a large pot. Add the bok choy, mushrooms, and noodles. Simmer the soup, uncovered, until the noodles are tender. Season with soy sauce and stir in scallions.

** I used dried shiitakes, since I wasn’t in the mood to pay a lot more for fresh, but you could substitute 1/2 lb fresh and omit the reconstitution.

*** I used Annie Chun’s FreshPak noodles, which are already cooked.

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