Miso Soup with Quinoa, Tofu, Shiitake Mushrooms and Watercress

The temperature has been frigid lately.  And in times like this, I often opt to have something warm, lighter but hearty in nutrients other than the comfort food I’ve had growing up.  Miso soup with quinoa,  tofu, Shiitake mushrooms and watercress was what I had in mind.

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This soup is pack with protein from the quinoa, miso, and tofu.  According to WebMD, watercress is said to be used for “swollen breathing” passages in the lung, coughs, bronchitis, flu and swine flu.  Perfect for my cough and sore throat.  It’s also used for constipation and parasitic worms, cancer, goiter polyps and tuberculosis.  Some people apply watercress directly to the skin for arthritis remedy as well rheumatoid arthritis, earache, eczema, warts, and other skin problems.   Shiitake mushrooms are promoted to fight the development and progression of cancer and AIDS by boosting the body’s immune system. These mushrooms are also said to help prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and to help treat infections such as hepatitis by producing interferon, a group of natural proteins that stops viruses from multiplying.  So, ingesting something with healing properties and nutrients is something to feel good about.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 sheet of dry seaweed, tear in small pieces
  • 7 oz. organic firm tofu, cut in bite pieces
  • 1/2 cup organic mild sodium Miso
  • a handful of watercress
  • 1 stalk of green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup of hydrated Shiitake mushrooms

In a medium pan, add water and bring it to a simmer over low heat.   Place the miso in a medium bowl and add some of the simmering hot water.  Whisk until the broth is free of lumps.  Add to the pot with simmered hot water.  Stir to combine.  Add the Shiitake and let it simmer until the mushrooms are tender.  Then add the tofu and quinoa.  Simmer until heated through.   Add the watercress and seaweed, and green onions.   Simmer until watercress is somewhat wilted.  Serve in a small bowl and garnish with more seaweed.

VARIATION:

You can also have this with just the tofu, green onions, and seaweed.  It’s delicious either way.  Enjoy! 🙂

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Tofu and Eggplant Stir-fry

I had a wonderful memory about a salad that my friend and I made when I was still living in Hawaii over two decades ago. We went to explore the island and made a stop at China town in downtown Honolulu for lunch.  Hawaii, known as a melting pot, you get introduced to different foods including tofu.  I didn’t like it at first, but when we made this Asian salad and tofu soup as well as learned of its nutritional value, I changed my mind.  Tofu became one of my favorites.  Like the Mediterranean salad, this too was also a favorite at parties I catered.  It wasn’t just because of the watercress, tofu, and tuna, but also because of the dressing.  When you take a bite, the  raw garlic in the dressing and the watercress have that spiciness and bitterness taste to them that balances out when you bite into the tuna and tofu. The dressing brought all the flavors together.  You can also use the dressing as a stir-fry sauce which I did with the dish I created.

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Sauce Ingredients:

  •  1 tablespoon Sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic.

Mix all ingredients in a dressing shaker and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside

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Eggplant and Tofu Stir-fry with Pineapple Fried Rice
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Stir-fry Ingredients:

  • 1 Chinese long eggplant, cut crosswise about half inch each
  • a handful of  fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 1 mini red bell peppers, sliced lengthwise
  • 6 oz. tofu, cubed in bite pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 of medium onions, sliced
  • oil for frying

Instructions:

  • First, prepare the sauce.  It’s a must.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1/4 cup of oil.  Fry the eggplant until brown or soft.
  • Place cooked eggplant on a plate lined with paper towel so it will absorb any excess oil.
  • In a different skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Add garlic, onions, and bell peppers. Cook until translucent.
  • Add the tofu.  Stir-fry until tofu is heated through.
  • Add the sauce and toss to incorporate.  Cook until sauce is heated through.

Here’s a picture of the salad I was talking about.  I had this about a week ago.  The recipe is available below.  You can use the stir-fry sauce ingredients I provided above to dress this salad.

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Watercress Salad ingredients:

  • A handful of watercress
  • 1/2 cup tuna flakes in oil
  • 1/4 of small red onions, sliced
  • 6 oz. tofu; cubed
  • 1-2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

Place all ingredients in a large bowl.  Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine.  Enjoy!