Showing posts with label Ginger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ginger. Show all posts

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Buckwheat + Carrot Salad with Ginger and Sesame

This salad feels so summery to me, which suits my longing for the warmer days of spring and summer. We had a not so cold winter so far here, almost no snow the entire november/december/january - which means that those winter months were mostly just dark and dreary, without the snow that serves as a natural reflector and those wonderful blue skies that sometimes come with it.
Consequently I am longing for the warmer days of spring and summer, and I feel like this salad of buckwheat and carrots can sort of satisfy my fantasy of a picknick in a park on a warm summer night (a picknick I actually never have, not even in summer, but it just sounds so dreamy)
The buckwheat that went into this salad had been in my kitchen way too long before I used it today, me always lacking inspiration on what to do with it. Maybe you have a deserted bag of buckwheat groats in your pantry, too? Despite never cooking it, I actually really like the taste buckwheat has. Since they logically taste like Soba noodles (which are made with buckwheat flour), I decided to pair the cooked buckwheat with what I consider Japanese ingredients (ginger, soy sauce, scallions, sesame), though I don't actually know what I am talking about.
And with that, I had a summer fantasy in a bowl for dinner and feel optimistic that summer is near (Michael proclaimed February 1st the beginning of summer, and I am inclined to view it that way, too.)

Are you looking forward to summer, too? Or are you happy in the cold of winter?

Buckwheat Carrot Salad with Ginger and Sesame

1/2 cup uncooked buckwheat
3 carrots
1 scallion
1 knob of ginger, the size of half your thumb or so, grated
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp black sesame seeds

Start cooking the buckwheat in plenty of lightly salted water. Drain when tender, after about 20 minutes and set aside to cool.
Roast the scallion either in the oven (mine was already on) or in a cast iron skillet until slightly charred and tender. Cut into slices
Cut the carrots into ribbons, using a vegetable peeler.
Mix the buckwheat, carrot ribbons and the scalllion slices in a bowl (or in the pan you cooked the buckwheat in) and add the grated ginger and the soy sauce.
Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until the white seeds start to brown. Add to the salad and mix.

Serves 2-3.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Soba with Mushrooms and Spinach

As a child, my diet consisted mostly of Swiss and Italian dishes. Pasta, potatoes, gratin and such. We were fed the occasional Thai curry or sweet and sour pork, but not much else from the exotic department. And it is only in these two cuisines, those I know best, that I stay true to the original recipes and ingredient combinations.
I am not that familiar with Japanese food, my experience of it is limited to 2 or 3 restaurant visits in Switzerland or Germany. I also make sushi from time to time, but I would not consider myself a sushi expert. So when I tell you this dish is Japanese, I am probably wrong.
I cook soba and other Asian noodles like I cook Italian pasta, in salted water, on a rolling boil. I learnt to rinse them in cold water after cooking, but I usually reheat them with the sauce I want to serve them with. And it turns out fine, even great with this dish.

Buckwheat and mushrooms are to be considered close friends in the kitchen, at least in mine. Whenever I cook with buckwheat, I want to add mushrooms, these two earthy flavours complement each other so well. This dish was inspired by a recipe by Heidi Swanson, her Black Sesame Otsu, a recipe from her second book that you can also find on her blog. I made it as she wrote it, too, and I love it, but I also like to change things up. And I have to say, the mushrooms do more for the dish than the tofu in the original recipe. I actually quite like tofu, but it is does not add much flavor to a dish.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Coconutty Energy Orbs with a Kick

I have been quite absent in the last weeks. I spent a day at a local film festival, I went to an art museum, cooked some indian food. Wrote a paper for university, worked and met friends and family.
Somehow, I just couldnt seem to think of something to write about here. Or rather, I had too much going on in my head but couldnt get anything out on paper or screen.
The last week or two I have been thinking about what and how I eat a lot. I reread Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food, and after I didnt' really have a great impact on my way of eating the first time, it somehow touched me now. Perhaps it has to do with all the people (mostly women) around me who talk about diets way too much. Who think just eating the right kind of food will just make the pounds drop in a heartbeat.

Maybe it's the way people in our society seem to think of food, mostly in shouldnts, linking it to self control (or lack thereof), guilt, slip ups, temptations.
Maybe it is the joy I found in making as much as possible by hand, to not rely on processed food anymore (Or less so).
One thing I want to change in my eating habits is my intake of refined flours. I grew up eating lots of bread and pasta, and while I really enjoy eating them, I dont feel great after too much of both. And I get hungry again soon after eating them. Way to soon. One way to avoid eating something baked as a snack, which I often do, is to bring something with me.
This is where these energy orbs come in. I saw a basic recipe for them on My New Roots, but added some things to spice them up. You could use whatever combination of nuts and dried fruit and add spices to your liking. I do like the kick of the ginger and the coconut they are rolled in. The almost look like buttery and sugary truffles, but they are not. Which is not a bad thing, really. At least that is what I think.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Gingery Noodle Soup

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I am back home, after I spent two days at my parents house. I'm actually quite happy to be back in my kitchen, I feel comfortable here. In my parents kitchen I always feel a bit unsure of myself. My mother is a bit bossy when it comes to cooking, and a bit conservative. I just dont want to be explaining why I want to do something differently anymore, and so I stick to cooking what everyone likes, if I cook at all when I'm there.

I only moved out of my parents house two years ago. I only really started cooking about a year ago. And now I just can't accept the way we always did things as "the only" way. I don't mean to change my parents, and my brothers and my sister still live at home and have to find out what they want when they move out, too. But only when I'm at home, in my kitchen, the one with only one flat surface, with the little wonky garden table that we eat almost every meal at, with the very impractical floor-to-ceiling built-in cabinets and the old, too hot, oven - only then can I really cook.

I'm back home, and I needed a break from the food I ate over Christmas. It was good food, but it was not my food. Do you ever feel the same?
So I made this soup. It's light. Gingery. Slightly spicy. And so refreshing after days of eating and drinking too much.