Friday, January 26, 2018

Lemongrass Basil Vegetables, Edamame and Mung Bean Pasta

I was teaching my daughter in our homeschool into the evening, then had to quickly get dinner going. I heated a simple bean dish for her then got to work on dinner for my wife and me. I had on hand lemongrass basil simmer sauce, and thought I'd cook some vegetables and tempeh or seitan with it - but, surprisingly, we were out of both seitan and tempeh. Instead, I decided to go with just vegetables and used about 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, about a compressed cup and a half of kale leaves, roughly hand torn from the stems into about 1" pieces, a cup or so of carrot cut into 3/8" slices.

I cut up about a half dozen Yellow Finn potatoes into approximately 1" pieces and pressure steamed them, along with a peeled but uncut clove of garlic for 6 minutes. In the meantime, I put the vegetables and kale (as well as a teaspoon of coarsely chopped ginger) into a large pan and cooked, stirring occasionally, for about 10-12 minutes. The vegetables were partially but not fully cooked, by design.

When the potato (and garlic - but I forgot about it! I think once it was roasted and I scooped the potatoes out, the garlic came out and was crushed) was done, I mixed the potato and simmer sauce into the vegetables and served, along with cucumber slices topped with jerk seasoning, and edamame and mung bean pasta. Six minutes, by the way, was perfect and perhaps even a minute too long - the potato was nicely cooked.

Dinner was good! I have been thinking for over a year that I should more frequently use sauces in my cooking and certainly some quality purchased sauces can be a good way to go. The fat of the sauce was something like 10g, but that was enough for at least 3 servings, so we're at about the 3g of fat per course in a meal that we recommend in our Food for Life classes.

The sauce was indeed good, and the combination was good. I had meant to include broccoli but forgot - and it may be just as well, as the broccoli would have added too much volume to the dish. My wife and I both liked the semi-cooked vegetables with fully cooked potato.

Ideas for the future

I should continue to periodically integrate homemade and purchased sauces. I'll remember to prepare potatoes in this way for future dishes. If I were to make something similar, I might want to include roasted bell pepper. Jalapeno, were I not serving my daughter, would also be good, as well as more ginger. I wonder what a similar dish might be with fruit like mango or pineapple, perhaps with seitan and one green, plus a Thai sauce.

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