*Catching up on my 31 reasons for Vegan Month of Food, i.e., Vegan MoFo. I've decided to list 31 reasons for being vegan, or why I am a vegan.
Reason 23: I don't think free range should be "plated".
Reason 24: I've never been to a fish farm.
Reason 25: I prefer split peas to split ribs.
Reason 26: Miso: it's what's for dinner.
Miso (mee-so: don't do what I did and ask the clerk where the my-so is). Miso I am so glad I found you! Miso was in order tonight. So easy. So healthy. So yummy. I have a slight tickle in the throat and am taking an ounce of prevention to stave off any risk of getting, godforbid: "ill". I even had to resort to the "gym" for my workout today. Oh, that was pure joy. I dread treadmill runs. But the result of that is an unusually super-fast pace for a 5k that I could never attain running on pavement, which sort of leaves me feeling pretty good for a few hours after my "run." (28:51 for those interested--I think the belt needed to be a little "less" loose). I'm sensitive to weather--in particular, the days and days of low clouds and rain (having asthma makes it worse). I'm really trying to keep to my exercise schedule , to not let this slight throat itch turn into something more. Enter the Miso Soba Noodle Soup. From a soup-that-heals-you standpoint, I never really loved chicken noodle soup. I don't recall a lot of homemade "soup" from my mother's kitchen. Certainly we had a veggie soup here and there, and my mom could turn out a good veggie soup. I do recall the red and white label kind being present quite often. I felt like this soup-in-the-can was our in-case-the-world-ends stock pile. It never seemed to go away. But I could eat soup for dinner night after night.
Miso was new to me as a vegan--it still is. I've learned through reading and trying recipes the many good properties of the rice and soybean fermented paste. I buy my miso either at a global food store or at Whole Foods. Miso comes in either light, medium or dark paste (it may come in more shades than that even). I usually have light and dark stashed in the fridge. Its "use by" allows for decent shelf life. Here's a quick question for you: How much shelf space do you think we give to our veggies in our fridge? Well, let's just say they've assumed an "upper" shelf space and more! Our outlook on "fridge management" flew out the window when we suddenly discovered that eighty percent of our food stuff was not going to fit in two drawers! We've adjusted nicely.
Miso Soba Noodle Soup
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion diced
4 cloves of garlic minced
1" fresh ginger minced
2 carrots sliced into circles
1 package dried shitake mushrooms (placed in hot water to rehydrate, drained and sliced) or 1 cup fresh sliced thin
8 oz. of soba noodles
6 cups water
fresh ground black pepper
1 package extra firm tofu drained and cubed
2 tablespoons Braggs Liquid Aminos or Low Sodium Tamari
2 tablespoons light miso paste, mixed with about a 1/2 cup of soup broth
scallions sliced thin for garnish
To me, there are two things to remember when you use miso in soup. The first thing is to never let it boil--it will not keep all of its wonderful properties otherwise. There are some who say to reserve the miso for adding in the soup by teaspoonfuls to taste per serving. I prefer to mix it into the entire recipe. The second is to know that it is a very salty flavored item. Taste. Taste. Taste. So, to begin, heat your oil in a large soup pot. Add onions, carrots and garlic. Cook until the onions have softened, for about 5 minutes. Add all of the water and let come to a low boil for 10 minutes or so. Then, add all other ingredients except for tofu and miso. Allow to simmer until the carrots are soft (but not mushy). Place the cubed tofu in a bowl with a lid and add the 2 tablespoons of Braggs or Tamari--allow to soak in, then after a few minutes, add to soup. Turn the heat off the soup. Take about a half cup of broth and place in a bowl. Add miso to this and whisk, then add this to the soup pot. Serve with chopped scallions. To reheat, just heat it at minute increments in a microwave--not allowing it to boil. I also like it cold.