Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad

by Jennifer

This recipe, adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, is delicious.  Come to think of it, I haven’t made a dish from his cookbook so far that wasn’t!  Serves 4 – 6.

  • 2/3 cup neutral oil
  • 4 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4” slices
  • 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup frozen edamame
  • 3 cups basil leaves, divided
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. short pasta
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 TBS capers, rinsed
  • 12 oz. fresh mozzarella, torn by hand into chunks

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat 2/3 cup neutral oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the zucchini in batches, turning once, until lightly golden.

Transfer zucchini, as they’re cooked, to a colander to drain.

When all the zucchini have been fried and drained, toss them with the red wine vinegar in a large serving bowl and set aside.

Cook the edamame in the boiling water for 3 minutes, then use a fine-mesh sieve or slotted spoon to scoop them out.

Rinse them in cold water (rinse the capers at the same time), drain well, then add them to the zucchini in the bowl.

Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions;  drain, rinse with cool water, then add to the bowl.

While the pasta is cooking, combine half of the basil, the parsley and the olive oil in a food processor or blender and puree;  add puree to the bowl, along with the lemon zest, remaining basil (roughly chopped) and fresh mozzarella.

Toss everything together, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy.

Japanese-Style Soup Your Way; Stir-Fried Soybeans with Garlic and Chile

by Jennifer

Similar to make-your-own tacos, this make-your-own soup is fresh, delicious, and a lot of fun to put together, especially for kids.  I completely credit the idea to my friend Amy.  This is a vegetarian version, but you could add shredded poached chicken or cooked shrimp, too.  I prefer soba noodles but the rest of my family prefers udon noodles (or, you could have both….).  Serves 4.

Japanese-Style Soup Your Way

  • 6 cups vegetable or not-chicken broth (I used Not-Chicken Soup which I’d frozen earlier)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 slices peeled fresh ginger, each about the size of a quarter
  • 1 3-4” piece kombu, rinsed (optional)
  • 8 oz. package soba noodles or 8 oz. udon noodles
  • red pepper, julienned
  • fresh bean sprouts
  • scallions, thinly sliced
  • cilantro, chopped
  • enoki mushrooms, sliced off their base
  • optional:  ponzu sauce, shredded chicken, cooked shrimp, small cubes of soft tofu

Simmer the broth, garlic, ginger and kombu for 20 minutes;  remove and discard garlic, ginger and kombu.

While the broth is simmering, prepare vegetables and place in separate bowls for everyone to help themselves.  Cook noodles according to package directions;  drain and briefly rinse in cool water.

Divide noodles among bowls, ladle broth on top, and let everyone choose their additions.

Stir-Fried Soybeans with Garlic and Chile – from Gourmet magazine

These are incredibly addictive, and spicy;  I’ll admit my kids enjoyed plain edamame tonight while my husband and I ate this entire recipe ourselves!  This makes a wonderful appetizer or side dish.

  • 1 lb. frozen edamame in the shell
  • 2 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic

Cook edamame in boiled unsalted water for 5 minutes;  drain.

Combine soy sauce through red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

Heat a wok over medium-high heat.  Swirl in oil and then add the ginger and garlic, stir-frying until fragrant, about 15 seconds or so.

Add edamame and stir-fry until they start to brown in spots, about 3 – 4 minutes.

Add sauce and stir-fry until well-coated and the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute.

Stir-Fried Cabbage and Edamame with Soba Noodles

By Jennifer

Stir-Fried Cabbage and Edamame with Soba Noodles

Remember that purple cabbage from the Rainbow Stir-Fry recipe a few weeks back?  I came up with this recipe as a way to use up some of the left-over cabbage.

Serves 4 adults.

  • 1 onion, sliced vertically
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 TBS peanut oil
  • about 4 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage
  • 3/4 cup stir-fry sauce, such as House of Tsang Classic Stir Fry Sauce (I found this in my regular supermarket)
  • 8.8 oz. soba noodles
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 1/2 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts, chopped

Simmering soba and edamame

Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil;  add the soba noodles and edamame and simmer for 6 – 7 minutes, or according to your soba noodle package directions.  Drain.

Draining soba and edamame

While the soba and edamame are cooking, heat a wok over medium-high heat.  Add the peanut oil and swirl around the wok.

Onions in the wok

Add the onions and stir-fry for 2 -3 minutes, until they begin to soften and brown.

Adding garlic

Add the garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Adding cabbage

Add the cabbage and stir-fry about 4 minutes.

Adding soba, edamame and sauce to vegetables

Add the stir-fry sauce, soba noodles and edamame, and toss well to heat through.  Serve sprinkled with the chopped peanuts.

Edamame, Spinach Nori Rolls

By Jennifer

Spinach nori rolls and edamame


My kids love this.  Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil, dump in a bag of frozen edamame in the pod.  Follow package directions, or, like me, just wait for the water to boil again and drain them in a colander.  To eat them, hold one end and put the entire pod in your mouth;  pull the pod out, using your teeth to pop out the edamame into your mouth.  Don’t eat the pod!

Spinach Nori Rolls

Nori rolls cut and ready to serve

from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook

The only thing I would change about this appetizer is that I would make a full recipe…the recipe said it served 6 – 8 and there were 4 adults so I cut it in half, but 4 averagely-hungry adults, with adequate time before dinner is served, could easily eat the full recipe.  You will need to buy a bamboo mat to make the rolls, which I found at Whole Foods.

  • 1 lb. spinach, washed and stemmed
  • 1/2 medium carrot, cut into 1” matchsticks
  • 3 sheets nori (8 x 7”)

For dipping sauce:

  • 1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
  • 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. wasabi powder mixed with 1 tsp. water to make a paste

Cooking the spinach

Bring about an inch of water to a boil in a large pot;  add the spinach, toss, then cover and simmer for 2 minutes.

Spinach is cooked

Drain the spinach into a colander.

Carrots, julienned

Bring another inch of water to boil in the pot;  add the carrots, cover, and simmer for 1 minute.  Drain into a sieve.

Spinach, cooled and squeezed dry

When the spinach has cooled, press all the liquid out of it, then wrap it in a clean kitchen towel and really squeeze.  Pat the carrots dry with the towel, too.

Spinach on nori, on bamboo mat

Cut each nori sheet in two, so you have six sheets, 8 x 3.5”.  Lay one sheet horizontally along a bamboo mat.  Separate the spinach into six equal portions.  Spread one portion along the bottom half of the nori;  lay 1/6 of the carrots along the middle of the spinach.

Adding carrots

Roll it tightly (the bamboo mat package has illustrations of how to roll, it wasn’t up to my local sushi restaurant’s standards but it stayed together!), using a little water on the edge to seal.  Using a sharp knife, trim the ends if they are ragged, then cut the long roll into 6 or 8 equal pieces.  Continue with the rest of the nori, spinach and carrot.

Nori roll

For the dipping sauce, combine the tamari and the lemon juice.  To serve, arrange the rolls on a tray with the dipping sauce and the wasabi on the side.  Have smaller, individual bowls ready for people to add their own wasabi to some dipping sauce depending on how much heat they like.

Entertaining tip:  The nori rolls need to be made right before your company arrives, but the spinach and carrots can be cooked earlier in the day and kept in the fridge, as can the wasabi paste.

Rainbow Stir-fry over Brown Rice

By Jennifer

Rainbow Stir-fry over Brown Rice

This is an adaptation of a recipe from Vegetarian Times magazine.  I don’t know about your grocery store, but it was impossible to find a tiny head of purple cabbage…I’m left with a gallon-sized Ziplock bag full of thinly sliced cabbage in my fridge.  I’m planning on stir-frying it, along with some garlic, scallions, the left-over edamame and some store-bought stir-fry sauce, for a quick weekend lunch one of these weeks….

Serves 4 adults.

  • 3 TBS orange juice
  • 2 TBS hoisin sauce
  • 1 TBS low-sodium soy or tamari sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. chile-garlic sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 10 oz. frozen organic green beans
  • 2 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage
  • 1 15-oz. can baby corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 8-oz. can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup frozen, shelled edamame
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • Brown rice

Get the rice cooking, ideally in a rice cooker or steamer.

Ingredients at the ready

Combining sauce ingredients

In a small bowl whisk together the orange juice through sesame oil.

Vegetables ready to stir-fry

Have all of the veggies ready to go in a bowl, save for the green beans which go in first, and the scallions which will go in at the end.

Start with green beans in the wok

Heat the peanut oil in a wok over medium-high heat.  When a drop of water flicked into the pan sizzles, add the green beans.  Stir-fry for a few minutes, then add 3 TBS water and stir-fry for a couple more minutes.

Add the rest of the vegetables

Add the remaining vegetables except for the scallions, stir-frying for another 4 – 5 minutes.

Adding sauce to stir-fry

Add the sauce and scallions, tossing the vegetable mixture to coat it well.  After another minute or so, when everything’s good and hot and bubbly, serve it over the brown rice.

Steaming hot stir-fry is ready!