BUCHWHEAT MISO SOUP
OAT & RICE WITH STIR FRIED TOFU WITH SOYA SAUCE, GREEN CABAGE
On the day Cristiano Ronaldo won the prize of soccer player of the year (yes, he´s simply the best and I wish that each Portuguese, in his/her respective job and in his/her life in general, were as motivated, as persistent, as resilient, as ambitious and as hard working as he is), thus giving Portuguese extra reasons for being cheerful, proud and – why not? – motivated, I decided to prepare a deep mid winter recipe, using ingredients that provide extra energy and resistance. It took me about an hour to prepare and cook this dinner.
Buckwheat – which is neither wheat or a cereal but simply a seed – is quite appropriate for this season; it comes from regions with extreme hard climates and thus is very resistant and adaptable, probably due to its protein content; last, not least, it does not contain gluten – and if you google it, you shall find one thousand other reasons to consume it.
I confess that it took me some time before I could do with its strange flavour but I now quite enjoy buckwheat; for those who have the same problem try to use it in recipes where the flavour is not highly concentrated, as in a miso soup. The result will be a delicious, highly nutritive and warming soup – which can also be a complete dish, if you add some smoked tofu or a bit of boiled white fish and extra green, as peas or green beans.
Oat is also very appropriate for winter days as it has more fat than any other cereal but, strangely enough, it is an important aid if one is trying to loose weight or reduce cholesterol levels – again, just google it and you'll discover one thousand plus one reasons to eat oat; I have been consuming oat flakes (without milk or sugar) in breakfast porridges for some decades now and can testify that not only have I not gained weight but also that my cholesterol level is well below current limit values.
But when it comes to grains, I only cook oat with rice, in a 1/3 and 2/3 proportions, respectively.
Tofu is very low in energy so it should be used adding extra sources of energy, as fat and sauces.
BUCKWHEAT MISO SOUP
1 cup (coffee) of buckwheat washed and drained
Half an onion, sliced in very fine stripes
One carrot, sliced and cut into small sticks
A bit of wakamé algae, cut into very small pieces (or a bit of wakamé flakes)
1 teaspoon of miso per person I used rice miso, my favourite)
In a pan, put all the ingredients, except for the miso, and bring to the boil, letting it then simmer for 20 minutes (or until the buckwheat is tender). Before serving, mix the miso with some table spoons of the boiling water, mix well, and pour into the pan. Serve with a fresh herb as parsley.
OAT & RICE
1/3 tea cup of whole oat grains
2/3 cup of tea whole grain rice
3 tea cups of water
1 stripe of kombu algae
Sesame seeds and chopped parsley to season
In a pan, put all the ingredients, except for the sesame seed, and bring to the boil, letting it then simmer for approximately 45 minutes (or until tender). Serve with a topping of sesame seeds and finely chopped parsley.
Some drops of freshly ground ginger root
Cut the tofu into small squares with more or less 4cm*4cm, season with soya sauce, drops of ground fresh ginger and bay leafs (should you use lemon be careful because lemon - as well as vinegar - intensifies the existing salt in soya sauce) and leave at least for twenty minutes.
Grease a saucepan with olive oil (just enough to make the pan shine), heat it and add the tofu squares, turning them until they become gold on both sides, pour the soya sauce used in the marinade and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Boil a bit of green cabbage until very tender, drain, chop it and sauté in a greased saucepan with chopped garlic and a bit of unrefined salt; a drop of rice vinegar (or rice mirin for a more exquisite flavour) can be used to season as well as freshly ground black pepper.