Ughhhh I am sorry I haven’t posted in a few weeks. It’s been a roller coaster with the high point being a trip to Mexico to see a couple of extremely lovely and loving people get married by a Shaman on the beach. The low point was getting some really upsetting news about David’s mother, Linda. Let’s just say that David is staked out right now coming up with a kick ass cancer treatment plan. This is one of those moments when I just want to scream “IT’S NOT FAIR!!!!!!!” It’s not fair on so many levels. Because the tumor is causing Linda pain when she swallows, David and his sisters have been spending a lot of time working out some satiating and soft meals that will keep her strength up for the battle ahead. She is also off dairy completely and working her way towards cutting out animal protein altogether.
This Otsu, inspired by a recipe at San Francisco’s Pomelo and posted by Heidi Swanson on 101 Cookbooks is irresistible. I used the kale and brussel sprout mixture I am obsessed with, added crispy leeks and cut the oil out of the sauce. So it is healthy and super duper delicious, not to mention extremely easy. This is a must try and I bet you’ll make it more than once!
1 bunch lacinto or curly kale, stems removed and chopped
10 brussel sprouts, thinly sliced
1 medium leek, thinly sliced
Approximately 12 oz extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 packet soba noodles (9-12 oz)
1/4 teaspoon salt
black sesame seeds to garnish
For the sauce:
a 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup shoyu sauce (wheat-free soy sauce)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
To make the sauce combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
In a medium saucepan heat the leaks over medium heat until slightly golden and crisp. Remove from heat and set aside.
Remove the kale leaves from the ribs and chop into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle a few pinches of sea salt over the kale and gently massage the leaves with your hands until the kale becomes darker and more fragrant. Transfer the kale to a large mixing bowl.
Chop off and discard the stem ends of the brussel sprouts and remove any discolored, wilted outer leaves. Thinly slice the sprouts and then use your hands to break up any clumps. Add the sprouts to the mixing bowl.
Cut the tofu into rectangles 1/2 inch thick by 1 inch long. Cook the tofu in a dry, non stick skillet (a seasoned cast iron skillet works especially well) over medium-high heat for a few minutes until one side is browned. Turn the pieces over and brown the other side. Toss a few more times until the tofu is nicely browned and crispy. Remove from heat and set aside.
Cook the soba noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and rinse with cool water. In a large bowl combine the noodles, kale and brussel sprout mixture, tofu and about 2/3 cup of the sauce. Toss well until everything is combined and evenly coated. To serve top with the crispy leeks and black sesame seeds.
Makes 6-8 servings.