Umeboshi Rice Bowl with Scallion Pork

This is a really flavorful bowl built from mostly things that have been kicking around in my pantry for awhile. Yay for pantry reorganization and clean out!

gluten-free

Umeboshi Rice Bowl with Scallion Pork

1 cup sushi rice

2 tsp mirin

1.5 Tbsp sushi vinegar

1 Tbsp sesame oil + 2 tsp

1 onion, thinly sliced

Dashi broth granules

Napa cabbage, about 1.5 cups sliced into ribbons

3 large scallions, chopped on the bias

1 pound ground pork

2 tsp umeboshi paste

1 packet furikake sangho (or any rice seasoning blend)

Soy sauce

White pepper

Salt

Start the rice. Wash if you don’t want Japanese grannies the world over to tsk your memory, and add to the vessel you cook rice in. Add a double amount of water, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, 2 tsp mirin, 1.5 Tbsp sushi vinegar and a generous pinch salt. Cook how you cook rice – I put mine in the slow cooker and hit “rice”.

While that cooks, add the extra 2 tsp sesame oil to a hot pan. Add the pork and sautee, crumbling, until 3/4 done. Add the scallions, a sprinkling of soy sauce and white pepper. Brown and set aside.

Add the thinly sliced onion to a pan and just cover with water & a generous shake dashi granules. Simmer until soft and 3/4 of the liquid has evaporated. Add the cabbage and sautee until crisp-tender. Set aside.

When the rice is done, mix in the umeboshi paste and furikake.

To serve, add pork and cabbage to the rice. Top with sesame seeds, a little snipped nori if you have it, some chopped pickled ginger (delivery sushi FTW), and drizzles of mirin and sesame oil.

Makes enough to batch cook. Mine, sadly, only lasted 4 portions.

Vegan General Tso-Style Protein Bowl

This is a satisfying sweet and spicy bowl that makes great use of a pantry staple – the humble chickpea. While it’s not as high protein as a dish including meat, 100g of tofu gives you 8-10g and the chickpeas give another 5. Not too bad, and if you know of a good vegan protein powder to add you can bulk it even more.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Vegan General Tso-Style Protein Bowl

1 can chickpeas

1 block extra firm tofu

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 bunch broccolini, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 thumb ginger, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 Tbsp. tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos, divided

4 Tbsp. rice vinegar, divided

1/3 c. broth (I used mushroom onion; faux-chicken or any other stock would work just as well, you just want something with a little extra flavor to layer)

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

2 tsp. nut butter (I used peanut, but any nut butter would do)

2 Tbsp. sweetener (I had date molasses on hand but your favorite sweetener will do – if you go for something sweeter than molasses, consider halving to 2/3-ing the amount

2 tsp. heat (don’t be like me and use ghost pepper garlic sauce unless you want a punch in the mouth – go for something saner like a nice sambal olek for the same spicy garlic without the shock)

1 tsp. + sesame oil

1 tsp. grainy mustard (y’all know I love my Maille)

2 tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder +

Generous grinds pepper

Toppers: thinly sliced scallions, sesame seeds

Drain the chickpeas, add to a bowl and marinate in 1 Tbsp. soy + 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar for half an hour – a couple hours.

Press the tofu, chop into half-inch cubes, and add to a large bowl. Add 2 Tbsp. soy & 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar. Let marinate alongside the chickpeas.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining Tbsp. soy & Tbsp. vinegar, broth, tomato paste, nut butter, sweetener, heat, 1 tsp. of the sesame oil, grainy mustard, 2 tsp. cornstarch and a few grinds pepper.

Chop the veggies and get everything ready.

Add a couple Tablespoons cornstarch to the tofu mix and toss vigorously to coat. Air fry 7-8 minutes, tossing often to ensure even crispiness.

While the tofu is crisping, sauté the onion over medium heat in a couple teaspoons sesame oil until translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and broccolini and continue sautéing 2-3 minutes or until the broccolini looks like it’s beginning to soften a touch.

Add the peppers and let go another 2-3 minutes until those begin to soften, stirring often to avoid burning.

Add the bowl of sauce and the chickpeas. Stir well and sauté until the sauce is nice and thick and everything is well incorporated.

Add the tofu to each bowl individually (100g gives you 8g; 1c. of the chickpeas gives you 5), top with scallions and sesame seeds and serve.

Serves 3-4

Bulgogi-Style Chicken Bowl

This spin on a bulgogi bowl was my favorite dish of the week, and with a 150g of chicken serving, it helped meet my protein goal for the day with 33g.

gluten-free

Bulgogi-Style Chicken Bowl

500g boneless, skinless chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces

Marinade

1 crisp apple, grated

1 pear, grated

2 inches ginger, grated

4 cloves garlic, grated

1/4 onion, grated

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp. gochujiang

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

2 tsp. date molasses, honey or sugar

Combine all ingredients and marinate chicken for a few hours. To cook, I air fried the chicken for 10 minutes, shaking every few. Note: this marinade is a bit wet for the air fryer and it kind of made a mess, but it was workable; I just had a bit of cleaning to do afterward.

Bowl Base

1 package broccolini, chopped

Optional: shiritaki noodles, rice, etc.

Prep your bowl base. I air fried broccolini tossed in a scant teaspoon oil, salt and pepper for 7 minutes. I meant to bulk the dish up some with shiritaki, but ended up being not so starving for dinner. Broccolini worked great.

Toppers

1 scallion, minced

Nice amount of kimchi

1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks

1 fried egg

Optional: sesame seeds, teriyaki sauce, sriracha mayo, sliced nori

The chicken makes 3 servings, the toppings as written 2

Roasted Veggie Coconut Curry

This is a good one and fine for a nice light Summer dinner. I think I also finally licked the issue with having my coconut curries turn out too bland – I think I *finally* added enough spice!

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Roasted Veggie Coconut Curry

2-3 c. pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and chopped

1 c. broccolini, chopped

2 green chilis, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, chopped

15 oz. can coconut milk

2 empty cans’ worth your favorite stock

4 Tbsp. curry blend

1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes

Protein of choice

Rice noodles

2 Tbsp. lime juice

1 scallion, sliced

1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

Bake the pumpkin at 400F in a little oil, seasoned with salt & pepper, 20-30 minutes or until soft.

Add the rest of the ingredients to a slow cooker or Instant Pot, minus the protein, noodles, lime juice, scallion or cilantro. Set on “Soup” or “Stew” and let cook. If you are using chicken, add the protein at this step. If you’re using something like seafood or tofu, cook separately and add at the end with the noodles.

Prepare your noodles separately.

When the curry is done cooking, tase for salt & pepper and top with the lime juice, scallion and cilantro.

Serves 4

Miso Vinaigrette Salad

I’ve been having a mini love-affair with miso this week – stay tuned for more umami bomb recipes coming in the next few weeks – and this delicious little dinner salad does that love justice.

I can see using the leftovers of this dressing mixed with quinoa, or in a pumpkin-heavy dish. Also as a drizzle for chicken.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Miso Vinaigrette Salad

Dressing:

1 heaping Tbsp. white miso

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

2 Tbsp. neutral oil

2 Tbsp. sushi vinegar

2 Tbsp. lime juice

2 tsp. honey

Pinch cayenne

Salt & pepper

Salad:

1 large zucchini, chopped

1 large bok choy, washed and sliced thin

1 package baby spinach

2 tsp. sesame oil

Soy sauce

1 scallion, thinly sliced

Sesame seeds

Big hand pepitas (toasted cashews would also be great)

Protein of choice: I used simply sautéed tofu

Optional topper: crispy chickpeas

Chop the zucchini and bok choy (whites) and set to sautee over medium-high with the sesame oil.

Let cook until crisp-tender.

Add a generous sprinkle of soy sauce.

Add the spinach and bok choy greens and toss until the spinach is barely wilted. Set aside. Drain if wet.

To make the dressing, whisk or shake all ingredients together.

To assemble the salad, add the toppers and toss with a couple Tablespoons dressing.

Salad serves 1-2 with extra dressing

Multipurpose Grain Bowl

This week, I was really attracted to the Buddha bowl pics scattered throughout my Pinterest feed and didn’t want to make 9,000 ingredients – so I worked to combine a list (albeit a large list) of simple ingredients in a variety of ways to make the best of a simple mixture of quinoa + rice.

My week 100% could have been more cost-effective, but it gave me a good dose of the ingredients combining kind of Chopped Kitchen kind of life I’ve been missing.

Quinoa & Rice Base

3/4 c. quinoa (rinse if you’re not lazy like me)

3/4 c. sushi rice (rinse if you aren’t lazy like me)

2 Tbsp. mushroom-based umami powder

1 Tbsp. vinegar (I usually use rice vinegar but only had black vinegar on hand)

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

Big sprinkle salt

3c. water

Combine all and set your rice cooker to cook. Alternately, sushi rice & quinoa both take about 25 minutes to cook on the stove.

Now for the mix-ins to transform this simple added-protein base into a few different dishes.

Day 1: Sesame Crusted Salmon Bowl

Sesame crusted salmon (take 1 salmon steak, skin and de-bone. Pat dry. Brush with a little soy sauce and sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds. Press the sesame seeds into the fish to adhere. Shallow fry over medium-high in a pan until cooked to your desired doneness. Drain on paper towels until ready to use.)

Quinoa + sushi rice base (see recipe above)

Avocado, sliced or cubed

Lemon sesame pickled cucumbers , diced

Pickled ginger, minced

Nori

Roasted butternut squash (Mix 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. sesame oil, 1/2 tsp. date molasses & 1/2 tsp. white miso into a sauce – drizzle over a halved and seeded butternut squash and bake @ 400F for 25 mins or until soft and browned)

Sauce

1 Tbsp. peanut butter (tahini would also be great)

1 tsp. white miso

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. Bulldog sauce (or Worcestershire)

2 tsp. black vinegar (or sushi vinegar)

1 Tbsp. water

1 tsp. your favorite hot sauce (I used a habanero mix)

To make your bowl, assemble about half a cup of the quinoa mix and later the desired amount of the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle sauce over top and sprinkle with thinly sliced nori. Dust with more sesame if desired.

Day 2: Spicy Fiesta(ish) Bowl

1/2 c. frozen corn

1 bell pepper, chopped

1/4 red onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Sauté the above in olive oil; season with salt, pepper & Tony’s Creole seasoning or your favorite spicy mix

Bowl Base

1/2 c. quinoa

1 hand full cilantro, chopped

1 Tbsp. water

1 Tbsp. lime juice

Add the water to the quinoa and zap to warm. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice.

Sauce

2 Tbsp. your favorite plain yogurt (mine is a plain coconut milk)

2 tsp. – 1 Tbsp. your favorite hot sauce (mine is a habanero garlic mix)

Stir to combine.

Toppers

Avocado

Butternut squash leftover from the first bowl

To make your bowl, assemble about half a cup of the quinoa mix and later the desired amount of the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle sauce over top and top with avocado & squash.

Day 3: Spiced Chickpea Veggie Bowl

1.5 c. chopped kale

1/2 small red onion, diced

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 lg. zucchini, diced

1 Tbsp. oil

Salt & pepper

Sauce

1/4 c. yogurt

1 Tbsp. almond butter

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. sumac

2 tsp. lemon juice

Leftover Bowl Components

Butternut squash

Quinoa rice mix

Topper

Avocado

Roasted chickpeas (I usually buy mine and have an Indian spiced variety that’s amazing)

To make your bowl, assemble about half a cup of the quinoa mix and later the desired amount of the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle sauce over top and add avocado & chickpeas.

Random Bowl Combinations

Quinoa mix, salmon, avocado, butternut squash, pickled cucumber, pickled ginger, Kewpie Mayo, garlic hot sauce, soy sauce

Tomato Salad Goes To Asia

I don’t know about you, but it’s boiling hot where I live – aaaaand I ate so much on my vacation to the States that pretty much all I want is a crisp, refreshing salad. With no lettuce, because it’s not my favorite way to do salad.

This recipe is a riff on a Vietnamese version I read in a magazine on the plane – if I remember correctly, that version had less in the way of heat and less in the way of vinegar. I had leftovers of this salad for days (yay, a salad that gets even better as it ages) and liked the days I remembered to add a little extra lime juice kick the most.

gluten-free (check your labels), paleo, pescatarian, low carb

Tomato Salad Goes To Asia

1/4 c. sugar (I used brown)

1/4 c. fish sauce

1/4 c. lime juice + more for serving

1 Tbsp. rice vinegar

Big pinch red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp. sesame seeds (optional)

Generous bit freshly cracked pepper

500g cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 fennel bulb, sliced into thin moons

3 small or 1 large cucumber, sliced into thin moons

1 long pepper (your fav variety – I used something red akin to a Cubanele)

2 c. mixed herbs (I used cilantro, mint & dill)

Toppers: Roasted, salted peanuts, French fried onions, green onion slices, finishing salt, extra squeeze lime juice, extra cracks black pepper

Combine all ingredients listed before the tomatoes in a jar and shake until we’ll combined and the sugar has dissolved.

Chuck the rest of the non-topper ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing.

Serve with your desired toppers and enjoy for a few meals.

Serves 4-6

Citrus & Avocado Shrimp Noodles

This is another light seafood-focused dinner that’s perfect for the sweltering heat.

gluten-free, pescatarian

Citrus & Avocado Shrimp Noodles

1 bundle rice noodles (I used rice udon noodles) or buckwheat soba

Hand full leftover shrimp, chopped

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

2 tsp. lime juice

1/2 avocado, peeled and chopped

1 tangerine, peeled, segmented and chopped

1/2 small red onion, minced

1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

2 tsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos

Stock to cook the noodles (I used a quick shrimp stock I’d made at the beginning of the week with the shells from the shrimp and a little water)

Sesame seeds for garnish

Cook the noodles according to package directions in stock. Drain, leaving a Tablespoon or two of stock in with the noodles.

Toss with the rest of the ingredients and serve.

Serves 2 for a light dinner.

Sheet Pan Miso Bowl

This is a simple and quick sheet pan dinner with a nice, light taste for nights when you *want* some super unhealthy Japanese takeout, but don’t want a bunch of grease – or to wait for delivery.

gluten-free

Sheet Pan Miso Bowl

1.5 Tbsp. miso

1.5 Tbsp. brown sugar

1.5 Tbsp. date molasses (or a smaller amount of honey or other sugar)

3 Tbsp. soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos

3 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 bell pepper

2 – 3 carrots

2 – 3 chicken breasts or other protein

Preheat your oven to 200C/375F and prepare a baking sheet.

Combine all the wet ingredients together, mashing the miso with the back of a spoon to break it up better. Set aside.

Chop the chicken, carrots and pepper into bite-sized pieces, placing all onto the prepared baking sheet.

Pour 2/3 of the sauce over top and toss well to combine.

Spread the chicken & veggies out in a single layer over the baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Take the last third of the sauce, zap it in the microwave about 20 seconds to ensure the sugar is melted. Add a Tablespoon of water to thin the sauce a bit. Stir well to combine and toss with the cooked chicken & veggies before serving.

Serve with rice, cauli rice, noodles, or alone.

Serves 4

Chicken Teriyaki Onigiri

This recipe was inspired by a Tasty video for crispy onigiri that popped up on my Facebook feed, and turned out really well, though it’s not *technically* teriyaki sauce, since it doesn’t include mirin. Mirin isn’t available where I live, and this recipe makes a great halal alternative.

gluten-free

Chicken Teriyaki Onigiri

1 package boneless skinless chicken breasts

1.5 Tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder

1/4 c. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger

2 cloves grated garlic

1 Tbsp. honey

1 tsp. sesame oil

1 Tbsp. sushi vinegar (I used this as a replacement for mirin)

1 medium carrot, grated

1 bell pepper, thinly sliced and then chopped fairly small

Neutral oil, salt & pepper

Sushi rice

Nori sheets

Green onion (optional)

Sesame seeds (optional)

1 Tbsp. mayo

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

Mix the cornstarch with enough water to form a slurry. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, honey, sesame oil and sushi vinegar. Stir to combine.

Chop the chicken into small chunks and add half the marinade. Marinate for :30 – 1 hour.

While the chicken is marinating, cook your rice (I make mine simply with 1c. sushi rice + 1 Tbsp. sesame oil + 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar, a big pinch salt + 2c. water cooked on the rice setting of my electronic cooker).

When your rice is done, remove to a bowl to cool a bit.

Reduce the other half of the marinade until thickened over low heat and set aside.

Grate the carrot and chop the pepper thinly. Set aside.

Thinly slice the green pepper and set aside.

Mix the mayo and remaining 2 Tbsp. soy sauce in a small dish and set aside.

Add 1 Tbsp. neutral oil to a medium pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and sauté, moving frequently so the sugar in the sauce doesn’t burn, until cooked through. Sprinkle with a little salt and a generous amount of white pepper (or less – or black pepper – you do you).

Set the chicken aside. Add 1 Tbsp. neutral oil to the pan and put back over the heat.

Add the carrot and pepper and sauté until soft. Add 1 Tbsp. of the reserved and reduced marinade. Stir to combine and let cook another minute or two. Set aside.

You’re ready to assemble your onigiri, and this process goes pretty quick.

I made myself an assembly line – a little dish of water to coat my hands in so the rice doesn’t stick, rice, the dish of soy sauce mayo, chicken, veggies, sliced green onions, sesame seeds, and nigiri sheets that have been cut in half.

To assemble: dip your hands in the water, grab a small hand full of rice, and press into a flat (ideally triangular shape but I couldn’t make that happen) shape. Make a small dent in the middle of the rice. Spread some of the flavored mayo all the way to the edges of the rice. Add a couple chunks of chicken (I used 3), about a Tablespoon of veggies, and a couple slices green onions. Fold your fingers up, turning your hand and the rice into kind of a cup. With your other hand, push the chicken into that cup as you continue folding your fingers up, enclosing the chicken and veggies into a rice case. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and lay on one of the halved nori sheets. Roll up into a burrito looking roll, wetting one end of the nori to seal everything together.

I know this sounds really awkward, but you’re basically doing what you would do to stuff a burger with cheese, if that makes sense. I went gentle and slow and didn’t worry too much about overstuffing each ball. Needless to say, I had a bunch of leftover chicken; enough for dinner for two + lunch the next day.

Serves 2+