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JAPANESE VEGETABLE POT

Makes 4 to 6 large servings

 

Add your favorite vegetables to this traditional Japanese dish.  It is low-calorie and nutrient dense, yielding large portions.  Stretch it even further by serving with cooked brown rice, quinoa, or whole-grain or buckwheat soba noodles.  Accompany it with a large leafy green salad. 

 

TIP: Don’t let the amount of chopping in this recipe scare you off.  It goes very quickly and can be done in advance.  That way, dinner comes together in a snap.

 

1.       In a small saucepan, add and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat:

1 cup vegetable broth [I used 1 cup water and ½ (to 1) vegetable bouillon cube by “The Organic Gourmet”]

1 Tbsp. light soy sauce, Braggs Amino Acids, or Nama Shoyu

¼ (to 1) tsp. chili paste (depending on heat level desired) (located in the Asian food section of grocery store)

Freshly ground black pepper (to taste -- optional)

2.      Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, add and blanch for 2 minutes:

3 cups julienned carrots

1 cup julienned leeks (or 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced or diced)

2 cups sliced mushrooms (such as white button or Cremini)

1 cup sliced zucchini

4 baby bok choy, halved (or 1 large bok choy, chopped)

2 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage

2 cups broccoli florets

3.      Immediately remove vegetables. 

4.      Optional: Shock in cold water, then drain.

5.      Arrange vegetables in a deep serving dish.

6.      Pour hot broth over vegetables.

7.      Garnish with the following and serve immediately:

4 Tbsp. chopped scallions (cut on a bias, if desired)

2 Roma tomatoes, quartered

 

Notes:

·         Vegetable Variations: Vary with your favorite vegetables, such as celery sliced on a bias, water chestnuts, red bell pepper strips, asparagus pieces cut on a bias, cauliflower florets, haricot verts, green peas, summer squash, snow peas, mung bean sprouts, etc.

·         Cooking Variation: Cook in batches, adjusting cooking time to hardness of vegetables.  For example:

Group A: Broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, onions

Group B: Cabbage, green beans, green peas, yellow squash, zucchini

Group C: Snow peas, red or green bell peppers, pimientos, water chestnuts, bean sprouts

·         Soup Variation: Increase broth.  If desired, serve with cooked brown rice in bottom of bowl or add cooked buckwheat soba noodles or whole-grain noodles.

·         Rice or Noodle Variation: Serve with cooked brown rice or buckwheat soba noodles on the side (or under cooked vegetables).  For additional flavor, spoon extra broth over the top.

·         Meat Variation: Serve with a little grilled chicken or flaked fish.

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