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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
· 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.