January 16, 2009

promises, promises

I'm supposed to be writing about why David Brooks is wrong about education, and how Value at Risk relates to No Child Left Behind.

But I just started a new (yet remarkably non-stressful) job, and I've been traveling, and it's winter, and the Gardener is sick, so what I actually want to write about is food.

I found out last week that the awesome, famous, surprisingly unpretentious1 beer bar in my city - which I knew to buy local when possible and to buy wind power offsets - also serves at least some meat that I'm happy to eat. I found this out by calling and asking in the middle of the afternoon, and the reaction of the person I talked to was, "Are you writing an article or something?" No, no, I just want to know for myself. What about the steak frites? The burgers? What about chicken dishes? "Is this for an article or what?" Oy. No, I am just that interested.

Also, are you sick? Is someone in your household sick? Do you need something tasty and nourishing to eat that doesn't take long to make? Consider miso-tofu-rice-greens Feel Better Soup.

Feel Better Soup for 2

  • 1 cup rice (white, brown, short-grain, long-grain, whatever)
  • a little tamari
  • a chunk of wakame/nori/other dried seaweed (optional)
  • hot pepper flakes
  • 2 cups leafy greens (chard, kale, spinach, etc), washed and cut into wide ribbons with most of the stalks removed
  • half a block of tofu, cut into small cubes
  • miso paste - I get fancy South River three-year aged barley miso, which it will not surprise you to learn I like better than Miso Master; but Miso Master (or whatever) would be fine
  • 2-3 scallions, washed and thinly sliced
  • toasted sesame oil
Cook the rice like you normally cook rice.

Bring 2.5 - 3 cups of water to a boil. Drop it to a simmer and add a slug of tamari and some hot pepper flakes for flavor. Add the greens and the tofu, and simmer until the greens are cooked but not soggy, 3-5 minutes. Turn the heat off and stir in miso to taste - miso doesn't do well being boiled. Serve it up.

To serve: put a big scoop of rice in the bottom of your bowl. Ladle the soup on top. Garnish with scallions, and add a generous slug of toasted sesame oil in the middle, where it will look cool. Eat.

Note that you still have half a block of tofu left, and probably some scallions as well, so you can make this the next night too.

1. It's pre-foodie-revolution in a way that makes it feel like the staff are stoked that you're interested, rather than judging you for not knowing enough already.

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