We are eating lots of simple meals these days, making the most of what's left in the garden and adding a little protein. I like to roast a big batch of vegetables when there's a spare hour and store them in the fridge to add to our dishes throughout the week. I also cook rice or quinoa ahead of time. It makes for a nourishing lunch with scrambled eggs or salad, and cuts down on dinner prep, when I generally seem to be running behind.
These flavors are made mild enough to be enjoyed by our increasingly picky toddler. I can't be bothered to cook separate versions of dishes, so we're all just getting used to more subtle seasonings. After decades of worshiping extra spice, I'm actually coming around to it. Of course any rice will work here, but wild rice is a nutty and wonderful treat. If it wasn't so pricey I would eat it constantly... yum!
Miso Wild Rice with Winter Squash, Tofu, and Kale: serves two hungry adults and a toddler :)
for the tofu:
- one 14 oz container extra firm tofu, drained, excess water pressed out, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbs olive oil
for the rice and veggies:
- 3 cups cooked wild rice (can be prepared in advance)
- half of one medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
- one small bunch kale, stems removed and chopped into 1/2 inch ribbons
- few tbs olive oil for roasting squash
- 1 tbs sesame oil
- 1 1/2 tbs light miso
- 3 tsp nutritional yeast (or soy sauce)
- 1 1/2 tbs water
- 1 tsp brown rice vinegar
- roasted pumpkin seeds to top
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook the rice and set aside covered.
Cut the squash, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper to coat and roast in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes (tossing half way through) until tender and beginning to brown. (I generally roast the whole squash this way and save the leftovers for other meals). Set aside.
Drain, press, and slice the tofu. Heat sesame and olive oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium heat and add the minced garlic and grated ginger. Stir for just a minute until the garlic is softened. Add the tofu and cook for 5 to 10 minutes as desired, gently tossing and taking care not to break up the cubes. (I have been enjoying my tofu less cooked these days, but many prefer to get it more browned. If you do want a more 'cooked' tofu, make sure to really press out the water by wrapping the cake in towels and leaving weighted between two boards before slicing it). Remove cooked tofu from wok and set aside.
Wipe the wok clean and chop the kale. Heat the sesame oil in the wok or frying pan on medium. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the greens are tender.
Meanwhile, whisk together the miso, nutritional yeast, and water until smooth.
Remove the wok from heat and add the cooked rice to the kale. Pour the miso mixture and brown rice vinegar over the rice and kale and toss to coat.
Plate the rice and top with tofu, squash, and a dusting of toasted pumpkin seeds for a little extra crunch.
We all love this basic fall meal so much that there's rarely leftovers. Cubed veggies and tofu always seem to work well with toddlers, and kale is not only James's favorite, but also the one leafy green that Little Smith enjoys (I credit this wonderful book).
And if you're a sucker for baked goods like me, you can finish your healthy dinner by splurging with apple brownies for dessert. I have to stop myself from making them several times a week now- dangerously good!
*edited for a little more of the miso mixture at james's request. i did say it was mild!