Japanese…..y Soup!

The other day I found miso paste in my refrigerator.  I obviously forgot about it because normally I use those type of things right up!  It was unopened and something I picked up from an Asian market not too long ago.  Instead of making ol’ traditional miso soup, I cooked up this asian inspired sauté with miso broth.  It was so delicious, I ended up making it the very next day for a dinner guest.  It’s quite fast, healthy, and tasty!  And no really obscure, hard-to-find, asian ingredients required.

Japanese-Style Chickpeas and Vegetables in Miso Broth

2 Tbsp oil
1 very large green onion, thinly sliced
6 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
I large carrot, sliced diagonally
1 large bell pepper, cut in 2-inch strips
1 16-oz can chickpeas
2 heaping Tbsp miso paste
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp dried basil
1 Tbsp Five spice powder*
Couple dashes of hot sauce
¾ cup white wine
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cups water

In a medium stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the green onion and garlic, sauté 3-5 minutes over medium-low until the onion is soft.  Add the carrot and bell pepper, sauté another 5 minutes.  Add the chickpeas, sauté another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the miso paste, hoisin sauce, dried basil, five-spice powder, hot sauce, white wine, and salt and pepper.  Simmer on low until the wine reduces to about 1/3 of a cup and the mixture is coated in a thick liquid, but not too liquidy (the carrots and bell pepper should be slightly crunchy and al dente).  Add the water and simmer on low uncovered 15 minutes or until steaming hot.  Add more salt and pepper if desired.

*An asian spice whose main ingredients are star anise, cloves, cassia, Szechwan pepper and fennel seeds.  Can be found in most stores that have a good variety of spices.  This is one brand:

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Carrots+Cookies=Carrot Cookies!

Yummmmm!!  I’m not gonna brag about how tasty these are.  Buuuuuuuuut, I’m going to, because they are!!!  Carrots, and cookies, and slightly sweet goodness!! Eat these up! And enjoy their health benefits (while getting your veggies)! 🙂

Here’s the recipe I came up with one bored, experimental day:

Carrot Cookies

1 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 stick butter (softened)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
juice from 1/2  an orange
1 cup shredded carrots
2/3 cup raisins

Mix the dry ingredients (through the cinnamon) in a bowl. Stir well with a whisk.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, add the honey, vanilla, egg, orange juice, shredded carrots, and raisins.

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture.  Mix until no dry ingredients remain.

Drop by tablespoonfuls on a greased baking sheet.  Place in 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

ENJOYYYYY!!!