Posts Tagged asian

Pea Shoot-Mushrooms Dumplings & Kale Pesto Pasta

I must admit that when I got pea shoots in my CSA delivery for the first time, I had absolutely no idea what to do with them.  The leaves tasted nice plain, so I assumed they’d make a good salad, but apart from that I had no ideas.  So I did what I always do…I googled it.  From my extensive research I ascertained that they are good for two things – salads and asian food.  I saw some pasta ideas too, but I had other pasta plans already (see below).

Look how pretty!  I love the little tendrils, and I even got a flower.

Anywho, I decided to go the asian route and try my hand at dumplings.  As any vegan who has decided to make dumplings knows, most wonton wrappers aren’t vegan.  They all have egg.  Every darned one of them.  I figured to find a wrapper I could use I oughta take a trip to the asian market I had been eying for a while.

Their wonton wrappers had egg too, but lo and behold they had dumpling wrappers that were vegan.  Hooray!  I also bought rice noodles, sweet chili sauce, a pomelo (which I had never tried before), five spice powder, jackfruit and green onion.

Since I have just about zero dumpling knowledge, I went by this recipe  for vegetarian dumplings from Alton Brown, because I like AB a lot.   I subbed minced portobello and crimini mushrooms for the tofu and pea shoots for the cabbage, and left out the red bell pepper and egg.  I played around with two different shapes to see what worked best.

The dipping sauce is just sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil, and I think I could probably eat an old shoe dipped in it, it was so good.

The dumplings were very tasty, and I was happy with how they turned out.  The only downsides were that the wrappers were a little thick, so the parts where the wrappers met were really chewy, and you can’t really make them ahead of time or eat them as leftovers.  They just don’t keep very well.

Since dumplings alone doth not a meal make, I also had some edamame and miso-mustard mashed sweet potatoes.  The potatoes were nice, but nothing to write home about.  Or write up a recipe for.

A few nights later, I used up the filling in a new shape.  I’m calling this one “the butterfly”.

Good, but still too doughy where the sides met.  I am no longer intimidated by dumplings though, and definitely want to have them again sooner than later.

My CSA is still sending at least two bunches of winter greens with every box, so I am always looking for new ways to eat them.  Not that I don’t like a nice plain steamed green, it’s just more fun to get creative.  I don’t recall how the idea of kale pesto popped into my head, but once it was there I had to have it.  I used this recipe, which called for walnuts instead of pine nuts.  I didn’t end up adding all of the olive oil called for, and used just less than a half cup of sesame parmesan.

Tossed with gluten free rotini and white beans for protein, this was a very tasty dish.  The pesto is much less zingy than regular basil pesto, although the garlic was intense at first.  It mellowed sitting overnight in the fridge, so leftovers weren’t quite so garlic-tastic.

I can’t seem to let myself eat just a bowl of pasta for dinner, even if it’s a very healthy bowl, so I also made a side salad to use up the rest of the pea shoots and mushrooms.

Along with the pea shoots and mushrooms, I added slivered red onion, some soy bleu cheese that was hanging around in the fridge, and some very thick tahini dressing.  For being so simple, this was one great salad.  The bleu cheese with the mushrooms and tahini dressing turned into something magical.

Well, the CSA sent me pea shoots again on Thursday, so I’ll be thinking up more ways to use them very soon!

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