food experiments: soup; dehydrator; couscous & mushrooms

This week we’ve tried a few food experiments, some more successful than others.

miso soup with soba

Andy makes a great home-made miso soup, usually with reconstituted dried shiitake.  Often, he also puts in udon noodles.  (If i’m really lucky, he’ll put in deep-fried tofu.  Mmmmmmm.)  Right now we have soba (buckwheat) noodles on hand, so we decided to try those.

Well, we shouldn’t have.  I just didn’t like them — rather bland to my palate.  I’ll need to find something else to do with them.  Maybe try the dipping sauce recipe that’s on the back of the package.

Noted:  We definitely need to pick up some ramen noodles to try in Andy’s soup, but until we do i’m certainly sticking with the udon noodles.

dehydrator: dried apples, kale chips

We made some really delicious dried apples back in august for our scooter road trip.  Naturally, we forgot to write down what variety they were.  Argh.  Last week we picked up some Fuji apples at the market and dried them.  This time i’m remembering to note them!  They were okay, but not as strongly-flavored as the previous apples, whatever they were — so sweet and tangy.

I also grabbed this recipe for dehydrator kale chips from my friend Holly over at LiveJournal (who got it from “Vegetarian Times”).  So delicious!!!

Take a big bunch of kale.  Preferably as fresh as possible.  Take out stems and rip into big pieces.  Put in bowl.

Pour in 1-2 T of olive oil, 1 T lemon juice (preferable fresh squeezed) and 1/2 t salt.  Use your hands to rub all over the kale.

Sprinkle on 3 T of nutritional yeast and stir in…you’ll probably want to use a utensil for that!

Place on baking sheet and try not to let the kale pieces touch.  I put mine in the oven (I have a gas oven) overnight.  The pilot light keeps it just warm enough to act like a dehydrator.  If you have a dehydrator, the recipe said to put it in 1-2 hours.  You could probably use an electric stove it you turn it so it just turns on for a little bit, then turn it off and put in the tray.  It takes awhile and for a bit it really looks like its not going to work, so be patient!

The leaves will crisp us nicely and the lemon kind of “cooks” the kale.  Store in an airtight container, though I’m guessing they won’t last very long.

Andy used vinegar instead of lemon juice (the principle is the same).  Very, very tasty!!! We might try this with chard, too, since we often have a hard time deciding what to do with chard.

couscous & lobster mushrooms

We tried this tonight with dinner.  It was pretty good, but not as flavorful as i thought it might get.  I don’t remember what we used the lobster mushrooms for last time we got them (probably last autumn), but i remembered them as having more flavor.  This dish turned out disappointingly bland.  Taste aside, we did love this dish as having lots of possibilities.  I just sprinkled salt and pepper on it, which usually saves almost any boring dish for me.

How would you spice a couscous and lobster mushroom?

7 thoughts on “food experiments: soup; dehydrator; couscous & mushrooms”

  1. Re: your last recipe – lots of dill, maybe? I dunno. I think dill goes well w/lots of things… I think some people tend to use loads of parsley in couscous, right? (neither Phredd nor I are particular fans, plus apparently parsley has some compound that could promote the formation of kidney stones if you are prone to them, as Phredd is)

    1. Oooh, dill — intriguing!! When i re-heated the couscous/mushroom dish yesterday i let it simmer on the stove with some dill crumbled in (plus salt & pepper this time). And it turned out i was so afraid of putting in TOO much dill that i wound up barely putting enough in! Oops. :( I could sort of taste it, but it wasn’t nearly enough. Will have to try it again!

      Also, i realized belatedly we could have added a LOT of flavor by using vegetable soup base (i found a really flavorful one from Penzey’s) instead of just plain water. Oh well. Onward and upward!

  2. Can Andy deep-fry some tofu for me? Because for a southerner, I am terrible at frying food. For the miso soup I make, I just cut up firm tofu and put it in the pot.

    I’m not much of a mushroom fan, but what is a lobster mushroom?

    1. Actually, we cheat and buy pre-fried tofu made by one of the local tofu factories. Heh. :) We tried deep frying tofu at home once and it felt like it took FOREVER. And since i’m not at all interested in buying a deep fryer (my cousin burned herself really badly once on my aunt’s), buying it pre-fried at the store is definitely the way to go.

      Also, yeah, lobster mushrooms are basically just big mushrooms that have red/orange skin reminiscent of a lobster.

  3. Nevermind. Checked my backlog of food blogs just now and found that someone had posted about lobster mushrooms with pictures. It was about what I expected.

  4. One of my favorite things to do, which will horrify any Japanese people that you know, is use the dried soba noodles for making yakisoba instead of the pre-cooked noodles from the refrigerated section of the grocery store. So nom!

    1. Heh! We only buy the dried noodles these days because they’re easier to store then the ones from the refrigerator section. Especially now that we have a new fridge that is noticeably smaller than the old fridge. :(

      So far Andy’s friend Mat doesn’t SEEM horrified, but then again, we haven’t exactly asked him. ;)

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