Q I have a jar of miso paste lying in my pantry. Since I’m bored of eating Japanese food right now, can I use it for something else?
A Miso paste is most commonly used to make miso soup, which is a Japanese staple. But it’s quite versatile and can be used in many preparations. Here are a few ideas.
You can whisk a hint of miso paste into your salad dressing or vinaigrette. It adds a layer of flavour that’ll make your salad delicious.
If you’re planning to roast veggies in an oven, toss them in miso paste first.
You can use it as a marinade for meat or fish as well. The umami taste of miso adds an incredible flavour.
Last but not the least, you can make a compound butter with it to serve with your roast or just whisk it into your gravy. Let me assure you, it is truly yummy.
Q I’m a vegan on a tight budget. Please suggest a recipe for a fuss-free weeknight dinner?
A A vegan diet is considered to be very healthy. Here’s a hearty soup that I make often.
Chop 1 large brown onion and a mix of vegetables – firm ones such as pumpkin, potatoes, carrots, capsicum and celery, as well as beans, broccoli, peas and courgette. You need about 5 cups of chopped veggies.
Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Then add 2 tsp each of turmeric, coriander and cumin powders along with all the firm veggies. Stir until they’re well coated with the spices, then add 3 cups of vegetable stock, 2 cups of water, 1 can of chopped tomatoes and 1 can of chickpeas, well-rinsed, or any other lentil or beans.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Let it simmer for 40 minutes or until the veggies are soft. Add the tender veggies, simmer for about 5 minutes, then garnish with fresh parsley and season with pepper.
Have it hot and refrigerate whatever is left once the soup has cooled to room temperature. For variety, add pasta or serve it over a bed of fluffy quinoa.