The last few days have been really cold in Oakland, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. There are plenty of ways to warm up, but my favorite way to do so is with food. So here are a couple recipes to warm you up on these cold days.
Miso Rock Soup
- Several cups of water
- A few tablespoons of white or red miso paste
- Vegetables of any kind
- Tofu, noodles or eggs
For a couple of months, my wife and I were both unemployed so we needed to stretch our dollars. One of the cheapest meals was miso “rock” soup. It’s rock soup because you can add just about anything to it and it will taste good.
Just boil several cups of water (depending how much soup you want) and add about a tablespoon of miso paste at a time, stirring until it’s fully dissolved. Taste and add more miso paste until it’s sufficiently flavorful.
Now comes the fun part – raiding your refrigerator. You can put almost anything in miso soup and it will taste good. Steamed vegetables, left over noodles, left over mushu, hard boiled eggs, etc. Get creative. If it’s neutral or Asian in flavor, chances are it will taste delicious in the soup. If you don’t have any leftovers, grab kale, mushrooms, carrots or pretty much any other vegetable that’s new or on the edge, chop it up, and throw it in the broth.
Besides being super cheap and easy, this soup is great because it keeps for several days in the fridge so you can get several meals out of it.
- 2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups water
- One can coconut milk
- Handful of nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, or any other nuts you have on hand)
- Handful of dried fruit (cranberries, blueberries, currants, apricots, etc.)
- Agave to taste
- Cinnamon to taste
Lately I’ve been really bored with breakfast. Some days I have time to make a hot breakfast, but usually I’m stuck with toast or cereal, which just isn’t satisfying. So last night I made a big pot of coconut quinoa so that I’d have warming breakfasts for the next several days.
First, rinse the quinoa thoroughly with cold water. Next, put the quinoa, water, and coconut milk in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and cover. After about five minutes, toss in a handful of nuts. Five minutes later, add in the dried fruit. Five minutes after that (15 total minutes of simmering), the quinoa should be ready. Most of the liquid should have soaked in or evaporated. Taste the quinoa. If you’d like more flavor, add some agave and/or cinnamon to taste and stir. Agave works much better than sugar or honey since it integrates much easier and more evenly.
Not only does this make a hearty, warming breakfast, it’s also a great, healthy late night snack.
I hope these recipes help you stay warm!