Kimchi, Soba, and Pesto

My recent casual but frequent abuse use of umeboshi, the sour salty pickled plums loved in Japan, set in motion a series of meals involving kimchi and fresh Korean soba noodles. Little Tess went to the Galleria to pick up some more umeboshi for me and saw that they were selling the same brand of fresh soba she loved in California. Like any good shopper who doesn’t stick to her list she fell for a container of kimchi which she’d been craving.

Moroheiya Green Noodles

The last time I visited my favorite Ann Arbor Japanese grocery a display of pretty green and white packages of noodles caught my attention. The packages showed colorful vegetables and curly green noodles. “Deliciously Chewy!” proclaimed the top line, and near the bottom, “Ready in 2-3 minutes.” The noodles are made with leaves of the moroheiya plant, making them a “great source of fibers & vitamin A.” Unlike most instant noodles, these are not fried nor do they have added MSG.

Mr. Tess and Little Tess were home for lunch, and hungry. Usually lunch is a matter of foraging in the fridge, pantry, and breadbox but I was curious about these noodles. I added a lovely tomato, a half package of soft tofu, wakame, and sliced green onions to the soup.

Steamy Shrimp and Bay Scallops

Mr. Tess worked out of town several weeks this summer. Cooking for one: white grape juice, directly from the bottle. Tuna and mayo on macaroni. Thin spaghetti with butter and pepper. Vanilla ice cream in front of the freezer. What do you eat when no one is looking?
Here is a “cooking for one” meal which had some healthy green things to supplement the essentially white starch and carbohydrates I was over consuming.

Summer Udon

Cool foods in summer, simply prepared, and served casually, make it possible for us to survive this extraordinary heat.

Cooking once for two meals, planned leftovers, makes the time spent in the kitchen efficient. Sandwiches come to mind as a second chance meal. And noodles are quick to prepare and easily transform a meat dish into a lovely soup or salad sort of meal very different from the original.

Packing Lunch

Lunch is something to look forward to at work, a convivial gathering to tell stories, jokes, and a bit of light gossip, as well as a time to eat. My workplace is dangerously near to Zingerman’s excellent but expensive food, so I try to bring something from home, usually leftovers. There are times when dinner was so delicious that there is nothing left for lunch, so I gave these noodles a try hoping they would be a pantry staple for a quick to fix packable zap-able meal.

Spicy Sesame Noodles for Lunch

I thought sesame noodles would be a great lunch for my friend and her daughter.

Ever since they cat-sat for us last summer, the young lady has been eager for us to leave town again so she could play with the kitties. Spring break was a good time to invite them for a visit. Gracie, Mikey, and Sula were happy to wake up for the special attention, petting, and playing with strings.

All went well until, as my daughter once said, “My mom doesn’t have any children so she doesn’t know what kids like!”

Mushroom Lasagna

Several years ago, I made a special lasagne. I’d just discovered lasagne made with béchemel sauce rather than pounds of gooey cheese. Mushrooms were on sale so I was inspired to create a memorable meal. Over the years, we’ve said to each other, “Remember that mushroom lasagne!” and smile fondly. But the recipe was misplaced…
This is not that recipe, but it is deliciously extravagant with mushroom delight.

Spicy Sesame Noodles

Snow is falling almost invisibly, like drizzle, yet suddenly I notice the snow is becoming thick on the grass. The mild spice in this Japanese noodle dish is like that: you aren’t conscious of its heat until you realize you are warm from the inside out. While this recipe is usually eaten in the summer because it is served cold or at room temperature, the pepper makes you forget about the chill.