Category Archives: Light Lunch

Kick up your Saimin!

I love saimin, I believe people on the mainland call it ramen.  Correct me if I’m wrong.  Moving on, I really love to cook simple things that are loaded with flavor and they have to be pretty healthy.  Now saimin flavor packets are loaded with MSG (monosodium glutamate).  I’m just gonna say it’s not the best you can do for your body in the long run.  This my version of healthy, flavorful saimin.

For one person you need:

  • 1 Saimin package (throw out the flavor packet they give you) 
  • 1 Rapunzel Vegan Vegetable Bouillon with Sea Salt and Herbs
  • 2 cups of water
  • Green onions
  • Cilantro
  • Largely chopped green cabbage

Photobooth makes everything backwards!  (I was too lazy to upload pictures from my Nikon.) Anyways, pictured are the saimin noodles and bouillon I use.  It’s basically mind-numbingly easy from here on out.

Boil the two cups of water on the stove with the bouillon cube.  Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down to medium, place the noodles in the water and cook for 3 minutes.  When the timer beeps, turn off the burner, pour the saimin in a large bowl and top with cabbage, green onions, cilantro.  The vegetables are optional of course, but I think they make the dish.  Sometimes I also add sesame seeds and shoyu (soy sauce).  My version of shoyu is Braggs Liquid Aminos.  I should make a video about all my favorite products.  I think from now on I’ll have Lazy-day Wednesday’s where I show you how to take a simple “fast food” and kick the health and flavor up several notches.

Tomato-Basil Salad with Mashed Potato Patties

The other night we had mashed potatoes and Greek salad for dinner.  The heat has been unbearable lately, so we wanted something simple and cool.  The greek salad was amazing.  I’ll post the recipe & pictures soon.  The cool thing about mashed potatoes is you can turn the leftovers into something completely different.  Mix them into a bouillon to make a soup thicker, use them as a base with a little soy milk for a pot-pie.  The possibilities are endless.

What I did for lunch the next day was make mashed potato patties.  I added fresh chopped basil and minced garlic.  The patties are really simple to make.  Heat a cast iron skillet with Extra Virgin Olive Oil while you’re making the patties.  Take a heaping tablespoon of mashed potatoes and shape the potatoes into patties in the palm of your hand.  Once the oil is heated place the patties in the pan and fry until golden brown on either side.  Serve hot.  I personally like to eat mine with a little natural salt and pepper.
I also make a very easy, very tasty salad to go with the potato patties.  
  • Two tomatoes
  • 4 tbsps fresh chopped basil
  • natural salt
  • black pepper
Cut the tomatoes into wedges, toss with the basil and some salt and pepper.  Serve immediately or chilled.

Grilled Tofu and Vegetable Summer Rolls

Summer Roll Ingredients
  • 4 ounces dried cellophane noodles (aka “bean threads”)
  • 1 package of plain tofu steak (or extra firm tofu), cut into slivers
  • Twelve 8 1/2-inch rice paper wrappers
  • 8 romaine lettuce leaves, torn and/or fresh baby spinach
  • 1 bunch of mint leaves pulled off the stem
  • 1 bunch of cilantro leaves pulled off the stem
  • 1 bunch of basil leaves pulled off the stem
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1 bag of bean sprouts
  • 1-2 sliced avocados

Dipping Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos (or shoyu/soy sauce)
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, cover the cellophane noodles with hot water and let stand until soft, 30 minutes. Drain and cover with a damp paper towel until ready to use.
  2. Put a frying pan on medium-high heat and put enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Place enough tofu in the frying pan to cover the bottom and let the tofu evenly fry, turning about every minute. After all the tofu is fried place in the refrigerator to cool down until you’re ready to wrap the summer rolls up.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir the liquid aminos with the rice vinegar, water, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, onion, and sesame oil.
  4. Soak 2 wrappers in hot water (one on top of the other) until pliable. Lay the wrapper on a flat surface and blot dry. Arrange enough spinach or lettuce on the bottom third of the wrapper. Top with some of the cellophane noodles, tofu, mint, cilantro, bean sprouts, and avocado. Roll up the wrapper, tucking in the ends as you roll. Cover with a damp paper towel. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and fillings. Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy.