More Peas, Thank You (Harlequin, 2013) is a user-friendly guide to eating healthier and meatless. Author and blogger Sarah Matheny offers over 75 simple and delicious vegetarian recipes that are plentiful in nutrition. In this excerpt, try this easy restaurant recipe for Soy Ginger Soup at home.
You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: More Peas, Thank You.
• 1 teaspoon sesame oil
• 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
• 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
• 8 cups vegetable broth, divide
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari, or more to taste
• 8 wonton wrappers
• cooking spray or oil, to grease baking sheet
• sea salt for sprinkling
• 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
• 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
• 2 green onions, thinly sliced
• 1 cup spinach, chopped
• 1 cup cubed extra-firm tofu
1. To prepare the broth, heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add 7 cups of the broth and bring to a low boil.
2. Mix remaining cup of broth with cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
3. Add cornstarch mixture to stockpot and boil, stirring constantly until it thickens. Lower heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Add soy sauce or tamari and adjust to taste.
5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
6. Cut each wonton wrapper into 4 strips and place on a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled or sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle wonton strips with sea salt.
7. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes, turning halfway through, or until wonton strips have browned and crisped.
8. Place carrots, mushrooms, green onions, spinach, tofu and wonton strips in small serving bowls and arrange on the table. Ladle broth into soup bowls and let everyone build their own bowl with the toppings of their choice. Makes 4 large servings of Ginger Soy Soup, approximately 2 cups each.
Nutrition information per serving: 220 calories, 4.5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1650 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 9 g protein, vitamin A 120%, vitamin C 15%, calcium 15%, iron 10%
Think about it. You wouldn’t either. Aside from the fact that I make a living each day by cooking, it pains me to pay restaurant prices for food that I can make even more deliciously at home. (Actual age: thirty-four. Age indicated by that sentence: eighty-four.)
There is one restaurant, though, that I don’t mind paying for. And there are exactly two reasons why:
1. Weekly coupons; and
2. All-you-can-eat vegetables.
Is that a challenge? They try to inconvenience me by placing the salad bar at the entrance, assuming that most patrons will make one trip through the roughage and then stick to the pizza and pasta, as Pea Daddy and the girls do. I laugh at your silly obstacle! I make at least one return trip to the salad bar each time we are there. In fact, the only time I break from loading two plates at once is when the soy ginger soup is in my sight.
The dedication to getting our money’s worth must run in the family. Not only does our favorite restaurant offer unlimited salads, soups, pastas, pizza, fruit and pack mules, but there, too, is a “Cookie Lady,” who makes the rounds, handing out “free” chocolate chip cookies to each table. Whenever my parents come to dinner with us (i.e., when we have extra coupons), my mom stalks the “Cookie Lady” or anyone who may have come within a one-hundred-foot radius of the “Cookie Lady” in the last hour.
“Excuse me, but has the Cookie Lady been around yet?”
“Wait, are you the Cookie Lady?”
“I have a very rare terminal disease, and the only hope I have for survival is cookies, but not any cookie. Only free, mediocre cookies from the Cookie Lady. Save me.”
I’m usually hiding in line at the salad bar as this all goes down. Maybe out of embarrassment, Gigi has started making the return trip with me. I couldn’t be prouder. And she’s started to get as excited as I do when my very favorite soup is in the rotation: their Asian Ginger Broth.
And now I can make this restaurant recipe even more delicious at home. Just don’t ask me to walk around with a basket of cookies. But you are always welcome to seconds.
Reprinted with permission from More Peas, Thank You: 85+ Vegetarian Recipes for Delicious and Healthy Meals by Sarah Matheny and published by Harlequin, 2013. Buy this book from our store: More Peas, Thank You.
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