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Abrazos! xox Penny

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fitting the Bill

Happy Presidents' Day!!! And while I should be lauding George and Abe collectively, I still do on their individual days. Abe's big day was February 12th and as a little girl, I made log cakes for the occasion. Tomorrow is George's big day and something cherry will have my name on it, his, too! Which reminds me, I do need to research both of those remarkable men and their foods...get back to you on that next year! Til then, here is another president that's on my mind.

As you know, Bill Clinton no longer eats animals. For about a year now, he has eaten generous amounts of veggies, fruits, whole grains and legumes. Like me, he also starts off every morning with a protein shake. Chelsea, his daughter, wanted him to look picture perfect for her wedding and designed a plant-based diet for him to lose 15 pounds. He embraced it and lost 23.

Bill himself had read some of the books we list as references and decided that going plant-based would fill both his daughter's heart's desire and it might even help fix his. He has had bypass surgery and some lingering complications to boot. Judging from the recent photo below, his new way of eating fits the Bill.

He was in Little Rock this past Saturday to open up a new community theater. I would have given my eye teeth to be there. I wonder what and where he ate??? Here is a soup that might have been perfect to serve him.  A Korean variation of a miso soup, it is a shoe-in fit for Meatless Monday, especially on a Monday during this raging flu season, and it is about time for a tofu recipe. Like a rare visit from a former president, I don't eat or feature tofu very often. Lots of folks have a tummy virus. (All the more reason to let me help you with your food and skincare for whole body defense!) This soup fits the bill for that, too...delicious, soothing, and healing.

Bill's Tofu Soup

1/4 cup crumbled dried seaweed, such as wakame or kelp (see Tip) 
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups water
2 tablespoons white miso (see Note), or to taste
1/2 cup diced firm tofu...must be organic, non-GMO!!
  *I also add in some mushrooms

Place seaweed in a medium bowl, cover with water and let soak for 20 minutes.
Combine scallions, garlic, sesame oil and pepper in another bowl. Warm a medium saucepan over high heat and add the scallion mixture. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in 4 cups water and miso. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the liquid does not boil. Whisk to dissolve the miso.

Drain the seaweed and stir it into the soup along with tofu. Cook over medium-low for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Taste and season with more miso, if desired. Don't let soup boil after you add in the will diminish some of miso's wonderful natural, healing powers!

Tip: Wakame is easier to find than you think. Look for wakame in natural-foods stores,  Asian markets, lots of grocery stores in the "international section" and even Drug Emporium has it.

Note: Miso is fermented bean paste made from barley, rice or soybeans and is used to add flavor to dishes such as soups, sauces and salad dressings. It is available in different colors, depending on the type of grain or bean and how long it’s been fermented. In general, the lighter the color, the more mild the flavor. It will keep, in the refrigerator, for at least a year and is usually found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. There are also some dried misos available. Check the label to see how to use them.

Here are the brands I use...

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