Wednesday, December 26, 2012

mediterranean hot pot

Mediterranean Hot Pot: Warms you up without weighing you down
After spending a week in the Caribbean soaking up sun, living in bikinis and flip-flops, and sipping on frozen cocktails, catapulting back to the chilly Northeast was a particularly rude awakening for me. No matter how many sweaters I pile on, I feel like I just can't get warm.

Hot Pot to the rescue. Hot pot came about over 1000 years ago when Mongolian soldiers cooked this mish-mash stew in their helmets over an open fire. My vegan version contains Mediterranean influences – basil, oregano, cremini mushrooms and a licorice-scented fennel bulb. It's filling, nutritious, and best of all – warming. It's one of those soups that tastes even better after it sits for a few days.
Protein courtesy of mushrooms and dried-fried tofu

Mediterranean Hot Pot

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 5 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced [I used Cremini]
  • 1 bunch chard, trimmed and chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 pound tofu, pressed for at least an hour and dry-fried
  • 1 bunch of cellophane mung bean noodles [You can substitute vermicelli or soba noodles]
Serves 4

Heat oil over medium in a large saute pan. Saute onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add fennel and mushrooms. Saute then when it gets dry, continue to cook by water-sauteing: add about 1-2T of broth of water and cook until veggies are soft, about 10 more minutes. Besides being lower in fat, this slow-cooking method will help concentrate the flavors.

Add chard and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add broth, herbs, and tofu. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer on low for about  25 minutes. Add noodles and cook until soft, according to package directions. Top with a bit of sriracha sauce if you like heat.

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Joey said...

Yes please! I don't cook with fennel enough, or chard. Printing this one out for future use!

dreaminitvegan said...

Looks so warm and cozy!

Millie said...

your food always looks fabulous.