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Wakame, Carrot and Bean Stew

Serves 6

Note: Find wakame in Asian markets, food co-ops and some supermarkets. From John Sugimura of PinKU Japanese Street Food.

• 1/2 c. wakame (see Note)

• 1 tbsp. olive oil

• 1 small yellow onion, diced (1/2 c.)

• 2 small carrots, diced (1/2 c.)

• 1 celery rib, diced (1/4 c.)

• 1 (15-oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

• 1 1/2 c. frozen baby lima beans, thawed

• 6 c. dashi seaweed broth (see recipe)

• 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, optional

Directions

To prepare wakame, place in small bowl, cover with cold water and soak 5 to 10 minutes, or until soft. Drain, squeeze out liquid, and set aside. Chop finely.

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery, and sauté 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Add cannellini beans, lima beans and dashi seaweed broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 10 minutes.

Transfer approximately half of soup to food processor, and purée until smooth. Stir mixture into remaining soup in pot. Cook 5 minutes more. Stir in cayenne and wakame.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 150 Fat 3 g Sodium 340 mg Saturated fat 0 g

Carbohydrates 24 g Total sugars 4 g

Protein 8 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 6 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 ½ carb, 1 lean protein.

Dashi (Seaweed Broth)

Makes 6 cups.

Note: Dashi is one of the culinary cornerstones of Japanese cooking. “The resulting clear broth tastes like the essence of the sea,” says John Sugimura. Bonito flakes are made from dried, fermented and smoked skipjack tuna. Bonito flakes and kombu can be found in Asian markets, food co-ops and at some supermarkets, including Whole Foods Market.

• 6 c. water

• 3 (2-in.) pieces kombu

• 1 1/2 c. loosely packed dried bonito flakes, optional (see note)

Directions

Combine water and kombu in a 2-quart saucepan and warm over medium heat. As liquid warms, remove kombu as water reaches a simmer, but before it comes to a boil. (Boiling the kombu can make the broth bitter.)

Add bonito flakes, if using, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let bonito steep in the broth for 5 more minutes. Strain the bonito flakes from the broth.

Nutrition information per 1 cup:

Calories 1 Fat 0 g Sodium 20 mg Saturated fat 0 g

Carbohydrates 0 g Total sugars 0 g

Protein 0 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Exchanges per serving: free.

‘Destarched’ Egg Noodles with Cucumber-Wakame Salad

Serves 4.

Note: Do not salt cooking water as the dashi will add the necessary flavor to the noodles. “Cooling noodles after cooking and reheating them in liquid results in a less starchy pasta,” says John Sugimura. “This is a perfect small side dish — easy to make, healthy to eat and very refreshing.” From Sugimura.

• 4 c. (1 quart) water

• 6 c. dashi (seaweed broth; see recipe)

• 4 oz. egg noodles

• Cucumber-Wakame Salad (see recipe)

Directions

Combine 4 cups water and dashi in large pot and bring to boil. Add egg noodles and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Drain liquid into large container and reserve. When cool, place in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes and as long as overnight.

When ready to serve, place reserved liquid in large pot and reheat to simmer. Add noodles. Allow to simmer only until noodles are warmed, 3 to 5 minutes, then drain. Place on salad plate and top with Cucumber Salad (recipe follows).

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 130 Fat 2 g Sodium 140 mg Saturated fat 0 g

Carbohydrates 23 g Total sugars 5 g

Protein 4 g Cholesterol 20 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 starch, ½ fat.

Cucumber-Wakame Salad

Serves 4.

Note: Find wakame in Asian markets, food co-ops and some supermarkets. Japanese cucumbers are much skinnier than American ones, with thinner skins and fewer and smaller seeds. If they are not available, use English or Persian cucumbers. From John Sugimura.

• 1 to 2 tbsp. wakame (see Note)

• 3 Japanese or 4 English or Persian cucumbers (see note)

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 3 tbsp. rice vinegar

• 1 tbsp. sugar

• 1/4 tsp. soy sauce

• 1 tsp. sesame seeds

Directions

To prepare wakame, place in small bowl, cover with cold water and soak 5 to 10 minutes, or until soft. Drain, squeeze out liquid, and set aside. Chop finely.

Slice cucumbers thinly. Place in bowl and stir in salt. Let sit for 5 minutes. Gently squeeze water from cucumbers and set aside.

In small bowl, mix rice vinegar, sugar and soy sauce until sugar dissolves. Add mixture to cucumbers and mix well. Stir in sesame seeds and wakame.

Divide into 4 portions and place atop cooked noodles.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 30 Fat 1 g Sodium 130 mg Saturated fat 0 g

Carbohydrates 6 g Total sugars 4 g

Protein 1 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable.