Gingered Miso Aubergine Noodles

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A fairly quickly idea for a tasty meal. I have long known that I am a salt fiend – I love soy sauce, olives, feta cheese and many, many other salty, tasty foods. To me, miso has a similar appeal and checking the packet confirms that it is in fact, high in salt. Yum. Miso is a recent discovery for me and therefore a current love. I cheated and bought some miso soup sachets which are a paste rather than a powder. I bought them a while ago and realised they are approaching their ‘best before’ and therefore needed to be used sooner rather than later. Not particularly a hardship! Another item in my kitchen in need of using up was an aubergine – it was beginning to go wrinkly and the stem end was definitely not good. In the interests of not wasting the whole thing I chopped that bit off and used the rest which was still surprisingly firm and good to use.

It’s a revelation to me that aubergine can be used in anything but ratatouille. That’s certainly the only way I had it before I left home many years ago. But it pairs so well with these flavours and becomes meltingly tender and delicious. I will definitely be making this again. The only thing I’ll change is to add some fried tofu for a protein component – I realised after making this that it was a little lacking in that department. A very successful combination of warming ginger, salty miso, melting aubergine, slippery noodles and fresh broccoli.

Gingered Miso Aubergine Noodles (based on this recipe)
Soften half an aubergine, chopped into pieces in about a teaspoon of oil. In the meantime, bring a pan of water to the boil for the noodles and broccoli. Mix a miso soup sachet with a small cube of ginger, grated, a teaspoon of mirin, half a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of vinegar. An Asian style vinegar would be best but I used apple cider vinegar because that’s what I had. Add some boiling water and mix well. When the aubergine is tender and coloured, add the noodles to the boiling water and the miso mix to the aubergine. Simmer the aubergine while the noodles cook, adding the broccoli so that it’s tender when the noodles are done. Drain noodles and broccoli, add to aubergine mix and serve.

I’m going to share this with the no-waste food challenge. I am generally a bit rubbish at using things up so I was quite pleased to have rescued the aubergine in particular from the fate which would usually have befallen it, namely the bin (sadly there is no food-waste collection where I live).

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I’m also going to share it with Jac for her Meat Free Mondays. This was a great light lunch but with some tofu would make a more substantial dinner.

Gingered Miso Aubergine Noodles

Favourite Creamy Veggie Pasta

Creamy Veggie Pasta

I spent many years eating a lot of pasta (and I still do eat a lot of pasta) exclusively with tomato based sauces. With melted cheese on the top (I think it was the melted cheese I wanted really, not the tomato based pasta!). And then a few months ago I realised that actually, I enjoyed creamy based pasta sauces too and so my allegiance has switched and this is my favourite pasta of the moment.

To my mind pasta has a lot going for it – reasonably cheap, keeps forever in the cupboard (sprouting, green potatoes I’m looking at you…), is quick and easy to make when I can’t be bothered to think after a day at work and is very versatile in terms of what you can put with it. Admittedly I don’t take advantage of that last aspect so much, sticking to what I’ve found I enjoy.

And this is what I’m enjoying the most at the moment. Soften courgette cut into half-moon shapes until lightly coloured in a little oil. Start the pasta cooking; your sauce won’t take long. When the courgette is soft and coloured, add frozen spinach and roasted peppers (I roast these in batches and freeze them for ease). Add a little water and bash the spinach until it defrosts. Add Philadelphia cheese, salt and pepper. Squash the cream cheese into the rest of the sauce ingredients until it melts and forms a creamy sauce. In the meantime add broccoli to the pasta pan – time depends on how large you cut the florets but I usually reckon about five minutes.

Drain pasta, mix into sauce. Eat. Creamy and delicious. I tend to use Light Philadelphia but I’m sure full fat would be fine. Not sure about the ‘Lightest’ Philadelphia; I have a feeling it’s largely water and stabilisers but I could try it one day to prove myself right or wrong.

I’m going to sneak this into a few blog challenges. Vegetable Palette which this month is your favourite vegetable hosted at A2K. Call me odd but I have a particular love for both broccoli and courgette so this qualifies for me. Pasta Please – asking for any pasta dish hosted by Tinned Tomatoes and this month Jen’s Food. Extra Veg because really, this is just a delicious way to eat four different vegetables without even really thinking about it! Hosted this month by Veggie Desserts. And finally into the No Waste Food Challenge┬áhosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen. I reckon that using frozen spinach and frozen peppers qualifies – frozen vegetables are often fresher as they’re frozen at their peak and you can use exactly the amount you need – no waste ­čÖé

Favourite Creamy Veggie Pasta