Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Fermented Holiday Season starts now

It's that time of year again, time to start thinking about Holiday presents.  This year I've decided that all the adults are getting homemade gifts, mostly food.

It all started with the most recent batch of chickpea miso - best batch so far! - and I thought, this is the type of miso I would be proud to serve my friends (as opposed to my learning batches of miso which were a little taste like practice).  If the miso tastes this good, I wonder what other yummy treats I can make.

So here's a list (because these particular friends don't read this blog) of some of the delicious fermented foods I hope to have ready in time for Christmas.

Sweet Miso takes about one month to ferment, but it can be as fast as 3 weeks if I increase the ratio of koji rice to other ingredients.  I have one batch of Chunky Chickpea Miso ready, and plan to put up a batch of Black Turtle and Adzuke Bean with Barley Miso later today.

Kimchi!  Kimchi is awesome in so many ways.  For starters, it is by far the best way to clean out the crisper drawer in the fridge.  You can put (almost) anything in kimchi.  In this case, I used half a daikon, two su choi cabbages, chilis, excessive amounts of ginger sliced thin, Cauliflower, carrots, and anything else vegi related that needed eating up.  Kimchi takes about one week to ferment.

Cultured Butter is easy to make in advance and keeps for ages.  I'll probably start making this a week or two before the Holiday dinner.  Takes one day to culture the cream and the next day to churn it = two days.

With the leftover buttermilk from churning butter, I will bake some bread.  Sourdough Bread loves buttermilk.  With the added dairy sugars the bread will often rise to be lofty and soft, as opposed to the more dense country loaf I make for every-day purposes.  Takes two days to make a great loaf of sourdough, but can be done in one.

Speaking about dairy. my dream is to eventually make my own hard cheese.  Wouldn't it be lovely to give the gift of Cheese?  Even a soft farmhouse style cheese mixed with dry herbs dressed in a beautiful jar or clay pot would be a good addition to a gift basket.  Soft cheese takes a couple of hours, a hard cheese on the other hand can take years.

Of course, you could always spice up your relationship with some hot sauce.  Fermented hot sauce takes about one week, or this one which is ready in two days.

Last but not least, my personal all time holiday favourite:

Cranberry Mead!

The biggest advantages of fermented vs the baked gift, are that fermented gifts last longer, are generally more affordable to make and are a refreshing change from over-indulgence.  They are also an excellent way to use up the last of the harvest.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Going plastic free - or very nearly. A beginning

The goal: to reduce my use of plastic in my life, with a focus on the kitchen and food related plastic.

Why?  I've had a lot of failed attempts at writing why; it all tumbles into long rants about the world going to shit and how we each need to do our part.  My part begins here.

Inspiration:  Began with a book I accidently borrowed from the library called Plastic Free by Beth Terry (a book that the library had kindly coated in plastic to preserve it from the excessive use they anticipated it would get - libraries are funny like that, and apparently not the only ones to plasticize the plastic free book).

Generally, I'm interested in reducing any negative environmental impact I create and moving towards plastic free would be a huge step in this direction.

Another source of inspiration came from digging in the garden last spring.  I noticed when digging that there were hundreds of plastic fruit stickers in my soil.  These are the stickers that grocery stores put on their fruit to make life easier for the till workers.  Always before, these stickers use to disappear into the soil after a few months, but here I was digging in a section of the garden where no new compost had been added for at least 4 years, and there they were, an excess of plastic.  It was such a little, everyday thing this digging in the garden, but it struck home the realization that plastic is forever.

So what am I going to do about it?  

I am starting with simple observation.  I want to know just how much plastic is in my life right now; more specifically, how much plastic do I waste?  I am taking The Plastic Challenge.  For a week I am collecting up all the plastic that I would otherwise toss in the trash or recycling, taking a photo of it, and documenting how much plastic do I waste in a week?

The goal of this week is to develop a baseline for my personal plastic use.  I'm not trying to change anything at this stage, in fact, it may be an overrepresentation of my plastic use as we are going through a major cleaning phase in our life right now.

Here it is, one week worth of plastic:

Week 1 plastic pile
 My theory was correct, almost everything here is food related (or related to raising food), except for the shampoo and mail.  All in all, it weighs in at 3/4 pound.  According to the book Plastic Free by Terry, the average American uses 4 pounds of plastic a week.  

I sorted it into two piles:  Unavoidable and Might Be Able to Do Better.

Things like the envelope with the plastic window in it is necessary.  For starters, I am not convinced that e-communication actually is less eco-damaging than paper letters, but even if it is, I still prefer the paper trail when dealing with official documents.  Apparently this makes me evil - so be it.

This blue string, it's called binder twine.  It is used to bind the bales of hay together so that they are easy to use and transport.  We feed the hay to the animals, so it is a necessity in life.  Unfortunately it's made of a nasty-give-me-blisters plastic (a bit like coarse fentex).  Until relatively recently, binder twine was made of jute or sisal (plant based fibres) which are strong, biodegradable over time, and what's more, supported many third world economies.  Now, short of moving to a tropical climate and growing the jute myself, I don't know where to get natural binder twine.  That's a shame, because each day we cut at least 12 feet of plastic twine off the hay.  The twine goes into a bag where it sits until we can use it for things like tying together hurdles (temporary sheep fencing), which is what this pile of twine was reused as before meeting it's end.  Even though we re-use the twine before sending it to the landfill, we don't use it as fast as it comes in (anyone want an armful of bright blue plastic twine?).

So those are the kinds of plastic waste in my life that are currently unavoidable.  However, there are a few items here that I might be able to do better on.

For example, this tea bag wrapper.  The company brags that the teabag is compostable (which it is, I tried it) and the box is recyclable as well as made from recycled materials.  However, this individual sachet has a plasticized coating on the inside, which I assume is to help keep the tea fresh.  It might not even be a plastic, who knows?  But it feels like plastic and has yet to compost in my worm bin, so it goes in my plastic pile.  The solution, buy another brand of tea, or better still, drink more loose leaf tea.

Plastic bread bags also fall under the 'might do better' title; although, I'm currently stumped as to how.  I'm quite proud of my bread baking abilities, especially the ability to bake a loaf that will last at room temperature for two weeks (or more) before going moldy - using only flour, water, and salt!  One of the elements to this long lasting bread is the bag it's stored in.  Wrap it in a towel and it either goes hard or soggy, but either way only lasts a couple of days before we toss it to the chickens.

I wonder, how can I store bread without plastic bags?  Another question that taunts me is how to freeze bread without plastic?

Re-using plastic bags, even washed ones poses problems.  There are fancy things about chemicals leaching into the food, but more important to me is that the cleanliness of the bag is one of the factors that helps preserve the bread.  It's impossible to get a bag completely clean with home-washing.  Besides, the goal is to keep my bread fresh without plastic, not to re-use plastic.

One of my biggest sources of inspiration for finding solutions to this and similar problems, is to look at history.  What did they use to do before plastic was ubiquitous?  Could I use a bread box or wrap my bread in paper for example?  These are things I'm just going to have to try and discover for myself.  I'm looking forward to the experiment.

For more information on going plastic free, have a look at this blog: My Plastic Free Life, written by the same author that wrote the book I mentioned at the beginning.  I'll also be joining the discussion (I hope) at the Plastic Trash Challenge.

I've also discovered this very interesting Canadian based online store called Life Without Plastic which, as you guessed it, focuses on plastic-free alternatives for everyday items.  I have had a great deal of fun bumming around their site and feel very hopeful that there are possibilities available, if a bit beyond my price range.

  A final thought, this is a great challenge for Transitional groups like Transition Victoria, who dedicate themselves to gathering skills for living in a post-petroleum age.

Recyclable on the left, destined for the landfill on the right :(

The goal of going plastic free brings up a lot of questions, especially regarding food storage, preservation, buying, &c.  I feel that in most areas of my life, I use a darn sight less plastic than my peers, but I really want to cut down my kitchen waste.  That's why I'm writing about this on my food blog and not my (currently sleeping) yarn/life blog.  Let me know if you find this interesting or better yet, inspirational.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Review: Feeding Change Chickpea Miso

I was delighted the other day when I found another company making soy-free miso paste.  Feeding Change makes a Chickpea Miso paste that is "soy-free", "gluten-free" and (most importantly) "GMO-free".   It also claims to be 100% certified organic (awesome!).

Feeding Change's Chickpea Miso paste is smooth, sweet and salty tasting, and very delicious in cup of soup.  It's a sweet miso, meaning that it has a short (less than a year) fermentation period.  The website says it's a 60 day process, which is more than double most sweet miso ferments.  It's packaged in glass, with a plastic label and plastic lined metal lid. (Why the sudden interest in plastic in packaging? More on that later this week).

This miso paste is also Unpasteurized, which has it's advantages, and disadvantage (I'll get to that).  It is also Vegan Friendly.

After trying this paste in a few things, including my favourite breakfast cuppa-miso (I put some miso paste in a cup and pour hot water on it), I've come to the conclusion that there are definitely some aspects of this miso paste that I adore, and some serious room for improvement.

The thing I like best about Feeding Change Miso is the taste.  It's sweet and salty, has a smooth miso flavour, but not overpowering; has a smooth chickpea flavour, but again, not overpowering.  How to describe it?  The flavour is suitably strong, but not so aggressive that it can't be drunk on an empty stomach.

"Miso Happy There's No Soy", a slogan from Feeding Change's website.  With my sensitivity to soy and growing concerns about the sustainability of agriculture, having gmo-free, soy-free alternatives like this make my day.

Their website also claims that this chickpea miso paste is made (or at least hand stirred) in wooden vats - way to go for using traditional and renewable materials in production.  What they mean by double fermented, however, I don't know.  Unless they are referring to the koji growing part of production as a fermentation.  The word fermentation has so many uses these days, it's becoming quite the catch all.  But koji is a vital part of making real miso, so I'm glad they are including it.

Feeding Change Chickpea Miso is also a few dollars less than other chick pea miso(s) on the market right now. Every penny counts these days, and the only way I know to get a more affordable soy-free miso is to make it yourself.

And now for the needs improvement part of the blog post.  As much as I am enjoying this product, there are some areas the company can improve on.

First, the packaging.  Kudos to Feeding Change for using glass jar.  Not only is plastic touching food an increasing health concern, plastic waste (as I'm learning) is a major environmental issue and could doom us all if not dealt with soon.  However, plastic label on the jar indicates to me that they didn't think the plastic-free packaging all the way through.  The plastic on the inside of the lid is (more or less) unavoidable, and it's better than having the metal corrode into the food.

Next, I noticed that when I got the jar home and went to open it, there was an immense amount of internal pressure in the jar.  The lid shot off the top and landed on the far side of the room.  As startling as this is, it's not a health concern (like it would be in pasteurized food), it simply means that the miso paste has continued to ferment in the jar.  Being unpasteurized has major health advantages, however, it also means that the ferment will continue to 'breath' and gas build up is not uncommon.  I'm grateful that the jar was strong enough to contain the pressure, but I wonder how much longer it would have lasted before exploding.  Perhaps the miso paste was subjected to a prolonged period of un-refrigeration (or whatever the proper word is to describe being room temperature) during shipping or storage?  It certainly wasn't out of the fridge long enough on the journey home from the store to explain it.

As it was when first opened fresh from the store.
Not the tidiest presentation.

Another aspect of the packaging they need to improve is the size of the jar.  The jar is far too large for the product size which can lead the customer to feel short changed.  Though, I did check, that the weight of the chickpea miso paste (without jar) is as it states on the label (it is).  Still, having all that open space inside the brand new jar of miso has that negative psychological impact.

Again, as it was when first opened.
Notice the gap in the top and the large air bubble in the bottom right.

But that's not the biggest problem with the packaging.  Like the now defunct Organic Lives Chickpea Miso, another company with good ideas and lots of potential out of Vancouver,  There are a lot of air pockets in the miso.  When miso is packed with air pockets, it leaves it open for the possibility of mold growth.  Considering that koji (an essential ingredient in miso) is mold, the problem isn't one of safety.  The potential problem is two fold.  first, the  perception (so much of selling something relies on perception) that all mold is bad for us - not true - but still a prevailing meme in our society.  The other problem with mold growing in pockets of air is that it causes the miso around that pocket to develop a musty, unpleasant flavour.

These problems in packaging are very amateur and the company should have figured this out with the minimal research.  The Book of Miso talks a lot about this, and that's pretty much the go to English language book for learning how to produce miso both at home and commercially.

I'm confident as the company grows, they will find ways to improve their packaging.

One final thing, and please forgive me, I'm just being nitpicky here, however, the website brags that the Chickpea Miso paste is grain free - yet, the last time I checked (and every time before that), rice, a main ingredient in miso, is a grain.

Am I going to buy this again?  Yes, I think I will, especially if they fix how it is packaged in the jar.  Feeding Change is off to a good start with this product, and I can't wait to see how they evolve.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Talking about Craftsy Class, Favorite Asian Dumplings from Scratch with Andrea Nguyen

Today is the day we gave up Television in our house.  With The Ancient (a great fan of Jeopardy) in long term care at hospital, and not likely to return home soon, it didn't make sense to keep the idiot box hooked up.  So we took our cable gadgets down to the company and said - thank you, no thanks.

Aside from my daily dose of Columbo, I don't think I'll miss it.  There are so many other exciting things to do, like cleaning the house (okay, that one's not exciting), trying new recipes, sewing bags, playing with yarn, reading books... and so on.  How do people get bored?

And when it happens that I do miss TV, I can always borrow a film from my local library or better still, watch videos online of people telling us how to cook stuff (which doesn't happen on TV much these days anyway - reality cooking competitions are repetitive).

Not long ago, I signed up for one of Craftsy's promotional deals and decided to take a couple of their classes.  I started with knife skills, and it made a huge difference to my confidence in the kitchen.

The Craftsy classes include in depth videos, usually some sort of instructional document, and a question and answer section where you can discuss what you watch with the instructor and other students.  It's quite clever really, and long over due.  Finally, a place that gathers together some useful expertise and makes it available (for a price) to an Average Jane like me.

They are suppose to look like a nurse's cap

The Favorite Asian Dumpling class by Andrea Nguyen has inspired me greatly.  For some reason, I didn't even imagine that people could make dumplings in their own home.  Why this never occurred to me, I don't know, it's just one of those blind spots I guess.

This class has been so inspiring.  Nguyen has great enthusiasm for her cooking, and lots of little tips to share about how to improve your technique.  What I like best is how easy she makes it look, but what amazing results she creates.

What's even more amazing is that it really is that simple.

This is the shrimp wonton soup.  It took me about an hour the first time I made it, but most of that was getting over my trepidation at trying new techniques.  Second try was considerably faster.

To be honest, I found shrimp dumplings a bit bland on their own, so I decided to add some finely diced pickled ginger to the second batch - much better.

And look, I got a new steamer!  I have a big project coming up where I need to steam a few pounds of barley, so I took a trip to China town and brought home big and little steamer sets.  The little steamer is for practice, and the big one for ... well, big steaming.

Apparently dumplings overcook really quickly in a steamer and get chewy.  Now I know something new.

Is it affordable to make dumplings?  I think it depends on the filling.  4 servings of dumplings took 200g of prawns, which comes to about $10 here.  Plus another $1 for the rest of the ingredients (plus $5 for the soup).  But a different filling (like pork or kimchi - recipes and videos also included in the class) would be a lot more affordable.

On the whole I'm thrilled and am eager to try some of the other recipes included in the class.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

An experiment in frustration, or the first and last time I count calories

Lately, I feel as if I've been eating less but am still gaining girth.

I wonder, am I actually eating less, or does it just seem that way?  Am I over eating to compensate during this time of stress?  Is my desire to cook my way back to a happy place actually doing harm?

Food is my joy-path, so I'm not giving up on the kitchen.  However, I can make better choices with what I cook.  I already love cooking vegetables and live culture foods... but there is always room for improvement.

But do I need to improve?  One moment, I think yes, the next I think no.  What marks and measures can I use to see where I am health wise?

How do I feel?  Over-stressed and run down.  I also feel energetic and hopeful that this will end eventually.  I feel motivated to take small, positive actions.  I feel momentum towards self improvement.  My knees hurt a bit which they usually do once I top a certain number of pounds, and my gut feels a bit bloated.

How much do I weigh?  I weigh about smack in the middle of where I should for my height and age.  I don't think I'm over-worried about weight.  I get the scales out four times a year (equinox and solstice).  The doctors on the other hand constantly obsess over it.  The medical community says that I have a narrow range to keep my weight in - too much and I greatly increase my risk of cancer, too little and I won't have enough energy stored up if I get sick again.  Way to give a girl issues, you silly doctor people.

Mostly I just ignore them and eat what I like.

How much do I really eat?  If I am thinking about modifying my eating behaviour, I had best start by figuring out what it is right now.

What I ate today:

rice milk
2 samosa
another samosa
red wine
stir fry
udon noodle

I'm using the calculator at CaloriesKing to guess how many calories I'm consuming.  I'm not fussing or weighing anything, just a rough estimate.  They have a little tool that can tell you the ideal daily calorie consumption depending on your height, weight, age, and activity level.  I choose moderately active since farming does involve at least some heavy lifting every day.

According to their magic formula, if I want to maintain my weight I should consume 1750 to 1950 calories a day.  Sounds easy enough.  To lose about a pound a week, I should limit my caloric consumption to 1450 a day.

Ideally I would like to lose a total of  10 to 12  pounds over the winter, for the sake of my knees if nothing else.  It's difficult for me to lose weight in the winter, as it's the natural time for the body to store energy and guard against the cold.  So why not put the goal for the spring equinox?  Spring is when I generally lose my weight anyway - the weather improves, more time outside growing the garden, less time inside cooking, &c.

Some of these foods were really simple to analyze like half a cup of yoghurt and two teaspoons of honey, but some much harder.  For lunch, I made Baked Samosas with a filling of leftovers - there is apparently no commercial equivalent on CalorieKing of a 'samosa filled with leftovers from my fridge'.  So, how do I guess what the calorie count is for this meal?

I found this Calorie Count tool which let me input the recipe and gave me not just calories, but also their opinion on the healthfulness of my ingredient choices.

The Samosa dough which makes 8 samosas (or servings) turns out to have 66 calories per serving and a 'Nutrition Grade B'.  Each ingredient got a letter grade depending on how healthy the site thought it was... however, I disagree with some of the assumptions.  For example, I used Ghee because butter has some amazing health benefits as well as tasting amazing.  I don't use a lot of ghee to make this dough, but it was enough to change my nutritional grade from a A to a B-

What I do like about this site is that it gives more than simply calories.  There is a lot of nutritional data available, and it's extremely simple to input ingredients.

Samosa Dough = easy, the filling on the other hand... far more challenging to calculate.  I had forgotten I was counting calories when I made the samosas, otherwise I might have measured better.  As it is, the recipe went something like this: All the leftover rice, all the leftover spicy lentil mush, a handful of raisins and a pinch of salt.  Unfortunately, the calorie counting tool doesn't understand these measurements, so I had to make a guess.  Another drawback, was I made enough filling for 10 samosa, not eight like I had dough for.  This was easily fixed by altering the number of servings and calculating the filling and dough separately, then adding them back together.

Best guess at my samosa filling gave me 120 calories per samosa.

One samosa gives us an approximate total of 185 calories (except if it's a small one, or a really big one, or one that didn't get as much filling, or...).  It's difficult and far too fussy to make them all the same size.  So how many calories I actually ate?  I have no idea.

On the whole, what have I learned today?

First, if I ate from a box or processed foods, then counting calories would be a lot easier.  Even if I just followed recipes instead of improvising based on the weird stuff in my fridge, that would make a life of calorie counting simple.

Second, calorie counting is not for me.  It is WAY too stressful.  I would much rather spend my energy growing, cooking and eating delicious food than stressing about how many grams of flour I used to dust the counter when rolling out the samosa dough.

Third:  On the whole, I ate far fewer calories than I expected. Even taking into account that simply observing my consumption has altered it, I'm surprised by how little I felt like eating.  For example, that third samosa was completely unnecessary - I wasn't even hungry by that point, but kept eating it anyway out of habit (and because it was exceptionally yummy - tomorrow's goal, write out new and improved samosa recipe for you guys).

Given what I've learned, what will I change?

I don't think I'm going to change a thing.  This seems to be right on track.

The goal is to keep buying healthy goodies and avoid all junk - much easier now that the burden of stress is shifting.  In fact, this week I've felt nauseous at the idea of eating sweets or processed foods, which makes it easier not to bring them into the house.  (I'm not going into what this big stress in my life is right now, it doesn't belong on a food blog).

Though I think I may keep an eye out for other methods of evaluating my eating habits and see what comes of it.  But counting calories - forget it.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Baked Samosas with chickpea and leftover rice filling

My current culinary quest - to learn to cook and love Indian food.  Today's experiment: Samosa!

I found this recipe in Everyday Indian by Bal Arneson.  A very enjoyable author who has a great selection of Indian-Canadian dishes with a Pacific coast twist.  I have a couple of books by her and I like how she isn't afraid to meld indian flavour with West Coast ingredients.  

Some of my modifications were to half the salt, change up the fats, and completely alter the ratio of the filling to match the collection of leftovers in my fridge.  Basically I took some leftover rice, leftover chickpeas, leftover fresh cranberries, replaced some of the whole wheat flour with white... &c. and used her recipe as a guide.  

stuffing the samosa

I'm not going to post my recipe here because it's a book well worth reading.  Your local library should have it, and if they don't have it, they should and you should tell them that they should.

The red sauce is Pataks mango chutney, which turned out to be a bit sweet for this meal.  The dark dot is tamarind chutney (recipe from the same book as the samosa).  Tamarind chutney is extremely flavourful, and impressively spicy.  

I'm very excited to find out what else I can stuff in these triangles.

Affordable Cooking:  The filling today was purely leftovers and spices.  Since the chickpeas I used were cooked from dry (about 1/4 cup when dry), it brings the price down quite a lot.  Even if I was starting with ingredients bought specifically for this meal, I estimate it would be between fifty cents to two dollars for eight samosas.  

Bento:  This looks like the type of food that will travel well.  I'm definitely trying this in bento.

Even though it's my first time eating samosas, I'm filing this under comfort food.  It's just that good.

Allergy friendly:  I don't know how well it would be with different flour, but just about everything else can be changed up, from oils in the dough, to filling.  

Health:  Yes!  Arneson talks about this as the health 'lunch to go' food that she often cooks for her daughter, a highschool student.  Chickpeas, spices,  whole wheat flour, are all good things and in good ratios.  I can't find any fault with the healthy aspect of this recipe... except it's yummy and makes you want to eat a lot of them.

Vegetarian and vegans:  The original recipe looks vegan friendly, but I added some ghee when I made mine (to replace some of the flavour lost from cutting down on the salt).  But even still, it's vegetarian friendly fare.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Comfort pasta: Yaki Udon in a miso sauce

I'm not going to go into what life is like right now, except to say that this last month has been a shit-storm ... and then it got a whole lot worse.

There is a dire need for comfort food in my life right now.  Something comforting, high in energy, but also healthy enough to keep me going.  Unfortunately, there has been zero opportunity to go shopping, so the pantry is getting sparse.  Thankfully I have a garden full of growing things.  

Comfort food for me starts with pasta.  You can have the chocolate and icecream.  I'm keeping the pasta.  

When I saw the udon noodles hidden under the chickpeas, I knew that's what I needed.  Yaki udon (basically meaning fried udon) sprung to mind.  Yaki udon always has cabbage, a protein and a sauce.  Usually a specific kind of sauce... a sauce that got used up weeks ago.  Too hungry to think of a better meal plan, I decided to improvize.

I found a wedge of cabbage at the back of the fridge, cut off the bad bits and shredded up enough for one serving.  The garden donated carrots, cauliflower, and green onions.  But what to use to make the sauce?  I have miso on the mind right now... so why not give it a try?

The results were delicious; albeit not photogenic.

Yaki Udon in a Miso Sauce 

(serves one)

1/2 brick of udon noodles
drizzle sesame oil
1/2 cup of shredded cabbage
1 small carrot, sliced thin
1 floret of cauliflower, sliced thin
1/2 tin tuna, drained
2 Tbs sake
1/4 tsp soy sauce or soy sub
1/2 tsp honey
1 tsp + miso or soy-free miso paste (chickpea miso tastes best in my opinion)
one green onion, chopped into rings

  • Bring a small pot of water to the boil and par-boil the noodles for about one min (this is a good time to chop the veg while you wait).  Strain the noodles and place to one side.
  • In a small fry pan or wok, fry the veg in sesame oil on high, until starts to brown a little around the edges.  Stir in the tuna and cook another minute.
  • Add the noodles and everything else except the green onion.  Stir well and simmer at medium-high until the sauce reduces.  Stir frequently.
  • Just before serving, mix in the green onion.
  • Enjoy!

Fast food:  All in all this took me less than 10 minutes.  That includes digging everything out of the cupboard and garden. 

Healthy treat:  All the ingredients are good for you.  The miso, honey, veg, even the tuna.  Of course, some of these ingredients are not so health in large quantities... the salt in the miso, the sweet in the honey, the whatever-it-is in the tuna... but truthfully, these are not large quantities.  Besides, it's comfort food. Any healthy that happens is purely accidental.

Affordable: 50 cent for the noodles (if you buy the expensive ones), Somewhere between 20 to 50 cents for the rest of the stuff.   Let's round up and call it a dollar per serving.

Cooking with allergies:  This is easily customizable to accommodate allergies.  I mentioned using the soy free miso and sauce, but you can change anything you want.  Gluten free?  Just use other noodles.  Vegan? Replace the honey and tuna with (vegan friendly sweetener) and tofu.