Summer Yummies

June 25th, 2010


I had some friends over for dinner last night and served two of my favorite dishes–Mock Tuna and Quinoa Salad with Hazelnuts. They’re both from The Hip Chick’s Guide (although one I stole–with permission–from Christina!) so if you’ve made them ten thousands times, forgive me.  If you have not, now’s the time to throw a dinner party and serves these summer lovelies:

Mock Tuna 

 No, you’re not making fun of a fish. This recipe is for those of us who had a very intimate relationship with little cans in our cupboards and who miss the idea of opening them regularly. Tuna is very yang and contractingconsidered too strong an energy to take in regularly, especially for a woman. Ditto salmon. Macrobiotic recipes generally stick to white-fleshed fish, which are lower in fat and more easily digestible. Therefore, to imitate the sensual pleasure of tuna fish, we use tempeh.


1 8-ounce package tempeh

1 tablespoon umeboshi vinegar

1/3 cup Tofu Mayonnaise (see p.123 or store-bought)

Black pepper to taste

Any spices you desire–cumin, curry, paprika, saffron etc. (optional)

1 celery stalk, diced

1/4 red onion, finely diced


Steam or boil tempeh for 20 minutes to make it more digestible. Break apart with a fork until you get smaller-than-bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle the umeboshi vinegar onto the tempeh, mashing it in with a fork until you get a tuna-fishy saltiness. Mix “mayonnaise”, pepper and any other spices you enjoy. Mash into tempeh. Add vegetables. Serve or refrigerate–it tastes even better the next day.


Makes 4 servings.

Quinoa Salad with Hazelnuts

1/2 medium red onion, sliced fine into half moons

4 radishes, cut fine into half moons

2 Tablespoons each of ume vinegar and brown rice vinegar

1 1/2 cups quinoa

3 cups spring water with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2/3 cups hazelnuts

1/4 cup chopped parsley or chopped mint

1/2 cup raisins, washed and drained


Mix the onions and radishes with both vinegars.  Place a plate and weight on top and press for 1 hour to pickle. Wash quinoa thoroughly to remove the bitter saponin on the outside of the grain.  Roast in a dry, heavy-bottom fry pan until dry, stirring constantly until grain begins to turn golden and puff up a little.


Bring water and salt to the boil in a saucepan, stir in quinoa, cover and bring back to the boil.  Turn the flame down low and simmer until all the water is absorbed (about 20-25 minutes). Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, remove from heat and return into a mixing bowl to cool. Wash and roast hazelnuts at 325 degrees until nuts are golden and skins crack and loosen.  Rub the nuts in a dry dishcloth to remove any loose skins. Chop roughly. Mix hazelnuts, quinoa, pickles, herbs and raisins together, including pickling liquid.  Serve garnished with chopped nuts and sprigs of parsley or mint.


Makes 4 servings.



Yummy if not yummier. Substitute pearled (polished) barley for quinoa (cooks 2-1 like quinoa in about 30 minutes). Replace hazelnuts with toasted pecans, use dried apricots that have been soaked and chopped instead of raisins, and add fresh chopped dill at the end to replace the parsley or mint. You still use the red onion and radish pressed with the vinegars.

P.S. In the photo, I’ve included an arame dish, a golden beet, and greens with cilantro/mustard/ginger/rice syrup dressing. 



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