Take Your Lunch to Work Week, Day 3

Now it’s Tuesday. The weekend is a distant memory. You’ve settled into the week and eaten 250 calories of garbage oatmeal from a plastic-coated packet. But at least there’s lunch to look forward to. You’ll be enjoying a sweet and savory salad and a salty hunk of salmon.  Tonight, the cooking is light. Just some rice and a simple salad. If you think that won’t be enough, supplement it with some prepackaged baked tofu or grilled chicken.  You’ll also want to buy some kimchi to eat with the rice. You can find it in MOST Korean bodegas in New York.

kale, rice, kimchi

Lacinato Kale with Miso Soy Dressing

Serves 2

You will need:

1 bunch (about 20 stalks) Lacinato kale

1 Tablespoon white miso paste

1 Tablespoon season rice vinegar

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Method:

1. Wash and dry the kale. You will need to remove the thick ribs. Lay a kale leaf shiny side down and rib side up. About 3 inches from the top of the leaf, run a small sharp knife just next to one of the sides of the large rib. Do the same on the other side of the rib so you are simply removing the rib and leaving the leaf intact. You should be left with something that looks like a lily pad. Repeat this for all the leaves and then slice the leaves into thin ribbons.

2. Crush the garlic in a garlic press  and add to a large bowl. Add the miso paste, rice vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil and whisk vigorously with a fork until the miso past has dissolved. Add a few drops of water to thin the dressing out.

3. Add the kale ribbons and toss to coat. Add the sesame seeds. Serve with kimchi and sushi rice.

sushi rice

Sushi Rice

Makes about 2 servings (with leftovers to use for Japanese breakfast soup!)

You will need:

1 cup premium grade Japanese sushi rice (Nishiki and Kokuho are good brands)

1 cup water

1 1/2 Tablespoons rice vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon sugar

Method:

1. Rinse the rice in a strainer after measuring exactly 1 cup in a dry measuring cup and add too a heavy-bottomed pot with a lid.

2. Add 1 cup of water, cover and bring to boil over high heat. Watch and listen very carefully  it will boil in 4-6 minutes.

3. When the pot starts to shake and steam and water splutter out, turn the heat way way down to just barely a simmer. DO NOT TAKE THE LID OFF TO CHECK. Cook for 16 minutes at a simmer.

4. Remove the pot, sill covered, from the stove. Set it to steam (can be another dormant burner on your stove) for about 10 minutes without checking it.

5. Whisk rice vinegar, salt and sugar together. Using a wooden spoon, remove the rice from the pot to a large plastic bowl and fold in the vinegar mixture. If there is a crispy layer of rice on the bottom of your pot, leave it and cut your losses, you only want the fluffy white stuff on top. The rice will sit comfortably for a few hours in a plastic bowl with a damp towel covering it.

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