The herbs are the first of what’s growing in our garden that are ready to be eaten. In the past week or so we have been a bit pressed for time and have thrown together a few simple meals; with very little effort we used ingredients that we had on hand including some offerings from our garden. The first meal was composed of #1 best tofu, sautéed mushrooms, and fresh basil over brown rice.
The instructions are simple. Cook the preferred rice; we used a brown rice medley bought from Trader Joe’s. It’s a blend of long-grain brown rice, black barley and daikon radish seeds as described on the package. It had a great texture as well as taste and was good looking too. I’ll definitely be picking up this package from TJ’s again.
Prepare your tofu, click #1 best tofu for instructions.
Slice your basil or other herbs and set aside to include just before eating. My favorite way to slice basil and most leafy herbs is into thin strips. Pluck the leaves from the stem and stack them, roll them up and slice rings to the desired thickness. It’s easier and faster to slice trough all of them at once if they’re rolled up together and then you’re left with nice lengths of the herb strips.
Slice and sauté mushrooms with a splash of olive oil and a dash of kosher or sea salt to taste. Grind a bit of fresh black pepper. We used baby bella mushrooms but any type of fresh mushrooms that you have on hand will work well too. Add other vegetables if you want or if you have them. When they’re cooked enough remove from heat and mix the basil in.
Pack your bowl with rice, tofu, and then the vegetable herb mixture. This is a nice meal that was prepared within the cooking time of the rice. Healthy and simple, yet satisfying on your average week night.
This next meal is very similar to the last; it also includes basil and mushrooms but instead of rice we used pasta. Also, there is no tofu and instead we added tomatoes. It was another meal that was thrown together on a weeknight evening. Very little effort for such a filling meal with plenty leftovers for the next day.
Prepare your pasta according to the package instructions. We used “fusilli bucati corti” pasta and prepared just under 2 cups with the intention of having leftovers for lunch.
Slice your mushrooms. We used an entire pack of baby bellas for this- can you tell that we like baby bellas? First, we sautéed 1 small clove of crushed garlic in olive and then added about 1/2 teaspoon of chili garlic sauce to spice it up a bit. Toss in the mushrooms and add salt and crushed black pepper to taste.
We used 3 types of herbs from our garden: thyme, & two types of basil. We sliced the basil up using the technique described above. To prepare the thyme, I usually just start from the top of the stem and run my fingers downward pulling off the leaves in one move. You can decide to chop them up a bit more if you’d like but it’s not necessary.
Once the pasta and mushrooms are finished cooking combine all of the together and mix in your fresh herbs. In the end we topped it with grated Parmesan cheese (optional).