Both adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites p. 88 and 146.
For the soup:
4 C vegetable broth
1 piece of kombu
2 cups shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 C leeks, sliced into thin half moons and well rinsed (white part only)
2 t ginger, freshly grated
2 T mirin
1 T soy sauce (I use low-sodium soy)
4 oz. soba noodles
2 C spinach, washed and picked (chop if leaves are large)
2 T white miso
thinly sliced scallions for garnish
Bring veg broth and kombu to a boil over medium heat then lower heat and allow to simmer with lid on pot for 10 minutes. Remove kombu and return to a boil and add shitakes through soy sauce. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until leeks are tender.
In the meantime, prepare soba noodles by bringing a pot of water to a boil and adding noodles. Cook until al dente, about 5 min. Drain and set aside.
When leeks are tender, add spinach and simmer until it is wilted but still bright green. Take a few T of broth and mix it with the miso to make a watery paste. Pour miso mixture into pot and stir. Divide noodles among 4 bowls and ladle over soup. Sprinkle on scallions. Serve with extra soy sauce if desired.
For the rice salad:
1 C brown rice, cook according to pkg directions (or 1 pkg frozen rice from TJs)
1 small carrot, finely diced
1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 small cucumber, seeded and finely diced
1 sheet of nori
1 T sesame seeds
1-2 tsp wasabi paste or to taste
2 T or so of mirin
1 T sugar
fat pinch of salt
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
Combine cooked rice and vegetables except nori into a large bowl and set aside. Mix together wasabi, mirin, sugar, salt and ginger and pour over rice and veg; toss to mix. Toast nori and sesame seeds and sprinkle over rice mixture. Serve at room temperature or chilled. If chilling, reserve nori and sesame seeds until serving. Serves 4.
Makes for a nice light yet filling supper and comes together in under 30 minutes if you use frozen rice.