Roasted Butternut & Eggplant with Tahini Miso Dressing {vegan}

roasted eggplant & butternut miso tahini sauce

Roasting brings out amazing qualities in vegetables – especially with squash and eggplant. High heat creates little cubes of excellence – caramelized and golden on the outside and meltingly soft on the inside.

This tahini miso dressing is vegan luxury. Savory and creamy, it’s a lovely way to tie together a salad of warm roasted vegetables and fresh green herbs. I used cilantro, but you can use parsley or a combination of the two.

This salad makes a great side dish or a whole meal when served over a bed of rice or quinoa with some toasted flaked almonds.

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Vegetable Miso Ramen

vegetable miso ramen #voraciousvander

While we’re talking food hugs. Let’s talk about miso broth and noodles.

I mean, if warming and satisfying are what you’re after, a big bowl of flavorsome broth,  full of veggies and noodles is a good way to go.

It’s the perfect sick person food. Or well person food. Or tired and hungry person food.

This, paired with some sassy comments from Maggie Smith, is guaranteed to soothe most troubles away.

I have limited ramen knowledge, but I know that there are a few different types of broth that can be used when fashioning a bowl of the noodle soup.

This is an easy miso-based one that requires little more than stirring miso paste into some simmering stock. It’s a simple way to get your bowl of goodness started pronto.

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Miso-Curry Roasted Squash

I have probably mentioned my love for Heidi Swanson’s blog 101 Cookbooks before. It was one of the first food blogs I started reading and has been a constant inspiration to my cooking. This will come as no surprise to fellow food bloggers, as Heidi has been blogging since 2003 and earning well-deserved recognition and awards ever since.

Her photos and creative whole food recipes never fail to excite me and get me thinking. The way Heidi combines flavors and presents quality produce makes vegetarian cooking look gorgeous, easy and fun.

I’ve been flagging my new copy of Super Natural Everyday for a couple of weeks now and it’s gone straight out of control. I can see myself cooking everything and can’t wait to do so.

The first recipe I tried was miso-curry roasted squash. I love the idea of blending these different Asian flavors to generously coat squash, potatoes and tofu in. Roasted vegetables combined with bold red curry and miso pastes make this dish a rich and complex combination of bright, warming flavors.

I stuck to her original recipe pretty closely, but I am eager to try this spice paste on carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes and even fish. I served this as a main, but I think it would work as a side without the tofu.

Miso-Curry Squash
Adapted slightly from Super Natural Everyday
(serves 2-4)

- 1/4 cup white miso paste
– 1 heaping tablespoon red curry paste
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1/2 medium butternut squash, cut into bite-sized pieces
– 4-5 small chat potatoes, quartered
– 1/2 cup tofu, cut into small cubes
– 1 tablespoons white vinegar
– 2 cups kale, finely shredded
– 2 tablespoons toasted pepitas
– a big handful of chopped cilantro and Thai basil, combined.

Preheat oven to 400F/200c

In a small bowl, combine the miso paste, red curry paste and olive oil.

In a large bowl toss the squash, potatoes and tofu with 2/3 of the miso paste mixture until everything is covered well. Spread this out onto a baking sheet.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until squash, potatoes and tofu are golden – tossing a couple of times to make sure everything gets evenly browned.

While this is baking, add vinegar and a teaspoon of warm water to the remaining miso paste mixture. Toss with kale to coat well.

Combine warm squash mixture with kale. Garnish with toasted pepitas, cilantro and basil. Serve warm

To toast pepitas: Place pepitas in a dry pan over a medium-low heat for about 3-5 minutes, shaking the pan frequently to distribute the heat. Take off the heat once golden.

Avocado, Orange and Sweet Potato Salad with Miso Lime Dressing

Here’s another recipe adapted from Bon Appetit’s cleanse menu – I loved it even before I made it.

I couldn’t resist the uniqueness of avocado and oranges with a miso lime dressing. It all sounded so glamorous in a carefree, perfect salad sort of way. (Has anyone ever called a salad glamorous before? What am I?)

It’s a refreshing citrus-fueled party on a plate, as far as I’m concerned. The friendly sweetness of the sweet potatoes (my addition) and the mellow creaminess of the avocados against the salty/tangy miso lime dressing makes the whole salad a happy experience. Like I’ve just had a weekend away at a spa kind of happy experience.

Relaxed and feelin good.

I’ve made some variation of it 3 times now. I threw diced tofu in one version, and roasted pumpkin and pepitas in another.

This dressing has definitely earned itself a place in my rotation – I’m looking forward to finding a few more uses for it.

Salad
Makes 2 serves
– 1 orange, segmented
– 1/2 an avocado, cut into bite-sizes pieces
– 1 small (or 1/2 a large) sweet potato, roasted
– 3 large handfuls of baby spinach or arugula
– Toasted almonds, for sprinkling

Miso Lime Dressing
Makes 1 Cup
– 1/4 cup white miso paste
– 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
– 1 tablespoon honey
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– Zest and juice from 1 lime (plus more)
– 1/4 cup water

Put all ingredients in a jar, cover and shake. Chill for up to 1 week in an airtight container. To freshen the dressing after a few days, add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice.

Assemble salad and pour dressing on to taste.