Oh, what to eat, what to eat… Here’s a little asian tapas/izakaya dinner that will satisfy your cravings for something tasty AND good for you.
1) Shishito peppers (japanese mini-peppers with thin signature wrinkled skin; wonderful texture that’s sweet-hot, smokey, and peppery eaten whole) – Toss with olive oil, splash of shoyu, lemon juice and kosher salt, sauteed or baked quickly in the oven. Why not? Shishito peppers are excellent source of VitC (immune system and VitA (eyes).
2) Poached tofu with shoyu vinaigrette – Prep vinaigrette (shoyu, lemon juice, a drizzle of agave & a drop of sesame oil). Cut tofu into four squares, boil for 3-5 min, drain. Using a grapefruit spoon, scoop a hole in the center of tofu squares (this is where the vinaigrette will go). Drizzle rest of vinaigrette over the tofu, sprinkle slivered green onion and persian cucumber and it makes an impressive and comforting side dish full of calcium & protein.
3) Panko eggplant “parmagiana” – If you’re craving the decadence of eggplant parmagiana, here’s a healthier version minus the cheese and full of taste. Season sliced japanese eggplants (meatier and more tender than “regular”) with Southwest seasoning from Pensey’s Spices (my new discovery of my “candy store” version of spices. Druge eggplants with egg mixture, then dip into panko flakes (japanese bread crumbs that’s lighter and flakier). Pan fry in grapeseed oil. Make sauce with equal parts of vegetarian oyster sauce (available at most asian stores like 99 Ranch), chili sauce (even available at places like Whole Foods), and water. Drizzle over eggplants, sprinkle scallions and serve. Why not? Eggplants are low calories (offsetting the pan-frying) with lots of good-for-you minerals.