Vegetarian Friendly Sushi Spots and Oishii Vegetable Miso Soup

As a vegetarian, good sushi is hard to come by. There are always the staple vegetarian rolls; Vegetable Roll, Avocado Roll and Cucumber Roll, but after awhile they are rather boring, so when I go to a sushi spot that puts more thought into the vegetarian dishes, I’m always overjoyed!  Many non vegetarians think that Sushi restaurants have nothing to offer vegetarians, however Japanese is one of my favorite cuisines. My go to items at Sushi restaurants are the side salad, usually coming with delicious gingery dressing, an avocado roll and Shishito Peppers (hold the Bonito aka fish flakes). The following are three of my favorite vegetarian friendly Sushi Spots in Los Angeles:

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Wabi-Sabi on Venice’s Abbot Kinney has amazing side dishes such as pan fried sweet miso eggplant, chili garlic edamame, and kale salad. Of course they offer the  signature vegetarian sushi: vegetable and cucumber rolls. In my eyes the star Wabi-Sabi dish is the huge Vegan Mushroom Miso soup with Tofu, vegetables sautéed in spicy garlic black bean paste and last but not least delicious cubes of crispy rice. This dish is enough to feed a small family, but you’ll find it hard to share. It is so delicious, rich and versatile that it is hard to stop eating. It is a must for vegetarians and vegans alike.  If you’re hungry for something sweet- the green tea creme brûlée is to die for.

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The Izaka-ya in Manhattan Beach or on Third Street in West Hollywood have such high quality sushi rice that their simple Avocado Roll is absolutely delightful. They have a tapas menu, full of ornate and delicious small plates; such as the kinpira lotus root, agedashi tofu, shishito peppers, sauteed pumpkin, cucumber salad, etc.  The best vegetarian item on the Menu is the Tofu Chample; perfectly cooked vegetables with delicious soft tofu. I thoroughly recommend this spot! Not to mention my boyfriend claims it has the best (fish) sushi in LA!

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Last but not least is Shikibu, a restaurant practicing macrobiotic rules by solely using Brown Rice for sushi. Shikibu has simple sushi for vegetarians, including Carrot Kimpira, mixed vegetable and avocado rolls. They have a delicious carrot ginger dressing which can be found on the Tofu Salad, a crisp simple salad with delicious slabs of fresh tofu. The shining star at Shikibu is the Crispy Rice with Carrot Kimpira, it is crunchy, spicy, and has a tiny homemade pickle on top…. Perfection… OISHII DESU!!!

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I was inspired by Wabi-Sabi’s vegan Miso soup. So I created my own:

Oishii Vegetable Miso Soup

2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil

4 cloves garlic- sliced

2 cubes marinated tofu-chopped into small squares

1 inch piece of ginger minced

1/2 yellow onion- chopped

1 cob corn- chopped of cob

1/2 zucchini- quartered rounds

3/4 Cup Miso

12 Cups Water

2 dozen green beans- chopped in thirds

Handfull of mixed mushrooms- sliced

1/2 Head of green Cabbage- chopped

3 carrots- peeled and cut in small rounds

Splash of Soy Sauce

1.Heat Big Soup pot, add Toasted Sesame Oil

2. Sautee Onions, Ginger, Garlic, Tofu until onion is soft (about 5 minutes)

3. Add water, miso, and chopped vegetables

4. Taste for flavor– add splash of soy sauce if necessary.

5. Let Soup come to a boil, turn down to simmer for 35-50 minutes (until carrots are soft)

6. Enjoy!!

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Kale Sweet Kale

Fresh, delicious, filling, versatile. Kale.

Tender Greens is a great Mini Chain Restaurant in Southern California. They serve organic gourmet food in a production line style.

My Personal Favorite dishes at Tender Greens are the Simple Kale Salad w/ Roasted Vegetables with a side of Mashed Potatoes or the Tomato Soup.  The Kale is tossed with a Parmesan and Lemon Garlic dressing, emulating a caesar dressing. The Roasted Vegetables are a medley of seasonal vegetable. The mashed potatoes are something special, so delicious, unforgettable.

This week I played with Vegan Recipes, focusing on fresh vegetables from the farmer’s market and lean vegan proteins.  Last night for a dinner party, I prepared the vegetables and Tofu and let my friends bring their own Chicken to grill.  That way everyone is happy, the Vegetarian doesn’t have to touch or attempt to cook meat and the meat eaters are able to properly cook their meat!! (I’m learning to expand me knowledge of cooking meat, but not quite there yet!) Please enjoy recipes for last night’s Flexitarian Meal!!

Chopped Kale Salad, Zesty Roasted Brocoli, and Grilled Tofu

Chopped Kale Salad, Zesty Roasted Brocoli, and Grilled Tofu

           Chopped Kale Salad

            Ingredients

           1 large bunch of Curly Kale or Dino Kale

           1 Ripe Avocado-Cubed

           8-10 Baby Tomatoes (Make sure they are sweet and delicious)- Quartered

          1/4 of a Red Onion- Finally Diced

          1/4 Cup Hazelnuts- Diced

          1/4 Parmesan (Optional for non-vegans)

          1 Lemon-Juiced

          1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

          2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

          Salt and Pepper

Rinse and Dry Kale. Cut the Stalk out of each leaf. Julienne cut the Kale (the finer the pieces the more it’s able to moisten and break down).

Place Kale in Large bowl, add lemon, Soy Sauce, Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper.  Massage liquids into to Kale using your hands.  Massaging the kale will make it more tender and flavorful. At this point you can store kale in the refrigerator  for up to 5 days, adding vegetables for a salad or mixing w Eggs, adding to stir fries, there are endless uses for Kale, especially when it is pre-prepped.

For this salad, the next step is to add all the chopped vegetables and nuts and toss. Enjoy!

Zesty Roasted Brocoli

Ingredients

1-2 Heads of Broccoli

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Pinch of Chili Flakes

1 Lemon- Juiced

Pinch of Chili Flakes

2 Tablespoons Roasted Pine nuts

Salt and Pepper

Preheat Oven to 425.

Chop florets off the stem, cut the large florets in half.

Toss with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper, Pinch of Chili Flakes

Even Place on Baking/Roasting sheet

Roast for Approximately 20 Minutes-or until Broccoli is Crispy on the outside

Grilled Tofu or Chicken

1 Cube Marinated Tofu (preferably Trader Joes Savory)

Your Favorite Marinade

Marinate and Grill it up!!!

Hope you enjoy this Delicious Flexitarian Menu!

Avocado Toast and Eveleigh

Since having a quick 18-month vegan stint I have a special place in my heart for Avocado toast. Perfectly filling, naturally delicious and easy to make! When I spot avocado toast on a menu, I know the chef has a soft spot in their heart for Vegans and Vegetarians…. I always try it.

Deep in the heart of the Hollywood Hills, on the Sunset Strip there is a charming spot called Eveleigh. At night time, you can find tasty small plates, hand crafted cocktails, beautiful people, ….. but for me Eveleigh is all about the beautiful, breezy Brunch with a view. There are not too many vegetarian-friendly items on the menu, and the egg dishes didn’t overwhelm my taste buds, but all was redeemed with a side of their Avocado Toast and French press coffee. Check them out…. http://www.theeveleigh.com

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Recently I concocted a very special Avocado toast worth sharing:

Chili Basil Avocado Toast or AAA(Alisha’s Awesome Avocado Toast)

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Toast 3 Slices hearty bread (Udi’s Gluten free bread is a great alternative)

Slice 2 Ripe avocados and spread onto the toast

Chop up a handful of fresh basil leaves

Sprinkle basil onto toast

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon chili flakes over toast

Place 6-7 Roasted Pepitas(Pumpkin Seeds) on each toast

Drizzle high quality Olive Oil

Grind salt and pepper over toasts and you are ready to enjoy!!!