Do you ever feel completely overwhelmed by today’s mass outpour of “inspiration” through social media and the Internet? From YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to blogs on all different subjects. Now don’t get me wrong – I love perusing all of these, but if I do not practice restraint, I can definitely get myself into some serious trouble and become consumed or stuck.
I recently had a conversation with a very close friend of mine in which the idea of inspiration overload was insouciantly mentioned and then fell to the wayside in order to make room for more ordinary topics like our jobs, relationships, etc. We went back and forth with each other about a shared intense notion of feeling as though we should be doing and producing so much that we in fact aren’t accomplishing anything at all. The transmission was so nonchalant and almost camouflaged with an air of composure that it fluidly transitioned into our everyday, run of the mill, update-on-life-chat without acknowledgment of what we had discovered. As the week went on, I couldn’t stop thinking about the concept.
The accumulation of inspirational quotes, array of different DIY projects, inside look at artists and their processes, endless amounts of beautiful photographs of faraway lands or sultry and rustic outdoor terrain, the ability to look at the achievements and everyday happenings of strangers and people you personally know – it can all start to make you feel overwhelmed, like an underachiever, lazy, or just stagnant. Sometimes I fill myself up to the brim with inspiration and my mind is overflowing with ideas, but I can’t bring myself to simply act upon my thoughts. Inspiration overload, my friends. It is a blessing and a curse.
So here is a delicious meal inspired by something simple: leftover CSA radishes and an obsession with shiitake mushrooms
Harissa Roasted Veggies + Tofu
- 1 bunch of radishes
- 8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and set aside
- 1 package of hemp tofu (or regular soybean tofu)
- ¼ C. toasted sesame oil
- ¼ C. tamari or bragg’s liquid aminos
- 1 ½ teaspoons harissa spice blend
Creamy Shiitake Sauce
- leftover shiitake stems
- 2 tablespoons miso paste
- ¼ C. water
- 1 tablespoon tamari or bragg’s liquid aminos
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- juice of 2 lemons
- 3 tablespoons powdered peanut butter
- 1 small ginger nub
- 1 garlic clove
Preheat oven to 350˚.
Let’s tackle the tofu first: drain water from the package and wrap the slab of tofu in paper towel. Gently press the tofu to release as much water as possible. Slice both the tofu and radish into bite sized cubes and set in a medium sized mixing bowl. Brush off any excess dirt from your shiitakes, de-stem the ‘shrooms and set the stems aside for our creamy shiitake sauce, then slice the caps and toss into the bowl with tofu and radishes. Add the rest of the ingredients in with veggies/tofu and toss everything together. Lay down a sheet of parchment paper onto a baking sheet and evenly distribute your mixture. Let bake for 20 minutes or until golden and crisp, but making sure to not dry out your shiitakes too much.
While the veggies and tofu are roasting, start a pot of water on high for the ramen noodles. I used black rice ramen noodles which are gluten-free, but you can use whatever you have. This would even be good with soba noodles! Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down to medium and submerge your block of ramen into the water. Allow noodles to soften in the water for just a few minutes. Take a fork and gently separate the block of noodles into long, wavy strings and cook for another few minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Throw all shiitake sauce ingredients into a high-powered blender, vitamix, ninja, or whatever you’ve got t and blend everything into a smooth sauce. Transfer to a saucepan and heat on low until warm, constantly mixing to make sure the bottom does not burn. Toss the sauce with ramen noodles, but save a bit for drizzling over veggies. Throw ramen and roasted veggies/tofu into a bowl and enjoy.