Unlikely Marriage: Veggie Dumplings and Green Beans with Pesto

One of D’s biggest annoyances is when we eat foods that don’t “match”. It drives him crazy to mix cuisines together in one meal, but considering the fact that I planned the happy marriage between Chinese and Italian 4 days in advance and D not only went along with it, but happily ate dinner without comment, he may have gotten over it 😉

Chinese Dumplings:

We loosely follow Alton Brown’s recipe for dumplings–you can approximate your seasoning and veggies as desired for your flavor level and spice- for example, we use green cabbage instead of Napa because we can get it locally.  We also press the tofu using a tofu press and boil them in water instead of steaming them–just add about 5 dumplings to the water at a time and boil until the wonton wrappers get transparent and the dumplings float.

These freeze REALLY well—just freeze (uncooked) on a cookie sheet until completely frozen. Pop them off and stick in a bag or tupperware until you’re ready to cook, then cook the same way.

Our dipping sauce is soy sauce with some fresh ginger and garlic added, a little bit of mirin, and a squeeze of Siracha. Dunk the dumplings to your delight!

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Green Beans with Pesto

Using about a handful of greenbeans per person, cut off the ends and cut in half. Cook using a vegetable steamer (get them cheap online) — add about 1 inch of water to a medium pot and add the steamer to the pot. Put the beans in the steamer and cook for about 2-3 minutes until the beans are soft but still have some crunch. You could put the beans straight into boiling water if you don’t have a steamer, but the steamers are so cheap and help retain nutrients AND flavor, so they’re totally worth it. Regardless of cooking method, strain the water and toss with the pesto of your choice (I like basil and pine nuts for these, but the scallion pesto would be good too!) and add in some grated Parmesan cheese.

I honestly like green beans with pesto more than pasta— the beans give it a little bit of sweetness and the lack of guilt makes them even better!! Yeah, I’m pretty sure I won D over tonight…this time!

The new pasta??

The new pasta??

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