Matcha Chia Pudding with Toasted Coconut

Matcha is green tea for people who think they don’t like green tea.  It’s bright, fruity and slightly grassy.  While, personally, I like it all- sencha, silver leaf, gunpowder, genmaicha, etc., matcha is special.  Matcha is a powdered form of green tea, which dissolves in water, milk or any other liquid, which means you get more nutrients since you’re eating the whole leaf.  Also, it’s easy to cook with!

Matcha Chia Pudding with Coconut - The Clean Gourmet

I like matcha in my morning chia pudding because not only do I get an extra boost of energy on top of my morning cup of brewed green tea, I reap more of the tea’s benefits, because I’m ingesting the whole leaf.  Some of the purported benefits include, but are not limited to: lowered cholesterol, strengthened immune system, increased metabolism, stress reduction and sustained energy that does not end with a crash.

Matcha Chia Pudding with Coconut - The Clean Gourmet

With matcha, quality is especially important if you want that bright, zingy flavor.  It should be very bright green and organic. Do not use “culinary” grade, even if you do plan to cook with it (junk in, junk out).  Instead, look for “ceremonial” or “imperial” grade organic matcha.

Serves 1-2 

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons chia seeds

1 teaspoon honey (you can always add more if you need to)

1 teaspoon matcha powder

pinch salt

6 fresh raspberries, cut into small pieces OR 2 dried apricots, cut into smaller pieces

1 cup coconut milk, whole cow’s milk or fresh almond milk

2 tablespoons dried coconut flakes, toasted

Matcha Chia Pudding with Coconut - The Clean Gourmet

What to do:

To toast the coconut flakes: In a small pan over low heat toast coconut flakes, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.  Do not walk away.  Remove flakes from pan to cool, as there will be carry over heat in the pan, which can cause them to burn.

Combine all ingredients, except for coconut flakes, in a small bowl or cup and refrigerate 6-12 hours.  You should end up with a pudding-like consistency.  Top with toasted coconut flakes before serving.

Make the night before if you want a healthy and satisfying breakfast or midday snack.  Best consumed within 24 hours, but will keep for three days.

 

Matcha Chia Pudding with Coconut - The Clean Gourmet

Mise-en-place bowl courtesy of OK Ceramics.


Mustard-Orange Sprouted Tofu Stir Fry with Green Tea Noodles

I love the combination of green tea and orange, however if you can’t find green tea noodles, soba (buckwheat noodles) or udon work well too.  This dish is light, yet warming, which makes it good for all weather and seasons :).

Classically, a very high heat is used for stir fry, causing the oil to smoke, but when cooking at home, I tend to be a bit more conservative with such high heat, as vegetable oils are generally very heat sensitive, which means they oxidize easily under high heat and release carcinogenic free radicals, which you then consume.  To me, the whole benefit of cooking at home is that you have control over your meals and can reduce the amount of toxins in your life!

Sprouted tofu is easier to digest than regular tofu and is argued to neutralize the effect soy has on estrogen levels when consumed.  It tastes the same as regular tofu, so if you can find it, you might as well get it!

Mustard-Orange Sprouted Tofu Stir Fry with Green Tea Noodles - The Clean Gourmet

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 block sprouted firm tofu, cut into 1″ cubes and pressed between two towel-lined plates

1 tablespoon coconut or canola oil

2″ piece ginger, minced

1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced 1/4″ strips

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium carrots, cut on a bias 1/4″ thick

1 tablespoon mirin (I like Mitoku brand)

1 red bell pepper, sliced 1/4″ thick

3.5 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced 1/4″ thick

1 head bok choy (not baby), stems cut into 1/2″ pieces and leaves cut into large chunks

black pepper, to taste

7 oz green tea or soba noodles

black and white sesame seeds, toasted

For the Marinade:

1 tablespoon mirin

2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar

1/4 cup shoyu or other high quality soy sauce or tamari (again, I like Mitoku)

juice of 1/2 an orange (feel free to add a little zest in as well-unfortunately, mine had already been zested for something else!)

1 tablespoon unrefined (not toasted) sesame oil or canola oil

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

pinch red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon ginger powder

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

What to do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Assemble marinade ingredients directly into a glass baking dish and whisk with a fork.  Add tofu chunks and toss to coat.  Place in oven.

In a medium pot, bring salted water to a boil for the noodles.

While the water comes to a boil, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot or cast-iron skillet.  Add ginger, onion, garlic and carrot.  Cook for a few minutes, tossing frequently.  Add mirin, mushrooms and bell pepper.  Cook another couple of minutes, until lightly browned and slightly wilted.

Flip tofu chunks and return to the oven.  Add bok choy stems to the vegetable pot and cook for about a minute.  Place noodles into boiling water and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While noodles cook, add bok choy leaves, toss and turn off the flame.  Remove tofu from oven and pour marinade into vegetables.  Toss vegetables.

Strain the noodles once tender and serve into individual bowls.  (Coat any remaining noodles with a touch of oil to keep from them sticking to themselves.)  Top with vegetables and a few pieces of tofu (make sure you get some of that sauce, too!).  Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve.

Mustard-Orange Sprouted Tofu Stir Fry with Green Tea Noodles - The Clean Gourmet

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