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The world is a big place: so big that it handily manages to squeeze out over 24,000 cookbooks a year. Those are real cookbooks—the ones made out of carbon. That number doesn’t include the million skajillions of bytes dedicated to foodstuff on the Internet.

Practically speaking, that makes it really fucking hard to find all the good recipes.

That’s the motive for this segment, which I am calling “You Oughta Know” (hereafter referred to as Y.O.K. because no one needs that song in their head—not ever.) Y.O.K. will be dedicated to telling you about other peoples’ normatively unmissable recipes for “staple” things. These are recipes that you might easily pass over in your browsing due to the sheer number that sound similar, but are secretly not as good. You might try ten such recipes and never find this one, and that would break my heart. I consider these recipes basically perfect, even though I’ll indicate things I feel are optional or good substitutions (in blue).

The first comes from a restaurant in Toronto, Ontario named Fresh. If you like this recipe, I highly recommend buying their cookbook by Ruth Tal, because it includes lots of tasty sauces to put over bowls of veggies, noodles, or rice. The recipe? Miso gravy on veg.

This theoretically creates about four adult servings, and it’s worth making the full recipe, even if you’re flying solo. There are a lot of little things to do here (so, this takes a minute to make) but unless you’re some kind of robot, you won’t get tired of this gravy. Maybe that’s not fair to robots, though.

Fresh Dragon Rice Bowl

The Veggies and Toppers

        • Zucchini (one lg., sliced into disks)
        • Broccoli (one bunch, floreted)
        • Tomatoes (sliced; optional; I like them diced and raw)
        • Other good inclusions: carrots, bell peppers, kale, snap peas, alfalfa sprouts
        • Cilantro (never optional)
        • Green onions
        • Toasted sesame seeds (optional, but tasty)

The recipe calls for most of the big veggies to be grilled, but they can be steamed, stir fried, raw, or some combination of those things and still be good. Follow your heart.

The Tofu

      • One block firm or extra firm, sliced into steaks (1/4-1/2” thick)
      • Marinade (1 hour marination recommended):
        • 4 tsp garlic powder
        • ½ c tamari (can substitute low sodium soy sauce)
        • 2 cups water
        • 2 tsp. coriander, group (optional)

Bake, fry, or grill.

The Miso Gravy

You must own a whisk to make this work. Sorry, college students.

      • 4 ½ tbsp. spelt flour (can sub wheat flour: white or whole)
      • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
      • ¾ cup nooch
      • 1 ½ c vegetable broth (can sub faux chicken—really good)
      • ¾ cup sunflower oil (can sub any oil or remove it completely)
      • 1 ½ tsp. dijon mustard
      • 3 tbsp. miso paste
      • ¾ tsp. sea salt (can sub regular salt; I recommend starting with less than ¾ and moving up as you need it)

If you’re perfect, you can follow the three whole steps for making the gravy that are listed in the cookbook. I honestly just can’t be bothered, so I do it this way (which works equally well):

Mix dry ingredients together and put them in a pan over low heat. Mix the wet ingredients together, really trying to mix the oil into the broth, and set them aside. Once the dry ingredients are really heated through, whisk in the wet ingredients a bit at a time until you have a sexy, yellow gravy (pictured below).

Put the veggies, toppers, tofu, and gravy on top of rice. I recommend a combination of brown and red rice, which gives you the awesomeness of red rice without spending a thousand dollars to have a whole bowl of it.

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