Pan Seared Tofu & Thai Noodles
Want a yummy lunch in no time with left overs, to boot? I do! Below is my take on Thai noodles. I make this recipe when I want something yummy and fulfilling - and tasty. Yes, a peanut butter sandwich is indeed faster to make - but I made this within 20 minutes (and left the clean up for later;) See my recipe below.
Enjoy and Eat with gratitude in your heart!
I think it would be nice to soak Tofu (as noted in my Thai me up Spring Rolls recipe) but time is of the essence now and then ... so, it is fine either way. Also, if you are not a tofu fan .... saute' mushrooms with a soy sauce mixture (as noted below) or just in some sesame oil...
THIS IS SUPER TASTY!!!
Thai me up Spring Rolls!
When we last ventured into the big city we hit the Thai market and got all of our favorite Thai food basics. My favorite thing to make is Thai Spring rolls. I make them with whatever I have on hand. I make a ton and have 'em for lunch and snacks. I eat like every 2 hours. So, yeah, I make a lot! I mix tahini with Thai chile sauce and add a little hot stuff on top of that. It gives the dip a nice, peanutty & spicy flavor. I don't roll the prettiest of spring rolls.... but, hey, that's just how I roll. Check out the recipe below. It seems like a lot but if you prep it out and create a "production" line with your ingredients... you can pump these out in no time and feed a crowd.
Last night we had friends over for a vegan-style, Kick Butt meal!! My theme was "Upper Crust Diner Food".
Our starter was a deeply-mushroomy mushroom soup followed by our main course: A vegan version of a tasty Muffaletta (a New Orleans antipasto-like sandwich normally with meat, cheese, olive relish and more). I did mine with a locally made crusty baguette (thank you Two Fish) filled with an herbed olive relish, roasted eggplant, roasted red peppers, pickled garlic & spinach. I made the Muffalettas well in advance and weighted the sandwiches down so the bread could soak up all the olive oily goodness.
And joining the main course: A mixed greens salad with Madge's Miso dressing (minus the ginger) and some roasted fingerling potatoes. I also included some of my homemade pickled veggies (carrots, cabbage, red onion & hot chili peppers) as an additional tarty side dish. And for dessert ... a Gluten Free Black Pepper spiced shortcake with Black Berry Basil Compote - topped with a cashew whipped vanilla & nutmeg cream! Can you say ... Yummy Happiness:). Thankfully, our guests were sated and happy, too.
I am so grateful to have enough food in my life. Something not everyone has BUT should have. I always cook with this in mind and am forever grateful for what I am able to put on the table for family & friends. I only wish I had a better photo to show you - I usually put everything on big platters and let everyone have at it. By the time I pulled out the camera the food was already a little picked over ... but that's how I like it!
Always remember you are unique ... just like everyone else. - Anon
Back yard Miner's Lettuce & fresh Garden Salad Greens Soup! I love soups! They are easy on the digestion & our bodies just absorb their nutrients (when cooked properly). One of my fellow book club members brought me fresh salad greens from her garden (already! What a treat!) and outside my house there was miner's lettuce blooming everywhere. Ode' to nature's beautiful greens! I love you!
Note: I soaked my hand-picked miners lettuce in a highly diluted water/vinegar mixture - to debug - then rinsed and drained.
This is such an awesome soup ... so hearty and flavorful ... instant Karma!
In light of today's tragedy in Boston I did the things that are special and meaningful in my life. I gathered my family, went for a hike with gratefulness in my heart and came home and made a hardy soup that we all shared. Our hearts go to those who may not have that pleasure, that gift, today - our prayers & thoughts are with you.
Today, I just made my soup with love and forgot to take measurements - however, I have listed the ingredients below in the best approximation I can. Take care, be thankful and put forth and express love, peace & compassion wherever you go. Live your life as though you have been given a second chance to live it again.
I do not add cream or coconut milk to this because I like the direct flavor of the carrots and don't wish to dull it down. However, some people like the creamy, curry flavor and feel - so add this if you so wish. Sometimes, I do, too!
use your intuitive senses - is it good? does it need something? is it dull on the tongue (add a squeeze of lime juice or dash of salt) - test it with cilantro topping, put your soul into it - add a dash of pepper or cream if you wish... taste again ... that's cooking.
Lastly, BE THANKFUL, hug your family and send peace, love and compassion out into the world, into your home, and into your community.
Tonight's feature is my take on Polenta. I pan roast the corn with Indian spices before adding my pre-heated water and broccoli parts. This makes for a wonderful, hearty, bountiful flavor that blends perfectly with sauteed Balti spiced onions, mushrooms and spinach. Now that's YUMMY in my TUMMY! See recipe below picture for my Indian style polenta!
1 Cup Polenta Corn Grits
3.5 cups vegetable broth or water (go low sodium if using broth)
2 TBSP Sunflower oil (or Olive or Grapeseed)
4 Cups very well-chopped broccoli, stalks & tops (I pulse them in processor - no large than 1/4" pieces
1/8 tsp Hing
1/2 tsp Whole Cumin Seeds
1/4 freshly ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp dry Ginger Powder
1 tsp Tumeric
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Coriander
To prepare the corn grits:
To prepare molds:
Serve atop sauteed veggies!! This meal was AWESOME tonight and totally satisfying. Can't ask for anything better and the cost to make this was next to nothing! Much better than going out and easy to make!
So what's the Vegan answer to a meaty, cheesy pizza? Tonight I made my hubba-bubba something he's been craving; A meaty, cheesy pizza - animal product free, that is. How? The key is a Bechamel sauce made from brown rice flour & veggie stock atop sauteed mushrooms with a steamed spinach & basil pesto. See my version of a Bechamel recipe below for more detail.
Bechamel sauce (like that made for an Alfredo dish) can be made animal product free and still have great flavor and cheesy/sauce consistency. For the pizza - use your own standard vegan crust (mine was store bought - I'm busy, ya know?) and then make ingredients that you love. I sauteed mushrooms with shallots and a tad of hing. I also had some home made pesto on hand (sauteed and drained spinach with basil, hing, lemon juice and pepper - with some chile pepper for spice all pureed with drizzled oil in a processor).
For the Bechamel you need:
Heat oil in pan
Stir in flour and whisk around with fork for 1-2 minutes over low heat.
Remove from heat. Add heated liquid and stir briskly until smooth
Return pan to heat, add seasonings. Bring almost to a boil and then turn to low and simmer until thickened.
IT's THAT EASY... I then added some remaining sauteed mushrooms and pesto and a tad of lemon juice.
Bake pizza as you normally would, remove from oven, top with bechamel sauce & chopped arugula for a nice peppery finish. AWESOME....
You can find the basic bechamel recipe in Paul Pitchford's Healing with Whole Foods.
Found all over North Africa, this is one of my favorite Moroccan recipes. Harissa is the master condiment. It adds heat and flavor and is used like mustard. WARNING! my recipe is very spicy and the green Harissa, especially, can really pack a PUNCH! I like mine to have major, killer, stinging hotness.
This recipe makes 16 oz.
WEAR RUBBER GLOVES when handling hot peppers! Never touch your face or eyes!
Add all ingredients except olive oil to food processor or blender. While machine is running slowly add olive oil until consistency desired. Let stand at room temperature for a minimum of 1 hour to infuse flavors. Transfer to glass jar with a tight lid. Can be stored indefinitely in the refridge... AWESOME with anything. I especially love this mixed into cooked basmati rice with thinly cut arugula, goat cheese and a smattering of lemon vinaigrette. Totally delicious!
(Recipe courtesy Williams-Sonoma: Entertaining – Inspired Menus for Cooking with Family and Friends)
This is one for the books and you can definitely make variations that will make it fun to play with! My husband thinks it looks like a cheddar cheese sauce (from the carrot juice color). Below is a picture of the lunch I made today. I used this dressing on steamed broccoli, spinach and sprouts with a sprinkling of fresh arugula and red chiles. Or pan fry some capers for an added punch.
This dressing can be used on almost anything from sandwiches to my Breakfast Veggie Benedict where it acts as a Hollandaise Sauce atop a plump beefsteak tomato and steamed spinach. The uses are ENDLESS ... have at it!
Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender - or, to get a work-out, whisk by hand. Slowly drizzle oil in while the machine is running. Consistency should be like a hollandaise sauce or similar - creamy texture. Also, you should not need additional salt but be sure to taste and refine where needed. Sometimes, if it is too miso-like I add a bit more oil or a tad more of the lemon juice. PLAY and be free to experiment with this.
NOTE ABOUT MY RECIPES: I am no pro - just a person with a passion who LOVES FOOD. In addition: I happen to be one of those people who just wings it in the kitchen by mixing and blending whatever I have around. I do my best to give you an idea of what is required in terms of measurements and directions. But always remember: use YOUR knowledge and intuitive sense in the kitchen and never use an ingredient that doesn't work for YOU:)
ABOUT THIS BLOG!
I am simply a person with a serious passion for FOOD! I am not a chef, chemist or doctor - I am just a foodie food-head! The recipes in this blog are things I make for myself, my family and my friends and they have been tested and tried by some of my closest food critics. This blog has helped me become more aware and appreciative of the food I prepare and share and I am very grateful for this.