Sunday, December 28, 2008

Aloo Paratha

So . . . this is even more of a giant guesstimate, since I’m trying to recall all this from yesterday, when a new friend very nicely let me peer over his shoulder while he was making it. However, it was amazingly delicious and I didn’t want to forget it, so just consider it to be more of a jumping-off point than an actual recipe!

Whole wheat flour
Corn flour
Chili powder

For the dough:
Mix together equal parts whole wheat flour and corn flour. Add water in small amounts, kneading with hands, until dough is a soft and manageable ball – about 10-15minutes. My coworkers tell me that if you don’t knead enough, your bread will end up hard, so don't even think about getting lazy on this one. Let the dough ball rest for about an hour

For the filling:
Boil and mash some potatoes. Add cumin, chili powder, and salt to taste.

After the dough has gotten a good little rest, knead it again for a few minutes. Then, break off maybe a 2-inch ball. While holding it in both hands, stick your thumb into the center and move it outwards, flattening the dough out. Rotate the ball and continue – kind of like you’re molding a little bowl. Do this until you can about fit your fist into the dough-bowl. Scoop some of the potato mixture into the center, and close the edges of the dough around it, so you have a little dough-ball filled with potato yumminess.

Heat a nonstick pan over a medium-high flame. As it's heating, roll out the dough-ball with a rolling pin till it’s maybe a quarter of an inch think (maybe even a tiny bit thinner?). Ideally, the potato filling should stay inside the dough. Plop the paratha onto the pan and let it cook for about 2 minutes; it should start to puff up a teeny bit. Then, with a pastry brush or a spoon, spread a little oil evenly over the top of the paratha. Flip the paratha and repeat the oil-brushing on the other side. Cook for several minutes, flipping every once in a while until each side turns golden brown.

Serve hothothot with vegetable curry, dal, raita – y’know, general yumminess. So. Friggin’. Good.

Anshuman's "Bachelor's Raita"

So named because it’s super-easy and doesn’t have too many ingredients. And yet – so yummy! All these measurements are giant guesstimates, though, so my first few attempts at this at home could be interesting . . .

Approximately 1 ½ cups plain yogurt
1 small red onion, chopped fairly small
About 1 ½ tbs cumin seeds
Sprinkle of salt
Sprinkle of sugar
Sprinkle of chili powder

Whisk a little bit of water into the yogurt to thin it out. It should pour easily by the time you’re done, but not be too watery.

Heat a nonstick pan over a medium flame; do not add oil. Instead, dry-roast the onion and the cumin until they’re golden and smell yummy. Add this to the yogurt along with the salt, sugar, and chili, and stir everything together.

Deeelicious – especially with the paratha recipe I’m about to post!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Lemon Rice

My first tofurobot post from India! This is one of my favorite dishes here . . . a little spicy, a little salty, a little sour, and a lovely yellow color. I warn you that the measurements are in no way exact, though -- I tried to just guess as I watched my homestay aunt make it. It's made with white rice here, but I bet it would also be good with brown. And once you stock up on all the ingredients at the Indian grocery store, you can use them to make Priya's amazing cabbage curry!

2 cups cooked and cooled rice
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp "putani" -- yellow split peas, I guess? I think I've seen it labeled as chana dal . . .
4 dried red chilis (more or less, depending on how spicy you want it), stems removed, broken into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp black mustard seeds
about 15 curry leaves
3 tbs shelled peanuts
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
2 small lemons, or 1 1/2 large (American-sized) lemons. The ones here are itty-bitty!

Spread the rice out on a plate or shallow pan.

Heat about 2 tbs oil in a pot till it's REALLY hot. Add the cumin, dal, chilis, mustard seeds, curry leaves, peanuts, and turmeric and stir for about 30 seconds, till the chilis start to darken. Dump the spice mixture onto the rice (quickly, or it'll burn!). Sprinkle with salt and let it cool for a few minutes. Squeeze the lemons over everything and mix it all together with your hands. Serve with plain yogurt. Soooo yummy!

This definitely needs a protein with it, though. I'm wondering if it might go well with spicy fried tofu for an intensely flavored dinner. Hrm. Lu, experiment and get back to me on that :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tofu Schnitzel with Peanut Soy Sauce

Vegetarian comfort food: Breaded fried tofu drizzled with a peanut-y, lime-y soy sauce and served with roasted pumpkin slices and sauteed kale with avocado. Yum.

1 package tofu, drained well
4 TBSP flour
2 eggs
3 TBSP soy milk
2/3 C bread crumbs
1 tsp dill
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp poppy seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
vegetable oil

3 TBSP soy sauce
1/4 C peanut butter
3 TBSP hot water
juice from 1/2 lime
cayenne pepper to taste

Slice drained tofu into 1/2 inch slabs. Set out three shallow bowls: flour in the first, eggs beaten with soy milk in the second, and bread crumbs mixed with all seasonings in the third. Dredge each slice of tofu in flour, then move to the second bowl and dip in egg, then move to the third bowl and coat with breadcrumb mixture. Make sure each slice of tofu gets thoroughly coated on all sides at each stage. (It's a good idea to use a fork to transfer the tofu as fingers quickly become gooey and then tend to pull the coating off.)

In a skillet heat enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When hot, fry the slices of tofu for about five minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.

In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk soy sauce, peanut butter, and hot water until combined. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and cayenne pepper.

Serve the slices of tofu drizzled with the sauce. I accompanied the tofu with roasted pumpkin (quarter, deseed, and peel the pumpkin, slice thinly, and bake with a little olive oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper) and kale (saute with red onion and garlic in a little olive oil, remove from heat and top with sliced avocado). Delicious!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Curried Squash, Kale, and Lentil Casserole

A variation on one of the squash recipes Lisa posted last fall. Serve this with quinoa (or couscous) and you've got a hearty dish that makes for a truly delicious November meal!

1 medium butternut squash
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp curry
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
2/3 C lentils
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 C feta, crumbled
4 C kale, chopped
1 C peanuts (or other nuts), coarsly chopped
juice from one lime
handful fresh cilantro, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Quarter and de-seed the squash and bake in a shallow pan for 30 minutes at 450 degrees. (If your oven heats from the bottom, like mine, it's a good idea to fill the pan with a 1/2 inch of water to prevent burning!)

Meanwhile, mix lentils and garlic together in a sauce pan with enough water to cover. Cook over medium heat continuing to add water as necessary until lentils are tender and water is all absorbed, about 30 minutes. When lentils are cooked, stir in crumbled feta, salt, and pepper.

In a skillet, heat 1 TBSP olive oil and gently saute kale for a minute or two. Add about 1/2 C water, cover and let steam about 5 minutes until bright green and tender. Remove from heat and strain kale, shaking out excess water to stop cooking.

When squash is tender, remove from oven. Carefully peel away skin and chop into 1/2 inch chunks. In a large baking dish, mix together squash, onion, curry, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, pepper, and 2 TBSP olive oil. Sprinkle peanuts over squash and bake mixture for 10 minutes at 450 degrees. Remove from oven and layer kale evenly over squash. Squeeze juice from 1/2 of the lime over the kale. Spread the lentil mixture evenly over the kale and place casserole back into the oven for 10 more minutes.

Remove from oven and squeeze second 1/2 of the lime over the top of the casserole. Sprinkle fresh cilantro over the entire dish. Serve over quinoa or couscous, topped with a big dollop of yogurt.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Baby Turnip and Avocado Salad

A note on turnips: check out the selection of fresh turnips from your local farmer's market and choose the small ones - they will be unbelievably sweet and tender! They are wonderful eaten raw on their own, dipped in hummus, or in this lovely simple salad.

Also, if you're not familiar with dulse, now's the time to acquaint yourself with this delicious, chewy sea vegetable. It's super tasty...and a great source of veggie protein, iron, potassium, and bunches of other trace elements, enzymes and phytochemicals. You can buy it as whole leaves (in which case, you really ought to eat it lightly toasted with melted chedder cheese on favorite elementary school after-school snack) or as flakes - perfect for topping soups and salads.

6-8 baby turnips, tops removed, chopped
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 TBSP dulse flakes
2 TBSP parsley, chopped
1/4 C rice vinegar
3 TBSP olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, gently toss together all ingredients. Serve immediately. Yum yum!

Warm Potato Salad with Goat Cheese

Found this on the NY Times website today and I am SO excited to make it. Sounds dee-licious.

1 TBSP white wine vinegar
1 TBSP lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 C low-fat yogurt or buttermilk
2 TBSP olive oil

1 1/2 lbs potatoes (Yukon gold, fingerling or red bliss)
Salt and pepper to taste
4 TBSP red onion, finely chopped, rinsed with cold water and drained
2 TBSP flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 oz soft goat cheese
2 to 3 sage leaves, cut in thin slivers

To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic. Whisk in the yogurt and olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings, Set aside.

Scrub the potatoes and cut into 3/4-inch chunks. Steam above 1 inch of boiling water until tender but not mushy, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and toss while hot in a bowl with salt and pepper to taste, the onions, parsley, goat cheese, and the dressing. Sprinkle the sage over the top and serve.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Haitian-style rice and beans

Stolen from . . . the cloves make this smell AMAZING as it's cooking!

1 (8 ounce) package dry kidney beans
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 bulb shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked long grain white rice (though I'm sure it would also be yummy with brown)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon adobo seasoning (optional - you can also use a combination of oregano, paprika, and black pepper)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 sprigs fresh parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 chile pepper

Place beans in a large pot, and cover with 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours, or until tender. Drain, reserving liquid.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute shallot and garlic until softened. Stir in cooked beans, and cook for 2 minutes. Measure reserved liquid, and add water to equal 5 cups; stir into skillet. Stir in the uncooked rice. Season with bay leaves, adobo seasoning, salt, pepper, and cloves. Place parsley, thyme, and chili pepper on top, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 18 to 20minutes. Remove thyme, parsley, and chile pepper before serving.

Serve with avocado. Yummy :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread

Swiped directly from With the belief that food time is play time and that cooking should be an ongoing experiment in tasting and smelling and intuiting what foods/spices/herbs belong together, I am usually unable to follow recipes with any precision. When it comes to baking, however, I am under the impression that there is a very strict magic at work that turns goo into cake (or bread or pie or whatever other wonderfully sweet treat you are creating). So after reading rave reviews about this gingerbread, I decided I had to make it, and made no alteration other than to use fresh ginger instead of powdered and whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. I think that nutty chewiness that the whole wheat flour adds is actually quite lovely. Let me know what you think!

1 C Guinness Stout
1 C dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 C whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 C grated fresh ginger (or 2 TBSP ground ginger)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cardamom
3 large eggs
1 C packed dark brown sugar
1 C granulated sugar
3/4 C vegetable oil
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Generously butter a 10" bundt or springform pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sugars, and fresh ginger (if you're using ground ginger, add it with the other spices to the flour). Whisk in oil, then cooled molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50 minutes. Watch carefully to keep from burning! Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

Dust cake with confectioners sugar, and serve with freshly whipped unsweetened cream. Gingerbread is better if made a day ahead, and will keep 3 days, covered, at room temperature.

Lemony Butternut Carrot Soup

Well, fall is officially back. I recognize it not only by the cooler temperatures and a handful of yellow leaves, but also by my burning desire to turn colorful vegetables into warm creamy soups. And this soup, eaten with a good chunk of crusty bread, is certainly a new favorite.

1 medium butternut squash
splash olive oil
1 onion, chopped
8-10 cloves garlic
1-2" ginger root, peeled and grated
1 lb carrots, roughly chopped
3-4 C veggie broth
2 C water
2 C unsweetened soy milk
juice from one orange
zest from one lemon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper

Chop the squash into quarters, deseed, and place in a baking dish with about 1/2 inch of water. Roast in a hot oven (450 degrees) for about an hour until squash is very tender. Remove from heat and let sit until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat a splash of olive oil. Add onions, whole garlic cloves, and grated ginger and saute until onions are fragrant and translucent. Add in carrots and stir well. Pour on veggie broth and water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow carrots to simmer about 30 minutes. When squash is cool enough to touch, peel off the skins, roughly chop squash, and toss into the soup. Simmer all an additional 10 minutes.

Using an immersion or standing blender, puree the soup and return to the pot over low heat. Stir in soy milk, juice from one orange, zest from one lemon, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer an additional five minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve hot topped with any combination of sliced scallions, chopped fresh parsley, yogurt, or spicy toasted squash seeds. I served mine with all four, and it was awesome!

This makes a wonderful, colorful meal when accompanied by some delicious crusty bread and a plate full of Cabbage, Carrot, Broccoli Slaw.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Loaded Veggie Polenta Pizza

Delicious AND nutritious! Note: Feel free to add/subtract toppings - this combination is phenomenal, but use whatever you have on hand for a super easy, unbelievably tasty meal.

1 C polenta
3 C water
2 TBSP butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP olive oil
1 can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 C pitted kalamata olives, chopped
4 scallions, green and white parts chopped
5 cremini or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
3 C spinach, chopped
2 C broccoli, chopped
dash of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
1 C mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 C feta cheese, crumbled
parmesan cheese

In a saucepan bring 3 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil. Slowly stir in polenta, reduce heat, and simmer for ten minutes stirring constantly. Add butter and stir until completely melted. Pour polenta onto an oiled baking sheet and spread evenly with the back of a spoon until it forms a crust about 1/2" thick. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a skillet heat the olive oil and saute the garlic, broccoli, mushrooms, and spinach for about five minutes, or until broccoli is tender. Remove from heat, stir in a dash or two of balsamic vinegar along with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove crust from oven. In the following order, evenly distribute layers of: chopped tomatoes and sauce, mozzarella cheese, artichoke hearts, sauteed vegetables, olives, scallions, and feta cheese. Sprinkly liberally with parmesan. Bake at 450 degrees for ten more minutes.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Simple Roasted Root Veggies

Oh so easy to do, and definitely one of the best things about autumn. Use any of the fabulous fresh root veggies you find at your local farmers market.

Sweet potatoes

Olive oil
Lots of garlic, minced

Chop all the veggies you want to roast to approximately the same size pieces. Big chunks are beautiful but keep in mind, smaller pieces will roast much faster. Combine all in a large glass baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and minced garlic. Now sprinkle on all the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt and pepper that you like. Stir well until all veggies are coated. Roast in a 450 degree oven for 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your pieces. Check for tenderness at regular intervals to determine doneness. Your veggies should be tender on the inside but glazed and maybe a tad crunchy on the outside.

Cabbage, Carrot, Broccoli Slaw

Easy peasy...

1/2 small head purple cabbage, shredded
3 carrots, grated
2-3 broccoli stalks, grated
1 small carton grape tomatoes, halved
3 scallions, whites and greens sliced

1/4 C olive oil
2-3 TBSP sesame oil
1/4 C rice vinegar
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
3 TBSP honey
2 TBSP soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
fresh black pepper

Mix all vegetables together in a large bowl. In a glass jar combine all ingredients for dressing and shake vigorously. Taste and adjust seasonings or oil/vinegar proportions as necessary. Pour dressing over salad and toss well. Serve with some crusty bread for absorbing extra dressing! Mmmmm...

Spicy Fried Tofu

Perhaps my favorite way to cook tofu. The unbelievable flavors in this dish will make even those most adamantly against soy enjoy tofu.

The trick in this dish is to drain the tofu well before you begin cooking to eliminate as much water as possible! If you don't drain it well enough and the pan accumulates a lot of water while the tofu is cooking, use a spoon to remove some of the water and allow the tofu to cook a little longer until all liquid has evaporated and tofu has a chance to brown up before adding the spices.

2 lbs tofu, drained well and diced into 1/2" cubes
vegetable oil
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp dill
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2-3/4 tsp curry powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 TBSP soy sauce
1/4-1/3 C nutritional yeast

Heat 2-3 TBSP vegetable oil in a skillet. Add tofu and fry on medium-high heat stirring frequently for 5-10 minutes until tofu is browned. Reduce heat to medium and add tumeric, stirring well until tofu is coated. Next add dill, thyme, salt, basil, cumin, and curry powder, stirring well between each addition. Add garlic (and a little bit more oil if tofu is sticking) and stir again. Increase heat to medium-high and add soy sauce, stirring constantly. Sprinkle on nutritional yeast and stir well, continuing to cook an additional couple minutes until golden.

Serve over brown rice.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Spicy Moroccan Kale and Chickpea Stew

A lovely, spicy autumnal stew! We served it at our debate watching party this past week and it was certainly a hit. This makes one ENORMOUS pot of chickpeas. Seriously, you'll be eating it all week. Or you can just do what we did: gather all your friends and force them to eat seconds, thirds, etc... Enjoy!

1 lb dry chickpeas
10 C water and/or vegetable broth
2 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 potatoes, chopped
2-3 carrots, diced
28 oz can whole tomatoes in sauce, chopped
1 large bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
2-3 bay leaves
5 or more shakes hot sauce
salt and pepper

Overnight, soak dry chickpeas in enough water to cover by several inches. Drain and rinse well. In a large pot, combine soaked beans with 10 cups water and or vegetable broth (I used half water, half broth left over from boiling veggies the previous day!). Salt well and bring to a boil, reduce heat, and allow to simmer partially covered for 45 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile, in a skillet saute heat the olive oil and saute the onions until translucent and fragrant. Add garlic and saute one minute more. Add potatoes and carrots and continue cooking another five minutes. When beans are ready, stir vegetables into the beans along with chopped tomatoes and sauce, kale, all spices, bay leaves, as many shakes of hot sauce as you can like, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Stir well. Taste and adjust spices as needed. Allow all to simmer at least 30 minutes so flavors can meld.

Serve over brown rice or couscous. Perhaps with a side of roasted root veggies. Mmmmmm!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fattoush Salad

This Lebanese salad, with slightly sour dressing and crunchy pita chips tossed in, is SO GOOD (even with raw garlic, which I generally despise).

2 cups shredded lettuce
1 large or 2 small cucumbers, diced small
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley, leaves only, no stems
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves, no stems
1 bunch green onions, finely sliced
2 pieces of pita bread
a few tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sumac
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper

Brush pita with olive oil, sprinkle with za'atar, and toast 'till it's crispy. Break into pieces the size of a quarter.

In a small bowl mix all dressing ingredients well.

Put all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with 1/2 to 1 cup dressing. Serve immediately.

Vegetarian Lasagna

Nothing beats lasagna. And this recipe, adapted from my grandmother's, is truly special...

15 whole wheat lasagna noodles (plus 2 or 3 in case some break!)

2 TBSP olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 package Gimme Lean soy ground beef (optional)
fresh basil, chopped

2 TBSP olive oil
4-5 cups of finely chopped or grated:
onion, mushrooms, spinach, summer squash, zucchini,
kalamata olives, or whatever else you have on hand
salt and pepper

2 lb ricotta or cottage cheese
2 eggs
1/2 C parmesan cheese
1 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp black pepper

10 oz. mozzarella, grated
handful of parmesan

In a large pot, bring several quarts of water to a boil. Salt well. Add lasagna noodles gently one or two at a time, and return to a boil. Cook about 10 minutes for whole wheat noodles (or follow directions on package). Drain carefully, rinse in cool water, gently separate noodles, and lay flat to dry.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan heat 2 TBSP olive oil and saute garlic until slightly golden. Add crushed tomatoes and salt to taste. Stir well. Simmer until liquid starts to evaporate and tomatoes thicken, about 15 minutes. Stir in fresh basil (in a pinch, dried basil and oregano work well). If you prefer a meaty sauce, you can add a package of Gimme Lean soy ground beef to the tomatoes for a delicious protein-packed sauce.

Finely chop or grate whatever combination of vegetables you are using. In a separate pan, heat 2 TBSP olive oil and saute vegetables until tender, adding salt and pepper to taste. In general, onions, squash, and mushrooms can all be thrown in at the same time. Spinach or any other greens should be added at the last minute.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk ricotta/cottage cheese, parmesan, eggs, parsley, and black pepper until thoroughly combined.

Brush sides and bottom of large baking dish (9x13") with olive oil. Layer five noodles in the bottom of pan, spread half the ricotta mixture over noodles, spread one third of the sauce over the ricotta, sprinkle one third of the mozzarella, and spread half of the vegetables. Repeat. Finish with one more layer of noodles, the remainder of the sauce, the remainder of the mozzarella, and a good handful of parmesan.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes until cheese is bubbly and browned. This recipe freezes very well, so feel free to make in advance and then increase the cooking time accordingly.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Scrambled Tofu

From the amazing -- look it up if you haven't already :)

1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium chopped white onion (about a cup)
2 cups cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 carrot

spice blend:
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon thyme, crushed with your fingers
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high. Saute onions 3 minutes, until softened. Add mushrooms, saute 5 minutes more. Add garlic, saute 2 minutes more. Add spice blend and mix it up for 15 seconds or so. Add 1/4 cup water and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom to get all the garlic and spices.

Crumble in tofu and mix well. Let cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding splashes of water if necesary to keep it from sticking too much. Add lime juice and nutritional yeast and mix it up. If it seems too dry, add a splash or two of water.

Grate the carrot into it and fold. I served this with roasted potatoes (the cute little fingerling kind!! yummy!) and a green salad. Deee-licious.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Spaghetti and Giant Stuffed Baked Tofu Balls

Yes, that's right. The old tofu ball recipe, updated for 2008. Can I just say: These are phenomenal. And if you make them, you will totally impress anyone you serve them to, as they make for a most attractive and aromatic dish.

3 slices stale whole wheat bread
1 C milk
1 package extra firm tofu
1 large egg
1/2 C bread crumbs
3 large mushrooms, finely chopped
3 scallions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely shredded
1/2 C grated parmigiano
splash or 2 of soy sauce
splash of cidar vinegar
salt and pepper
handful fresh parsley, chopped
8 1" cubes of feta cheese
8 baby fresh mozzerella balls
extra virgin olive oil
whole wheat spaghetti
1 can whole tomatoes, crushed
1 C pesto
salt and pepper
grated parmigiano for garnish

In a shallow bowl, pour milk over torn up bread and let soak until evenly saturated (you may have to stir occasionally). Meanwhile, drain excess water from block of tofu and crumble into a large bowl. To the tofu, add the egg, bread crumbs, mushrooms, scallions, garlic, parmigiano, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, pepper, and parsley. Squeeze most of the milk from the bread and add bread to the tofu mixture. Using your hands, squish all ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Mold tofu into a giant disk and then divide into 8 even sections.

To form the balls: Take each section and form into a patty (it should resemble a burger). Place a feta cube or mozzerella ball (depending on your mood!) in the center of the patty, and then curl the sides up around the cheese and smooth into an even round shape. Space the eight balls evenly on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a hot oven (425 degrees) for about 20-25 minutes. (Optional: at the end of the baking time I popped my tray under the broiler for three minutes to get the tops nice and browned...lovely!)

While tofu balls are baking: Cook your spaghetti in salted boiling water for the time specified on the package. Drain and toss with a bit of olive oil to prevent noodles from sticking together. In a skillet over medium heat, simmer the crushed tomatoes with a bit of salt and pepper until fluid is significantly reduced. Just before serving, remove tomatoes from heat and stir in pesto (you can use pesto from a can, or feel free to make your own!!). Serve each plate with a pile of spaghetti, a whole bunch of delicious basil-tomato sauce, and two giant stuffed balls balanced on top. Sprinkle with parmigiano.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Strawberry Oatmeal Coconut Muffins


1 C oatmeal
1 C plain yogurt
1 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 C canola oil
2/3 C brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 C shredded coconut
1 1/2 C fresh or frozen strawberries, chopped

1/4 C white sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP shredded coconut

In a large bowl, combine oatmeal and yogurt and let soak at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. In separate bowl mix oil, brown sugar, egg, and coconut, then add to oatmeal mixture. Blend well. Stir in dry ingredients, mixing only enough to moisten. Gently fold in strawberries.

Grease muffin tins or line with paper liners. Spoon mixture into tins, filling about 3/4 full (should make about 18 muffins). In a small bowl, mix together topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of each muffin.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Black Bean Sauce (for Stir-Fry)

This sauce adds a twist to the standard stir-fry, and it's good excuse for an excursion to Chinatown!

For stir-fry:
Whatever veggies you like - I used broccoli, eggplant, and zucchini
1 carton of extra-firm tofu

Drain tofu well (pat it dry!) and cut into bite-sized pieces. Fry in a little bit of canola oil till it's browned and crispy on all sides. Cut up veggies and cook however you like; you could stir-fry them as well, or steam them for a few minutes.

For the sauce:

1 1/2 cups water
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch chunk of fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons Chinese fermented black beans (I could only find black bean paste, so I used that instead)
1 tbs vegetable oil

Stir together the water, soy sauce, Sherry, maple syrup, vinegar, and the cornstarch until the cornstarch is evenly suspended.

Heat a tablespoon of veggie oil in a medium-sized pan or pot and stir-fry the ginger and garlic until fragrant, less than a minute. Stir the cornstarch mixture and add it to the pan. Whisk the sauce occasionally while bringing it to a boil and simmer 1 minute, until it thickens. Dump in the veggies and tofu and heat for another minute or so.

Serve over brown rice.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lettuce-Wrapper Tofu

Yummy, and easy if you toss everything in a blender/food processor!

Start with:
1 block of extra-firm tofu, drained and crumbled.

For the tofu marinade, combine the following ingredients:
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp dry sherry
2 tsp water
1 tsp soy sauce
dash of pepper

Pour over tofu and stir to coat; let stand for 15 minutes.

Now, prepare cooking sauce:
2 1/3 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs dry sherry
2 tbs water
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch

Combine ingredients and set aside.

Finally -- the real ingredients! All of these need to be minced; you can toss all of them into the food processor.
8 medium-sized mushrooms, minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, minced
1 can bamboo shoots, minced
1 can water chesnuts, minced

To cook:

Stir-fry marinated tofu for about 3 minutes, until hot. Set aside.

Add about 1 tbs of oil to pan and heat. Add ginger, garlic, and onion and cook for about one minute. Add mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and water chesnuts to pan and stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Return tofu to pan. Stir cooking sauce, add to pan, and cook, stirring, until sauce bubbles and thickens.

To serve, you'll need:
about 30 lettuce leaves, washed and drained
hoison sauce
brown rice

Spread each leaf with hoison sauce; add a spoonful of rice and a spoonful of the tofu mixture. Wrap up in a little package and eat!

Cold Cucumber Soup w/Avocado Cream

10-minute recipe! Woohoo! Especially lovely on a really hot day :)

2 large English cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 8-oz container plain yogurt
1 cup ice cubes

Puree cukes with water, vinegar, and 2 teaspoons salt in blender till smooth.

Mash together avocado, lime juice, 1 tsp salt until smooth. Whisk in yogurt.

Just before serving, blend soup with ice until smooth. Serve topped with avocado cream.

"Tastes cucumber-ey." -my roomie

Friday, August 1, 2008

Lentils and Quinoa with Avocado

According to a guy who works at Murray's Bagels on 8th Ave, eating lentils will make you live forever. Here's to heart health! Woohoo!

1 pound lentils
6 C water
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cremini mushrooms, chopped
3 garlic cloves
6 kale leaves, chopped
2 splashes apple cider vinegar
4 splashes soy sauce
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 C quinoa
2 C water
black pepper
fat-free or dairy-free sour cream (optional)

In a large pot, combine lentils, 6 C water, carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, whole garlic cloves, a solid pinch of salt, and plenty of black pepper. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes with lid tilted. Add kale, vinegar, soy sauce, cardamom, and coriander, stir well, and cook another 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add parsley, squash garlic cloves against the side of the pot, and stir. Meanwhile, as lentils are cooking, bring 2 C water to a boil in a saucepan. Add quinoa and a pinch of salt and cook for 15 minutes covered on low heat.

To serve, layer a scoop of quinoa and a scoop of lentils in a shallow bowl. Arrange avocado slices on top of lentils and finish with a dollop of sour cream. Heart-healthy and oh-so tasty...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Ultimate Baked Potato

Comfort food at its very best...

2 medium Idaho potatoes
1 small onion, diced
4 baby bella mushrooms, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small head of broccoli, chopped
1 small ear of corn, boiled and corn cut off
1/2 C grated cheddar cheese
1 C cottage cheese
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
handful fresh parsley, chopped
cooking spray

Garnish with:
dollop of sour cream
scallions, minced

Prick potatoes all over with a fork and either bake in the oven or microwave on the baked potato setting until tender. Meanwhile, spray a non-stick pan with a bit of cooking spray and saute onions, mushrooms, and garlic until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add broccoli and corn and continue to saute, stirring frequently, until broccoli is tender. Add in cheddar and cottage cheese and mix well until cheeses melt, about one minute. Remove from heat and add salt, pepper, and chopped parsley.

Slice open potatoes, use fork to fluff the centers, and smother with the veggie/cheese mixture. Top each with a dollop of sour cream and some minced scallions. Serves 2.

(If you use non-fat cottage cheese and sour cream, and low-fat cheddar, I promise you won't taste the difference AND the dish becomes surprisingly good for you!!)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Roasted Corn and Zucchini Salad

Farmer's market veggies are muy importante for this recipe.

2 small-to-medium zucchinis, chopped
kernels from 2 ears of corn
1-2 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
handful of chopped herbs: I use a combination of basil, parsley, chives, and oregano, but you can experiment :)

Toss the veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast in a 425-degree oven until the zucchini starts to brown and smell yummy (about 20-30 minutes or so). Give it a stir halfway through so the corn doesn't burn.

Let cool for a bit, then toss with the herbs. Tastes like summer!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Kung Pao Tempeh

My new favorite tempeh recipe, courtesy of Amanda and "The Whole Soy Cookbook." Peanut-ey and rich, but not overwhelming. It comes together really quickly, despite the long ingredient list.

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 1/3 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons honey
1 pound tempeh
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons roasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup soy milk
vegetable of choice; swiss chard was super-yummy, but broccoli or asparagus would probably be great too

1. Whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, 1/4 cup sherry, stock, honey, and set aside.
2. Cut tempeh into small squares and, in a steamer basket set over boiling water, steam for 5 minutes.
3 In a medium mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup sherry, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and sesame oil. Add the tempeh and let marinate while sauteing the remaining ingredients.
4. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat; add garlic and ginger and cook for about 30 seconds.
5. Stir in the peanut butter, soy milk and soy sauce mixture. Add the tempeh along with its marindae and simmer over very low heat for 10 minutes. Add the veggie at some point, depending on how crisp you'd like them to be.

Service over brown rice.

za'atar pita

I got seriously addicted to this while in Israel . . .

pita bread
za'atar (I haven't been able to find it here, so the recipe is below)
olive oil
sea salt

for za'atar, combine:
1/2 cup thyme
1/4 cup sumac
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

mix 1-2 tablespoons za'atar with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and spread on warm pita bread. sprinkle with sea salt. so good! also yummy with a little yogurt on top :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cabbage Curry- South Indian style

Welcome Cabbage (wannabe) lovers,
Here is a favorite recipe of mine with cabbage made the traditional South Indian way.

1 cabbage (shredded as thinly as possible)
Handful unsweetened shredded coconut

For Seasoning,
2-3 TBSP canola/ corn oil,
1/2 TBSP mustard seeds,
1/4 TBSP cumin seeds,
a pinch of asafoetida powder,
2 Indian or Thai green chilli, finely diced (can de-seed them if you are avoiding spice)
Curry leaves (2-4 nos)

A one-stop-shop for all these ingredients will be your local Indian grocery store.

Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds.
Add the above seasoning ingredients in the order mentioned and fry for a minute. Then add the shredded cabbage, some unsweetened shredded coconut (which you can get at the baking aisle), salt (according to taste) and cook for 10 minutes (take care to not stir too much while cooking to avoid making it mushy).
Sprinkle some chopped cilantro leaves and voila! You have some absolutely delicious cabbage.
Can be had with tortillas, rice, or just plain yogurt.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chickpea and Brown Rice Burgers

Easy to make and totally delicious. I tried these first as burgers, and then a couple days later made them again but formed little 1 inch cubes instead (for a cube-themed meal!). I served the cubes with a yogurt-cucumber-lime sauce that was pretty awesome too if you're looking for a different option... Enjoy!

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2/3 C cooked brown rice
2 TBSP oats, chopped finely
1 medium carrot, grated
2 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
2 TBSP fresh cilantro, chopped
2 medium scallions, minced
2 clove garlic, pressed
1 tsp lemon or lime zest
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 large egg, beaten

1/2 C cucumber, diced
2 small tomatoes, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 avocado, chopped
1/4 small red onion, slivered
2 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
juice from 1/2 lemon or lime
1 TBSP olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

In a medium bowl, mash chickpeas until a course texture is reached. Add brown rice and mash until well combined. Add oats, carrots, parsley, scallions, cilantro, garlic, lemon/lime zest, coriander, salt, and pepper and mix well. Add egg, mix until combined, and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

In a separate small bowl, add all salad ingredients and toss gently. Set aside.

Set oven to 400 degrees. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray, form burger mixture into 5 patties and arrange on sheet. Lightly coat tops of burgers with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, flip burgers to second side, and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Serve burgers topped with salad. Yum!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Miso Soup

8 C water
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 TBSP grated fresh ginger
3 TBSP dried wakame seaweed
1 lb soft tofu, cubed
4 scallions, white and green parts sliced thinly
3 TBSP miso (or more, depending on flavor)
Fistful of buckwheat soba noodles, cooked according to directions on package

Mix garlic, ginger, and seaweed into the water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and cook about 5 minutes until seaweed is tender. Add tofu and scallions and simmer 2 minutes. Remove about one cup of liquid to a small bowl and dissolve miso into the broth. Add back to soup and mix well. Add soba noodles, simmer another 2 minutes, and serve hot.

Black Bean, Avocado, Corn Salad

Spinach or mixed greens, washed thoroughly
1 medium sweet potato, thinly sliced
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 can black beans
2 ears corn, boiled and cut off the cob
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
2 scallions, white and green parts sliced thinly
1/2 mango, peeled and chopped
1/2 C cheddar cheese, grated (optional)
handful of fresh parsley and/or cilantro, chopped

juice from 1 lime
1/4 C olive oil
2 TBSP cidar vinegar
1 TBSP honey
salt and pepper to taste

Arrange sweet potatoes in a small baking dish and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes until tender.

Meanwhile, layer all remaining salad ingredients on top of mixed greens in a large bowl. In a small jar with a lid, add all dressing ingredients, cap, and shake thoroughly. Dress the salad, toss, and serve with tortilla chips or crusty bread.

Raw Zucchini Salad

With this salad, farmer's market fresh zucchini and summer squash makes all the difference...

4-5 small/medium-sized zucchini/summer squash
juice from 1 large lemon
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Slice zucchini and squash very thinly down the long axis - one of those hard cheese slicers works really well for this. Slices should be around 1mm thick. Fold slices in layers on a plate and drizzle lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper on top. Yummy!

Raw Beet Salad

A delicious, refreshing, and beautifully hued summer salad... (Mom's been making this for a couple years now, and it's a serious favorite!!)

2-3 large beets, peeled
juice from 2 limes
drizzle of olive oil
handful of fresh parsley and/or cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Grate peeled beets, either by hand or with a food processor (so much easier!!!). In a medium sized bowl, mix the beets with the lime juice, olive oil, parsley, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Serve chilled!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Dilly Lemon Yogurt Dressing

A nice alternative to your standard vinagrette - also excellent if you're serving anything spicy!

2/3 C plain yogurt
2-3 TBSP honey
1 TBSP tahini
2-3 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP rice vinegar
juice from 1/2 lemon
1-2 tsp fresh dill, minced
1 TBSP fresh parsley, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a jar, cap tightly and shake until thoroughly combined. Enjoy over a big green salad! (Would also be excellent over cabbage or carrot slaw!)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Not-Your-Average Potato Salad

This has been the summer of the salad in my apartment, due as much to the obscene heat and humidity as to the abundance of fresh produce. I'll try and start posting some of my favorite veggie/bean/cheese/tofu salad combinations. Meanwhile enjoy this yummy potato salad recipe! I've made it a couple of times this summer and it's been a definite hit. All measurements are an approximation - feel free to edit as needed!!

3-5 pounds of potatoes, depending on the size of your group - the little red fingerlings are nice
2 ears corn, husked and snapped in half
1 small red onion, diced
1 small cucumber, diced
3/4 C capers
handful of fresh parsley, minced

1 C yogurt, mayonnaise, or a combination of the two (I prefer mostly yogurt with a few TBSP mayo)
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
2 TBSP spicy mustard
splash of juice from jar of capers
handful of fresh dill, minced
small amount of fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste

Clean potatoes thoroughly and chop into bite sized pieces. (I like to leave the skins on!) In a large pot, boil potatoes in enough water to cover until they are tender - don't boil too long or your skins will fall off. During the last few minutes, add your corn. Remove from heat and drain well. While potatoes cool, rinse corn in cold water until it can be handled comfortably. Use a sharp knife to cut corn off ear. In a large bowl, gently mix together potatoes, corn, cucumber, capers, and parsley. In a separate jar with a lid, add together all dressing ingredients, cap tightly and shake until completely mixed. Pour over potatoes and gently mix all together. Cover and refrigerate until you're ready to serve it!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Quinoa Tabouli

Usually tabouli is made with bulgur, but I actually liked it better with the quinoa! This recipe is heavy on the quinoa and light on the parsley . . . feel free to switch it around if you like. It also takes about 10-15 minutes from start to finish, which is awesome.

1 cup uncooked quinoa
juice of 2 lemons
a drizzle of olive oil
about 1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs - I used parsley, mint, and chives.
about 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Cook quinoa according to package directions and let cool a bit. I like cooking it in veggie broth - it makes it tres yummy. Toss with lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, and tomatoes. You could also add chopped red onions (which would probably be yummy, if you like raw onions). Other optional additions, for different flavors: chopped red pepper and cilantro.

Soooo good!! Tastes like summer :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Date and Nut Truffles!

nuts of choice - walnuts are my fave - soaked for 8-10 hours

This is the easiest recipe ever. Blend up the nuts. Blend up the dates. Mush them all together in a big bowl. (If you're feeling a little lazy you can use tahini or nut butter instead of fresh nuts.) With your hands, scoop out some of the date-nut mixture and roll it into a cute little ball. Then, to be extra fancy, roll the ball in the coating of your choice - cocoa powder, coconut, sesame seeds, whatever! You can even get all nouveau and roll them in crazy stuff like curry powder. Anything goes! Enjoy.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Lemony-Buttermilk-ey Linguine

Look, Rachel, I posted it!

This one is adapted from a recipe from . . . it tastes really bad for you, but it's not! How exciting!

3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

a handful of broccoli florets
a handful of green beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch-long pieces
8 ounces linguine

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving

Place yolks in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in lemon juice, then buttermilk.

Cook broccoli and green beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using sieve, transfer vegetables from pot to large skillet. Return water to boil. Add pasta; boil until tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid.

Add pasta to skillet with vegetables. Whisk 3/4 cup cooking liquid into yolk mixture. Add yolk mixture, 3/4 cup cheese, and parsley to skillet. Toss over medium heat just until sauce thickens and coats pasta, about 4 minutes, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if dry. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, passing additional cheese alongside.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Vegetarian Pho

Yummy! Adapted from Looks a bit complicated but is actually super-easy.

8 cups clear vegetable stock
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
8 medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped coarsely
1 small onion, diced
One 1-inch piece of ginger
Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks
2 pods of star anise
2 large bay leaves
Whatever veggies you like: I used sliced green cabbage (even the organic kind is cheap!), sliced carrots, and spinach.
Noodles: preferably rice, but I used soba and it was yummy.
Optional toppings: cilantro, bean sprouts, lime wedges

Put stock, soy sauce, garlic, and onion in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Meanwhile, char ginger on all sides over an open gas flame or in a small skillet. Add to the stock.

Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise, and bay leaves to the broth. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, for 20-25 minutes. Remove the cinnamon and anise. Fish the chunk of ginger out of the broth, squeeze it through a garlic press to get all the yummy ginger-ey ness out, then drop it back in. Simmer for another 15 minutes or so.

Add the noodles directly to the broth and cook till they're almost done. Add the veggies and cook till they're crisp-firm.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Quinoa, Avocado, and Jicama Salad

Three things I learned while making up this salad:

1. quinoa is the only grain that is a complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids your body needs
2. jicama is loaded with fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and folic acid (a B-vitamin that helps in producing and maintaining new cells)
3. quinoa, jicama, and avocado all in the same bite is textural heaven...

1 C quinoa, cooked according to package instructions and cooled
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 jicama, peeled and chopped into chunks
rice vinegar
olive oil
soy sauce
several dashes cayenne pepper
black pepper, to taste

Saute onion and garlic, if you prefer, otherwise feel free to leave it raw. Add all vegetables to the quinoa and dress with vinegar, oil, and soy sauce (I probably used about 1/4 C of each, but I definitely didn't measure and you should really just do it to your taste). Sprinkle in some cayenne and some black pepper, and mix thoroughly. Taste. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Peanut-ey Tempeh Lettuce Wraps

Serves about 4. Scrumptious!!

1 package tempeh
about 2 cups of cooked brown rice
3/4 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons lite soy sauce (or a little less, if you're using full strength)
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons rice or wine vinegar
1 - 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic (we sauteed it first, but only because I hate raw garlic)
cayenne pepper to taste
black pepper to taste
1 head of lettuce (preferably butter lettuce, but any old kind will do), washed and carefully separated into individual leaves

For the filling:
Cut the tempeh up into teeny tiny pieces. Saute it over medium-high heat in a bit of olive oil until it's turned golden brown and smells nutty and delicious. Stir in the brown rice and set aside.

For the peanut sauce:
Combine all other ingredients (except lettuce!) in a small mixing bowl. Add hot water (start with 1/4 cup) until mixture has a consistency a bit thicker than that of heavy cream. Right before serving, add peanut sauce to tempeh and rice mixture and stir well.

To eat, spoon a bit of the peanut-ey yumminess onto a lettuce leaf; wrap it up into a little packet and eat it. (Be prepare to get rather messy and not care at all).