Friday, July 30, 2010

tofu salad

that's tofu salad as in egg salad. i have yet to purchase a tofu salad that i love. i don't try premade ones very often because 1. they are most often drenched in fake mayo and - real or fake - i really dislike mayo* and 2. celery? meh.

so i decided to make my own tofu salad that would solve these problems and oh my goodness did i ever succeed! seriously, this turned out better than i hoped. i love it. i ate it open faced on toast with a salad for dinner, then had it again for lunch. the longer you can let it sit the more the flavors will come out and the more deliciousness will come out but you can also eat it immediately after you finish stirring it all together (as i did) and it's quite a treat then as well.

i solved the mayo problem by using tahini sauce instead. i like the crunch that celery gives but wanted to get it from something that i enjoy....something like chopped cabbage! throw in a bunch of other stuff and you have tofu salad that is similar to egg salad only not gross. win!

tofu salad

1 lb. firm tofu
1 cup chopped green olives
1/4 red onion, chopped
chopped cabbage, roughly 1/4 of a small head
1/2 cup tahini sauce (roughly 1/4 cup tahini thinned with water)
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black salt**
salt and pepper to taste

crumble the tofu into a bowl and add the olives, onion and cabbage. mix together the tahini and water and then whisk in all of the other ingredients. pour over the tofu mixture and mix well. taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

*perhaps it stems from a time of enjoying mayo sandwiches as a child? it makes me shudder just thinking about it now.

**there a few different kinds of black salt out there. the one you want here is indian black salt and you'll know it's the right kind cause it smells like eggs. if you can't find it this will still be yummy without, just increase the other flavors. i have a gigantic bag of the stuff and if i could share with you i certainly would. if you do use it, i went a little on the light side cause i didn't want an overwhelming egg-y flavor, more of a subtle backdrop, but if you do you'll want to increase it by quite a bit.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

coconut green beans

this is a recipe that i ripped out of a magazine oh i'd say....nine months ago (at least) and promptly stuck on the fridge. i've been dying to make it since the minute i saw it (well....obviously not if it's taken me this long) but whenever i thought of it i was always missing one ingredient. most recently that ingredient was mustard seeds which i actually remembered to buy this past weekend. then while strolling the farmers market yesterday i saw green beans and it was on!

i'm a big fan of simply prepared green beans - steamed until just tender and tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and maybe some sauteed garlic - but man, if you're looking to dress them up this recipe is the way to go. they are crisp, mustard-y, a bit spicy and have the most delicious toasted flavors from both the coconut and the cashews. kris and i gobbled them down and they are definitely going in the rotation.

coconut green beans
(a padma lakshmi recipe)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 tablespoons cashew pieces
4 whole dried red chilies
1 1/2 lbs. green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
salt, to taste

heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. add the mustard seeds. when the seeds start to pop, add the cashews and chilies.

once the cashews are toasted, add green beans and stir. cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. add coconut and salt.

cook another 8-10 minutes (mine only took about 5 minutes) while stirring. when green beans are cooked through but still crisp, remove from heat and serve.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

TCT soba bowl

this, like so many of my dishes, was created as a cleaning out the fridge dinner. my main ingredients to work with were tempeh, cabbage and tiny tomatoes which made me think it's almost at TLT....but since there's cabbage instead of L i'll call it a TCT soba bowl (yeah, i put it all on top of soba).

so, that's one T for marinated tempeh, C for cabbage slaw and the last T for teeny tiny tomatoes...maybe it should be called TC(TT)T. oh and also toasted pecans because...why not? yum! i really really loved this (for dinner and again for lunch today). the slaw was very simple with a hearty dose of lime juice giving the whole dish a nice tart kick. the tempeh and noodles got a bit of heat from hot sauce, and tomatoes, well, they're amazing right now and can do no wrong. plus some crunchy toasted pecan bits? delicious! i feel like i so rarely recreate these fridge cleaning dinners that i make but this is one that i would really love to make again.

here's how it went down (i apologize for the lack of measurements but you're a smart bunch, you can make it to your taste):
TCT soba bowl
for the marinade:
soy sauce
hot sauce
olive oil
crushed garlic cloves

mix together all the ingredients in a shallow dish. cut the tempeh into strips and marinate for as long as you've got (mine were probably in there for about 20 minutes).

while the tempeh is doing its thing make a super simple cabbage slaw:
i thinly sliced about half of a small head of cabbage and tossed with the juice of 2 limes, olive oil, (big) salt and pepper.

halve or quarter (depending on their size) a handful of tiny tomatoes and set aside.

back to the tempeh. cook with a little olive oil and an little marinade added to the pan until browned on both sides. remove from pan and cut into bite sized pieces.

cook the soba according to package instructions. mine cooked for six minutes (and i found that starting soba and the tempeh cooking at the same time worked out well).

when the noodles are done cooking drain and toss with some of the remaining marinade.

assemble bowls with soba on the bottom topped with cabbage slaw and tempeh and tomatoes.
add some chopped toasted pecans on top. enjoy!


Monday, July 5, 2010

soft tofu ceviche tacos

we recently brought back our good friend soft tofu for a super easy, fast and - most importantly - delicious no-cook taco filling. rather than cooking the tofu we opted for a ceviche-ish approach of marinating it in a limey mixture before eating.

as i was eating these tacos i just kept thinking how refreshing they were. sounds weird i know...even i, with my extreme love of tacos, don't normally find them to be refreshing...but with the marinated soft tofu these were citrusy, cool and smooth and that my friends makes for one refreshing taco.

you could certainly eat these as soft tacos but i liked the crunch from the crispy shell paired with the filling. top with your favorite taco toppings - we did lettuce, avocado and tomato which was simple and delicious. you can adjust the marinade to your liking (which you will have to do since i didn't measure) but, roughly, here's how it went:

soft tofu taco filling
(for one pound of soft tofu)
juice of 8 limes
a few glugs of olive oil
several dashes of hot sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced

combine all ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold your tofu. taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

drain your tofu and pat it dry. scoop spoonfuls of tofu into the marinade and gently toss so that all the tofu is covered. let sit for as long as you want...i did this first and just let it stand while i prepared the rest of the taco ingredients.