9.16.2014

Isa Does It pesto risotto

I have made several recipes from Isa Does It, and I have liked them all. The tastiest so far is actually what I would have thought of as one of the simplest: the Pesto Risotto with Roasted Zucchini. (Recipe available here.)

I have roasted a lot of zucchini in my time, but there is something about the proportions called for in this recipe that make it THE BEST ROASTED ZUCCHINI EVER. I almost always use brown rice to make risotto, and it always turns out just fine (it just takes a little longer).

(PS do you like my red depression glass dishware? I don't have a lot, but what I do have, I have achieved through constant monitoring of ebay sales for reasonably priced dishes. I love it.)

9.14.2014

sunday brunch: chicken-fried tofu and waffles

I don't really understand why "chicken and waffles" became a thing in the Boston area recently, but it did--lots of friends on facebook were posting about how this or that new restaurant was offering chicken and waffles. I think it's a Southern thing that only recently made its way up north? ANYWAY, this inspired brunch a while back:

Chicken-fried tofu and waffles (with gravy and spinach). The waffles are a strange purplish color because I used blue corn meal (and the cornmeal waffle recipe from Vegan Brunch). It tastes the same as yellow/white corn meal, but doesn't sell as well at my parents' natural food store, so when it goes past date, I sometimes end up with an abundance. ;) I couldn't quite bring myself to deep fry in the morning, so the tofu isn't too heavy, either.

So final thoughts on the chicken-and-waffles thing? It was a lot of work for a morning brunch, so I see why people get excited about it being available at restaurants rather than making it at home... but the flavors together are delicious. I'd do it again!

9.13.2014

agedashi tofu!

I've always wanted to order agedashi tofu in Japanese restaurants, but I know that bonito (fish flakes) is a large part of the dish. It is usually sprinkled on top, so it may be possible just to leave it off, but notice the word dashi in the name of the dish--a word for a fish-based broth. It's possible the restaurants could make a completely vegan agedashi tofu, but it's usually easier to just safely order veggie sushi.

HOWEVER. Who would pass up deep-fried tofu if they got the chance? NOT THIS GIRL. So I decided to make my own!

I looked up a lot of different recipes online, but it turns out I didn't need a recipe, just a method. Cube silken tofu (I used the boxed kind, but I recommend using the water-packed kind, because the boxed kind is really slippery to work with--hence the broken one on the bottom of the pile). Lightly coat each side of each piece with cornstarch. Deep fry. Done!

The broth that you pour over is a mixture of dashi (for a vegan version, seaweed simmered in water for a little while), soy/tamari, and mirin. I looked up various recipes for it, but just settled on a to-taste version: salty, savory, and a tiny bit tangy. Topped with chopped scallion and kelp flakes. Served with (in the back) brown sushi rice and teriyaki-flavored chard.

In general, I find deep frying tedious; it's hot, it's messy, it requires a lot of oil, and I sometimes end up burning myself (as I did while making this). I'm not likely to make this dish often, but I will definitely make it again, and I am really happy I got to try it!

9.12.2014

cookies and cream cake!

"Cookies and cream" is one of my favorite flavors, so when I feel like splurging on Newman Os, I return again and again to the cookies and cream cupcake variation in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

When friends and I got together to watch The Room (often hailed as the worst move ever made) a while back, I decided to make some food to go along with the theme: since there is a birthday party, with cake, in the movie, a cake would do! (We also had pizza--some of which was vegan, of course--to fit with the theme.)
I doubled the recipe to make a two-layer cake, with more frosting in the middle. I should have taken a picture of cutting into the cake, so you could see that middle part, but we were running late to the movie.

Have any of you seen The Room? My friends and I still quote it to each other from time to time.

9.11.2014

what to do with dukkah?

Dukkah is a Middle Eastern seasoning, made of spices, seeds, and nuts. My mother and I once saw it used as a spice rub on a cooking show, and I copied the recipe.
This is like 1/4 cup of dukkah.
It's made mostly of coriander seeds, sesame seeds, and hazelnuts, with cumin seeds, black pepper, and salt to finish out the flavor. The seeds and nuts are toasted, and it all gets ground together, resulting in a blend with a delicious aroma.

But now I have a lot of it, and few ideas. I know I can use it as a spice rub for tofu/tempeh, etc. I originally made the recipe to use as a dry dip for roasted radishes. You can also use it as a dip for bread (after dipping the bread in oil). But that's all I've got; I need your help, internet! How would you use dukkah?

9.09.2014

chocolate-covered katie's protein bars

Before you look at the pictures of the "3-minute" high protein granola bars that I made from Chocolate Covered Katie's recipe, you should look at hers. They are sweet and cute and pretty, and if you follow the recipe closely, yours will be too.

The recipe is also delicious. However, readers of this blog will know that I am almost incapable of making a recipe without somehow making changes, so naturally I changed a bunch of things. My version of her granola bars is NOT pretty. In fact, my granola bars turned out really ugly.
But I am not ashamed! They are still delicious, and a little more nutritious.

They're green-brown because I used hemp protein powder and added some spirulina, because I used almond butter instead of peanut butter, AND because I added cocoa powder. They are still delicious, and take less than 3 minutes to make. (A little longer to freeze, which makes them cuttable.)

In case anyone is wondering whether they have to be kept frozen (as Katie suggests), the answer is no! I only froze them to slice them. I've carried one around in my bag all day and it was still solid enough to be held at one end (similar to a Larabar in texture). We are storing them in the fridge just so they keep longer.
LONG LIVE THE UGLY GRANOLA BARS.

9.08.2014

pasta tossed with cashew ricotta

The Cashew Ricotta recipe is probably my favorite recipe from Veganomicon. At the very least, it's the one I make the most often. I use it for lasagnas and baked ziti, and, at my mother's suggestion, a vegetable dip for parties. It is always a huge hit, and no omnivore (even my most meat-obsessed friends) has ever balked at it being made from tofu.

It also makes a simple meal tossed with pasta (and, if you think of it, extra garlic and basil!
Above, tossed with extra basil and avocado, served with salad. Below, tossed with shredded yellow zucchini and carrots, served with grilled portobellos and crispy sage leaves.
It's a little blurry because I moved while I was taking the picture... and didn't notice until after I ate the whole thing. Oops!

My first day of fall semester teaching is tomorrow. Wish me (and my students) luck!