Posts Tagged ‘VEGAN’

Grilled Tofu Skewers and Potatoes

It’s BBQ season and we have taken our small charcoal grill down to the beach for some delicious dinners. Skewers work great on the grill and I used some tinfoil to cook potatoes. This also makes it easy to have everything ready ahead of time so that we can carry it down to the beach to cook it.

I have found that the best way to marinade Tofu is to freeze it first, then put it into a ziplock with the marinade, in this case Soya Sauce, and put it the fridge to defrost for about 12-18 hours, so you will want to do this ahead of time.

Ingredients

Tofu

  • 1 Block of Tofu
  • Soya Sauce or another marinade.
  • 3 Mixed Coloured Peppers
  • 10-15 Mushrooms
  • Some Skewers

Potatoes

  • 4-5 medium yellow potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • A bunch of a herb, such as dill or rosemary, diced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Tin Foil

Directions

Tofu

  1. Marinate your tofu (see a marinating tip above)
  2. Cut to tofu and peppers into large pieces.
  3. Place the tofu and vegetables on the skewers in random order.
  4. Cook on the grill for about 20-30 minutes, turning them every 5 minutes

Potatoes

  1. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and toss
  2. Wrap everything in tin foil so that it is air tight. This will help them cook faster.
  3. Put on the Grill for about 50-60 minutes, turning half way.

I like to cook the potatoes first since they take the longest and will stay pretty hot even if you take them off the grill.

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Spaghetti

I spent some time living in Europe. I became very good friends with an Italian who has a lot to do with how and why I cook today. His passion was for Italian food, and he made amazing pasta. It opened my eyes. This recipe is largely influenced by him with a lot of my own twists in it.

Ingredients

  • 15-20 Roma tomatoes, diced (Romas have less juice and more pulp so they will form a sauce faster)
  • 4-5 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Zucchini, diced
  • 1 Large yellow onion or 2-3 shalots, diced
  • 1 bunch basil, chopped
  • 1 palmful of sunflower seeds, chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Good quality Spaghetti Noodles (I use barilla)

Directions

  1. Put a deep fry pan on medium heat
  2. Once hot add olive oil and garlic
  3. Once the garlic becomes fragrant, but not browned, add the tomatoes
  4. Leave for about 10-20 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down
  5. Add the zucchini and allow to soften
  6. Put a pot of water on the boil, add a palmful of salt (The may seem excessive, but is very necessary)
  7. Once boiling add the pasta and cook to package instructions, careful not to overcook, and drain
  8. It is important to try to time the sauce and noodles so that they finish cooking at about the same time
  9. Once the pasta starts to form a sauce like consistency, remove from heat and add the basil and sunflower seeds (Adding the herbs after cooking helps them to keep their flavour and creates a fresher taste)
  10. Toss the noodles with the sauce and serve

If you are in a hurry you can add tomato paste to thicken the sauce. I use pecorino cheese on top instead of Parmesan. What ever you do, do not ruin the dish with that fake Parmesan that is already shredded. It is far better to keep a piece of cheese and shred it as you need it. Parmesan and pecorino are both hard cheeses and will keep in the fridge for a long time.

Rhubarb and Tofu

Spring has sprung and rhubarb is an amazing and underused spring vegetable. This is adapted from one of Jamie Oliver’s recipes where he used pork. The idea is to pair the tartness of the rhubarb with a bit of heat and savory from the 5 spice and soy sauce.

Into food processor and puree

  • 400 grams rhubarb, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Thumb ginger
  • 2 big chilies, chopped roughly
  • Big teaspoon 5 spice (Chinese spice mixture)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp honey

Tofu Stuff

  • 1 kilo tofu, chopped
  • Noodles, I prefer thicker udonย  noodles
  • Fresh coriander, just a bit for on top
  • Spring onions, sliced
  • Sunflower or groundnut oil to coat pan

Marinade: First, cut the tofu into about 1″ cubes. Marinade the tofu in the puree for a few hours in the fridge.

Once you are ready to cook the tofu put a fry pan on medium-high heat and add a bit of oil to the pan. Meanwhile, Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the noodles to the water; cook until done. Add the tofu to the fry pan and do your best to not add the rhubarb mixture. Once the tofu is browned, add the rhubarb mixture and warm it all up. Taste tofu sauce for seasoning.

You are ready to plate it up: Noodles, tofu on top, sprinkle onions, sprinkle herbs from a height, squeeze of lime, maybe some more fresh chilies if you like some extra heat.

This dish goes very well with a salad of other sour spring time vegetables like green apple, radish and chard.

Apple Cinnamon Greens

Just a simple salad that I thought was d-lish so I wanted to share ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s fresh, fruity and a little sweet, perfect for quenching a lunch time sweet tooth! Adjust the amount of ingredients as needed.

Salad

  • a bunch assorted greens (spinach, red & green leaf lettuce)
  • 1 apple, cored, quartered, then cut into thin chip-like slices
  • handful of whole raw almonds, roughly chopped (for extra nutritional value soak the almonds in water for a few hours. This makes them easier to digest)
  • small handful of dried cranberries, chopped
  • pumpkin seeds

Dressing (here’s some basics)

  • about 3 tbsp olive oil
  • about 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp tahini
  • 1 tsp honey
  • cinnamon to taste
  • dash of salt

Combine dressing ingredients in small container with a lid and shake, shake, shake!!! Drizzle on your salad & toss!

The Basics of Homemade Veggie Broth

I’m sure that this trick is as old as time, but we just started doing it so we thought we would pass it along.

As a vegetarian we eat a lot of veg, and ended up throwing out a lot of ends of veg; things like the tops and bottoms of onions, tops and peels of carrots, ends of celery sticks, asparagus, broccoli. Almost anything you are putting down your garburator, or that’s edible and going into your garbage. If you compost, you can still do that when you are done with it! Instead of throwing out these odds and ends keep them in a container or bag until the end of the week, or you can freeze them and save for later if you can’t accumulate enough before things go bad. It takes us about 1-2 weeks to get enough veg to make about 10 cups of broth. Its hard to say how much veg exactly you need to have, but generally have enough to be just covered by the water.

To add flavour to the stock you can add a number of things. Most commonly we use the following:

  • 5-10 bay leaves
  • A palm-ful of black peppercorns
  • 1-2 Tbsp of salt (You can also go salt free, but it will be fairly bland)
  • A palm-ful of cumin seeds
  • any leftover herbs from the week
  • a couple whole garlic cloves

When you’ve simmered it all for a while and achieved some tasty broth, strain it to separate the liquid. Now you use it in recipes for the week or freeze it! You can even make your own broth cubes: continue to simmer just the liquid of the broth until it reduces a little then pour into ice cube trays!

~ Gregarious Greens & Lavish Legumes

Immersion Blender

Hey folks, sorry for the long no posting period. We went through moves to new houses and have been settling. We are hoping to have new posts on a more regular basis.

During this period I celebrated my birthday. One of the wonderful gifts that I received was an immersion blender. I have used it a few times now and I love it.

The main use that I have for it is for soup. If you look back at some of the soup posts on the blog you will notice that I mention pulsing the broth in a blender or food processor until smooth. This is great, but it can be hard to blend everything in the pot and creates quite the mess. Well no more! I simply place the immersion blender into the soup broth, pulse for 30 seconds and I have a smooth broth with little to no mess. I don’t have to clean the food processor or blender containers anymore! Immersion blenders run a range of prices but I am led to believe that the one that I received was well priced and it works great for me.

I got a cuisinart immersion blender. It also comes with a few other attachments such as a whisk and a mini food processor for quickly chopping small batches of veg that I have yet to use.

Do you have an immersion blender or thoughts on them? Let us know in the comments below.

Creamy Potato Soup with Salad


~ Tonight’s secret spice is Nutmeg! ~

This dish is so easy and has great simple flavour! Definitely comfort food ๐Ÿ™‚

Soup

  • 2-3 yellow potatoes, skin on and diced into small cubes
  • 2 leeks, cut lengthwise (be sure to rinse out any sand) and thinly chopped
  • 1 onion, long thin slices
  • vegetable broth, about 2 cups (I had some homemade left over from Moroccan the night before)
  • almond milk (make sure it’s completely unsweetened! I used almond breeze)
  • about 4 tbsp butter (or we use olive oil margarine)
  • about 1-1.5 tbsp nutmeg

I like to use a deep frying pan with a lid for dishes like this so I can saute the vegetables first.

  1. Melt about 1 tbsp butter in the pan and add the onion on mid-high temp with the lid and let it sit until it starts to brown.
  2. Add the nutmeg and stir let it warm on the heat for 1-2 min.
  3. Stir and add the rest of the butter and the leak.
  4. Put the lid back on and cook until the leek starts to soften, stir occasionally.
  5. Add the potato and the veg broth with a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper.
  6. Let cook with the lid on until the potatoes start to soften (about 15 min).
  7. Stir in almond milk, add more nutmeg, salt or pepper to taste if needed.
  8. Heat through about 5 more min.

I mashed the potatoes a little at the end for thicker consistency, like a more rustic version of a blended soup. You could also blend this soup if you’d like


Salad

I wanted to make a salad that also had a bit of the nutmeg flavour. It tasted a little like carrot cake! Yum!!

  • red leaf lettuce
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • handful of pecans

Dressing

  • olive oil
  • apple cider vinegar
  • about 1 tbsp tahini
  • about 2 tsp honey (or agave syrup)
  • nutmeg to taste
  • salt to taste – and I threw in a pinch of some leftover blended spices from the Moroccan food (cinnamon, cardamom, coriander & anise)