Yesterday we had some friends over to watch the penultimate stage of the Tour de France and we all enjoyed a delicious brunch. The tofu scramble and roasted vegetables were good but what really came out well were the peach beignets. Credit to Darlene for coming up with that idea. I’m not sure how authentic they were but they sure did taste good. I ended up using my tried and true recipe for Apple Uglies but instead of apples and cinnamon I used some nice local peaches we’ve been getting from our CSA. I cut back on the sugar a little too since the beignets got a generous dusting of powdered sugar at the end. The main modification to the recipe that I needed was to add a lot of extra flour since the peaches were so juicy. And rather than making each piece of dough into an oblong shape I rolled out the dough and cut it into squares beignet-style.
I posted my basic tofu scramble recipe a long time ago on our previous blog and this one was similar. Instead of onion I used a leek from our CSA and I also added a shredded carrot, mushrooms and kale. The roasted veggies were all from the CSA – red potatoes, purple potatoes, beets and bell peppers. These were coated with olive oil, salt and some fresh herbs from our garden (thyme, oregano, rosemary and lavender) and roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes. All agreed it was an excellent meal!
We definitely had to put our new grill to use on the 4th of July! I had never tried freezing tofu before but I heard that doing so can give it a chewier texture so I gave it a whirl. I drained two blocks of tofu then put them in the freezer overnight. I took them out this morning and let them thaw then drained them on a towel. Then I cut each block into 8 pieces, brushed them with homemade barbecue sauce and put them on the grill. I’m still learning about grilling and I had some hot spots in my fire so some of the tofu got a little too charred but still it was good. And freezing did give it a firm texture that help up well to grilling. On the side we had coleslaw and potato salad, made with cabbage and some nice red potatoes from our CSA.
I kind of winged it in making the barbecue sauce but it came out really well so although I didn’t write anything down I’ll approximate it here from memory. I just mixed all this stuff together in a small saucepan and simmered on low heat for about half an hour:
3 Tbs. tomato paste
1/2 c. water
1 Tbs. cider vinegar
1 Tbs. molasses
1 Tbs. agave
2 tsp. vegan worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1/2 tsp. onion power
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
You could definitely add some cayenne or hot sauce too but I kept it mild for the kids. I made this up as I went along so if you try it you should definitely experiment with different proportions to suit your fancy.
I finally got myself a proper grill! I had a tiny portable one that I used occasionally in the past but even that I haven’t used in several years. Last month I built a deck off our back door from the kitchen and once that was done I set my mind to getting a grill since I finally had a nice place to put one. Here’s the kid, quite proud of himself after helping me assemble it. It’s nothing fancy, just a basic Weber charcoal grill, but I’m really looking forward to getting some use out of it this summer.
I decided to Christen it with that quintessential American grill fare, the burger. You know, a typical burger with lentils, mushrooms, walnuts and kale. OK, maybe not so typical but still very tasty. I used Scott Jurek’s recipe because I’ve made these burgers in the past and I knew they’d be firm enough to stand up to grilling. (Incidentally, if you haven’t heard, Scott Jurek is in the midst of attempting a speed record on the Appalachian Trail.)
The kale and onions in the burgers were from Bellair Farm CSA and on the side we had roasted potatoes and a slaw with red cabbage and carrots, all from the CSA also. And we topped the burgers with lettuce from our garden so there’s lots of local produce on this plate!
We’ve been getting lots of bok choy and Napa cabbage from our CSA and they make for a good stir fry. We also added to this one onions, carrots, cashews, tofu, and even a little broccoli from our garden. You can stir fry almost anything you have on hand though. It’s all in the sauce. This is a recipe that we and the kids liked that’s adapted from the Beefy Asparagus Stir Fry recipe in Isa Does It. Just whisk all this stuff together in a bowl then add to your stir fried veggies at the end:
1/2 c. water
1 Tbs. cornstarch
3 Tbs. soy sauce
3 Tbs. hoisin sauce
1 tsp. sriracha (more to taste)
2 Tbs. lime juice
1 Tbs. agave
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
We often serve our stir fries over brown rice and sprinkled with sesame seeds. And with the kids, we make everything very mild but I do enjoy some extra sriracha on top too!
We’ve been getting some nice Napa Cabbage from our CSA and I decided to use some of it to make an Asian slaw. We had also just cooked a batch of chickpeas so in a clash of cultures we served the slaw with falafel. Since we were frying the falafel anyway we also fried some tofu. A tahini dressing for the falafel and tofu rounded out the meal. Here’s the slaw recipe:
What you need:
1 head Napa Cabbage, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 large carrot, shredded
2 Tbs. minced sweet onion
juice of 1 lime
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1 Tbs. canola oil
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. sesame seeds, plus more for serving
What you do:
In a large bowl, mix together cabbage, carrot and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, vinegar, soy sauce, oils and salt. Pour over the cabbage and mix well, then mix in the sesame seeds. If you have time, allow to sit for half an hour. If desired, sprinkle on more sesame seeds when serving.
We recently made an Ethiopian feast for dinner and Darlene had the fabulous idea to turn the leftover tofu wat into hand pies (or calzones if you like). Every culture has some sort of hand pie, though I’m not sure if you’d find something like this in Ethiopia. Regardless, they were awesome! Check out one of our previous pizza posts for a link to and discussion of the dough recipe. I don’t have a recipe for the tofu wat because I made it up as I went along but Google it and you’ll get some ideas. You could really fill these with anything though.
We had these hand pies with some beautiful collards from our Bellair Farm CSA. It’s so exciting to be starting off the CSA season again and we hope to showcase more of the beautiful produce we’ll be getting each week in our share. Our go-to method for collards is simply to chop a bunch of them into bite-sized pieces (removing any thick stems), then saute in a little olive oil for a few minutes. Then we add a minced clove of garlic, saute for another minute then add lemon juice. (The juice from half a lemon is about right for a large bunch of collards.) I also like to add a little sweetener – 1/2 teaspoon of agave or sugar does the trick.
When we got our Instant Pot we also got a copy of JL Fields’ Vegan Pressure Cooking and the recipe we’ve used the most so far is the Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches. We’ve only made it with jackfruit once or twice but the recipe works equally well with seitan or tempeh. Here we used seitan (from one of our favorite seitan recipes that I also mentioned last post). It’s really convenient to do this in the Instant Pot but you could easily do it on the stove top as well. Just saute a small diced onion and minced clove of garlic in a little oil, then add 3 Tbs. tomato paste, 1 tsp. vegan worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp. cider vinegar, 1 Tbs. maple syrup, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. yellow mustard seeds and about 3/4 cup water. Mix in about 1 pound diced seitan the cook on high pressure for 3 minutes (or cover and simmer for 20 minutes or so on the stove top).
We often like to have coleslaw with our barbecue and I don’t usually use a recipe but this is what I did tonight. Just mix all this stuff together:
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, shredded
1/4 c. vegan mayo
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. cider vinegar
And we rounded out the meal with some sauteed kale. What we do with kale most often is just give it a quick saute in a little olive oil with garlic, then add salt and a bit of lemon juice.