23rd November 2009

    Chili-Lime Tofu with Steamed Collards and Quinoa

    chililimetofu

    Here’s an incredibly delicious dish courtesy of VeganYumYum.  Tofu is covered in an amazing spicy/sweet/tart glaze, and piled atop a mound of greens and grains.  This particular version uses collard greens and quinoa, but this would work equally well with kale or chard on top of brown rice.  Honestly, the star is the tofu.  You could plop it on a pile of green construction paper and cardboard and I’d eat it.


    Lisa says:

    This is the best tofu ever.

    Chris says:

    Yeah, I’m about to stick my tongue right into that pan.

    Lisa says:

    Too late; it’s all on my tofu now! I heart glaze! I like that it’s also the perfect amount of spice — just enough heat to know it’s there.

    Chris says:

    Yeah it’s great — you should make stuff like this more often.

    Lisa says:

    Delicious vegetarian meals?

    Chris says:

    Um… well… more specifically, tofu triangles with some sort of awesome glaze over steamed greens and quinoa.

    Lisa says:

    Did you not hear me? I said I heart glaze. That won’t be a problem.

    Chili-Lime Tofu with Steamed Collards and Quinoa
    1 14-oz package extra-firm tofu

    Sweet Chili Lime Sauce:
    3 tbsp Sugar
    3 tbsp soy sauce
    1 3/4 tbsp fresh lime juice
    zest from 1/2 lime
    1/2 tsp red chili flakes
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 tsp Salt
    4 mint leaves, rolled and thinly sliced

    Quinoa:
    3/4 Cup Quinoa, rinsed in cool water, drained
    zest from 1/2 lime
    2 bruised cardamom pods
    1 small Stick of Cinnamon
    1/4 tsp Salt
    1 1/3 Cup Water

    Collards:
    1 Bunch Collard Greens, middle veins removed, washed
    2-3 tbsp Water
    1 Pinch Salt
    1 tsp fresh lime juice

    Combine all the quinoa ingredients in a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, turn of heat, and let sit for 10 minutes.
    Prepare the sweet chili lime sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together until the sugar and salt is dissolved.
    Drain the tofu and cut it into small triangles: Cut the block of tofu into 8 slices, then cut each slice in half, and each half diagonally to create four triangles per slice. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, one that the tofu will not stick to without adding oil.
    Spread the tofu out in one layer in the pan. Using a spatula, press the tofu until the liquid squeezes out and boil away. The tofu will begin to turn golden. After several minutes, flip the tofu over and press the other side. After about 10 minutes of “dry” frying, turn off the heat and set the tofu aside.
    Stack the collard leaves on top of each other and roll into a cigar shape. Slice in 3/4 inch segments, then cut through the chopped collards to make smaller pieces. Add them to a shallow pan with the water, lime juice and salt. Cover and cook over high heat for 3-4 minutes until the collards are steamed and tender.
    To finish the tofu, heat the pan and the tofu over high heat, making sure the tofu is hot all the way through. Add the sauce and stir to coat the tofu. Keep the heat on high until the sauce bubbles up, reduces, and forms a glaze.
    Arrange the collards atop of a bed of quinoa. Add tofu over the top, drizzling any leftover sauce over the dish. Garnish with lime slices and mint leaves.

    2-3 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Vegetarian | 9 Comments

    17th November 2009

    African Peanut Stew

    peanutstewchicken

    Here’s another good one from Almost Meatless: okra, chard, onions, and just a bit of chicken in a richly-flavored broth made with peanut butter and chicken stock. The recipe makes quite a bit, and was so good that in addition to Lisa, I brought in leftovers for lunch the following day! (Those of you who know us realize how monumental that is!) The original recipe calls for dark-meat turkey (attention to those of you looking for ideas for Thanksgiving leftovers!), which we substituted for chicken.


    Lisa says:

    Yum, this sauce is so good — and the rice just soaks it all up.

    Chris says:

    Yeah, I really like this — and even though you’re not the biggest fan, I heart the okra in it.

    Lisa says:

    Hey, I guess I won’t have to have my ritual spoon of peanut butter tonight!

    Chris says:

    Ha, guess not — and although you definitely taste the peanut flavor in here, it’s not like those Thai peanut sauces that are *super* peanutty.

    Lisa says:

    Nope — definitely not… not that I’d mind. I’m glad this is “almost” meatless, I’m almost ready for another vegetarian week.

    Chris says:

    …I’ll gladly eat whatever you aren’t in the mood for!

    Lisa says:

    Hey, fork off! I didn’t say I was ready for vegetarian week just yet…!

    African Peanut Stew
    2 tbsp oil, divided
    1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 3/4 lb), cut into strips
    4 oz okra, sliced thinly
    1 onion, sliced into strips
    4 cups chicken stock
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    2 tsp garam masala
    1 cup canned diced tomatoes (or fresh, if you have ‘em)
    1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
    4 cups thinly-sliced rainbow chard
    1 small red bell pepper, chopped
    1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
    6 green onions, thinly sliced

    Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for five minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer meat and juices to a plate.
    Add the 1/4 cup water and deglaze the pot, scraping up the bits from the bottom. Pour the liquid and bits over the chicken and set aside.
    Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot, add the okra, and saute for five minutes on medium heat, until it starts to look sticky. Add the onion and saute another five minutes. Pour in 1/2 cup of the stock and deglaze the bottom of the pot.
    Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Stir in the spices, tomatoes, peanut butter, reserved meat and juices, remaining stock, and chard. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes.
    Serve over brown rice and garnish with red bell peppers, chopped peanuts, and green onions.

    6 Servings

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    posted in Almost Meatless, Main Dishes | 3 Comments

    14th November 2009

    Big Curry Noodle Pot

    bigcurrynoodlepot

    Here’s a quick & easy, packed-full-of-flavor slurpy bowl of goodness from Super Natural Cooking: Noodles, tofu, and onions swimming in a rich, creamy coconut curry broth. Just the right amount of spice, and a garnish of cilantro and shallots provide nice color contrast to the yellow broth.


    Lisa says:

    Ooooh, good choice! This is different than what we usually make.

    Chris says:

    Yeah, I’m usually not in the mood for coconut-broth-type dishes like this. I certainly never order them out.

    Lisa says:

    Well I’m glad you made this one; and I actually like the spiciness level.

    Chris says:

    Yeah it’s perfect — could always kick in additional hot sauce if you want it hotter.

    Lisa says:

    What makes it yellow, the curry paste?

    Chris says:

    It was a little closer to orange before the turmeric. Adding that and the coconut milk gave it the nice yellow color. I think the only thing I don’t think the recipe as shown in the book needs is the peanuts. I’ll leave them out when I make this next time.

    Lisa says:

    Agreed — they don’t really add much. It’s plenty awesome without them!

    Big Curry Noodle Pot
    8 1/2 oz. dried whole wheat udon noodles
    2 tbsp coconut oil
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 onion, chopped
    1 1/2 tsp red curry paste
    12 oz. extra firm tofu, cut into 1″ long columns
    1 14 oz can coconut milk
    2 cups vegetable broth
    2 tsp turmeric
    2 tbsp soy sauce
    1 tbsp sugar
    Juice of 1 lime
    2 shallots, sliced into rings
    1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

    Cook noodles according to package directions in lots of boiling water with a dash of salt. Drain, stop the cooking by running cold water over, and set aside.
    Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, onion and curry paste, stirring until the curry paste is well incorporated, 1-2 minutes. Add the tofu and gently stir until coated. Stir in the coconut milk, broth, turmeric, soy sauce and sugar. Bring to a slow simmer and keep it there for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lime juice and noodles, and stir.
    Add the noodles and some extra both to each of 4 bowls. Top with the shallots and cilantro.

    4-6 Servings

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    posted in Asian, Main Dishes, Soups and Stews, Super Natural Cooking | 10 Comments

    12th November 2009

    Chipotle Chicken Chowder

    chipotlechickenchowder

    I’ve been sitting on this recipe for a while, looks like I had bookmarked it about a year ago and finally got around to making it.  Originally from a Cooking Light recipe, this modified version from The Kitchen Sink features chicken, potatoes, and other veggies in a smoky-tasting, creamy broth — using just 1/4 cup of cream.


    Chris says:

    This is bueno — I knew I’d saved that link for a reason…

    Lisa says:

    It’s pretty creamy tasting…

    Chris says:

    I know! There’s a little cream in there, but not a lot — most of the texture is from pureeing the broth and onion, celery, and carrots.

    Lisa says:

    Oh good, I like that the potatoes aren’t pureed in. I like the chunks.

    Chris says:

    Same here… and I just want to add lime and cilantro to every recipe.

    Lisa says:

    Don’t we already?.

    Chris says:

    Good point.

    Lisa says:

    Good dinner.

    Chipotle Chicken Chowder
    1 chipotle chile canned in adobo sauce, minced with 1 tsp of the adobo sauce *
    1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    2 cups chopped onion
    1 cup chopped carrot
    1/2 cup chopped celery
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp ground oregano
    6 garlic cloves, minced
    6 cups chicken broth
    2 small chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
    3/4 lb yukon gold potatoes, in 1/2″ dice
    1/4 cup whipping cream
    1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more to garnish
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    lime wedges

    Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped chile, adobo sauce, onion, carrot, celery, cumin, oregano, and garlic; cook 7 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

    Remove pan from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth. Stir in the potatoes and chicken; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in cream and cilantro; simmer 5 minutes. Top with additional cilantro and serve with the lime wedges.

    * Tip: To avoid wasting an entire can of chipotles when you only need one for a recipe, do the following: Once the can is opened, line a baking sheet with foil, spoon each chipotle chile with sauce onto the foil, and place in the freezer. Once frozen, remove from the foil (they’ll slide right off) and place into a ziploc bag or other container and keep in the freezer. Easy to remove just one when required for future recipes.

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    posted in Cooking Light, Main Dishes, Mexican, Soups and Stews | 6 Comments

    9th November 2009

    Pumpkin Scones, a la Starbucks

    pumpkinscones

    WTFOMG. I don’t know what to say about these. I love them. I hate them. I’m eating all of them, except for those that have already been eaten by Lisa.  Or the mysterious “mouse” that seems to be able to open the tupperware they’re in, take a few nibbles of one, and reseal it. These scones are a bit softer than what I usually encounter in a scone — almost like a really dense muffin — with two different icings for your sweet-toothery. The recipe Lisa found for these made 6 scones; we made 12 by cutting the dough smaller. We’ll be making these again, for sure. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.


    Chris says:

    Wow, these taste really close to the real thing.

    Lisa says:

    Ohmygod I know.

    Chris says:

    Om-nom-nom-nom.

    Lisa says:

    It’s a good thing we’re not on a diet.

    Chris says:

    We may have to be after these.

    Lisa says:

    But I cut the scones to half the size of the original recipe!

    Chris says:

    Just means I’m eating twice as many.

    Lisa says:

    …and I used skim milk instead of whole.

    Chris says:

    See what you just did? Convinced me to have another.

    Pumpkin Scones, a la Starbucks
    For the Scones
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    7 tbsp sugar
    1 tbsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
    1/4 tsp ground cloves
    1/4 tsp ground ginger
    6 tbsp cold butter
    1/2 cup canned pumpkin
    3 tbsp half-and-half
    1 large egg

    Powdered Sugar Glaze
    1 cup plus 1 tbsp powdered sugar
    2 tbsp skim milk

    Spiced Glaze
    1 cup plus 3 tbsp powdered sugar
    2 tbsp skim milk
    1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
    1 pinch ground ginger
    1 pinch ground cloves

    Prepare the Scones:
    Preheat the oven to 425F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Use a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside.
    In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and form the dough into a ball.
    Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle about 3 times as long as wide. Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut each of the portions in an X pattern (four pieces) so you end up with 12 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14–16 minutes. Scones should begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

    Make the powdered sugar glaze:

    Mix the powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk together until smooth. When scones are cool, use a brush to spread plain glaze over the top of each scone.

    Make the spiced icing:
    While the powdered sugar glaze is firming, combine all of the ingredients for the spiced icing. Drizzle over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (about an hour). Attempt not to devour all the scones at once.

    12 scones

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    posted in Desserts | 20 Comments


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