Saturday, September 6, 2008

Tofreaken Awesome

Ok, so I just started this blog and I've already been slack. Lots going on the last couple of weeks-- we had a major storm and a tree limb busted out the back window of my car... my NEW car...

I tried cooking tofu for the first time last week. It was also my first time eating more than 2 pieces of it off my husband's plate. Now I can say I've eaten about 8 pieces of tofu in my entire life. So I drained an extra firm block of the stuff between two cutting boards and weighted it down with a heavy bottle of Whole Food organic wine my husband hasn't opened yet. Then I tried to cut it into little pieces like Isa described in Vegan with a Vengeance. Then I marinated it in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, mirin, sesame oil, garlic, and Sriracha sauce. After about 30 minutes, I fried those suckers up with a bit of Earth Balance and extra virgin olive oil. I tossed in a bag of fresh stir-fry mix from Publix that had broccoli and snow peas in it as well as a frozen bag of broccoli and cauliflower. It was pretty good. My problem with tofu is that after a couple pieces, I don't want to eat anymore of it. Here it is. I call it Asian Broccoli Tofu.

In other news, my grandpa's family had a reunion last week. Of course, grandma says "We'll be eating at 2". I assumed that meant superstar hubby and I were supposed to be there at 2. Everyone had been there since 11am and had already eaten by the time I got there. I brought some Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Everyone was full by the time I got there so my dad polished them off.

Thursday I noticed I've been very bad at watering my container garden this week and the pepper plants are dying. So I pulled all the peppers. I chopped up 2 bell peppers, 2 hot banana peppers, 2 mild banana peppers, 2 jalapenos, and an onion and sautéed them in a little extra virgin olive oil. Then I tossed in two cans of organic black beans. To taste, it was too hot for me. Usually I like hot stuff but it just felt too hot that night so I tossed in a couple tablespoons of Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese. YUMMMMMY I served it over rice with some sweet potato cubes I tossed in a little extra virgin olive oil, cumin, and Chipotle powder and baked at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. It was based off a recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance.

In other news, superstar hubby took the day off so we could make an hour and a half trip to Asheville NC for Organicfest... but we ended up sleeping in until noon. Instead, we had a veggie burger at Burger King because I was in the mood for one. He has them for lunch a couple times a week and just raves about how awesome they are. I preferred the one they had at Red Robin that was 3 times more expensive. The best one I've tried so far is from Barley's Taproom downtown. It is awesome! So is their black bean hummus. I am going to try and recreate the hummus this week. After lunch, we drove to the Asian Market. The pepper guy at work told me about how they had canned seitan. He let me try some of it and it was pretty good. I actually liked it more than the tofu I've tried. So here is what we scored for $15.

That's a bag of black rice, a jar of Sambal Oelek Chili Paste, Black Bean Paste, Tofu marinated in chili paste and sesame oil, firm Tofu, a can of Curry Seitan, Agar-Agar Powder, and some Fried Tofu marinated in lemongrass and red chili. Funny story about the Sambal Oelek Chili Paste. I've been looking at every grocery store and health food store in the area for this stuff and had resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to buy a jar for $5 plus $5 shipping. Well that was $1.69!!!!!!!! I've been trying to find some chili paste without garlic for a couple years. I want to mimic the dipping sauce at PF Changs and the garlic chili pastes just don't do it. I'm so excited I can't stand it! We also visited another farmers market and scored all this stuff for $12.

I know what your thinking... that's a lot of tofu for someone who doesn't really care for the stuff. I've always heard it was an acquired taste, so I'm trying to like it. In other news, we went to our favorite Indian Restaurant Saffron's twice this week and enjoyed some yummy food. They had vegan options, but my food was so spicy the first time I ended up dipping my naan into the yogurt they had on my plate to cool my mouth down. We had the vegetarian combo that came with naan bread, Vegetable Pakora, Vegetable Korma, Chana Masala, and Palak Panir. Last night, I was just in the mood for Mulligatwany soup and Vegetable Masala and it has cream in it.