I already have two sesame noodle recipes on my blog. The first recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s World of the East cookbook, and uses tahini. The second recipe is from Nancie McDermott’s Quick and Easy Chinese cookbook, and uses peanut butter. But lately we haven’t been making either of these recipes. Instead we’ve been making a version of the takeout-style sesame noodles recipe from Sam Sifton on the New York Times website. It uses both tahini and peanut butter. It’s clearly the winner. We make a whole meal out of it by adding pan-fried tofu, steamed broccoli, and various raw veggies. The last few times we’ve made this for dinner, Alma has scarfed it up. Read the rest of this entry »
I finally got a chance to try an easier version of the crisp marinated and baked tofu. I skipped the pressing and the cornstarch dredging steps and simply poured the marinade directly onto the tofu and baked it. It was a hit, both with Derek and with Alma. And I didn’t miss the cornstarch or pressing steps at all. I think the texture turned out just fine. Read the rest of this entry »
This recipe has you press tofu, marinate it overnight in the fridge, drain it, dredge it in cornstarch, and bake it on an unoiled cookie sheet until the outside is crisp on the inside, but still soft on the inside. The recipe is originally from Joe Yonan, but I found it on David Lebovitz’s blog. He raves about it, and it’s a different technique than I’ve used before. Normally I either pan-fry tofu, bake it submerged in a marinade, or bread it then bake it in thin slices. This recipe is something a little bit different. Read the rest of this entry »
In the 70s and 80s many vegetarian restaurants offered some kind of brown rice bowl, which consisted of some combination of borwn rice, tofu, beans, veggies, and a sauce. In NYC in Angelica Kitchen they called it the Dragon Bowl. It’s simple, hearty, co-op food—nothing fancy, but tasty and filling. So when I asked Derek to pick a recipe for dinner last night, he picked this “brown rice supper” menu from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Suppers cookbook. Read the rest of this entry »
Tonight was a “use what’s in the fridge and be quick about it” dinner. I threw together this stirfry and Derek liked it so much that he asked me to write up what I did. I didn’t measure or time anything, so below is just a best guess. Read the rest of this entry »
I say what we’ve been cooking instead of what I’ve been cooking, because with the new baby, Derek has been doing about as much cooking as I have, if not more. In the first few months he was mostly just making old standbys, but in the last week or two we’ve finally started to branch out and try some new recipes. I don’t have time to write full blog posts about each one, so I’ll write a short blurb here for each. Read the rest of this entry »
My sister visited me last week, and picked this recipe from the Angelica Home Kitchen cookbook. In the end, however, she didn’t have time to make it, and so Derek and I made it for lunch today, along with a pan of some garlicky kohlrabi greens. Read the rest of this entry »
I wanted to use up some brussels sprouts and cilantro, and found this recipe for a tofu, sprout stirfry on 101cookbooks. It looked interesting, and we had all the ingredients on hand, so Derek and I gave it a try for lunch yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »
I bought a large bunch of mint for this lemon mint lentil potato ragout recipe, but didn’t use it all up, and went looking for something to do with all the mint. I found this recipe in Nancie McDermott’s Real Vegetarian Thai cookbook. It looked pretty simple and called for a whole cup of mint leaves, so Derek and I made it for dinner the other night. Read the rest of this entry »
I liked the miso tahini turnip soup from 101cookbooks so much I decided to try another soup recipe from her blog, this time for “immunity soup,” built on a garlic, ginger, pepper broth. The recipe calls for white pepper but I didn’t have any, so I just used black pepper. I assumed the only difference was cosmetic, but maybe white pepper actually tastes different, because this recipe was a let down. I thought the soup would be wasabi-up-your-sinuses intense, but we found it bland, even after adding more black pepper. I really like clean, brothy soups in general, but this one was unsatisfying. It didn’t taste bad, it was just boring and a bit bland. Maybe if I’d been able to find some pea shoots they would have brought the whole dish together? I doubt it.
Back in September I wanted to use up the last of the summer tomatoes and Derek picked this recipe to try out of Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Suppers cookbook. It’s a pretty simple pan-fried tofu recipe topped with a fresh relish made from tomatoes, lime juice, ginger, mint, basil, shallot, garlic, and soy sauce. Read the rest of this entry »
I wanted to update my post on mixed roasted vegetables, but when I went to look for it I discovered there wasn’t one! I’ve been roasting vegetables for years, and I have never posted about it? Wow. Normally I roast vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet, but today I wanted to try to heal my cast iron dutch oven, and so I decided to roast the vegetables in it instead. I’ve always thought that a baking sheet (with its low sides) is better when it comes to roasting, because it lets the moisture escape and yields crispier edges. But my dutch oven roasted veggies turned out great. Better than normal, I would say. But I changed a few other things as well, so I can’t really make a direct comparison. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve never actually had hot and sour soup before, so I’m not sure what it’s supposed to taste like. But Derek has fond memories of it, so I thought I’d give this recipe from the AMA cookbook a try. Read the rest of this entry »
I needed to use up some tofu before I went out of town a few weeks ago, and I wanted to make something I could use to make sandwiches. I decided to try marinating the tofu in an Asian, gingery marinade, then baking it in the oven. I started off with the recipe for sweet ginger tofu in Peter Berley’s cookbook Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, but then I modified it a bit. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve made a number of excellent recipes from the cookbook The Vegetarian Table: France, and so last time I was at Half Price books in Austin I picked up some more books from the same series: Thailand, Japan, and Mexico. This week I finally got a chance to try two recipes from the Thailand book (by Jacki Passmore). I told Derek I wanted something relatively easy, and he picked out a recipe for cauliflower and beans in coconut and peanut sauce, and one for a tempeh stir-fry with red bell peppers. Read the rest of this entry »
This recipe was given to me in grad school by a football-loving, barbecue-adoring, guy from Texas. It’s creamy and satisfying comfort-food. It’s somewhat reminiscent of a vegan quiche. It doesn’t have a crust, but the outside gets crisp and forms its own crust. Read the rest of this entry »
I returned from my trip to Asia to a totally empty fridge. So I decided to scavenge whatever I could from the freezer. One of the things I defrosted was 4 pounds of frozen tofu. I decided to use half of the tofu to make my mom’s barbecued tofu recipe, but I wanted to find a new recipe for the rest of the tofu. There aren’t a whole lot of recipes on the internet that call for frozen tofu, but I found this “veggie burger” recipe on the ultimateveggieburgers blog. (By the way, I love the clean look of the blog and the fact that the author is quite critical about the recipes tried.) It’s not so much a veggie burger as a big hunk of marinated tofu. Either way, the blogger raves about it, so I figured it was worth a try. Apparently, although the recipe comes via Dr. Weil’s website, it’s originally from Bryanna Clark Grogan’s The ( Almost ) No Fat Cookbook.
This recipe from Friendly Foods (by Brother Ron Pickarski) was originally titled “Paneer Tofu”, but it’s really a vegan version of Mattar Paneer (peas and paneer in a creamy tomato sauce), which uses tofu instead of paneer cheese. Read the rest of this entry »
Derek’s student Scott is always raving about Phở, a vietnamese noodle soup. Since it’s never vegetarian, I’ve never really tried the real thing. Wikipedia says that one of the techniques that distinguishes it from other Asian noodle soups is that charred onions are added to the broth for color and flavor. It also says that the broth is typically made with charred ginger and spices including cinnamon, star anise, black cardamom, coriander seed, fennel seed, and cloves. The soup is also typically served with lots of fresh garnishes, including scallions, white onions, cilantro, Thai basil, fresh Thai chili peppers, lemon or lime wedges, and bean sprouts. Some people also add hoisin sauce or chili sauce. Although traditional Pho is not vegetarian, I found a recipe for it in the Vietnamese Fusion book (by Chat Mingkwan) I borrowed from my mom, and I also found a recipe in a Vegetarian Resource Group article on vegetarian travel in Vietnam. Oddly, though, the recipe in the Vietnamese Fusion book didn’t include any dried spices in the broth–just ginger and charred shallots. So I made a mix of the two recipes. My soup came out okay, but the broth needed a lot more spice. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the desserts I remember best form childhood is silken chocolate tofu pie. I know, it doesn’t sound that great, but it was creamy and rich and chocolately and sweet… I loved it. My mom used to bake it in a graham cracker crust which made it even better. But I also loved it uncooked right out of the food processor. When I lived in the co-op I used to make the pudding with lemon juice or grapefruit juice for a little extra bite. I liked the stark contrast between the sweet pudding and the sour juice. Other co-op denizens didn’t like the combination of citrus and chocolate and soy as much as I did. I didn’t mind though, because that way there was more for me. I tried making the pudding for Derek long ago, but he was disturbed by the strong underlying soy flavor, so I stopped making it. But last month I had a few boxes of silken tofu lying around that needed to get used up, and so I decided to try making tofu chocolate pudding again. Read the rest of this entry »
I have no idea why Ron Pickarski names this “Swiss Steak”. It’s basically tofu smothered in a vegetably tomato sauce. Is that how the Swiss eat their steaks? It seems more Italian. In any case, Pickarski says that this is one of his favorite everyday foods, so I thought it was worth a try. Read the rest of this entry »
When I was in Austin visiting my family I spotted a new cookbook on my mom’s shelf: Vietnamese Fusion Vegetarian Cuisine by Chat Mingkwan. I’ve always wanted to learn how to make Vietnamese food, so I asked if I could borrow it. My mom had already flagged the recipe for Vietnamese Coleslaw, and so I decided to start there. Read the rest of this entry »
I don’t have time to post full recipes right now but I wanted to say a few words about what I cooked this weekend, before I forget the details. I’ll come back and post the recipes when I get a chance. For dinner last night I started with white bean, rosemary, and fennel soup, which I’ve blogged about before. I also made two new recipes out of my French vegetarian cookbook. The first was a brussels sprouts dish with apples, onions, and cider, and the second recipe was for a beet and potato gratin. Read the rest of this entry »
I saw the recent post on 101 cookbooks for tofu burgers, and I figured I had to try them. I still don’t have a food-processor, so I made only half the recipe in my mini-processor. I laughed when I went to put in the mushrooms and discovered that 27 grams of mushroom is only one large mushroom! The recipe calls for 1/4 cup bread crumbs, but my 1/4 cup of panko only weighed about 14 grams, so I doubled the amount. Other than that, I made the burgers exactly as the recipe described, but my burgers weren’t nearly as brown as the one in the photo. It looked more like tofu with brown speckles on it. It was definitely cooked through though. The flavor wasn’t bad–a little nutty, but ultimately rather bland. We ate our burgers with tomato and red onion, but the burger couldn’t really stand up to the intense onion flavor. The burgers did hold together quite well though. The texture was certainly better than the texture of other tofu burgers I’ve made in the past. I might use this recipe as a base recipe, and add more seasonings next time. But I don’t think I’d make this exactly recipe as written again. Rating: somewhere between a B and a B-.
I’m on a quest to try all the recipes in the summer section of Fresh Food Fast. In the past few weeks I tried five new recipes:
- Pan-seared summer squash with garlic and mint
- White bean and arugula salad with lemon dill vinaigrette
- Chilled soba noodles in dashi with tofu and shredded romaine
- Warm green beans and new potatoes with sliced eggs and grilled onions
- Chilled tomato soup with shallots, cucumbers, and corn.
- Spicy corn frittata with tomatoes and scallions
Read the rest of this entry »
This is another recipe from the cookbook Buddha’s Table by Chat Mingkwan. I bought mint and cilantro for a recipe, but then forgot which recipe I had bought them for. I was trying to figure out what to do with the herbs and decided to make a deconstructed Vietnamese spring (summer?) roll salad. But at the last minute I saw this recipe for a minced tofu salad, which calls for mint and cilantro, and decided to try it instead. Read the rest of this entry »
My brother gave me the cookbook Buddha’s Table by Chat Mingkwan a few years ago. I immediately started paging through the book, and left it open on my kitchen table. The next day as soon as I starting looking at the recipes the pages started falling out. I suspected that the special “layflat binding” was to blame, but when I called the publisher they assured me that they’ve been using this binding for a long time and have had no trouble with it. They said they’d send me another copy. They did, but two days after I received it (and before I’d made even a single recipe) the pages started falling out! I figured it wasn’t worth trying to get a third copy.
Although lots of the recipes looked good, I never did get around to trying them. Many of the recipes call for “vegetarian or mushroom stir-fry sauce” or other pre-made sauces, which kind of turned me off. First, I don’t tend to have them on hand. Second, those sauces are pretty much junk. Thus, whenever I wanted to make something Thai I always ended up using Nancie McDermott’s Thai cookbook instead. But last week I was determined to finally try the cookbook out. I bought some vegetarian stir fry sauce at the local Asian shop. I figured if I liked the recipe with the stir fry sauce I could always try to figure out how to make up a similar sauce on my own.
I threw together a quick skillet of veggie fried rice today, and Derek said it was excellent and I should blog about it. Unfortunately, I didn’t measure anything, but here’s my best guess at what I did. Read the rest of this entry »
My friend Jenny and I were talking about 101 cookbooks, and she strongly recommended the Yin and Yang Salad recipe. She said she liked the combination of the raw cabbages and the rich peanut dressing–it seems more balanced than starchy noodles and peanut sauce. I got all the ingredients to make the recipe, but then when I went to prep dinner I realized that the tofu was supposed to marinate overnight, so I made McDermott’s peanut-style sesame noodles instead. The next day I marinated the tofu and made the yin and yang salad for dinner.
I make Madhur Jaffrey’s sesame noodles all the time. It’s one of Derek’s favorite dishes. Tonight when I asked him what he wanted for dinner he said “chiliquiles!” but all my tortillas were frozen, so he went with his second choice–sesame noodles. I agreed, but didn’t tell him that I wasn’t going to make our standard recipe. I had recently come across a recipe for cold sesame noodles from Nancie McDermott’s Quick and Easy Chinese: 70 Everyday Recipes. I really like McDermott’s Real Vegetarian Thai cookbook, so I decided to give it a try. Read the rest of this entry »
I cannot make Chinese food to save my life. My special talent is ruining stir-fries. Yet I keep trying. Today I started with a recipe for stir-fried tofu and bok choy in ginger sauce from Cooks Illustrated’s The Best Light Recipe and modified it to fit what was in the fridge. I ended up with a tofu, broccoli, carrot, scallion, ginger, garlic stir-fry. Read the rest of this entry »
Most tofu enchiladas are awful. Normal tofu just doesn’t have the right texture for enchiladas. My mom’s enchiladas are different, however. They’re based on a recipe they used to make on the Farm, which uses frozen, marinated, and baked tofu that has a chewy texture and deep, umame flavor. When I was a kid and my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday dinner, I invariably requested tofu enchiladas. The enchiladas were simple, American-style enchiladas, made from flour tortillas filled with savory tofu chunks and then covered in a tomato, chili gravy and baked in the oven. They were simple, but amazingly delicious. More recently my mom has started adding vegetables to her enchiladas, and I’ve followed suit. I usually add some combination of spinach, corn, peppers, and onions, but I’m sure other veggies would also be good. (Last updated Jan 1, 2014.)
I love paht thai, but I rarely order it in restaurants anymore because I’m always disappointed by the oily, bland mockery they serve. Restaurant pad thai is invariably insufficiently sour, and often too sweet. Proper pad thai requires a careful balance of sweet, salty, and sour, as well as warm heat and a strong peanut flavor–two other features that are often lacking in restaurant versions of this popular dish. Traditionally, pad thai is made with salty dried shrimp and fermented fish sauce. Nancie McDermott, in her book Real Vegetarian Thai, suggests that vegetarians substitute Asian bean sauce (dao jiow), a pungent condiment made from salted, fermented soybeans. She says that either the “brown bean sauce” or “yellow bean sauce” will work fine. McDermott’s excellent cookbook includes a recipe for vegetarian phat thai that is superb, if decadent. If you’re going to eat pad thai, and don’t have any excellent Thai restaurants around, I strongly suggest making it yourself rather than settling for another mediocre mockery. Here’s Nancie’s recipe, with a few adjustments to reduce the oil content and speed up the process just a little. Read the rest of this entry »
I wanted to use up some leftover millet, and decided to try a variation on the tofu patties in The Vegan Gourmet. I figured I’d try out one more recipe before passing it on. The recipe calls for bulgur rather than millet, but I figured the two grains are similar enough, and the substitution should work okay.
I really like Berley’s recipe for tofu baked in white wine, mustard, and dill. The recipe directly opposite that one in Berley’s cookbook is a similar recipe for tofu baked in a garlic, thyme vinaigrette. I vaguely remember trying it once before, and not finding it all that exciting, although Derek liked it quite a bit. Since I have no record on my blog or notes in my cookbooks, I decided to try it again.
The vinaigrette calls for olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, salt, red pepper flakes, and “2 bay leaves, crumbled”. I’m not sure exactly how you crumble bay leaves, but both times I tried this recipe I ended up with jagged pieces that were not pleasant to eat. I thought maybe I should have tried to remove the pieces of bay leaf, but there were enough pieces that it would have been a pain, plus the recipe doesn’t mention removing them.
Other than the prickly bay leaves, the recipe was fine. I wouldn’t make it again though. The tofu seemed a bit greasy to me, and it doesn’t end up very flavorful. Even after baking it for a long time, the center of each piece was still white and bland and kind of raw tasting. The marinade didn’t infuse the tofu with flavor like the Greek marinade does.
Derek liked this recipe more than me, both times I made it. He scarfed it down happily. I didn’t ask him for a rating, but he would have probably said B or B+.