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Archive for the ‘Tofu’ Category

Vegetarian Chilli

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Every blog has its milestones: first post, first comment, or even the first time it is mentioned on another site. Unfortunately, not all firsts are necessarily positive, and this just happens to be one of those firsts. For the first time, I am sincerely apologizing for not blogging for over a week. I know it’s not the end of the world, but I have been so dedicated to posting, it almost feels like neglecting to brush my hair or call my mom. Speaking of mom and family, I really want to thank everyone who called or nicely questioned if I was alright and why I haven’t posted. It really meant so much for your support. And, on another positive note, it really shows me that I can have a bad week of non-blogging and neither I nor my site will spontaneously combust. Good to know.

As for the reason for my neglectfulness: I just went on a two week trip to Paris (with a stop in Koln, Germany) with Ilya!  It was an amazing trip full of great highs and lows, where I got to see amazing things and go to amazing places, and of course, let’s not forget about taste the most amazing food. I will add more about that in my next post.  When I was leaving for the trip, I thought I could outsmart the posting schedule with the delightful use of technology.  I wrote 2 weeks of recipes ahead and scheduled them to post leaving me with enough time to get back and create the next post in a jiffy.  Thanks WordPress! Well technology did help me with the posting schedule beautifully, but what it failed to help me with, or rather what I failed to take into consideration, was that by the time I got back from  the trip I was so tired it took me an entire week to get everything back in order.

So before I tell you about my trip, I have to mention how much I missed cooking and eating home prepared meals. Don’t get me wrong, eating at a French bistro in the middle of the day in Paris was latterly a dream come true. But after 2 weeks of restaurants and 8 hours of a long flight home, by the time I got back I was CRAVING warm, healthy, protein filled American food and I couldn’t think of any other dish that could fill my appetitive better then vegetarian chilli. This meal is easy to prepare and easy to gulp down. It warms your belly and soul and gives you the energy and emotional boost you need from any long day. So if you need some comfort food, I am pleading with you, try this!

Source: Elona’s Original

Ingredients:

  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 4 -5 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 carrots, cubed
  • ½  stalk or about 4 ribs  of celery, cubed
  • 1 package of Trade Joe’s Gimme Lean
  • 1 cup of cooked cannellini beans
  • 1 package of Pacific Organic Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
  • ½ teaspoon to cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of Cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon of Paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of Cajon seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon of dry Parsley
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

1.       If necessary, cook the cannellini beans according to package instruction or open a canned jar.

2.       In an oiled pan, sauté the chopped onions and sliced garlic until light brown or about 5 min.

3.       Add the chopped celery and carrots and fry for another 3 min.

4.       Add the package of Trader Joe’s Gimme Lean imitation beef. Fry until brown or about 3 more min.

5.       Add the cannellini beans, tomato soup and seasoning of ½ teaspoon to Cumin, Cayenne, Paprika, Cajon seasoning, dry Parsley and Salt to taste.  Stir. Cook for another 3 min.

Barbecue Tofu Pizza

Monday, March 14th, 2011

They say the greatest inventions are always created by accident. Granted, by no means does cooking compare to the invention of electricity, but food has always been a powerful impact on modern culture. For example, according to Slashfood.com, “when the Toll House Inn’s Ruth Wakefield ran out of baking chocolate powered one day in 1930, she smashed up a bar of semi-sweet chocolate and added the pieces to her dough.” As cooks, we all come with some personal inventions of our own. While they may not become as wide known as Toll House’s Chocolate chip cookies, each new delicious mistake delights us with a novel recipe. I am proud to admit that Barbecue Tofu Pizza was my culinary mistake that went from bad to oh so amazingly good.

Last week I had a bunch of tofu packages in the fridge and I was really curious about what kind of flavors I could add. I checked out the side door and my eyes fell instantly to the barbecue sauce. How bad could it be? As I sautéed my ingredients together, I quickly remembered a critical rule that I so easily forget: if you put too much in a pan, the tofu does not have time to get crisp. While the flavors were great, I was really craving something on the more chewy side and this was unmistakably not it. Another scroll through my kitchen and I remember my grandmother had donated premade pizza dough that was now hanging for a week out in the creepy corner of the fridge for the past week. Ilya and I hardly eat white bread, so it had not found its calling, until now. I grabbed the sucker out and half an hour later my mistake became a delectable dinner I couldn’t pass down if I tried.

On a side note, if do not like tofu, feel free to substitute with Tempah, mushrooms or cooked chicken breast for you omnivores out there. Either way, I promise you trying this dish won’t be a mistake.

Ingredients:
• 1 package of Tofu
• 1 Onion
• 1 Green Pepper
• ½ cup Barbecue Sauce
• 1 cup of Ricotta Cheese
• ½ cup of Cheddar Cheese
• 1 Premade Pizza Crust

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Dice onions and fry in a preheated oiled pan until they are golden brown.
3. Slice the green pepper and add into the frying pan. Cook for 5 min.
4. Chop Tofu in cubes and add to mixture.
5. Add barbecue sauce and seasoning. Fry for another 10 min.
6. Place the pre-made pizza crust on foiled tray.
7. Add ricotta cheese to the pizza evenly.
8. Add the BBQ Tofu mixture onto the pizza.
9. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese on top of the pizza.
10. Bake for 15 min.

Tofu and Red Lentils Curry

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

I have always dreamed of living in a town like I do now – it is so amazingly quaint. The block is quiet and friendly, and there is even a library across the street. Walk few blocks over and there is an assortment of small shops and charming restaurants. When I moved in, I made it my business to explore these stores and see what each had to offer, plus it gave me a little bit of motivate to get outdoors and walk around. When it came to the restaurants, I thought I let Ilya take the lead and show me the places he thought were worthwhile. And, he had one place in mind: the local Indian restaurant.

Ilya was right – the place was fantastic. Decorated in lavishly in bold colors, the environment was warm, welcoming and exotic. I felt a bit nervous ordering with my inexperience of the cuisine but the menu was so wonderful it didn’t matter what I ordered. Plus, every item offered a choice of meat, seafood, tofu or vegetarian turkey. The funny part about it was that they knew Ilya (and his order). They all asked who I was and how long we were dating. I honestly felt like I was meeting his parents all over again. It was quiet funny. By the way, when I said they I don’t mean our waiter, I mean all the waiters, cooks, bus boys etc. No joke. Maybe Ilya has gone there one too many times. Not that I blame him, the stuff is out of this world.

When I got home I knew that Indian food had to be on the menu and since I have never tried cooking it before, this was a great opportunity to try. I noticed we had red lentils in the pantry along with some tofu in the fridge and with the magic of google my fiddling evoked my first curry recipe. I won’t say the dish could compete with the restaurants but I will say it can hold its own. The flavors are amazing. We ate it over rice and the next day we used the leftovers to make a burrito to take to work. I have to say, this recipe may be the first curry I ever tried making but it won’t be the last.

Source: Adapted from www.appetiteforchina.com

Ingredients:
• 1 package of tofu
• 1 cup of dry (more…)

Tofu Lasagna

Friday, February 18th, 2011

As I cook, I notice different people have different ways of complimenting you. One person that shall remain anonymous always dances in his seat whenever he finds something tasty.  He has learned how to control these squirms as we grew up but once in a while, I still catch a twitch. Another anonymous taste tester of mine always seems to criticize everything I make. The more he loves it, the more he pretends to hate it. I love him, and believe it or not I even love his compliments. The trouble is, everyone has different and multiple ways to expressing themselves.

I’m still trying to learn all of Ilya’s verbal and nonverbal ques. I’m always trying to find out what he likes or doesn’t like because he rarely comment without being prompted.  So how does Ilya comment on this dish?  Does he whisper sweet words? Nope.  Does he send me a card? Nada. Give up? He goes out to the supermarket on his lunch break (we typically go shopping together) and buys me the exact ingredients needed for this recipe…times three!  Because…you know…these ingredients “just happened to be on sale”.  J You can only imagine how happy I was that day. But no matter how you are loved ones show you their gratitude, I promise you this dish will defiantly get a response out of anyone.

PS. This was my first time using tofu and it was a great beginner dish. It’s great because it makes the dish firmer, takes on the luscious taste of the parsley and adds a lot of protein to the dish. If you are looking to add tofu or just protein to a picky eater’s dish, this is a great recipe for you.

This is the tofu I used that I got at my local farmers market

Source:  Adapted from Cooks.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. mozzarella cheese
  • 1 lb. ricotta
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup of parsley
  • 1-2 tbsp. milk
  • Lasagna noodles
  • Your favorite spaghetti sauce

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cook Pasta according to package instructions.

3. Chop the parsley finely.

4. Chop the tofu into large squares.

5. Place the tofu, ricotta cheese, milk and parsley into a food processer and processor. Process until mixture is soft and blended together. Place in bowl and leave to the side.

6. Grate the mozzarella thinly.

7. Place in layers in a rectangular pan, firs tomato sauce, then lasagna, then tomato sauce, mozzarella, and ricotta; repeat until ingredients are gone.

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

Beet Curry

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Confession: I do not like soup. I know it is part of my culture. I know it is good for you. I even know how amazing the flavors could be. I just do not fancy it. There’s something about warm liquid that turns me off. As open minded of an eater I am, the closed minded of a drinker I am. I don’t drink coffee or soda and I only drink hot tea and soup when I am sick. I have to be DIEING sick too. Here’s the problem, I love the infusion of flavors of soup, more specifically Russian Red Borscht. What can I say, it’s in my blood. I really wanted to create a meal that would encompass the flavor of the soup in a hearty entree and curry was the best means to do it. I promise one day, if only for the sake of the blog, not to mention my boyfriend, I will make traditional soup but for the meantime this beet curry sure does the trick. Now, if you do not like tofu, or curry for that matter, make it your own. Take it out and it will become a side salad. Add some chicken and you’ll get a main dish. The possibilities are endless but one thing remains: the strong infusion of flavors are one of a kind.

Ingredients:

• 2 Beats
• 2 Carrots
• 1 Large Onion
• 1 Package of Tofu
• 2 Teaspoon of curry
• 1 Teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
• Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Slice onion and fry.
2. Grate beets in food processor and fry with onions.
3. Grate carrots and add to skillet.
4. When mixture is cooked evenly, chop tofu into 1 inch squares and add to mixture.
5. Add seasonings to taste.

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