Tag Archives: cherry tomatoes

(To)Fu Fighting

Marinated Tofu with Rice Noodles

This is a slightly (two weeks) late entry for 52weeks, however it was cooked in time so hopefully it will still count ūüôā¬† When I saw the challenge was for marinating I drew a blank at first, since most vegetables aren’t prime candidates for marinating.¬† While some, like carrots, do alright others tend to fall apart and become a messy yet tasty disaster.¬† Since I still have a fair amount of cherry tomatoes and peppers left, I decided that I needed to marinate either tofu or eggplant and that it was going to have a slight Asian influence.

When Joe and I were in Austria one of our meals had included marinated tofu, the fact that it turned out to be a citrus marinade did not take away from how delicious it was.¬† Knowing that it could be done gave me the confidence needed to try it myself, after recruiting one of my sisters to find tofu since my local stores were out of it.¬† Armed with the extra firm tofu I started to plot out how I could get the tofu to retain the flavor of the marinade without falling apart the moment it hit the wok.¬† I knew that I would need to drain and press the tofu before starting to get out all the water and from there divided the tofu in half to try two methods for the actual marinating step.¬†¬† I’m only going to post the instructions for method 2, since that method worked FAR better than the other.

Marinated Tofu

Ingredients

16 oz extra firm tofu

1/4 cup dark soy sauce

2 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tbsp pineapple juice

1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp siracha sauce (or to taste)

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3 shallots, minced

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tsp cumin seeds

3 garlic cloves

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced

1/4 cup crushed pineapple

1 jalapeno (or thai chili), minced - optional

8oz rice noodles (pre-cooked)

Instructions

  1. Take the tofu and firmly press between two plates, or between a plate and a panini press, lined with paper towels. Press for 15minutes and then switch out the paper towels before pressing for an additional 15minutes. Test with additional paper towels to make sure the tofu is as dry as possible.
  2. Prepare the marinade by mixing the soy sauces, vinegar, siracha, and pineapple juices. Cut the tofu length wise in to 2in strips. Layer the tofu in the bottom of a tupperware container and pour the marinade on top. Refrigerate for 20minutes before rotating the tofu, giving all of them a chance to soak up the marinade, and place back in the fridge for a final 20minutes. Remove tofu from the marinade and lightly toss the tofu in flour. Reserve marinade for later.
  3. Heat up the oil in a large wok over medium heat. Add the shallots, cumin, ginger, and garlic. Cook, while frequently stirring, for 5minutes. Add the flour covered tofu and cook for 10minutes, flipping the tofu as needed to prevent sticking.
  4. Once the tofu has turned golden add the tomatoes, pineapple, peppers, pre-cooked noodles and the reserved marinade. Stir, cover, and turn heat to low. Cook for 7-10minutes, stirring as needing to prevent sticking. Serve with additional siracha sauce (optional)
http://dancingveggies.com/2012/09/tofu-fighting.html

I have a feeling there are other methods out there for marinating tofu, but I have to say this worked rather well.¬† The tofu had a strong taste to it while remaining as firm as possible for tofu.¬†¬† I’m looking forward to trying out some pre-made marinades and finding out how well those work as well!

No Other Place

Balsamic Eggplant with Rosemary Polenta and Dill Sauce

I mentioned before that when Joe and I were in Austria for our honeymoon I was blown away by all the vegetarian restaurants and options available. ¬†I had accepted that this trip would be filled with cheese sandwiches, potatoes, and garlic soup and was okay with that…more than okay with that in the case of the garlic soup. ¬†However we were able to find plenty of places offering us an Austrian take on vegetarian food. ¬†Our lunch at Nice Rice was one such¬†occurrence, and I was sold the moment I saw polenta listed on the menu. ¬†One of my earliest food memories is of my Grandma making her cabbage and polenta, stirring and stirring the polenta to make sure it was perfectly creamy. ¬†There was a large polenta-free gap during my college years, until I finally had my own kitchen and set out to recreate this delicious side dish. ¬†While I have experimented with garlic polenta and cheesy polenta, I hadn’t explored much in the way of adding herbs. ¬†After this amazing lunch in Austria I can promise that will no longer be the case.

This recipe does have a fair amount of components, but the dill sauce can be made ahead of time as can the salad and salad dressing.  I also used my mandolin in order to speed up the eggplant cutting process tho there is no easy/quick way to make the polenta short of buying pre-made.  I prefer to use Indian Head brand for my polenta, their old fashioned corn meal has always come out perfectly for me.  The only change I make to their instructions is subbing in 1/2 cup of milk for some of the water in order to keep it more like Grandma use to make.

Balsamic Eggplant with Rosemary Polenta and Dill Sauce

4-6

Ingredients

1/2 cup plan Greek Yogurt

2 tbsp fresh dill

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup milk

1 cup old-fashioned corn meal

2 cups boiling water

2 tbsp fresh rosemary

3 tbsp olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup onion, diced

2 lbs eggplant, washed and sliced lengthwise 1/4 in (prep this before starting the polenta)

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1/2 cup goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Blend the greek yogurt and dill until fully mixed. Set aside in fridge (can be done day in advance)
  2. In a large sauce pan whisk the corn meal with the cold water and milk over medium heat. Once well mixed slowly add the boiling water and rosemary, continuing to whisk the mixture as you add. Bring to a quick boil and then turn heat down to a low simmer. Cook for 20-25minutes, stirring as frequently as possible.
  3. In a large saute pan heat the olive oil, garlic, and onion over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook for an additional 10minutes before adding the tomatoes, balsamic, and white wine vinegar. Stir well to make sure eggplant is fully coated in the oil/vinegar mixture. Cook for an additional 7-10 minutes or until the eggplant is soft.
  4. To Serve: Spoon about 1/3 cup of polenta on the bottom of half of a bowl. On the other side place fresh greens (spinach arugula mix in my case). Top the polenta with about 1 tbsp of the goat cheese before topping with the eggplant mixture. Spoon the dill yogurt sauce on top of the eggplant and serve the salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

Notes

Cut the vegetables before starting the polenta, unless you have an extra hand in the kitchen to help with stirring.

http://dancingveggies.com/2012/06/no-other-place.html

I serve this with the salad in the same bowl in order to keep it as close to the original meal as possible.  Sure enough as soon as I had the first bite I was flashing back to Vienna and remembering once again how amazing our honeymoon was.

Work It

Spinach with Roasted Tomato Pizza

I’m writing this, listening to the rain come down, hoping that all the nasty weather will clear up before our flight leaves. ¬†Things have been a little stressful leading up to this trip, making me even more thankful for the timing. ¬†I’m also hoping that I’ll be able to avoid temptation on this trip but I just don’t see that happening, so hopefully all the walking will maybe cancel out the chocolate. ¬†There will also be some changes to DancingVeggies once we get back, but nothing too dramatic. ¬† The good news is that you expect more vegan recipes, including raw-vegan recipes. ¬†I will also be adding some fish to the menu, and removing most of the dairy recipes. ¬†I’m still not sure how everything is going to play out, but that’s okay!

This recipe is unfortunately on the list of things that I will be avoiding going forward. ¬†I will miss my cheesy delicious pizza, but I’m looking forward to experimenting with flatbread recipes and other things that are pizza-like but not quite pizza.

Roasted Tomato and Spinach Pizza

Ingredients

2 tbsp EVOO

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 tsp rosemary

1 1/2 cup baby spinach, well washed and loosely torn

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

1/2 cup Mozzerella Cheese, shredded

favorite pizza crust - note this recipe works best with crusts that go in a warm oven

Instructions

  1. Turn oven to 425. Place the tomatoes in a single layer in a roasting pan, then cover with the EVOO and rosemary. Bake for 15minutes, remove tomatoes and then turn oven up to 450.
  2. Prep your pizza crust with half of the cheeses before adding the tomatoes, spinach and remaining cheese. Bake for 20minutes, or until the crust is brown and the cheese is bubbling.
http://dancingveggies.com/2012/05/work-it.html

The trick with this recipe is cooking the crust as quick as possible so that the tomatoes keep as much shape as possible. ¬†I have been making tomato and spinach pizza for years, but recently decided it needed a new kick. ¬†By pre-roasting the tomatoes with rosemary it really adds a new layer to the pizza, which is another reason why it’s important to bake the crust as quick as possible. ¬†I’ve also tried this recipe with basil and oregano but for now rosemary is the winner.

Falling Down

Pasta Primavera

Spring time is…fresh vegetables, gorgeous greens, and thunder storms. ¬†The rain this year has been rather constant which is probably why my garden is still alive at this point. ¬†I’m hoping that will still be the case when Joe and I return from our honeymoon. ¬†My little sister will be staying with the fur children while we are gone, and will also be monitoring the progress of our garden. ¬†I’m hoping that by time we return the carrots will have sprouted and that the squash will have doubled in size.

This recipe is essentially a salute to everything I love about spring, simple crisp and quick to make. ¬† Originally I wasn’t going to include the tomatoes, since they aren’t a spring vegetables, but I couldn’t resist the heirloom hothouse cherry tomatoes at the market. ¬† The burst of red among the greens created the perfect POP of color, so in the end I’m glad that I caved to temptation.

Pasta Primavera

Ingredients

1/2 lb farfalle or similar pasta

2 tbsp olive oil

3 basil leaves, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup carrots, cut in to 3in pieces

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup broccoli florets

1/2 lb asparagus, broken in to 4in pieces

1/3 cup half & half

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

1/2 cup Mozzerella Cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta per the instructions on the box. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining, and returning pasta to their pot.
  2. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and basil and cook for 5minutes, the basil should shrivel while the garlic should be beginning to brown. Add the carrots, cook an additional 5 minutes, and then add the remaining vegetables.
  3. Cook the vegetables for about 7 minutes, then turn heat to medium-low and add the cream stirring well. Slowly stir in the reserved pasta water along with the cheeses. Allow to simmer over medium low heat for 2 minutes before pouring over the pasta. Toss well and serve!!!
http://dancingveggies.com/2012/05/falling-down.html

This is one of those recipes where so any different vegetables could be used, based on what is in season.   During the summer I tend to replace the asparagus with various types of summer squash, again adding bright pops of color to an already colorful dish.

I’m happy to report that I do have a number of posts all set to go for once we head over the pond! ¬†I can’t wait to see my family in Vienna again, and I’m also looking forward to my first time in London. ¬†I follow a number of UK-based blogs and seeing all of the Jubilee themed¬†posts that are popping up is making me all the more excited for that part of our honeymoon!