Tofu Mushroom Cabbage Stir Fry
Happy 4th of July and with that, welcome to July’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club! This month I got to visit Alaska by way of Anna’s Cheese with Noodles Blog. I loved her in her intro she was up front about blog pictures, something that I’m so bad about that I have my husband do it for me! I found so many incredible recipes on her blog including baked tofu bites and a corn pudding recipe so amazing it survived a divorce. In the end however I couldn’t move past her Pork Mushroom Cabbage Stir Fry after reading that it’s so good it should be in a restaurant. I swapped the pork for tofu and waited until the end to season the dish as tofu has a tendency to go from just right to over salted super easily. I also used baby bella mushrooms as my store was out of the full size variety – luckily Anna’s recipe included the weight so that was a super easy swap to make! She didn’t say what type of cabbage to use so I went with red over Chinese but either would work.
Another fabulous dinner thanks to the secret recipe club! I also reserved a bit of the red cabbage to steam with some apples and ginger for baby girl’s dinner and she was also a huge fan! I’m also in the process of joining some other food groups – hoping that eventually my cooking spark will come back as little one gets older. I still enjoy spending time in the kitchen but it’s no longer the sanctuary it once was.
Offal Vinegar Veggies
There’s one thing for certain: /52weeksofcooking challenges certainly force me to think outside the box. This week the challenge was “offal”, aka the parts of the animal that even the craziest of meat eaters tend to avoid. While I have indulged in a few of them, mostly while overseas and always while a guest, I knew that I was going to have to be creative when it came time to find a way to vegetarianize this challenge. Thankfully the mods are very flexible and open and extended the definition to includes parts of the vegetable that aren’t typically used. While I generally save my scraps for vegetable soup, I had a lot of cabbage pieces and so decided to toss a bunch of scraps and peels in a pot with vinegar. To make it a bit more substantial, I added some cannellini beans but these veggies would be fine sans beans along with some bbq tofu.
Certainly not your typical offal dish, but a great way for using up ingredients that might otherwise have been tossed. It’s not often that we have leftover cabbage in the house but this was a great way to use those last few leafs – and the beets scraps turned everything a fantastic shade!
Welcome to the FINAL Secret Recipe Club for 2014! I can’t believe this year is almost over – it has flown by way faster than I thought possible. While the year hasn’t been the best at times, I’ve come out of it stronger – or at least more determined than ever to succeed. Enough about that, time to focus on the recipe! This month I was assigned the Saturday Evening Pot which is run by a husband wife duo, which is rather awesome. Their motto is “Faith, Family, Food: Flavors of a Fabulous Life” and fully covers everything they feature on their blog. There are so many amazing recipes on their blog, some created by Chef John while others are ones sent in from friends all over the globe. I was immediately drawn to their Okinawa Cooking Class recipe for Yoka Soba – minus the pork of course! Instead I greatly increased the amount of vegetables already featured in the dish, to include adding in a second type of cabbage.
I also added some sesame seeds for a crunch, but that’s just me – they can easily be left out. For those craving a meaty version, please check out the original recipe! I also have a feeling tofu would work great, but still on a low-soy diet as we get ready for next round of fertility treatments. In theory our transfer will be in a few weeks so will know if it worked sometime around the start of the year. If it doesn’t work, then we’ll be going for a session every other month for essentially the entire year. A lot to take in – but hopeful that 2015 will be our year!
In food news, there is a mini-SRC post coming up in two weeks so for those of you looking for something sweet make sure to come back on the 15th! The next “real” SRC post will be in early February, which seems so far off now but will be here in just a blink of an eye.
It can be a little rough be a vegetarian during cook-out season – more often than not the sides aren’t even veggie friendly! Since I’ve been hosting a large number of gatherings at my house this year (wahOo owning an indoor grills!) I’ve made it my mission to create and serve sides that work for vegans and meat eaters alike! This coleslaw is kid, gamer, vegan, and celiac approved so it probably doesn’t get much better. In order to replicate the texture and consistency of mayo, without going fully over to the soy side, I used a mixture of vegenaise and almond milk based greek yogurt.
I’ve been switching back between green and red cabbage all summer, and in the end I think I prefer a combination. The red cabbage adds just a bit of tang while the green cabbage is sweeter, at least when it goes to the local options. The coleslaw also tastes great the next day, just be sure to keep it well covered! I’m also sending this over to /52weeks of cooking for there America challenge as nothing says summer in the US so much as having friends over for a bbq – complete with some delicious coleslaw!
One thing I love about blog challenges is that they push me out of my comfort zone, on the flip side one thing I hate about blog challenges is how they push me out of my comfort zone. When I saw the theme for /52weeksofcooking was Filipino I was once again thrown for a loop – but unlike other challenges were I was totally in the dark at least this time I had some friends who could help out. After crowd sourcing ideas and recipes, I decided to make a vegetarian variation of Pancit – a dish I had heard of but never experienced. Traditionally this dish features one of the white meats and while I debated adding tofu I decided to stick with the normal vegetables featured in the dish just in MUCH larger amounts.
I was blown away but how flavorful this dish was, especially considering how quickly it came together. Based on the fact he took his chopsticks directly to the pot I think it’s safe to say my other half also greatly enjoyed this dish! Next time I might leave out the teriyaki sauce since the recipes I found online were rather split on including it – but it was a nice addition to the dish! Looking forward to seeing where /52weeksofcooking sends me next!
Second /52weeksofcooking post for 2014 – this week Poland/Polish was the theme and my cousin supplied the recipe. I was lucky enough to travel to Poland as part of my college term abroad and it was fantastic. From the Perogi bar to the S. American restaurant in the basement of an old building. Personal favorite was hearing about the story of St. Mary’s Basilica followed by shopping in the outdoor market. It was an awesome trip and I would love to go back again, and hopefully make it up to Warsaw. Today’s dish isn’t one I was lucky enough to have over there, but when I told my cousin that I was in need of a Polish dish it sounded perfect.
I love how fast this dish came together, and while the amount of butter is higher than I would like there is nothing wrong with an occasional splurge. I thought about reducing the butter in favor of more olive oil but was told that the key to the dish was butter and lots of it – so butter it was!
Sour Red Cabbage
Confession: I’ve never been a huge fan of pickled/brined vegetables – with the exception of dill pickles. So when I saw the challenge for /52weeksofcooking this week was brining, I was more than a little nervous. Since this isn’t the right time of year for cucumbers I decided I had to branch out – and while a full out canning operation is out of the question right now I found a number of quick pickle recipes and decided to give one of them a whirl. While most of the recipes I found featured radishes and carrots, I had seen some great looking red cabbage at the market and decided to give that a go!
I served this warm with dirty rice and it was incredible! The sour crunch of the cabbage was perfection, especially against the spicy and soft dirty rice. The best part is how tasty this was the next day, which is why in the future I would make this dish the night before instead of the morning of. All in all it was a great introduction to the world of brining, and maybe next fall I’ll be brave enough to make my own pickles.