Egg Foo Young
When I saw the challenge for /52weeksofcooking was to use a TV show for inspiration I realized two things: 1) there aren’t many vegetarians/vegetarian friendly shows on TV and 2) I don’t really watch that much TV. As part of our move we did away with cable, relying on Netflix and honestly haven’t missed “normal” TV at all. So I made a list of possible shows, and then tried to figure out if a vegetarian meal would make sense. Some of the bigger shows, such as House of Cards or Game of Thrones, it was clear from the beginning that going meatless was not an option. I debated making some “fish” fingers with pudding for Doctor Who, but the best part of that is the fish so…I enlisted some outside help. Which lead me to Firely, easily one of the best TV shows ever and one that has a few options when it comes to food. From mock protein bars to anything involving strawberries. however my friend who suggested Firefly also suggested doing an American/Chinese dish (aka what most Chinese restaurants serve) since that’s all the Alliance seems to be made of. I debated the options and decided to go with Egg Foo Young, for while delicious it does resemble the protein dish served during Out of Gas.
As a bonus it turned out Joe had never had this dish, and there’s something rather awesome in introducing someone to a new dish. At some point I want to figure out a way to vegetarianize the sauce that comes with this dish, but it wasn’t until researching it that I found out it normally contains fish sauce as well as shrimp paste – so I probably won’t be ordering this dish anytime soon. Another great thing about this dish is it works well for all meals, I served it as part of a weekend brunch – but typically order it as part of dinner. Nothing like a quick and versatile meal 🙂
Spicy Chili Peanut Sauce
For the most part my house is a peanut free place, since I find my husband functions best when not dealing with an allergic reaction. However this move has us spending work days apart while I wrap things up in NoVa, and he starts his new position in Maryland. Needless to say I have gone a bit peanut crazy, to include eating peanut butter straight out of the jar. The other week I was doing a basic stir-fry when I decided to add some peanut butter to the dish, to see what would happen. The result was incredible so I decided I had to replicate it and figure out how to get the perfect balance between the spicy chili and the delicious peanut butter.
The first time I made this dish I wasn’t sure how things were going to go, but learned once again that randomly experimenting with ingredients can produce spectacular results. One tip, if using creamy peanut butter make sure to add some fresh peanuts to the dish in order to keep the satisfying crunch! I’m sending this over to 52weeksofcooking for their nuts week, which I’m thankful fell during the time when my hubby was out of the house 🙂
Sriracha White Bean Dip
Time for the July installation of Secret Recipe Club! This month I was assigned Beth’s It’s Good to be the Chef Blog, which is full of awesome recipes and restaurant reviews. I knew this would be the perfect match when I saw all her comments about Wegmans (!!!) and Thai food – plus she’s also been to Zahav which is one of the most amazing restaurants ever. I had a hard time figure out what to recipe to make but in the end my garden decided for me. I had been hoping to make one of her many tomato focused recipes, either her mom’s baked tomatoes or her roasted tomato spinach pasta or maybe the Blue Cheese Spinach Orzo. In the end however I couldn’t find any suitable tomatoes and went for spicy Sriracha White Bean Dip. I’ve mentioned my love of sriracha before but never would have thought to make a dip of it that also include curry powder. I did make a few changes, leaving out the lime juice for allergy reasons and upping the garlic content. This dip came together oh so quickly and was spicy perfection with just the right amount of kick.
I brought this simple dip over to a family bbq and it was an instant hit, especially on top of the sundried tomato wheat thins. The leftovers became parts of a lunch wrap, just added some lettuce, olives, and carrots – perfect quick and healthy lunch!
Sesame Green Beans
Good morning from gorgeous sunny (seriously!!!) London! Our trip has reached it’s halfway point and so far everything has been amazing. There are so many recipes I can’t wait to test out when I get home, from sweet to savory all things I’m sure my hubby will love. Today is another packed day on the agenda, starting with Hampton Court Palace (Henry VIII) and ending with a show at The Globe. I still can’t believe how many things we have been able to do, and being just halfway there are still so many things to look forward to.
Today’s recipe is one of my favorite Asian-inspired sides – and perfect for spring when green beans are starting to pop up in large amounts. Seeing the local produce, especially that in Cardiff, has me eager to go home to tend to my garden in hopes of producing similarly enticing.
To turn this simple side in to a vegan feast simply add some tofu to the pan after the sesame seeds have finished toasting and double the sauce. Eggplant and broccoli also go great in place of, or with, the green beans. I’m sending this quick dish over to the Fabulous Ren and her awesome Simple and in Season challenge – hello May and welcome Spring!
Chili Garlic Bok Choy with Tofu
An excuse to make spicy food?!?!? Sign me up! I was thrilled when I saw the theme this week for /52week was spicy, as it gave me an excuse to experiment with all my chili pastes. I decided to keep the other ingredients rather basic, since the point of the dish was the sauce and not the proteins. With some of the sauces I blended all of the liquids in advance and then stirred them in, however this time I decided to add things in layers in order to have more control over the final result. With my new chili garlic paste I have three different chili based pastes, and every time I cook with them I’m amazed with how complex and different they taste.
Sesame Oil has also become my new bff, since it gives a nutty flavor to dishes without the risks of nuts. I’m also thrilled that so far I’ve been able to keep to my goal of doing as many of the 52week challenges vegan as possible. While I don’t see myself going vegan, pending vegan Ritter Sports bars, I love pushing myself outside of my normal cooking comfort zone.
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 🙂 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.
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!