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.
Welcome to March’s Secret Recipe Club! It feels so awesome to be joining the SRC again after taking my baby break – I missed the fun that comes with being sent a blog to explore. This month I was given Sid’s Sea Palm Cooking, a blog I was very familiar with thanks to Facebook and previous SRC reveals. I had a very hard time picking a recipe this month as Sid’s blog is stuffed to the gills with all sorts of recipes including retro favorites and Danish treats. Two of the “finalists” were part of the Danish block: Baked Omelette and Cauliflower with Herbs. In the end I could not get past her Chicken Acapulco recipe and decided that I had to give it a whirl. I replaced the chicken with extra firm tofu and since I was unable to find the McCormick meat seasoning in the original recipe I made my own.
Fantastic! The spices and the cheese went together perfectly and by giving the tofu enough time to drain it was really able to soak up all the flavors. We enjoyed ours taco style for dinner and as a burrito bowl the next day with some Spanish style rice – adding some fresh avocado and green pepper each time. I had never heard of acapulco chicken (or tofu!) before finding this recipe but now it will be on regular rotation. It might require a number of bowls but it comes together super quick. For a real short cut, pick up some fresh made pico de gallo at the grocery store. Another great recipe thanks to the Secret Recipe Club!!!
In an attempt to get my kitchen mojo back, I’ve once again joined the /52weeksofcooking group in the hopes that their weekly challenge would get me going again. They are now on week 10 while I’m just now doing my second post – needless to say I’m still a work in progress! This week the challenge was Japanese and while I debated doing a tempura I couldn’t get over the idea of trying a Japanese curry similar to one I had in Pittsburgh a few summers ago. Luckily the internet provided me with lots of ideas, so I took the common ingredients from all of them and then winged the rest of it!
I could say this was a huge hit but that doesn’t begin to cover it – this is one of the only curries where husband has wanted seconds! He couldn’t get over how savory it was – all the flavors working together. So good he didn’t believe it was vegan, BIG bonus there.
Make sure to come back Monday for February’s BONUS Secret REcipe Club post. It’s the 5th Monday of the month and this time the special theme is Spring & Bunnies.
Mulligatawny Style Curry
I have a curry addiction, I’ll admit it – it’s totally true. I love the spice, both the heat and the flavor, and the fact that it warms me up on even the coldest day. With the Siberian Vortex currently coming down on the Mid-Atlantic a bit of heat and spice is very much needed and appreciated. Still in shock over how low the temperatures have been and are going to be, just totally ridiculous especially since I’m technically in the south. Anyway, enough about the weather cuz it’s time to time to focus on the curry. I can’t remember the first time I had mulligatawny stew but it had to be years ago as it involved chicken. Which is why I set out to create a vegan version, no chicken involved!
For dinner we enjoyed the stew as is, while I added lentils the next day in order to make it go a bit further. For those who don’t want all the spice feel free to drop the cayenne powder – or switch for something milder. Whatever works best for you!
Every now and then I tend to bite off more than I can chew when it comes to blog challenges, and this week’s r/52weeksofcooking is a prime example. The theme this week was Indian which is a cuisine I’m familiar with and have done a few times in the past. However I wanted to try something different so instead of my standard tomato based curry I decided to attempt a yogurt based dish, and then go the extra step in making it vegan. I researched a variety of different dishes before finally deciding on Navratan Korma which translates to Nine Gems Curry. For my nine gems I settled on: peas, green beans, Indian Eggplant, green bell pepper, tofu (or paneer), Indian red chilies, shallots, cashews, and carrots. I debated about using cauliflower or broccoli but it’s still too early in the season for them and couldn’t find any at the local market. Needless to say this is a very (very!!!) prep-heavy dish with lots of cleaning and cutting.
I started prep work with the tofu in order to give it time to press before moving on to the eggplant, for similar reasons, and then all the remaining vegetables. To figure out the right spices I looked at a variety of online recipes before finally settling on the below combination. For a more traditional dish use paneer in place of tofu, just keep it mind it will cook a lot faster than tofu and might require additional vegetable oil in order to brown.
I served the cashews only on top of mine since I couldn’t find a bag that was marked in such a way to indicate it was 100% peanut free. This dish might have taken a while to get started but it’s incredibly quick to come together and delicious – making all the cutting worth it! I also have a feeling this dish would work well in a slow cooker and look forward to testing that theory shortly.
Note: I’m submitting this to the So Delicious Dairy Free Recipe Contest
Time for the April installment of the Secret Recipe Club!!!! This month I was assigned the incredible Ilona’s Kitchen blog which is packed to the brim with delicious treats – both sweet and savory! As always I had a hard time finding the perfect recipe, something that would be different than the normal and showcase the delicious recipes on her blog. After much debate I decided to go with one of her two (!!!) recipes for Sloppy Joe’s, figuring if they were such a hit with her munchkin they would also go over well with my husband. In honor of the vegan twist on this recipe I’m renaming them Sloppy Joey’s, and my Joey seems to have no issue sharing his name with this incredible dinner! Other than the vegan twist most of the recipe is as you will find it on Ilona’s Kitchen, as long as your overlook my avoidance of celery in this dish in favor of more peppers.
These came together in record time, the only trick was finding a vegetarian friendly Worcestershire sauce. In the end I wound up making my own using this guide from the incredible Martha Stewart. I have to say this homemade version was far better than any I had before, and used the extra sauce as a topping for the mashed potatoes that I served with my Sloppy Joey’s . Thanks Ilona’s Kitchen for an incredible dinner idea!
Mega Tofu Nachos
This week the challenge for /52weeksofcooking wasn’t a real challenge, at least not for me. This week we had to cook with tofu, something that I’m more than a little familiar with. However I still wanted to get something out of this challenge so I started thinking about all the different ways that I could use tofu, as well as recipes that I could reinvent using tofu. I also wanted to clean out my fridge of some leftovers from another challenge, namely homemade salsa and guacamole. After much debate I was stuck between tofu rancheros and tofu nachos, with the nachos winning out. For the tofu I decided I wanted it to be more than just a topping and decided to spice it up a bit. In order to achieve that, this tofu was pressed for just over 30 minutes to make sure there was no liquid left.
The original idea was these nachos would be an appetizer but in the end they were so filling that they became the entree. Precooking the tofu gave them a slight crunch which was perfect since I was slightly concerned the tofu was going to fall apart. This might not have been the healthiest of dinners but it went well with our West Wing marathon so I’ll just have to behave the rest of the week.