Tag Archives: asian

Sushi and pizza: the birthday weekend begins.

Round one of birthday weekend food started with Thursday night sushi.

sweet potato sushiSweet potato, grilled tofu, green onion, avocado, cucumber, sesame seeds. Served with sweet-hot pepper jelly. I love hot pepper jelly.

grilled tofu sushiGrilled tofu, sriracha, cucumber, daikon, avocado, sesame seeds, cilantro leaves.

On Friday night we made homemade pizza with a lot of improvisation. First, I ran out of semolina flour for my usual crust recipe, so I substituted garbanzo bean flour. It worked! Then I ran out of Daiya mozzarella, so I decided to make a Mexican pizza and use the cheddar I had.

Mexican pizzaIt’s topped with smoky oaxaca salsa, seitan chorizo, onions, portabella mushrooms, avocado, cilantro, and Daiya cheddar. It was delicious.


Random Food: Aug. 20-27

vegan firm tofu banh miFirm Tofu Banh Mi from Xinh Xinh Cafe. Cucumber, daikon, onion, carrot, super-hot jalapeños, cilantro, and delicately fried slices of tofu. There are herbs embedded in the tofu. I don’t understand how this is done, and I can’t question the deliciousness.

veggie fried spring rolls with riceVeggie fried spring rolls with rice.

vegan "Big Mac"-style Gardein burgerVegan “Big Mac” Gardein burger. Special sauce, lettuce, homemade pickles, onions, tomato.

pretzel rollsPretzel rolls from Serious Eats, made without the egg white-brushing step.

This Week’s Random Food

Here’s another installment of random things I have eaten this week.

vegan curry udon with tofu and vegetablesBest photo first! This is Curry Udon Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables, from Cravings Restaurant in Champaign. “Meat-Free” Mike from Food For Thought suggested this, and it was excellent. I love the shape of the carrots. Thanks, Mike!

vegan macaroni and cheese with beer cheese sauceNext on the carb parade: Macaroni with Beer Cheese Sauce. We made fondue last weekend, and I tossed the leftover vegan beer cheese sauce with some hot pasta and seasoned it with black pepper. The beer cheese sauce is based on Classic Fondue from The Uncheese Cookbook. It was delicious as a fondue, but subbing all beer for the wine in the original recipe meant the beer flavor was a bit too strong. Next time I’ll go with half veg broth and half beer. Very creamy, cheesy, and easy to make in a blender.

vegan tofu, lettuce, and tomato sandwich with olive saladHere’s a version of one of my favorite vegetarian sandwiches, the Tofulatta from Strawberry Fields in Urbana. The original sandwich contains grilled tofu, lettuce, tomato, provolone, and olive salad. No provolone here, but plenty of yummy olive salad. It’s the Tofuletta!

I am thrilled to have successfully grilled tofu. And now I can’t stop eating it. I used an indoor panini maker, and it was fast and easy.

tofu on the grill

The Best Tofu In The World is from the deli case at Common Ground Food Co-Op, sold in bulk. Thank you to Sarah, my vegetarian friend and colleague, for the suggestion. It’s the perfect firmness, and requires very little pressing. I slice it about 1/2 inch thick, press it briefly between towels, spread it out on a plate, and brush it with a soy/garlic marinade, then grill for about 3 minutes. The texture is great for sandwiches: chewy and a little crisp on the edges. I’m working on a post featuring several marinades. I prefer these a lot over vegan deli slices.

vegan smoky white beans and kaleThese smoky white beans and kale were awesome, and so easy to prepare. I started with roughly-torn kale, sauteed in some olive oil, with garlic and black pepper. When the kale was slightly wilted, I added about 2 cups of leftover canellini beans I had slow-cooked earlier this week, and 1/2 cup of vegetable broth with a few drops of liquid smoke mixed in. I also added vegan bacon bits. In about 10-15 minutes, the kale was tender but not completely mushy – just right.

vegan zucchini pasta with white bean basil sauceThis is a weird late-summer combination resulting from excessive heat and too many produce odds and ends.

The corn is topped with mayonnaise and lime juice, like elotes served from a local Mexican food truck. I’m really not a fan of mayonnaise on corn, but at least I tried it. The tomatoes have bacon bits on them, because I really wanted something with tomato and bacon flavors. The zucchini is sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler. This is the first time I have tried that, and I found that I liked slicing off the outer part of the zucchini only, just down to the seeds. I sliced the leftover seedy “core” I was left with and saved it for smoothies later. Let no vegetable go to waste, right?

The sauce on the zucchini isn’t very visible, but it’s a leftover white bean and basil dip that I made over the weekend. I will definitely post this recipe later, because it’s AWESOME. I was surprised how well it transformed into a creamy sauce over the warm zucchini. I think serving it over wheat pasta would be too bland, but the zucchini “pasta” really works.

vegan Doodles cup: ramen, tofu, bok choy, marinated carrotsThis cup of noodles is from Doodles in Champaign. It’s a little restaurant on campus serving customized bowls of ramen noodles. You can choose your broth flavor (a few flavors are vegan, most surprisingly the “beef” flavor; must be a hydrolyzed soy-based flavoring) and top it with whatever you want. There are a number of meats, of course, and plenty of vegetable options, including vegetable gyoza (not sure if they’re vegan, though).

Confetti Ramen Slaw with Hemp Dressing

confetti ramen salad with hemp oil dressing closeup

crushing ramenI just had a salad like this at a potluck two weeks ago, and couldn’t wait to re-create it. I’m certain it didn’t have hemp oil in the dressing, but I thought the nutty, “green” flavor would work. If you’re not a fan of hemp oil, or can’t find it, you could substitute olive or canola. (I special-ordered mine through Common Ground, and it’s available on Amazon.com.)

Did you know that hemp seeds and oil contain an ideal blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids? The protein and healthy fats provided by the variety of nuts, seeds, and nut oils make this a hearty main dish salad.

If you need help crushing the noodles, recruit the nearest 6-year-old. Have him squish the unopened ramen packets, but beware – if squeezed hard enough, they can explode.

Confetti Ramen Slaw with Hemp Dressing

2 (3 ounce) packages ramen noodles, any flavor (discard packets)
4 cups napa cabbage, finely shredded
2 cups purple cabbage, finely shredded
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 green onions (white and green parts), sliced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted (see note below)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar (or add a pinch of salt if using unseasoned)
1/4 cup hemp oil
1 tsp sesame oil
freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste

lonely pack of ramen noodles with some vegetables
One of these things is not like the others...
Combine all salad ingredients (ramen, vegetables, nuts, and seeds) in a large bowl. In a glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together brown rice syrup and vinegar until combined. Drizzle in oils and whisk until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Dress salad just before serving in order to keep the ramen noodles crunchy.

* Note: To toast nuts, place in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Rotate frequently for even browning. Watch them carefully, as they go from toasty to burn-y in a hurry.

Hello There, Solid Food.

I am recovering from the noro virus that’s been going around lately. Now that I’m back among The Chewing, I felt like some baked tofu. Because I’m tired (and lazy?) I just threw some random things into a bowl for a marinade, swirled it around a few times, and poured it over some sliced lite firm tofu. Results? Chew-riffic.

Nice mild flavor, if a bit salty. I think I baked them at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes, on a lightly-oiled glass casserole dish. I sliced half of the brick into 3 pieces, and the other half into 4 pieces. Thinner slices turned out chewier, a texture that I prefer.

A rough list of ingredients:

  • soy sauce
  • splash of seasoned rice vinegar
  • squirt of agave nectar
  • few drops of dark sesame oil
  • few dashes of garlic powder
  • pinch of crushed red pepper

Slice tofu, press, and marinate for about 1/2 hour. Bake at 375 degrees on a lightly oiled, foil-lined baking sheet or until brown and crisp on the edges, turning at least once.

The tofu was great by itself, but even better in a sushi roll (with shiitake mushroom, cucumber, and cilantro).

Red Curry Vegetable Soup

The first drive home after the switch to non-daylight savings time is always rough. You leave work in twilight, arrive home in total darkness, and feel like crawling directly into bed. Although today was relatively warm (71 degrees!) for early November, a quick and tasty soup still felt appropriate. Here’s a quickie made with leftover coconut milk from the very successful African Peanut Soup we had last week. (Which disappeared almost instantly.)

Red Curry Vegetable Soup

1 cup coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp red curry paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (or yellow, or whatever you have on hand)
1/2 cup thinly-sliced carrots
1/2 cup frozen peas

Saute onions over medium heat in a bit of water until slightly soft. Add garlic and remaining vegetables. Stir in curry paste and cook briefly. Add vegetable broth and simmer until vegetables reach desired doneness. (I like mine a little crispy.)

Add coconut milk and heat through for about 5 minutes. Makes about 2 generous servings.