6/25/15

Smokey Mexican-style Scrambled Tofu Recipe (Vegan)


Sometimes you just have to have breakfast for dinner, right? Here, the usual scrambled tofu gets dressed up all-fancy-like for a nighttime rendez-vous with a smokey flavorful twist. Sexy!



Smokey Mexican-style Scrambled Tofu Recipe
2-4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 TB cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 TB ground coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or hing)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped organic red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup sweet grape tomatoes
  • 1 block of firm organic tofu (with all the water pressed out!)
  • fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tsp smoked sea salt (to taste) (use sea salt if you can't find smoked salt)
  • 1 15 ounce can of fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/8 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/8 cup canned chopped mild chilies
  • 1/2 TB Valentina salsa picante
  • 1/2 TB Cholula Chipotle Hot Sauce


Directions

  • Over medium heat, add your dry spices. Saute for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add red peppers and whole grape tomatoes and saute until the red pepper start to soften.
  • Add the whole block of tofu to the middle of the pan (make sure you have enough oil, you may need to add a touch more). Add salt and pepper to the block and mash it with a potato masher. Stir. Smash the softened tomatoes with the masher as well. It's fun, right? 
  • Add the contents of the fire roasted tomatoes, including liquid, to the tofu and bring down the heat to med-low. Let simmer with the occasional stir for about 10-15 minutes. You want the tofu to absorb all the delicious flavors!
  • Add the black olives, mild chilies, and the hot sauces (Tip: You can buy both of these salsas at Target!). Cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Serve with hash browns and top with your favorites like salsa, cilantro, avocado, sour cream or cheese. 
  • Tip: Use leftovers as a nacho topper, filling for a breakfast burrito, over ripe avocado slices, or bake it with rice, cheese, and hash browns in a casserole dish. And yes, you can use onions in this recipe, but I don't eat onions so I didn't include them! Enjoy!



6/6/15

The Best Thing I Ever Ate...


Oh hey! I'm here! And guess what? Last weekend, the mister and I went on a date. We've been so busy that we didn't plan anything beyond getting a babysitter. We just kind of got in the car, looked at each other and said, "So where to?" We both agreed heading to Philly would be a great idea and ultimately, to throw caution to the wind and head to Vedge WITHOUT A RESERVATION! Oooh... we're crazy! But, you know what, we got a table right away! Miracles do happen!

We had the usuals, including the world's most tender, juicy, perfectly charred seitan, but the star of the night was the stuffed avocado. I was a little disappointed that my husband picked it as his small plate (I mean, avocado? We have them all the time; so boring!), but I am so, so, so glad he did.

It. Was. Amazing!

Served on a schmear of romesco (a fave; see my recipe here), and cradled by a crispy rice cake, it was lovingly and artfully topped with pickled riced cauliflower, micro-greens, and lightly dusted with black salt. The actual avocado was tender and creamy, and the combination of the pickle and sulphury black salt brought back warm and fuzzy memories of my mom's famous potato salad (My favorite, but she uses real mayo and boiled eggs, so I haven't had it in about 20 years!).

I cannot stop thinking about this plate. I crave it. I want it! Simply brilliant. When you go to Vedge, please order this beauty. Your belly and mind will be so pleased with you!

PS:  Honey, I'll have more faith next time! Promise.

1/28/15

Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I took this picture with my phone because I broke my SD card. How on earth did that happen!?!?

In the not-so-mega-blizzard (in the Philly area, at least), I promised my kids, who were home due to an early dismissal from school, that we would make cookies. I just wanted to turn on the oven and warm up the kitchen, honestly. Of course, I wanted to experiment. Could I replace shortening in a recipe with coconut oil? It's solid at room temperature and melts easily, just like the hydrogenated oil, but without all that artery-clogging ick.

Despite the groans of my kids, they decided to indulge my cookie-making-purism and I rested the dough in the refrigerator for 24-hours before baking (this helps the sugar fully melt, the gluten to rest, and the once former solids to solidify again [something that I have found in egg-free baking to be very important to getting cookies that don't overly spread]). Turns out, we never got the blizzard here. Barely even a dusting of snow! The kids who were so looking forward to spending the day at home, had to drag themselves to class. But, at least, they had cookies to look forward to when they got home!

I was a bit worried that the cookies would taste too much like coconut because the batter really smelled coconut-y and they even smelled super tropical while baking. The taste, however, was not in the least bit coconut-y! Once the cookies set, they had a great texture (cakey, yet dense and chewy, crispy on the outside) and held up really well. The experiment worked and it was delicious!

Note: I used Trader Joe's organic, virgin, cold-pressed and unrefined coconut oil. 

Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
egg-free, vegan-friendly, makes about 36

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter or vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup full-fat unflavored or vanilla yogurt (I used coconut yogurt. If you don't have, use 2 flax eggs.)
  • 1 TB real vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup AP Flour (I used organic!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips (You could use a mix of chocolate--dark and semi-sweet.)
  • optional: Kosher or flake sea salt for a light sprinkling on top of the cookies. Just a couple of flakes for each cookie!)


Directions

  1. In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, combine butter and sugars and beat until creamy. Add vanilla and coconut oil, beat until fully mixed. Add yogurt and mix again.
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda and powder. Add salt. Add the dry mix in batches to the wet mix until jus combined. 
  3. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Chill dough overnight, covered.
  5. Next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  6. Scoop out cookie dough in rounded tablespoons and place about 2" apart on prepared cookie sheet. Do not flatten! If using a salt sprinkle, now is the time to do it! You just need a very, very small amount.
  7. Bake for 9-10 minutes. The center of the cookie should appear slightly (slightly!) undone, but there should be spots of brown on top as well (I learned this trick from the sweet Doron from Sticky Finger's fame). Let chill on sheet for about a minute and then transfer to a wire rack. I totally think they are the best when they have fully chilled and set, so try to resist eating them when they are still warm! Trust me!

12/15/14

Vegan Gingerbread Waffles (A Cheater Recipe!)

I'm always one for a hey-why-not when cooking. I mean, you know that is what the person who  dipped a pretzel in chocolate for the first time thought. All good inventions start with curiosity.

So, on a Sunday morning, I saw the Trader Joe's gingerbread box mix on the shelf, I thought, "Hey! Why not! Let's try making it into waffles!" Voila! Worked out perfectly! The mix makes a very gingery, moist and yummy breakfast delight. Just use the appropriate vegan substitutions (which is the equivalent of an egg replacement) and you've got yourself an easy, festive treat for holiday mornings! For serving, I sprinkled mine with organic powdered sugar (available at Whole Foods).

12/2/14

Late Fall


Where does the time go? I have all these recipes that I started to post, but never finished. Since I hate loose ends, I had it in my mind that I couldn't post anything until I posted those recipes. You know what, I probably will never complete them, so let's move on! I've also been super busy with my shop, New Sweden Vintage, and honestly, don't have as much time to spend here. I do, however, have a few ideas for crafts and some cookie recipes for the holidays, so I'll make sure not to ignore Scissors and Spice. I promise!

Here are a handful of random shots from the last few weeks. In between packing orders and 3rd-grade homework, there's been lots of walks in the woods, baking (yay! cold weather!), coffee dates, and trips to New York.


Pumpkin cinnamon rolls from Trader Joe's.


Baked cauliflower curries, pre-baking.


Coffee dates at Philter in Kennet Square, PA. Seriously, the best mocha lattes this side of the Mississippi!


One of my favorite parts of going to New York City is taking the kids to the playgrounds. This one is right on the Hudson in Battery Park City.


My kids exploring the Irish Hunger Memorial.


I don't know why, but I was seriously geeking out over the colors of fall this year (I probably have about a thousand photos of foliage alone). We've been spending lots of time out in nature as a family, exploring the woods, and going for long walks along the Brandywine River.