5/31/11

Spice in the Kitchen: Vegan Korean Barbecue Tofu Ribs

Vegan Korean tofu BBQ "ribs" served over vegan Asian-style coleslaw

What are you going to do with your TofuXpress when you win one on Scissors and Spice? Try this recipe. It will knock your flip flops off!


Vegan Korean Barbecue Tofu Ribs Recipe (vegan, gluten free if you use wheat free tamari)
serves 2-4, prep time 20 minutes, waiting time, approximately 1 hr. and 30 minutes (or overnight)


Ingredients
  • 1 block of extra firm, organic tofu (pressed using the TofuXpress)
  • 2 TB soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 TB brown sugar
  • 2 TB pineapple juice (optional)
  • 1 TB minced garlic (or 1 tsp of hing)
  • 1 TB toasted sesame seeds
  • dash black pepper
  • 1/8 cup of water
  • 1 TB cornstarch
Marinating in the TofuXpress and bloggin'.



Directions

1) Press tofu using the TofuXpress. Drain excess water and remove tofu. Set the tension spring lid aside.
2) Slice the block in half across the widest part and then cut 3/4 inch "rib" strips.
3) Take the bottom of the TofuXpress off the main body (this becomes the marinating lid!). Whisk your marinade ingredients together in the TofuXpress pan. Place the tofu ribs back in the container, place the lid on top (tightly) and shake the tofu in the marinade to get the marinading process going. Place the TofuXpress back in the fridge. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, but 3-4 hours or overnight is ideal.

The pressed, marinated tofu on the baking sheet, pre-baking.





4.) Preheat oven to 450.
5.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with oil.
6.) Remove tofu "ribs" from marinade, shake off any excess liquid back into the marinating tray, and place each rib on the baking sheet. Reserve remaining liquid.
7.) Place the baking sheet in the oven for 20 minutes (or until the ribs are golden brown with some dark brown edges). Flip each one once 10 minutes into baking with metal tongs.

Pretty tofu all pressed, marinated and baked!

8.) In a medium saucepan, over low to medium heat, whisk the remaining marinade (make sure you scoop up any settled cornstarch into the saucepan) plus 1 TB soy sauce until it thickens.
9.) Add the baked tofu and stir until the ribs are coated.
10.) Serve over Scissor and Spice's recipe for "Vegan Asian Style Coleslaw."

Spice in the Kitchen: Vegan Asian-Style Coleslaw





Vegan Asian-Style Coleslaw Recipe (vegan)
serves 4-6; prep time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 7 cups +/- shredded cabbage, purple cabbage and carrots (or 1 bag of coleslaw mix)
  • 1 TB peanut oil
  • 1 TB sesame oil
  • 1 TB hoisin sauce
  • 1.5 TB soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup Veganaise
  • 2 TB rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 TB sugar
  • 2 TB finely minced cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha

Directions

  1. Whisk together all ingredients except shredded cabbage.
  2. Toss cabbage mix and dressing together.
  3. To serve, top with peanuts or sesame seeds.

Scissors & Spice Giveaway: Enter to Win an Awesome TofuXpress!

The TofuXpress is "a versatile food press that presses tofu, veggies, cheese, and other foods. Make vegan cheese, macrobiotic salads, and more! Press water out, let flavor in!"



If you have been following Scissors and Spice, you know how I have often extolled the virtues of one of my favorite kitchen gadgets, the TofuXpress.

The TofuXpress presses excess water out of foods in a quick and efficient way. No more stacking heavy cans and water filled pots on top of your tofu to squeeze out its excess water! This makeshift process always takes too long, squashes your tofu, makes a mess and never really removes all of the water. Who needs to deal with that malarkey? You've got better things to do!

The lid press the tofu and then snaps into place.


With the TofuXpress, you place your block of tofu in the press, place the tension spring lid on top of the tofu, snap the lid into place, and the gentle, even pressure compresses the tofu and rids it of any water. The best part is, you can leave it in the fridge while all this magic is happening! Once you drain the water, the tofu can then be neatly marinated in the press tray! Ingenious! And the way the tofu fries and bakes after it has been pressed is like nothing you have experienced before.

Look at how much water was removed after only 5 minutes!

But wait! There's more! The TofuXpress works for more than tofu! Remember when I was into the Bahn Mi making? When I would pickle daikon for the sandwiches, I used have to salt it and then it sit a paper towel lined colander for at least an hour to remove the vegetable's water. With the TofuXpress, it took about 5 minutes, and there was no mess! Hoo-ray!

Ok, enough of my crushin' on the TofuXpress! Are you ready to WIN one?


Follow these steps for your chance to win a TofuXpress:
  1. Follow @tofuxpress on Twitter and/or,
  2. Like TofuXpress on Facebook and/or,
  3. Subscribe to TofuXpress's blog (by subscribing to the RSS feed). (While you are on the site, check out the how-to videos.)
  4. After you have accomplished all those fun things, come back here and leave a comment on this post.
Want a better chance? Leave ONE EXTRA COMMENT on this post for each of the following:

  • Tweet about Scissors & Spice's TofuXpress contest with a link to this posthttp://www.scissorsandspice.com/2011/05/scissors-spice-giveaway-enter-to-win.html
  • Post to Facebook about the contest with a link to this post.
  • Blog about the contest on your own blog with a link to this post.

All together you can enter the contest 4 times! Lucky you! Whoo-hoo!

The fine print:
One TofuXpress will be given away. The contest will end on Thursday, June 9, 2011 and the winner will be picked by Randomizer. You must be a US resident to enter.  Come back next Thursday to see if you have won and I'll get your contact info. The TofuXpress will be sent directly to you from the company. 


Thanks to TofuXpress for partnering with Scissors and Spice!

Good luck and happy pressing!
http://www.tofuxpress.com/ Made in the USA!

5/30/11

Get Ready! Get Set!


Are you ready to win something super, duper cool? Then make sure you:

1)Have a Facebook account.
2)Have a Twitter account.
3)Live in the USA!


And then tomorrow, Tuesday, May 30, 2011, check back here at Scissors and Spice to find out what awesome gadget you could win! Yay!

5/29/11

Spice in the Kitchen: Eggless, Gluten-free Fudge Brownies



My friend, Deva, editor of Sabjimata, sent me this recipe for eggless brownies a year or two ago and it has always proven to be a big hit with everyone who has had the pleasure of munching on their chewy goodness. More like a fudge recipe than a brownie one (due to its use of condensed milk), it packs a major chocolate punch.

Since it only calls for 3/4 of a cup of flour (in a 1/2 recipe, using an 8x8 pan), I thought it would be an easy recipe to make a gluten-free conversion. Having had both the flour version, and the gluten-free versions, I think I like this one better! It has a very, very subtle coconut flavor and lacks the grittiness normally associated with gluten-free desserts.




Egg-Free, Gluten-Free Fudge Brownie Recipe
serves 12-24 (depending on the size of the brownie); prep and baking time: 30 minutes

Follow Sabjimata's recipe here using these changes:

Substitute the 1.5 cups of flour the recipe calls for by using:

I also added:
  • 1 tsp of espresso powder
  • dash of cinnamon

Notes:
  • Use gluten-free vanilla.
  • Use gluten-free chocolate chips.
  • Chocolate chips can be pressed onto the top of the batter (that's already been put into the baking pan) before it's put in the oven.

5/27/11

Gotta Buy It: Trader Joe's Vegan Coconut Chocolate Ice Cream

Holy coconut! Trader Joe's new coconut chocolate ice cream is pure vegan goodness. So creamy and so rich. Not an overly chocolate-y, it definitely tastes like its yummy coconut cream base. You gotta be careful though, a 1/2 cup has a whopping 180 calories, so don't buy it if you don't trust yourself around heaven.

Restaurant Review: Loving Hut, Philadelphia, PA


Summer Rolls

The Loving Hut Wrap

Garlic Sauce Creamy Pasta, Fried Vegan Drumstick and Golden Nuggets

Dirty toddler hands and a strawberry banana smoothie

The family and I were in South Philly a couple of weeks ago, so we stopped at Loving Hut for a quick vegan bite to eat. We ordered a few appetizers and two sandwiches along with a strawberry banana smoothie. The waitstaff were all very nice and the cafe has very casual atmosphere.

The smoothie went over great with the kids; it had a very floral note to the flavor reminiscent of a bubble tea. For the kids, I ordered the "Garlic Sauce Creamy Pasta" and the "Golden Nuggets." Neither would touch the pasta that had potatoes and broccoli mixed in, but I loved it. The Golden Nuggets had a mild flavor and they both ate them without complaint. The "Fried Vegan Drumsticks" were overly cooked and not edible. My husband really enjoyed his "Loving Hut Wrap" and said he would order it again, but I didn't think it was anything special. I also ordered the "Summer Rolls" and "The Loving Hut Sandwhich" (sorta of like a Bahn Mi). Both were good, but we had to ask where they were since they came far after the other plates had been delivered. The summer rolls were overly stuffed, but still had a great flavor. I had the Loving Hut Sandwich the next day; a good sandwich, but not like the Bahn Mi I wanted it to be. It needed more cilantro. One of the best parts about Loving Hut is that it is incredibly cheap! This is the perfect place for a vegan college student.

Would I go again? Maybe. Loving Hut was not a hit with my kids, so we wouldn't go as a family. But if I was on that part of South Street and needed a quick bite, sure. Overall, I'd give it 6 out of 10 stars.

Loving Hut Philadelphia
742 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147-2023
(215) 454-2898
www.lovinghut.us/philadelphia_01/

5/26/11

Gotta Buy It: House Industries' Freshly Pulled Prints





Looky, looky! House Industries has some hand pulled prints available for sale (get them before they are gone; some are almost sold out!). At $45 a piece, they're an inexpensive way to add some pizzaz to those greige walls in your living room. Now, if IKEA could make their frames standard US sizes, we'd be looking good.

5/25/11

Spice in the Kitchen: Vegan Shepherd's Pie


My dad had a repertoire of things he'd make for me, my sisters and brother. Stuffed peppers, beef stew, Lipton burgers, veal patties (gross, I know!) slathered in tomato sauce, chow mein, chicken with broccoli, Hamburger Helper and shepherd's pie. The later was seriously one of my favs growing up. Here's a version that's fit for a gentler shepherd.

Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie Recipe
serves 6-8;  45-60 minutes to make

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups of lentils
  • 5 cups of water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6-5 medium potatoes
  • 1/4 cup +/- vegan margarine
  • 3/4 cup +/- non-dairy milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of diced celery
  • 1/2 cup of shredded carrots
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 tsp hing (or saute garlic and onions to your taste)
  • 1 tsp dried powdered sage
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary (crush it)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 TB nutritional yeast
  • 2 TB soy sauce
  • 3 TB tomato paste (you can also use ketchup!)
  • corn and/or peas


Directions

  1. Place water, bay leaf and lentils in a pan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are soft but not falling apart. When done, drain any remaining liquid. Remove bay leaf.
  2. Boil potatoes until pierceable by fork. Mash with margarine and milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. They should be thick, not watery, so adjust liquid accordingly. Set aside.
  3. In a large sauté pan, heat oil and then add your spices/herbs, then add celery and carrots and sauté for a few minutes. Add nooch, soy sauce and tomato paste, stir. 
  4. Add lentils to pan and cook for a few minutes. Add salt to taste.
  5. In about a 9x13 greased baking dish, layer all the lentils, then your corn or peas, and then mashed potatoes on top. Make sure your mash is covering all corners. Pat down.
  6. Place in a 350 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes. To brown the top, place under broiler for a few minutes. (Keep an eye on it if you do this--don't let it burn!)
  7. Let cool for about 10-15 minutes before serving!

Workin' on It: Courier Tote Bag Tutorial

I wish I was Martha Stewart and had a craft wing in my house, but my dining room table will do.

I'm working on getting a tutorial together for you on how to make a courier style tote bag, but my sewing machine is not cooperating. Read: I can't find the instructional manual and I totally forgot how to thread my bobbin. I'm sure I'll be able to find the answer by googling it. See, I "sew" and I have no idea what I'm doing, so if I can do it, you can too! It's the last day of school for my son's baby preschool, so who knows when I'm going to be able to revisit.

While you are waiting for me to get my act together, get a Twitter and Facebook account, because you'll need one for the giveaway next week. And then, come back to tonight for a recipe for lentil shepherd's pie.

5/24/11

A GIVEAWAY for Tofu Lovers!


Do you love tofu? Want to fall in love with it even more? Do you want to make yummy tofu recipes with me? Then check back here next Tuesday for a very exciting giveaway! Nothing is better than winning! (Ok, maybe there are a few things better than winning, but winning is certainly fun!)


Hint: It involves tofu!


Shop the Props!
Like the lettering style of the word "TOFU"? It could be yours. Check out Photolettering.com. The alphabet is an upcoming release by PLINC! While you are there, subscribe to their blog, The Plog, to find out when it will be released.

5/23/11

Spice in the Kitchen: Thai Coconut Curry Green Beans & Tofu

I can't wait to get my camera back. Sorry for these lackluster photos.
For some reason, coconuts and green beans just go together. It just so happens that there was a great big bag of green beans from the farmer's market in my fridge that wanted to pair up with some left over coconut milk. Perfect! This dinner was so satisfying and super delicious. Serve over warm jasmine rice or wide rice noodles. You could also use bell peppers to mix it up.

Thai Coconut Curry Green Beans & Tofu Recipe (vegan, gluten free)
serves 2-4, cooking and prep time 30-40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 block of extra firm tofu, organic
  • spray olive oil
  • 4-5 cups green beans, ends snipped and cut into approximately 2" pieces
  • 1 can of light coconut milk
  • 1/8 cup of tamari (or soy sauce) (Use gf tamari if making gf.)
  • 1 TB brown sugar
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp red curry paste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Press tofu (I used my TofuXpress!) and cut into small, even sized cubes.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil. Place tofu on top and spray with oil again.
  4. Place sheet in oven for about 20 minutes or until tofu is a golden color.
  5. Steam green beans until soft.
  6. In the meantime, combine all other ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until it thickens slightly. Add salt if needed.
  7. When tofu and green beans are ready, add to the sauce and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  8. Serve as is or over rice and top with cashews and/or chopped tomatoes.

Restaurant Review: Blackbird Vegan Pizza, Revisited

Vegan Seitan Cheesesteak. Photo by Blackbird.

Remember my review of Blackbird Pizza a few months ago? Well, since we were down in those parts on Saturday, it seemed fitting that we go back and try the what we missed last time, namely the seitan cheesesteak.

On this visit, my kids shared a piece of daiya cheese pizza. My son, the picky one at the moment, decided he didn't like the cheese and devoured the crust. My daughter happily ate her half, with only a "this cheese really sticks to your teeth" comment. As I have said before, their crust is awesome. Light, airy and crispy with just the right amount of chewieness.

Mr. Scissors ordered the Tofu Cubano and I, the seitan cheesesteak. He's quite the connoisseur of Cubanos, a fav of his from his meat-eating, Brooklyn-living-in days. He loved it. It's served on a crusty French bread and is loaded with fillings. The seitan cheesesteak was served on the same type of bread; not the traditional fluffy, air-filled Philly roll, which is fine by me. The filling was great, and I thought there was plenty of it (there was some criticism of the lack of in reviews I had read). The seitan itself is nice and thin, like a traditional steak. The daiya is perfect in this type of dish. I don't like it so much on top of pizza for the same reason my daughter thought it odd. Two great sandwiches! We thoroughly enjoyed them both.

We also bought a Dry soda--vanilla bean. So good! And for later, a Vegan Treats whoopie pie that we all shared. Wow! Just like the whoopie pies of my childhood. We kicked ourselves for not buying another one.

Blackbird Pizzeria
507 S 6th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 625-6660
www.blackbirdpizzeria.com

An Interview with Moi at Sabjimata!

Me, getting down and dirty at the flea market.


Got nothing better to do than to hear what I have to say about things? Then check out Sabjimata to read an interview with me! My favorite question was about the many cool things to do in Delaware!

Excerpt from the Sabjimata interview:


"You live in the magical state of Delaware, a small wonder to us all. What are some of the best kept secrets upping the cool factor of Delaware?

Aw, come on! You don't what me to give up my secrets do you?

First off, Delaware is awesome; I wish more people knew that, so more awesome people would move here and I'd have more awesomeness surrounding me. It's proximity to everything ups its cool factor. We're in Philadelphia's backyard. We're less than 2 hours from NYC and from DC. You get the joys of suburban life without having to deal with the literal and figurative messes of living in the city, but the city is at your beck and call if you need it. There are beaches and a wonderful state/county park system. There is so much land donated by the DuPont family that has been turned into beautiful public space. The other very cool thing about Delaware is that it is relatively cheap to live here! Home of tax free shopping!

There is a very strong yard sale presence here which is thee very best place to find treasure. Tag sales too are always a great find. Some other great finds in the First State are:

Delaware places to thrift:
New Castle County Farmer's Market and Flea Market
Annex Marketplace
Family Thrift

Delaware vegetarian-friendly places to eat:
Pizza by Elizabeths
Woodside Creamery
Capriotti's (veggie turkey sub!)
Planet X
Hobos

Delaware places to visit:
Lewes Beach (Quaint village with a nice beach for kids. More quiet than Rehoboth Beach.)
Old New Castle, DE (An early US settlement with cute cobblestone streets on the DE river.)
Wintherthur (Fairy garden for kids! Stuffy museum for grandams!)
Bellevue State Park (Frisbee golf, anyone? Horses? Du Pont mansions? Tennis? Playgrounds? Beautiful walking trail? Community gardens? Yes!)"

My New Favorite Place on the Web: Homefries!

You must check out Homefries.com, a new venture by Joy the Baker and her friends. It's a series of podcasts, hosted by Joy, dedicated to cooking, baking, wine lovin', decorating and parenting. How fun!

5/21/11

Design Inspiration: Carl Tait, My New Love

I forgot my camera when we were out at the antique market today, but I had my phone, so I snapped a pic of this Carl Tait hankie. I'm so glad I did, because when I got home, I googled him and decided his illustration style is my new love. (Though I would never spend $30 on a hankie!)

Spice in the Kitchen: Quick Vegetarian Meals to the Rescue!

Yes, my SLR is still in the shop!

We'd been out thrifting, flea marketing, vegan eating, neighborhood exploring, farmer's marketing, car napping, temper tantruming and sun tanning all day. When we got home, we wanted greens. Yummy greens. So Mr. Scissors and I whipped this up quick, fast and a hurry. Total time, 15 minutes. Too hungry to plate and make a pretty photograph. :)

Penne with Quick Pesto, Broccoli Rabe, Asparagus and Sundried Tomatoes a Rough Recipe
serves 2-4

Pesto: Take about a 2 cups of basil, pulse with a dash of salt. and about 1 TB very good olive oil (you can add some pine nuts and/or parm cheese if you wish)

Pasta: Boil according to package directions

Veggies: Chop into bite sized pieces, sauté until tender but don't over cook in a large sauté pan. Deglaze the pan with white wine Fre (for tee-totalers) or regular white wine or even a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Combine all ingredients in pan, cook for a minute or two more. Eat. Simple, right?

Design Inspiration: Chipped Playground Swingset Paint

Not taken with an iPhone.

5/19/11

Etsy Find: Dirtsa Studio Pillows

I'm really into the yellow, cream and black color combo lately!
One of my favorite finds at the Art Star Craft Bazaar was this pencil accent pillow from Dirtsa Studio. She sells the most clever and well-crafted handmade pillows. Take a look at her Etsy shop and decorate every chair, sofa and bed in your house.

Spice in the Kitchen: Gluten-free Pear Rhubarb Crumble


Necessity is the mother of all (ok, some) recipes. Like today, I had four pears just loitering on my counter and two bored pieces of rhubarb, so I decided to give them something to do. Crumbles are a great way to quickly use up fruit that is almost on its way to the compost pile. Even though I am not gluten-free, I like to challenge myself and create recipes for my gluten-free family and friends. If you are a gluten lover, then use flour by all means (see note). The rhubarb adds a nice tangy flavor to contrast the sweetness of the pears.

Gluten-free Pear Rhubarb Crumble Recipe (vegan, gluten-free, dur!)
serves 4

Ingredients


Filling:

  • 4 pears
  • 2 small stalk of rhubarb (or one very large one)
  • 1 TB brown sugar
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Crumble:

  • 1 cup almond meal (You can make your own by pulsing nuts [walnuts or almonds] in a food processor.)
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free baking mix (-or 3/4 cup AP flour & only 3/4 cup of the almond meal if not making gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oats (-or old fashioned if not gluten-free)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance (-or butter if not vegan. If you want to cut down on the calories and fat, just use 1/4 cup, but the crumble will be a bit drier.)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cut peeled pears and rhubarb in chunks (make the rhubarb slightly smaller, specially if your pears are super ripe).
  3. Coat an 8x8 pan with oil or Earth Balance.
  4. Combine all ingredients for filling a medium bowl and then transfer to baking dish.
  5. Combine crumble ingredients and mix with your hands. Grab a handful, squueze together and crumble on top of filling. Repeat until all the crumble is used.
  6. Place in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Let cool for about 15-20 minutes before serving. Of course, it plays nicely with vanilla ice cream.
Shop the Props!

5/18/11

Pretty Springtime Desktop Background by June Craft

Time for spring cleaning! That includes cleaning your desktop! Get rid of all those unwanted files and then brighten up your screen with this purty free background designed by the talented Kayanna, editor and creator of the blog, June Craft. Folksy and cute! Two of my favorite things.

PS: While you are there, check out the link to her Etsy shop!

Spice in the Kitchen: S'mores Chocolate Bark Candy

I had about 1/2 cup of vegan Dandies marshmallows in my baking cabinet, left over from a camp fire session, and didn't want them to go to waste. Coincidentally, I also just bought a bag of Three Sisters Graham Crackerz cereal at Whole Foods (waaaay better than Golden Grahams!), so it just seemed natural that I make a s'mores inspired candy! It's super simple to make and only requires three ingredients.

Once the chocolate has set, cut the bark in irregular sized pieces, package them up in a nice box lined with printed wax paper and you've got an easy, handmade, sugary gift for your favorite sweet-toothed friend.

S'mores Chocolate Bark Candy Recipe
makes about 12-18 pieces (an 8x8 piece of bark)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups graham cereal (This cereal has honey, so not vegan. If you want to make vegan, then use broken pieces of vegan Graham crackers. Supposedly, according to PETA's website, Nabisco original graham crackers are vegan.)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 cup vegan Dandies marshmallows (Cut into small pieces. If you are very ambitious, you could toast them. Let them cool and then dice them.

Directions

  1. Melt chocolate in microwave.
  2. Mix cereal and marshmallows.
  3. Pour melted chocolate over the mixture and stir well to coat.
  4. Place parchment paper in an 8x8 brownie pan. Spread mixture into pan and press lightly into an even layer with a rubber spatula.
  5. Place the pan in the refrigerator for at least an hour to set the chocolate. Cut with a knife when chocolate has hardened and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Design Inspiration: Cut Paper Card, Lithuanian Folk Art




My husband brought back this beautiful hand cut paper folk art card from Lithuania. It's very inspiring! His host insisted that the $6 price tag was way too expensive, but he thought it was a steal. We plan to frame it, if we ever get around to it (an inside joke of ours).

5/17/11

Spice in the Kitchen: Coconut Peanut Curry Sauce with Noodles


I have been craving a big bowl of peanuty-noodles ever since my friend Deva over at Sabjimata took the grand prize (holla!) at the Earth Balance "Spring to Life" Contest with her recipe for Spicy Tamarind Noodle Salad and Vegan Death Metal chef won over the hearts of veg Facebookers last week with his recipe/video for Pad Thai. I love peanuty noodles, but I am calorie conscious, so I tried conjuring up a curried peanut sauce with water and light coconut milk. The result has neither an overly peanut, coconut or a curry flavor, but tons of yum.

Coconut Peanut Curry Sauce with Rice Noodles, Veggies and Tofu Recipe
(vegan, gluten free)
serves 2-4

Ingredients


Sauce:
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 TB peanut butter
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 TB soy sauce (use gf is need be)
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 TB hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 TB brown sugar
  • --------------------------
  • Rice noodles (about 8 ounces/two people)
  • Veggies of your choice
  • Tofu or tempeh
  • Crushed peanuts for garnish
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1. Boil water, add peanut butter and stir. Add all other sauce ingredients, turn down heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  2. Cook rice noodles according to package instructions.
  3. Steam or fry veggies of choice. Same goes for your protein source. (I used baked teriyaki tofu from Trader Joe's.)
  4. When noodles are done, drain and coat them with sauce (don't drown them). Top with veggies, tofu and crushed peanuts and any extra sauce.

Blog Lust: Ikat Bag

Since I have been more and more into sewing as of late, my lost interest in fabric has been reignited. I came across Ikat Bag, a blog by Lier, via How About Orange (by the very talented designer, Jessica Jones) and fell in love with all of Ikat's tutorials and her very excellent taste in patterns. Look at how she converted this shopping tote using Jessica Jone's Dusk Tulip Fabric. Brilliant.

5/16/11

Spice in the Kitchen: Savory Rhubarb Lentil Curry

Lentils on top of fabric from Lithuania.
Rhubarb is in season right now. Poor rhubarb; it's been so typecast. You must be good in something other than strawberry pie. A main dish, perhaps?

This dish melds earthy French lentils, the astringent woodsy flavor rhubarb with the dark, nutty flavor of mustard seeds. To bring in sweetness, I added sweet potatoes, red pepper and a touch brown sugar. If you want heat, double the red pepper flakes. It turned out pretty delish and it's super healthy to boot!

Savory Rhubarb Lentil Curry with Spinach and Red Peppers Recipe (vegan)
serves 2 as an entree or 4 as a side

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 cup French lentils
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 stalk (or 2) of rhubarb (diced into small pieces)
  • 1/2 of 1 red bell pepper (diced into small pieces)
  • 2 cups frozen spinach or 2 cups cooked spinach, chopped finely
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 TB of mustard seeds
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 TB minced ginger
  • 1 TB cumin powder
  • 1 TB brown sugar
  • salt to taste


Directions
  1. Pour 3 cups of water in a saucepan. Add lentils and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes or until lentils are soft, but not falling apart. Drain excess water.
  2. Cook sweet potato. My favorite method is baking: Wrap sweet potato in foil and bake at 425 for about 20 minutes or until the skin pulls away from the flesh and the potato is soft. Baking caramelizes the sugar and brings a nice deep flavor to the potato. You can also just peel and cube the sweet potato and steam it. 
  3. While lentils are simmering, cut your vegetables.
  4. In a large sauté pan, heat oil and then stir in mustard seeds. Once they start popping, add red pepper flakes and fennel. Add ginger (careful here, this may lead to a minor explosion. Have a lid handy just in case or you will have mustard seeds all over your floor.) Add cumin.
  5. Add red peppers and rhubarb to the pan. Sauté for a few minutes. Add spinach and sautée until fully cooked. Add cooked lentils, cooked sweet potato and brown sugar and stir. Add salt to taste.
  6. Serve alone or with a grain like rice or quinoa.

5/13/11

Bubbler vs. Water Fountain

Do you call it a bubbler or a water fountain? In either case, I have always loved this worn metal foot pump on the bubbler at the playground.

Spice in the Kitchen: Chard & Sweet Potatoes with Walnuts









Realized tonight that since my husband has been away, that I have not had/made a real meal. There have been a few Amy's frozen meals, but it's mostly been a bite here and there and lots of fruit and tea. I was craving some real nutrition. Something whole-foodsy. Something green. Something warm. Here's what I came up with based on what was on hand (all the while talking on Skype with Mr. Scissors). It was delicious. A very autumnal themed meal for a late spring night. A great accompaniment to fried tempeh.

Swiss Chard with Sweet Potatoes, Cannellini Beans, Raisins and Walnuts with a Maple Walnut Cream Sauce Recipe (vegan, gluten-free)
serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of swiss chard or lacinto kale (about 12 large leaves, de-stemmed and cut into bite-sized pieces )
  • 1 sweet potato (baked or steamed)
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp of hing (or 2 cloves of garlic)
  • 1 tsp of dry thyme
  • pinch of powdered sage
  • 1 cup of cannellini beans
  • 1/8 cup raisins (+ 2 TB)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2 TB maple syrup
  • water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Bake or steam sweet potato. When done, chop into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Cut and wash chard.
  3. In a sauté pan, heat oil and sauté spices/herbs/garlic until fragrant.
  4. Add beans and 1/8 cup of raisins, stir for a minute and then add chard or kale. Stir until coated and leaves begin to wilt. Sauté for about 5-10 minutes. 
  5. Add about 1/4 cup of water to pan, lower heat and cover. Heat until leaves are tender; you may need to add more water.
  6. In the meantime, add 1/4 cup walnuts, raisins, maple syrup, salt and 1/4 cup of water to a small food processor (or blender). Blend until smooth and creamy, adding more water if necessary. You want it to be slightly thicker than a creamy salad dressing.
  7. When greens are done, add a sprinkling of salt.
  8. To serve, place greens in a bowl, top with sweet potatoes, then sauce and sprinkle remaining walnuts on top.

5/11/11

Scissors Craft: Courier Style Gusseted Tote-y Purse!

Today, I had about an hour and a half to myself to make a bag with some fabric I picked up in a $1 bin from an antique/home store. I thumbed through a book of patterns, found one and thought I was following the directions... Uh, no, I messed up the first step! Oh no? No! I turned it into this cute purse, pocketbook, satchel, or whatever you call it. It's a great depth and width--perfect for a mom on the go. I even made a pocket for the inside. Hopefully I can get my act together when the Mister comes home to get a tutorial together for you. Now do I keep it or gift it?

PS--My real camera is in the shop and I've been using a spare camera. I'm hoping they can't fix my lens and I get to put it towards a new camera! That would be awesome. Lesson: Always buy a warranty when you buy a camera, it pays off!