Category Archives: Fridge Finds

Tamarind Tempeh BBQ with Sweet Potatoes

If you haven’t already been ruined by the appearance of sweet potatoes in just about everything except for your toothpaste, do give this recipe a try.  It’s bbq like all vegans truthfully do miss when no longer eating meat.  Isa delivers another recipe that kicks total ass, it’s all things bbq should be…sticky, tangy and satisfying.  Track down tamarind paste at an ethnic grocery or just stop working do damn hard and order it from Amazon.com already.  It will be on your doorstep in two days which is actually less time then it would take you to drive around until you found it anyway.  Happy lip-smacking.

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp arrowroot dissolved in 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp tamarind concentrate (Indian spice)
  • 3 tbsp of agave or maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 12 oz Tempeh cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 1.5 pounds sweet potatoes also cut into 3/4 chunks

Spray a 9X13 inch glass casserole pan with non-stick cooking spray. Avoid glass. In medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients. Make sure the tamarind is dissolved. Place the sweet potatoes and tempeh in the prepared pan. Pour the sauce over them and use your hand to coat well. Let marinade for an hour at least. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cove the pan with foil and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and toss out the foil. Flip the tempeh and sweet potatoes, making sure to scrape the bottom with a spatula in case anything is sticking. Bake for another 30 minutes, flipping everything once. The sweet potato should be tender but not mushy, the sauce should be thickened and coating everything. Serve.

Number of Servings: 4

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Talkin’ Tempeh

I recently found an article, it’s an oldie but a goodie.  I liked so much I thought I reproduce a part of it for you, my faithful followers.  I get bored of tofu this and tofu that and sometimes I just want something toothsome and jerky like.  This texture usually helps make my TLTs a little more BLT if you know what I mean.  Tempeh while it’s my newest taco go-to…it’s still an odd vegan duck.  Here are some ways to break it in a little, making it less weird and more yum.  Give it a try.

Methods To The Madness
Tempeh is so so versatile, it takes to just about any cooking method you throw its way. Here are a few methods, along with recipes, to get you started. But feel free to use some of your favorite marinades in place of these. All of the following recipes are for 8 ounces of tempeh and serve 2 to 4 people.

Basic Baked Tempeh
This marinade of basic pantry ingredients works well with any of the cuts of tempeh. Try sandwich slices or serve slabs over a salad or alongside mashed potatoes, gravy and greens.

8 oz tempeh
Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Here’s what you do:
Mix together ingredients and marinate tempeh for at least an hour or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Place tempeh slices on sheet in a single layer. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping once. Spoon extra marinade over tempeh a few times during baking.

Hot Sauce Grilled Tempeh
This tempeh is excellent served with sauteed greens and mashed sweet potatoes. Use a cast iron grill for best results indoors.

  • 8 oz tempeh, in slabs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup Louisiana hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, if you like a little extra heat)


Here’s what you do
:
Mix together ingredients and marinate tempeh for at least an hour or up to overnight.

Preheat a greased grill pan over medium-high heat. To grease it, brush lightly with olive oil or if you have a spray bottle of olive oil, that works, too.

Grill each side for 5 minutes, until dark grill marks appear. When the second side is almost done, spoon some of the marinade over the tempeh and let cook for 30 more seconds.

Sauteed Tempeh With Chard
I’m kind of cheating here because when I serve this for dinner I call it “sauteed,” but when I serve it for brunch I call it “scrambled.” Either way, it’s wonderful paired with roasted butternut squash. For this recipe, cubed tempeh is perfect.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 16 oz tempeh, cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 a cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme, or 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 4 large leaves Swiss chard, or any leafy green, torn into pieces

Here’s what you do:
Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Saute in 2 tablespoons olive oil for about 7 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned. Add red bell pepper, and red onion and drizzle in remaining tablespoon of oil. Saute for about 5 minutes, veggies should be softened but still have a bit of crunch.

Add garlic and thyme, saute for two minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Add swiss chard and saute just until wilted. Serve immediately.

Tempeh Sausage Crumbles
These are perfect for topping pizza or serving over pasta. No need to steam the tempeh for this recipe.

  • 8 oz tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried margoram or oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon extra olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Here’s what you do:
In a saute pan, crumble the tempeh and add enough water to almost cover it. Over high heat, steam the tempeh until most of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Drain the remaining water, add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Tempeh Bacon
Tempeh bacon is great alongside scrambled tofu and home fries, served over a salad or make a TLT with some vegan mayo – Veganaise grapeseed mayo is a favorite. Use tempeh strips for this.

8 oz tempeh
Marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • To cook: 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Here’s what you do:
In a wide shallow bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients. Add the tempeh slices and marinade for about an hour.

Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat. Pan fry the tempeh in oil for about 7 to 10 minutes, flipping occasionally and adding more marinade as you cook. Tempeh is done when it is browned and crispy to your liking.

Lentil Sloppy Joes

It’s tailgating season that means…Sloppy Joes.  Last year I posted a recipe using TVP which fooled the meat-eaters for sure, this year I’ll be taking Lentil Sloppy Joes.  Very similar recipe, as I finally got the flavor right, so now, moving on to lentils.  These have a bit of a kick to them, so easy on the chipotle en adobo if you like things a little more mild.  I think dijon, brown, or whole grain mustard would be a great sub for the peppers if you want a kick but no heat.  We shall see how this goes.

Filling:

  • 2 C dried lentils, your choice of lentil
  • 6 C water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 head garlic

So this part cooks itself.  Take your lentils, give them a hearty rinse under cool water until the water runs clear.  Dump them into your slow cooker with the water, bay leaves and head of garlic with top cut off (keep it intact, so you can drag it out later).  Depending on your lentil, your water will absorb completely, or you will have to strain them before combining with other items below.  Either way, you want to cook your lentils until they are al dente (like pasta), not mush.  For me, in a slow cooker cranked up to high, it was just 3 hours.  I cleaned the house while they cooked.  When they are done, drain the excess liquid from the lentils, toss the bay leaves and garlic, then return the lentils to the slow cooker pot, you will finish cooking this dish in the slow cooker after you assemble the items below.   Next…

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 C coarsely chopped onion
  • 1/2 C coarsely chopped bell pepper (your choice of color)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 4-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 C water
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1 T packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 2 whole chipotle en adobo, chopped finely
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4-6 large hamburger buns or rolls or 10-12 slider buns

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet (I used a wok) over medium-high heat.  Cook the onion, bell pepper and garlic through until the bell pepper is tender (8-10 minutes).

Stir the remaining sandwich filling ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Add this mix to the cooked and DRAINED lentils in the slow cooker, stir until the mixture is well combined.  Set the slow cooker to high for faster results or low if you have all day and let the mixture thicken.

To serve, spread filling onto a bun and enjoy.

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2 Green Smoothies

I went on a juice fast about a month ago for five very, very long days.  Now, I wasn’t a huge fan of not chewing any of my foods, but I do love smoothies regularly.  Here are a few recipes I came away from Sip with for Green Smoothies.

 Good Morning Green Smoothies

  • 10-16 oz cold filtered water
  • 2 cups spinach (If you are new to green smoothies start with spinach.  In time, switch to 1/2 spinach 1/2 kale, and then try all kale.)
  • 1-2 unpeeled apples
  • 1 banana
  • 2 stalks celery
  • small handful of parsley  (parsley can over power the smoothie, add more or less depending on your taste for the plant!)
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 grapefruit
(use a whole orange if grapefruit is not an option due to certain medication interactions)
blend in high speed blender with a few ice cubes
*start with 10 oz of water and add more as needed*
  • 10-16 oz cold filtered water
  • 2 cups spinach and kale mixed (one or the other is fine too)
  • small handful parsley
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cucumber
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple
  • 1 banana
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 1 T lemon juice
blend with ice
Enjoy!
serves 2
photo:  Sip
A girl and her blender

Sriracha Tofu

I was thinking of a recipe that might be similar in sushi for spicy tuna and this is pretty close.  One night when we were out at Tokyo Grill, I asked the sushi chef what made up the spicy sauce for the tuna and it’s just Sriracha and mayo mixed together.  I bet the texture could be achieved if you cubed the tofu very, very small.  This can be used for make at home sushi or over rice in a bowl, which is a go-to meal for us during the work week with some steamed or stir fried veggies.  This is spicy.  So if you want to dial it down a notch, half the Sriracha or even quarter it depending on your tolerance.  I like this with avocados and kale over brown rice.  It cools it off a little but still tastes tangy.

  • 1 12-oz. pkg. extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 3 T low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 T Sriracha
  • 1 T white wine vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)
  • 1 T mirin
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 T vegan mayonnaise

1. Heat nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and add half of tofu cubes. Cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until cubes are golden, stirring occasionally. Transfer tofu to plate, and repeat with remaining tofu.

2. Stir together soy sauce, Sriracha, vinegar, mirin, maple syrup, sesame oil.  Return all tofu to pan, and add soy sauce mixture. Bring to a simmer, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until most of liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and stir in mayonnaise. Serve warm or chilled.

Adapted from vegetariantimes.com

Seasonal Pesto Pasta

Last week’s vegan (cheeseless) pesto recipe gets a workout here on a hodge-podge salad from seasonal veggies.  A “clean out the fridge” recipe that turned out pretty delish.  This could easily be made vegan or gluten free with the appropriate pasta.

  • 1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large heirloom tomato
  • 3-4 cubes pesto
  • 2-3 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 4 small zucchini
  • 1 C toasted walnuts
  • 2 C white beans
  • 2 C arugula or other seasonal greens, hand torn
  • 1/2 C packed fresh basil, hand torn
  • 1 pound rotini pasta, cooked al dente
  1. Select a large bowl or rectangle pan for the elements to be assembled.  As the ingredients are finished with their first phase you can just toss them together as you go to avoid destroying the integrity of the veggies by trying to stir or toss together at the end.  The pesto will incorporate easily this way as well.  You do not want a huge bowl of mush at the end.
  2. Tear arugula and basil into pieces and put in the bottom of this large bowl or pan.  The warm ingredients added will wilt this for you saving you a cooking step.
  3. Boil water and cook your choice of pasta noodle, al dente, drain water and toss back into warm pan with pesto cubes, juice and zest of two lemons.  Turn noodles to coat.  Toss into big bowl-this will wilt your greens easily.
  4. Warm a little olive oil (1 tsp or so) in a wok or fry pan, toss in walnuts and toast until slightly browned and super crisp.  Toss into big bowl.
  5. Cut zucchini into little wheels of uniform size.  In the same pan without adding more oil, saute the bite-sized squash pieces for a few minutes, then add the juice and zest of one lemon, salt and pepper to taste.  Do this over high heat and don’t let your zucchini get soggy.  Remove when it still has a bite to it and toss into the large pan with the other ingredients.
  6. Cut tomatoes into bite-sized pieces.  Toss into big bowl.
  7. Finally add your two cups of white beans.  Mine usually come from the freezer as I bulk make beans every few weeks, but using canned is cool with me.  If you do so, be sure to rinse them well, to get all the unnecessary ick off them.
  8. Toss all ingredients together and serve.  This makes a TON of salad.  It keeps well in your fridge for up to a week if you don’t let it dry out.  I make sure plastic wrap is touching the leftovers and that seems to keep it fresh, not dry.  If yours becomes dry, refresh with a little bit of olive oil, water or lemon juice before serving.

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Raw Tomato Sauce

What to do with a bazillion tomatoes, some fresh basil and a hungry husband? Make dinner.  My first thought was bruschetta!  Then I thought about the naked pasta in the fridge so I warmed up the noodles in some hot water, you know the way Olive Garden does it (start rant-no, they don’t make their own food in the restaurant.  I know I just broke your heart.  It comes to them from some industrial kitchen, off a truck, in large Ziplocks they toss in hot water, warm up then put on a nice plate.  You are so distracted by “neverending salad and sticks” that you don’t notice the food is gross and reheated-end rant).  I served this sauce over top, not to make a statement, but mostly because I was too lazy to put this sauce on simmer at like noon, so what’s the point to heat it up at 7pm?   No point.  I give you raw tomato sauce.

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, about 3 large tomatoes
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound spaghetti (grab vegan version if you like)
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving (omit if vegan)

Preparation:

Option 1-as shown in pictures:
Combine diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, red peppers in a bowl, toss to form the sauce.  Serve cold sauce over hot pasta.  Add grated cheese if interested.  Adjust seasonings to your preference.
Option 2:
If desired, peel tomatoes; remove seeds, straining juice into a bowl. Save the juice and discard seeds. In a food processor, combine garlic, tomatoes with juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and basil. Pulse quickly to chop roughly. Pulse more for a smoother sauce, if desired. Transfer to a bowl, add salt and pepper and let stand to marinate for about 20 minutes.  Serve over pasta.

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Pesto, hold the Parm…

Pesto.  No cheese.  Just make it.  So good and simple, saying anymore would spoil the beauty.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 C washed, loosely packed stemmed fresh herbs- basil, cilantro, parsley, mint
  • 1 C shelled, roasted walnuts or pine nuts
  • 6-7 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup good tasting extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Big pinch of red pepper flakes
Instructions:Combine the fresh herbs, nuts, red pepper flakes and garlic in a food processor and process the mixture until it turns into a coarse meal.Slowly add extra virgin olive oil in a steady drizzle as you pulse the processor on and off. Process until it becomes a smooth, light paste. Add enough olive oil to keep it moist and spreadable.

Season with sea salt, to taste.

Immediately use over fresh pasta or on toast.  I put the leftovers in ice cube trays top with a drizzle of olive oil and cover with plastic wrap.  When they are frozen, pop them out and wrap them securely with plastic wrap by the one cube and then toss all the cubes into a plastic freezer bag and you have summer pesto in the winter months.

Inspired by : glutenfreegoddess.com

Vegan Zucchini Corn Pancakes

Last year at about this time I concocted a vegetarian version of zucchini fritters and zucchini pancakes that were pretty darn good.  This year, I tried for a little less batter, a little more vegetable and no animal products.  Adapted from Simply Recipes (zucchini fritters) and Smitten Kitchen (zucchini fritters) I give you, Vegan Zucchini Corn Pancakes.

  • 1 pound (about 2 medium or approx 4 C) zucchini, shredded
  • 1 flax egg
  • 1 C corn kernels cut fresh from the cob
  • 2 tsp water
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying

To serve (optional)

  • 1 cup non-dairy sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 small minced or crushed clove of garlic

OR

  • 1/4 C Vegenaise
  • 1/4 C salsa of your choice
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Non-dairy milk to thin this concoction to your desired consistency (I used soy milk)

Trim ends off zucchini and grate them either on the large holes of a box grater or, if you have one, using the shredding blade of a food processor.  Either way, be sure to squeeze out the excess moisture in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels until practically dry.

Add zucchini shreds to a large mixing bowl. Taste and if you think it could benefit from salt, then add a little, you should season as you go here. Stir in corn, flax egg and some freshly ground black pepper. In a tiny dish, stir together flour and baking powder, then stir the mixture into the zucchini batter.

In a large heavy skillet — cast iron would be great, but I settled for an electric griddle — heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet only a few at a time so they don’t become crowded and lightly nudge them flatter with the back of your spatula.

Cook the fritters over moderately high heat until the edges underneath are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes-this could take up to 6 minutes this first side, don’t let burn, but let it cook and rise completely. If you find this happening too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Flip the fritters and fry them on the other side until browned underneath again, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain briefly on paper towels then transfer to baking sheet in a 200 degree oven if you prefer them warm.  Leave them on a cooling rack if you don’t mind them at room temp-they dry out well if left out and keep their crunch.  Repeat process, keeping the pan well-oiled, with remaining batter.

For the topping, if using, stir together ingredients for whichever topping you prefer.  Dollop on each fritter before serving.   To assemble as shown in the picture.  I took a sandwich thin, halved it and then placed on each half 1 piece of lettuce, a slice of tomato, some leftover grilled onions, the fritters, a little of the salsa dressing (above) and a few pickled jalapenos.

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Do ahead: These fritters keep well, either chilled in the fridge for the better part of a week and or frozen in a well-sealed package for months. When you’re ready to use them, simply spread them out on a tray in a 325 degree oven until they’re hot and crisp again.

Quick Pickled Peppers

Even Peter Piper couldn’t pickle a pepper faster than these babies turn out.  I had a few jalapenos leftover from making jalapeno jelly, so I put them to work in a bath of pickling spices.  I can’t wait to try these on a BBQ pizza, nachos or in chili.

  • 1 + 1/4 C water
  • 1 + 1/4 C distilled white vinegar
  • 3 T white sugar
  • 3 T kosher salt, this is NOT the same as iodized or table salt
  • 8 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tsp dried epazote
  • 3 tsp dried cumin seeds, crushed a little
  • 10 large jalapeno peppers, sliced into rings
  • 2 large red bell peppers, sliced into strips

Directions

  1. Combine water, vinegar, sugar, kosher salt, garlic, epazote, cumin seeds, and oregano in a saucepan over high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stir in jalapeno and red peppers then remove from heat. Let mixture cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Pack peppers into jars using tongs, cover with vinegar mixture, cover, and refrigerate until needed – should keep for up to 6 months.

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This recipe for me yielded 5 (12-oz) jelly jars full of peppers and pickling juice and 2 (12-oz) jars of extra juice that I dropped some baby carrots into for an experiment.

Adapted from Chef John

Roasted Beet Sandwich on Naan

I love naan.  I love it a little less now that I’ve investigated what it is that I am actually eating.  It’s not exactly health food.  I have been buying these delicious commercial naan bread that I typically see at my deli counter and now they are available at Costco, double whammy.  After I made this sandwich, I started researching recipes online for a healthier, more importantly vegan naan and I came up with a few that I will be trying for my next foray into sandwich-making.

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Sometimes not eating meat poses problems in the sandwich area-going to a deli can be less than successful most times.  Instead, you have to make up for it in your own kitchen.  Pictured is a toss together sandwich made from Tin Foil Beets and various other items found in the fridge.  These items would also make a great salad with a squeeze of lemon or orange juice for the dressing.  Contents of the sandwich on naan bread are:  smear of hummus, fresh baby spinach, avocado with lemon juice and roasted beets.  I serve this in a pocket sometimes with sprouts, arugula and carrots.  A Mr. Wonderful fave and perfect beach food as they travel well.

Fried Rice

I typically make grains on the weekend to avoid the time it takes to prep them during the week.  There is nothing worse than a 30 minute meal, that takes an hour and a half because you need to account for the brown rice to cook.  I have gotten in the habit of planning out a week of meals at a time because as you have probably noticed about me by now, I hate the friggin’ grocery store.  So I shop once a week, get my CSA’s two times a week and that generally allows me to be pretty prepared for all lunches and dinners for the week.
Now sometimes, those made-ahead grains get lost in the back of the fridge.  When that happens there is no better time to use up the rest of your CSA, freezer stuff, and pre-made brown rice, than in fried rice.
Ingredients
  • 3 C cooked brown rice (day old or leftover rice works best!)
  • 3 T sesame oil
  • 1/2 C shelled fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/3 C frozen shelled edemame
  • 1 C shredded carrot
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten (omit if vegan)
  • 1/4 C Tamari (to keep it gluten free; okay to use soy or Bragg’s Aminos if you are not concerned about gluten)
  • 1 bag Quorn strips (if vegan omit)
  • 1 handful roasted, salted peanuts
On medium high heat, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add the peas, carrots, edemame, onion, Quorn*, and garlic. Stir fry until tender. Lower the heat to medium low and push the mixture off to one side, then pour your eggs on the other side of skillet and stir fry until scrambled*. Add the rice and soy sauce and blend all together well. Stir fry until thoroughly heated.
*To keep this recipe vegan, omit the egg and the Quorn of course.
Recipe adapted from Life as a Lofthouse

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Quinoa Black Bean Salad

I’m already thinking of dishes to take to 4th of July festivities.  So many salads have mayo (gag) in them and have a short potluck shelf life.  This one can stay at room temp indefinitely.

I could eat this every single day of the summer, mixing and matching veggie add-ins.  It’s really THAT good.

Adapted from the NY Times.

Try it for yourself.

For the salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked red quinoa
  • 1 (14oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh corn (optional) *see note
  • 1 small avocado, chopped into 1 inch pieces

For the dressing:

  • 4-5 tbsp of fresh lime juice (juice from 2 small limes)
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin, or more to taste (I used 1 tsp, I love cumin)

Directions:

1. Cook 1 cup Red Quinoa according to package directions.

2. While quinoa is cooking, prepare the chopped vegetables and whisk together the dressing.

3. Allow quinoa to cool after cooking for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Add the beans and vegetables and toss well.

4. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste. Bring salad to room temperature before serving. Keep fresh in a sealed container for 1-2 days. Makes about 5 cups.

Note: I defrosted and drained frozen corn before adding it to the salad, but the result was rubbery corn. I painstakingly picked out every, single, kernel after that eff up.  I would suggest using fresh corn only, if the season applies, otherwise I wouldn’t bother with the frozen stuff.

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Frosty Paws takes Pinterest

I opened Pinterest up last night to waste time of course, and this post showed up no fewer than 25 times on my homepage alone.  Instead of making you open Pinterest and losing two hours of your life you will never get back…just bookmark this page and there, I’ve basically purchased you two hours credit to your life and gave your best doggie friend a super yummy reward.  You can thank me later.

My dogs go batshit crazy over Frosty Paws.  Here is a way to make the portion size a little smaller if you have say a hefty dog like our Bosley, it’s flexible and fun.  I love the drop-in ideas of biscuits and baby food or processed veggies for variety.  I’m sure my dog Walter is judging me for giving him the same flavor time after time.  Enjoy!

Homemade Frosty Paws

  • 32 oz plain yogurt
  • 1 mashed ripe banana
  • 2 T peanut butter
  • 2 T honey

Mix all of the ingredients with a blender or mixer and freeze in ice cube trays. Small paper cups and disposable egg cartons also make good molds. When frozen, microwave for a few seconds, unmold, and place the treats in a plastic bag and store in the freezer. (Note: if using Styrofoam egg cartons or cups, rest the containers briefly in a partially filled pan of warm water to loosen contents. Unless the Styrofoam is labeled as microwave safe, it could melt.) If you want to be fancy, bone and paw shaped molds are available.

Variations

This is where the fun part begins! Using only the yogurt as a base, there are any number of ways to vary the original recipe. You’re only limited by your imagination. Because these treats are frozen, their consistency is less important than when experimenting with baked goods.

Use fruit and flavored yogurt instead of plain. Vanilla, blueberry, and strawberry/banana are all good options.

Mix the yogurt with a packet of low sodium powdered chicken bouillon (Herb Ox has sodium free chicken granules) and a cup of low sodium chicken broth.

One large jar of baby food is approximately equal to one banana. So instead of the banana, use the baby food of your choice.  Dogs LOVE meat flavored baby food. Unfortunately, this only seems to come in small jars. Use three or four jars of the meat of your choice in place of the banana, peanut butter and honey.

You get the idea … you truly ARE only limited by your imagination.

The above was cut and paste edited from this website:  http://brettwinn.hubpages.com/hub/Homemade-Frozen-Dog-Treats

Tempeh, Poblano and Portobello Tacos with Honey Cumin Slaw

My third taco recipe of May is a blend of two of my fave recipes: Poblano & Portobello Tacos and TLT Sandwiches.  Sundays are typically a very hectic day at my house cramming all the stuff we should have done on Saturday AND Sunday into just Sunday, so I wanted leftovers for Sunday that I could reheat and not have to spend time on din-din.

Enter, the Tempeh, Poblano & Portobello Taco for dinner guests on Saturday.  Most of this can be done in advance and kept warm in a 200 degree oven until company arrives.  This recipe looks long and drawn out, but it’s mostly done in stages so you don’t even notice it.

Components:

  • 3 packages portobello mushrooms, de-stemmed and sliced then roasted
  • 4 poblano peppers, roasted, skinned and sliced into strips
  • 3 red bell peppers, roasted, skinned and sliced into strips
  • 2 boxes grape tomatoes, roasted
  • dairy or nondairy cheese
  • tortillas of your choice
  • dairy or nondairy sour cream
  • cubed avocado
  • lime wedges
  • store-bought salsa (I used Newman’s black bean and corn)
First things first…the prep for the roasted veggies is not difficult, they pretty much do the work for you…it’s magic, but takes time to get that roasty goodness, so plan accordingly.  Before you dive in, read below to prepare your dressing for the slaw and your marinade for your tempeh, get those two things started and then get your veggies goin’-you will want your tempeh to marinade for about 30 minutes before you bake it off.
Roasted peppers from a jar or the frozen food section are adequate, but who the hell wants to be knows as the adequate taco maker?  Not this chic.  Plan ahead and then deny the time it takes to make these the right way like every other reasonably awesome at home chef.  Easy peasy.  Preheat a grill or your oven to super hot (for the oven we’re talking like 450 and open up the windows just in case).  Preheat your oven to 450 and roast the mushrooms and tomatoes indoor while you soak up some vitamin D outside grilling your peppers.  Since it’s summer, grill them your peppers, then you won’t have to disable your smoke detectors to get the perfect charred pepper.  Take clean, dry peppers and drop them on the grill, wait for smoke and or charring and then turn until every side is burned but yet still moist-ish (yeah, it is a word now).  Transfer these little beauties to a bowl, cover in plastic wrap and then wait until they are cool to remove the charring.  After this is done, you will be left with succulent, sweet and smokey roasted peppers.  Resist eating them all before company arrives.  All that goodness and NO oil needed.
Take your washed and dried tomatoes and chopped mushrooms, place on baking sheets in the oven (use the ones with sides to contain the liquid or you will have a fire, and jerky instead of roasted veggies).  Spray with a little cooking oil, pop in preheated oven and wait.  The tomatoes are done when their skins are bursting.  The mushrooms are done with them are still glistening from moisture, not dry like rawhide.  Watch those, they will burn and then you have mushroom chips.  Gross?  Or maybe a new blog post..hmmm.

Tempeh “Meat”

  • 2 bricks tempeh (any flavor), steamed and sliced into strips

Marinade

  • 6 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 C tamari or soy sauce
  • 4 T balsamic vinegar
  • 4 T maple syrup or agave
  • 6 T chipotle en adobo
Toss all marinade ingredients into a food processor and whirl away.  Pour over the top of the tempeh strips that you have nestled into a 9×11 baking dish and let sit for 30 minutes or longer.  When your oven roasted veggies are done from above, reduce the oven temp to 350 degrees and slide the tempeh into the oven.  Bake until the marinade has become basically a syrup.  Watch it though, don’t let it burn.  It will look very dark.  Reduce oven even further to 200 degrees leave in tempeh, then toss back in the tomatoes and mushrooms to keep them warm until guests arrive.

Honey Cumin Slaw

  • 1/2 large green cabbage, shredded (could also use a bag of cole slaw mix)
  • 5-8 radishes, grated and patted dry
Combine both items in a large bowl.  Just before service, top with dressing below.  Serve on top of or along side tacos.

Dressing

  • 1/3 C fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 T vegetable, grapeseed or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T honey or agave
  • 1 tsp cumin

Easiest.  Dressing.  Ever.  Combine items in a Ball jar, give it a good shake and let it sit for 30 minutes before topping slaw above.  Serve immediately.

Finally, assemble tacos with your choice of tortilla (I prefer corn), roasted peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, tempeh, dairy or nondairy cheese, avocado, dairy or nondairy sour cream, salsa, slaw, squirt of lime and prepare for leftovers.

From this recipe, I was able to get dinner on Saturday night for four, TLT’s from the leftovers with the help of some bread from the freezer toasted for two for Sunday night dinner, two lunches of black bean/mango bowls on Monday, and finally…dinner on Monday night for two, roasted veggie quesadillas.  Not bad for a bunch of simple ingredients, a little prep work, and some help from the freezer.

Bitchin’ Pantry Raid Granola

My friend Julie and I are addicted to granola.  Too bad all the store brands are made with crap.  I set off to create a better-for-us-granola.  I concocted this from the combo of several other granola recipes before me, the result was delish.  Now that I have the hang of it…I have lots of flavor combos in mind.  Stay tuned.

Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Now prepare yourself…this next part is very complicated…combine all items in a bowl and stir.

Pour out granola onto a baking sheet with sides and bake for about an hour, stirring every 10 minutes, checking that the granola is crisping, not burning.  Remove, let cool totally and enjoy.

This recipe makes 3 1/2 C of granola with each 1/2 C serving costing you 337 well-worth-it calories.

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Pasta with Citrus Sauce

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This recipe will blow your mind.  If you followed the same path I did and made that quinoa bowl a few days ago, you should still have around a citrus sauce that is begging to be used up.  Your dinner plan will be as follows:

  1. boil water
  2. drop in store-bought tortelinni
  3. heat up store-bought baguette in 350 degree oven
  4. add dressing to cooked and drained tortelinni
  5. plate and eat (serve over a bed of arugula if you are feeling fancy)

No kidding…that’s it.  Dinner is served.

Leftovers Pita with Hummus

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I’m rather impressed with myself right now.  I made that delicious quinoa bowl  and had lots of leftovers, so I engineered this dinner the very next night, followed by another quick dinner the night after that, stretching the sauces out over three days AND more importantly using them up, instead of wasting them (which in cooking for 2 people I’m prone to do).

This leftovers pita with hummus, takes the Tahini sauce from the quinoa bowl, and whirls it around in a food processor with 1 cup of cooked chickpeas to fatten it up a bit-making hummus.  I added just a pinch of salt and had a spread to use with the leftover bowl materials (kale, red onion, chickpeas) and pan fried some tofu in sesame oil to add a little more substance.  Served it on a whole wheat pita that I just warmed in the oven while I fried up the tofu.

Quinoa Veggie Bowl with Two Sauces

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Once you become comfortable with having flexible items in your pantry, having no real plan for cooking isn’t very stressful.  You get to bring this kinda stuff together in a pinch.  This is a perfect no-plan panic meal.

Parm + Citrus Sauce/Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (make this Vegan and omit the cheese)
  • Zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 2T white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or half reg. + half lemon oil)
  • 2 pinches of both salt + pepper

In a medium bowl (or Mason jar) combine the grated Parmesan, orange zest and juice, and the shallots. Whisk in the white wine vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil and finish by seasoning with salt and pepper.

Tahini Dressing:

  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • Zest of one lemon
  • scant 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

In a medium bowl or Mason jar combine the garlic, tahini, lemon zest and juice, and olive oil.  Add the hot water to thin a bit and then the salt.

For the veggie bowl:

Cook up quinoa according to package directions.  Pictured here, I made a mix of common white and less common Inca red quinoa.  They cook up the same, I didn’t have a cup of either, but combining them I just made it.  Before I add the water and put it into a pan to cook, I like to rinse it through a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear and then toast it in a saute’ pan until just barely browned.  I think it makes it taste nutty and earthy.  The end texture is also a little fluffier, less mushy like rice sometimes gets with the excess starch still attached.

In the bowl pictured, there is cooked room temperature chickpeas (mine were from frozen, but you could use canned in a pinch), raw red onion, steamed kale and steamed fingerling potatoes.  That’s what I had in my fridge that day but you can use any cooked or raw veggie you like.  The type of bowl you make is only limited by what’s in your fridge really.  Tofu would make an excellent addition to this dish.  I served my bowl room temperature for a simple dinner.

Dressings adapted from 101cookbooks.com

Curry with Cashews

Confession:  I love cooking, but I could LIVE on take out.  In particular thai take out.  My fave place in GR is Angels Thai on Monroe Center.  This is my “go-to” curry recipe adopted from Heidi Swanson’s 101cookbooks.com.  I add some more num num’s and make it for a crowd so that I have leftovers!  Curry lasts surprisingly well in the freezer and makes a great quick meal over rice or quinoa in a hurry.  I picked some hearty veggies and a sturdy bean so they stand up well later going from freezer to table later.  You can add just about anything you want into this dish.  Clean out the fridge if you like.  Just be sure to write it all down if it tastes awesome, or you won’t be able to recreate it later…this happens to me more times than I care to mention.

  • 2 cups lite coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs HOT curry powder (I use Penzeys)
  • 3 Tbs Mild or Sweet curry powder (Penzeys here too)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp fine grain sea salt (to your taste)
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 block firm tofu, pressed and cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch segments
  • 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower, cut into tiny florets (one large head)
  • 1/3 cup cashews, toasted
  • a handful of cilantro, loosely chopped

Toast the cashews in a wok briefly, until just browned.  Remove the cashews and allow to cool.  Next, toast the curry over LOW.  Do not burn it or your pan will smell and taste like burned curry for all time.  For real.  Add to the toasted curry, half of the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.  Whisk in the rest of the curry powder and salt, working out any clumps. Now stir in the chopped red onion and garlic and cook for a minute. Stir in the remaining coconut milk and the water, and then the tofu. Cook down the liquid for a couple minutes before adding the green beans, garbanzos, and cauliflower. Cover and simmer for just about one minute, maybe two – or just until the cauliflower and beans lose their raw edge and cook through a bit. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the cashews. Taste and adjust the seasoning (salt / curry powder) if needed. Serve with a bit of cilantro topping each bowl over rice or quinoa.

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Vegan Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili with Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout

This recipe evolved over time in the kitchen on a snowy Saturday.  It lacked body until I added the canned (boo) crushed tomatoes and the stout.  Then it became magic.  See for yourself.  As it is vegan, to get men to eat it just tell them there is beer in it.  
This is a perfect way to use up those tomatoes you froze this summer from your CSA when you couldn’t keep up with eating them.  If you run them under water for a few minutes straight from the freezer the skins will peel right off and you will have perfect “stewed” tomatoes for chili.

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili 
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 15-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 dark beer (I used Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, diced into small cubes
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 C veggie broth
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3-4 C whole tomatoes, smashed (I used the frozen here, but canned whole would work fine here too)
  • 3 chipotle en adobo, chopped
  • 5 C cooked black beans, or 2 cans drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 C frozen corn
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 1/2 T chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp black ground pepper
  • 2 tsp oregano

In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, saute the onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, red bell pepper until tender.  Add garlic and saute another minute or so, then add the seasonings (chili powder, chipotle, oregano, salt, cumin, pepper), saute another minute or so, then add the liquids (broth, lime juice, crushed tomatoes, beer) and whole tomatoes, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and add corn and beans.  Simmer as long as you wish, although you can chow down once the veggies are tender.

Tortilla Soup Take 2

I already have one recipe for tortilla soup here on my blog, and now I am adding another to the collection; both are excellent.  This one is a little more pedestrian, meaning you are much more likely to have these items on hand than you are the 101 Cookbooks version of tortilla soup I published earlier in my blogging life.  Enjoy yet another recipe adapted from the cookbook Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 2 poblano peppers or green bell pepper, seeded, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes, optional
  • 3/4 tsp corriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 (24-ounce) can diced tomatoes, juice and all
  • 1 (24-ounce) can gluten-free vegetable broth or water
  • 1 heaping T ground cumin
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 C frozen corn
  • cilantro for garnish
  • tortilla chips for garnish
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Salt, to taste

1. Place oil in a 4-quart pot and sauté onions, jalapeños and poblano pepper over medium-high heat until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. (Add a little more oil or broth if needed.) Add garlic, red pepper flakes and salt and sauté for another minute.
2. Add tomatoes to the pot, including the juice. Fill the tomato can with vegetable broth or water and add to the pot. Stir in the cumin and corriander.
3. Add beans, corn and let simmer for 5 more minutes. Add lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt to taste.
4. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Crumble tortilla chips over the top and garnish with cilantro.

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PF Chang’s Ain’t Got Nothin’ on Isa

Veg friends rejoice.  This is a meat-eater approved recipe (Christine tell Alex it’s good, like PF Chang’s good).  No one will look at you cross-eyed or make that funny chewing face, like when they hate it but are going to swallow it anyway just to make you feel good.  Take it to a party as an appetizer with some bib lettuce to really impress your friends, then tell them it’s tofu after they inhale it and watch them make another funny face…you know the one of shock when they realize tofu doesn’t suck.

This recipe served three as a main dish with a side of edemame with about 2 wraps to spare just using one block of tofu.

Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Mustard Tofu
Adapted from Appetite for Reduction

Tofu

  • 1 block (~14 oz) extra firm tofu, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce

Sauce

  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar (mirin is recommended but I didn’t have it)
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha or sambal if you prefer
  • 2 tsp prepared yellow mustard

To Serve

  • About 12 romaine (bib or iceburg will work too) lettuce leaves
  • Bean sprouts
  • Dry roasted peanuts or cashews
  • Rice noodles (the crunchy kind)

Prepare the tofu: Preheat a cast-iron or heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook for about 10 minutes, flipping it once in a while, until it is browned on most sides. About midway through, drizzle with the soy sauce and toss to coat.  I had to add a smidge of peanut oil to this recipe when I flipped the tofu as it was sticking a little.  If you have great patience, and wait it out, it shouldn’t stick.  I do not have patience.  I did however have oil.

Preheat a separate large pan over medium heat with the sesame oil. Saute the red pepper, onion, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 10 minutes. The veggies should be soft and browned. Add the mirin (or rice wine vinegar would work here too) and let cook for about 3 minutes. Add the hoisin, sriracha, and mustard, and cook for another minute.  Omit sriracha if you don’t like spicy food.  In general avoid sriracha if you don’t like spice.

Add the tofu to the sauce and toss to coat. Serve alongside lettuce leaves, to stuff like tacos.  Top with the sprouts and crunchy bits.  Sidenote:  this is a great stir fry and would stand on its own over some brown rice or noodles.

Curried Tofu and Wilted Arugula Scramble

I have a mild addiction to the tofu scramble at Marie Catrib’s.  I finally got up the courage to make one at home.  To my surprise, I liked it better at home where I control the oil and tofu consistency.  Here is my adaption of Isa Chandra’s recipe found in her Appetite for Reduction cookbook.

  • 1 tsp canola or olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced finely
  •  4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 T fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1/4-1/2 inch dice
  • 2 tsp regular (sweet) curry powder
  • 1 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • a few pinches of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 C baby arugula or spinach
  1. Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion in oil for about 4 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic & ginger, saute for 30 seconds. Add tofu to the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the tofu has browned on some of the sides.
  2. Add the curry powder, cumin, salt, pepper, lemon juice & a few splashed of water if it’s too dry. Mix in the arugula. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the arugula is wilted (cover if you want this to go faster).
  3. Taste for spices & add another teaspoon of curry powder if needed. Serve!

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Spicy Ginger Stir Fry Sauce

Who doesn’t like a spicy Ginger?!

It’s been a while since I last posted.  Hey, I’ve been busy over at The Mode Life with a few posts not related to food.  I know, right?

Cupboard is bare except for the Doorganics delivery from Tuesday, so I whipped up a stir fry from some veggies and this sauce.  Don’t be too disappointed, I didn’t take pictures, but I assure you…it was delish.  Mr. Wonderful approved.

Ingredients (you probably have these in your kitchen already)

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium veg broth or water
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sherry or mirin
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

In a small bowl, combine the stock with the soy sauce, mirin, agave, cornstarch slurry, vinegar and sesame oil. Stir to dissolve the sugar.

In a medium saucepan, heat the peanut oil until shimmering. Add the ginger and crushed red pepper and cook over high heat (be careful not to breathe this in right away, trust me), stirring, until fragrant and golden. Add the stock mixture and boil over high heat until thickened and glossy, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a glass jar and let cool or use immediately over stir fried veggies and tofu.

Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine