I have a pantry full of delish Asian ingredients which I use to make varied marinades, dressings, etc. You would be shocked how great chickpea miso, oil, vinegar and some Sriracha sauce are as a salad dressing in a pinch. The ingredients are flexible, tasty and many of them vegan. This weekend we got together with Chef Dewicki and Andrea which means amazing food shall be had and this time was no exception. I opted to use all ingredients from my house, meaning no trips to the grocery store which challenges me in a very, very good way. Taking a cue from a recipe I’ve been eyeballing over on Pinterest, here is a marinated tofu recipe that I dropped atop peanut noodles and then added grilled veggies and roasted Urban Mushroom CSA goodies from their last delivery for a quick pasta salad.
- 1 tsp Ume plum vinegar
- 3-4 T low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice wine
- 1 glug maple syrup, use agave or other favored sweetener here if you want
- 1 T nonflavored oil, I used canola
- 1 T chopped garlic
- 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
- 1 tsp roasted sesame oil
- 1 1/2 tsp Sriracha
- 1 tsp water
Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Drop in your pieces of tofu or tempeh, let soak for about 20 minutes, turning once at 10 minutes to cover all pieces. As I was roasting mushrooms anyway, I put the tofu pieces on a foil-covered roasting pan in the oven with the excess sauce at 375 for about 40 minutes. You want it firm and cooked, all marinade soaked up, but not dry. So keep an eye on it. I cut up my barely pressed tofu into matchsticks so they roasted pretty quickly. This method yields pretty concentrated flavor in the tofu, so go easy on the seasonings of the salad, wrap, pita or pasta you drop it on as you don’t want to make a salty mistake.
**Roasted mushroom images here to make you a little jealous. Although they would taste super yummy in the marinade too.
Posted in Marinade/Dressing, Meat Substitutes, Noodles, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tagged Andrea Dewicki, Asian flavors, Asian tofu, asian vegan food, Chef Michael Dewicki, CSA, faux meat marinade, marinade, meatless monday, Mr. Wonderful, potluck, tofu marinade, Urban Mushroom CSA, Urban Mushroom GR
My herbs are staging a coup d’état in the backyard.
I’m striking back with pesto.
One of my fave 101cookbooks.com blog posts is entitled “How to Make Pesto Like an Italian Grandmother”. She’s right. It’s a brilliant recipe; however, sometimes I do not have 1) pine nut cash allowance (so expensive!), 2) oh, I don’t know 1000 extra calories to inhale a 2 tablespoon mouthful of wonderfulness or 3) time to chop BY HAND (wtf?!) a zillion leaves into a paste-like substance-I guess that’s where the grandmother part comes in for Heidi Swanson’s recipe; grandmothers have lots of extra time for this stuff.
Tonight when I realized my parsley was about to FLOWER for goodness sake, I took it upon myself to hack it all down, grab some garlic and headed to the food processor to make, “Certainly not an Italian Grandmother’s Pesto” while muttering to myself, “it’s a damn good thing I like pesto.”
Pesto from the Fridge
- 2 lemons zested and juiced
- 2 large handfuls of something delish and green from your herb garden (could really be anything)
- 4 cloves of garlic, 2 if you are not interested in vampire protection (TrueBlood starts at the end of the month)
- 1/4 C good EVOO
**To make this real pesto, add 1/2 C toasted walnuts or pine nuts, sometimes called Pinons and 1/2 C grated parm cheese to the mix then increase your EVOO as needed to get a nice puree.
Hack down a bunch of your herbs you have been neglecting, use the tender leaf part for the pesto (wash and dry it) and the stems to clean out your garbage disposal, it will make it smell better after you grind them up in there and send them to their new water home.
In a food processor, take the peeled garlic cloves, lemon juice, lemon zest and all of that beautiful greenery and blend while slowly adding the EVOO. You might need less than 1/4 C depending on how liquidy you want the pesto. I like mine a little bit on the dry side.
To store, I take an old ice cube container, spray a little oil in the bottom and on the sides then portion out my pesto in the little wells which happens to make a nice amount of sauce for 2 people when I decide I need a pasta fix; freeze and then pop out and store in a freezer bag.
I have also used this concoction as:
- Tofu marinade
- Combined with greek yogurt to make dip, or thinned with water to make salad dressing.
- Mixed with more EVOO and a dash of balsamic vinegar to create a quick and flavorful vinaigrette.
- Tossed with pasta and raw veggies for a quick lunch or dinner.
- Tossed with pasta, a little pasta water, goat cheese and toasted walnuts for a yummy dinner.
- On top of crusty bread for the base for bruschetta or plain as garlic bread.
- Tossed with saute’d mushrooms.
- Base for marinated olives and bocconcini (baby mozzarella balls) skewers.
- Base for tortillini soup.
Technically this recipe might be considered a Coulis due to lack of cheese; but whatever the case, it’s a flexible, cheap, quick and yummy way to put that herb garden to use and just about any herb or green will due. I’ve even used spinach with fantastic results. Pulling one of these little cubes out of the freezer in February makes my heart remember spring.
Posted in Fridge Finds, Make Ahead, Noodles, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Seasonal Ingredients, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tagged 101cookbooks.com, Basil, coulis, dip, dressing, EVOO, freezer, garlic, green, heidi swanson, herb garden, herbs, ice cube trays, parsley, pasta, pesto, spring, tofu marinade, vegan, vegetarian, Yummy