Tuesday, March 02, 2010

more yummy recipes

Delicious colorful veggies - mushrooms, red peppers and cauliflower
Copyright (c) 2010 Wendee Holtcamp

I've done more recipe experimentation, and they're all really good!!! I don't know why God has me so excited about food and cooking these days, but that's where I'm at. The first recipe I made yesterday because I had a half cake of tofu I needed to use up. I didn't have that high of hopes, but to my delight it was really very scrumptious! I modified it a bit which made it even easer to make. Oh did I mention it caught fire? Oops. That's because I have a gas oven and had the tofu on the top rack - as it was supposed to be - but the "mango sauce" dried up on the pan and I guess somehow caught fire. Luckily I caught it before it got out of hand! The blackened baking sheet is now in my backyard...

Broiled Tofu and Steamed Mustard Greens with Spicy Mango Sauce

•2 Tbs. canola oil
•1 small onion, quartered and thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
•1 small red bell pepper, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
•¾ cup hot mango chutney, such as Patak’s
•1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped (3/4 cup)
•2 16-oz. pkgs. extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry
•2 12-oz. bunches mustard greens, thick stems removed'

1. Heat oil in medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, cover, and cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in mango chutney and tomato. Cover, and simmer 5 minutes more. Keep warm.

2. Preheat oven to broil, and place oven rack in highest position. Coat baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Halve each tofu block crosswise to make pieces the size and thickness of sandwich bread. Cut each tofu piece into 4 triangles. Brush each tofu triangle on both sides with mango mixture (it’s OK if some bell pepper and onion bits stick to tofu); season with salt and pepper, if desired; and place on prepared baking sheet. Broil 4 to 5 minutes. Flip triangles, and brush with more mango mixture. Broil 4 to 5 minutes more, or until browned and crispy. 3. Meanwhile, bring 1 cup water to a boil in large pot. Add mustard greens, cover, and steam 5 to 7 minutes or until greens are crisp-tender, turning occasionally with tongs to make sure greens cook evenly. 4. Divide mustard greens among serving plates. Top each serving with 2 tofu triangles, and drizzle with 1/4 cup mango sauce.

NOTES: To simplify I didn't make my own mango chutney. In fact I didn't use chutney at all but thought that "Thai sweet chili sauce" that I already had on hand (that I used as dipping sauce for the wraps I made a few weeks ago) would work peachy. It did! And I used red Swiss chard instead of mustard greens. The broiled tofu was really good!! And amazingly so was the chard! It went together very nicely, and though this isn't something I'd ever have thought it making in a million years, it was on the page of some other recipes I'd photocopied, and I'm glad I made it.

Here's the charred pan with the tofu triangles sitting outside before I rescued them and put them on a plate (above). They didn't burn at all, but the extra sauce on the baking sheet did.

My next job was an attempt to make the inedible edible = Brussels sprouts. I used to hate them but hadn't eaten them in years. About a year ago, DJ Liz Jordan (on my fave radio station KSBJ ) had Domenica Catelli from Mom-a- licious as a guest and she talked about the way to make Brussels Sprouts yummy. Since then I have had that idea at the back of my head that I had to try roasting them. I didn't use her recipe, but used one from Vegetarian Times with cauliflower, which I love. It also had carrots and though I love raw carrots, I have never liked them cooked. But as it turns out, roasted carrots are awesome! This recipe was a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10. I liked the cauliflower and carrots, and the Brussels were edible but not fantastic. It's defintely healthy though!

Herb-Roasted Winter Veggies
2 cups bite-size cauliflower florets, each halved lengthwise
2 cups halved Brussels sprouts
2 medium carrots, cut into sticks
1 medium yam or sweet potato (1/2 lb.), diced
3 Tbs. garlic-infused olive oil, divided
1 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and yam in large bowl. Add 2 Tbs. oil, rosemary, and thyme, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Scatter vegetables evenly on baking sheet, and roast 20 minutes, turning 2 or 3 times with spatula. Increase oven temperature to 500°F, and roast vegetables 10 minutes more, or until tender. Transfer vegetables to large serving bowl, and add parsley, lemon juice, and remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Toss to mix, and serve.

NOTES: I didn't use the sweet potato but that would've been good, I'm sure! The Brussels sprouts still had that odd Brussels sprouty flavor so a friend recommended adding some rice wine vinegar to cut that bitterness. I didn't have any rice wine vinegar and I try to use what I have on hand, so I used a bit of balsamic and it did help. I also liked using the Thai sweet chili sauce with these veggies. The photo below reminded me that when they came out of the oven the outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts had charred and separated from the rest of the sprout. So I separated them out rather than mix them into the other tasty veggies.

I am proud to say that I have eaten very little meat the past month, and the only meat I've bought was Marine Stewardship Council certified sustainable wild-caught Alaska salmon from Target. Target recently eliminated all farm-raised salmon because it's not good for the environment - read about it here! I baked it with a bit of lemon juice and lemon pepper. I ate one fillet and have been eating the second fillet on my daily salad.

And how can I forget? I made a delish Thai red curry soup. I love all this healthy food!

Vegetables in Thai Red Curry

1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets (3 cups)
1 cup green beans, stems removed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 Tbs. canola oil
1 cup cremini mushrooms, ends trimmed (left whole if small, quartered if large)
1 14-oz. can light coconut milk
1–2 Tbs. Thai red curry paste
2 Tbs. brown sugar
2 Tbs. tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into slivers (1 cup)
20–30 fresh Thai basil leaves

1. Blanch cauliflower 4 minutes, or until al dente, in pot of boiling, salted water. Remove with strainer; rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Repeat with green beans in same pot of water; set aside.

2. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until mushrooms have browned and released some of their juices; set aside.

3. In wide saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut milk, curry paste, sugar, tamari, and 1/2 cup water. Start with small amount of curry paste and adjust for spiciness. Add cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms, bell pepper, and half of basil. Simmer 10 minutes. Garnish with remaining basil.

This recipe is adapted from Tassajara Dinners & Desserts by Dale and Melissa Kent, and my best friend Daline spent time at Tassajara! If you've been following along a while, you may remember that in 2007, my kids & I visited her when she was at Green Gulch, which is a sister Zen monastery to Tassajara, both in California. Check out the Bohemian Adventures archive from June 2007! You can see my Pampered Chef cookware, which I got several years ago and LOVE!! It's very heavy and sturdy. In fact I love most Pampered Chef products! Maybe I should start selling their products...??

Last, I hope no one thinks my photos are an attempt to actually do "good" photography - it's only an attempt to add some color to the blogs! I'm not near as good as my daughter at making the uninteresting look cool in pictures.

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