Sunday, June 30, 2013


Sometimes you just get (almost) everything from trader joes. Especially when it's too hot.

pan-seared baked tofu, sauteed mushrooms with liquid smoke, cabbage, salsa, guac, limes


iced tea mania


oh, this happened, too--for devon's birthday! (that's how behind I am on posts)

chocolate cupcakes with chocolate amaretto buttercream with coconut, coffee, and almond toppings

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BBQ? Jerk? Braised Tempeh for Badass Wraps

Wow. This might be elbowing with tempeh sausage for the position of favorite tempeh recipe. Savory, with quite a bit of tangy thrown in, this recipe is great for sandwiches and burgers.

I used my normal braising method here; it couldn't be easier! I started out with 1 cup of no-beef bouillon, but any stock would work fine. And then I kept throwing things in! I think the ketchup and the worcestershire sauce were the real keys to this recipe.

BBQ(ish) Braised Tempeh

canola oil, cut into small (1/4-to 1/2-in thick) pieces
2 blocks tempeh
1 c reconstituted 'beef' bouillon (or other veg stock)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1-2 tsp tamari
1-2 tsp lemon juice
1-2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1-2 TB ketchup

1. Heat oil on high in large cast-iron frying pan. Pan fry the tempeh for about two minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
2. Combine remaining ingredients in a pyrex. When tempeh has been flipped once and is cooked on both sides, pour liquid over the pan. It should just about cover the tempeh. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until nearly all the liquid has evaporated/absorbed. Serve hot or cold. Serves about 4-5.


I put this tempeh in some delicious wrap sandwiches to take to a picnic. I used whole-wheat lavash bread, storebought spicy hummus, and sprouts.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sour and Spicy

I recently tried two new recipes from Suvir Saran's book Indian Home Cooking. These were both fantastic, but I definitely shouldn't have made them together. Spicy and sour, these recipes together were a recipe for major heartburn! Pairing either of them with more mild dishes, though, would be a success.

Lemon Rasam from Indian Home Cooking

Sour Chickpeas with Garam Masala and Toasted Cumin from Indian Home Cooking

I guess this is actually a kind of channa masala-- but with tamarind and mango powder it is much more tangy than others I've made.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sesame Cucumber Salad

With veggies, oftentimes simpler is better. This ad hoc cucumber salad ended up being the perfect accompaniment to spicy dishes both Indian- and Japanese-style.

Sesame Cucumber Salad

1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
1-2 tsp rice vinegar (seasoned or not should be fine)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 TB grated ginger
pinch salt
pinch cayenne pepper
a sprinkle of sesame seeds (toasted optional)

Combine everything in a bowl, adjust seasonings to taste, and chill. Serves 2-3 as a side.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Enchiladas with Tofu Sofritas and Cashew-Lime Crema

I actually have a recipe to share today! Two, in fact! I had a bunch of corn tortillas to use up, so I went hunting for enchilada recipes. I ended up using a pre-made sauce (surprisingly low on preservatives, given its supermarket provenance), but the sauce recipe in this NYT article sounds great.

The real thrill is in this recipe for a tofu filling. Though it's not referred to as such, it closely resembles the sofritas that Chipotle has been introducing at their restaurants-- though theirs is saltier and mushier than this amazing recipe. What starts off looking like a regular tofu scramble becomes, through patient cooking and scraping...

...chewy little nuggets of taco meat! It's amazing.

Tofu 'Sofritas'

1/4 cup safflower or other vegetable oil
1 pound firm tofu, drained and loosely crumbled
half a medium onion, finely diced
half a red bell pepper, finely diced (I used strips of roasted red pepper from a jar since I lacked a fresh pepper)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin, or more to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder, or more to taste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
sea salt

1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add tofu and cook until brown and somewhat crispy, and its liquid has evaporated, stirring from underneath to prevent sticking, 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Once tofu looks brown and cooked on all sides, add the onion and red bell pepper. Stir, and add garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, cumin and chili powder; mix well. Add soy sauce, and mix well. Season with salt to taste. Sauté until the onions and red bell pepper begin to soften, 5 to 10 minutes. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if mixture seems parched, but it should be dry, and the tofu should resemble crisped, browned bits of meat. Fills 6 enchiladas, plus a little extra.


Of course, though tempted to just eat the filling, I still had to assemble the enchiladas. I've always used the "dip-in-sauce" method advocated in the NYT recipe, but this other recipe from Food & Wine called for lightly frying (oxymoron?) each tortilla just before filling it. So, from this recipe I took both the method, and the recipe for lime-cashew crema (which I put on the enchiladas only after they were finished baking). Frying the tortillas before baking them gives them an amazing texture-- somewhere between chewy and crispy, but always satisfying and moist. I think covering the dish in the oven is more essential when you skip the frying step, since you don't want the tortillas to dry out when baking.

Enchiladas with Tofu Sofritas and Cashew-Lime Crema

for the Cashew-Lime Crema:
(from Food&Wine)

1 cup raw cashews (4 ounces)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium heatproof bowl, cover the cashews with hot water and let stand for 2 hours. Drain and transfer the cashews to a food processor. Add the lime juice, vinegar, paprika, salt and 1/4 cup of water and puree until smooth and creamy.

For the Enchiladas!
1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
2. Make the tofu filling and cashew-lime crema (recipes above)
3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat several tablespoons of canola oil. Dip 1 tortilla into the hot oil and cook just until pliable, turning once, about 10 seconds. Drain the tortilla on paper towels and repeat with the remaining tortillas.
4. Spoon 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce into a 9-by-9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish (as I made six enchiladas, I fit four into the square baking dish and did the remaining two in a little loaf pan). Arrange all of the tortillas on a work surface and divide the filling between them. Roll up the enchiladas and arrange them in the baking dish, seam sides down. Spoon 1 cup of the sauce on top. Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 25 minutes, until the enchiladas are heated through. Spoon the crema on top and serve with avocado, red onion, cilantro and pumpkin seeds. Makes 6 enchiladas.


I am also excited to play with these fenugreek leaves I recently picked up! Though I'm not sure about their slogan...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Stuffed Shrooms (#2)

Although I'm a stalwart fan of these stuffed mushrooms, I recently made the ones in The Lotus and the Artichoke cookbook to mix things up. These were delicious--I especially liked the texture of the filling with bread crumbs--but ultimately I think I prefer the other recipe. It depends, I think, on what you're pairing with the mushrooms: this recipe is more European/Thanksgivingy, and the first recipe is more tangy and Middle-Eastern-influenced.

Stuffed Mushrooms