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Martha goes veg!

Martha Stewart made a list of her 50 best vegetarian recipes. Definitely some repeats from the last time she sent out a list like this, but worth the repeats all the same I say.

You can check it out HERE.

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Eat Your Greens


Here’s a picture of my new little man, Nolis, the handsome son of L & C, just begging me to come back to Chicago to meet him.

He’s sporting the onesie I sent him as a “welcome to the world” gift. Just thought I would share!

Sweet and Sour Tofu

For three years I’ve heard from D, “I don’t like Chinese food.”

In fact, the only thing I’ve ever made that D didn’t even try (when I attempted and failed my friend’s chutney) was because it smelled like Chinese food.

ANYWAY, I’m a nanny, which also includes cooking for the family. A family favorite of theirs is mother-in-law’s sweet and sour pork/chicken. I’ve made it several times, eventually perfecting it for the family after about five tries. Each time dying to snatch a taste because it smells so, so good.

SO, casually the other day, I said, “How does sweet and sour tofu sound for tonight,” and got no argument. (“Maybe he doesn’t realize it’s Chinese food,” I thought.)

I slightly changed the recipe, since there was no need to boil the tofu like you do the meat, but I still needed the leftover clove-infused water. For some reason, taking the meat out of the equation, made the recipe that much easier to prepare.

I managed to whip it up in about a half hour, got it on the table with chopsticks and even fortune cookies. Then came the moment of truth…

“This is delicious. Every time you make something it’s my new favorite thing.”

Score!

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:
6-8 whole cloves
2 c. water
5 T. cornstarch (separated)
1 stick butter/margarine/similar
Olive oil
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. low sodium soy sauce + 2 T.
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. ginger
2 peppers (green, red, orange, yellow)
1 medium onion
1 pkg. tofu
1 small can pineapple chunks

1. Boil the water with the cloves. Just boil for a couple of minutes to infuse the water with the cloves.*

2. Drain pineapple juice into some type of measuring cup (hopefully a 2 c. one). Fill up to 1 1/2 c. line with the clove water. (Remove cloves!)

3. Drain tofu and cut into cubes. Whisk together 2 T. each of cornstarch and soy sauce, then toss with tofu.

4. Fry in some of the butter and oil (it’s not a science here — whatever works, add more if you need more so your tofu gets all nice and crispy and doesn’t stick to the pan).

5. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook chunked up peppers, onions and the pineapple in a bit of the butter and/or oil.

6. Once all that’s cooking and on its way (remember to keep tossing the tofu so it gets crispy all over!) it’s time to make the sauce!

In small saucepan:

• Melt 1/4 c. butter
• Whisk in 3 T cornstarch

Add

• 1/2 c. sugar
• 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
• 1/4 c. soy sauce
• 1/4 tsp. ginger
• the 1 1/2 c. liquid (clove water/pineapple juice)

Stir constantly until thick.

7. Add the crispy tofu to the peppers, onion and pineapple.

8. Pour sauce into the pan and mix it all up.

9. Serve over brown rice (or your preferred rice).

10. Enjoy!

* If you’re cooking with meat, boil cubes of chosen meat in the clove water, remove cloves, drain (and reserve per recipe) and let meat cool before tossing in soy-cornstarch mixture and frying. Set aside, cook veggies in same pan, add tofu back to pan to heat through before adding sauce.

New favorite dressing!


Here is a new dressing I’ve fallen in love with! It’s supposed to be good on cooked veggies (warm or cooled) and I’ve had 3 salads in the last 24 hours with it.

Below are the amounts for a single serving (or for 1-2 lbs. cooked veggies) and if you want some to keep in the refrigerator for multiple uses (those amounts in parentheses).

I’ll have to test out some variations, but I would guess this would be really good with some lemon in it, garlic (maybe even whole cloves for flavor), or even a little honey. Seems like it would be a really good mayo alternative for some potato salad and would probably be really good with some fresh herbs.

Enjoy!

2 T. (1/2 c.) olive oil

1T (1/4 c.) white wine vinegar

1 tsp. (4 tsp.) Dijon mustard

dash or two each (1/2 tsp. each) salt and pepper

Patel’s Indian Cuisine

Always on the lookout for something good to eat in a pinch, the other day I picked up a couple of packages Patel’s Cuisine meals.

First up today was Aloo Mutter — a spicy bowl of potato and green peas in a red curry sauce. Two minutes in the microwave and it was ready to go — hot and spicy, spicy. Slightly TOO spicy, for my taste, but still with great flavor. I just wish I had some jasmine rice to pour it over.

Besides the obvious drawback of the pile of sodium that always accompanies these types of meals, this is one of the best like it that I’ve had. All natural, no preservatives, only a handful of ingredients and, of course, vegetarian.

Sugar Kisses is back!

Sugar Kisses Bakery, which offers all kinds of delicious vegan treats (and much, much more) is back in business after relocating to Berkley.

Get all the gooey details on their Web site, and be sure to stop by soon!

Below are some of the delicious offerings at Sugar Kisses!





Best Vegetarian: Inn Season Cafe


Real Detroit Weekly has just come out with its “Best of Detroit” list and one of my favorite area restaurants made the cut!

Here’s what they had to say about Inn Season Cafe:


Best Vegetarian Restaurant: Inn Season

Even if you enjoy a good old steak now and again, the Inn Season vegetarian restaurant will make you forget that your meal is lacking in the animal department. All of their food is made from organic, locally grown ingredients and the menu options vary depending on what’s in season, so you know your guaranteed freshness. From salads to pizza to pasta, you’ll find something to satisfy your hunger whether you’re a herbivore, carnivore or anything in between.

I agree with all of the above. Due to a very generous Christmas gift certificate, Daniel and I ate there about two or three times over the course of a week or two.

I fell in love with this:

Enchiladas Coloradito
Corn tortillas wrapped around black beans and your choice of cheese
or soy cheese. Garnished with house-made ancho chile salsa, sautéed onions, tomatoes, green pepper,black olives and organic brown rice.

D fell in love with this:

Portabella Walnut Pizza
Portabella mushroom, garlic roasted walnuts, capers, fresh basil, tomato
sauce and cheese or soy cheese.

They’ve also got great stir-fries, four different types of burgers, gorgeous salads (love their house dressing), and a Sunday brunch menu that includes house granola, multigrain pancakes and all kinds of vegan and veggie goodness.

There are so many things on their menu I hope to try for brunch, lunch, dinner, desserts everything. Even if you’re a meat eater, you will love this place. Everything tastes so flavorful and the place just has a good vibe (yes, I sound like a hippie, but it’s true).