08 July 2007

bad pictures of delicious food

in the limitations of my nearly windowless current apartment, and my excitement to feast, i have some really awful photographs of some rather tasty dishes.

i cooked up the collards and made a spicy bbq sauce for tofu:
southern din din
i kind of hate store-bought bbq sauce sometimes, and i wanted to make my own anyway. but i wasn't sure if i had a recipe at home so i looked in a cookbook at work and got the ingredients i knew i didn't have, but then forgot what most of the other ones were because i didn't write them down (silly a-k). so i rifled through a few cookbooks and found one in VWAV for bbq pomegranate tofu. needless to say, pomegranate molasses is something i don't really keep on hand, so i kind of fiddled with the recipe and made up my own. i think i'd like to use a different recipe next time--this one was interesting, but seemed to lack something. or maybe i just haven't had bbq sauce in that long. i almost didn't add the peanut butter but did at the last moment, and i'm not sure if that's something i'd do in the future either. but here is an approximation of what i did:

tofu with spicy bbq sauce (makes about 4 servings, with tons of extra sauce):
1 lb. tofu, drained and sliced into about 8 pieces

a little oil for frying
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 hot chili pepper (seeded for less spice), diced
6 oz. can tomato paste
1/4-1/3 c. molasses
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp tamari
dash black pepper
dash apple cider vinegar
2 c vegetable broth
1/4 cup peanut butter

heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. add onions and cook until soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). add garlic and chili and stir for one minute more. add remaining ingredients and stir well to mix. simmer over low heat until thickened (about 5 minutes). use an immersion blender or food processor for a smoother texture, then pour over tofu and marinate 30 minutes or longer in fridge. grill or fry, basting with extra sauce if needed. serve with extra bbq sauce poured over top, with collards and "buttered" toast.

a and i have been meaning to make a beet salad for a long time, ever since regretting passing one up at the ethiopian restaurant we went to with her sister in chicago. here is what i made today:
moroccan beet salad

moroccan-style beets with baby greens, avocado, and yellow bell pepper (serves 2-3):
for the dressing:
1/3 c olive oil
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp agave nectar or other syrup
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
salt to taste

2 large beets (or 3-4 smaller beets), scrubbed and washed

mixed greens (as much as you want!)
1 avocado, cut in half, pitted, peeled, and sliced
splash of lemon juice (for avocado)
1/2 c yellow bell pepper, diced
black pepper, to taste

cut off the greens and roots of the beets, leaving a 1-1/2" stem. place in a pot and cover with water. bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.
meanwhile, prepare the dressing. whisk all dressing ingredients together until well mixed in a bowl big enough to hold the beets.
when beets are done, drain and let cool until you feel comfortable handling them. cut off the stems, peel, and cut into bite size pieces. place in dressing bowl and toss to coat.
fill bowls with greens, top with beets, avocado, and peppers, and add fresh ground pepper. yummy!

this salad was super filling and rich and delicious! though the dressing certainly was rich on its own (and super flavorful from all the spices), the avocados add a creaminess like a lot of beet salads have by adding blue cheese or whatnot. the freshness of the greens and crunch of the peppers is a nice contrast too.

yesterday i went to magers and quinn and booksmart and got 4 used vegetarian cookbooks/reference books: the new becoming vegetarian: the essential guide to a healthy vegetarian diet, the new whole foods encyclopedia, yamuna's table (indian food!), and the millenium cookbook. so far i am most excited/scared of the millenium cookbook because it is very gourmet and new york fancy. but it looks like there are some tasty things. a new recipe soon!

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