Friday, April 8

it's a recipe fiesta!

Well, a two-recipe fiesta.  BUT - two recipes can still be party!  These two are vegetarian and potentially vegan, depending on your mood.  My neighbors Kim and Chris (of Twelve-Hour Brunch fame) have gone vegan, so I've periodically been trying to remove non-vegan elements from various recipes so I can offer them good food the next time they come over for one twelve-hour event or the other. The most important thing I've discovered so far is that chicken can be pretty effectively substituted with tofu a lot of the time. But not in bread. 

Recipe #1: Brown Bread
From  Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites
Makes 2 loaves

To make this bread vegan, make a vegan substitute for buttermilk by mixing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or white vinegar) per 1 cup of soymilk (or almond, coconut, or rice milk I've heard tell) and letting it sit for about five minutes.  I'm not sure I could've told the vegan from the non-vegan breads if I hadn't known which was which.

I love this bread just-toasted with butter.  SO good.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup molasses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare two 8-inch loaf pans by lightly buttering or coating with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients through the allspice.  Add the buttermilk and molasses and stir just until batter forms.  Pour batter into prepared pans.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until loaves are firm and begin to pull away from sides of pans.  Cool in pans on a rack for 15 minutes.  Remove the loaves from the pans.  Cool completely before wrapping for storage.

Recipe #2: Grilled Tofu with Mango, Cucumber, and Ginger Dressing

Altered from the recipe here. The original recipe is for grilled chicken instead of tofu.

Tofu's fun.  To grill it, you have to squeeze a lot of the water from it.  Here's my method: place a folded dish towel on a plate.  Put a folded paper towel on the towel.  Put a block of tofu on top of the paper towel.  Another folded paper towel on top of the tofu.  Another dish towel on top of that, and a plate upside-down on that.  Finally, put a heavy book on top of the plate.  Leave it all to sit for about half an hour. 

I can't figure out how to tell you how to slice the tofu, but once you get it sliced to your satisfaction (aim for nine slices about 3/8 of an inch in thickness - good luck!), brush it with olive oil and put it on a hot grill for a few minutes on each side.  I have never timed this.  You can a pan on the stove too, if you must.

1 lb extra firm tofu, grilled
Jasmine rice, cooked
1 lime, quartered
1/2 cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut into this slices
3 scallions, cut into 3-inch-long thin strips
1 firm-ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For dressing:
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup finely chopped peeled fresh ginger (from a 1- by 1.5-inch piece)
1 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

Purée all dressing ingredients in a blender until mostly smooth.

Serve tofu over rice with mango, cucumber, and ginger dressing.  Serve with quarter of lime on the side to squeeze to taste.

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