Thursday, September 2, 2010

Super Easy Mango Coconut Sorbet

What you'll need:

1 bag of frozen mango
1/4 cup of light coconut milk
1 food processor
1 fig tree growing in your backyard

OK, you don't really need the fig tree.

Dump mango and coconut milk in the food processor. Hold on tight. Turn it on. Keep holding on tight. You'll have to stop every 30 seconds or so and shove it around with a utensil of your own choosing to make sure all the chunks get close to the blade. Blend until silky smooth.

Eat it right away. Not so good to re-freeze.


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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Improv Tempeh: Stuff It!

Tempeh Stuffed Red Pepper with Roasted Tomatoes and Slaw Salad

This was a total improvised dinner. No plan whatsoever. Threw this together with items in the fridge so the ingredients are sort of random.

I sauteed scallions and beet greens until tender.  Added crumbled tempeh along with splashes of mirin and shoyu, dashes of black pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper.  Let cook for 10 minutes or so.  Stuffed the red peppers with this mixture and baked in the oven at 350 degrees until the flesh of the peppers became soft and tender.  

The cherry tomatoes were tossed with olive oil, salt and black pepper; spread on a sheet pan and roasted until tender.  The salad was a mixture of purple cabbage, fennel and cucumber with a dressing made with olive oil, brown rice vinegar and white miso paste.

It's a good idea to keep items such as tempeh, tofu, dry bean, brown and wild rices, onions, garlic, different vinegars and healthy oils in your fridge and pantry.  You make use of random vegetables in your fridge, such as the beet greens in this case.  My husband just loved this dinner.  The result was bursting with flavor, easy to prepare and super healthy.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pad Thai on the Fly

Pad Thai with Long Bean Salad

More from last night's dinner... an improvised version of Rena's Pad Thai.  I didn't have all the ingredients called for in Rena's delectable recipe so I made a few substitutions.  I think the key is having the pad thai noodles, something nutty and something spicy.

We have hot chili peppers growing in our yard.  Our trip to Chinatown over the weekend yielded the noodles and I happen to have some spicy thai chili sauce.  Firm tofu is a regular item in our fridge.

Ok, here's Rena Unger's recipe:

Rena's Pad Thai

7 ounces dry rice noodles
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 chilies, minced
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 1/2 cup firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup scallions, chopped
1 cup Chinese broccoli, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges


4 tablespoons vegan fish sauce (see below)
4 tablespoons peanut butter
4 tablespoons sweet chili sauce 
4 tablespoons brown rice vinegar

Salt to taste

1. Soak noodles in filtered water for 30 minutes
2. Heat half the oil in a large saute pan or wok, add garlic and chilies, cook until soft and add tofu
3. Add vegetables and saute until soft
4, Add noodles and remaining oil, saute and combine all ingredients
5. Add sauce and cilantro
6. Garnish with lime wedges and peanuts

I didn't have scallions so I threw in one thinly sliced shallot. We bought curly bok choy in Chinatown so I chopped that up and used it to replace the broccoli.  I was worried the sauce would be too spicy if I used a full 4 tablespoon of the spicy Thai chili sauce so I added 2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons of mirin.

The result was pretty delicious but not quite as scrumptious as Rena's version which I highly recommend.

Here is the recipe for Rena's Vegan Fish Sauce:

1/2 cup tamari
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water

1. Blend all ingredients

If you get a chance to take one of Rena's cooking classes, do it!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Rena Unger's Long Bean Salad

After taking Rena Unger's "Passport to Health: Destination Thailand" class, I've been obsessed with making the awesome recipes she created. Bill and I went to Chinatown on Saturday and did some shopping. It wasn't easy (the insane crowds aside) finding a mortar and pestle that wasn't marble and didn't weigh 50 pounds.  After pounding the pavement, we had given up and decided to just get the ingredients for the Pad Thai. While paying for our veggies at a market I had been to with Chef Rich LaMarita from Natural Gourmet Institute last year, I looked up and there it was on a high shelf. Seems to be made out of terracotta. 

Here it is in action with the completed Long Bean Salad Rena taught me to make. 

I'll post photos of Rena's Pad Thai as soon as I finish making it. Can't wait to eat dinner tonight.

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