Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Mustard Tofu

Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Mustard Tofu
I've been working my way through Isa Chandra Moscowitz's Appetite for Reduction with great success and this recipe was no exception.  In fact, I've made four more recipes from the book this week and been pleased with every single one.  The great thing about this book is that most of the recipes don't require a long prep time and none seem daunting or complicated.  As an every day cookbook that incorporates a variety of flavour profiles and cuisines, I think this is a winner. 
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this Hoisin-Mustard combination but I was curious enough to try it and I'm happy to report it was delicious. If you like honey-mustard sauce then you will probably enjoy the blend of  ginger, garlic, mustard and the Hoisin barbecue sauce making for a great sweet and savory bite. Wrapping the tofu mixture in lettuce provided the perfect crisp, fresh complement. I used Romaine instead of iceburg and my husband and I gobbled this dish up.


For our cooking challenge, over the Easter weekend, my friend Kathryn made a Polish sweet bread called Babka which looks and sounds delicious.  Check it out here.  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Szechwan Green Beans and Shallots

Szechwan Broccoli and Shallots

Okay, I know the title of this post is a little misleading because these don't look like green beans and they're not but I really wanted to try this recipe from Robin Robertson's new book Party Vegan and the closest thing I had in my fridge was broccoli. This book has been topping my pile of must read library books for a few weeks now and with so much going on around here, I have not had time to do this lovely book justice. I plan on buying myself a copy when the budget allows because it's chock full of delicious sounding recipes that are right up my alley. She is hands down my favourite cookbook author - I think our palates are super simpatico because whenever I read her recipes, I find myself drooling and inspired to get into the kitchen.

This recipe is pretty simple but as usual I was missing another ingredient, this time for the sauce. Dry cooking sherry is not something I usually stock in my pantry although I do come across it occasionally in recipes. It's one of those things I never remember to buy so instead I substituted a combination of rice vinegar and agave nectar. The recipe only calls for one teaspoon and hopefully it didn't completely alter the intended flavours of the dish.  My husband said he thought the sauce was very balanced with a nice amount of spiciness.   Because I replaced the beans with broccoli and also added tofu to make it a one pot meal, I should have doubled the sauce but it was a easy to prepare, flavourful and very reminiscent of the traditional Szechwan sauces I've eaten in Chinese restaurants.  I will definitely make it again with just beans next time. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ceci-Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Ceci-Roasted Red Pepper Soup

For my second foray into Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan RecipesI was attracted to a soup called Ceci-Roasted Red Pepper Soup.   Mmm, doesn’t that sound good?   It has all the flavours I love; roasted bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, chickpeas, coriander and rosemary.  I was a little nervous that the called for quantity of rosemary would overpower the soup and after tasting it I definitely found it to be the dominant flavour.   It’s a very hearty soup and I will definitely make it again but next time I’ll use less rosemary.   I also found it slightly salty and after tasting thought it needed a tiny bit of sweetness so I squeezed in a squirt of agave nectar which seemed to help.  This soup made for an easy week-night supper and with a few, tiny tweaks it gets a big, thumbs up!
My lovely friend Kathryn has been cooking up lots of yummy food while I've been distracted by other things.   She's way ahead of me on our cooking challenge so I will link all of her entries here.   Check out her most recent dishes!  

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits

Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits
 After a stressful two week hiatus to take care of some family business I am back and ready to cook!   I treated myself to a copy of Isa Chandra Moskowitz's new book Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipesand the recipes look promising.   I've been hearing good things about the Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits and decided to give them a go this afternoon.  Actually, I've never made any type of biscuit before and was a little nervous but the instructions seemed very straightforward.  It seems I needn't have worried, they came out very tender and moist.  They remind me of light and fluffy scones.  These particular biscuits contain 1 cup of mashed sweet potato and only 3 tablespoons of oil which I understand is a lot less fat than what is traditionally used.  I liked them a lot, the only change I would make would be halving the 1 teaspoon of nutmeg because it was too much for me.