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Freeze smoked tofu?

I like to use it thinly sliced in sandwiches. It goes especially well with avocado-and-tomato sandwiches.

I buy commercial baked and smoked tofu (Soyboy brand), and typically freeze half the package. Since it's already been baked, freezing doesn't change the texture much.

Sep 05, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

Adding water to homemade almond butter

Could it be that the water will cause the nut butter to either "seize", or separate as it sits? I know peanut butter will do that if you add maple syrup to it.

Sep 03, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

Soy Curls

Rehydrating them in a flavorful broth is good, but not essential if you'll be adding them to a sauce later. Frying them before adding to anything else is the most important step, to avoid the sponginess factor. Use a generous splash of oil and medium-high heat. Let them get at least a little browned on one side. You can get them crispy if that's the effect you want, but they tend to stick to the pan so it's tricky to avoid burning. You could probably avoid that by using a non-stick pan.

When I make barbecue soy curls, I reconstitute in hot water, then fry in a generous splash of oil until slightly browned. I usually deglaze the pan with a little water to get the nice caramelized bits loosened. Then I just add some barbecue sauce and let it heat through, or maybe simmer a few minutes if the rest of dinner is not quite ready yet. Either a bottled sauce or homemade works fine - whatever you like or have time for. ;-)

Another variation I do is a teriyaki-like glaze. Add a some minced garlic near the end of cooking time, then sweet soy sauce and sesame oil to taste. I like to serve this on top of
sushi-vinegar dressed coleslaw or sliced cucumbers.

Sep 03, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

I love the combo of coleslaw and barbecue something too. I just rediscovered the rest of the barbecue sauce I made last week, so will probably have bbq soy curl sandwiches and slaw later.

Aug 27, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

Last night was tomato, white bean, & avocado salad, working through my giant basket of tomatoes. Before that, corn on the cob, and carrot/edamame salad.
Tonight will be corn again, because we didn't have it last night. Not quite sure what to go with - maybe some quick steamed broccoli and carrots with tamari. Or maybe we'll just have more corn. :-) I can feel the end of the season approaching and it makes me sad.

Aug 22, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

Olive, Tomato, and Millet–Stuffed Zucchini

The millet probably helps hold the other bits together, as it cooks up pretty soft. So a bulgur or quinoa based filling might be a little more crumbly, but I'll bet it would taste good.

Aug 13, 2014
patricium in Recipes

Vegan Soy Shreds, etc

Hmm. I have no experience with these, as Butler soy curls are my shred-of-choice. Maybe if you reconstitute, then drain/squeeze/resoak in a change of water a couple times it might take the bitterness away? I like the soy curls sauteed in some oil after soaking, and before adding to a sauce or baking - it helps the texture not be squishy. Maybe you could use them in small doses in soups or stews?

Jul 31, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

Last night was corn on the cob, and grilled tofu marinated in lime juice, mint, and garlic. The leftover tofu was awesome this morning in a sandwich with avocado slices and some cashew/nutritional yeast sauce I had it the fridge.

Jul 26, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

Hot again today, so back to salads. Tonight was a very quick one: a can of cannellini beans and a diced avocado, dressed with some storebought tomatillo salsa and the juice of half a lime. I mixed in some croutons because there was quite a bit of liquid at the bottom of the bowl, then served it over lettuce with some chopped green onion.

Jul 21, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

I looked for them a few times at our local asian market, but didn't find them there. (Although this market has no discernable organizational scheme, so I could have missed them. ;-) I ordered 3 packages through Amazon. The texture was firm and chewy, with a little squeakiness. They were a little boring before the broiling, because they didn't soak up as much flavor as I thought they would. I think that's my fault for adding too much water to the simmering liquid. I should have reduced the sauce to glaze them more. But the broiling added a nice caramelization and crunch.

I have two packages left to play with, so next I'm going to try the recipe for barbeque un-ribs that's floating around the web in various forms. Those are simmered then baked.

Jul 21, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

Last night I tried yuba aka dried tofu sticks, simmered in a soy sauce based broth, then broiled to crispify. This is the first time I've had these. I put them on top of sweet potatoes and corn dressed with seasoned rice vinegar.

Jul 18, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

Hmm. I have some citric acid for the occasions I make quick mozzarella. I'll have to try that next time.

Jul 15, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

Yes, that's basically it. My recipe didn't call for salt, but I felt like it needed some ooomph, so will definitely try that next time. I think it's tricky to get just the right amount of sour cream-like tang from vinegar without going too far and making it taste like salad dressing, but I'll keep trying. But it was still nice in the tacos.

Jul 14, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

Tonight is cornmeal-crusted tofu tacos. And because I just got a high-speed blender, I'll be trying cashew sour cream.

Jul 11, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

The slightly smoky rice really worked out well with the mango fruitiness. And there are leftovers for lunch today, yay!
Local cherry season is just on the horizon here in western New York, and I'm so excited. Washington cherries are nice, but by the time they travel all the way across the country, they can be a little worse for wear. ;-)

Jul 08, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

Corn theme continues this week, with corn, mango, and jicama salad, dressed with lime juice and aleppo pepper. I served this over some smoked basmati rice I found today at the market.

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

When it's hot, we eat 80% salads for dinner. It's a little distressing that corn season coincides with "too hot to eat corn on the cob" season. But I'd eat corn 3-4 days a week if the weather was cool. ;-)
The closest we came to hot dinner this week was a barely-cooked fresh tomato sauce with basil on pasta. Yesterday was tomato/avocado/cucumber over cooked-and-chilled barley with leftover chimichurri dressing. This was really good. Another day was a composed salad plate of cold soy/sesame noodles, with corn cut off the cob, broccoli, and cucumber. Tonight is shredded cabbage and carrots with tofu bits and peanuts and a lime juice dressing.

Jul 03, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V what's for dinner?

Fresh corn season has begun, so we had a lentil, carrot, and corn salad on lettuce beds. A large portion of the corn disappeared into my mouth while I was cutting it off the cob. ;-)
Tonight will be shredded zucchini fritters with chimichurri.

Jun 27, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

Grilling ideas needed

Not an entree, but I've discovered baby bok choy is really good grilled. It could be nice over rice, drizzled with soy and/or sesame oil.

Jun 27, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V what's for dinner?

Hot and humid here in WNY too, so lately dinners have been cold and light:
Pasta salad with a vegan mayo based dressing, celery, and furikake (a Japanese rice garnish of sesame seeds and seaweed bits), and some rice-vinegar soaked cucumbers.
Corn, bean, and avocado salad with salse verde dressing.
Lettuce, tomato, olives, local cheese curds, toasty bread.

V & V what's for dinner?

Ooh, that sounds good. I will save this idea for when I can get nice (ripe) local tomatoes.

Jun 04, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V what's for dinner?

The marinade is 3/4 cup beer, 1 minced clove of garlic, 2 Tbsp each oil, soy sauce, and lime juice, plus some chile powder and cumin. I press the tofu, then cut it into bars about 1/2" thick, and marinate overnight. Dredge them in cornmeal, then fry in a bit of oil. They turn out not tasting like beer, exactly, but with a definite but subtle flavor. I don't really like the taste of beer either. ;-) I like these a lot, and they are a good protein element for tacos, sandwiches, etc. I put them on rice once with some chimichurri, and that was pretty good too. (This last time I discovered you can freeze the marinade when you're done, and reuse it next time. Probably don't want to do that more than once though.)

Jun 02, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V what's for dinner?

Last night was a saute of onion, zucchini, and plum tomatoes with garlic and olive oil, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, served over rice.
Tonight - beer marinated cornmeal crusted tofu in tacos, probably with some quick-pickled shredded nappa cabbage.

May 29, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V what's for dinner?

Tonight was a stracotto-like stew - basically the same recipe I used before veganization, with double the vegetables and without the meat. Onion, celery, and carrot chunks, simmered in red wine and diced tomatoes for a few hours with rosemary and thyme. I added some vegan sausage nuggets at the end, and we had it on rice.

May 18, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V what's for dinner?

Our local asparagus is coming in now, so last night was asparagus-fest. I had steamed stalks dipped in a mustardy cashew cream, accompanied by onion fritters. And today's lunch will be a raw asparagus and mushroom salad.

May 14, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V what's for dinner?

Spring is just starting to arrive in our neck of the woods, so we are still somewhat in winter veggie mode. Last night we had beets in soy vinaigrette and cauliflower in a mustardy breadcrumb coating, over rice.

May 07, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V what's for dinner?

Last night, we had an awesome improvised smoky lentil stew with vegan cornbread to soak up the sauce. I browned a chopped onion, deglazed the pan with a splash of red wine. I also added a half can of beer I had left from a different recipe. Had some sundried-tomato spread that needed to be used up, so put that in too. Some ground ancho and smoked paprika, and a few grilled red bell pepper strips. Add water as needed, simmered til the lentils are done. Considering I didn't really have a plan, this turned out very tasty.

Menu Planning

Long lost computer-geek cousin here - mine is a 3 column 7 row table in a Google Doc. That way I can look at it from anywhere (at work, when I'm wondering what's for dinner, while shopping in case of last minute changes, etc). Partner can look if he decides to care about what's for dinner. ;-)
The extra row is for notes like "saute extra onions for tomorrow", or "getting home late - make something easy".

Cashew cream - to freeze or not to freeze

Good to know it can be made with an immersion blender. I don't have a high-speed blender, and have trouble getting it smooth in my regular 10-year old blender. I'll try small batches with the immersion next time.

Mar 17, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

Weekly meal planning for the indecisive

I have been doing a weekly menu plan for a few years now. I mostly stick to it, except when I unexpectedly get home late, or something else comes up. And in those cases, I often just shuffle the planned menu items to a later day. My first step is to look at my calendar and decide if there's anything that might affect dinner - home-arrival time early or late, or a dentist appointment so we'll want something soft and comforting. ;-) Weather too - very hot days call for a salad dinner. I mostly just stick to the plan - I know what we like, and don't feel cramped that I don't change it up at the last minute. It does make it easier to try out those recipes you've saved. If something's not already in your rotation, you probably won't think to try it when you get home and are hungry.
During the 20 minutes or so it takes to come up with a plan, I hate spending the time. But the rest of the week, I'm grateful for it, so I don't have to think about it on the drive home, or improvise while hungry.