Thursday, July 5, 2018

#198 The Case of Holy Mole Tofu

Warning: I'm a bit of a rebel in the way I prepare tofu. In order to give it a chewy texture that resembles meat, most people recommend letting tofu stand, wrapped in a clean tea towel, with something heavy on top of it to press out some of the water before cooking. Then they sauté it in oil to crisp up the outside. I don't try to enhance the "meatiness" of tofu. I like its firm custard texture just the way it is.

1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons chilli powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 19-oz can diced tomatoes
1 red pepper, chopped
1 chilli, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped
1-1/4 cups water
1-1/4 rounded teaspoons (for 1-1/4 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon raw agave syrup
3 tablespoons crunchy almond butter
1-1/2 lb firm tofu (slice horizontally through the thickness of the tofu, then cut in triangles)

In a non-stick frying pan, sauté the onion in the olive oil for about 5 min or until the onion is translucent.

Add the garlic and spices and cook for a couple more min.

Stir in the tomatoes, red pepper, chilli, jalapeño, water, vegetable bouillon powder, chocolate and agave syrup. Cover and simmer for 10 min.


Return to the pan and stir in the crunchy almond butter. Add the tofu, turning to coat. Simmer, stirring, for 3 min.

Serves 4.


Friday, June 1, 2018

#197 The Case of Anne's Favourite Spaghetti with Neat Sauce

Picture Cameron Diaz with one slightly crossed eye. Cute, huh? That's my younger sister, Anne. Stepsister if you want to get technical. Anne and I are good We weren't always so friendly, but that's another blog. Did I mention we own and run Beautiful Things together? Here's a sound byte of us at the store:

     "City Slicker," Anne calls me.
     This seems to me right out of the blue, so I say, "We both live in Black Currant Bay, can't call me City Slicker."
     "Former City Slicker."
     "Former Shaun Cassidy Fan Club Member."

She joined Karl and me for supper last night when I made my famous Spaghetti with Neat Sauce, 'cause it's my sis's favourite vegetarian meal.

Annes' Favourite Spaghetti with Neat Sauce

2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 small onions, quartered
2/3 cup red wine
2/3 cup 2% milk
28-oz-can diced tomatoes
5-oz-can tomato paste
2 pinches nutmeg
pepper to taste
4 rounded teaspoons (for 4 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
2 teaspoons basil
salt to taste
1 pack Yves Italian Veggie Ground Round
half and half whole-wheat spaghetti and regular spaghetti (enough for 6 altogether)

Pulse the carrots, celery and onions in a blender with the red wine until finely chopped.
Transfer to a pot and simmer for 8 min., stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
Add the 2% milk and simmer for 4 min.
Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, nutmeg, pepper to taste, vegetable bouillon powder, basil and salt to taste, and simmer for 12 min.

Add the Italian Veggie Ground Round and bring to serving temperature.

In the meantime, cook the spaghetti until al dente (add the whole-wheat spaghetti to the pot first, bring back to a boil and cook for 1 min. before adding the regular spaghetti). Drain pasta.
Serve the pasta with the sauce.
Grate Parmesan on top to garnish.

Serves 6.
PS Easy to make this recipe vegan—just replace the 2% milk with Cashew Milk and replace the Parmesan with Pine Nut Parmesan.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

#196 The Case of Pasta in a Pesto Sauce

Notice in this recipe I forgo my usual practice of using half whole-wheat pasta/half regular pasta. A health sacrifice so as not to muddy my parsley green palette.
Enough spaghetti for four (or another pasta)
2 cloves garlic
2 cups loosely packed fresh parsley
1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup Pine Nut Parmesan
chilli pepper flakes

Cook the spaghetti.

In the meantime, pulse the garlic, parsley, pine nuts and salt to taste in a high-speed blender until roughly minced.

When the spaghetti is al dente, drain and toss with the minced "pesto". Add the olive oil and Pine Nut Parmesan and continue to toss. Check seasoning.

Plate and sprinkle with chilli pepper flakes.

Serves 4.


PS To switch up the parsley flavour, try making this Pesto Sauce with equal amounts of broccoli florets, spinach, kale, sorrel or arugula. Yes, it's all yum! 

Monday, April 9, 2018

#195 The Case of Asparagus with Lemon Mustard Sauce and Pine Nut Parmesan

2 bunches asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup cashew milk
1 teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup Pine Nut Parmesan

Steam the asparagus until tender-crisp.
In the meantime, sauté the garlic in the olive oil.
Add the flour, salt, and pepper to taste, and whisk until smooth.
Gradually add the cashew milk and whisk until thickened.
Stir in the mustard and lemon juice.
Spread the lemon mustard sauce on two plates. Lay the asparagus spears on top and sprinkle with the Pine Nut Parmesan.
Serves 2.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

#194 The Case of Imajin Books April Ebook Sale

Among the deeply discounted books are my mysteries A PURSE TO DIE FOR and A KILLER NECKLACE. Click here to fill your beach and picnic bags. Summer beckons!

Monday, March 26, 2018