Wednesday, May 15, 2013

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. 

Holy Mole Tofu

1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsps chilli powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 19-oz can diced tomatoes
1 red pepper, chopped
1 chilli, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
1-1/4 cups water
1-1/4 rounded tsps (for 1-1/4 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsps 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 honey. Cover and simmer for 10 min.

Blend.

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

Serves 4.

♥ Becki

PS To make this recipe vegan, replace the honey with another sweetener. To leave me (and Cynthia) a message, click on the comment button below.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Case of Smokey Bean Soup

If you're like me and you love, love, love Campbell's Bean with Bacon soup and yet you want to eat vegetarian, you have a major dilemma, right? How do you get that essential smokiness without the bacon?

Hmm...so far, I have not come up with an alternative to BLT sandwiches nor to bacon and eggs. Might never happen. But I have developed a meat-free version of my favourite soup.

Smokey Bean Soup may be the recipe I am most proud of. Smokiness is derived from two sources (no, not mascara and eye shadow)—roasted garlic and hickory-smoked BBQ sauce—a combo that produces a surprising depth of flavour.

Smokey Bean Soup

1-1/2 cups navy or white pea beans
12 cups water, separated
6 rounded tsps (for 6 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
1/2 bulb garlic
olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tsps fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp  pepper
1 tbsp hickory-smoked BBQ sauce
salt

Soak the beans overnight in 6 cups of the water.

Drain and rinse.

In a covered pot, simmer the beans in the rest of the water and vegetable bouillon powder, for 1-1/2 hours.
 
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Slice the top off the half-bulb of garlic to expose each clove. Place on foil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap. Roast for 45 min. Let cool.
 
Add the onion, carrots, bay leaf, rosemary and pepper to the beans, and simmer for 25 min.
 
Discard the bay leaf. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves (leaving behind the papery skins) into a blender and blend with 1 cup of the soup. Return the blended portion to the pot.
 
Add the BBQ sauce. Add more water and salt as needed.
 
Serves 4.
 
♥ Becki
 
PS The more I blog, the more I see that here I am, always writing about the recipes that excite me most. Nature of the beast. This time, why don't I throw it out to you to tell me what recipes you'd like to see? To leave me (and Cynthia) a message, click on the comment button below.