Yucatan Grilled Tofu with Green Sauce

If I had a pound for every time I’ve praised the spice blends in the Horizons books, I’d be able to fly to Philadelphia with the money AND eat at Vedge. This recipe is going to add another pound into the pot, because the tofu is coated with the Cajun spice blend mixed with oil and soy sauce, then grilled.

I wasn’t quite so sure about the sauce, but I don’t know whether it tasted how it was supposed to or whether I got some of the ingredient quantities wrong. I never like to see ingredient quantities defined as “bunch”, because bunches differ so wildly, so I wasn’t sure how much coriander was supposed to go in. The sauce was a bit bitter, probably from the green pepper. I kept on adding more sugar, then more salt, then more lime. In the end I did like the sauce; the flavours grew on me as I was eating it, and it went well with the tofu. I was also surprised at how creamy it was for something that didn’t have anything creamy in it at all!

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Jamaican Mango Jerk Seitan Tips

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We had these as part of an appetizer dinner, something I love to do and should do more often. It’s so much fun to “graze” at a meal, munching a bit of this and a bit of that. The other dishes were the Roasted Red Peppers with Onions, Olives, and Capers (previously reviewed) and a fantastic bruschetta made with heirloom red and green tomatoes.

For the tips, the recipe is written for 12 ounces of seitan and says some sauce will be left over. I used 9 ounces and made a half batch of sauce and still had a couple of tablespoons. I omitted the agave. Although jerk can have a slightly sweet edge to it traditionally, I knew we’d prefer it without. Next time, I’ll add a little cayenne because we like things spicy. But overall the sauce was fantastic. It had a great depth of flavor and was perfect with the seitan. Another time, I’m going to make the sauce and cut the seitan into strips for a sandwich.

Next time you’re entertaining, add these to the appetizer menu. This is the kind of food that can start the vegan conversation with omnis.

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Roasted Peppers with Carmelized Onions, Olives, and Capers

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Such a pretty dish! We eat with our eyes first, and this one makes you want to dive in. I have to admit that I planned to make these for about 2 months. Jim loves roasted peppers, and I was sure this would be a huge hit with him. I’m afraid I over-hyped in my head: it turns out we only liked it, didn’t love it. I can’t put my finger on what didn’t work for us so my only conclusion is that it was my own doing.

Roasting your own peppers is never time wasted, and I loved that the onions are cooked in the oven right after the peppers. The onions call for more olive oil than I used. For the “exotic” olives, we went with oil-cured black which had a nice tang against the pepper. The recipe calls for 6 peppers and says it serves 2 to 4. My 2 peppers were on the large size and could have served 4 people, so keep that in mind when preparing this one. I couldn’t resist drizzling a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar on the plates, just because I have some “good” stuff that I rarely use. The French bread for serving is a necessity.

It would make a good appetizer for a fancy meal as it can be prepared ahead of time. Or this and the White Bean Proven├žal Soup would be a lovely lunch menu.

Posted in Appetizers Horizons 1 | 1 Comment

Cuban nachos

I love nachos when I have them but they’re not something I ever think about making. This isn’t really a recipe, more suggestions of what to put together, but the interesting thing is the use of plantain chips in place of the more usual tortillas.

I’ve been keeping an eye out for plantain chips ever since I got this book, and I finally found them in a local Pakistani shop, where I’ve found lots of treasures in the past. I didn’t bother to weigh or measure anything, just used the recipe as a guideline. I layered home made refried black beans, plantain chips and vegan cheese and baked them, then used the suggested mango, sour cream and guacamole. I didn’t have any salsa so I chopped a tomato and a couple of jarred jalapeno slices with the green onion to scatter on top.

This was a great snack when I got in late from football. The plantain chips and mango were a definite twist on the old favourite. The sweetness of the mango worked especially well with the black beans and I’d make this again for sure.

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Grilled Tofu Proven├žale

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Wow. This dish is amazing. Even though I’d made it before, I wanted to make it again for this blog. The recipe suggests overnight marinating if possible, but that didn’t stop me from deciding to make it around 3 this afternoon. For the dish, tofu is marinated, grilled, then refrigerated before being added to the sauce. I hit the door, got some tofu pressing and had a doubt or two. If it’s better the next day, I can’t begin to imagine it. I cut both the oil and olives in half (Jim isn’t a huge fan of olives) and the dish was still packed with flavor. The smoky taste of the grilled tofu is beautifully brightened by the tomato, olive, wine, and caper sauce.

This dish would be absolutely ideal for entertaining, thanks to the grilled/chilled tofu. The sauce can be made in minutes. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this dish has a flavor profile just like what you would have expected from the restaurant. If you have the book, go make it! You’ll be glad you did.

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Grilled Seitan with Sage Mustard, Garlic and Sage Mashed Potatoes

On a cold, dark, wintery Sunday evening, we both craved comfort food. Seitan, plus mustard, plus mashed potato, plus greens. Perfect. Both the seitan and the mashed potato recipes came from the first Horizons book and I just braised some greens to serve with them.

The seitan is cooked on an outdoor grill in the recipe but I used my electric griddle instead. It’s remarkable easy because all you do is blend the sauce ingredients then brush it on to the cooked seitan – the garlicky, herby sauce melts into the seitan and I put some extra on the top too. As long as you’ve got seitan at hand it takes minutes.

The potatoes were also very easy – simple potatoes mashed with a buttery garlic, wine and herb mix.

Yet again Horizons provides a quick and extremely tasty meal that seemed like it took much longer than it actually did.

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Chopped Greek Salad

Chopped Greek Salad

It’s not every day that Jim smiles when I tell him we’re having salad for lunch. But when he hit the door and spotted this one, it happened. Even with the olives, which aren’t his favorite, this salad had us both raving. I can’t really explain why this salad was so delicious: it had a “normal” greek dressing and the expected vegetable ingredients. I’m thinking it was something about the smoked tofu and roasted red peppers that made the salad shine. I recommend roasting your own peppers, which I don’t always do if they will be cooked again. But for using them in a salad, it’s worth the extra 2 minutes or so of hands on time. Their sweetness played so well off the olives and the dressing. Everything about this salad just worked for us.

One word of caution: if you don’t season your food heavily with salt and pepper (we do), you might find them a little strong in this salad. We found them to be perfect and will have this salad many times over the summer, I’m sure.

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