Thursday, September 30, 2010

Puttanesca Tofu

I'm happy you guys enjoyed seeing some of the unbloggable recipes I have sitting on my computer. I have lots more photos so will be doing a couple more posts like that. I'd love to see your unbloggable recipes too!

Here's yet another delicious tofu recipe I've stumbled across recently. The combination of tomatoes, herbs, olives and capers gives the dish such a nice and strong flavour. I used fresh thyme and oregano in this dish (usually I'd use dried) so that was a nice treat.

Did I mention that I planted a little herb garden a few months ago? I bought a couple of big pots, and an EarthBox. The EarthBox seemed like an excellent idea to me because I was really scared I would kill everything. It has a system where the plants are watered from the bottom. (And yes it worked well and I think is great for people in apartments like me, but definitely isn't necessary if you know what you're doing or have a real garden.)

The dill died (in the back of the photo), the sage had some sort of mould/fungus, the first bit of basil died, the second basil survived but was only one stalk, and the thyme, rosemary and oregano survived. OH the oregano. I thought the rosemary would be the star. It seems so hearty. But it was the oregano that took over. I love oregano but it's not as easy to incorporate into meals as basil is. Next summer it's going to be all about the basil. And now I must get back to my homework which involves interpreting legislation.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Cumin Lime Tofu
Broccoli Cashew Teriyaki Tofu Stir-Fry
Salt and Pepper Tofu
Honey Mustard Marinated Tofu

Puttanesca Tofu
Adapted from Vegan Brunch

1 tbsp olive oil
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb extra firm tofu, diced
4 Roma tomatoes, diced (I would use 8 next time)
2 tbsp fresh thyme (or 2 tsp dried)
2 tbsp fresh oregano (or 2 tsp dried)
1/2 cup olives, chopped
1 tbsp capers

Preheat a large pan over low-medium heat. Saute the garlic in olive oil until lightly browned, and be careful not to burn it (about 3 minutes). Add the red pepper flakes and tofu - saute for about 10 minutes, until tofu is browned.

Mix in tomatoes, thyme, and oregano and cook for about 5 minutes, until tomatoes are broken down but still whole. Add olives and capers. Cook just until heated through.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


So apparently I kind of stopped updating my blog! Well it's only been 11 days but that's quite a while. No real reason why. Being back at school and working part time makes me want to spend my free time away from the computer for some reason. All the TV show premieres doesn't help either!

Anyway, I don't know about you but I have a lot of food photos of things that I've made but have never and was never planning to blog about for one reason or another. Usually it's because I didn't like it enough (or couldn't decide whether I liked it enough) to recommend it to other people. So I thought it might be interesting for me to share with you guys some of these things! I have quite a few so I'll spread them out over several posts. I love when bloggers post about things I was planning on making and seeing what their thoughts were, both good and bad. Hopefully you find it interesting too. Okay, here we go!

This is the marble chocolate cheesecake from Baking: From My Home to Yours. While it was delicious, it was also ridiculously crumbly and stuck to the sides of the springform pan. I'm not sure whether it was me or the recipe (I've made lots of other cheesecakes before and haven't had one this crumbly or stuck.) The strawberry sauce on the side was really good and I shared that recipe here.

This is the zucchini chickpea tomato curry from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. While I really love this cookbook, there have been a couple of things I haven't really liked. I wouldn't say there was anything wrong with this dish, but it really is not my kind of dish. Too tomato-y.

These are lazy girl whole wheat english muffins from Sweet Karoline. I actually really loved these but wasn't sure how well they'd go over if I posted about them. Mine turned out very thin and when you toast them they're so nice and crispy. These are not like the regular English muffins with lots of holes though - at least not when I made them.

These are Greek lemon-oregano roasted potatoes from elly says opa! I love Greek food and I love Greek potatoes. This was my first attempt at making them and it did not go so well. They were really lemony and not in a good way. They were too sour? I think the ones in restaurants are usually soaked in some sort of liquid (oil and lemon?) before baking. Let me know if you have a good Greek potato recipe!

This is green bean and cherry tomato salad, found on Smitten Kitchen and adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables. I love Smitten Kitchen, as I'm sure many of you do too. And I trust that most of what she posts will be really good, but this one was just okay. I can't remember why I wasn't a big fan of it - maybe not strong enough flavours?

This is lemon sesame kale from ExtraVeganZa. E thought it was too lemony but I thought it was good. Overall it was decent, just nothing special that I thought was worth sharing.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Granola Bars

I don't really like granola bars. And though I do love cookies and cake, I don't like the food I eat on a regular basis to be too sweet. That includes muffins, granola bars, cereal, oatmeal, jam, and whatever else might have lots of sugar. So why did I make these if I don't like granola bars? I made them for a friend who had been looking for a good granola bar recipe and was happy to hear that she really liked them then made them again herself! I also saved a couple for E and he liked them too. These granola bars are nice and soft and full of lots of good stuff.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Caramel Walnut Chocolate Chunk Granola
Banana Crunch Muffins
Sunny Jungle Bars
Morning Glory Muffins

Granola Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen who adapted from Ina Garten

I can't remember if I added 1/4 cup brown sugar or not to these but I don't think I did.

Makes 12 to 16 granola bars

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup dried fruit, or a mix of dried fruit (I used chopped apricots, cranberries and raisins)

Preheat your oven to 350F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish or line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, walnuts, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ. Reduce the oven temperature to 300F.

While the mixture is still warm, stir in the butter, honey, vanilla and salt until the mixture is well coated, then the dried fruit. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish and press, press, press it in (wet fingers and/or a silicon spatula work great for this) until the mixture is packed as tightly as possible.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares — your best serrated knife is great for this.

You can store these in an airtight container at room temperature for a week or two, as you would cookies.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Buttermilk Pie Bars

As I'm sure is true with many other bakers, I often have extra buttermilk in the fridge that I don't know what to do with. I happened to see this recipe for buttermilk pie bars at one of these times, and was thrilled to see that it uses 2 cups of buttermilk. The thing I loved about these bars was how incredibly easy they were. And how tasty! They're kind of like a custard bar, and also reminded me a bit of a cheesecake bar (but infinitely easier since you don't have to wait for the cream cheese to come to room temperature or use a Kitchenaid). And they would do well if you wanted to add your favourite spices, flavours or fruits to them, though I loved them plain.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies
Eggnog Bars
Tres Leches Cake
Pecan Tassies
Buttermilk Honey Bread

Buttermilk Pie Bars
Adapted from Baking Bites

1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.

Begin by making the crust. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until smooth and fluffy. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly. Pour mixture into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until it just begins to turn golden brown.

While the crust bakes, prepare the filling. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a food processor, combine all filling ingredients and whisk (or pulse) until mixture is well combined and very smooth.

When crust is done, pour the filling into the hot crust and return to oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until filling is just set. Cool bars on a wire rack. Chill before slicing.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cumin Lime Tofu

I went so long without coming across too many new and delicious tofu recipes, and now I've found so many! This one is different from others I've tried, combining cumin, lime and some other spices. It's not my new favourite, but it is definitely good and it will be a nice change to make this every once in a while. I started back at school last week and I think I've yet to catch up on my sleep from the cruise. (Yes I know the cruise was a vacation, but my body wakes up early everyday so I couldn't and didn't sleep in.) I hope all the students are having a good start to the year!

Abby head.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Salt & Pepper Tofu
Honey Mustard Marinated Tofu
Baked Seitan
Sunflower Rice Bowl

Cumin Lime Tofu
Adapted from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 tbsp agave syrup
1 1/2 tbsp light sodium soy sauce
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 pkg (12 oz/350g) firm of extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2-3/4 inch cubes

Combine all ingredients except tofu and stir to mix well. Add tofu and stir around. Let marinate for 30 minutes or so, mixing around every once in a while to make sure all the tofu gets evenly marinated. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375F. Put tofu in a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Take the foil off and bake an additional 13-15 minutes, until tofu has soaked up most of the marinade. Serve warm.

Note: I did follow the instructions of using aluminum foil but next time I would try it without and just bake for 30 minutes. In case it does make a difference, I will leave it in there though.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Oatmeal & Wheat Germ Raspberry Scones

My mom gave me this mini scone pan, which is the kind of unique baking pan I always lust over but would not likely buy myself so it was a great gift! It was kind of strange how every scone came out perfectly triangular with straight sides. It will be fun to use this pan for something different, but I do love the craggy random edges of scones shaped by hand.

Anyway, onto the actual scones! They were so very delicious, soft, and buttery with nice crispy edges. I subbed some wheat germ in for the flour and loooooved how it made the scones a bit more crumbly. These scones are fairly plain, so if you're looking for a simple and more rustic style scone then you'll like these.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Blackberry Whole Wheat Scones
Blackberry Orange Tea Scones
Cinnamon Apple Scones
Maple Cornmeal Drop Biscuits

Oatmeal & Wheat Germ Raspberry Scones
Adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours

Makes 12 (or 16 if using a scone pan like mine).

1 large egg
1/2 cup milk + 1/2 tbsp vinegar (or 1/2 cup buttermilk)
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/3 cups old fashioned oats
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
10 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup dried raspberries

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Stir together the milk and vinegar, let sit for a few minutes. Stir in the egg.

Whisk the flour, oats, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You'll have pea size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between.

Pour the egg and milk mixture over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork just until the dough, which will be wet and sticky, comes together. Don't over mix the dough.

Add in the raspberries. Still in the bowl, gently knead the dough by hand, or turn it with a rubber spatula 8 to 10 times. (I then took pieces of the dough and squashed them into my scone pan, but if you don't have a scone pan then use the following instructions.) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it in half. Working with one piece at a time, pat the dough into a rough circle that's about 5 inches in diameter, cut it into 6 wedges and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until their tops are golden and firmish. Transfer them to a rack to cool.