Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vegan Camp Food

Okay, I haven't been very reliable about posting because I've been too lazy/unmotivated to cook recently (and have an ulcer that prevents me from eating a lot of my favorite, spicy foods) and have been relying overmuch on convenience foods: ramen noodles cooked with curry powder and whatever vegetables are in the garden (which by the way tastes really GOOD if you start with decent noodles and add plenty of produce); frozen vegetable gyoza; and seasoned baked tofu thrown under the broiler until it's crisp and puffy.

Now I'm preparing for a long weekend of camping and hiking, so here's the rundown on what's filling my cooler:
  • Bagels and peanut butter
  • Crackers and Tartex
  • Dried peaches.  Which taste better than candy.
  • Bananas
  • Gnocchi, canned white beans, and artichoke-red pepper tampenade
  • Boxed butternut squash soup
  • Precooked, packaged Indian food entrees
  • Tofu Pups (shut up, I like them)
  • Almond Breeze!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Walnut Tofu with Sweet Chili Sauce

This is my husband's favorite dish, which he's been known to moan just thinking about...I don't make it often because it's so unhealthy and I lack the patience to fry tofu regularly.  But yesterday was his birthday, so I whipped up an enormous batch, which I served with brown rice and a beautiful plum-glazed cinnamon-spice cake.

Walnut Tofu with Sweet Chili Sauce
2 blocks tofu, frozen, then thawed and drained, cut into 1 1/2-inch triangles.
oil for pan-frying
Sweet chili sauce (lots!)
lime juice or vinegar
liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
about 2 cups walnut halves and/or pieces
vegetables if desired

  1. Fry tofu (easiest in a non-stick pan) in a few Tbsp of oil, turning at least once, until golden-brown.  Set aside.
  2. Toast walnuts on stovetop or in toaster oven and set aside.
  3. Stir-fry vegetables (I recommend peppers and broccoli).  Add walnuts and tofu, and completely coat with chili sauce.  Season to taste with lime juice and soy sauce.  Thin with a little water or vegetable broth if too thick.
  4. Serve over rice or noodles.

Cinnamon Spice Cake with Plum Glaze (makes two 8- or 9-inch round layers)

1 3/4 cups almond milk
2 t apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 c cornstarch
1 T + 1 t cocoa powder
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t allspice
1/4 t nutmeg
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 scant t salt
2/3 c canola oil
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 T plum syrup (or plum jam blended until smooth)
2 T pomegranate liqueur
1 T + 1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract

  1. Whisk vinegar into almond milk and set aside.
  2. Whisk together all dry ingredients.
  3. Add syrup, liqueur, oil, and extracts to almond milk, then whisk wet and dry ingredients together until just combined.
  4. Pour into 2 oiled cake pans and bake about 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
  5. Let cool for a few minutes before removing from pan.

1 1/2 cups plum syrup or plum jam
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2-1 T cornstarch, as needed
  1. Combine all ingredients in saucepan and cook over low heat until slightly thickened. Whisk in cornstarch to if not thick enough.  Let cool slightly before spreading between layers and  pouring over top of cake.