This is what happens when you don’t have a meal planned but you’re trying to avoid going out to eat. Remember those frozen dumplings? They’re also good pan-fried. How about a salad? Sure! And an orange? Why not!
Maybe this doesn’t totally qualify as a lazy meal since I did make the soup. But it was already made. And the salad greens were already prepped, even if I did it. So maybe this is a quick meal instead of a lazy one. The salad is made up of whatever salad stuffs I had in the fridge. I had a half package of Gardein chick’n filets so they were basted with some General Tso’s sauce we had and cooked up in the George Foreman. The sauce didn’t really penetrate the filets at all so it didn’t quite work out how I wanted. But it was still good on top of the salad.
And then, a cup of leftover roasted beet soup.
Okay, this is going to be a busy post. There’s a lot goin’ on.
A while back I registered on Earth Balance’s community site for a chance to win Earth Balance for a year. I haven’t really participated at all, but they do occasionally post something I find interesting and then I’ll check it out. A couple of weeks ago they sent out an email to members asking if they’d like coupons to try their new coconut based spread. Oh, heck yeah! So this weekend, a nice package arrived:
Ooo, bonus, I get to try the mayo too! The booklet is full of recipes and then has more coupons for $1 and $2 off the coconut spread. So naturally I got my hind end to Whole Foods to pick up these goodies. At my store, the spread was not next to the regular Earth Balance, but it was in the case with tofu, lunch meats, Veganaise, etc.
We’ll get the coconut spread out of the way first. I picked up a half loaf of french bread to serve as delivery system for the spread.
Coconut haters, yes you can taste the coconut. So this is not for you. You know how regular Earth Balance tastes? It’s like that with a hint of coconut behind it. The coconut taste probably disappears in baking. And you know how anything coconut based is extra creamy? Yeah.
Okay, so now I need a way to use the mayo. It’s time to restock the freezer with burgers. Excellent! This is my favorite recipe and I just alter it depending on what I have on hand. This time I used black beans, added cumin, hot sauce and cilantro.
A double recipe makes 8-9 burgers. Plenty to save for quick meals later. They heat up nicely in a George Foreman or you can microwave them.
Now it’s time to try out that mayo. The texture wasn’t quite as firm as I’d like. But it tasted like…mayo. I failed to do a side by side test with Veganaise. But it seems like it will do the trick.
Nope not done yet. Kevin was out of town, so I made something I would like but he would hate, Shaved Fennel Salad.Instead of arugula I used spinach, almonds for the pine nuts and just skipped substituting the fennel. I’ve had this a couple of times as leftovers and the marinated fennel and zucchini is keeping well in the fridge.
Whew, see? A lot going on.
Now here’s a good one for summer. Healthy, light and room temperature or cold. Actually, I’d vote for room temperature on this one. Remember the sources for recipe by email I posted a few days ago? Well, that’s how I found this recipe by Nava Atlas. I browsed the veggie recipes I’d collected for inspiration while making my shopping list. Kevin doesn’t like olives so I didn’t use them. And I substituted almonds for the pumpkin seeds. And the red bell pepper is there, I just chopped it up and tossed it in with the bean salad. This also made great leftovers for lunch the next day. I tossed it with some baby salad greens that needed to be used up. You could make this really pretty to serve like Nava does, or just kind of throw it on a plate like you see here.
You know those delicious $3+ flavored tofu products you can get? Sure, they’re tasty, but kind of pricy. They’re also easy to make. Especially if you have, speaking of pricy, the Tofu Xpress. It’s not an essential kitchen tool, but it does make dealing with tofu a bit easier. Before I would just press tofu between two plates with heavy cans set on top. But the tofu would never press evenly so I’d often end up running to the kitchen after the cans fell off the top plate making a racket. This thing squeezes most of the water out of your tofu so it can then soak up whatever delicious marinade you choose.
Vegan Vittles has a set of five different marinades that are all tasty. Most of them can be made from staples. So what I did was press the tofu overnight in the fridge in the Tofu Xpress. The next day, I pulled the tofu out of the press and sliced it into 8 planks. All the ingredients for the marinade were combined in the Tofu Xpress, then the tofu went back in without the press part, just the lid. That marinated on the counter for about an hour. Then the tofu went in the George Foreman grill. And in a few minutes it was done perfectly. You could also pan fry or bake it. Wait, what do you do with all that extra marinade? Reuse it! I threw some sliced tempeh in it to marinade. Two for the price of one!
The salad itself was just whatever I found in the fridge. I did pick up mixed baby greens with salad in mind. There was some kale I’d already cleaned and chopped. Carrots are always on hand. Half a red bell pepper and a roma tomato were tossed in. I dressed it with the tofu marinade drippings that landed in the drip pan for the George Foreman, rice vinegar and a little olive oil. With gomashio and sliced almonds sprinkled on top and some weird sea weed snax I picked up at the farmer’s market.