Japanese-style Black Sesame Okra Salad :)
Because of my kitchen deprivation for the past 2.5 months, I created this on the same day I made Coconut-Peanut Ice Cream and my Coco Loco Vegan Waffles.
I felt a shortage of vegetables, particularly of the green, and relatively un-greasy variety, while I was in Sri Lanka. So, I attacked all green and/or leafy vegetables in sight. One of my first tasty victims was the Okra in this ridiculously easy, surprisingly tasty, simple and fresh salad, which some of its early doubters now claims could rival movie food and/or pulutan. Simply:
Magic Bread Bakeshop: Cheap Vegetarian Food & TVP Source
After my often referenced vegetarian food cooking session, I went on a quest for the “strange” vegetarian ingredients, the first one being TVP or Textured Vegetable Protein. Alessa referred me to the Magic Bread Bakeshop, which I later found out also offered some cheap vegetarian eats. Not being of burgers, veggie or non-veggie ones, I didn’t find the food particularly compelling, specially since I went there with one goal in mind: to buy TVP. What’s TVP?
VEGETARIAN LESSONS FOR LAZY DUMMIES (Part 3 of 4)
feat. TVP or Textured Vegetable Protein [photo from Funkinutt]
[Last last week, I had my own “Vegetarian Cooking 101”. Not that what we prepared was the most basic of vegetarian fare, but that it was simple enough to do, and that I got some vegetarian cooking fundamentals when I got introduced to Chia Seeds, Nutritional Yeast, Liquid Aminos and TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein).
I also decided to do a wee bit of research on my own, and here’s the super simple low-down (I didn’t go all-out geek, I promise!) for those of you exploring vegetarian fare as well.]
TVP or TEXTURED VEGETABLE PROTEIN
Vegetarian Recipe #2: Tofu Fajitas by Nomad Manager
This was inspired by the yummy tofu fajitas I first tasted at Tomato Kick probably some time in the latter half of 2010, and kick started into action by a firmer resolve to whip up vegetarian / healthier home-cooked fare on a regular basis, which started with my attempt at tofu BBQ.
So anyway, for this recipe, you’ll need:
- Firm tofu or tokwa
- Fajita sauce (Okay, so I cheated here. I used McCormick Taco Mix, but you can properly use the fajita mix instead. The grocery was just out of fajita mix that day and I figured tacos and fajitas taste the same anyway.)
- Garlic yogurt sauce (This is a healthier option to sour cream — also an excellent sauce for tofu bbq, which winds up tasting like a tofu kebab with this sauce.)
- - 1 cup plain yogurt, the real, unextended, sour type
- - 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- - A few stalks of cilantro, minced (love this stuff!)
- - Salt to taste
- Tomatoes, diced
- Iceberg lettuce, shredded
- Cheese, grated
- Flour tortillas
I made the yogurt sauce a day ahead to let the garlic flavors mellow a bit.
The tofu I bought came in roughly 2x2x2 cubes, so I cut them into 3 thinner 2x2x.66(?) cubes.
Fry the tofu until lightly golden brown. After cooling them, cut them into strips, and coat and simmer them in the fajita sauce.
Assemble the fajita on a flour tortilla (grill it first, if desired) by layering on your tofu, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, and blops (big drops) of the garlic yogurt sauce (do not use to much as this is strongly garlicky and sour).
Roll, bite and let the yumminess dance in your mouth. :D
My mother was against me posting this recipe in my blog because she prefers good recipes to remain secret. But since: a) I don’t think many people read my blog, and b) those who do might be too lazy to actually try this at home anyway, I am posting anyway.
And if you happen to be one of those rare individuals who actually does attempt this, then yay! I have brainwashed you into doing so. And when you try it, you’ll be brainwashed into believing that HEY, vegetarian food CAN be yummy! (I swear, you won’t look for the meat in this dish.)
Soy advocate and brainwasher extraordinaire,
Vegetarian Recipe #1: Tofu BBQ by Nomad Manager
If you hang out with me often or if you read my blog, or at least this entry on Grill Queen’s Tofu BBQ, then you’ll know I love these grilled cubes of soy on a stick.
Because of my fondness for this food and my inclinations to recreate things I feel are feasibly recreate-able, I went ahead and attempted my own version of tofu BBQ.
The weekend before Holy Week, I had attempted this recipe without resorting to frying the tofu before grilling it. And while it was a tasty option of its own, I prefer this fried version, which I served to my family for Easter lunch. Sorry to the anti-fryers. :P
There’s probably a variety of basting sauces you can prepare to suit your taste, but I stuck to:
Basic inihaw marinade/basting sauce
- 1 part soy sauce
- 1 part brown sugar
- calamansi to taste (I’d say about 1 part calamansi for every 3-4 parts of soy sauce)
You’ll also need firm tofu or tokwa, of course. You can cut them up into bigger cubes if you want to retain more of the tofu taste, or smaller if you like your food uber saucy / tasty. I’d say something slightly smaller then 1” cubes are roughly a good size.
Lightly shallow fry, or deep fry them if you wish, but I opted to go for shallow frying so I wouldn’t waste too much oil. Don’t fry them to the point of crispiness though; fry them only until they form a light golden brown skin.
Skewer the fried tofu cubes onto BBQ sticks. Allowing them time to cool first would be advisable unless you have really thick skin.
Baste / soak the tofu with your sauce, put them onto the grill, baste, grill all four sides, baste all four sides.
Then, ENJOY (I hope), either on its own or with your favorite sawsawan mix!
My sister-in-law tried it with a garlic yogurt sauce I made for my tofu fajitas, and it made it taste like a tofu kebab! :P
I kinda tend to be lazy with my measurements (memories of my favorite childhood cook, The Urban Peasant, come to mind), so yeah, there really are no hard and fast rules. So go ahead and tweak the above recipe to make it your own. Send me a message when you do! I’d love to know your take on it. :D
Rock & roll cooking,