Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Fancy Fun with Tofu and Chickpeas

All kinds of recipe ideas have been popping into my head lately. I’m trying to sort them out and get them onto paper because I don’t seem to get inspired very often. I did manage to get a couple of them to work out for our most recent Sunday dinner.

Wasabi Pea Crusted Tofu - In addition to using only crushed wasabi peas for the crust, I tried a new baking method as well. I cut a pound of tofu into 6 slices. I spread a mix of Dijon mustard and miso mayonnaise over all the slices, then coated them in the peas. I placed them on a cooling rack which fit perfectly onto a baking sheet. I didn’t want to have to flip the tofu and disturb the crust.



I just need to figure out how to hold the tofu and move it onto the baking sheet without making any bald spots on the sides or edges. Still working on that. I really like using the thick mustard instead of a marinade type wet dip. The crust sticks REALLY nicely. I can’t tell you how tempted I was to use my wasabi mustard, but I wanted Chase to be able to enjoy his tofu! And putting the tofu on the rack and not having to flip it worked out great. The crust was crispy all over and the tofu baked perfectly.


Chase LOVED this! He insisted I have a tiny bite, and yeh, if you like wasabi peas and tofu you can’t go wrong with this recipe.


I can’t do tofu, but I wanted fancy food too. Hmmm, how to fancy up beans… (lightbulb) Cook them in wine! Anything cooked in wine is fancy. Even a can of chickpeas. I put the chickpeas in about a half cup of red wine, then let it simmer until the wine was reduced almost completely. I added in some arugula to balance out the sweet wine flavor. We both loved this dish as well.


That’s it for the inspired foods. I also made a teriyaki stirfry, which for some reason we hadn’t enjoyed in a long time. This was great, and so pretty, with broccoli, red pepper, purple onion, green cabbage, and carrots.


I also made baked rice with adzuki beans, only I couldn’t find adzuki beans so these are pink beans. I love baked rice. It always turns out fluffy and perfectly cooked.



Ever since I read that kohlrabi tastes like broccoli stalks, I’ve been searching madly for it. It’s in season now, but the kohlrabi season is, sadly, a short one. Last week the stars were aligned and not only did I find kohlrabi, but the only kohlrabi in the market was purple! CCV, my purple food compadre, are you ready?


Isn’t it beautiful! I really wanted to roast these, but I already had rice and tofu for the oven. So I boiled them. Kohlrabi is in the turnip family, so boiling it gave it the texture of potatoes. And it did have quite a nice hint of broccoli flavor. (Oh, I just got another recipe idea!) They are not at all purple on the inside; they are very white.



And they are delicious. At 40 calories a cup they are the perfect substitute for potatoes (if you’re watching your calories). The sign at the market said they are an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of potassium. And remember from my last post I raved about the greens. You know the greens are full of nutritional goodness. I will be back at my market to buy a lot more kohlrabi, even if it’s not purple.

So here is our dinner, the tofu, chickpeas, stirfry, rice, kohlrabi, and a little condiment from a recipe I found in an Asian cookbook – toasted sesame seeds, nutritional yeast, and a pinch of salt. It went nicely with the veggies.




Chase’s fancy tofu plate.



He tried to eat half a pound of tofu, but only ate two of those pieces. Here’s my fancy bean plate.



And lastly, dessert. I made my own recipe of mango ice cream. It was so smooth and creamy and full of fresh mangoes, and soyfree (I used coconut milk) so I could enjoy it too. (Vegan Noodle, I made it in my ice cream maker. Yes, you should get one!) I served it topped with more fresh mango and shredded coconut.




Sadly, it had a slightly “off” taste. I knew the mangoes I used were good, because I tasted them before I tossed them into the blender. What I didn’t taste was the mango nectar I used – the two full cups I used. Rats. Oh, well, lesson learned. And another recipe to work the kinks out of.

Have you heard about the Tainted Tomatoes in Texas? I sure hope this will be resolved quickly.

27 comments:

Ricki said...

I am just loving that tofu! The color is gorgeous, and I'm a big wasabi fan (oh, and a tofu fan, too). Sorry about the mango ice cream--it looks great, anyway :)

romina said...

Purple kohlrabi?! Wow! Everything comes in purple nowadays!

vegan addict said...

Can I come to your place for dinners on Sunday? You prepare such amazing feasts, for both the tummy and the eyes! What a clever idea to use the cooling rack when baking the tofu. So smart!

Sarah said...

That tofu looks delicious, and Id have never thought to put it on a rack, I was having trouble a few weeks ago with my breading. Problem solved!

And that kohlrabi looks good. I love anything that tastes like potatoes, Ill have to try and find them.

kindkitchen said...

Whoa! What a spread.

That purple kohlrabi looks soo interesting!

Celine said...

the tofu! omg, the tofu!

Vegetation said...

Ooo I wish I could have tofu! It looks amazing!

And I've never tried baked rice, I'll have to give it a go.

healthyceliac said...

That tofu looks incredible. And, you're right, everything is much fancier and better with wine! I may try the chickpea dish very soon.
Thanks for the yummy inspiration!

Kati said...

That tofu does look awesome. I will have to try kohlrabi one of these days - it's amazing how it looks like potatoes when cooked. Can't wait to see that mango ice cream recipe, too - mmm!

VeggieGirl said...

I'm all over that chickpea dish and stir-fry - yum!! Sorry that the ice 'cream' had an "off taste" - sure does LOOK delicious!!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I was already excited by your post when I saw the gorgeous wasabi tofu… but then came the purple! Can you believe I have never had kohlrabi? I think I’ve seen it before at the store, but I’ve always passed the poor guy up, because I never took the time to decipher what he was. Now he is going on my grocery list.

You know, even if you’d had just ONE of those dishes for dinner, I would’ve been envious over your meal (purple with envy, of course). But all together?! It’s too much for words!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I was already excited by your post when I saw the gorgeous wasabi tofu… but then came the purple! Can you believe I have never had kohlrabi? I think I’ve seen it before at the store, but I’ve always passed the poor guy up, because I never took the time to decipher what he was. Now he is going on my grocery list.

You know, even if you’d had just ONE of those dishes for dinner, I would’ve been envious over your meal (purple with envy, of course). But all together?! It’s too much for words!

shellyfish said...

I've never heard of kohlrabi, but it is just beautiful, and that tofu!!! It is as pretty as a picture...when are we all having dinner at your house??

Mihl said...

I just told my boyfriend to have a look at this tofu. He loves wasabi peas! He liked the idea very much.

Chris said...

What a great idea! I love wasabi peas and I love tofu so I really must try this one day soon.

Veg-a-Nut said...

How do you come up with such wonderful ideas? You are amazing. Can you please send me some of your creative brillance? If I didn't have all you wonderful bloggers to get ideas from my breakfast, lunch, and dinner table would be a disaster. :o)

Erin said...

You're being so creative! I'm going to steal your mayo/mustard coating as I have a terrible time getting breading to stick to things. The tofu looks amazing, as well as everything else. And thanks for the tips on kohlrabi, I'll keep an eye out for it.

Megan the Vegan said...

great wasabi idea!

CeciLiA said...

wow I love crusted tofu! You're a genius!! I love the idea of baked rice with adzuki beans, how did you prepare it?!! Hope you have a great day ^^

jessy said...

yay! i need to be on the look out for some kohlrabi, too! it looks so good! and your wasabi pea encrusted tofu - that's just stellar! dan is addicted to wasabi peas - so we're going to have to try this one out! :) it looks amazing!

Liz² said...

wasabi pea tofu????

inspired is the word!

(I'm remembering this one!)

Urban Vegan said...

Does Chase have any idea how lucky he is?

I love it all, but as a wasabi fan, the tofu is really catching my eye.

Jackie said...

Never seen wasabi peas here but I suppose I could get the same effect adding wasabi to dried green peas. Never seen purple kohlrab either.

The chick pea dish sounds great and I shall try it myself shortly.

You really did have a feast for Sunday dinner, shame we are so far apart or I might have landed up on your doorstop :)

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

Yes, we had tainted tomatoes here in Idaho as well, and Art said they do in California, too. ugh.

Your creative juices are really flowing, Diann! I'd love to try your chickpeas in wine with arugula -- that sounds fabulous. :)

Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

Everything looks delicious!

Kristen's Raw said...

Looks like you're having some great fun in the kitchen. :)

Cheers,
Kristen

Meg Wolff said...

Your food looks absolutely delicious.