Thursday, September 6, 2012

Vegan Bahn Mi

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This is a special VB creation (with semi-helpful suggestions from me). Making a good sandwich is an art and he's the resident sandwich specialist. Since I didn't make it, this recipe will be a bit vague. But I think it will be simple enough. OR. You can just go to Lee's Sandwiches. But what's the fun in that?

For this vegan bahn mi, you'll need:
  • 1 French baguette
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 small daikon radish, shredded
  • 1 16-ounce container of extra firm tofu, sliced into half inch pieces
  • 2 portabella mushrooms, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic
  • 2 Thai chilies, minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced thinly length-wise
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon white vinegar or rice wine vinegar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (omit if you're using rice wine vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegannaise
  • salt to taste
  • cilantro (with stems) for garnish
Begin by marinating tofu and mushrooms with soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, grated ginger, grated garlic and minced Thai chilies. Season with salt if desired. Set aside for at least 2 hours.

Mix together 1/4 cup vinegar, sugar (if using), shredded daikon, shredded carrots, and a pinch of salt. Mix well and set aside for at least 30 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Place tofu and mushrooms into separate oven-proof containers that are lightly greased with olive oil or canola oil. Be sure to squeeze out any excess liquid. The tofu will take approximately 45 minutes until the edges become crispy and browned. Mushrooms will take about 20 minutes to become cooked. So be sure to place tofu in the oven first before putting the mushrooms in. Check midway through and flip if necessary.

When you're ready to assemble sandwich, slice baguette length-wise in half but leave one end attached. Scoop out excess bread inside. Spread vegannaise on one side. Layer in baked tofu, mushrooms, then sliced cucumbers, carrot/daikon slaw, sliced jalapenos and cilantro.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Patio Farming

Pin It As we did the last few years, we planted tomatoes, peppers and herbs for the summer. Due to the lack of space, we planted them in pots on our patio. So, it's like suburban patio farming of sorts. Despite the lack of space, I was pretty pleased with our harvest. For the tomatoes, we started from seeds and grew them into huge tomato plants.

We grew two types of tomatoes this year. This is Big Rainbow.

This is San Marzano.

These were Big Bertha and Yellow Bell. But on our weekend away, someone stole our Big Bertha (it was really big then) and one bell pepper. What has the world come to?
We also have Anaheim and jalapeno peppers.
We also planted a dwarf Meyer lemon tree. Lots of blossoms and lemons already.
Harvested Big Rainbow and San Marzano. The San Marzanos suffered a bit from blossom rut, but the Big Rainbows turned out beautifully.
See what I mean? This is the Big Rainbow after it has been sliced diagonally.
Overall, pretty successful despite our unfortunate pepper theft incident. At least I hope someone got to have some great peppers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Zucchini Cakes

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Long time no post. Lots of things happening. Busy. Busy. I haven't had time to cook or to go grocery shopping (or updating the blog, for that matter), so we've been subsisting on zucchinis from VB's co-worker's home garden. We've had a lot of zucchinis. A LOT. This happens to be the best zucchini recipe that I made recently. I like the mild Yukon potatoes paired with the fresh, green zucchinis and the crunch of the celery in these zucchini cakes.

For this zucchini cake, you will need:
  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 4 medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste
Start by grating the zucchinis into a large mixing bowl. Season with salt. Allow the zucchinis to stand and release its moisture, about 15 minutes. In the meantime, peel and cube potatoes and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Insert fork into the potatoes. If fork penetrates easily, the potatoes are done. Otherwise repeat on high for 2 minutes each time until potatoes are done. Rice or mash the potatoes in a separate mixing bowl.

Squeeze the zucchini mixture until the mixture is fairly dry. Mix with mashed potatoes, celery, bread crumbs and salt. Make fist size balls and then flatten into patties.

In a medium nonstick pan, heat up one tablespoon of olive oil. Add patties and gently pan fry until browned on each side, about 3-5 minutes per side. Serve immediately.