April 3rd, 2011

Evening Boop

Tofu Squares and Black Bean Powder

I have a couple of questions.

I went on a pilgrimage to an Asian store yesterday. I bought a package of fried tofu - little squares of tofu about 1 inch by 1/2 inch square. I've had them before as a protein snack dipped in chili oil, but it tore up my stomach. Does anyone have any suggestions for using this as a snack or lunch/sandwhich kind of thing?

I also saw, but did not buy, a bag of black bean powder. My mind ran wild thinking of the possibilities but I don't feel brave enough to experiment with it. Besides it's pretty expensive and I don't want to waste it. Has anyone ever made anything out of black bean powder?
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Fluffy Vulcan

Passover Stuffed Peppers

Passover is a challenging time for an Ashkenazic vegetarian. Especially now that I'm also trying to lose weight. I've been trying to come up with a stuffed pepper recipe that wasn't going to be terrible calorie-wise, would be filling, and wouldn't contain any legumes, grains, pasta, mustard, or sunflower seeds. (Matzo and by-products are allowed).

Well, my first experiment appears to have been successful!

1 bell pepper
3 Tbsp dry Passover couscous
1/4 small onion, chopped
1/2 small carrot, diced
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 large portobello mushroom
2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
3 oz low-sodium bouillon (any type)
Salt, pepper, dried parsley and paprika to taste
1/4 cup Gefen Spicy Marinara Pasta sauce

Cut the top off the pepper and remove seeds and membrane. Take the pepper top, remove the stem and chop the flesh.

Heat oil in frying pan on medium. Add dry couscous and toast, stirring until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Add vegetables including pepper top. Add the broth a little at a time, to prevent the couscous and vegetables from scorching.

When vegetables are soft but not mushy, add 1.5 tbsp pine nuts and seasoning to taste.

Spoon mixture into pepper cavity, top with marinara and remaining 1/2 tbsp pine nuts. Pour water into pan until pepper is half-immersed in water.

Bake at 350 45-50 minutes.

Recipe may easily be multiplied.

non-hydrogenated unsalted vegan margarine

i was browsing around the extensive (ephemeral) kosher section of my supermarket the other day, and i randomly decided to check out the margarines. turns out mother's margarine (made by manischewitz, pareve and KFP all year round) looks to be vegan.

this is for the salted version
non-hydrogenated cottonseed oil, non-hydrogenated palm oil, filtered water, , salt, distilled monoglycerides, natural flavor, annatto (the unsalted has everything but the salt)

according to this blog post which hasn't had a comment in 2 years, there might also be an unsalted non-hydrog margarine by eden (also with cottonseed oil) but i couldn't find it on their website.

cottonseed oil isn't all that healthy (cotton is highly sprayed with pesticides) and the palm is most likely as cheap as they can get it, so very likely from malaysia and indonesia, but if you need an unsalted margarine (where you can't just remove salt from the rest of your recipe to account for the salt in earth balance) then this might be a good option.

i did a side-by side with the salted and EB, and the mothers was definitely more waxy, and less flavorful, but it reminded me more of the butter that i had had in my youth. so it might be a good option for shortbread. also, i've had bad luck more often that i've had good luck with EB tub in my frosting (separation), so this might be a good option for frosting.