Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Comfort and Joy

Well, it's been a rather long week, already, and I'm just plain out of ideas for seasonal dishes. This week's take at the farmer's market, baby bok choy, purple radishes, and mini turnips have only gone to serve as salad fixings. I did discover that a baby bok choy salad is rather refreshing and delicious.

In the interest of not sharing a salad recipe...mostly because I think if you read the last sentence you have it, I will share with you a family staple and a recipe that many people have been asking for. The Livermore Family Spicy Tofu recipe. This is my edition and this recipe exists in many forms, my mother and uncle also love to make it although each of them has a slightly different version.


Spicy Tofu

The cooking time of this recipe depends on the type of tofu you choose, the more water it is packed in the longer the sauté step will take. Coriander and cumin give this dish a distinct flavor, the other spices in the recipe are my personal favorites; amounts and types should be changed to suit your personal needs. I like it best served with rice or pasta with a generous douse of Jamaican made Pickapeppa sauce to give it extra spice.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium garlic cloves sliced into think rounds
2 12-ounce packages of extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
2/3 cup large flake nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ cup tamari

Heat oil, in a well-seasoned medium to large cast iron pan or other skillet, over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and sauté, stirring, until lightly browned. Add the tofu and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the tofu is browned on all sides.
While the tofu is browning mix together the nutritional yeast, coriander, cumin, dill, turmeric, and chili powder. Set aside.
Add the tamari and stir to coat the tofu. Turn off the heat and allow to steep for a minute while stirring. Shake the spice mix over the tofu and stir to coat. Scoop over rice or pasta and serve.

Preparation time: 30-45 minutes
Makes 6 – 4-ounce servings

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mothering Sunday

This past weekend the market was all about mother's day flowers, leeks, and garden starts. It seemed like these were the only things for sale. Even the usually well stocked Nash's and Full Circle Farms were looking pretty sparse.

It is definitely the time to purchase garden starts and there were tomato, lettuce, and herb plants for sale at most of the booths.

I wish gardening wasn't forbidden this year because every time I see those flats of starts I want to put in a great big vegetable garden. There is nothing more local than the food you grow yourself. Even if you only have a balcony you can plant herbs and lettuces in large pots and have half a salad at your finger tips.

I can't plant anything new this year but my efforts from years past are starting to pay off. The raspberry canes we planted last year are bushy and healthy and have started putting out buds so we will have berries later this summer!! Hurrah!

I am still hoping to get a pot of basil going in my kitchen for later this summer and I would love to get some of those juicy tomato plants...maybe I can convince Daniel to get his hands a little dirty.

It's planting get out there and grow your own food.