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Tofu Scramble with Veggies and Couscous

January 18, 2011 2 comments

I have a tendency to just get to cooking and make up dinner as I go along. Not going to lie, it was semi-planned. I knew it would have tofu, carrots, and broccoli. But after that, it really is all up to chance.

Tofu Scramble with Veggies and Couscous

makes 2 servings, with some couscous leftover

Ingredients
Half block of tofu, cut into cubes
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
Crown of broccoli, cut up
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup dry couscous
2 cups water
2 tablespoons peanut oil

Note: You can use extra virgin olive oil if you like. I’m not sure which one is better for you, but I love the way that peanut oil smells.

  1. Heat peanut oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in cumin seeds and mustard seeds, cover.
  2. When they start popping, add in tofu. Stir fry tofu and break it down into small pieces and add in carrot and turmeric. Stir to incorporate. Add water as needed so nothing sticks or burns.
  3. Once carrots have gotten softer, add some water, the broccoli, and cover to steam the broccoli.
  4. Halfway through broccoli steaming, add in curry powder and stir well to incorporate. Steam until broccoli is at your desired crunchiness level.
  5. When you start the broccoli steaming, get two cups of water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Once water boils, add couscous, cover, and take off heat. It is done in about five minutes.

I never understood how people could actually eat tofu as if it was scrambled eggs…. well now, I can totally understand. Maybe I’ll have to try out one of those ‘egg’ strata or quiche type dishes from the Veganomicon one of these days.

You should have about half the couscous you made as leftovers. It works out great substituted for rice in a stir fry or cold in a non-pasta pasta salad.

Japanese-style curry: the easy way

January 14, 2011 3 comments

I love Japanese style curry. Japanese style curry and (good) ramen are two of my comfort foods from Japan. It totally thwarts any efforts I have to eat totally vegetarian today, but we got the beef from a cow that Tim’s uncle raised, so I am mostly okay with that.

Let’s just start with that this recipe makes use of a concentrated curry roux block, which is not “real” food. Read the ingredients, I don’t know what half of them are. I don’t know how to make this any other way… but trust me, it might not be “real,” but it is good.

I usually pick up Vermont curry medium-hot (not hot at all, actually) from our local Asian grocer, Tsai Grocery.

Of course you can put this amazing-ness over rice, but that’s a little simple and expected.

How about with some breaded pork cutlets? (Katsu-kare)

Or how about over udon noodles? (Warning, close-up food porn.)

Japanese curry is not like what you think of with Indian or Thai curries. It is not overly spicy and is more like a beef stew served over rice, udon noodles, inside of bread, with breaded pork.’

Japanese style curry

makes about 8 servings, ~2 cups each

Ingredients
Whole block (12 little squares) of Curry Roux
6 cups of Water
1.5 pounds of meat (beef, chicken, lamb). I used stew beef.
2 big potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
2 big carrots, peeled and cut into circles
An onion, if you like (I don’t like…)

That’s all! Add all ingredients to a crock pot and set to high.
Cook on high for around 4 hours, then set to low. I stir every once in a while to break up the curry blocks.

Pro-tip: Before adding curry roux to the crock pot, cut it up into thin slices. You could ever omit a cup of water from the crock pot and dissolve the curry roux in a cup of hot water, then add it to the crock pot mixture.

This is the way I made curry on Sunday afternoon and when I took it from the crock pot and into a Tupperware it made ONE GALLON of curry.

To Serve
Serve side by side with hot white rice or over udon noodles. You can also taste your skill at making some pork katsu and adding that to make katsu-kare, another popular way to eat this dish.

All done!
My version is not nearly as spectacular looking as those above… but that’s not what really matters, right?!

This keeps very well in the fridge for about a week (any fat will congeal on the surface and is easily picked off) and also keeps well in the freezer in an air tight container.

Again, this is the easy way to make Japanese curry. I found some recipes online for a DIY method without the curry block. I’ll have to try that too sometime and compare the taste.

White Bean & Barley Soup

December 13, 2010 Leave a comment

White Bean & Barley Soup
Serves 5

Ingredients
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 cup dry barley, washed
1 can white beans (cannellini)
Baby Spinach, a lot (3.5 ounces)
3 Carrots, peeled & cut into rounds (about 1 cup)
2 small tomatoes, seeded & chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, pressed

In large pot (but not the HUGE soup pot) combine 4 cups vegetable broth and 1 cup barley. Let come to a boil and then bring down to a simmer. Set timer for 60 minutes.

You will need to keep a watch on it and add the 2 cups of water as needed since the barley will expand.

At 20 minutes left, add the carrots and garlic. Around the 5 minutes left mark, add the tomatoes and beans. After the sixty minutes is up, test to make sure the barley is tender, and then add in the spinach stir in until wilted.

Season to taste with sea salt, pepper, chili powder, and red pepper flakes… or whatever else you feel like.

Based on my calculations (dependent upon the brand you use and measurements, of course) it is ~205 calories per serving.