Saturday, January 24, 2009

Orange Cashew Tofu

This is a great weeknight recipe. It is fast and most of the ingredients in this recipe are usually in my pantry so it is an easy, flavorful last minute meal that takes less than 30 minutes. It is great alternative to take out.

1 10 to 12 oz block of firm tofu cut into ½ inch pieces
1/2 cup unsalted roasted cashews
About 2 teaspoons olive oil
5 Scallions cut into ½ pieces- use both the white and green part
Juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons grated garlic
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes, or less to taste
1 teaspoon hot chili oil, or less to taste

I like to buy raw, unsalted cashews and roast them myself. If you are using raw cashew, roast in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until done.

In a small bowl, stir together the orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, 1 teaspoon grated garlic, 1 teaspoon grated ginger and cornstarch. Set aside.

Heat a medium size cast iron or nonstick skillet on medium high heat, Add ½ of the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the tofu and stir occasionally. After about 5 minutes add in the scallions. Stir occasionally until tofu is browned and scallions are soft (about another 5 minutes.)Transfer the tofu and scallion mixture to a bowl.

Turn down the skillet to medium Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-high add the remaining garlic, ginger and chili flakes. Stir for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the orange juice mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens slightly.

Add the tofu and scallion mixture and the roasted cashews. Cook for about another minute. Serve with brown rice.

Makes 4 Servings

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Weekday Vegetarian Eco Tip of the Week

Here it is. My favorite, super easy, super important Weekday Vegetarian Eco Tip. Bring your own grocery bags to the store. Sounds simple, but the fact is most people still don’t do it.

As the debate heats up in cities everywhere about whether or not to ban plastic bags, the more I realize what a wasteful and selfish society we have become. We expect the store to provide a disposable bag for us to tote our groceries home. For most of us our groceries sit in that bag for no more than about 30 minutes. People say that they recycle them or use them for other purposes. They still end up in a land fill within a short time, and most people don’t recycle them, especially plastic bags. If you are like most people you have piles of them stashed around the house and eventually, and maybe even with slight guilt you throw half of them in the trash.

The facts below are from (by the way, this is a great site. I recommend checking it out.)
• Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year.

• According to the EPA, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year.

• According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers is $4 billion)

(Some good news)
• Each high quality reusable shopping bag you use has the potential to eliminate hundreds, if not thousands, of plastic bags over its lifetime.

Get in the habit of keeping several bags in your car. That way you will never forget them. Another tip is to keep a small compact bag in your purse or front seat of the car for the small purchases.

Paper or plastic? No thanks! I brought my own reusable bags.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I love wraps. They're easy, quick, filling and they are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Wraps are easy to eat and a great way to use up leftovers. I like to mix up the type of tortillas that I use. Whole wheat, spelt, mixed grain. I recommend trying Food For Life sprouted grain tortillas.

You can eat your wraps cold or hot. I often put in the ingredients, roll it up and heat it in the skillet for a few minutes on each side until it is crispy. They make a great meal on the go. The recipe below is one of my favorite wrap recipes.

The Greek Wrap
1 cup Lettuce (any type)
Kalamata Olives
Bell Peppers
White Onions
Roasted Beets
Feta Cheese (optional)
2 tbs. Hummus (Make your own or look for it in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

The proportion of vegetables are up to your own taste but the entire amount should equal about ¾ cup.

Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar dressing
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
Black Pepper

Add the vinegar, mustard, oregano and pepper in a bowl and slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place each beet on a piece of foil and drizzle with oil and salt and pepper. Wrap each beet in the foil and place them directly on the oven rack and roast until tender when pierced with fork, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool. Peel beets and slice. I recommend roasted more than you need for this recipe so you can use them in salads or other dishes for the next couple of days.

Chop the lettuce and slice the vegetables put about 1 3/4 cup of the mixture in a bowl and toss with some of the dressing. Spread the hummus on the tortilla, put the tossed lettuce and vegetables on top of the hummus, top with the optional feta cheese. Fold the wrap.

If you are packing this in your lunch, put the lettuce and vegetables in a container. Put the dressing and hummus in a small separate containers- if you mix it in advance, your vegetables could get soggy. I like to mix it right before I make the wrap. Take a piece of parchment paper that is slightly larger than the tortilla. Place the tortilla on top of the paper and roll it up. Keep it closed with a rubber band or twisty tie or just twist the ends. This will keep your tortilla fresh in your lunch box. Assemble the wrap when you are ready to eat.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Curry Lentil Salad

1 cup dried lentils
1 cup total very small diced red pepper, cucumber, carrot, baby leek. (if baby leeks are not in season use a about a tablespoon of very finely diced shallot)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
4 teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Cover lentils with plenty of cold water. Simmer lentils until they are very tender. Make sure that they are always covered with water, if the water evaporates, add more. This takes about 30-45 minutes. When lentils are cooked rinse with cold water.

Add diced vegetables.

In a separate bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegar, curry powder and salt. Pour over lentils and gently mix. Best if served chilled.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Vegetable Quesadilla

4 whole wheat tortillas
1 red bell pepper
½ med yellow onion
1 small zucchini
1 ear of corn
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil

Garnish with

Heat skillet on med high, once pan is hot, add olive oil. Add pepper and onion. Add chili powder, cumin and oregano. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini and corn. Cook for a few more minutes until the zucchini is slightly soft.

Put the flour tortilla in the skillet and place some of the vegetables on ½ of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half. Heat for a few minutes until the tortilla slightly browned.

Cut into wedges and top with salsa and a few slices of avocado.

Monday, January 19, 2009