The market has only increased in popularity over the years, and now it seems even 7 a.m. is too late to avoid the masses. So we now shop at one of the many smaller markets that have sprung up all over the city. The west-side market we frequent is in a parking lot, but what it lacks in scenic charm is made up for with convenience and great vendors, many of whom sell organic produce. We were at the market on Saturday when I saw something I'd not seen before at the market.
Long beans with tofu, potatoes and peppers
- 1/2 of a 14 oz. pkg. extra-firm tofu, sliced into small slabs
- 2 med. yellow potatoes, 3/4-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup low-sodium veg. broth or water
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- oil (1 tablespoon or less)
- 1 bunch long beans, ends removed, chopped into 2-inch lengths
- 1 green Anaheim pepper, chopped
- 2-3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 to 3 teaspoons Sambal Oelek, or red curry paste
- 1 to 3 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon natural sugar
- juice of 1/2 lime
- crushed roasted peanuts
- Place the potatoes and stock in a large wok. Lay the tofu on top of the potatoes. Cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender but still firm. Remove to a plate, scraping out all the stuck on bits with a spatula. (The stock will have evaporated.)
- In a small amount of oil, cook the garlic in the wok. When it starts to turn golden, add the beans and pepper, and stir-fry a few minutes until the beans are crisp-tender.
- Add the potatoes and tofu, tomatoes, sambal, soy sauce and sugar, and stir-fry a minute or two until the tomatoes are hot. Check seasonings.
- Mix in the lime juice and place in a serving bowl. Sprinkle with peanuts.
- If desired, pass small bowls of chopped cilantro, chopped parsley and extra peanuts at the table.
The green Owl revisited
|Angel food cake: photo by Betsy Haynes|
In the short time we've been visiting Madison, we've been to The Green Owl four times! Yes, we like it there, but it's also the only vegetarian/vegan restaurant in town, and everyone wants to go there with us, because, you know, we're vegan. Every time we go we try something different, and this was the case last week when we went for our third visit.
|Macro plate: photo by Betsy Haynes|
|Lava cake: photo by Betsy Haynes|
GUESS WHAT: Sadly, the angel food cake eaten by my vegetarian (but not vegan) friend wasn't vegan after all. Well that explains why it was so real, and also lets me off the hook trying to reproduce it. I received a very apologetic note from Jenny Capellaro, the Green Owl's owner, who was very upset that we had somehow gotten the impression that the cake was vegan. She really intends that people avoiding all animal products can feel safe eating in her restaurant.
What else are we eating?
I was tempted to make vegan fried eggs, à la Zoa, for dinner, but realized that with the limited "vacation pantry" we're working with, that wasn't possible. I don't have vegan mayo or Earth Balance, nor do I have a food processor. So I opted for just the "white" of the egg, made from plain sauteed tofu finished with Indian black salt (kala namak). I placed it over avocado on lightly-toasted sourdough bread. It tasted so much like egg, with the richness of the avocado subbing for the yolk, it was kind of freaky. With the addition of steamed broccoli from the farmers market, and a cucumber and tomato salad, it made a satisfying light supper for a hot evening.
jokes that everything we make has to have tomatoes, so I made a salad with sweet English cukes from the farmers market and tons of yellow and red cherry tomatoes from the garden, plus parsley and basil. The veggies are so fresh and flavorful they need only the tiniest bit of simple dressing.