December 24, 2009

Recipe testing / tofu and cabbage /Texas caviar

Where oh where has the week gone? Wherever it went, it went quickly. I can't even remember eating but I've got the photos to prove we did. I tested more recipes and threw together random meals, and I'll share those with you but as far as personal, creative cooking. Ha. Nothing. At the top of the page you see a butternut squash-pasta bake tester recipe.

Above you see a super-fast baked seitan tester. Too bad I can't share this!

Some of the seitan was used to make a seitan and kale stir-fry that was delicious. It was served alongside the baked pasta and squash.

This was a thrown together lunch of humble origins but wonderful taste. I stir-fried extra-firm fresh tofu cubes with a small amount of tamari. When the tofu was sizzling and brown, I added a prodigious amount of grated ginger and some finely sliced green cabbage. The cabbage was cooked to the crisp-tender stage and the the dish was further seasoned with a grind of pepper. You can really pull a lot of flavor out of simple ingredients when necessary.


Texas Caviar: black-eyed pea salsa

Way back back in 2007 when I first started blogging, I ran a recipe for a traditional black-eyed-pea dish that's supposed to bring good luck if you eat it on New Year's. You can find the original post here. I hope the two people who may have read that post will forgive me for posting it again. I love this dish and think everyone should make it!

Texas Caviar 
  • 2 cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 scallions, finely sliced
  • 3 jalapenos, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil,
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground peppercorns

  1. Rinse and drain the beans and place in a bowl with the scallions, cilantro and peppers. 
  2. Put the oil, vinegar, lime juice and salt in a one cup glass measuring cup and mix together. 
  3. Add the liquid to the beans mixture and combine. Place in a shallow glass (or other non-reactive) dish. Cover and place in the refrigerator for a few hours or a few days. Mix occasionally to distribute the marinade evenly. 
  4. Grind some peppercorns over the top just before serving.
notes: I thought the mix looked a little too green and beige so I went looking in the refrigerator for a few grape tomatoes to chop up. They were gone so I got a few slices of the tomatoes I dried last summer (and keep in a sealed freezer bag in the fridge). I chopped those up and added them for color and tang. I also used jalapenos from last summer's garden. I always freeze bags of whole, hot peppers from the garden to use in cooking during the rest of the year. This was the first time I tried to use them uncooked. Couldn't tell they weren't fresh.

Fresh squeezed lime juice makes a superior salad but I would understand if you kept a bottle of lime juice (like Santa Cruz organic) in your refrigerator for "emergencies." The beans will still taste great.

I like to rinse and drain canned beans in a wire wok skimmer that I got in an Asian market years ago because I liked the way it looked. It's easier to clean than my fine mesh strainers and holds about one can of beans at a time.

Today we're heading south towards warmer and, hopefully, dryer weather. I won't be cooking much but I'll photograph our culinary adventures to share when we return. Until then have the happiest of holidays and remember to share your bounty with those who have less.

Oh, and by the way, we watched the original version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and I wasn't scared witless. In fact, I slept very well after seeing it. Still, it's a cool, cult classic that you might want to watch.


  1. Great eats--love the look of that cabbage! Hope you have a wonderful, warm holiday! :)

    PS I saw the original Body Snatchers, too, and have to admit it did scare me--such a wimp!

  2. Wherever you are going, have a great trip!

    Those photos look so tempting, I'm going to have to buy the cookbook.....

  3. Everything looks and sounds amazingly delicious!I'm so glad you posted about black-eyed pea salsa because I've to bring a pot luck for New Year's party and I think this recipe is perfect for me because it sounds so easy to make, thanks!

    Have a wonderful trip and wishing you the happiest of holidays too!

  4. Ricki - We're in Florida and it's t-shirt warm. It feels good! The movie scared me the first couple of times I saw it but not this time. In the book, the aliens leave Earth because the humans give them too much of a hard time, and that works for me!

    Claire - We're in Florida where it's warm!

    Oraphan - I hope you make and enjoy the salsa. I'm going to bring it to a brunch this year, too, along with an apple cake from Bryanna Clark Grogan's blog.

  5. You are a fantastic tester! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

  6. everything looks so good! and the old "body snatchers" is a great movie but it scared me too =)

  7. I have tofu, cabbage and ginger in my fridge right now, and your lunch looks darn tasty. One of those mild winter meals. Hope you had a great holiday!

  8. Mihl - Our holidays have been relaxing and warm! Yay for warm.

    the twins - Thanks for your comment. Yes, that old movie is a classic! And scary.

    Mary - All you need is a wok. And I think the dish could use a little color from grated carrots or sweet pepper! :)

  9. Mmm, that texas caviar sounds so simple and delicious!

  10. The pasta bake looks so good! Yum! I have been craving a pumpkin pasta bake lately, maybe this is the one for me!

  11. Alisa- It really is simple and delicious - one of our favorites.

    Penny- It's been fun testing recipes for Celine and Joni. We'll start testing again when we get home from our vacation.

  12. Great looking food, as always, Andrea! I particularly like the tofu and cabbage. I'll be trying that soon...
    Hope you have a wonderful holiday!
    I was really worried for a bit when I saw Penny's comment and couldn't remember writing it. Then I found out it was another Penny! Whew!!! I'm the Scottish one! :o)

  13. Yikes, Penny, I've been assuming it was you and responding accordingly. That's what I get for rushing while on vacation. This "other Penny" is a talented artist from Australia who creates wonderful, whimsical designs. She probably thinks I'm crazy for assuming she lives in Scotland. I will pay better attention in 2010!

  14. Please try my recipe which is closer to what you have here but mine uses different ingredients. I hope you like it!


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