August 15, 2016

I like to eat ...



We had our annual block party recently, and I decided to make two dips. Most of our neighbors are pretty traditional in their food choices, and we're the only vegans, so I made something everyone would recognize, and not consider weird — hummus. I also made a slightly more exotic carrot dip. It was rich with cashews and garlic, and extremely delicious. Everyone who tried it seemed to like it, but I had accidentally made about twice as much as I intended, so I held back a container in the refrigerator for another use. The next day, I used the leftovers to top pasta and steamed veggies for a delicious dinner.

The pasta is pretty interesting. The all-organic ingredients include chickpea flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch and pea protein. The brand is Explore, and we bought it at Costco. It doesn't taste like wheat pasta, but it tastes pretty good.



I've been having sushi cravings that pop up suddenly, and don't seem to include the craving to make sushi myself. So, we've been getting sushi take-out from a neighborhood Japanese restaurant that is relatively vegan-friendly. The sushi isn't as interesting as the sushi I've had at vegan sushi places in other cities, but it's tasty and convenient.

The tofu cubes I made in my oven on the convection setting, using a bit of Bragg's but no oil. It was crispy on the outside but a bit dry on the inside. I've found that firm tofu works better in the convection oven than extra-firm in that it stays moist on the inside. In my efforts to get a crispy crust, I over-baked the extra firm tofu, and it was a bit too dry on the inside. Still, in spite of being extra chewy, it was good.



Here's a better photo of the tofu cubes. The oven was set at 400˚F, and I turned the cubes every 10 minutes for about 30 minutes. I fear my experiments are leading me to want an air fryer even more, but I'm trying to resist another kitchen appliance. I think I can resist. I think I can.



Here's a quick dinner thrown together when we couldn't think of what to make. It's soy curls with tomato sauce served with kale and pasta. Soy curls to the rescue yet again. And what would we do without pasta?



Summer is a great time to eat salads, and I'm still making my oil-free salad dressing of the week to top them off. One of these days I'll write down a recipe to share — with you and with myself so I can remember what went into the ones I like best! Walnuts and baked tofu strips give the salad staying power.



I do love a good salad on a summer day. The salad has chickpeas and pasta with tahini dressing.

I especially love summer and don't want it to end. I love being warm, wearing lightweight clothes, and eating homemade ice cream. Hope you're enjoying your summer!



Sometimes, when we're not eating, we're hiking. The sculpture in the photo is located in Carkeek Park in Seattle. It's part of a temporary sculpture exhibit located along one of the hiking trails. This particular piece contains 1008 moving mirrors. It was quite a beautiful site with the Olympic Mountains and the Sound in the background.


10 comments:

  1. That tofu looks AWESOME. Seriously, even better than traditionally fried cubes! I'm glad you're finding such success with just oven baking, since I'm also trying not to buy yet another kitchen gadget right now. I'll have to try your method next time.

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    1. Remember that it's not just oven baking, it's convection oven baking. The convection feature seems to make a difference in how crispy the outside gets. I'm working on it but am not quite where I want to be, yet, with tofu. The French fries, on the other hand, are pretty perfect!

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  2. what a great post - so many colorful and yummy eats. I love summertime too. I love being warm, sunshine, summer fruits and veggies! Also, I love that you mentioned Carkeek Park - that was one of my favorite special places when I lived in Seattle!

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    1. Thank you! Seattle has so many amazing parks, and Carkeek is definitely a fine example. I love the hiking trails there, and the views. My favorite is still Discovery Park, though. :)

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  3. I saw the top picture and wondered what made the sauce such an incredibly beautiful colour and now I know - carrots! Is there a recipe you can point me towards? I'm also having severe sushi cravings at the moment - maybe it's a summer thing?

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    1. I used to write down everything I did when I played with food, but I've gotten lazy, I'm afraid, and there isn't a recipe. I just made it up on the spot. I remember I steamed three big cut-up carrots, then heavy-duty-blended them with garlic, herbs, spices and cashews (and enough water to blend). But, I don't remember what exactly was in the mix. I mean to start writing things down again so I can share recipes. Maybe I'll make the carrot dip again some day.

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  4. Looks like a lot of good summertime eating! I get my wheat pasta from Whole Foods, I didn't know Costco had some. Is it a big giant package?

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    1. Our Costco definitely has a lot of pasta. The chickpea pasta comes in a 2 pound box, which is a lot — if you don't like the taste. We also buy a 2 pound box of edamame pasta.

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  5. Baked tofu can be tricky! I can never get it right without oil, so i just use some of the 100% olive oil (or coconut oil) spray from trader joe's as well as whatever spices or flavoring and i get a nice crust to the outside that doesn't make it just dehydrated and weird chewy.
    The carrot dip sounds delicious! And yeah, when i want sushi there's no way I'm making it..... Surprisingly the sushi counter at my whole foods does a great job and they will make whatever you want right then, and it's cheaper/better than delivery near me
    Ttrockwood
    Ttrockwood

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    1. It's my convection oven that's helping me get the tofu crisp without oil — same idea as the air-fryer craze that's happening. My regular oven converts to convection if I flip a switch. I never knew what that meant before, but I've been experimenting a lot with it lately. I just got some sushi rice to cook in my Instant Pot, so sushi might be happening here sometime soon!

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