Saturday, June 20, 2009

As if you need another reason to love Penzey's Spices...

Penzeys is keepin' it real by featuring a tofu and 5 vegan veggie recipes in the Summer 2009 catalog.

Cinnamon Tofu and Sweet Potatoes, pg 16
Pepper Bean Salad, pg 28
Saffron Rice, pg 35
Cucumber and Onion Salad pg, 37
Chopped Marinated Salad pg 39
Grilled veggies, pg 43.
If you're not familiar with Penzeys, they have fantastic herbs, spices, and spice blends. You won't find them in grocery stores, but they have a few stores throughout the US (one in Grand Central in New York) or you can buy online.

Almost all their products are inherently vegan. The meaty sounding ones, like pork chop seasoning, are great seasonings when you want your tofu to taste like bacon. Thinly slice some tofu and sprinkle with pork chop seasoning and fry it up. I'm also big a fan of the taco and Indian seasonings.

I don't usually make my own Indian food, because I find the spice combinations a little tricky to get right. I had a bunch of stuff I needed to use up, so here's the not-really-a-recipe version of what I made.

Kale Coconut Curry:
I simmered 2 lemongrass stalks in some So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk.
Then in a separate pan, I heated some oil and added a pinch (only a pinch) of hing.

I keep the hing tightly wrapped in the pantry because it tends to smell like armpit. Why would you want to cook with this malodorous stuff, you ask? Well because it makes Indian food taste like Indian food. When cooked in oil, the taste and aroma soften and lend a leek/onion/garlic taste to dishes. My friend Bhavna told me a story about how God held a party and the onions and garlic were late and that's why they aren't in their food. I looked forward to Bhavna's mom's visits from India because she always cooked and sent extras to work with Bhavna for me. Their family in India had a cook, but her dad would only eat what her mom cooked. I don't blame him. I wish I could recreate those dishes, but back to my impromptu creation...

To the hing and oil, I added some garam masala, Penzeys hot curry powder , and some salt. Then the chopped kale that I cooked and froze last weekend. Once mixed and cooked down more, I blended the kale up small and added it to the strained coconut milk. Now, this is why this isn't a recipe...the mixture wasn't very saucy, so I mixed some chickpea flour (besan) with some of the soupy coconut milk and then added that back to the sauce. This did it. Perfectly saucy, now.
I overdid it on the hot curry sauce, so to cut the spice, I topped it with a little unsweetened soy yogurt.

1 comment:

nora said...

Wow, when I saw the Cinnamon and Tofu with Sweet Potatoes, I KNEW i had to have it! i screenshot that shit :) thank you for the rec!!! it will be so easy to veganize.