Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Not Sure What To Call the First Entry

Monday, December 31, 2007

Not Sure What To Call the First Entry

If anyone ends up reading my blog, I think they will come away with a few things. First, I love to cook, read, and rant. Secondly, I am not very creative with titles for things. When I was still in college, I would tend to name my papers something along the lines of "Whatever Class This Is Paper One", I usually got good grades, but the title had nothing to do with it. I better never write a book - nobody would spend $21.95 on a book called "Jennifer's Book One". Ha.

Anyways, I started this blog after browsing through many other food blogs, and decided that I would enjoy having a (mostly) food blog as well. I am a (dairy-free) vegetarian who eats mostly vegan so a tiny fraction of my recipes are not completely vegan. Hence why I called this blog Veg*n, as I understand this encompasses both vegetarians and vegans. I will try to make sure to denote whether it's vegetarian or vegan, though I'm sure most vegans out there are very careful to make sure they don't consume any animal products, so this shouldn't be too much of an issue. As I said, I love to cook, and I am always looking for advice, feedback, and other recipes, so this is my contribution - I hope you enjoy.

This blog will mostly consist of my various food adventures, but you may get a rant from time to time, as I am an environmentalist and peace mongerer, and with the current state of affairs, people like myself seem to have a never ending stream of things to rant about.

Now down to business, the food! Tonight I will be making Kung Pao Tofu, which is very good. I found a basic recipe and had to have my way with it so it ended up being essentially a template that I used to create my own recipe. This recipe is vegetarian, not vegan, as it has honey in it. I am sure that you could substitute something else for the honey. If anyone has any suggestions on how to make this vegan and still have the same sweet and spicy flavor, let me know. I would like to work with other sweetners, but am not sure what has a similar flavor to honey.

I scaled this recipe so that there was more sauce, I'm not sure about anyone else, but most of the Asian recipes I have come across are very skimpy on the sauce, you generally have to make more than one batch anyway, so I went ahead and changed it for the entire recipe. The dish isn't the same if there isn't enough sauce to soak into the rice.

This is good as a leftover as well, I will be taking it to work for lunch this week.

Kung Pao Tofu
1/2 block of tofu cut into small cubes
4 tsp. hot chili oil
honey (to taste)
4 tbsp. Mirin (Chinese Rice Wine)
3 tbsp. cornstarch
8 tbsp. shoyu
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. white vinegar
dash cayenne
1 tbsp. minced ginger (fresh or jarred)
1 clove garlic, minced
brocolli cooked (as much as you like)
snow peas (as much as you like)
onions diced (as much as you like)
2 tbsp. olive oil
Hot, cooked brown rice or other grain

Marinate tofu with half of the Mirin, cornstarch and hot chili oil, add 2 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce. Set in fridge to marinate for about a half hour.

Mix remaining rice wine, cornstarch, and soy sauce with a dash of cayenne, sugar, sesame oil, honey, vinegar and hot chili oil for the sauce.

Heat olive oil in medium skillet. Cook tofu until crisp. Remove from heat.

In a large skillet or wok heat olive oil, add garlic, onion, and ginger. Cook about one minute. Add brocolli and snow peas. Cook another minute. Add tofu and sauce and cook a few more minutes, heating through.

Serve over rice or other grain, I like to use brown rice, but you can be creative and use whatever you like.

Well, that's about all I have for today. Have a safe and happy New Years.

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