Here is the preview of the Tandoori tofu that I will be detailing below. It turned out extremely well so I think hope you will like it as much as we did.
Friday was a beautiful day weather wise. We had a gentle breeze and temperatures in the upper 70’s. I really enjoyed that we also got a break from the rain that we have had so much of this spring. There has been so much rain that it also feels like you can see the grass growing now. ;-)
Breakfast for me was a simple bowl of local strawberries with a little soy yogurt (organic soy and no soy protein isolates) a touch of granola and a few sliced almonds. When we have local berries I love to have this for breakfast. It is a bit of splurge for me since I don’t typically buy soy yogurt and I really enjoyed it.
After breakfast I took time to enjoy the garden and went for a quick walk to see how my toe was going to do in my running shoes. My broken toe still isn’t 100% but it held up nicely so happy to say that I am back in business. *woo hoo*
For some reason (and I have no idea why) I was thinking of lobster tandoori today. Given that tofu has a very mild character I decided to use that as a stand in for the lobster. The biggest problem wasn’t the meat substitute but the sauce. The omni sauce that I have used in the past contained cream, egg and butter which meant I knew it was going to be a challenge to veganize. I had no idea how my healthy vegan version would turn out but since I had nothing to lose I decided to give it a go and here is what I did:
Enough for 2 – 14 ounce packages of tofu
2 tablespoons freshly ground golden flaxseeds
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled (mince if you aren’t using a high powdered blender)
½ teaspoon sweet paprika (not smoked)
1 pinch stevia
½ cup raw cashews
1/8 teaspoon ajowan seeds (you can substitute thyme)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons dry oatmeal (ground into flour)
2 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
¼ teaspoon cardamom powder (optional but recommended)
1 cup water
2 – 14 ounce packages of organic extra firm tofu (be sure to read the ingredient label to make certain that it doesn’t contain soy protein isolates)
Combine everything but the tofu in your blender (I used my Vitamix) and process until smooth and well blended. If you aren’t using a high powered blender you may want to soak the cashews a few hours first.
Cut each block of tofu into six slabs and cover it with the sauce and refrigerate for a few hours. Now place the tofu (excess sauce removed) in your oven to bake. I used my convection/infra red/halogen oven set on 350 degrees but it would also work in a regular oven though I would use a parchment or silpat covered baking sheet. Turn the tofu when the sauce begins to brown. Smear a little more sauce on top and bake until the second side is brown. I am guessing that this will take 20 minutes on the first side and 15 on the second side.
Sorry I ran out of time to run the numbers again. Are you starting to see a pattern here?
I just love this recipe! It is definitely one of my better experiments in a while. If you like Indian food and tofu please give this a try.
It was a gorgeous evening for dinner outside.
Friday was Corey’s last day managing the restaurant so you know we had to go out to dinner? There was no way we were going to miss his last day. I have to say I am still shocked that he is leaving after 14 years but I also understand. However it is really going to take a while before I get used to him not being there when we walk in but I am determined not to cry. Yes, I am that girl. ;-)
Both Ian and Will were working on Friday so I didn’t need to walk into the kitchen to see if I was making stuff up or if they had things planned. Since Will was working he was taking care of us today. Given the beautiful weather and a full patio I was expected the kitchen to be swamped and it was. I have no idea how they make food as fast as they do. That will always amaze me I must say. While I love to cook there is no way I could do it as quickly as they do.
We started with a pot of green and hibiscus tea and chatted with Corey, David, Mike, Jonathan, Jennifer, Emily, Janine, Stephanie and Ahmed. Everyone was a little bummed to see Corey leave but they hid it well while they were working which is better than I think I could have done.
Our first course was a very nice but simple salad of port soaked dried cherries, cucumber, radish, spinach, red onion, sliced almonds and semolina flat bread shards. The salad was dressed with tarragon vinegar. This salad was clean and delicious. I am fairly sure the port soaked cherries were what made this pop.
Next we had our favorite, Ian’s version of a samosa. Both Dan and I love this dish. The filling is potatoes, lentils, golden raisins and Indian seasonings. Like much of Ian’s food the dipping sauce is fabulous. I know it contains cilantro, citrus (which I think is lime) as well as heat (probably serrano). Sorry that I haven’t asked about the details on the sauce. I will try to remember to ask the next time we see Ian.
Dan loves to eat bread or pizza when we go out since I don’t keep any in the house. With that in mind the last course was bruschetta with tomatoes and basil. You know that Dan really liked this right?
For some crazy reason I decided to take some of this with me to the restaurant to get Ian’s take on it. Who takes their home cooking to a classically trained chef? *shakes head* Ian thought the spice blend was well balanced and he liked the texture of the coating and the tofu. His only suggest was that it needed more salt which makes sense since I don’t use any salt. That was something that Ian didn’t realize and he appeared completely confused by the concept. ;-) I do like to keep people guessing LOL. If you still use salt I would suggest that you add some. I took enough for others to try and everyone seemed to like it. Needless to say once Ian gave this his blessing I felt like my experiment was a complete success.
When everyone else left the restaurant everyone started getting ready for the first part of the send out. First there was a shirt that everyone who worked at the restaurant signed (and us) which I thought was adorable. I haven’t seen this tradition before but I really liked the idea of it.
Next there were balloons which I think I blew up most of. That isn’t as easy as it was when I was younger. LOL
I said goodbye to Corey (who they had sequestered in the office during preparations) and left before the first part of the party got started. Dan and I are just a little too old to hang with “the kids” all night. Not to mention I didn’t want to intrude on their time to say good bye to Corey. However they clearly had a good time Friday night. Here are a few pictures:
(Corey (L), Elly (C) and Taylor (R) earlier in the day)
(Corey (L) and Ian (C) toasting with Jenn, Will and Mike in the background)
(Emily (L) and Steph (R) having a good time) ;-)
(Jenn (front) and Mike aka shorty (back) yes he is 6'7" and Jenn is not)
(Janine (front), Elly (back left) and Jenn (back right) - what is Janine doning?) LOL
Clearly they were having a good time before heading out for round two of the send off. :-)
I still have no idea what I am going to do with the blog, but I appreciate the suggestions. The “greatest hits” idea is very appealing and I will try to do that soon. I think I will separate that into a number of posts with categories like: basics, soups, entrees, smoothies, that sort of thing.
The idea about “so I have cancer now what” I will also write about soon. The crazy thing about that comment is that was what I had originally wanted to write about but my friends weren’t sure that there was a market for it.
If you are an Facebook check out my fan page here. I am using this to share the interesting health and food related articles as I come across them. Additionally I am posting pictures here and some random stuff. Be sure to use the link above as there are two vegan epicurean pages and one has no activity. Long story, but to make it simple I set it up and then couldn't get log in again. Only me right? LOL
Other than that I have no idea what I will be doing. I hate being without direction like this. There is no doubt that I am more focused when I have a “mission statement” in mind. If you have any additional thoughts or ideas please feel free to share. I am open to any ideas.
• Friday was a gorgeous day and I was very happy that we were there to say good bye to Corey. As often as we go out to eat I spend more time with Corey than most anyone I know other than Dan. It just won’t be the same going out to dinner without Corey at the restaurant. If you are reading this Corey I hope you know how much we will both miss you. Don’t forget to let me know when you want to get together. Hugs!
• I was very happy about how my tandoori tofu turned out. Sometimes it is very easy to make me happy.
• Being able to wearing my running shoes was a huge accomplishment. You have no idea how happy this made me. I have really missed my daily walks.
• I love that winter is far behind us now. Spring is my favorite season. It is fantastic to go outside and have the foliage be that lovely spring green. It is also great to not have seasonal allergies any longer. If I had known eating this was would eliminate my allergies I might had done it long ago. Just imagine all the sinus medication I could have skipped. :-/
I need to clean up the kitchen and start to wind down. The farmers’ market will be starting before I know it. Talk to you all again tomorrow.