Saturday, December 22, 2007

Almost Made From Scratch

Between the Christmas shopping and the Christmas movies on TV I made myself a special dinner. One that required a bit of time to prepare.

A neighborhood child came to me one day a couple months ago selling magazine subscriptions for a school fundraiser. Usually I would just say "no thanks" but she is the daughter of neighbor-friend of mine so I decided to peruse her list of magazines. She insisted on me getting "Sports Illustrated" but I turned down that idea because most sports featured in that publication are utterly boring to me. I saw that there was a subscription to "Vegetarian Times" so I ordered that instead. I have gotten a couple issues already and I have been eager to make something from them.

I bought a book recently titled "The Complete Book of Raw Food" because I have heard the amazing health benefits of eating raw. I am not gonna become a raw foodie but I thought once in a while it would be nice to eat "living foods."

So, cue the drum-roll, for this beautiful winter's evening, I made Soy Sesame Tofu with Peanut Sauce and a Mesclun Salad with Creamy Cumin Dressing.

Recipes follow pictures

Soy Sesame Tofu:

1 block of water-packed extra-firm tofu, drained, cut into 1 inch cubes, and marinated

For marinade I used:

Low-sodium Soy Sauce
Toasted Sesame Oil
Ground Ginger
Garlic Powder

The amounts of each ingredient are up to you and your taste

Spray or lightly coat a pan with olive oil over medium-high heat and brown tofu, flipping or stirring occasionally.

Peanut Sauce (recipe taken from Vegetarian Times magazine):

1 cup smooth peanut butter
10-15 sprigs cilantro, chopped
3 Tbsp. sugar or sweetener
2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
Cayenne pepper to taste

Whisk peanut butter with 1 cup of hot water in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients until combined.

This sauce is not just great with tofu but is perfect for a vegetable dip or atop noodles.

Raw Creamy Cumin Salad Dressing (recipe taken from The Complete Book of Raw Food):

1 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 cloves garlic, peeled
20 sprigs cilantro
1 tsp. sea salt
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/8 cup flax, hemp, or olive oil
1/2 tsp. cumin powder

In a blender, thoroughly mix all ingredients with 1 cup of water until smooth. Dressing may thicken upon refrigeration, so add a little water when using later. It will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks.

Really good dinner. And it's enough for 2-3 meals for one person. I'm looking forward to eating more for lunch tomorrow.

I have to go wrap gifts and watch a couple Xmas movies. Enjoy. If you make anything from this post, make the peanut sauce. It's so delicious and easy, honest.

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