Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Szechuan Tofu Stir-Fry

This stir-fry is amazing. It is full of flavor and fairly spicy.  You can tone down the heat by leaving out the red pepper flakes. These simple ingredients are elevated with this tasty sauce. Serve with a spring roll for a filling meal.

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch-piece ginger-root, grated
  • 1/2  cup coconut sugar, (substitute brown sugar or regular sugar)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (1-lb.) block extra-firm tofu, pressed, drained, and cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon corn-starch
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus,  sliced into 1" lengths
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diagonally sliced very thinly
  • 5 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup toasted unsalted cashews
  • Sea salt
  • Chopped scallions, to garnish
  • Steamed rice, to serve

In a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil, add the garlic and ginger, and cook for 1 minute. 

Remove from the heat and add sugar, water, chili garlic sauce, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Return to the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce takes on a syrup-like consistency. Set aside and keep warm. 

Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a wok or heavy-based skillet. Mix the cubed tofu with the cornstarch and toss well, but be careful not to break up the tofu.  Cook the tofu until golden brown on all sides. Remove the tofu from the pan and keep warm.

Stir-fry the asparagus until it is almost tender-crisp.

Add the red bell pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Now add the spinach and stir-fry until just wilted. 

Return the tofu to the pan, add the cashews, and stir to mix. 

Pour the sweet and spicy sauce over the pan. Stir well.

Serve immediately on a bed of rice.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Datil Pepper BBQ Sauce

My datil pepper really has me working overtime. They are so hot it only takes about 8-12 to make anything hotter than hell. I've been making Mango Datil Jam, Raspberry Datil Jam, Datil Pepper Salsa, Datil Pepper Sauce and today we have Datil BBQ Sauce. This is thinner than the stuff you buy in the grocery store. I'm thinking it will be good to cook down and thicken up or to brush it on grilled things right before you take them off the grill. I've already had to freeze about 80 pepper because I just didn't have time to mess with them and the plant is ready to be picked AGAIN! If you like hot, you'll like anything with Datil peppers in it!!!!! We love this stuff.
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup tropical 100% juice
  • 1 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (Vegan)
  • 4 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke (optional, but bumps up smokiness!)
  • 11 datil peppers (seeds and all)

In a blender add all of the ingredients.

Blend until peppers are pulverized.

Pour this into a sauce pan (be careful don't breathe the fumes) and bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour into jars and seal.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Whole Grain Blueberry Muffins

I have a lot of blueberries in the freezer from this season. I am also trying to use up a lot of the stuff in my freezer since it IS hurricane season. We love blueberries and these muffins (I made in regular sized muffin tins) could be made in mini-muffin tins or mini bundt tins. These beauties are great for breakfast, snacks or treats.
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons Earth Balance, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • zest of one large lemon
  • 2 flax-eggs (1 flax egg = 1T flax seed meal mixed with 3 T warm water)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup non-dairy yogurt
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Cream together the Earth Balance and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy and almost white in color.

Add the lemon zest and cream a little longer. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Add the flax eggs, beating well. Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate.

Add the yogurt and the flour mixture, alternating, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, in 2 and 3 additions respectively. Mix on low speed to incorporate after each addition. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Gently fold in the blueberries.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease your pan. Scoop the batter into the prepared pans, dividing the batter evenly.

Bake the muffins until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 15-18 minutes (check at 15). Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack to finish cooling.