Broccoli & Tofu Lo-Mein

23 06 2012

Well, my life almost changed drastically the other week. I found a job on Craigslist that I was totally under-qualified for, but thought would be right up my alley. I applied and was basically hired on the spot. Cut to me sweating as a sous chef for a new restaurant in a resort town on opening night. Me apartment-hunting in a part of the country I have always dreamed of living. Culminate in me declining the job and returning to my parents house in the town I grew up in.

Sometimes almost takingĀ that giant life leap is just enough to make you have an epiphone on who you are and where you see yourself. Covered in flour, in my new chef jacket, I realized that I don’t want to be a pizza cook for the rest of my life. Even a glorified one.

So I’m taking a step back, back into my own kitchen, to focus on my recipes, my brewing, and my writing. Here’s hoping that from these things, I can salvage some sort of financially-stable career. Or at least help me into my own house because I really want a cat. All roads lead to cat.

Here’s one of my “I work all the damn time so have no time to grocery shop”-recipes. This lo-mein sauce is now my go-to stir-fry sauce; so easy and quick to make, with stuff that you almost certaintly have hanging around the kitchen. It’s savory, with the perfect level of heat, and drenches the noodles without becoming too absorbed.

Broccoli Lo Mein
Adapted from 365 Easy Vegetarian Recipes

8 oz. of whatever noodle you like (soba, rice noodles, whole wheat spaghetti, whatever)
1 tb. canola oil, divided
1 lb. broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
1 lb. firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 1-inch. pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsps. fresh gingerroot, minced
1 recipe of Lo Mein Sauce (see below)

Prepare noodles according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

Heat 1 1/2 tsps. oil in a large, heavy pan over high heat. Add broccoli and tofu. Stir-fry about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger and stir-fry 1 minute. Transfer to plate and keep warm. Add remaining oil to pan and heat. Add cooked noodles and stir-fry about 2 minutes or until thoroughly hot. Toss noodles with Lo Mein Sauce.

Lo Mein Sauce

1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsps. rice wine vinegar
2 tsps. sesame oil
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. sugar

Combine ingredients in an airtight container. Shake.

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Broccoli-Spinach Soup with Avocado Toasts

18 03 2012

I thought I was going to hate this soup. It reminded me of the stuff that I was eating during my detox, and I didn’t think I was ready to go back to eating all plant-based ingredients. But both me and my boyfriend ended up really enjoying it. The soup is light and really fresh-tasting, and the addition of tahiniĀ and parmesan add a bit of creaminess and tang.

My favorite part though were the little avocado toasts. They match the style of the soup perfectly. The lemon juice spritzed over everything really brings out the flavors.

I wish I could make this post a bit more interesting, but my mind is elsewhere. Boyfriend is gone for the weekend. I have a giant bed to myself and Game of Thrones all loaded up on the iPad. awyeah.

Broccoli-Spinach Soup with Avocado Toasts
Adapted from Whole Living magazine

1 tb. olive oil
1 leek, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
6 oz baby spinach
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbs. tahini
Salt and pepper
4 slices rustic bread, toasted
2 avocados, sliced
1/4 cup sprouts
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the leek and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook, covered, until bright green and tender, about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in the spinach, Parmesan, and tahini. Let cool slightly. Season with salt and pepper.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Or use an immersion blender.

Top the toasted bread with slices of avocado and sprouts. Season with salt and pepper, squeeze with lemon and give it a drizzle of olive oil.





Vegetable Melt with Wasabi Mayo

2 05 2011

Besides food, music is one of the biggest passions in life. I grew up listening to punk rock and have been playing power chords since I was 15. Sadly though, my guitars have been collecting dust for a while. Besides picking one up to play the occasional Violent Femmes or Patsy Cline cover, it has been sucking to see music slowly fading out of my life. But. I see that changing very shortly.

I have recently come into possession of a banjo and thanks to Ebay, a vintage Horner accordion. Pretty much my dream instruments. And after a weekend out in my college town of Amherst, MA and re-connecting with people who inspire me on so many levels, including musically, I am back in the music bizz. I will learn how to play my sad accordion clown music, some lively banjo ditties, and I think that will push me on the way to being more one with myself. Oh yeah.

These little veggie melts make me feel pretty at one with everything too. Mild Muenster melting into a creamy rollwich (I sort of roll them up when I eat them. Allows me to eat more furiously), with a hint of wasabi spice and crunchy soy-sauce covered veggies. Wicked rules.

Vegetable Melt with Wasabi Mayo
Adapted from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures

1 tsp. wasabi powder
3 tbs. mayonnaise (or Trader Joes Wasabi Mayo)
1 tb. olive oil
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored & cut into thin strips
1 bunch broccoli, cut into small pieces
2 tsps. soy sauce
2 pita pockets
1 1/4 cup Muenster cheese, grated

Mix the wasabi with 1 tsp. water, or just enough to make it the consistency of mustard. Let sit for 10 minutes. Place the mayo in a small bowl and stir until smooth, then stir in the wasabi paste. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the pepper and broccoli, sprinkling on 1 tb. of water. Cover and cook until the broccoli is tender, but still a little crisp, about 5 minutes.

Remove the cover from pan. If there is any water remaining, raise the heat to high to evaporate it. Stir frequently. Pour on the soy sauce, tossing to coat. Remove from heat.

Preheat the broiler. Split the pitas to make 4 discs. Place them on a baking sheet, then spoon on the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle on the cheese and broil until melted, about 3 minutes. Spoon on the wasabi mayo!