Tag Archives: comfort food

Peanut sauce tofu and broccoli rice bowl and other food musings

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I’m not sure who around here is eating tofu these days, but this recipe (also the source of the beautiful photo) pretty much combines my love for peanut sauce with my interest in getting some protein in my diet. I’d never thought to bake the tofu with the peanut sauce already marinating on the tofu, but it was delicious! I’ve also been using my bamboo steamer to steam veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, corn), so when I invited my pre-dinner cocktail buddy to stay for dinner (I already had the tofu marinating in the fridge but no ideas for other parts of the meal), the easiest thing was to steam up some broccoli and add everything to some brown rice.

Since I had the steamer out, I steamed some small potatoes and roasted them up with some garlic, rosemary and thyme and smashed them for eating later in the evening, a la this recipe. I highly recommend this method of roasting potatoes because they’re both crispy and soft at the same time, but definitely urge you all: don’t smash as much as you think you should. The potatoes will fall apart!

I haven’t really made anything all that impressive lately, but because it’s Passover, I’ve been eating lots of beans and corn products, (aka less pasta and pizza than usual) which reminds me of my favorite polenta recipe that I made a few days ago. A friend brought it to a party and I asked her for the recipe, and it’s my favorite way to eat polenta. You cook the polenta according to the instructions with a 3:1 ratio of water or broth and milk (the original recipe calls for cream- that’d be great for you, Nuna!), and then you add real corn kernels near the end of the polenta’s cooking time (frozen or fresh are fine). The polenta should have a “gruel-y” texture at the end (not the thicker texture that you cool and cut into squares). Add some grated cheese (parmesan and some other melty cheese work well) and a tiny bit of butter and basil leaves, and your polenta is delicious! Top it with many spoonfulls of tomato/basil salsa- chopped tomatoes, a tiny bit of garlic, and a generous amount of salt, olive oil, and basil. You guys, this polenta is my new comfort food!

What else are other people eating? On my list for this week is a kale caesar salad (sans croutons if I make it before Passover is over, and with a modified version of the dressing and no bacon…basically, using the above recipe just as a template), this lemongrass tofu bowl (don’t read the text to avoid frustration at apostrophe errors), and I want to try making this vegan chili mac and cheese once Passover is over! Cashews are expensive here, but when used to make a fake cheese sauce over pasta, it seems like it’ll be worth it!

Healthy Comfort Food

We here in California have been experiencing a cold spell.  And by cold spell, I mean it’s regularly been in the 40s and everybody is complaining viciously about it.  I know that’s nothing compared to the weather you’ve had in Washington lately, but it’s enough to drive everyone here to eat the warmest, most comforting foods we can find.  After two weeks of eating squash and various types of macaroni and cheese, I decided it was time to step up my game.  I turned to this recipe of a creamy mash of red lentils, topped with sauteed spinach and bok choy with a red wine dijon vinaigrette on top.  Paired with an easy 5-ingredient beer bread, it was filling, tasty, and satisfied my desire to feel healthy again!

To make the lentils, I just diced up half an onion, and let it boil with 2 cups of veggie broth and a cup of red lentils, as well as a dash of something I had laying around that calls itself “Turkish seasoning.”   Then, I sauteed the spinach and bok choy with some more thinly sliced onions, garlic, ginger, and a bit of the juice from a jar of pickled ginger. When the lentil mash is finished, it should be pretty creamy, with a bit of texture from the lentils.  I topped the lentils with the sauteed veggies , some pickled ginger, and a basic red wine vinaigrette.  I used the vinaigrette as a marinade for Dan’s chicken, and helped myself to extra slices of the beer bread while I shuddered in sheer anxiety while watching Season 2 of Homeland.  Even meat-loving Dan liked the lentils and veggies!