Monday, November 22, 2010

VeganMoFo IV: Recipeas Salad

I have the silliest grin on my face right now.  The vegan meat cake and my blog were mentioned on!  So exciting!

EDIT: Fanny totally made a vegan meat cake and it's freaking beautiful!

Speaking of cakes, please go to Louzilla's blog and vote for your favorite gay cake.  Full disclosure: I voted for entry 1 because it is absolutely stunning AND the theme is magnificent!

On to MoFo...  I have three recipes which are included in the show I'm editing.  However, I need Era to help with some audio and a video problem I'm having.  I'll come back and add the show to this entry later.  But for now, I'll give you the three recipes.  Two of them (pasta and pea salad) have been taken to many, many omni potlucks and devoured.

I used to take this pea salad to every Thanksgiving potluck when I was in Texas.  I was sorta shocked that omnis had no problem with the tofu.  You can dice it smaller than what is pictured here if you like (or leave it out).  For the mayo, I prefer reduced fat Vegenaise because it's much thicker when mixed with stuff.

Pea Salad
4 oz extra firm tofu (just remove 1/4 of the 1 lb block)
1 cup water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 cup vegan mayo, preferably reduced fat
1 1/2 Tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 Tbsp white vinegar (leave out if using full fat mayo)
2 Tbsp finely chopped onion
2 15 oz cans of green peas, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper to taste

In a small saucepan bring the water, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and salt to a boil.  Add the tofu and simmer for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.  Remove from the water and let cool before dicing into small pieces.

In a medium bowl mix together the mayo, mustard, and onion.  Fold in the tofu.  Then fold in the peas.  Add salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

The pasta salad is something I usually bring to barbecues and gets consumed so ridiculously fast.  It works well for any vegan-unfriendly situation because it's a meal in one.  You can replace the veggies with anything you like really.  This just happens to be my favorite combo.

Pesto Pasta Salad
1 lb rotini
4 cups kale, rough ends removed, leaves and stems thinly sliced
splash of water
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup tightly packed parsley
1/2 cup tightly packed cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
for the salad:
hot water
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 cup diced black olives
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, make the pasta according to package directions.  While the pasta is boiling, make the pesto.  Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Add a splash of water and the kale.  Cook until the kale starts to wilt and turns bright green all over.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, process the walnuts and garlic until they are finely chopped.  Add the nutritional yeast and salt and process again. When the kale is cool enough to handle, add it to the food processor and chop until fine.  Add the parsley and  cilantro and do the same, being sure to scrape down the sides.  Turn on the food processor and slowly drizzle in the olive oil.

In a large bowl, add the drained pasta and pesto.  Mix the two together, using hot water if needed to make the pesto more spreadable.  Add the tomatoes, cucumber, and olives and mix thoroughly.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Now onto the deviled tofu.  I wanted to do some variations on my beloved appetizer (Era and I seriously killed these yesterday).  I came up with a smoky version and a Tex Mex one.  Both are really good.  By the way this tastes fantastic on cucumbers, celery, and tomatoes!  This photo is from last year, but what evs.

Deviled Tofu
soy free option: use tomatoes, celery, cucumber, bell peppers, or mini potatoes instead of tofu and soy free mayo

1 lb extra firm tofu, divided into four blocks (cut across the length and width)
4 cups water
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt*
15 oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup vegan mayo
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
pinch or turmeric
1 heaping Tbsp dill relish
black salt (kala namak) to taste
minced chives or green onions for garnish
paprika for garnish

In a huge pot bring water, vinegar, and salt to a boil.  Add the tofu and simmer for ten minutes, turning halfway through.  Remove from water, drain, and let cool before slicing into squares.  I usually get 20 squares, but slice as thick as you like.  When cool enough to handle, pat them dry and refrigerate until ready to serve.  If using vegetables instead, slice and prep them anyway you like and refrigerate.

Puree the beans, mayo, mustard, and turmeric in a food processor (or with an immersion blender) until smooth.  Add the dill relish and black salt to taste.  Pour into a piping or sandwich bag and refrigerate for at least 40 minutes.

Remove the tofu or vegetables and bean spread from the refrigerator right before serving.  Pipe on the bean spread and garnish with paprika and chives.

Smoky variation: Replace the dill relish with 2 Tbsp imitation bacon bits.  Replace the paprika with smoked paprika.
Tex Mex Variation: Replace the dill relish with 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp crushed Mexican oregano, and 1 Tbsp finely minced onion.  Garnish with chipotle chile powder and cilantro.

That's all for now, I have some Thanksgiving prep to do!

*For the deviled tofu, the actual tofu part should taste just slightly salty like the whites of a deviled egg.  I use regular coarse sea salt for this because the black salt flavor just disappears in the water.  Feel free to use fine sea salt.  Just add to taste.  The water should be salty enough to flavor the tofu.


Rose said...

Congrats on the VegNews story! And, I agree, Fanny's meat cake is stunning.

I love these recipes...maybe the small chunks of tofu look enough like "cheese" not to scare the omnis.

The deviled tofu looks really yummy.

Anonymous said...

yay for the vegnews love! that was the most beautiful vegan meat cake I have ever seen (and this month, I have seen a plenty!) Your incorporation of cranberries was the bestest idea!

love the pea salad too!

Andrea said...

The VegNews story is amazing! No wonder you have a smile on your face. Very cool.

Anonymous said...

That pasta salad looks delicious! I love pasta and pesto together. I haven't tried kale pesto yet though, which is weird because I am obsessed with kale. Thanks for the recipe!

Seglare said...

Your pasta salad looks so good! I can't stand cilantro, but other than that, the pesto sounds delicious. I have never tried kale pesto, either, so this would be an interesting thing to do with our (never-ending) kale harvest. :)

Congratulations on the VegNews story, too!

vegiebug said...

That pesto pasta actually made my mouth water! ahhhh delicious!

Veg-In-Training said...

Congrats! I'm always amazed with deviled tofu dishes.

BunzOfCinnamon said...

Awesome, Mo! I'm so happy for you!! That cake looked great, no wonder you got mentioned!

I'm interested in the deviled tofu...but I think I'll try one of your variations and use potatoes instead. Looks yummy!

Anonymous said...

Yay! And the pesto pasta salad looks amazing.

panda with cookie said...

Girrrrl, you are getting all famous.

Anonymous said...

I'm making your deviled tofu for Thanksgiving tomorrow! I've already made the "yolk" part with the bean mixture - it is GREAT! I did double the relish, just because me and my boyfriend are big fans of dill pickles : D I'm so excited to eat the final product tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe! I'll post pictures on my blog tomorrow night.

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Yay! I'm so glad you like it!