Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vegan Mofo day 7: a pretty yummy dinner...and COOKIES!

Last night was a bit of a hodge podge that ended up coming together rather nicely.  And it looked like this:
minted couscous, mashed sweet potatoes w/kale, cajun spiced tofu

The tofu recipe came from Yellow Rose Recipes. It was pretty good...  Not as flavorful as I would have liked, but the texture was lovely.  I think my new favorite way to make tofu is to broil it.  It comes out all chewy and lovely, but in so much less time than baking!  But you really need a flavortastic coating for it to chill in because the less time it cooks, the less time it has to soak up yumminess.  I guess I could marinade things.  But I didn't think of it last night.
it almost looks like breaded fish here...weird!

The minted couscous was based off a recipe from my new Linda McCartney cookbook.  I changed it though, for ingredient availability and the fact that couscous does not need 2/3 cup of olive oil..  EVAR!  I'll put in my revised recipe for this at the bottom of this post.  It was pretty tasty.  I had the leftovers for breakfast and lunch today...   mostly because I'm lazy, but also because it was good.
there is just something about couscous...  maybe it's the way it gets stuck in my throat when i eat it too fast, or maybe it's the delightfully flufftastic texture.  tossup.

I had some kale in my fridge and a big bunch of sweet potatoes from the farmers market, so I whipped up another batch of Mashed Sweet Potatoes w/Kale.  I know I posted a recipe for this once before, but I don't feel like looking for it, mostly because the recipe pretty much IS the title, except for the addition of some garlic, shallots, and a little margarine.
best way to trick myself to eat kale

Finally, I stumbled across a recipe for Cashew Butter Cookies on Cupcake Punk's blog last week.  I had recently bought some cashew butter and loathed it in sammiches (it was just...wrong for some reason) and this seemed the perfect use for at least part of my jar.  That crap is too expensive not to use!
these adorable cookies are a big hit with omnis too!

That's right, I took some to work today.  They gobbled them up and were practically begging for more.  Unfortunately, the recipe only makes about a dozen cookies, so I had only brought in enough for 1 each.  I'm going to make these again soon, though, because they were ultra easy to make, taste fabulous (so much more...sophisticated than peanut butter...not to knock the ol' PB...but sometimes you want a grownup cookie, and this is it), and is a good way to use up the remainder of that cashew butter just hanging out in my cupboard.  Go make some!

And now, for my recipe:

Minted Couscous

1 cup couscous
2.5 cups water
drizzle of olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup diced sweet pepper (bell or otherwise, preferrably not green..go red, yellow, or orange)*
4 scallions, finely chopped
4-6 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
2-3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Boil the water, then add the couscous.  Remove from heat, cover, and let sit until water has absorbed (about 8-10 minutes).  Add olive oil, zest and lemon juice; stir.  Stir in peppers, mint, and parsley, then add salt and pepper to taste.  I like mine salty.

* i used 2 sweet fresh banana peppers (red and orange), but 1 bell pepper would be about 1/2 cup

Simple!  Delicious!  You have no excuse not to make it!

My apologies to Linda McCartney for not wanting to be a fat fuck and add almost a cup of expensive ass olive oil to my side dish.  what!

Oh, and finally, as promised, the ingredients on the pumpkin butter: Pumpkin.  Brown Sugar.  White Sugar.  Lemon.  Water.  Spices.  'spices?'  yes, 'spices'.  So I guess you're on your own for that one!  

Oh, wait again.  Someone in my comments asked what cheese sauce I use on my nachos...  I start with this recipe, then add lots of cumin and chili powder to make it mexistyle.  It's even better if you blend in some diced tomatoes!  Oh, and you'll have to cook that on the stove to thicken it up.

That is all for now.  No dinner plans tonight, but I'm sure we'll think of something.


Georgia said...

That tofu looks gooooood. Actually the whole thing looks good - but I really want to try the tofu!!

Marni said...

Everything looks fantastic and those cashew butter cookies are *so* calling me. And sweet potatoes? Yum! I'm so happy we're getting in autumn eating.

Chessa said...

YUM!!!! Those cookies are seriously causing me some envy. Cashew butter in desserts is a brilliant deal, indeed! And I am a huge couscous fan, too. How can you not love something that cooks so beautifully fluffy and in FIVE minutes!?! I also have sweet potato envy - they are sooooo not local here, but I still get them occasionally as a treat. So delicious!

Amy said...

That all looks really tasty! I also totally love your idea for mashed sweet potatoes with kale. Brilliant.

Virginia said...

looks yum, like ALWAYS!! cashew butter is way over my budget but I may have to get indulgent one day...or actually, i could just make my own because i have like 3 pounds of cashews in my freezer...

VeganCowGirl said...

Wow! So many great suggestions and an awesome recipe! Thank you. I love the little cashews on your cookies! You rock.

Vegan_Noodle said...

THat looks like a delicious dinner! And wow, 2/3 cup of oil in couscous? Your version sounds better.
I can't really eat cashew butter straight up either, but it is perfect for cookies like those! Now your coworkers are gonna be expecting more treats...

allularpunk said...

georgia - any type of cornmeal crusted tofu is fab... but this one definitely needed more salt!

marni - make them! and yeah, autumn eating rules.

chessa - i know, it's so quick! that's sad you can't have sweet potatoes all the time...the grow everywhere here!

amy - seriously try doing it. it's wonderful.

virginia - it's not in my budget either, but i bought it on a whim...it was the cheapest i had ever seen it. you should totally make your own!

cowgirl - glad you like the stuffs! i can't take credit for the cashew on the cookies though, that was cupcake punk's idea :)

noodle - yeah..i told them not to get their hopes up, because i generally do not have enough ambition to make cookies all the time!

BadYogi said...

k, I am totally ripping you off on the mash w kale, and the broiled tofu. And thanks for the pumpkin butter, the spices should be obvious (I hope), but the lemon is throwing me off...

VeganView said...

OMG that meal looks amazing, especially that tofu! Yummm, sometimes random things together are best!

Monika K said...

Believe it or not, I've never broiled tofu before - thanks for the tip! My brother complains about the
"weird" texture of tofu, but maybe that would be a way to get him to eat it....

evestirs said...

thanks for the link for the cheese! :)

Bethany said...

that looks so good. I love the kale idea. I have been on a pumpkin and yam kick lately, so that recipe should fit right in.

aTxVegn said...

Man o man, what a completely delicious dinner! I forget about adding mint to recipes. It always adds such a nice flavor.

jessy said...

yeah, 2/3 a cup of olive oil for just about anything is RIDICULOUS! linda mccartney or not - that's damn banana pants! oh man - your cashew cookies look glorious! i saw those last week, too. got all sad 'cause i didn't have cashew butter so we made them with peanut butter instead - mmmmm, mmmmmmm! they look awesome with the cashews on top! yay!

that's too funny that the pumpkin butter just says spices. i'm gonna have to start doing that - writing in "spices" for all my recipes - you know - just let people guess! ahahahahahahaa! awesome!

hooray for more sweet taters 'n oh-so-good-for-you kale! the couscous = rock'n, and i love the tofu - it does look like fish sticks. now i want to make breaded tofu and smother it in ridiculous amounts of ketchup - and i'm talk'n like 2/3 a cup here! ahahhahahahaaaaa!

hooray for more delicious, delicious food, Jessica. damn, you're awesome!

Celine said...

meep, sounds like your job is trying to drive you nuts. hooray for food that tries [and manages] to make up for it, though!