Category Archives: Hodge Podge

Asian Flavsplosion Sandwich

Was that title dorky enough for you?  Can we still be friends?  I can’t promise it won’t happen again.  Seriously though…this sandwich is a flavsplosion.  It’s the only word for it.  So you may be surprised at how it starts…

Guys…this is tofu.

tofu2What?  Scared?  Don’t be.

Before you get all cranky and suspicious on me let me point out:  All of this works with chicken too.  No one is going to force you to eat tofu if you really don’t want to but…maybe give it a chance?

Real talk: I love tofu.  It takes on flavors like a pro and can be absolutely delicious.  You just have to do it right.  When I worked at the bakery we made a tofu pesto sandwich with herby tofu that we roasted.  I was obsessed.  Now I made my own tofu sandwich!..with Asian inspiration.

Mise en place

setup

We start with a combo of olive oil and toasted sesame oil.  It’s spiked with a pinch of salt and garlic powder.  Freaking Delicious (capital ‘D’).

oil

Are you friends with toasted sesame oil?  This stuff packs a punch.  A little bit makes a big difference.

Brush.

(or dip or drizzle…just get some on there!)

paint

Bring on the crunch maker aka sesame seeds!! (I love them.  Can’t stop, won’t stop coating everything in them.  See Sesame Almonds)

sesame

Stop Drop and Roll

plopcoatlineitup

It already looks crunchy and delicious but he has to hang out in the oven for a while to get extra crunchy.

Meanwhile..bring on the veg!

vegshred Now this sauce y’all…I can’t even handle it.  I love it on stir fries, I love it as a salad dressing, I love it on fish, I love it on tofu and I totally love it on this slaw.  Plus it’s super simple. Goes a little something like this:

Equal parts:

Brown Sugar

bsug

Fresh Ginger

ginger

Sesame Oil

sesameoil

Soy Sauce

soysauce

Rice Vinegar

((I add an extra tablespoon vinegar…I like things vinegary))

ricevinegar

and a dash of fish sauce if you have it

((not necessary but it does add some depth))

fishsauce

We’ve got your sweet, we’ve got your salty, we’ve got your umami…I mean what more do you want?  Seriously…forget the sandwich…just make this sauce.

(then make the sandwich…)

Infuse those veggies with that flavor attack

pour

And now…we build.

Start with some good bread

bread

Spread some peanut satay sauce (I just used some from a jar)

spread

Turn up the heat with some Sriracha

spice

Pile on the saucy veg

veggies

Pile on the fresh veg.

Basil isn’t necessary but it is OUT OF THIS WORLD.

basil2

Now the “meat” of the situation

tofutop

(Make sure it’s nice and toasty)

tofu close

Close it up and prepare to have your mind blown

nomsloppy

Those chips?  We’ll talk about those next time.  They’re my newest addiction.

For now enjoy this sloppy, kick in the mouth.   Beautiful.

Er..in its own way.

takeabiteEnjoy!

❤ Ellen

Sesame Crusted Tofu Sandwich

Recipe from my crazy brain.  Sauce based on this recipe

For the tofu (or chicken, calm down):

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • about 6 shakes of toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 block of extra firm tofu
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F
  2. Mix the oils, salt and garlic powder in a dish
  3. Place the sesame seeds in a separate dish
  4. Slice your tofu into slabs of your desired thickness and shape
  5. Completely coat each piece of tofu with a thin layer of oil (I like to brush so it’s even and doesn’t get too greasy but dipping and drizzling work just fine)
  6. Dip each piece of oiled tofu into the sesame seeds until they are completely coated on all sides
  7. Place the coated tofu on a parchment lined baking sheet so that they are not touching each other
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, flip each piece over and bake for another 10 minutes
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool

For the dressing/sauce/whatever:

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 (or 2, to taste) tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce

Makes about 1/4 cup sauce

  1. Place all ingredients in a container and whisk until well combined.

For the Slaw

About 2 cups shredded cabbage2 small carrots, shredded into strips with a vegetable peeler

  1. Place the cabbage and carrots in a large bowl
  2. Pour about 2 tablespoons of sauce over the vegetables and toss to coat (adjust the amount of sauce to taste!)

For One Sandwich

  • Two slices of bread
  • 1 tablespoon peanut satay sauce (or to taste!)
  • a handful of slaw from recipe above
  • Sriracha
  • 2 triangles of sesame crusted tofu
  • fresh basil
  • extra sauce to drizzle if you want! (I think it’s fine without…depends on how saucy you’re feeling =) )
  1. Pile it all on top of each other
  2. Shove it in your face
  3. (See picture instructions above)
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2 Comments

Filed under Hodge Podge, Main Dish, Sides, Uncategorized

Mint Raspberry Quick Jam

Quick! Let’s jam:

freshmintchoppedlemonsingredientsschiaboilspoonjam

Jam, that was quick!

(Get it!? I’ll stop now.)

Just throwing this out there: it is so. worth. remembering to freeze berries in the summer. It is also so. worth. growing your own herbs.  Here’s a cool method..readers, meet Aerogarden:

herbs

Or you could just purchase them from your local grocery store 🙂 ..equally delicious.

This jam is bright, refreshing, not too sweet which makes it the perfect complement to the richest treats.  Try it!  For Valentine’s Day!  But really for any day.

Round up!

  • Spread some jam between some chocolate cookies for a perfectly simple and sweet Valentine’s Day treat.  Try these! Of course…you COULD take them to the next level and dip them in chocolate and sprinkles but that’s your call.
  • Stir some into your favorite brownie recipe.  If you like to blur the brownie/fudge line Try these!

Or you know….have some toast.

toast

Enjoy!

❤ Ellen

Mint Raspberry Quick Jam

“Recipe” my own

12 oz raspberries (fresh or frozen…this works with all kinds of berries so feel free to experiment)
1/4 cup waterjuice from 1/2 a lemon (optional but I really like the bright citrus flavor)1/4 cup sugar (or more to taste)1 tablespoon chia seeds (you could also use cornstarch to thicken the raspberry mixture)
(optional) chopped fresh mint to taste-(I used a couple of tablespoons (chopped) thrown in at the end)

1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, berries, lemon juice and sugar to a boil.  Stir the chia seeds into the mixture until well combined and turn the heat down to low.

**Note:  The level of mint flavor depends on when you add the mint to the mixture.  The earlier you add it the more it will be a background flavor.  If you add it at the very end it comes through brighter and more upfront.  Choose your own adventure!  Either add it now or wait until the jam is almost at your desired consistency and just barely cook it down

2. Stirring periodically to keep the jam from sticking to the bottom of the pan, let the mixture simmer until thick and jammy =).  The longer it simmers the thicker it will be, it might take 20 minutes or it could go for an hour.  It just depends on how thick you like your jam!

7 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Cookies, Dessert, Hodge Podge, Snacks, Uncategorized

Homemade Nutella

Oh, my friends…I’m sorry I haven’t been back here in a while.  I’ve been busy, though!  I have some things to share that I’m really excited about.  I also have a new project in the works!

I’ll confess: I had a cleanse all planned out to ease the sugar before bombarding you with holiday sweets.

You know what?  It’s just not time for a cleanse, yet.  We’ll take care of that in January.  Right now, let’s work on Christmas gifts.

nutellajar2

Nutella!!

hazelnut single

(Sorry…chocolate hazelnut spread).

Let’s have a sidenote really quickly here: I want you to meet my baby brother.

brotherbear

He is no longer a baby and he has a job lined up for after graduation….in Seattle. He’s brilliant and I’m very proud of him but I mean seriously…that’s the other side of the country!!  I’m gonna miss that guy.

sibs

(Awful) iPhone photo of our high school senior pictures hanging in the hallway of my parent’s house. *sniff*  Lauren’s a senior.

My siblings (that’s us^) have had an understanding for years that we exchange favorite candies on Christmas.  I love it.  We get our favorite candy, we don’t have to spend a lot of money and everyone is happy.  This year, because brother bear is moving far far away, I’m stepping up my game.

top

He looooovvvessss Nutella…so he gets a giant homemade jar.

This. Is. So.  Simple.

Hazelnuts. (Ground)

hazelnuts

Chocolate.

chocolate

(Melted) With powdered sugar and vanilla.  Cocoa powder is involved for extra chocolatey awesomeness.  There’s a little bit of oil (I’m not sure why).  I think it would be awesome to add some coffee flavor but that wouldn’t be true Nutella.  Let’s stick to the classic for now.

PBCmelty

This is literally a grind and stir situation.  In no time at all you could have a homemade nutella+peanut butter sandwich.

nutellapb

Easy, awesome gift for any Nutella lovers in your life. Or chocolate lovers.  Or just delicious lovers because for real…this is hard to hate.  Pour it in a cute jar, stick a bow on top and attach a recipe card…or just a spoon.

wholebit

Get ready for the best Nutella cookies of my life.

Enjoy!

❤ Ellen

Homemade Nutella

Recipe adapted from The Splendid Table

1 cup toasted, unsalted hazelnuts
12 ounces (or less, to taste) milk chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon canola (I really want to try this with coconut oil!) ((I’m also not entirely sure the oil is necessary but I haven’t tried to go without so I can’t say what would happen)
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 (or 2!) tablespoon(s) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.  Place 12 ounces milk chocolate in a double boiler and stir until melted in smooth, or place in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 15 second increments until melted.  Stir in the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla and oil.  Let cool completely.
2.  Place 1 cup of toasted hazelnuts in a food processor with the blade attachment and chop until it forms a paste.
3. Add the chocolate mixture to the hazelnut paste and stir to combine.  Adjust to taste.  It will be thin at first but it thickens as it cools!
4.  Pour in a jar and decorate!  It should keep on the counter for about two weeks…if you have that kind of self control.

4 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Dessert, Hodge Podge, Snacks, Uncategorized