Category Archives: Main Dish

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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Filed under Hodge Podge, Main Dish, Sides, Uncategorized

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes-Indian Inspiration

Yesterday

snowdayz

Today

spring

Erm…happy spring?

Let it snow (or not).   I’m eatin’ good.

top

That sweet potato is overflowing because it just can’t contain the FLAVOR!

Flavor blasted, Indian inspired, sweet and spicy, creamy and crunchy, oh and HEALTHY!?  I’ll take two.

nom

This blog post brought to you by: roasting.

I can’t stop, won’t stop roasting allll of the things.

Garlic?

garlic

Bam. Roasted.

roasted2

Jalapeno?

jalapeno

Roast city.

jalroast

Chickpeas?

chickpea

Roastalicious.

RCProasted

Sweet potato?

sweetpotato

Obviously roasted.

sproasted

Cauliflower?

cauli

Yes.  The cauliflower too.

cauliroasted

Nothing is safe.

GINGER!?

ginger2

Ok…not roasted.  Just grated.

gingergroundPeas, please!  Leave them alone.  They stay fresh.

peas

Scoop the middle of your potatoes into a large bowl

peel

Get your act together

setup

Aaaaand go

readymixitreadytobroil

DO NOT leave out the crispy chickpeas!  The crunch is a must.

necessary

I also highly recommend you stir some roasted garlic into some plain yogurt.  It’s a flavorful way to tame some of that heat.  It really made the meal.

yogurt

By the way you don’t actually have to roast all of the things.  This could be a super super quick meal.  If you microwave your sweet potatoes and saute all the filling this whole thing could be done in 20 minutes.

stuffed

A word of warning, however: never ever ever ever ever saute jalapeno seeds ever never ever.

I accidentally did that once.  I actually thought I might die.  My lungs were on FIRE and the oils in the air wouldn’t go away.  Daniel and I were crying and gasping and laughing and opening windows in the middle of winter and crying.  Learn from us.

And with that….

enjoy

Enjoy!

❤ Ellen

Indian Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Recipe slightly adapted from Culinary Colleen

**NOTE: This meal could take ages (roasting each individual thing) or it could be ready in 20 minutes.  You could microwave the sweet potato, saute all the other ingredients together, mix them up, stuff the potatoes and broil.  OR you could roast each individual ingredient and it’ll take hours.  Another option is to prepare ahead of time.  Roasted garlic is a good thing to have on hand.  Sweet potatoes and jalapenos and be roasted a day or two before which leaves just quick assembly.  Choose your own adventure!

You’ll need:

3 small-medium sweet potatoes
about 1 1/2 cups chopped cauliflower florets (about 1/3 of a head)
Salt, to taste
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, roasted, minced (I left all the seeds in and it was very spicy.  Remove seeds for less heat!)
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground cumin
small squeeze of lime juice
3/4 cup peas, (defrosted if frozen)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 15 oz. can chickpeas

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Pierce your scrubbed sweet potatoes with a fork a couple of times and place on a foil lined baking sheet.  Bake until the sweet potatoes are completely soft inside and are easily pierced with a fork.  Mine took 1 hour and 10 minutes.  The time will vary depending on the size of your potatoes.  (OPTION: you could poke some holes in your potato, wrap it in a paper towel and microwave for about 4-5 minutes.  Time varies with size)
  2. While the potatoes bake, prepare the cauliflower to roast.  Roughly chop the florets and toss with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil and about a teaspoon of salt.  Spread evenly on a foil lined baking sheet.
  3. While the potatoes and other veggies roast, roughly chop and saute the onion in coconut oil until they get soft and start to brown.  Add grated ginger to the pan and cook about 1 minute. Add the coriander, cumin and garam masala, let toast for about a minute and remove from heat.
  4. When the potatoes are soft, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.  Place the prepared cauliflower in the 400 degree oven and roast until it is soft and starts to brown (about 15 minutes for me).
  5. When it is finished, remove the cauliflower from the oven, set aside to cool and place the whole jalapeno on a baking sheet.  Roast at 400 degrees until soft and slightly charred, turning at least once during cooking (about   15 minutes for me).
  6. While the jalapeno roasts, drain, rinse and thoroughly dry chickpeas.  Spray with a light coat of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and maybe some cumin if you’d like and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast for 15-20 minutes or until as crunchy as you want (longer=crunchier..they could be just like corn nuts).  More detailed directions for roasting chickpeas can be found here.
  7. Slice the cooled sweet potatoes in half lengthwise.  Scoop the filling out and place it in a large bowl.  Mix and mash the sweet potato with the cooked onions, spices, cooked cauliflower, peas, cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice and more salt (to taste…you’ll need it)
  8. Evenly distribute the sweet potato mixture among the empty skins, place on a baking sheet and broil until the tops just barely start to brown.
  9. Top with crispy chickpeas, more cilantro and either plain yogurt, sour cream or garlic yogurt (directions for roasting garlic here.  Mix a few roasted cloves with a couple of spoonfuls of yogurt to taste.  Amazing.)

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Filed under Main Dish, Sides, Uncategorized

Taco (or whatever) Seasoning-Make your own!

Seriously, friends, those little taco/fajita/whatever seasoning packets are such a waste of money.

Also they kind of taste like…I don’t know…preservatives?

I get it.  They’re easy and convenient. Fine.

But pretend you want a taco.

Like…now.

((It happens. Don’t act like it doesn’t.))

Now pretend you have everything you need EXCEPT the darn packet that makes it a taco.

(Because the vast majority of foods could become a taco when placed in a tortilla, ((which you can make at home anyway)) this happens often)

Should you run to the store, pay more in gas than the packet costs, wait in line, wait in traffic wait wait wait wait wait

OR

Make your own and have tacos now.

I choose the second one. Always.  Because those little packets are gross. Also, I’m impatient when I’m hungry.

The same rule applies, maybe even more, for sudden fajita cravings.

Plus I have all the seasonings that go in taco seasoning in my pantry right now.  They don’t have to be mystery ingredients. They aren’t difficult to find.  They’re spices for delicious real life. Get with me here.

All you need is: [love] and…

Now, I’m calling this taco seasoning because that was its original purpose but let’s get real here…

it goes on anything.

Sprinkle it on things you’re gonna roast, toast, saute, scramble, slow cook, soup or sandwich and anything else you can think of.  It tastes just as delicious on vegetables or beans as it would on meat.

Maybe keep it away from ice cream, though.

If you throw together a bunch of it and keep it in a little jar/tupperware container/plastic baggie (I don’t care) you’ll save a step and some brain power when dinner time sneaks up on you.

Seasoning dinner doesn’t take long but this way you don’t have to think about it and that’s just one delicious container you need to reach for.

I know they already did this “blend of spices in one container” thing.  But do it yourself and it’s cheaper, tastier and gives things a vague Mexican flavor.  What’s not to love?

This isn’t really a recipe.  More like an idea. You’re allowed to change the spices and proportions to suit your needs and tastes.

In fact, please do.

I would be lying if I told you I followed the measurements I listed in the recipe every time…they’re close enough, though.  Basically it’s just nice to have a favorite blend of spices on hand.

  So uh…try it and stuff.  Bet you’ll like it better than a foil envelope.

Enjoy!

❤ Ellen

p.s. homemade ketchup coming up next. DIY FTW!

Seasoning Blend for Tacos…and so much more!

I’m giving you the guide I used…it’s a great base to adjust to taste!

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika1 1/2 HEAPING teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Mix it all together (and you feel better).

….lime and coconut? anyone

((3 tablespoons to a packet))

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Filed under Appetizer, Dips, Hodge Podge, Main Dish, Sides, Slow Cooker, Snacks, Soup, Uncategorized