Friday, September 24, 2010

Holy crap, I could be a vegan bowl

Do you see that deliciousness in front of you? Are you dying to know what is inside that magnificent piece of art in a bowl? Well if not, you should. That is what my friend Katie would call a harmony bowl, my sister would call a Buddha bowl, and I call it, well, a "Holy crap, I could be a vegan bowl!". I made this for dinner last night after hearing Katie rave about it at work last week. It was so good, almost as good as the caramel ice cream I ate in Paris last week (yeah, don't you worry, I'll be sharing a lot more about Paris with you soon). Y'all really should try it, I promise you can't mess it up.

Holy crap, I could be a vegan bowl:
Package of tempeh
Veggies of your choice (I chose broccoli, mushrooms, stir fried sweet potatoes left over from another incredibly delicious recipe, and Japanese eggplant)
Rice or noodles (I only had egg noodles in the house, which aren't vegan- but you could use rice noodles to keep the dish vegan )
Sauces to put on top of the bowl (I put some Siracha on there, along with a tahini sauce and some tamari soy sauce)

Alright, here's what you do. First, cut your tempeh into cubes and marinate overnight. "Recipe" for my marinade is below. Cut your veggies up into sizes that will fit in your mouth. Get out some peanut oil and heat that stuff up in your wok (or other large sauté pan, but really a wok works best to keep oil splatters contained). Now one by one sauté your veggies and tempeh. Also, during this time cook your rice or noodles. While it sounds painful to sauté your veggies one by one, you surely could do it all at the same time but just adjust cooking time for the different veggies so you don't end up with veggie mush. Then when everything is cooked and ready, assemble the veggies and tempeh on top of your rice and noodles and top with some of the delicious tahini sauce (recipe below), Siracha (for those who like it hot), and soy sauce.

Marinade for tempeh:
*I don't measure things. It seems unnecessary to measure unless baking, which I know is why I will never be a professional food blogger*
Tamari soy sauce
Rice vinegar
Sesame oil
Hoisin sauce
Really, just mix up whatever sounds Asian in your house. Throw the tempeh in and let it absorb the flavor.

Tahini sauce:
I seriously make this sauce for just about everything. I haven't found one thing that it isn't delicious on yet.
Some tahini, maybe 1/4 cup
Lemon juice (I used 1/2 of a big lemon)
Enough water to get the sauce to the consistency you desire
Mix all of it up. Easy peasey.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Deceiving your children

While I don't claim to be the first to have thought of ways to deceive your children into eating things, nor the most famous (I think that honor goes to Jerry Seinfeld's wife), I am pretty proud when one of my tricks work. And, last night was one of those times. Currently Conner is a very picky eater. Well, I should say he is very selective in what food he will even try. I'm pretty sure if he tried more of the food that I gave him he would find out that he actually liked it. I mean have you ever heard of a kid who doesn't like hot dogs? Elizabeth on the other hand is ready and willing to try most everything put in front of her. A few vegetables aside, that girl is a pleasure to feed.

Last night I decided to make a simple baked ziti knowing that pasta, tomato sauce, and cheese shouldn't be  too exotic for Conner to try. But you ask, where is the meat? Well, I wanted to eat this meal too so no meat allowed, unless it was faux meat but that stuff is usually pretty unappealing. And then, a moment of brilliance came to me. What if I blended up some silken tofu with the tomato sauce? Not only would the sauce end up creamier, but the tofu would add some protein to the dish and wouldn't add much weird bean curd flavor. And I'm happy to report, it was a success. Creamy sauce, added protein, no taste of tofu. And Conner actually ate it! It was a happy dinnertime at the Hatzis household last night.

Also, another way that I have deceived my children in the past (just referring to food here people), is with what I call green curd smoothies. I know, the name makes it  sound delicious, right? Well, here's the secret to hiding some nutritious foods into your kid's smoothies. Flavored silken tofu and kale (or spinach, collards, really any type of green leafy vegetable). The tofu adds some protein and by blending up the kale in the smoothie, your children won't even know that they are eating vegetables for breakfast. Here is a general recipe that I use to make two smoothies:
Two or three pieces of kale, stems removed
Cup of frozen berries
1/2 cup flavored silken tofu (you don't have to use the flavored kind but you might need to add a bit of sweetener if you don't)
1 banana
ground flax seed
and sometimes for fun I might just add some oats
Blend, add ice if the smoothie is too watery. And, I really  have never measured any of these things so they are all guesses. I also recommend that you don't measure (because that is more work than you need) and just eyeball things. You really can't mess this up.

For another recipe which uses silken tofu to make a creamy dreamy oatmeal, check out my friend's recipe on her blog. She's always cooking up something yummy in her kitchen.