Tag Archives: vegetarian

MY NEW HASSLE OF LIVING WITH A VEGETARIAN DAUGHTER and A Sort of Shrimp Chowder (serves 4)

My teenage daughter made the announcement the other day that she was going to begin the transition to vegetarianism. I knew this day would come and really I should have been happy. I mean, she did not tell me she wanted a tattoo of a butterfly on her ankle or to divorce me as a mother because I failed to understand her. All she wanted to do was not eat meat! I was once standing in her alternative leather shoes so I could really see her point of view, but for now all I could think was: great, just what I needed –  one more thing to add to the never-ending list of things I have to think about on a daily basis! This was going to be a bigger adjustment for me than for her.

My version of Shrimp Chowder

My version of Shrimp Chowder

And, it’s not like we are a household of carnivorous beasts either, we tend to choose poultry and fish over beef and pork. My problem is a threefold hassle; (1) I am already eating a specific diet (Read about my Blood Type A diet on the link in the header) and now I am going to have to consider not just my needs but also satisfy my daughter with a vegetarian option while not overlooking my son’s crazy craving for all kinds of sausages! (2) I know there is a solid argument against this, but I told her she would have to allow fish in her diet and to not go down that particular ethical road until after she left the house. But my options for her to have her protein fix for at least our main meal were greatly diminished. Now gone are the days when I can satisfy the entire house by throwing a chicken in the oven surrounded by a scattering of vegetables!

cubed tofu

cubed tofu

The other part of this is that this is the girl who never warmed to tofu (which I love and cook regularly) and is also not a big fan of beans! Will I be reduced to fish dishes and toasted cheese sandwiches?? I am a very capable cook and I pride myself in the fact that my kids grew up immersed in my little foodie-world, but this certainly will cramp my cooking style, which generally consists of rooting in the fridge and coming up with something on the spot. Also, my quick fix for lunch is a tin of sardines with a smear of mustard (which I eat right from the pretty little tin!) but she cannot stand these smelly little fish!

diced red potatoes

diced red potatoes (for my Chowder recipe below)

In a way it is funny that the most unlikely candidate for a vegetarian diet is the one who does not naturally gravitate towards vegetarian food. As I begin right now to lay this all out it makes me wonder if I should even allow this? I will be the one cooking and shopping and planning, so should it be my decision as to whether she is a vegetarian or not? She is a 13-year old who can fend for herself of course but my kids cook when it is necessary or when they want to. She is far too busy doing all the things young people do for me to make it obligatory that she cook on top of that. I am between a rock and a hard place as I respect her decision, but I also don’t need to complicate my life any more than it already is.

the ingredients..

Fresh Trout (check out some of my trout recipes by writing trout in the search box to the right of my blog)

I had better move on to my third concern as I could talk about number 2 all day long! (3) Fish is more expensive by far per pound than most cuts of meat. Take a chicken for example that could feed my family of four. I can buy an organic chicken on sale for between $7 to $10. The same amount of fish is twice the price. When I buy fish I choose fish that is sustainable (check out a great list you can put in your purse from Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch ) which is why it is sometimes a treat to have a dinner which is centered around this delectable protein. For example the price per pound of rainbow trout is about $8, and it’s the same for a fish like cod or haddock. And, that’s only if you are lucky to find it for that price and for it to be fresh and ethically caught. My daughter is going to have to learn to love tofu or this foray of hers is going to cost me a fortune.

time for dinner

Fish lasagna – amazing

I wish I could say that money doesn’t matter and cook all kinds of oceanic delights every evening but the cold hard fact is that most people, including me live on a budget. I don’t think this is a bad or shameful thing and in more ways than one am grateful that I am compelled to thinking about certain things in monetary terms. I simply hate where I hear a kid ask his or her parents for things in a way which disregards how much that thing cost or has no clue or concept whatsoever about where their money comes from. Oops, looks like number 3 is also in danger of getting away from me….so yes, fish is more expensive, which is a hassle.

The biggest tuna fish I have ever seen 9The English Market, Cork)

The biggest tuna fish I have ever seen (The English Market, Cork)

Here is what I have decided: I am going to do what I can for now to satisfy my family but I if I start pulling my hair out or resort to looking for pennies under couch cushions, I will call a family meeting to implement change. Or perhaps my daughter will tire of her life choice before I have to look like the bad guy…one can only hope.

beautiful, but pricey greens

beautiful, but pricey greens from Eataly NYC

This is what I made for my daughter the other night, and thankfully it was a dish that everyone could enjoy (save for me because of the shrimp!). I called it a “chowder” because that is what it most resembled. A New England Clam Chowder has clams, cream, corn and potatoes and that had commonality enough for me to merit the title. I don’t really like the over-abundance of cream so I cut the cream by using a higher ratio of vegetable stock. It was truly scrumptious.

Asian-Style Fish Sliders

Asian-Style Fish Sliders (recipe HERE)

Now I’m just praying that my son doesn’t decide fruitarianism is his dietary destiny!

🐠🐠🐠🐠🐠🐠🐠🐠🐠🐠🐠

You will need:

1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion

2 cloves garlic – peeled and finely chopped

2 medium potatoes – skin on and small dice (any potato will do)

1 cup sweet corn kernels (I used frozen corn – handy & quick, but of course fresh is great too!)

1/2 lb shrimp – peeled and de-veined (buy the 31-40 count size if you can)

2 cups chopped spinach

3 cups veggie broth Or bullion cube and water (I use the Rapunzel Brand with herbs and sea salt – really good)

1 cup heavy cream

freshly ground black pepper

salt (use a good quality salt if you can)

2 cups cooked warm basmati rice 

Method:

1 – Pot medium soup on low/medium heat and add the oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring frequently.

saute onions and garlic

saute onions and garlic

 2 – Add the chicken stock to the pot, along with the potatoes and sweet corn. Turn heat up and when it comes to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for about 10 minutes, after which time the potatoes will have just about cooked through.

Add liquid, potatoes and corm

Add liquid, potatoes and corm

   3  – Add the cream, several good grinds of black pepper and about a 1/2 tsp salt. Bring back to a simmer. When it begins to simmer, add the shrimp and the chopped spinach. Cook until shrimp have cooked (about 8 minutes). Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Add cream and shrimp

Add cream and shrimp

  Scoop a nice mound of the rice into the bottom of shallow plates or soup bowls and top with chowder.

Serve with basmati rice in warmed bowls

Serve with basmati rice in warmed bowls

 

Fried Cod With Cilantro (or Parsley) Butter and Guacamole (serves 6)

This was such a treat of a dinner with every component delicious unto itself but glorious altogether!

great combination of flavors

Great combination of flavors

This dish was all about what I wanted to eat last night. I had a mad craving for big flakes of cod but I also wanted something that did not remind me of Wintry weather. My mind turned to greens and citrus. I had all this cilantro in the fridge so decided to put it into everything, including a blended butter.

Cilantro butter: blended butters are fantastic adn a great way to add flavor to fish or meat. It is also a great way to use up the last of any herbs you might have in the fride.

Cilantro butter: blended butters are fantastic and a great way to add flavor to fish or meat. It is also a handy way to use up the last of any herbs you might have in the fridge.

To lighten this meal further and bring summer to the table I served it with a no-heat guacamole with some colorful blue corn chips. There are so many ways to make guacamole and not adding pepper heat worked much better with the mild buttery fish and lemon zing.

Go ahead and plan this dinner for the weekend. You will win the whole table over, especially if you start out with an icy margarita!

______________________________________

You will need:

for the fish:

2 lbs fresh cod, cut into 8 – 10 pieces

olive oil or vegetable oil

1 cup flour

sea-salt & freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

for the cilantro butter:

1 stick (4 oz) butter, room temperature (or 1 cup of yogurt if you want something lower in fat)

1 clove garlic, crushed

3 tbls cilantro leaves, chopped (you can also substitute with flat leaf parsley)

2 tsp lemon juice

1 lemon, cut into six wedges

for the (no heat) guacamole:

2 ripe Haas avocados, quartered and diced

2 plum tomatoes, cored and diced

3 tbs cilantro leaves, chopped

t tbs red onion, very finely diced (optional)

1 1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp sea-salt

several grinds black pepper

Large blue corn chips (4 to 5 for each person)

*To make this a Blood Type A diet recipe, do the following: Omit the black pepper and tomatoes. Replace the butter with 3/4 cup plain yogurt for the butter and follow same recipe. Use olive oil or grapeseed oil only*

Method:

Make butter: Place all of the butter ingredients into a food processor and blend for 10 seconds. (if using yogurt instead of butter, mix everything together in a bowl and set aside in the fridge until needed).

Blend butter with seasonings

Blend butter with seasonings

Remove from processor with spatula and place on a piece of wax paper. Roll into the paper and gently roll into a fat log. Place in the fridge to harden

Roll in wax paper

Roll in wax paper

Before serving, remove from wax paper.

cilantro butter

Remove from wax paper

Make the guacamole: 

Place all ingredients for guacamole in bowl and mix together gently. Taste for the addition of more salt and/or pepper. Set aside.

Gaucamole

Guacamole

Fry Fish:

*Important note: if the pieces of fish are different thicknesses, fry the same ones together as they will have the same cook time*

Wash and dry fish and season generously with sea-salt and pepper.

Wash & dry fish. season.

Wash & dry fish. Season.

Place flour on a large pan or plate and coat each fish on both sides. Place large saute pan on high heat and add 2 tbs of oil. When the pan is hot add 1/2 of the fish in an even layer and fry for between 4 to 6 minutes (if they are thick pieces they will need up to 6 minutes). Turn fish and lower heat to medium/low and cover with lid. Cook for a further 4 minutes. Remove to a plate in a low temp oven to keep warm (stick the plates you will be serving on in the oven too to warm.)

Fry Fish

Fry Fish

To serve, arrange some corn chips on  plate with a serving of guacamole. Divide the fish between the plates and top with a slice of cilantro butter (or cilantro yogurt) and a wedge of lemon.

Colorful dinner

Colorful dinner is ready!

I also served the fish with rice for those in the group that despise guacamole (I will never understand why!)

You can also serve with rice: The rice had swwet freid onions, garlic adn chopped corander in it. Very delicious accomapniment also.

You can also serve with rice: The rice had sweet fried onions, garlic and chopped cilantro in it. Very delicious accompaniment also.

Creamed Fresh Spinach – Great Side-Dish And A Delcicous And Easy Way to Sneak Greens Into You Diet!

I love spinach but lots of people turn up their nose in disgust when they see it on their plate: my daughter for example. She is fine when it is in a brothy soup or disguised in a pie, but a big pile of slightly wilted spinach on the side of her plate can send her into a squirmy fit. You would swear I was trying to punish or poison her!

Eat your spinach!

Eat your spinach!

Over the years I have seen lots of recipes with “creamed spinach”, and it always appears on American diner menus as one of the sides. I did not grow up eating it and so never found it appealing. I had a huge bunch of spinach that needed to be cooked the other night, and the only way to get rid of it in a hurry was to cook it down. When it was cooked I felt it needed something so I cooked an onion and added cream. I must have been thinking of creamed spinach because this is what it turned out to be.

And it was delicious: my daughter’s words, not mine. Get the picture: even the worst of skeptics succumb to a bowl of creamy greeny spinach!

_____________________________________

You will need:

1 1/2 to 2 lbs fresh spinach, washed and left wet

1 medium sweet onion, small dice

1 1/2 tbs unsalted butter

1 tsp sea-salt

freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp chili flakes (optional)

1/2 lemon, cut into wedges (optional)

Method:

1 – Put large saute pan on medium heat and add the wet spinach. Cover with lid and cook until spinach is soft and wilted, stirring occasionally. You may need to do this in two batches (if your pan is small). Transfer to a big colander and let it cool. When it has cooled, squeeze as much of the moisture out as possible. Do this by squeezing with your hands and pressing the spinach into the sides of the colander with a big spoon. Remove from colander and chop. Set aside.

cook spinach

Cook spinach

2 – While spinach is cooling, melt butter under medium heat in same pan used to cook spinach. When it has melted, add the onions and cook until soft (about 6 or 7 minutes).

saute onions

Saute onions

3 – Add the salt, pepper, pepper flakes (if using), and cream and stir. When cream is hot, turn pan down and let it simmer for about 2 minutes.

add cream

Add cream

4 – Add the spinach and mix everything together. When it has completely warmed through it is ready to serve.

Creamed Fresh Spinach

Creamed Fresh Spinach

I like to garnish each serving with a thin wedge of lemon. A little lemon juice squeezed over the spinach gives it a fresh zing.

a squeeze of lemon is a lovely addition

A squeeze of lemon is a lovely addition

Lightening Fast Pasta For One! (Spaghetti with Garlic, Tomatoes & Capers)

I walked into my house last night at 8.05pm and was sitting eating this lovely dinner with a glass of wine by 8.20pm – talk about Fast Food!

my version of Fast Food (Spaghetti with Garlic, Tomatoes & Capers)

My version of Fast Food (Spaghetti with Garlic, Tomatoes & Capers)

You know those nights when you arrive home late and all you can think about is food? This can go a few ways: you can grab a microwave-able dinner, eat something like a hunk of bread with cheese, or take one moment longer to think about what you could cook and go for that. Last night I choose the latter.

I felt really hungry yes, but I also knew that I deserved something good and something that I would actually enjoy once I had taken my coat off and sat down. We go that extra mile for so many things that are less important than moments like this and I have learned to recognize those moments.

everything I would need for dinner ready in a flash

Everything I would need for dinner ready in a flash (spinach, cheese, garlic & capers)

Within 5 seconds I had scanned the fridge and saw a jar of capers and the lovely parm cheese. The next thing I did was put a pot of water on for pasta and made a vow to have the whole thing ready by the time I was draining the spaghetti. There was even time to pour a glass of wine while I waited for the pasta water to boil!

My dinner was more lovely than you can imagine and I slurped up every last bite like it was my last supper.

_______________________________________________

*This recipe is for one but multiply the ingredients according to how many you would like to cook this for, and it will work out just as fab!*

You will need:

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 cups chopped spinach

1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped

1/2 cup diced tomatoes with juices (I used a good quality canned variety – you should always used canned when tomatoes are not in season –  a Summer tomato is welcomed here however)

1 heaped tbs capers (don’t even bother rinsing)

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (chili flakes)

1/4 cup (or more if you like) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

spaghetti for 1 (I just took a handful from the box that I thought would work for me)

Method:

1 – Immediately put pasta water on to boil: Add a tsp of salt and a drop of olive oil to the water and cover with lid so the water comes to a boil faster. Add the spaghetti when water boils and cook according to instructions. When ready to drain, scoop out about a 1/4 cup of pasta water and reserve for your sauce. Do not rinse pasta. You will be transferring hot pasta directly to your cooked pan sauce.

cook spaghetti..

Cook spaghetti…reserve some cooked pasta water and do not rinse noodles when cooked!

2 – Prep ingredients as instructed above. When you add the pasta to the boiling water start to make your pan sauce. Put saute pan (big enough to hold the completed dish) on medium/low heat and add the oil. When it warms, add the tomatoes and juices and let it cook for 1 minutes. Add the garlic and capers and stir.

tomatoes, then garlic & capers

Tomatoes, then garlic & capers

3 – Add the chili flakes and cook everything for a minute or two.

stir adn cook for a minute or two

Stir and cook for a minute or two

4 – Next toss in the spinach and stir everything together. Spinach will wilt and begin to cook into the sauce after a minute or so.

add spinach

Add spinach

5 – The moment the timer goes off on your pasta, scoop out a 1/4 cup of water and add to your pan sauce. Drain the pasta and immediately add to the pan. Turn off heat and mix everything with the help of two wooden spoons.

Serve with lots of grated Parmagiano reggiano

Serve with lots of grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Tip the entire dish into a waiting warmed bowl or plate and garnish with the grated cheese. Drizzle with a good quality olive oil if you have it.

Dynamite Tofu Stir-Fry (serves 4)

I can’t believe I haven’t posted a recipe like this before, perhaps because I was waiting for my tofu dish to taste like this! It was nothing short of sumptuous. Yes, I used the word sumptuous to describe a dish made with tofu, and I say it with conviction because my daughter, who thinks tofu tastes like cardboard, loved this dinner!

Dynamite Tofu Stir-Fry

Dynamite Tofu Stir-Fry

I know that you hear people say “oh, but I love tofu!” and while that may be true, it is not actually the tofu that they love but the way the tofu has been seasoned, and what it is cooked with. At least that is the only way I can love this product. Also, there is no denying how good it is for me, and how inexpensive it is compared to meat. It is a safer product and much higher in protein than most meat so I think it is an ingredient that should be used in dishes as much as possible by everyone.

curry crusted fried tofu and sauteed escarole

Curry crusted fried tofu and sautéed escarole (just another idea which tasted great!)

I do not think it is impossible to love, after all, my daughter ate the tofu right from the pan like it was snack food until I told her there would be none left for dinner if she didn’t stop.

Sometimes it is more important to do the right thing for your body, and eating tofu certainly gives your digestive system a break if nothing else. Give this recipe a try and you might be converted too!

__________________________________________

*This is a Blood Type A Diet Recipe with lots of beneficial ingredients like tofu, romaine lettuce, carrots, onions, garlic and oil*

You will need:

4 tbs grapeseed or olive oil

12 oz (340 grams) cake/block firm tofu, pressed & cubed (click here for pressing technique)

1 medium onion (sweet or yellow), small dice

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbs finely chopped rosemary leaves

1/2 a bouillon cube (all of a cube if they are the little variety)

1 large carrot, peeled & grated

oyster mushrooms, chopped (1 cup if using from a can as I did, or 2 cups chopped if using fresh)

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

7 to 8 cups cooked basmati rice (can be made ahead and cooled, or use leftover rice)

3 tbs mirin

4 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs hoisin sauce

1 tsp sriracha sauce (optional – if you have it use it, if not, don’t worry)

Method:

1 – Press tofu (as instructed above, cook rice and allow to cool, prep all ingredients as shown below. Place everything in bowls ready to go into the pan.

dice onions, finely chop garlic

Dice onions, finely chop garlic

chop rosemary, break up bouillon cube

Chop rosemary, break up bouillon cube

grate carrot

Grate carrot

chop romaine lettuce

Chop romaine lettuce

Drain & rinse oyster mushrooms (or clean fresh ones and chop roughly)

Drain & rinse oyster mushrooms (or clean fresh ones and chop roughly)

cool basmati rice or take leftover rice from frige adn mix to seperate

Cool basmati rice or take leftover rice from fridge and mix to separate

2 – When veggies are prepped the tofu will be ready to be cubed. Cube tofu and place in bowl. Mix the soy, mirin, hoisin and sriracha together and pour 1/2 of it over the tofu. Mix gently (it will absorb almost immediately into the tofu).

prep tofu, then mix with sauce

Prep tofu, then mix with sauce

3 – Put big saute pan or wok on medium/high heat and add 2 tbs of oil to pan. When it is very hot, add the tofu in a single layer and let it cook for 2 minutes before turning. Cook for another 2 minutes on other side. It will have a nice brown outer crust. Place on plate and keep warm while stir-frying veggies.

fry tofu

Fry tofu

4 – Turn heat up slightly and add more oil. When it is hot add the onions and garlic and cook for a minute or 2 before adding the mushrooms. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes more. The mushrooms need to be getting brown in spots.

saute onions adn garlic, then add mushrooms

Saute onions and garlic, then add mushrooms

5 – Add the carrots and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the rosemary and bouillon cube. Stir and cook for another minute or 2.

add carrots, then seasonings

Add carrots, then seasonings

6 – Add the romaine and cook until wilted (you may need to add more oil as you go and adjust heat)

add romaine lettuce

Add romaine lettuce

7 – Add the rice and stir everything together. When it is hot, add the rest of the sauce, holding back a little and adjusting later if necessary. Turn off pan and taste. If it needs more sauce add at this point.

add rice

Add rice

Serve in warmed bowls topped with tofu and offer soy sauce and hot sauce.

serve with some hot sauce or as is

Serve with some hot sauce, soy sauce, or as is

Crispy Fried Pork (or tofu!) Medallions with Escarole Rice (serves 4)

Crispy Fried Pork Medallions with Escarole Rice

Crispy Fried Pork Medallions with Escarole Rice

Sometimes I am in the mood to make dinner as quickly as possible, and others, like last night, there is nothing I enjoy more than standing in my kitchen lazily chopping and stirring, in the company of whomever wants to watch the movie I may have playing and perhaps share my bottle of wine.

frying pork to lovely crispiness

frying pork to lovely crispy-ness

I am always trying to come up with interesting ways to cook pork tenderloin. It is such a delicate cut of meat with a tenderness that needs to be preserved for it to taste its very best. I sliced the pork and with a crowded counter filled with bowls of flour, an Asian egg mixture and another of panko crumbs I coated each piece of meat before frying to perfection. This was so good, and such a hit, I was sorry I hadn’t double the recipe!

Fresh herbs will always make your food taste better

Fresh herbs will always make your food taste better

I thought it would be perfect with a very aromatic rice, and since I was hell-bent on using up every last herb I had purchased for recipes over the Christmas break, I added chopped pungent rosemary and liquorice-y tarragon to the rice with a couple of mushrooms and sweet onions to make the best accompaniment ever. It was hard not to eat and say “mmmmm” the whole time we were eating!

By all means these two dishes can be made as part of other dishes. I think the pork with be great on a buffet table and the rice could go with so many other meat dishes, (and in the case of my dinner, crispy fried tofu).

Happy New Year’s Eve – Cook something memorable!

______________________________________

You will need:

1 pork tenderloin, (try to find one that is about 1 1/4 lbs) cut into 3/8″ or 1 cm slices

OR tofu (instead of pork)about two packages of extra-firm, sliced into triangles or big squares (prepared as instructed below ingredient list)

2 large eggs

2 tbs hoisin sauce

2 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs mirin

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups panko crumbs (have more on hand)

1/3 cup olive oil

3 medium sweet or yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

1 medium head escarole, washed and roughly chopped

2 large mushrooms, diced

10 (or so) fresh tarragon leaves, chopped

1 stem of rosemary leaves, pulled off stem and chopped (about 1 tbs)

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (optional)

sea-salt to taste

6 cups cooked basmati rice

Dipping sauce: 6 tbls soy sauce mixed with 6 tbs mirin. Divide between 2 or 3 bowls for the table.

*This can easily be a vegetarian/vegan or Blood Type A Diet recipe. Use extra firm tofu which you should squeeze of excess moisture (enough for 4 to 6 servings) and follow method below or follow method here.

Method:

1 – If you are going to cook rice, put it on right away and let it be cooling until you need it. If you already have leftover rice, take it out of the fridge and stir to loosen.

2 – Mix the eggs in a shallow bowl with the hoisin, soy and mirin. Place flour in a shallow bowl or a dinner plate. Put panko crumbs on a dinner plate. Place a big platter or plate on the counter beside the other plates and bowls.

3 – Make sure the pork is dry and then dip each piece in flour, then coat with egg mixture (by dipping), and finish by pressing each side into the panko crumbs. Place on the waiting platter or plate. When they are all dipped and rolled, place in the fridge. * I find they cook so much better when they are cold*

Prep pork and store in fridge until ready to fry

Prep pork and store in fridge until ready to fry

4 – Next make your dipping sauce (see method in ingredient list).

make dipping sauce

make dipping sauce

5 – Put big saute pan on medium heat and add 2 tbs of oil. Add onions and cook for about 7 minutes.

saute onions

saute onions

6 – Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for another 5 or so minutes. You may have to add more oil. Add the chopped herbs and some sea-salt (about 1/2 to 1 tsp) and stir into veggies.

add herbs

Add mushrooms, then herbs

7 – Cook until onions are nice and soft.

cook for several minutes

Cook for several minutes

8 – Add the chopped escarole and cayenne flakes (if using) and cook until the greens wilt (about 4 or 5 minutes).

add escarole

Add escarole & pepper flakes

9 – Add the rice and stir until it has completely warmed through. Cover with lid and keep warm on lowest heat (or turn off and reheat right before serving)

add rice

Add rice

10 – Put large saute pan on medium/high heat and add about 3 tbs oil. When it is hot add the pork in a single un-crowded layer. Cook until crispy on both sides (about 2 to 3 minutes per side). Remove to a plate and keep warm in low temperature oven until you have fried all of the batches. You will need to add more oil as you go.

fry pork

fry pork

Serve pork alongside the rice and drizzle a little of the dipping sauce over the pork before serving. Each person may add more dipping sauce or hot sauce as they please.

serve with a drizzle of dipping sauce

serve with a drizzle of dipping sauce

The pork can be easily substituted for tofu (I did) and prepared exactly the same way. (Check above for further instructions)

I had exactly the same thing only with tofu

I had exactly the same thing only with tofu

Delightfully Tofu-y Stew (serves 4 as main course or 6 as appetizer)

You don’t have to be a vegetarian, a vegan, a gluten-excluder, a blood type A diet disciple, or a meat-eater to enjoy a lovely brothy bowl of this comforting stew. It is universally delicious and meets the requirements of what I think a stew should be: warming, hearty, with a feeling of regret when one comes to the last spoonful.

A surprisingly hearty stew

A surprisingly hearty stew

Yes, the fact that it could possibly be one of the healthiest things you could put into your body doesn’t hurt either, although I refuse to eat something just because it is good for me. If it doesn’t taste good, I won’t eat it, even if it is medicinal. The medicine for my soul cannot be discounted!

So, with my soul in mind, and a healthy regard for my body, I came up with this lovely soup. I am on a mission to make everyone like tofu, and it is quite the task. I am the first to admit that it has absolutely no taste whatsoever, but when surrounded by flavorful ingredients it has a tendency to take on their most prominent characteristics. The general tone of this stew was of delicate sweetness and the tofu cooperated beautifully.

_____________________________________________

* This is a great Blood Type A diet recipe with highly beneficial ingredients like tofu, garlic and onions*

You will need:

4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

4 medium sweet onions, thinly slices, or large dice

5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

12 oz (340 grams)  firm tofu (it can be a little more or a little less depending on what you can find)

1 cup baby peas (I used frozen – very handy)

1 good quality stock cube (I used Rapunzel brand (vegan w/herbs & sea salt)

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (optional and not suitable for strict Blood type A Diet)

1 tsp curry powder (optional)

1 tsp sea-salt (I use Maldon sea-salt flakes, but another course sea salt will work too)

Freshly ground black pepper (not for strict Blood Type a Diet)

6 cups water (more if needed)

Method:

1 – An hour before you want to cook this dish (or earlier in the day), press the excess moisture from the tofu as follows:

Press water out of tofu

Press water out of tofu

Place tofu on a dinner plate and stack 4 or so plates on top (or heavy pot as in my case). Pour off excess water occasionally (this can be done for an hour but you can leave it longer). When moisture has been removed, cube the block of tofu.

cubed tofu

Cubed tofu

2 – Put medium soup pot on medium heat and add oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn heat down to low and continue to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, until very soft and have sweetened.

cook onions, add spices

Cook onions, add spices

3 – Add the salt, pepper, chili flakes, curry powder and stock cube to onions and stir until cube has dissolved.

add water

Add water

4 – Add water and turn heat up to medium/high and bring liquid to a simmer.

add tofu

Add tofu

5 – Add tofu and bring back to a simmer. Place lid on pot and simmer for 5 minutes.

add peas (can be added frozen)

Add peas (can be added frozen)

6 – Add peas and bring back to a simmer. Taste broth for addition of more seasonings (salt and /or pepper) and also add more water if you think it is too thick for your taste. Cover and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn off heat.

serve with bread for more girth

serve with bread for more girth

Serve in warmed bowls with bread,  adding more pepper flakes or black pepper if you so desire.