Dinner Salad

In keeping with our veggie themed meals this week, tonight’s dinner was a very hearty Avocado-Wasabi Salad.   This worked very well into my weight loss plan as it was healthy…..but filling.  And vegan!  Something Dan has been trying to get me to convert to for years.  While I am not sure I can 100% jump on the vegan train, I am not opposed to making stops at stations along the way.  And this salad is definitely something I can be on board with.

You can find the recipe on one of Dan’s favorite food blogs: Vegan YumYum



This week’s spice: Chipotle

It was not coincidental that we had red and green cabbages on hand, adding the commendable, complementary crunch to those profoundly, palatable pita wraps, they were part of our planned preparations and last night we engaged them in their proper purpose:  chipotle barbequed black bean tacos (served on homemade tortillas!).


The beans could definitely use more (Jen says less) chipotle but their combination with the coleslaw mingled masterfully; these were very good – and very easy.


Chipotle battered broccoli and hummus pita wrap

Jen spent much of yesterday restocking the ‘fridge and that and the appearance of several pounds of hummus led to an exceptional pita wrap for lunch.

Broccoli florets were sliced in half, battered in a thin chipotle-garlic, tempura-ish batter and fried.

On a pita (half) thinly spread with hummus, we rolled up the broccoli, red pepper and shredded red and green cabbage.

A very simple but outlandishly delicious pita wrap.

Approximate batter dimensions (enough to make broccoli for 4 sandwiches)

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 tbs rye flour
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (heaping)
  • a few grinds of sea salt, to taste
  • 1/3 cup cold water

Mixed together it should be a pretty loose batter; let it sit about 10 minutes before using.


Hummus among us

Thursday’s misadventure left us with a nerasthenetic need for tasty hummus.  Both Jen and I consequently bought several pounds of chickpeas and tonight, Will helped bring together one of his favorite foods.

Just for kicks — since we usually don’t (and to see if it resulted in a mayo consistancy) — Will and I pulled the husks off the chickpeas before dumping them into the food processor.  It had very little effect on the consistancy…

We combined about 2 cups of chickpeas, 4 tablespoons lemon juice, 4 tablespoons tahini, 4 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, a couple dashes allspice, pinch of sea salt, 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1/3 cup water.

We adjusted the flavors a bit with a little more tahini and lemon juice and Will declared it delicious — eating easily half a cup, with carrots.

Jen thought it was pasty and flavorless but I find it exactly to my liking ( because I made it, see…):  Very low in salt and a high on tahini.

Served with some chopped cilantro, pine nuts, Hungarian paprika and drizzled with a little olive oil:


Nori Rolls: Lime marinated bean curd with enoki and tempura battered eggplant with peanut sauce

The hot and sour breakfast was delicious but the refrigerator is clearly conceding a lack of tenancy.   That the case, I had the brilliant idea to wing by the local grocery for some nori rolls on the way to work but they very inconsiderately do not open that early!  So instead I went to the Meijer where, on eyeing  their regrettable goop plastered rolls, grabbed hummus and carrots – and enoki because they look funny.  (Also,  asparagus because it looked good and a cantaloupe because Will likes them but for some reason we never buy any.)

The ingredients listed for the hummus were water, chickpeas, sesame tahini, canola oil, garlic, sea salt, citric acid and potassium sorbate, and that seemed just fine.  Except somehow, that mostly typical combination was sublimed into something of the consistency as mayonnaise and the flavor was not nearly chickpea nor tahini, actually far closer to mayonnaise.

Perturbed and continuing to crave nori rolls, as I unloaded this course of exceptional events, Jen summarily set about synthesizing some semblance of supper from the supercilious assortment of purchased pieces.

The plan began as a enoki-asparagus-cantaloupe with cilantro roll and evolved into a plan for two specific combinations:

  1.  Lime marinated bean curd, tamari marinated enoki, red pepper, asparagus and cilantro
  2. Tempura battered eggplant, red pepper and cilantro with peanut sauce

We drained the bean curd and marinated it in lime juice, ginger powder and garlic then baked it until it began to brown.  The enoki was dropped into a pot of simmering tamari, marsala and water, then drained.  The eggplant we dusted with a spiced flour – mixed in cayenne, ground garlic and black pepper – battered and fried.

The assembled ingredients:

Assembling the tofu roll:

The combinant eggplant roll:

The perfect roll:

Nice roll, dude!

And finally, like, really, finally – say, 8:30: dinner

Jen thought the eggplant/peanut sauce combo was superior; I thought the tamari enoki and acidity in the bean curd with the cilantro was the perfect complement of flavors.  Really, though, I’ve never wrapped anything in nori and been disappointed.

Approximate assemblages (This is like a travelling caravan of a meal!):

Bean Curd

  • 1/2 cake of bean curd, cut into 1x3x1/2 inch rectangles
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder (obviously fresh ginger would be much better)

Drain tofu.  Combine juice, garlic and ginger and carefully marinate the tofu for about 15 minutes.  Place bean curd on a tray to bake,  pouring any excess juice over the pieces.  Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes or until it starts to turn golden, turning occasionally.


  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sushi vinegar

Cook rice to done, mix in the vinegar.  While the rice is cooking do the rest:


  • 1 cup de-rooted enoki
  • 1/3 cup tamari
  • 1/4 cup marsala
  • 1/4 cup water

Combine liquids and bring to a simmer.  Drop the enoki in the brew and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Drain.


  • 1 small eggplant, sliced into 1x3x1/2 inch rectangles
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp ground garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Combine the dry ingredients and dredge the eggplant pieces through the mix.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Oil for frying

Heat pan and oil.  Combine first four ingredients.  Batter the above eggplant and fry in pan.  This batter never really browns (or maybe I’m just impatient) so done-ness is best monitored considering the eggplant.

The rest

  • Nori
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 12 pieces asparagus
  • Peanut sauce (This always seems to generally be on hand in our house.  If you want to make it try something like this, making sure to half the lime juice)

Steam the asparagus. 

Assemble the rolls on your rolling mat:

Roll type I:  Spread a thin layer of rice on the lower two-thirds of the nori sheet.  About 1 inch from the bottom, run a 1/2 inch wide row of the enoki, tofu over that and asparagus on red pepper along either side.  Top with sprigs of cilantro and roll.

Roll type II:  Spread a thin layer of rice on the lower two thirds of the nori sheet.  About 1 inch from the bottom, string a row of the eggplant, placing rows of red pepper on either side.  Pour peanut sauce over the tofu, top with cilantro and roll.

Assemble all the rolls before slicing and begin with the first roll made.  Use a very sharp knife and run it through cold water between slices (and do not dry the knife).  I like to slice 2 rolls at once, starting with a slice right down the center.


am scramble

A quick hot and sour bean curd breakfast:

Hey!  Look!  It's my breakfast!

As always, composition is directed by the contents of the veggie bin:  Bean curd, potato, mushroom, black olives, a little ground pepper, garlic powder, a dash of cayenne and a pinch of sea salt.

After sauteing the tofu and potato – then mushrooms – with the spices, I added a few shots of seseme oil and some rice vinegar and served on a bed of spinach.


*Also, substituting some soy sauce sort of something for the sodium is nice also.