The blog has taken a back seat as I’ve been mulling over and working toward big things, things that soon I will put down in words and up on this blog as a way to solidify my reasons and aspirations.
Right now, I just want to share my thoughts on marinating tofu and tempeh. I’ve actually thought quite a lot about it, as it goes. For instance, I think the best time to marinade your tofu is right before bed. This way, it will have just enough time to soak up the flavors by the time you eat it the following night, about 19 hours later.
There are lots of ways to marinade: simple one-or-two ingredient marinades, dry rubs, or the marinades with dry and wet ingredients.
When I have time, I marinade by mixing together dry herbs, rubbing the mixture onto an unsliced block of tofu, slicing the tofu, applying the dry mix to the new slices, and then adding grated ginger, garlic, and fresh lime juice.
The marinated tofu slices pictured here did not have fresh ginger or garlic because we were out of both! It was still a tangy, interesting marinade and included cumin, 2 Indian spice blends, cayenne pepper, paprika, powdered ginger, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and lots of lime juice.
After the tofu slices marinated for about 18 hours, we fried them lightly on a hot cast iron pan and ate them.
A main focus of veganism is food. One of my main focuses is food. If you can’t tell, I love to cook. It started about 3 years and 4 months ago, when Daley took me into his kitchen and showed me what it meant to eat from scratch. Since then we’ve been cooking, and now growing, from scratch. We recently had a two year journey cooking commercially, selling our food at an organic farm, in health food shops, for private parties, and at local festivals. I wouldn’t be surprised if we go back into catering again. Cooking is a huge part of our lives. It’s a great joy and an appreciated service.
I like to cook in new environments and with new tools. Undeniably, it is the tools that create the flow of cooking. I love sharp machete knives, wooden cutting boards, our seasoned cast iron pans….and I also adore our food processor. Before we got our food processor last year, I had only heard stories about the new culinary adventures one of these would bring to our kitchen. Daley would tell me stories of kitchens gone past, from years stretching into last decade, when he was a chef in the trendy restaurants of London. He’d often talk about a food processor’s usefulness in so many recipes: delicate mousses, spreads, salsas, dips, mixes, doughs. When we finally purchased a used Robot Coupe, I learned first hand about the magic and convenience of a “whizzer.” I love to create with this tool. Slaws, pestos, burgers, butters, bread crumbs, cake, hummus, smoothies, milks….there are endless ways to create.
This is a crazy delicious burger we stumbled upon with the trusty Robot Coupe the other day when we needed a good meal. It features a smoked tofu that has a rich, smoky smell and taste to it.
You can definitely make this by manually mashing if you don’t have a food processor. The recipe is roughly as follows:
spices: mustard seed, cumin seed, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper
herbs: chives and parsley
a big pile of mushrooms
1 can of Jamaican gungo beans – but you could use any beans
a big handful of cashews
1 heaping tablespoon of tomato puree
225 grams smoked (or other) tofu
Start by popping the mustard and cumin seeds in a hot pan. Add the onion and mushroom. Let the mushrooms get soft and liquidy- then add the other spices. Mix in the beans for a moment. Now crumble your tofu into the food processor or hand mash. Add the nuts, tomato puree, sauteed ingredients, and fresh herbs. If you’re hand mashing, you will need to grind your cashews separately. An easy way is enclosing them in a a piece of cloth, then smashing them with a cup or some other hard object. Taste and and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Now get your pan back on the stove, roll your burger mix into patties, and fry em up!! You’ll get 12 or so amazing patties.