Sweet and cold. A nice summer side dish. A cake of tofu is in the salad dressing. I haven’t made this dish for such a long time. I was flipping my old scrap cooking recipe book and I saw something like this in it. I reduced amount of sugar. I love sweets, but too sweet is too sweet. You can make this ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for a few days.
1/2 cake konnyaku
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 slice aburaage (fried tofu pounch)
1 cup snap peas, green beans, or shelled edamame (or steamed and roughly cut spinach)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 1/2 cup mushroom soaking water
Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in 1 1/2 cups warm water.
Drain tofu by pressing it between palm of your hands.
Boil konnyaku for 5 minutes.
Pour hot water from tap over aburaage. Squeeze water out.
Cut carrot, aburaage, and konnyaku in thin strips.
Cook carrot, aburaage, konnyaku and dried shiitake mushrooms in mushroom soaking water + other seasonings for 5 minutes until carrot becomes soft. When it is cool to touch, cut stems out of shiitake mushrooms and cut the caps in thin strips.
Boil snap peas for a minute until they become bright green. If you are using frozen edamame, thaw them and shell them.
Make tofu dressing. Pulse sesame seeds in a coffee grinder for a few seconds. Mix all other tofu dressing ingredients well with a hand blender.
Drain vegetables. Lightly mix them with tofu dressing.
When Peacefood Cafe first opened at University Pl and E 11th Street, I went in. Everything was white, clean looking, a bit like a college cafeteria. Since it was newly opened, all the waiters were very attentive and eager to please. The menu looked interesting and yummy, too. I was excited and happy about this new addition to the vegan community. But when the food came, although they all looked nice and tasty, it was not. They were all very plain. Steamed vegetables plain even roasted vegetables. And my seasonal roasted vegetables were under cooked and tasted like steamed vegetables with no seasoning. There was an exception, chickpea fries. We ordered it because our waiter told us we must. I thought they were little bit too much seasonings, but still interesting and good.
A friend of mine, another vegan food lover, eats here quite often. She said their baked goods are good, too. So, I thought I meant to give it a try one more time. This time, I ordered right. I wanted a Big nice interesting salad. This Asian Green fit the bill. Towards the end, I started feeling it was bit too salty because the greens were dressed and the tempeh was marinated in soy sauce. None the less, I was happy with this Big nice interesting salad and a few sticks of chickpea fries.
This dressing is very yummy. You can mop it up with bread. Make sure to use broccolini or young broccoli.
Ingredients: 1 lb broccolini or young broccoli, 2 tomatoes
For vinaigrette: 1 lemon (grated zest and 2 Tbs juice), 1 large shallot or 1/4 red onion (minced), 2 tsp dried marjoram or dried oregano (1 heaping Tbs if you are using fresh herb), 6 oil-cured olives, 4 Tbs olive oil, salt and black pepper
Break broccolini into florets. Cut the stems into 2″ length, peel them, and halve them lengthwise. Steam broccolini for 3-5 minutes until tender but not mushy.
Seed olives, and mince them. Whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and black pepper.
Pour vinaigrette over warm broccolini. Mix with your hands.
Cut tomatoes in wedges. Add tomatoes over broccolini and serve.
I just came back from a lunch with a friend at Cafe Orlin. A nice surprise. Hijiki Salad came with breaded tofu, watercress and avocado. A nice quiet dressing binds everything. Vegetarian Combo was scrumptious. Even the plain looking rice had a nice touch. Was it coconut milk or broth? I had Iced mint tea to wash it all down. She wanted to eat outside to de-freeze from her ice cold office. A perfect laid back cafe to have a vegetarian lunch. I will come back here.
LUNCH: I went to LaCamelia for lunch with a friend. We ordered Ensalada del Mercado and Mushroom Tacos. They were both good, but where is jicama? The menu said Ensalada del Mercado has jicama in it, and that’s why we ordered it. We were talking about liking jicama in a salad which we ate all the time when we were in Mexico.
Sweet Potato Burgers with Green Beans
DINNER: I made sweet potato burgers, something different. They didn’t need ketchup. I added cumin, turmeric, cayenne, black pepper, and salt to the sweet potato mixture, but I could spice them up even more. Michael suggested some creamy sauce would be a nice match in stead of ketchup. Stay tuned for a better version. Then I will put recipe on.