Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pizza, Coconut, and Tempeh

It was sooo incredibly hot a week or so ago and everything was drooping. We don't have A/C and it was so humid, I didn't really feel like cooking or moving for that matter. The clothes wouldn't dry outside on the line despite the sun because of the humidity. My father-in-law, Mike, came out for a visit Father's Day weekend. He is from NC and grew up without any electricity in the NC heat, but even he couldn't take our Illinois heat wave and he left a day early. I felt like everyone and everything was suffering...then I looked up at my porch and my happy little hanging plants and thought, "At least something likes this weather!". So I took a picture with my iphone. Luckily, it has been unseasonably cool this week and I am loving it!
Speaking of Father's Day, I was going to do a brunch with Rob's dad in town and have my dad, sister, and brother over, but it was so hot I wanted to do something simpler. For my sister's birthday, June 7th, we had my family over for vegan pizza. It was so good, Rob and I decided to do it again for Father's Day. Probably not the smartest thing since the house was warm enough, the oven baking pizzas didn't help one bit, but it was yummy. Rob made his wonderful whole wheat crust (he mostly follows the recipe in Nonna's Italian Kitchen by the talented Bryanna Clark Grogan), homemade sauce, and we did the normal toppings (kale, carrots, kalamata olives, capers, sweet peppers, mushrooms, fresh pineapple on some, and since I picked up some Follow Your Heart vegan cheese on sale we added a little of that as well, but I really prefer pizza without it).There is nothing better than homemade vegan pizza. I felt guilty that Rob cooked on Father's Day, but he said he waned too and there are issues between Rob's dad, Mike, and me so it is better for Rob to cook. Family stuff is complicated to say the least.
I did make a Coconut Lemon Bundt Cake from Veganomicon. But I waited until midnight when the kitchen had cooled down a tad. I bought a gallon of blueberries from the farmer's market and actually was able to freeze few this time. We topped the cake with Coconut Bliss ice cream (on sale at the co-op recently) to cut the sweetness (for you Steel Magnolias fans).
Last Friday night we rode our bikes to Ricky and Catharine's for dinner. It is about 4.5 miles so long enough for Dema to fall asleep. We made a stop at Strawberry Fields on the way and Dema was snoozing and Josie was asking for an apple (that is a ball in her hand not an apple) and doing her sign for eat and saying "eat" over and over. Parker was on the back of my Xtracycle because we still don't have a light for his bike. I don't think of it until we are going somewhere and will need a light on the ride home. He really needs his own lock and lights. Dinner at Ricky and Catharine's was tempeh fajitas, rice, beans, guacamole, and pasta for the kids (although Parker ate two large plate full of pretty much everything). It was yummy and fun as usual. The kids soaked each other all evening with the hose and we enjoyed the weather chatting on their porch.Speaking of tempeh, I've revised one of our favorite tempeh dished from Vegan Dad's blog, Peanut Tempeh with Noodles. In the past, I've blogged about it as Sunbutter Tempeh with Noodles. I've changed it up enough that I'll share my version, but I highly suggest checking out Vegan Dad and cooking it his way too. I just can't ever leave well enough alone. This dish is so good, we rarely have leftovers. It is also great for people looking for a protein punch (most of us get plenty and it is not something people lack in their diet veg or not, but some people are big on protein) with the nutbutter, nutritional yeast, and tempeh it is a protein powerhouse.

Nutbutter Coconut Tempeh with Rice Noodles:
1 package rice noodles
3 - 4 cloves of garlic minced
1 block of tempeh crumbled (I find that even people who don't like tempeh will like this dish)
1 tablespoon olive oil (optional - I've been cutting back on oil a lot lately, more about that in another post)
1 - 2 tablespoon Bragg's Liquid Aminos or tamari
1/2 cup water (plus a couple tablespoons if you don't want to use much oil)
1/4 cup nutbutter (your choice, but I assume you are using a nut butter with just nuts in salt nor sweetener)
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 can lite coconut milk (you can use full fat and I've heard that lite is only full fat with added water, but lite is what I have right now so if you use full fat, I would use only half a can and maybe up the water)
2/3 to 1 teaspoon red curry paste (we like things hot so you may want to try half this amount at first)
1 teaspoon coriander
1 package frozen peas or fresh sweet peas or green of your choice
red pepper flakes for garnish (optional...I told you we like things hot)
fresh chopped cilantro for garnish (optional, not shown, but it great if you have some on hand)

Soak the rice noodles according to directions on the package. While the noodles are soaking, heat a large saute pan or wok on medium heat. Add the olive oil and saute the garlic for a couple minutes, but do not burn. Crumble the tempeh into the pan and saute. Add a tablespoon or two of water if it starts to stick. Put the nutbutter in a bowl with the water, blackstrap molasses, tamari, nutritional yeast, coriander, and red curry paste and mix it all together with a spoon and then pour the mixture in the pan with the tempeh. Heat, stirring occasionally for about ten or fifteen minutes then add the peas and coconut milk and stir. Make sure not to boil after the coconut milk is added. Heat through until peas are thawed and noodles are done. Add the drained noodles to the mixture and stir. If it is still too wet for you, add a little more nutritional yeast. Serve with red pepper flakes and/or fresh cilantro.

No comments: