Beets, Tofu Omelets, Tempeh Cakes, & Curries!


For those of you that don’t already know, Isa Chandra Moskowitz rocks the vegan planet. HARD CORE. No, really. I don’t know how she does it. She really is a vegan goddess. I’m never ceased to be amazed. I’ve been trying my best to get through the Vegan Brunch book as quick as humanly possible, but of course a lack of time amongst other things get in the way. Last week I finally whipped up the Tofu Omelets and stuffed them with leftover golden beet and green bean salad. There was a little trial-and-error. The first two omelets I tried out were quite unsuccessful. They fell apart and were too dry and ended up looking like a tofu scramble. I then looked at the little side tip and saw the suggestion of adding up to 1/4 cup of water. And wah-lah, they now looked just like the picture! I was so stoked. They spread out a lot easier and held together when flipped. So yeah, good stuff. I kept the batter in the fridge for a few days so I could make it whenever. You could probably get about 4-5 omelets out of the whole batch. It looks just like an egg omelet, just not so much of an egg-y taste. I think this cookbook should be appropriately renamed as “The Meat Eaters Vegan Brunch Book for Non-Believers”. Between omelets, scrambles, sausages, frittatas, crepes, waffles, muffins, quiche, and coffee cake, you wouldn’t ever believe it’s vegan. And that is why I love it so much. BUY IT. NOW!

Tofu Omelet from Vegan Brunch

Golden-Beet Green Bean Salad

In addition to the overflow of tofu I’ve acquired lately, I also scored a few packages of slightly expired tempeh from work the other day. Hmmm, what to do with some lovely tempeh? Make the Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes, of course!

Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes

People have been raving about these ever since I can remember hearing about the cookbook. They’re imitating crab cakes, and I have to say I’d probably prefer them over real ones (especially after reading the note about Chesapeake Bay)! The only problem I had was a few fell apart when I was trying to shape them and flip them over while frying. Next time I might reduce the amount of panko inside the batter. But other than that, fantastic. The remoulade was quite amazing, as well. Really simple and the perfect accompaniment to the mini patties. I added some freshly chopped dill to the mix because I’ve been all about adding dill to everything these days and it actually made it even better. Served alongside some sweet potato fries, stir-fried chard, mushrooms, green beans, and home-brewed lemon-lime “mojito” kombucha, it was the perfect dinner.
A few weeks ago I received an older issue of Gourmet (from last October, to be exact), and a recipe for this Southeast Asian Squash Curry caught my eye. Relatively easy and delicious sounding. A lot of my favorite foods in one dish: spinach, butternut squash, and cashews. Well, it turned out okay. The consistency was a bit weird and the red curry paste made it too spicy for my liking. I love butternut squash, and honestly don’t think it needed that much. It was my first time using fish sauce, as well. Damn, that stuff really is fishy and stinky. But it added the extra bit of saltiness I suppose it needed. Anyway, I don’t regret making it, but I probably won’t make it again. I had to doctor it up with a lot of cashews and some cilantro chutney, thanks to the Sukhi’s booth at the farmers market!

Southeast Asian Squash Curry

Lastly, something else delicious I got around to making last week was this amazing walnut teet dip/puree. So colorful and delicious! I had a few leftover red beets from roasting, but needed a few more and thankfully I had a can of pickled beets in the cupboard. I typically cannot STAND pickled beets (so wrong but they work in a pinch…) and I think that’s probably the reason some people hate beets. They’ve had the wrong kind. I, too, used to be a beet-hater. I would never touch the things. Until one fine day I had a roasted one and my life was forever changed. Canned, pickled beets are not beets. They’re a complete 180 from slow-roasted, fresh, organic, sweet-as-candy earthy beets that stain your fingers in a lovely rosy hue. You don’t get that same effect from the canned ones. Anyway, this dip is really quite good. It’s almost just like hummus. You could dip anything in to it. So far I’ve only had it with some french bread, but I intend to make it as the base sauce for a pizza and probably put it on some sandwiches with some arugula, tofu, or cheese. I also thought about making raviolis with it–stuffing won-ton wrappers with it. It’s so lovely and would be perfect sitting out for a party.

Walnut Beet Dip
1/2 cup walnuts1/2 lb beets, trimmed, roasted, peeled, and cut into large chunks1/4 cup olive oil1/8 cup water1 tablespoon tahini1 tablespoon lemon juicesalt to taste


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