Stir Fried Bok Choy and Orange Cauliflower with Tofu

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I am very fortunate to live and work in areas where I have easy access to fresh, organic produce from local farms. My local farmer’s market often determines any given dinner. On a recent recent night, my dinner came from some fresh and massive bok choy from my co-op and an orange cauliflower from the farmer’s market outside my office building. I have never had this particular kind of cauliflower, but since the sign labeled it as “Cheddar Cheese Cauliflower,” of course I had to pick it up.

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The farmer told me that the cauliflower would taste a bit sweeter than the standard variety. I couldn’t tell the difference, but it was still mighty tasty!

I recently discovered the “Super Extra Firm” tofu at Trader Joe’s. It’s pre-pressed, so it requires minimal draining. It’s perfect for quick dinners like this one.

I cubed up the tofu and then washed and cut up the veggies. I then did a quick stir fry along with some garlic, ginger, tamari, Hoisin Sauce, sesame oil and miso. The dish came out perfect. I served it with some Basmati rice, but brown rice will also work just as well.

A regular white cauliflower will work just as well as the “Cheddar Cheese” variety.

Stir Fried Bok Choy and Orange Cauliflower with Tofu
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course, Dinner
Cuisine: Stir Fry, Asian

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil or other flavorless oil
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained and pressed – cut up in to cubes
  • 2 tsp.
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. ginger, chopped
  • 1 head of bok choy, cut up in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 head of cauliflower, washed and cut in to florets
  • 2 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp. red miso
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • scallions, chopped plus extra to garnish

Instructions
  1. Heat up the oils in a large wok or saute pan
  2. Add in the cubed tofu and brown for a few minutes
  3. Once the tofu has browned, add in the salt, onions, garlic, ginger and garlic and saute a few minutes.
  4. Add in the cauliflower and bok choy and stir fry for about five minutes. Let the veggies soften. You don’t want them too mushy.
  5. Mix up the soy sauce, miso, hoisin and vegetable broth in a small bowl and then pour over the stir fry.
  6. Add in some of the scallions and the red pepper flakes. Taste and add additional salt as needed.
  7. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

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Jerusalem Day: Israeli Recipe Roundup

Today is the 28th of Iyar. Also known as Yom Yerushalyim or Jerusalem Day. Have you heard of this special day? We celebrate Yom Yerushalayim or Jerusalem Day to commemorate the reunification of Jerusalem after the Six Day War. So today, we honor the soldiers who lost their lives in the war and spend the day talking about Jerusalem and what it means to us. We share memories, we sing and we dance.

Chummus

For those of us not in Israel today, we can also celebrate with food. Israeli food. What’s your favorite Israeli food? Falafel or Sabich? Shakshuka or maybe some Sachlab? When you think of Jerusalem, what food comes to mind?

In honor of Jerusalem Day, I want to share with you a roundup of Israeli recipes and restaurant reviews from both my site, and from around the blog world.

Do you have a favorite recipe that makes you think of Jerusalem? Post them to the comment box or send them to me at hindyg@confident-cook.com.

Thanks to The Jewish Federations of North America for sparking the idea for this blog post; they’ll be featuring it on their Jerusalem Day website as a way to build buzz for their annual General Assembly, a major gathering of leaders from Jewish organizations in North America and Israel which will be in Jerusalem this November.

Hummus, Tahini and Other Dips
Babaganoush
Homemade Hummus
Hummus with Zaatar
Lemony Hummus
Matbucha
Matbucha Madness
Roasted Eggplant Dip
Schug
Tahini
White Bean HummusOther Vegetarian Treats
Malawach Cheese Pastries
Roasted Eggplant with Israeli Salad
Sabich
Israeli Couscous with Cinnamon Roasted Sweet PotatoSalad
Cabbage Salad
Israeli Salad
Tabouli
Beet SaladMeat Recipes
Lamb Kebabs
Turkey Shawarma

 

Breads
Pita

 

Desserts
Chocolate Falafel
Halva
Halva and Pistachio Ice Cream
Limonana Bars
Limonana MarshmallowsShakshuka Recipes
Green Shakshuka
Matbucha Shakshuka
ShakshukaJerusalem Restaurants
Dining on Emek Refaim in Jerusalem
Kosher Vegetarian Restaurants
Kosher Sushi in Jerusalem

Veggies and Merguez Sausage over Basmati Rice

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So happy to be back here, cooking and writing about food. Thank you to all of my loyal readers who have stuck around these parts during my unexpected hiatus. Was dealing with some messy stuff related to Crohn’s Disease, which managed to take over my life for the past couple months. Thankfully, things are good now and life is looking up. Always remember to take care of yourself and never ignore your health.

So…back to cooking.

Recently, I’ve been ordering some of my meat from Grow and Behold. They are a wonderful small company that delivers glatt kosher pasture-raised beef and poultry. You can read more about them on their website. Word has been getting out online that they had the good stuff. I had to see for myself. I am not the biggest meat eater, but some of my family is. I love their ethics and their selection is great. Additionally, they deliver to my front door! You can’t beat that! So I hopped online and browsed through their selection. I picked up a selection of various sausages, beef bacon, and other goodies. I was very impressed by their customer service and helpfulness when it came time to delivery. Everything arrived perfectly.

A recent order featured some amazing wonderful looking merguez sausage. Being that in recent weeks, I haven’t been doing too much cooking for the family, I decided to surprise the husband with a wonderful meat meal.

Dinner success. This merguez cooked up beautifully! No complaints from anyone.

Veggies and Merguez Sausage over Basmati Rice
Ingredients:

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. merguez sausage, sliced
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. allspice
1-2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
1 red pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
5 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes, drained ( I like the kind that has some onions pre-added to the can)
2 cups Basmati rice, cooked per directions on package

Directions:

Heat up oil in large saute pan.

Add in the sliced sausages and brown the sausages a bit. After it begins to brown, transfer the sausages to a plate for a bit.

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Add in the onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.

Add in the spices. We like some heat in our food, so I also added some red pepper flakes. Always good!

Add in the rest of the chopped veggies and cook another 5-7 minutes, until they begin to soften.

Once the veggies are soft, add in the diced tomatoes. Stir the mixture so all of the flavors come together.

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Add the cooked sausage to the veggie mixture and cook another 5-6 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Serve over some rice, or another grain of your choosing.

Enjoy!

 

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Wet Burritos

I get so much of my food inspiration from social media these days. Everyone’s lunch or dinner gets posted to Facebook  twitter or Pinterest at any given moment. The photos are what get me motivated to cook and create new concoctions in my kitchen.

I have a growing list of friends from Michigan – either having grown up there or went to college there. At any given moment, a photo shows up in my Facebook feed of something that resembles an enchilada, but is really something so much more. It’s the Wet Burrito. It’s purely a Michigan concept. I can’t decide if it’s an upgraded or downgraded burrito. It’s not authentic anything, or perhaps it’s authentic Michigander food. Whatever it is, the spiced red gravy that tops the burrito is pure brilliance on a plate. And it’s easy to make.


Vegetarian Wet Burritos
Ingredients:
1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small zucchinni, chopped
1/2 package of baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 can of black beans, drained
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1.5 cups cooked brown rice
Cheddar/Monterrey Jack Cheese Blend
4 large flour tortillas
Wet Burrito Sauce:
Ingredients:
1 can of Ro-Tel or chopped tomatoes with jalapenos
1/2 cup of plain tomato sauce
1.5 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (Use a fish-free version)
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
 
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350.
Heat up the oil in a large saute pan. Saute the onions for a couple of minutes. Stir in the spices and the chopped garlic.
Add in the zucchini and the sliced mushrooms and cook for a few minutes.
Add in the black beans to one side of the pan and let them heat up. Mash up the beans a bit and stir in the vegetable broth.
Remove the pan from the flame and set aside.
In a small sauce pan, mix up all of the sauce ingredients. Heat on medium low for a few minutes. Puree with a stick blender.
Assemble the burritos.
Layer some rice then bean/veggie mixture then some cheese on top of a tortillas. Fold up in to a burrito. Set seam side down in a baking dish.
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Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
Wet Burritos
Spoon the burrito sauce over the burritos.
Sprinkle over some cheese.
Bake in oven for about 15 minutes. If you have extra sauce, you can spoon more over the burrito as you serve.
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Enjoy!

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win a free box of Tribes-a-Dozen Voila! Hallah! Enter here!

Meatless Monday: Vegetable and Rice Patties

My older daughter just left for camp. It’s so odd having one less child in the house. When I got home and started to prepare dinner this evening, there was nobody to complain. Nobody questioned the flavors that would show up on the plate. I kind of miss it! It is nice though to be left with just my kid who eats anything. It’s a nice treat to see everything eaten on the plate – even the onions.

I still miss the kid. A lot. And it’s only been a day.

We were gone over the weekend, and I have a limited selection of what is available in the fridge. As with any Monday, dinner must be fast. With a limited supply of veggies and some cooked rice in the fridge, these veggie rice patties were perfect for a light dinner. When paired with a salad, everyone is happy.

Vegetable and Rice Patties 
Ingredients:

2 cups cooked rice, cooled (white or brown works)
1 small onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
3/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 small zuchinni, chopped
1 small yellow squash, chopped
1 cup shredded cheese (I used a cheddar jack blend)
3/4 cup panko crumbs or gluten free alternative
2.5 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. rosemary
2 tsp. garlic powder
4 eggs
2-3 tbsp. vegetable oil for pan frying

Directions:

Mix everything together in a large mixing bowl. Shape in to patties and let sit on a plate for about 10 minutes to set.

Pan fry in a small amount of oil for a few minutes on each side – until browned.

Drain on paper towels.

Enjoy!

Vegetable Rice PattiesN
This post is linked to My Meatless Mondays

Vegetable Beef Pot Pie

I love venturing in to classic American comfort food recipes that I didn’t grow up with. One example, is a pot pie. I have been in awe of them and have been drooling over them from afar. I love a buttery crunch of a good pastry crust and I love the idea of sinking my fork in to something and scooping out something amazing.

This past year, I tried a vegetable pot pie for the first time. I am ashamed to say that it was a store-bought freezer meal, but it was so good. It was an Amy’s Organics pot pie. I loved it. No idea why I never thought to make it at home!

I rarely turn on the oven in the summer, but I was in the mood for a dinner like this and I had the right stuff around the house. To my surprise, even the kids liked it–they had two helpings each! Success in my book.

Vegetable Beef Pot Pie
Ingredients:

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
2 medium red potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, chopped
1 package of soy ground beef or 1 pound of drained and cook ground beef
2 zucchinis, cubed
1 handful of cremini mushrooms, chopped
3/4 cup peas
2.5 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 sheet of puff pastry
2 tbsp. butter (melted) or olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 385.

Heat up the olive oil in a large pan. Start by sauteing the onions, garlic and shallots. Cook for a couple minutes, until it starts to soften.

Add in the herbs and spices.

Add in the carrots and potatoes and veggie meat. Use the real stuff if you’re in to that. Cook for a few minutes.

Add in the rest of the vegetables. You can choose a few different veggies if you’d like, but this is what worked in my house. Cook for another 2 minutes.

Stir in the flour. Let the flour cook in a bit. Pour in the vegetable broth and the balsamic vinegar. Let the mixture thicken. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes.

Pour vegetable mixture in to a baking dish. I used a deep dish pie plate and two ramekins. Shape puff pastry over the top of the mixture. Brush the top of the pastry with oil or butter.

Place the baking dish on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

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Meatless Monday: Zucchini "Pasta" with Pesto

I am almost ashamed to post such a ridiculously simple recipe. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to make this.

My husband came home on Friday with a massive bag of some very large zucchini. He explained to me that the farmer’s market was closing up and they offered them to him. He isn’t one to say no to free vegetables.

Of course, I do realize that we will be eating zucchini every day this week.

Like every night, I needed a fast dinner for the kids. I had some pesto in the freezer to use up. I thought I would test out this famed low-carb and gluten free pasta idea.

I have a julienne slicer taking up space in my drawer. I love playing with it, but don’t use it as often as I should. Since it only cost about $2 on Amazon, I am not too distraught. This slicer would be perfect for what I had planned with the zucchini.

The verdict? Two thumbs up. My 5-year-old kept asking for more. Will have to make again.

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Zucchini “Pasta” with Pesto
Ingredients:

1-2 large zucchini, washed – 1 large zucchini served 2 hungry kids
2 tsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup peas
1/2 cup pesto
pine nuts
Parmesan cheese
salt
pepper

With your julienne slicer, turn you zucchini in to long thin strips. I cut mine up over paper towels to drain the “pasta” a bit.

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Heat up the oil in a large pan.

Toss in the garlic cloves.

Add in the zucchini noodles and cook for two minutes.

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Add in the peas

Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook for another two minutes.

Sprinkle with some pine nuts and more Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

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Asparagus and Swiss Cheese Galette

A friend of mine was headed out of town, so she graciously offered me her CSA for the week. Was so happy to see this lovely box of local, seasonal veggies. In the box were some beautiful greens, some tomatoes, fresh strawberries, eggs and some amazingly fresh asparagus. Just picked and grown less than 25 miles away from me! Love it!

I  really want to highlight each of these lovely fruits and veggies on their own. That’s how good they are are. I wanted the asparagus to have a starring role in tonight’s main dish. I thought about a shaved asparagus salad, but I knew that it wouldn’t be filling enough for the rest of the family. I also didn’t really want to cut up the asparagus too much. It looks too pretty to mess with.

Here is a lovely Asparagus and Swiss Cheese galette that worked for our family. When paired with a salad, it makes for a perfect light dinner.

Asparagus and Swiss Cheese Galette
Ingredients:

1 sheet puff pastry
2 cloves of garlic sliced
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
swiss cheese or gruyere
2 tsp.dried thyme or 1 tbsp. fresh
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 pound of asparagus, washed and trimmed (thin stalks are better)
1 shallot chopped

Preheat oven to 400.

Roll out your puff pastry dough. Lay on a parchment paper lined baking tray.

Prick the dough with a fork along the inside of the edges. Leave about 1/2 – inch of clearance. This will form your crust.

Spread a thin layer mustard inside the fork pricks. Lay garlic pieces over this.

Lay cheese over the mustard.

Sprinkle herbs over this.

Lay out the asparagus however you’d like.

Sprinkle chopped shallots over the asparagus.

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Bake in oven for about 20 minutes.

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Enjoy with a salad for a nice, light and easy dinner! Gah! I have a weakness for buttery puff pastry. Way too good!

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Vegetable & Tofu Lo Mein

After a 3-day holiday run, I’m all about easy meals this week. Here’s a meal idea that is always on the back-burner in our house.

Every so often, I crave lo mein. Not the cheap “chinese” restaurant lo mein you get for $4 on any random NYC street corner. I crave a good, flavorful but simple lo mein. With really good noodles. Good veggies. A bit of tofu. There’s an Asian marketing near me that carries a good variety of kosher and authentic noodles. While there, I stock up on rice noodles, egg noodles, rice vermicelli, and lo mein of course.  The fresh lo mein noodles last indefinitely in the freezer. They are good to have on hand for a rush dinner.

We always have veggies lying around. So this is a perfect way to use up those odds and ends sitting in your fridge. The dish is also flexible enough that you could throw in some frozen veggies as well.

Vegetable & Tofu Lo Mein
Ingredients

1/2 onion, chopped
1 package of fresh lo mein noodles
5 cloves garlic, chopped
small nub of ginger, chopped
1 tbsp. veg oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 container tofu, drained and cubed
assorted veggies, cut up  – some ideas: mushrooms, peas, broccoli, pepper, baby corn, zucchinni
2 tbsp. dark soy sauce (I used a mushroom flavored variety)
1 tbsp. sriracha – or less, to taste
1/4 cup of vegetable broth
chopped scallions
salt (to taste)
red pepper flakes (to taste)

Cook the noodles in water for a minute or two. If you don’t have fresh lo mein noodles, you can substitute a spaghetti noodle. Drain the noodles and set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil in a large wok.

Add in the onions, garlic and ginger.

Add in the drained tofu and cook for a few minutes on high.

Stir in the cut up vegetables. Whatever veggies you’d like.

When the vegetables have softened a little, but still crisp, add in the soy sauce, broth. and sriracha. Taste a bit and see if it needs more chili flakes or salt, etc.

Stir in the lo mein noodles. Let the noodles mix with the sauce and veggies.  Make sure all noodles are coated.

Garnish with raw scallions.

Serve.

Enjoy!

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Vegetarian Yakisoba

This recipe is inspired by Mark Bittman and adapted from one of his recipes. I am addicted to cooking podcasts. I can often be found learning how to make obscure dishes while on the subway during my morning commute. While everyone else is playing Angry Birds or reading their Kindle, I am learning how to properly fillet a whole fish or spatchcock a chicken. I’m not complaining.

Today, I was catching up with Mark Bittman. He was preaching about the virtues of yakisoba. All I could think of are those commercials where they suggest that those heat & eat cups of Yakisoba bring families together. Anyhow, Mark Bittman had me at “fast food.” Aside from the ease of preparation and the fact that it’s hard to mess up, I like the flavors of the sauce and I had all the necessary ingredients at home. When the hubster came home and had a plateful, he declared it blogworthy.  So here it is.

Vegetarian Yakisoba 
Ingredients
adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe

8-10 oz. Asian noodle – an egg noodle or gluten free soba is best
1 container of tofu – drained and sliced up
2 tbsp. chopped ginger
2 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 cup cut up broccoli
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped peppers
2 tbsp. chopped scallions

Sauce:
2 tbsp. ketchup
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (I use a fish-free version)
2 tbsp. mirin or sugar
1 tbsp. sriracha or other hot sauce
2 tbsp. soy sauce

Marinate the drained tofu in some sesame oil and soy sauce for about 15 minutes.

Boil a pot of water and cook the noodles. Drain and set aside.

In a large wok, heat up the oil.

Add the ginger and garlic to the pan. Cook for 1 minutes. Add the tofu. Cook for 5 minutes.

Add in the rest of the veggies, except for the scallions.

Stir fry everything together for a few minutes.

In a small bowl, mix up the sauce ingredients.

Pour and mix them in to the vegetables.

Stir in the noodles.

Plate it up. Garnish with some chopped scallions.

Vegetarian Yakisoba

Enjoy!

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