Farmer’s Market Tofu

One of my favorite activities each weekend during the summer is wandering around our local Farmer’s Market in Evanston.  Since we moved to Evanston five years ago, the market has gotten larger and more developed.  This year there are even some tasty prepared foods–crepes, tamales, and smoothies in addition to several bakeries.  We now have our favorite farms and usually know exactly where to go.  This past week, we strolled by a booth that we had never stopped at, selling a range of organic micro-sprouts and this homemade tofu.

I like tofu for a quick weeknight meal–it doesn’t make a mess, requires very little cooking time, and melds well with any flavor.  I usually like making my own sauces, so when I stumbled on this Hot and Sweet Marmalade Glazed Tofu on Veggie Belly I thought it would be perfect for this fresh tofu.  One thing that really interested me with this post, is that Veggie Belly linked to a previous version of the same recipe from 2008 called Stick Orange Tofu Thins.  Veggie Belly is a lovely blog, filled with a variety of Asian-inspired vegetarian recipes that fill my “one day I’ll make this” list.  This post allowed me to see that not all food blogs start out as masterful pieces of art filled with sexy-beautiful-mouth watering-succulent-tempting food photography.  Based on the images, writing, and layout from 2008 I can see that Veggie Belly has evolved tremendously.  It gave me faith in my own efforts that one day this blog will evolve into something much better.  Everyone has to start somewhere, right?

As a new blogger, there are so many things that I have to think about as I post.  Do I need to show you all my ingredients used in my post?  (I decided no, because I never pull everything together before I start cooking and I put things away as soon as I finish with them.)  Do I need to show you a play by play of every cooking step?  Am I permitted to type out someone else’s recipe as long as I attribute it to them or do I need to get permission from them?  So many things to think about and learn…I feel like I’m in kindergarten again.

Hot + Sweet Marmalade Glazed Tofu

From Veggie Belly

1. Cut tofu into triangles.  Since my tofu was quite moist, I decided to drain it for a few minutes on a paper towel.

2. I mixed up Veggie Belly’s delicious Hot + Sweet sauce while the tofu drained.  This included:

4 tablespoons soy sauce

4 tablespoons orange marmelade

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon sriracha sauce

cilantro for garnish

3. I browned the tofu in a pan.  Unfortunately, I didn’t follow the instructions to use a non-stick pan, so my tofu stuck to the pan and did not get quite as crispy as it was supposed to.

4. I added the sauce as soon as the tofu seemed crisp enough and let it bubble and get a little bit thick.

5. I served with brown rice and a salad from the CSA farm box–lettuce, radishes, cucumber, and red onion.  I whipped up an Asian inspired salad dressing with sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and chunky peanut butter.

WOULD I MAKE THIS AGAIN? Yes

TIPS FOR NEXT TIME: Remember to use a non-stick pan so that the tofu can get crispy.  Use less hot sauce if you do not want it to be too spicy.

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It is easy being GREEN

As the name of this blog suggests, during the summer CSA season, we consume a lot of greens.  In last week’s e-mail, Farmer Vicki told us that her grandmother always said that greens are prevalent in the spring because our bodies need revitalization and cleansing.  I couldn’t agree more!  Since our CSA box started this year, it has been so much easier to focus on healthier recipes and lighter foods with the bounty of vegetables filling our fridge.

For my first post on the Greens + Giggles blog, I thought it would be apropos to start with a greens recipe.  Kale is one of my favorite greens–while spinach wilts quickly, kale is stronger and heartier.  In the winter, I love making a hearty kale soup with white beans, but given the advent of warm weather I decided to make some tasty snacking kale chips.  Several years ago I saw an article in Bon Appetit with kale chips delicately displayed in a glass and ever since I make kale chips ever now and then.  I don’t follow a recipe–but splash some high quality olive oil and sea salt and bake at 350°F until crispy, about 15 minutes.

WOULD I MAKE THIS AGAIN? Yes

FOR NEXT TIME: Remember that kale chips get soggy when stored on the counter or the fridge.  Make enough to consume at the moment.  If you do accidentally make to many, you can recrisp them in the oven but you risk burning the chips.