Monday, October 26, 2009

Bionic Woman!

Do you remember watching the Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman? Should I admit that I do? Sure, I'm happy to have made it past my first half century and am looking forward to living a 'bionic lifestyle'. OK, no bionic lifestyle but Lindsay Wagner's (the Bionic Woman) book 'The High Road to Health' was one of the first vegetarian cookbooks I owned and is still one of my favorites. She teamed up with her friend Ariane Spade to write one excellent cookbook! Their recipes are healthy and delicious. The subtitles in their introduction are 'For People Who Love to Eat', 'Indulge and Be Healthy' and "Satisfaction, Not Sacrifice' and those titles suit their book to a tee. I still return to this cookbook for many favorites. Tonight I made their 'Black Bean and Greek Olive Pate with Walnuts' as an appetizer. It was quick and easy. Below is one of my earlier favorites. (I've added a few of my own notes in brackets)

Polynesian Tofu

3 tsp arrowroot powder or kuzu (I use cornstarch)
1 cup unsweetened pineapple or apple juice
1 Tbsp honey (or use a vegan sweetener)
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
salt to taste (I find with soy sauce we don't need anymore salt but this depends on your salt preference)

2 tsp cold-pressed olive oil
1/2 onion, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces
1 green, seeds and membranes removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 Tbsp very thinly sliced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp slivered almonds
2 Cups ripe fresh pineapple chunks, or 2 cups unsweetened canned pineapple chunks, drained (reserve juice for use in the sauce)
1 lb firm tofu prepared as Teriyaki Tofu steps 1 through 3

1. To prepare the sauce, dissolve the arrowroot in 2 Tbsp pineapple juice or apple juice. Add the honey and a little more juice, if necessary, and stir until the honey is dissolved. Mic in the remaining juice and all other sauce ingredients and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet or work. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 2 minutes over medium heat. Add the celery, pepper, and ginger and saute for 3 minutes. Add the almonds and pineapple and cook for 4 minutes or until the vegetable are tender but still crisp.

3. Add the sauce to the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the sauce thickens and becomes clear.

4. Adjust the seasoning.

5. Just before serving mix in the tofu. Serve on a bed of brown rice.

Teriyaki Tofu (only steps 1-3  for above recipe)

1 lb firm tofu
1/4 cup Braggs Aminos (soy sauce may be used for a slightly different taste)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tofu into strips about 1/4 inch thick and 3/4 inch wide. Press the slices gently in a clean kitchen towel to expel excess water. Arrange on a lightly oiled baking dish so that the pieces do not touch.

2. Brush liberally with Braggs Aminos. Sprinkle liberally with nutritional yeast, garlic powder and onion powder.

3. Bake for 40 minutes but do not allow it to scorch. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Lindsay's cookbook is available at her website where you can also read about her workshops. I have not attended her workshops but if they are as good as her cookbook I'd love to experience one!

Looking for a cookbook zine? Just released  is a beautiful zine with a collection of vegetarian recipes by members of the EtsyVeg group. Available here.

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