I had a bunch of random stuff to use up, and the only requests I got from the boyfriend were “not too kale-y” and “very unlike calzone” (because that’s what he had for lunch). So here’s what I made:
Baked tofu with a marinade/baking sauce composed of gochujang, soy sauce, sesame oil, minced ginger, and a little bit of mirin and coconut syrup. Baking tofu in a sauce–mixed right in the pan–is my lazy go-to. It’s easy to play up and try different combinations of things. I just throw the baking dish in my toaster oven for 20 minutes on 400 degrees, then flip and bake another 20 minutes. Besides my oven being presently out of order (I’ve got someone coming out Thursday to fix it, I hope), the timer function makes this very easy. I use the toaster oven even when my oven is working, unless I’m roasting a bunch of stuff.
Soba noodles with ginger and veggies was a bunch of things cooked separately–the noodles had to boil, of course, but I stir-fried in sesame oil shallots with thinly sliced red bell pepper, then pieces of asparagus, then some snow peas. I added a few spoonfuls of a quick sauce I made for the veggies – miniature ginger matchsticks in vegetable broth and a splash of soy sauce and a few good shakes of red pepper flakes. After the noodles were cooked, I tossed everything together with the rest of the ginger sauce and a couple chopped scallions.
Braised mixed greens were the last, simplest part. Happy Boy Farms sells a great braising greens mix that’s got a little bit of everything–kale, escarole, cabbage, and chard–that I chopped u[p a bit and stuck in a pan with vegetable broth and ginger. Cooked on low until everything is tender and wilted, annnnnd… that’s it.
We buy tofu from a local vendor at the farmers’ market, and they don’t last through the week. Today’s preparation is a simple one: pan-fried steaks (olive oil + pinch of salt in a cast iron skillet), sliced and arranged on top of the rest.
For the noodles I opted for soba. While the water boiled and the noodled cooked, I sauteed julienned zucchini and thinly sliced yellow bell pepper with olive oil, sliced garlic, and crushed red pepper. To that I added thinly chopped cooked collards (yesterday’s leftovers) and strips of lemon zest, then finished with dill when I mixed in the soba noodles.
Finished it off with a light twist on my favorite tahini sauce: juice of ½ a lemon, tablespoon or so of minced fresh dill, olive oil, tahini, a splash of hot sauce, a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, and water to whisk to the consistency I wanted (thin enough to pour, but thick enough to cling to the food).
Soba noodles with green avocado sauce, tempeh, and cabbage-tatsoi stir fry
The sauce includes the following, thrown in a blender until creamy: 1 overripe avocado, splash of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil, squirt of gojuchang, bit of green onion, handful of torn spinach leaves (to amp up the green), and a little water.
The tempeh was pan-fried in a cast iron skillet with sesame oil and soy sauce until brown, then I cooked the veggies (green cabbage, baby tatsoi, julienned carrots, green onions) with red pepper flakes in the same pan.
Maaaaybe a little too much soy sauce, but pretty good.
Not every meal is a winner. Sometimes things don’t quite gel. It happens. It’s still good. We all gotta eat.
Goddamn this is blurry. Like I said, nothing’s perfect.
This was a roasted tofu, kari squash, and red onion dish from Big Vegan by Robin Asbell. This is pretty tasty, though my squash took longer to cook in spots for reasons I can’t figure out. My oven usually does a good job.
To go with it, I attempted to combine a kale salad with soba noodles (by request). It didn’t work out as well. I didn’t dress it enough–should’ve made a sesame dressing instead of the simple rice vinegar and sesame oil drizzle–and the noodled clumped up when I tried to mix them in with the kale. Ah well. It does balance things out pretty well.