Friday, March 24, 2006

Cashew-Ginger Tofu and more...

The other night I really wasn't sure what to make for dinner. I knew I wanted to test my new recipe for Cashew-Ginger Tofu, which is a very easy sauce pureed in a food processor and then poured into a baking dish with extra-firm tofu. Then, what to have with it...

Well, I knew I wanted to pair the tofu with quinoa, so I put on a pot. Then, I had some fresh kale and broccoli, so I decided I'd saute them together with olive oil, garlic, and a touch of sea salt just before the rest of the meal was ready. That really would have been enough except that I knew the tofu would be rich in that sauce, and a little salty, and that along with the kale and broccoli, I was wanting something with a sweeter note.

Hippity Dippity Sidebar Caution!: This is the VATA in me. Don't know if any of you follow, or are aware of Ayurveda. (Which is utterly fascinating, by the way. I learned about it many years ago on a trip to Arizona, and have since bought books on it and found it insightful and captivating. You can determine your 'dosha' through this link). Anyhow, I am about as close to 100% of a vata dosha as you can get! I have even thought about designing a few 'vata', 'kapha', and 'pitta' pacifying recipes for the new book, but I'm probably getting in WAY over my head with that!

So, off I went to balance that vata energy! I pulled out some yams that were quite small, so I baked them whole at about 400 degrees. Then, I thought - hmmm, a sauce for the yams and sauteed greens? I pulled together a Warm Balsamic-Maple Sauce for drizzling and decided to include this in the book too - it was fabulous and great the next day cold drizzled on my sandwich.

This meal was "yum, yum, yum, delicioso!" (backpack, backpack - Dora reference for all of those without kidlets) and came together much better than on nights when I think I've got everything well-planned and organized. huh.

22 comments:

Harmonia said...

WOW! This sure is a lot of info for me and I'll be back! Great pic, btw. Sure looks good! I always need help with tofu stuff...I'm not very good with it...but continue to try.

I answered your question on my blog.

Amy said...

Hi Dreena! That dinner looks fab. The link to Ayurveda isn't working just now, though.

SusanV said...

This whole meal looks wonderful! How much do I have to bribe you to send me that tofu recipe? ;-)

Julie said...

Looks great! I shall check out your info about Ayurveda when I have more time.

btw, blogger finally let me comment on your last post about the new book!

sarchan said...

Looks good. It's getting on lunch, and you're making me hungry :)

Bananarama said...

Dreena,

Thanks for your blog. I love it!

I'm also a Vata, and I've been reading about Vada diet for awhile. I've read that Vata types should consume dairy products and lots of ghee/butter. What do you do, since I know you're vegan (like me!)?

Sweet Pea said...

Dreena, What a wonderful idea to have meals geared towards the various doshas if it were only possible.
I have a lot of Pitta in me. That being said, just the other day I was looking through my books to find out what I could eat during the change in seasons so that I don't suffer from another bug. Apparently people have a lot of Kapha in their system during this time of year.
I think this meal looks delish.
Since you refered to Dora I'll ask you what you do with your youngin' when you try to get some cooking done. I don't allow my daughter in the kitchen when I cook so I put baby gates up in the dining room (next to the kitchen) and she plays in there (she has a "kitchen" of her own set up). I sometimes resort to popping in a video and wonder how the rest of the world does it. Tips?

Harmonia said...

I couldn't help myself anymore! I took a break and posted 5 mini posts...I think you will enjoy!

Mal said...

Your scores are Vata: 1 Pitta: 8 Kapha: 1
Based on your results, you are a PITTA.

:)

Dreena said...

Thanks Harmonia... and don't worry... tofu is definitely something you 'figure out' as you start to try more and more vegan meals!

Hi Amy, thank you - oh, I've fixed the link now!

Hi Susan... well, hmmm, let's see, bidding starts at...!!! Kidding, well I do have to finalize the recipe, testing it another once or twice. My publisher allows for 'recipe reprints' when my cookbook is published (or close to publication date) - so, once I get it worked out I can probably send it your way if you want to try it and then consider reprinting on your (oh SO beautiful) blog.

Thanks Julie - it's really fun to check out and to learn what mix of dosha you are - to read more about it in terms of the activities you tend to go for, the careers, sleeping patterns, etc, is absolutely fascinating!!

Ah, thanks Sarchan - I always forget the time exchanges. I usually post early in the morning, but the day is half-way done for most people by then!

Hi Bananarama!! Thanks, I'm glad you are enjoying my 'blogging'! Well, when I started learning about Ayurveda, I was already vegan. And I don't always follow everything about what I should eat as a vata (though I know when I eat more of the vata pacifying foods I feel better, and too much of the cold, dry, crunchy foods really doesn't sit well with me, though I'm often drawn to them - ex: ice-cream, but that's the whole theory that is so intriguing with Ayurveda). Anyhow, while I don't consume dairy/ghee, I do use a lot of oils like olive oil, toasted sesame oil, flax oil, canola oil, avocadoes, and nut butters, etc. I basically replace the ghee with healthy oils and I just avoid dairy altogether. That's one thing I don't really agree with for Ayurveda, because my body felt entirely better after removing dairy from my diet!

Hi sweet pea - very cool that you follow Ayurveda some. My older daughter has a lot of pitta in her I think. As to cooking with the kidlets? Well, this is my usual scenario. I often start prepping things somewhere between 3:30 and 4 pm. Rather early, but that's because this is the time I typically pop in a video for my daughter. We usually tape shows for her (ex: Mr. Dressup), and we don't like to give her more than an hour a day. So whenever I put in the video, I get started with the prepping. Baby is usually (on good days!) still napping at this time, so I can get a lot of work done. Then, when baby is awake and shows are done, the two usually play together and our older girl entertains the baby (somewhat, and at times there is fighting). It's a bit stressful then, if I'm actually at cooking/heating stage of dinner, and I think it is SO smart of you to have your daughter in her own little area off the kitchen and out from under your feet. Only one trip or bump and you can drop a sharp knife or hot item on them. Our kitchen is open to the living room, so it is virtually impossible to keep baby 'out' - though I do use a playpen at times if I think it could be dangerous for her. I also keep a cupboard of toys that I rotate occasionally so she can go in there and poke around for a little time. Rotation of toys keeps both my kids happy for little periods of time - but it definitely helps to have the older girl playing with her too. I don't feel guilty about the video thing (hopefully you don't either). I think I would go insane if I didn't have that to help out with that chaotic time of day. It's not a lot of time, and some of the programs are good. Those that don't use videos should be 'sainted' I think!! :) Whew, sorry for that long-winded rambling!

Harmonia, I'll come check it out again!

Hi Mal... is this your result from the quiz? (sorry, not following - mommy brain moment again!)

Mal said...

LOL! I'm not a mommy and I have been having "mommy brain" all day!

Yep, those are my results.

Dreena said...

hee, funny Mal... okay, I read your comment and seriously thought "um, did she try to do the quiz for me? - well, that's nice of her, but it doesn't quite work that way"... ha! See, very big mommy moment there! Nice produce pics on your blog for the midweek munchies, btw!

KaiVegan said...

This does look good and now I'm hungry! I'm glad this is going to be in the new cookbook.
btw, I made the banana oat bundle (for the nth time) the other day. I notice they were much better when I made only one batch. Next time, I'll double it again and pay close attention to what I'm doing. Could it be that I'm stirring more because of the bigger batch? Whatever it is, they always taste good, even for non-vegos!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

This dish has the most beautiful colors. (I tried to comment before and it ate it, oh boy)

Sweet Pea said...

Thanks for responding. So the jist of your reply is to have a second child. LOL!!! :-)
I think we're on the same page. I often start prepping when my daughters naps or around 4, depending on what we're eating and what's going on that night. Sometimes videos can be lifesavers.

EatPeacePlease said...

I tend to follow more with "Traditional Chinese Medicine" but I have dabbled into Ayurveda and have a few books that I should take out again. I am a combo of vata/pitta, leaning more towards pitta (if I remember).

This meal looks wonderful and colorful, I love the cashew sauce, mmm.

Dreena said...

Hi Kai - with the double-batching of cookies, for some reason they don't always work as well as the single batch. I have had it happen with other cookies too. Not that they don't work out at all, but that they just aren't *quite* as good. I think that sometimes, yes, it might be the overmixing, and also maybe having the ingredients too crowded in a bowl (often my tendency). Sometimes when I double batch I end up rushing too, or forgetting to actually double an ingredient, like salt or vanilla, or even the sweetener, and then you wonder why it's just that bit different! (oh, and thanks!)

Jess, I have trouble posting comments at times - like I have to enter the word verification 2 or 3 times, even though I'm pretty certain I've done it correctly - a little irksome, but then this whole blogging thing is pretty nifty so it's a small complaint I guess!

You're welcome, sweet pea! Yeah, go start on that next baby!! :) :) Well, at times the older daughter helps, then other times it's that they're having power struggles, or just lots of squealing (well that's cute too). But, it is nice to see them actually start playing together, even though baby is just 16 months!

Dreena said...

Hmmm, just missed your comment, Leslie! Thanks! I go to a TCM doctor every few months and he is also an acupuncturist (helped with baby 2 when I was 10 days over). I find there is so much wisdom in some of the more ancient and non-conventional forms of healing and medicine. Not that we don't need conventional medicine, but I do think that each has it's place, you know? You are a nutritionist, aren't you?

EatPeacePlease said...

Yes, I'm a nutritionist (not an RD, I couldn't stand all of the "standards").

An acupuncturist is my "main" doctor. I love going, it's just expensive, and ironically, my expensive health insurance doesn't cover it. Ugh. I love going though because it helps for *everything*.

Chloe said...

looks great!
i wish tofu was more available in greece. you can only find it in health food stores and these are also rare!

Danielle said...

I have a nearly 100-percent Kapha body and a Vata-Kapha temperament. Whoa.

And that dish looks wonderful. I love tofu with grains. I'm tinkering with a lovely millet pilaf, and I think I've almost perfected it.

Dreena said...

Thanks Chloe - wow, I had NO idea tofu was such a rare commodity in Greece! That's too bad, since it is so versatile and healthy. Sometimes health food stores carry it in 'bulk' in water and you can package it yourself. I don't like that idea - too much opportunity for bacterial growth and food safety issues that way.

Hi Danielle, yes, you've got quite a mix with those two! :) My mom is very much kapha (probably close to 100%), so we are very different in our energies and temperamanets! We'll have to check your site soon for that pilaf! :)