Monday, September 25, 2006

Orange-Glazed Tofu & Question

This is Orange-Glazed Tofu for the new book. This was a first test on the dish, and it turned out quite well for the initial run-through. As I do with all recipes, after making it I began thinking of how I will adjust certain ingredients... so the name of this dish may change when the book comes out!

I served it over quinoa, and in the background you see sauteed swiss chard and lightly roasted asparagus. This kind of meal always makes me feel very 'balanced'... the greens and the quinoa and tofu... just great stuff to fuel your body and you feel health-full after eating it - instead of plain ol' full!

Now, a question for you...I am looking at recipes that I may want to demo for cooking classes and events. I don't have any dates or events scheduled right now, but I am trying to determine which recipes people would like to see me demo. I'd love to hear from seasoned vegans and vegans-in-training alike... what recipes - specific (ex: Sweet and Sour Neat Balls from TEV, Apple Cardamom Cake from Vive) or more general in terms of ingredients (ex: beans, whole grains, tofu) would you like to see in a demo? Your suggestions please. :)

31 comments:

hyphen_helena said...

Tofu!! I have the hardest time with tofu. I've read about it and have even watched a mini-movie on it, but I still can't seem to get it right. All I can do is tofu stir-fry, so I would love to see tofu in a demo.

EatPeacePlease said...

This orange tofu over quinoa looks amazing. Totally my type of meal.

For the demo, go for a dessert such as layered hemp cereal squares (I forget the correct name). An ingredient that many people may not see often.

Or maybe show how to use proper knives since we all chop a lot (well, I cheat most of the time and throw everything in a food processor).

Are you going on tour!?! he he

laura jesser said...

I second Helena on the tofu--a lot of people have issues with it, I think. As for me, I would love to see demos on different grains--quinoa, millet, etc.--the types of grains that most people (like me, at least) didn't grow up eating!

By the way, I love that idea!

Carrie™ said...

Dreena, I hope that you'll be having these cooking demos in Burlington. *wink* That would rock!
I'm with hypen_helena on the tofu. When I first became veg, I knew that it was an excellent protein source, but didn't have the slightest clue on how to cook it properly. The first few attempts were horrible at best and I started thinking I would never be able to eat it. I went for a cooking demo/class that was all about tofu, at a health food store, and I left feeling knowledgeable and optimistic that I could "do this tofu thing". I've never looked back.
Having said all that, you could do a variety of tofu dishes (which the gentleman did at this class) to show how versatile it is. Say Lemon Herb Tofu to have a "cutlet" type dish, then mash it for sandwiches, fry some up, make Neatballs that use tofu, a dessert of some sort that uses tofu. Of course discussing all the while differences in soft, firm, silken, etc.
Also, grains and other flours would be great. Quinoa seems to be very popular now. You could do a breakfast type cereal, a salad, a main dish, all using different grains. And of course, as Leslie suggested, hemp seed nuts!

And, and to comment on your photo, OMG!! Send me some now, please. It looks so friggin' awesome. That might be the first thing I make when your new book comes out. If you do a tofu demo, you HAVE to make this one. I'll be glad to give it a taste test when you're in Burlington doing your class!

Boring said...

I have never commented here because I pretty much just come here to drool and move on, but I wanted to answer this question. I fifth the tofu response. I am pretty comfortable with it now, but was completely disgusted/scared/anxious about it when I started cooking it and my first dishes were complete failures. I needed basics like types of tofu (fresh v. aseptic, firm v. soft) and how and when to squeeze it, how freezing changes it, etc. Even if you don't include tofu your classes will be awesome.

maybepigscanfly said...

I must agree with everyone about the tofu. And as I'm a relatively new vegan I haven't tried enough to say what the best recipes are. But this weekend I made your hummus tortilla pizza and I must say that I think its a great recipe for new vegans. Its simple, quick, nutritious and most of all delicious. I think showing some quick meals that aren't just pb and js or a salad are good ideas. My mom always says that she could never be vegan because it requires to much thought and cooking prep/time. But really there's so many quick and easy recipes that people don't realize. (Plus yours are way healthier and cheaper than those "TV dinners" that I see my peers eating on a regular basis). Ok I think I just rambled on enough.

-Teresa
(I can't wait for your new cookbook- that tofu looks like fun)

Danielle said...

Whatever you make, I sure would love to see you in the Washington, DC, area.

theONLYtania said...

Tofu definitely, I know that it is really versatile, but I personally haven't been able to get past pureeing it into baked goods. I really want to have it as a main dish but am just.. intimidated or something.

Candi said...

Yes on the tofu! I love it so much and am always looking for new ways to use it more.

My other suggestion would be tempeh/entrees to include tempeh. I must never make it right because I really dislike it and have just steered clear of it. So many vegans love it, so I know it must be me.

Thanks for asking us our input!!

Michelle said...

heck, i've been veg for 12 years now, and tofu still scares me! well, i'm down with the silken tofu for chocolate mousse ;) but everything else is hard..

you MUST come to kitchener! heck, i'd even go down to toronto to see ya. i bet the Big Carrot would host you in a vegan cooking class :)

Dreena said...

Wow! I'm surprised by how many of you would want to see tofu demos. I guess I need to remember when I first starting working with tofu myself and how bizarre and unusual it was. I don't do a lot of tofu dishes in demos... usually I do bean/grain entrees and of course desserts like cookies, brownies, etc. Thanks for your feedback everyone (regulars and new commenters alike!), I will select some tofu dishes for sure, and pls continue to bring on the suggestions, and also specific recipes if you are curious about any!

I need to think about the hemp thing too and if others want to see/hear about hemp more - thanks for those points Les and Carrie.

Gaia said...

I guess I would say tofu too but beans also need to be "explained" to people ;-) Your Lemon Herb Tofu for instance is rapidly becoming my favorite tofu recipe, I blogged about it actually.

For dessert, I would definitely choose something with a huge "Wow factor". Something that would amaze people ("It can't be vegan !") and is actually better than a non-vegan dessert.
Which one did you have most positive feedback on ? That's the one I would choose ;-)

Sweet Pea said...

Hi Dreena, If you go on tour I hope you stop in Ottawa.
I agree with everyone that a tofu demo would be great. But you don't want to give the impression that vegetarians only eat tofu as a protein source so maybe a demon on the various types of beans and how good they are for you. Another suggestion is to focus on vegan baking. People always think that you need white flour, eggs and milk to bake anything so it would be great to see healthy vegan desserts. A focus on hemp seeds and other seeds and nuts would be great too.

Maryjamie said...

I agree with laura jesser about the grains!

Also, if you'd like to come to Houston or Austin, we'd be more than happy to have you!

Vicki said...

we went out to dinner and had crispy silken tofu - it was soo good and i'd love to know the secret to cooking yummy tofu. it's a mystery to me. i also think your raspberry frosted cake with chocolate cream center would be a "wow" presentation. and anything else you've seen me blog from your cookbooks that didn't look quite right!! lol! :o)
dreena, i'd love to see you doing a cooking demo. come to idaho -- or, i'll come to you! please keep us posted.

*a* said...

Hi Dreena...
If I were so lucky as to see you do a demo, I would love to see "50 ways to cook vegan without tofu"! I'm actually intolerant to soy, so use it almost not at all and sometimes have a difficult time converting recipes that include it.
Thanks!
Aimee

bazu said...

Hi Dreena,
I agree with what everyone has bosted so far (tofu, tempeh, beans, etc.) and I could add a request of my own. Dessert in general, cakes specifically. Baking is such a delicate tast, and especially with vegan baking, I'd like to see how to handle things so they come out as fluffy and well-textured as possible.

And I agree with Leslie- I personally would love to take a knife working class. Prep can be such a headache!

Good luck with these classes... and if you go "on tour" anytime, let us know!

bazu said...

I don't know why I have so many misspellings in my comment! I meant "posted", and "task" not "bosted" and "tast"... I'm having a Homer Simpson moment!

Harmonia said...

Nut Bars and Cakes! AND Patties...i.e. Adzuki Bean Cakes, Tofu burgers, etc.

Tempeh, too! Seitan even!

And now for one of my totally off the topic questions (sorry)...I noticed in the 20 Minutes to Dinner book that Bryanna uses Calcium Carbonate Powder...is there a substitution for this ingredient? I am going to bop over and ask her as well. Thanks!

rita said...

I would love to see something with legumes (beans, chickpeas). You have some wonderful receips and ideas in your books (first time I froze beans!!) I am going to make the Celibrity Bean Cakes tomorrow :)
You should think about giving cooking demos via the internet for all your fans! :)))

Julie said...

Dreena--1st off: That Orange Tofu looks fab! 2nd: You should do that for the demo...or sub your Lemon Tofu--if you don't wanna give out the Orange Tofu recipe. For sure include the quinoa in the demo, too! Most people have no idea what "quinoa" even is.

Julie said...

P.S.~ Bring your Demo Road Trip to Phoenix!! You'll get to see me & Leslie :D...how can you say no to that!

laura jesser said...

I just read over all the comments, and in addition to my first comment, I second Bazu on the desserts! You really have to know the chemistry of baking to know how to convert recipes to vegan, make certain substitutions, etc. That would be very helpful!

Harmonia said...

Re: the Eat To Live Book...yes, it mentions sweets/fun foods in moderation but you are correct his in moderation is very different from what I would call in moderation. ;)

At first it seemed very boring and a LOT of salads but now that I am thinking about it - one just has to be more creative with their salads. Another veggie blogger mentioned most things on FatFreeVegan.com is free game! That will help me quite a bit.

But yeah, I know what you mean about having some people get the wrong idea about healthy eating...I was thinking that too...healthy...boring. But I am sure I can invent a way of getting around that. lol

Mum the Weekend Warrior said...

I just lost my coment - hope I don'e end up saying the same thing twice!

Meat eaters don't believe non-egg dishes like fudge brownies stick. I think a demo of this would work for the see it when I believe it crowd.

If your demos are about what sort of foods vegans eat then I think tofu and different grains would fit in nicely.

If your demos are about HOW to cook vegan recipes - then I dont think you specifically need to demo how to cook tofu or grains. They are difficult to get yourself to try for the first time, but not difficult to cook. Pre-marinated tofu is available from the supermarket - if that is liked then making a marinade from a recipe is not hard. As for grains -if you can cook rice you can cook quinoa.

I would be interested in you demonstrating how to cook your more involved recipes. Eg Moroccan chickpea burgers - hard to get to stick together and not to burn (or is that just me??) and your P-Nut butter squares I found hard also - the base was too hard and the topping didnt set.

I would love to see you come to Australia!

madeinalaska said...

phyllo.. people both vegans and non vegans a like are afraid of phyllo.! I have made the broccoli-muchroom-walnut phyllo pie and it is just sooo good.. worthy of non-vegan company even..woo hoo!! I think you could target a very wide audience that way .. good luck..

ginnyjean said...

How to cook greens. I can do the tofu, not a problem ususally, but getting the greens just right stumps me. They either come out soo limp and tasteless, or too raw. Have used grapeseed oil, and that helps, but still could use a demo. My favorite restaurant makes a blackened tofu with red beans and rice, and the greens that are served with it are divine.

Dreena said...

Wow, there's an overwhelming tofu response here!!!

Thanks everyone for your detailed suggestions - most helpful. I will take all of your feedback into account and really appreciate all of the specifics of what you would like to see in demos and how it is starting out with the vegan diet - what's mysterious to cook with, frustrating, etc.

I am super squished for time today and would love to 'chat' with each of you, but until another day I will just get to some of the questions asked here...

Harmonia, I've never worked with calcium carbonate, so yes, definitely as the expert on that - Bryanna will know far more than I do! :)

Mum the weekend warrior... that chickpea patty recipe is a very 'soft' patty, not so much a veggie burger as much as a patty to eat on its own with a sauce or as is. So, when cooking them, try to flip them just once so they don't fall apart. If they do, you can try and push them back together on your skillet. Also, add a little extra breadcrumbs to your mixture if it needs firming. If they are burning, then perhaps your element is very hot, so try turning the heat down a touch, and also a non-stick surface will help if you haven't been using one. For the p-nut butter squares, try baking the base a little shorter time - maybe 12 minutes - it might be that your oven is very hot, or the pan you are using is conducting heat quickly and setting the base very quickly. If the choc chip/milk topping isn't setting, it might be if you are using a rice or oat milk (?) instead of soy...? Even if you aren't, reduce the milk by a tablespoon or two and that will firm up the chocolate ganache topping. I hope these tips help you - let me know if I'm missing something!

...oh, and Bazu - I have those Homer moments all the time, I just chock it up to mommy brain these days! :)

rita said...

Thanks Dreena for your comment on the P-Nut Butter Squares. I planned last week that I will do them today for my grandma's birthday tomorrow (as the only vegan I have to bring my own dessert :)). I would have used rice milk for it but after your post I used soymilk instead. They look so yummy. I can't wait until tomorrow to taste them (It's like christmas, waiting that the mornig comes :)). So thanks again!

rita said...

I forgot something: The oatbase didn't hold together after putting together the indegredients you mention in Vive. So I added some soymilk and everything was good. Anyway, great receipe!

Landel Hart said...

I have a non tofu question, I am now a vegan for 5 yrs. one of my favorite recipes is nut meatloaf, but it contains eggs as a binder, what can I use in place of the eggs, or am I stuck without a substitute.