Friday, March 28, 2008

News and Chews

Wow, it's been a week since I last posted! We're having 'spring break'... which, in some ways is a break but other ways, very much not a break (you at-home moms and dads know what I'm talkin' about here)! I've enjoyed not having to bustle out of the house in the morning to school and preschool and back to preschool, and back home and back to school, and squeezing in grocery shopping, housecleaning, lesson, activities, and cooking in between! Phew! Yes, having a change of pace from that routine is certainly a welcome break. But, we've been trying to 'spring clean' in a sense, clearing out things we aren't using and getting to chores we've neglected... AND I've been testing new recipes, so it's been busy as ever.

So, let's catch up on some news and chews!

First, some news:
Many of you know I've been writing for VegNews for the last couple of years. Well, I'm no longer contributing articles for VegNews, in case you are looking for them in upcoming issues. I will, however, be contributing vegan cooking articles for alive magazine. I'm very excited about this, because they haven't had a dedicated vegan feature in the past, and so I hope to write for their magazine on a regular basis. alive is available in health and whole food stores across Canada, so the vegan exposure is a very great thing!

Next up in news: eat, drink & be vegan is a Finalist for ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award in the Cooking category. The award is announced on May 29 at Book Expo America... wish me luck! :)

Now, for the chews!

This is the Olive Oregano Wine Baked Tofu from the recipes. Guys, this dish is wicked tasty, and might even convert the tofu-averse! And though I haven't yet tried it with tempeh, I think it would be smashing good!

We are enjoying tempeh more than tofu these days. Not only do I dig the earthy, nutty flavor and beany texture, but since it is fermented (and retains fibre, unlike tofu) it is much easier to digest. So, tempeh is making its way to our table more frequently, and as a result, you'll see more tempeh recipes coming from this cookbook author (I already have two insanely delicious ones that I will soon post about)! I think seitan would also be well suited to this recipe. Seitan is not my specialty. Why? Well, while I think it can be fun, and versatile and a great protein source, it's just not a food that my family ever likes. I have enjoyed the occasional seitan recipe, but not the kids or mister-man. Plus, though I've sometimes enjoyed eating seitan, I don't always feel the best after eating it. Maybe because it's such a concentrated and processed wheat product... perhaps it's my constitution... whatever, I'm not sure. What I do know is that if you want some kick-butt seitan recipes, then go to the experts - wheat-meat queens Bryanna or Isa and Terry. They'll serve up some winner seitan recipes for you! Now... back to our recipe at hand...

The tofu bathes in a marinade of white wine, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, oregano, agave nectar sun-dried tomatoes, grapes (yes grapes!) and Moroccan dry olives. Do try to use these Moroccan dry olives, rather than kalamata or other olives. They lend a very distinctive taste that is superb in this dish. Also, do try to use organic grapes if at all possible. (they are part of the dirty dozen, remember). While the recipe calls for red grapes, I used organic green grapes this time, and they worked fine. Oh, and use 1/3 cup of grapes rather than 1/4, as per edits here. Serve it with a whole grain, or with roasted potatoes, or polenta. This is also a marvelous dish for those of you that cannot eat garlic and/or onions (I have heard from quite a few of you with this dietary restriction). Plenty of flavor in this dish with no garlic or onion to be found.

Speaking of spuds. What's this, what's this? This bowl of tater temptation is Vive's Lemon Rosemary Potatoes. I've posted about them before, check it out.

All the news and chews fit to print for now. So, please try out the tofu dish folks, I think you'll LOVE it!

I'll be back with more soon... stay tuned, stay vegan!


Anonymous said...

That's fantastic news! I love Alive magazine. =) Can't wait to read your articles.

aTxVegn said...

I love Alive magazine! Good luck on the award - I'll keep my fingers crossed for you to win.

Ruby Red said...

Oh my gosh! The Olive Oregano Wine Baked Tofu looks to die for! It's so original - I've never seen an ingredient combination like it. This looks mighty good, and I'm glad to hear that your recipes will become more inclusive of tempeh. That's my favorite of the vegan protein trio (tofu, tempeh, and seitan, that is). Congrats on your nominations and on your new column!

aimee said...

I've never heard of Alive magazine, but I will look for it knowing you'll be a contributor! That tofu looks amazing! I'll add that one to my (growing) list of new recipes to try!
Thanks, Dreena!

Peace, Love and Veganism said...

Nice post! I always wondered why you didn't post more about seitan. My husband loves the stuff (being non-vegan, he likes the texture), and I love it, too. Have you ever made Robin Robertson's Kung Pao Seitan or the "meatballs" from Vegetarian Times? They are both awesome. Love this new tofu recipe - we've been into olives recently, so I'll be trying this very soon!

Girl said...

aaa this looks so great)
my blog

Veggie said...

Hi Dreena,

I can't wait to read your recipes in Alive magazine, i've been wishing for awhile now that they would add more veg recipes.

Your recipe for Olive Oregano Wine Baked Tofu looks incredible! I think tempeh would be great in it as well.

I sometimes don't feel the best after eating Seitan as well, that's why I rarely cook with it. said...

I've been doing the same thing this week! My husband has actually been in Canada (he took his students....he's a French teacher) so I have been hanging with the kiddies and trying to do some spring cleaning. It's amazing how much brighter the house is now that I have cleaned the winter haze off the windows! LOL!
The tofu recipe looks so yum...must try soon!

Congrats on the new column!!!

funwithyourfood said...

I need to list this out to make sure I say everything I wanna :)
1) Good luck!
2) congrats on the magazine
3) I'm not a big seitan fan either so I love that you use tofu and tempeh

glad to see you enjoyed spring break!

SallyT said...

Just made the Tamari Chickpeas! I subbed a tsp of toasted sesame oil for some of the olive oil and it's good!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

This is the BEST news and chews I've heard/seen all day (and possibly even all week!!) - congratulations, Dreena!!!!! :0D

Dreena said...

Thanks my pretties for all your congrats and well wishes. xo to you all. :)

Peace, love, I haven't tried those recipes, but knowing Robin's stock of marvelous recipes, I'm sure they are delicious - the Kung Pao Seitan sounds especially exciting.

sallyt, that's awesome to hear, super that you liked them so much.

Keep on cookin' guys, I'll be posting again soon!

Thistlemoon said...

Best of luck in your new writing endeavors! That is such exciting news!

Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll! :)

Inside My Mind said...

I just made the Olive Oregano Wine Baked Tofu. I loved the saltyness of it! It was so good, I almost didnt leave any for the rest of the family!

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Carrie™ said...

I want to try this tofu dish, but I'm having a bit of trouble finding the olives. One of the grocery stores I frequent has an olive bar and there are some olives there that look black and dry. Could that be them? The label doesn't say Morroccan, and I've never seen those type of olives before, so I'm not quite sure. Are there other kinds of dry olives?
I really want to try this recipe, and I read your notes about the olives on the Food Network site. I'm hesitant to go ahead with just any old olive.

Carrie™ said...

Me again. I was just thinking about the tempeh comments you made. I tried cooking tempeh once here at home and frankly, I didn't really like it. Jim did though. It was in a BBQ sauce of some sort. I think it was a Robin Robertson recipe. I'd really like to give it another try, so my question to you is this - Which tempeh recipe in ED&BV would be a good one to make to win over someone who has not a tempeh lover?

Veggie said...

Hi Dreena,

I'd like to know more about the dry olives as well. thanks.

Dreena said...

inside my mind - terrific!! The olives and sd tomatoes give it that saltiness and pungent taste - I love that too!

Carrie! Here's a good link to give you a visual of the Moroccan dry olives (scroll down):
They are quite black and wrinkled - not like the purple hue and shiny smooth skins that kalamata have. I've never found them pitted, so you will have to do some pitting yourself. Most deli counters I've checked out have them, so I'm guessing that the ones you saw probably were the Moroccan dry olives, but as you said, not properly labeled. They are quite salty, and a little goes a LONG way. I love them on pizzas too, and anywhere else really that you'd normally use say a kalamata or black olive - though they are much more flavorful and strong than a regular black olive. If you really can't find them, use kalamata olives. The dish will still be nummy, it's just that the Moroccan olives add a lil' somethin, somethin!! :) As for the tempeh, MOST definitely try out the Veggie Tempeh Muffuletta sandwich, p.112 of ed&bv. This is truly one of those "I'll show you tempeh is delicious" kind of recipes. I served it after we did the photo shoot, and everyone devoured it - even the meat-eating folks... quite a few asked what was in it b/c they enjoyed it so, and couldn't believe it was tempeh. All the seasonings do the trick! Plus, the tempeh is sauteed first, which browns it to add flavor. Yup, I'd go with this recipe for sure! I'm working on a really amazing tempeh recipe now as well - you can test it out later if you find you liked the other recipe. Good luck!!! :)

Dreena said...

guys, I also found a few links with this brand of jarred Moroccan dry olives, here:\
Not sure how they compare to the deli variety I buy, but thought I'd give you the link for interest anyhow - plus some extra info in the link about the olive.

p.s. sorry I'm not pasting the link so that you can click straight through. Don't know how to do that here... anyone? anyone? How do I paste it to provide the direct click & link??

Carrie™ said...

Thank you Dreena! I looked at the first link and the picture looks like the ones I saw. They were black black and crinkly. Excellent! I want to give this recipe a try.
To put a link in the comments, just use the same code that you use in your posts the href="blahblahblah, etc. etc. It should work.
Let me do one for a test. Click here and see where you go.

Carrie™ said...

Thank you also for the tempeh suggestion. We have round calabrese bread and square cibatta loaves at the bakery where I work. Even a multi-grain ciabatta. I was thinking they would be great with grilled veggies, but now I'm going try a muffuletta. Dreena, you are a gem!

Amey said...

Good news on Alive Mag, but I'll miss your articles and recipes in VegNews. I'll have to look for Alive here in California.

I'm with you on tempeh. Over the last few years it has become my top choice of the tofu-tempeh-seitan triumvirate.

That tofu recipe does look good though! Where on earth does one find "Moroccon Dried Olives"?? I"ll keep my eye out.

:) Amey

Dreena said...

ha, Carrie, you're funny with the link to UNB... oh my, memories! :) I'll try the link thing next time, I guess I'm just used to the link feature in the blog posts that sets up the text to provide the link automatically... need things quick and simple, ya know?!!

Amey, thanks, I hope you are able to pick up alive as well. I don't know if I'll look into writing with VegNews again some time down the road... for now it was time for a change. oh, and most large groceries should have these olives in the deli section - just have a look and ask the staff in the deli - good luck on the olive hunt!

Anonymous said...

that picture was just too tempting not to make right away. I whipped it up (in no time!) last night...soooooooooooo tasty!! it was a winner. however...pretty everything you make is a winner, so no surprises there! said...

I made this and you were right...I do LOVE it! I couldn't get my hands on any organic grapes so I made it without until I can get was still soooo delish! My 7 year old enjoyed it as well...though he is a tofu nut! :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and good luck on being nominated for the award! If I were on the judging panel, I'd surely select yoru book!!!

The baked tofu looks absolutely yum!

Will keep my eyes peeled for Alive magazine!!


Nike shox said...

It's so original - I've never seen an ingredient combination like it. This looks mighty good, and I'm glad to hear that your recipes will become more inclusive of tempeh.