Saturday, April 11, 2009

Back with some tasty recent creations

Last weekend I really had a hankering for something bad for me (mac and cheese), so I decided to try a new vegan mac recipe I had been hearing about for awhile. We also happened to have all the ingredients in the house, so that helped alot. Vegan Guinea Pig posted this super-easy recipe that does NOT include nutritional yeast, which many people don't enjoy. In a million years I would have never thought raw cashews, potatoes, onions, carrots, and a few spices could create a convincing cheese sauce, but I was WRONG! This was freakin' amazing. Even better than Veganomicon's Mac Daddy. I must admit, I did add about a quarter cup of nutritional yeast flakes because I was worried the sauce would lack flavor. In summary: yum yum yum! Make this, especially because it is not horrible for you.

The veggie mac got me in my cooking groove, so early this week I decided I really wanted to make some Kung Pao tofu. If definitely turned into an experiment with many variables, but a tasty experiment in the end. First off, I decided to pop my frozen tofu cherry. I'd had some Trader Joe's super firm tofu chillin' in our freezer for a few months. The stuff is great normally, and freezing definitely took the texture to a whole new level. After thawing, I thought I'd bake it for awhile, to save some of the calories associated with frying. I whipped up a quick marinade and baked the tofu strips for 15 minutes on each side at 350F.

My Marinade:
(all measurements extremely approximate)
-1/4 c. sweet chili sauce
-1/4 c. BBQ sauce
-2 T. soy sauce
-2 T. rice vinegar
-1 t. toasted sesame oil
-1 t. Sriracha chili sauce

After baking and cutting into cubes, I fried the tofu briefly to give it a nice crunchy exterior. I then stir fried some veggies with a tiny bit of oil, and added the tofu when they were done. My Kung Pao sauce closely mirrored my marinade, with just about half the amount of BBQ sauce. Basically, I was supposed to use hoisin sauce instead of BBQ, but we didn't have any. I thought this would be an acceptable substitute, and it worked pretty well. I sprinkled the final product with peanuts and it was good.

Life is pretty busy in general right now until I take the PMP exam on the 21st. I am pumped to be done with that and get my fat raise!!!

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