Let’s face it, a pile of spaghetti in red sauce looks pretty naked without some parmesan on top. I’ve never found the prepared versions you can buy to be exactly right. Parma seems to come closest. But there are tons of recipes out there for making your own. Which is always cheaper. After working my way through them, I’ve settled on a favorite: the recipe in Yellow Rose Recipes. Of course, I’m a tease for telling you that because I couldn’t find the recipe posted online. So maybe you should just try to hunt down a copy of the book if you don’t have it already. It’s a good one!
Gomashio can be so simple but adds magic to a variety of dishes. You can buy vegan versions in markets that have Asian goods, just watch the label for bonito (fish). Sometimes they have all kinds of veggies in them in addition to the sesame seed base. But my favorite is this simple recipe from How It All Vegan. If you’re afraid of seaweed, you can leave it out, but the amount in this recipe is not enough to make it fishy tasting. I sprinkle this with a heavy hand on just about any Asian dish I make. It also takes salads to the next level. Try it!
You know those delicious $3+ flavored tofu products you can get? Sure, they’re tasty, but kind of pricy. They’re also easy to make. Especially if you have, speaking of pricy, the Tofu Xpress. It’s not an essential kitchen tool, but it does make dealing with tofu a bit easier. Before I would just press tofu between two plates with heavy cans set on top. But the tofu would never press evenly so I’d often end up running to the kitchen after the cans fell off the top plate making a racket. This thing squeezes most of the water out of your tofu so it can then soak up whatever delicious marinade you choose.
Vegan Vittles has a set of five different marinades that are all tasty. Most of them can be made from staples. So what I did was press the tofu overnight in the fridge in the Tofu Xpress. The next day, I pulled the tofu out of the press and sliced it into 8 planks. All the ingredients for the marinade were combined in the Tofu Xpress, then the tofu went back in without the press part, just the lid. That marinated on the counter for about an hour. Then the tofu went in the George Foreman grill. And in a few minutes it was done perfectly. You could also pan fry or bake it. Wait, what do you do with all that extra marinade? Reuse it! I threw some sliced tempeh in it to marinade. Two for the price of one!
The salad itself was just whatever I found in the fridge. I did pick up mixed baby greens with salad in mind. There was some kale I’d already cleaned and chopped. Carrots are always on hand. Half a red bell pepper and a roma tomato were tossed in. I dressed it with the tofu marinade drippings that landed in the drip pan for the George Foreman, rice vinegar and a little olive oil. With gomashio and sliced almonds sprinkled on top and some weird sea weed snax I picked up at the farmer’s market.