Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Chilied Asparagus With Quinoa And Tofu

This way of doing asparagus is a hit in our household, since we love Asian-inspired dishes, especially the hot and spicy ones. Here I chose for lunch today to do the asparagus in the quickest possible way, stir-'fried' (without oil and just a little liquid) in a skillet with a little finely chopped ginger and garlic, a dash of low-sodium tamari, a pinch of sugar, dried chili flakes, and to finish about 1/8 tsp of oriental sesame oil put drop by drop over the top of it all. (The dish is originally from Hong Kong via Madhur Jaffrey's excellent Vegetarian World Cuisine.) Traditionally it would be served with rice, but I chose quinoa for its wonderful nutty flavour (not to mention the nutritional value). Additionally I had marinated some firm tofu slices in a little Braggs amino into which I had stirred some cayenne, powdered ginger, garlic granules and onion flakes (I like to use these dried rather than fresh versions for marinades sometimes, but it's a toss-up which I use.) I baked the tofu in the oven until slightly brown and firm. When the tofu was almost ready, we had our salad and then, while the salad plates were being cleared I tossed the asparagus around in the skillet until barely cooked - still crisp is sensational with asparagus. A good meal.

Yesterday, I did a variation on a previous idea (see my last blog entry).

Spiced Limas With Garlic Broccoli

Remember the fava beans? Well, yesterday I cooked white limas, added some dried herbs and spices (including chilies), pureed the lot and served it surrounded by stir-'fried' (as before) broccoli with garlic and just a few chili flakes thrown in for a little bit of interest. Since I had allowed the bean puree to be much thicker than I had used before, I had the fun of piling them up like pureed potatoes in the centre of the plate. The tiny spoonful of liquid remaining the the skillet from cooking the broccoli was drizzled over the beans at the last minute. This was a big hit - and of course almost any vegetable would have worked well here - just trying to get our greens, though, especially at this time of year. And our beans. Hmmmm, what bean to try next I wonder!