Thursday, December 31, 2009

Spicy Tofu Scramble

 I woke up to a surprise snowstorm this morning and decided we needed something warm and hearty for breakfast to fortify us while we get ready to have a small group of friends over tonight to usher in the New Year. A spicy tofu scramble was super easy, made use of what I had leftover in my fridge, and definitely hit the spot.

Spicy Tofu Scramble

1 14 oz. package extra firm tofu
4 slices tempeh bacon (my favorite is Lightlife's Fakin' Bacon), cut into 1/2 inch bites
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 large green pepper, chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 Tbsp. turmeric
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Drain tofu and press out as much liquid as possible. In medium-sized bowl, break up drained tofu with a fork. Add turmeric, salt & pepper to taste, and mix thoroughly.

2. Heat olive oil in nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Saute onion and peppers several minutes until soft and onion is translucent.

3. Add tempeh bacon, saute 1 - 2 minutes more, until bacon has browned.

4. Add tofu mixture to skillet, saute together several minutes until tofu is slightly browned. Best when topped with a few dashes of hot sauce - I love Cholula Chipotle sauce with this dish. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Vegan Foodie Resolution for 2010

I guess everyone is thinking about their New Year's resolutions right about now. Eat healthier, exercise more, stop gambling, don't get drunk before 10am, yada yada yada. My resolution naturally revolves around food and all the things I want to eat. I hereby resolve to:

1. Stop collecting cookbooks and start testing recipes from the ones I have already! Like many of you, I have quite an impressive collection of cookbooks - mostly veg*n, with a few older ones that I still consult in order to veganize the recipes. I think it was a sign that I discovered the beautiful and inspiring website 101 Cookbooks and watched Julie and Julia on the same day. Heidi Swanson, the author of 101 Cookbooks, started her blog when she realized that despite owning more than 100 cookbooks she kept making the same recipes over and over. She resolved to stop collecting and start exploring new recipes. I couldn't relate more to her. In addition to my ever-expanding cookbook collection, I have an entire kitchen drawer stuffed full of recipes I have dutifully clipped out of various magazines, not to mention the hundreds of recipes on my laptop that I actually managed to scan at one point - when that same kitchen drawer became too full and needed to be cleaned out. Similarly, the Julie/Julia project upon which the film is based is all about a woman finding inspiration and so much more as she cooks her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Ok, so the movie may not be a great work of art, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, most of all how it convincingly portrayed the emotional ups and downs that often take place in my own kitchen - the high you get when a dish is a success, even better when you get to present it to guests, and the utter despair when a dish fails, despite the hours of love and energy you devote to it. With all this in mind, I resolve to take advantage of all the resources at my fingertips, and share with you with all the good new recipes I discover along the way.

2. Eat more beets. Ok, this is a tough one for me. There are a couple things I just can't stand. One is licorice. The other is beets. The thing is, I really want to like beets. I really do. On the one hand, they are so good for you, and have a gorgeous color that really adds to any plate. On the other hand, they taste like dirt. It is my mission to find recipes that will make even a beet-hater enjoy beets.

3. Eat more raw food. And no, not just when we're splurging for a dinner at Pure Food and Wine. I've fallen into the category of people who are interested in eating more raw food (beyond my usual salad for lunch) but who got somewhat intimidated by all the sprouting and dehydrating and whatnot. I think I'm overcomplicating things. I think I can find raw food recipes that are manageable even for a somewhat-lazy chef like myself, and that are delicious too.

4. Have dinner at 4 Course Vegan. I've been wanting to do this forever, but just haven't managed to make a reservation. Chef Matteo makes a 4 course (duh) vegan dinner every Friday night in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. His menus (posted on his website) are to die for. And I live in Brooklyn too! What the hell is wrong with me that I haven't made it to one of his dinners yet?

5. Compete as a chef at a Veggie Conquest. I had the good fortune to attend the first ever Veggie Conquest, a monthly vegan cooking challenge, back in September 2009. But I was lucky - I was a taster, not a chef. The food was so creative and impressive, and since then the event has gotten bigger and better than ever. Am I up for the challenge? By the end of the year, I'll do it!

So that's my list. 5 good things to do. What's your resolution?

Welcome to Vegan Good Things!

After many delays and false starts, I am finally, happily, optimistically launching Vegan Good Things. What better way to start off the new year than with a new project?

My hopes for this year and this blog are to simply share some good things with you. Good things that just happen to vegan. Whether you are a long-time, die-hard, militant vegan, a struggling vegan, a once-a-week-vegetarian, a curious omnivore, or even a bacon-lovin' carnivore who somehow ended up on this site by chance or accident, all are welcome here. Actually, those bacon-lovin' carnivores are even more welcome. They are the ones who need to see that vegan food can be fun, creative, wholly satisfying, and most importantly - fantastically delicious!

This is not the blog where you'll find recipes for sprout salads, though I do enjoy sprouts as well as salads. My tastes lean more towards the hearty, stick-to-your-ribs, comforty, savory, umami-packed dishes. Vegan pizzas. Vegan mac & cheese. Vegan curries. Being half-Thai, I love all kinds of Asian food, the spicier the better. I don't have a big sweet tooth, although I don't believe I've ever turned down a slice of vegan cheesecake. Or a cupcake. Or vegan chocolate, in any form. So maybe I do have a sweet tooth after all.

In addition to my own recipes, and testing out recipes from other sources, I plan to also write about vegan restaurants, stores, and events that take place here in NYC. There are a lot of great vegan blogs out there, and I hope to have something fun and fresh to add to the mix.

So happy 2010 everyone! Here's toasting to all things good & vegan in the New Year!