Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Years Day!

From a series Brielle took of Camilla practicing baton
The girls and I drove up to St. Simons to see my Mom and step dad for New Years. We arrived at lunch, and, after a nice salad, spent the afternoon on the beach. It was absolutely beautiful!
I was so excited to be cooking with my Mom, it had been awhile. I love that they were both really into a vegan dinner, and I was so glad everything turned out so great.  I had to make for them these tempeh 'fish sticks' that I made last week. The recipe is from one of my new cook books, Spork-fed, and they are so delicious! I know it's funny that I am trying not to eat a lot of refined oil, but, this is definitely worth the splurge.  I wanted to do something different with the collard greens and black eyed peas, and, as I have been wanting to make a collard wrap for sometime, (so many collards in the garden) this seemed like a good idea. I have to say, it turned out really nice; the red pepper sauce made it extra special. 

For the red pepper sauce:
1 12 ounce jar of roasted red peppers
1/2 of a 12.3 cake of shelf stable tofu, silken firm
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne, or to taste
1 tsp salt
1 TB lemon juice
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp agave
Put everything into a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside, to be reheated at the last minute, if needed. We had left over sauce, but it will be good on lots of things.

For the tempeh sticks:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 TB non aluminum baking powder
1 tsp sea salt, plus 1/2 tsp
fresh pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I left this out, so Brielle would like them, and made the sauce with a little kick)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 16 ounce bottle pale ale, cold

2 packages of soy tempeh, sliced into strips. (They said one inch, but I think I made mine a bit smaller)
1/4 c malt vinegar (I didn't have malt vinegar but used a combination of red wine vinegar and a good squeeze of lemon.)
2 TB agave
3 cups neutral tasting high heat oil

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, 1 tsp sea salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder. Slowly whisk in the beer until all the batter is smooth. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to relax the gluten.
Meanwhile, fill a large pot with about an inch of water and bring to a boil. Place the tempeh in a steamer basket, and put the basket into the pot. Steam for about 5 minutes. This removes any bitter flavor the tempeh may have. Allow to cool slightly, then place the tempeh strips in a bowl and coat with the vinegar, agave, sea salt and cayenne. Set aside.
Heat a medium sized pot with oil. Heat for about 4 minutes on high. To test for optimal frying temperature, insert a clean wooden cooking tool. When bubbles for around the base of the tool, add battered tempeh.
This just takes about two per side.
Serve with tarter sauce. They have a recipe in the book, but I'd just eye balled, a scoop of vegan mayonnaise, tablespoon of dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt, lemon juice, and a bit of sweet relish.

For the collard wraps:
We had fresh black eyed peas, but canned would work. And we used sushi rice, because that's what was in the pantry, but a short brown would be my preference.
1/2 white onion, chopped fine
2 stalks celery, chopped fine
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp oregano

1 TB soy sauce
2 cups of cooked black eyed peas
2 cups of cooked rice

4 -5 (depends on the size) of collard leaves.
Cook the onion, celery, garlic, and, oregano in a bit of water for about 5 minutes, over medium heat, until everything is soft. Mix in the soy sauce, peas and rice, and set aside.
Steam the collard greens until soft. Mine were from my garden, so it just took a couple of minutes. It might have taken longer if they'd come from the grocery, as they might have been tougher. (After I steamed the tempeh, I just put the collards in the pot, and kept them in there to stay warm.)

While the tempeh sticks were cooking, I heated up the pea/rice mixture. I also microwaved the red pepper sauce to warm, right before plating. Divide the black eyed pea mixture among the leaves, and roll up. You could roll them up burrito style, but I was in a bit of a hurry to get everything hot on the table.

Hope everyone had a great New Years Day! And Tammy, I can't wait to hear about how you prepared your black eyed peas and collards!

1 comment:

  1. Yum---that looks so good sis! I can't wait to try the tempeh sticks! Fun to see the beach too---can't wait to be down there again soon! xo