Jul
08
    
Posted (Lori) in News

SIX TOO-HOT-TO-COOK QUICKIES

When the temperature goes above 90—which the forecast says will happen today—I try not to heat up my tiny apartment by cooking. None of the recipes below require more than 15 minutes of cooking time (though some of them require two things to cook simultaneously during that 15 minutes).

1. CABBAGE AND TOFU

There’s a recipe below that requires about 8 minutes of stir-frying; but this is also fine raw. Cut the tofu into cubes, and tear the cabbage into bite-size pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and soy sauce; add whatever other vegetables (kohlrabi, greens, squash) that you have on hand, season with salt and pepper.

SPICY STIR-FRIED CABBAGE, TOFU AND RED PEPPER

12 ounces firm or extra firm organic tofu, cut into dominoes

1/2 cup vegetable broth

2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce, divided

1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided

5 cups shredded cabbage or about 1/2 cabbage (red, green or both)

1 red bell pepper, julienned (or squash, cut into matchsticks)

3 green onions, sliced (reserve one green onion for garnish)

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

2 large garlic cloves, minced (or a tablespoon of chopped scapes)

pinch or two red pepper flakes

himalayn salt & cracked pepper to taste

sesame seeds as garnish

soba or ramen noodles or quinoafor serving; cook while you stir-fry.

Start your quinoa or rice and set aside.

Cut the tofu into dominoes (mine are double domino size) and press between paper towels or dish cloth (there won’t be too much water so this will go quick). In a small bowl or measuring cup combine the stock, 1 tablespoon tamari and rice wine vinegar.

Heat a large wok or large skillet over med. high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil and swirl to coat, add tofu and stir-fry until golden, about 3 – 4 minutes on each side. Add remaining tablespoon tamari/soy sauce, toss together for a few seconds and transfer to a plate.

Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, add the garlic and ginger to the wok/skillet and stir-fry for a no longer than 10 seconds, you want to just start to smell the fragrance. Add red bell pepper and stir-fry for 1 – 2 minutes, or until it begins to soften. Add cabbage, stir-fry for 1 minute, add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, stir-fry another 1 to 2 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Return the tofu and add 2/3 of the green onions to the vegetable mixture, stir in stock/tamari mixture and stir-fry for another minute or, until it has just about evaporated. Remove from heat and serve with quinoa, rice or noodles of choice. Garnish with sesame seeds, green onions and/or cilantro.

Serves 3 generously.

Notes: If you don’t have seasoned rice wine vinegar, simply add a pinch of sugar or teaspoon of maple syrup.

2. GREEK ZUCCHINI CAKES, from Recipes from America’s Small Farms, p. 151

If the oil is hot, these will fry up in 2 minutes for each side; 12 of them will fit in a large frying pan; on a hot night, a green salad, a loaf of bread, and these protein-filled pancakes are all I need for supper.

3. PATRICIA’S MAIN DISH SALAD

Patricia Janof writes:

Just have a variation on your main meal salad, which Jim and I love to eat.

We cut up 1-2 potatoes and cook in microwave 3 minutes, stir & cook 2 more minutes, while washing the lettuce.  When potatoes are done, take off cover and add up to 1 cup frozen organic corn. Stir.  The potatoes will cool down and the corn heat up and both will be ready to add to salad by time lettuces are washed.

We also add 1 can of butter beans, drained, any other veggies going, and finish with a sliced avocado and balsamic dressing.  Yum!

4. STUFFED SQUASH

The pattypan squashes are perfect for this—but the straight squashes can be stuffed as well. Slice off the tops of the pattypans or cut the straight ones in half vertically. Chop the scooped out pulp, plus some garlicscape and onion. If you have mushrooms, those add a lot; chop up some greens and add them if you have them. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a pan and sauté the whote thing for about 5 minutes. If you like, sauté the garlic and onion first, then add the other vegetables, but I find it works if I do the whole thing at once.

While the sautee-ing is happening:

–Put the scooped-out squash in the oven, at 350 degrees

–Make some quick-cooking grain or paste—bulgur, quinia, pastina, orzo.

Combine your cooked grains with the sautéed vegetables, season with salt, pepper, and whatever spices you like; toss over low heat for another minute. You can also add grated or crumbled cheese or tomato sauce. Adjust salt/pepper/spices. Take the half-baked squash out of the oven; carefully stuff with the vegetable mixture (it’s all hot). Top with breadcrumbs or cheese if you like. Bake the whole thing for another 5 minutes and serve hot.

5. Caesar salad with chicken and chickpeas

Sometime during the week, I pound an 8-oz chicken breast until it is flat and broil it for about 4 minutes on each side. Added to our lettuces, it makes 4 main-dish salads. Here’s one of them:

Cut 2 slices of stale bread in cubes—big or little, whichever you like.. Toss with oil. Heat a frying pan, add 1 tablespoon oil and toss the bread cubes for about 2 minutes until they just start to brown. Turn off the flame and toss for another minutes or two until they deepen in color. Voila, croutons.

Tear a head or two of lettuce into bite-size pieces. Romain is the classic, but other lettuces and greens are good, too. Wash and dry.

In a small bowl, combine one fresh egg yolk, 3 tbs. olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 small, mashed anchovy fillets. Whisk until smooth. Add ¼ cup of grated parmesan and whisk again. Season to taste with salt and pepper, but remember that the anchovies are salty. Toss with greens, add your croutons, ½ can of drained chickpeas, and strips of broiled chicken. Toss again. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for an hour. Remember that there is raw egg in this—eat it soon.

6. PEANUT, CARROT, AND CABBAGE SLAW

Serves 4

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons peanut butter
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice

For the salad:
3 cups cabbage, shredded (from one head of a cabbage)
4 large carrots, grated
4 green onions, sliced thinly
4 large radishes, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, to top
1/4 cup chopped peanuts, to top

To make the dressing, combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk vigorously to combine.

In a large salad bowl, combine cabbage, carrot, green onions and radishes. Toss with dressing. Top with sesame seeds and peanuts. Serve immediately or chill before serving. This salad is best the day it’s prepared although it’s just fine the next day if covered and refrigerated.



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