Wasabi Edamame Hummus On a Flagel

Ah how wonderful is Hummus? – a fantastic staple to keep on hand that lends itself to so many variations.
It’s an easy, protein laden, Go-To that is also fiber rich. Easy to make, easy to store, and a great thing to have at the ready.  I have made several different versions, but feeling like spring, I made this one with wasabi. The horseradish gives a bright sharp taste that feels lighter than traditional hummus.
Chickpeas are the classic bean for making hummus, but I really love to use edamame as an alternative. Edamame has a lighter taste- more to the green pea side of things, and makes a puree with a silkier texture.
A bag of frozen shelled edamame is a constant in my freezer. A few minutes of boiling and they are ready to be tossed onto a salad, or into a pasta dish, or mashed into what we have here. Once the “hummus” is made it keeps for several days in the fridge.
It is not uncommon to see me dip a carrot or two in for a few bites before I make my dinner. Hummus is the perfect little snack to stave off the gnawing hunger- nutrition rich and guilt free.
I was immediately taken by the look of these flagels that I bought at Fairway. I just think they are beautiful. They are an oversized flat bagel of delicious proportions. The right size to make a terrific sandwich. The flagels have that wonderful chewiness of a bagel without all the doughy middle breading. These are great for a meaty sandwich too, and are perfect for soaking up juicy dressings. One round is large enough for two, and can pack up and travel very nicely. Perfect for a picnic, now that the weather is warming up.
Edamame Wasabi Hummus
makes 2 cups
1# bag frozen, shelled edamame
1 package silken tofu
1 clove garlic
2T wasabi powder
salt to taste
Boil salted water in a pot and toss in edamame. Cook for 4-5 mins and drain. Rinse under cold water to cool.
Toss all the ingredients into a food processor and off you go.
The taste of the wasabi will emerge as it sits. I suggested letting the puree rest for a few minutes then taste again and adjust salt and wasabi if desired.
store in airtight container in the fridge

Creamy Roasted Corn Soup Smacked with Chipotle

Smokey Corn Soup with Apple Bacon on the side

Though this has been quite a balmy Winter here in the Northeast, I still enjoy a hearty chowder like corn soup. I love a rich creamy-sinkmyteethinto-soup this time of year. It’s also a way to get some vegetables in when it’s hard to find decent green things. I would love to tell you that I roasted ears of corn on the grill. It’s easy to imagine charring the kernels while the silks and leaves hung off the side of the stove. Seriously I could of, but I didn’t. Nope. I used frozen corn. And no noses in the air please. It’s really the way to go here.

Frozen corn has great flavor and decent nutritional value. To give it some real depth and character I laced this soup with a hearty pinch of chipotle giving it a smokey kick. Cream and cilantro finish it off with a squeeze of lime, which balanced out the creaminess with some cool and a twinkle of brightness.

But I’ll let you in on another even BETTER secret. I didn’t use any cream here either. My big reveal: silken tofu.

I got into using this when my Dad was sick and I was struggling to get nutrition into him. He could only manage small (I really mean teeny) cups of soup at a time. I did my best to make them as digestible and as power packed as possible. Dairy bothered him due to his medications, but not the tofu. He loved it, and so does everyone I make it for.

I usually don’t say it’s tofu just because folks get all incense and crunchy looks in their eyes- so what they don’t know is actually good for them.

I did use some of the bacon fat as the grease to sautee my garlic and onions- so a little bit of evil there- but roughly a tablespoon in an entire pot is no great sin. And just to be fair, I serve the bacon on the side- which gives the option for those with concerns to partake or not.

Creamy Roasted Corn Soup
serves 4 as a meal or 6 as a starter
1# bag of roasted corn kernels, regular is fine
4 strips natural smoked bacon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion chopped
2 14oz cans of chicken broth
1 block of silken tofu
.5t chipotle powder
Fresh cilantro, lime wedges and lite sour cream to serve
In a large frying pan cook the bacon slowly to render as much fat as possible. Reserve the bacon.
Allow all the fat to drain off the pan, leaving behind a nice layer and some of the bacon bits
Sautee the garlic and onion over low/medium heat to release the flavors until the onion are translucent and soft.
Toss in corn and warm the melange through. Reserve a half cup of corn mixture. 
Add one can of broth, tofu roughly broken up, and chipotle powder. Allow to simmer for 10 mins.
In batches, puree the soup and pour into a saucepan. Once fully pureed add second can of broth, stir to combine and allow to simmer until heated through.
Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
Serve with fresh lime wedges, a dollop of light sour cream, and fresh cilantro. Spoon some of the reserved corn mixture on top that has been warmed.

Coconutty: Grilled Tofu on Coconut Cauliflower and Spinach with Spicy Coconut Sauce

Grilled Tofu with Spicy Coconut Sauce

The beginnings of my move are underway. Each day is a task of clearing out another section of the loft, separating things from my past and deciding which I will carry with me into the future. This is a cathartic and exciting time. I’ve been great places and I am now on my way to something altogether new. All the things that used to weigh me down and crammed my corners are now an ever lightening load.
Finding time to cook, let alone eat, has been trickier, but when I get to the stove it’s far more satisfying. It’s the constant touchstone and keeps me grounded.
A snowy head of cauliflower has been haunting me every time I open the fridge. Can’t say this healthy cruciferous veg is my fave but it’s growing on me. The bigger challenge is there is SO MUCH of it. What to do… what to do…
Mashing steamed cauliflower is a recipe I came across about 3 years ago. It’s remarkable how tasty it is. The mellowness of the coconut counterbalances the sulphur tang in the cauliflower. I wouldn’t call this mock mashed potatoes, though some do, rather it’s a winner for what it is. There is enough flavor here to pair with some roasted chicken or pork chop, without overpowering the meal with coconut.
Before grilling the tofu I gave the slices a good juicing of lime juice. Not only does this add flavor to what otherwise is bland, but the vitamin C in the juice will aid the absorption of the iron in the spinach.
A quick reduction of the remaining coconut milk after the mashing makes a creamy decadent sauce with healthy fats. This meal may be way too healthy, but more importantly it’s really delicious.
Coconut Tofu with Cauliflower and Spinach
serves 4
1 head cauliflower
1 can light coconut milk
1 large bag of spinach chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lime, zest reserved
generous pinch of red pepper flakes
.5t fish sauce or salt
pinch of sugar
1 block of firm or extra firm tofu
Break cauliflower into smaller pieces and steam until just tender, not to mush. Add enough coconut milk to make a rustic mash. Add salt to taste.
Drain tofu. Slice into .25″ slices and sprinkle generously with lime juice.
Place remaining coconut milk, approximately half a can, into a small saucepan and stir in half of reserved lime zest, pepper flakes, fish sauce and sugar. Simmer on medium low until reduced. Adjust seasoning to taste.
In large frying pan warm 2T olive oil and sautee garlic gently over medium heat until just cooked. Add rinsed but still damp chopped spinach and sautee. The water from the spinach with add steam and keep the spinach green and bright. Err cooking spinach on the under side to retain as much of the vitamins as possible as well as flavor.
Heat a grill pan on medium high. Generously oil pan and grill tofu.
Build the dish by laying down the cauliflower down first. Pile on the bright beautiful spinach and then lay down the tofu. Add the remaining zest into the sauce and spoon over the tofu.