Being Kind 09/13/2010
 
My sister, Shira, saw an interview featuring actress and long-time vegan Alicia Silverstone and her new book, The Kind Diet, an easy to read, recipe filled guide to vegan life.  She was so intrigued by it, though not a vegan herself, that she bought the book and gave it to me.  I had been a vegan for nearly 2 years before reading the book this spring, but this was so helpful to me, and a true guide for more interesting and flavorful recipes with some foods I'd never considered (and some I'd never even heard of before.)  

I've featured a few below, some more unique than others, but of all the recipes I've tried so far, I've been pleasantly surprised.  Try them ~ I think you will too.

 

Radicchio Pizza with Truffle Oil

1 large head radicchio

Olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

White truffle oil, to taste

1 fresh pizza crust (try spelt, whole wheat or gluten free rather than the usual)

 

Cut the radicchio in half, then slice each half crosswise into thin ribbons.  Dress with olive oil, salt, pepper and white truffle oil.  Preheat the oven to 415 degrees.  Toast the pizza for 7 minutes or until heated through and slightly golden but not crunchy.  Scatter the radicchio over the crust and continue to bake for 3-5 minutes until the radicchio is warm and starting to wilt.  Serve immediately.

 

Ginger Baked Tofu

1 lb firm tofu

1/2 c shoyu

1 TBSP sesame oil

2 TBSP minced fresh ginger

1 TBSP finely chopped garlic

1/4 c brown rice vinegar

2 TBSP umeboshi vinegar (I used rice wine vinegar as this was difficult for me to find)

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional - I opted out)

1 tsp brown rice syrup (I used maple syrup as this was tough to find too) Finely chopped scallions for garnish

 

Cut the tofu in half width-wise and place each half on its side and then slice in half again, leaving you with 4 tofu "steaks."

 

Pur 3/4 c of water into a bowl.  Whisk in the shoyu, oil, ginger, garlic, vinegars, red-pepper flakes (if desired) and rice syrup and pour over the tofu, covering it.  Marinate for at least 1 hour.

 

Preheat the oven to 375.  Either drain the baking dish of the majority of the marinade or place the tofu on a baking sheet and baste with the marinade.  Reserve the remaining marinade.  Bake the tofu for 15-20 minutes, turn, baste, and cook 10-15 minutes more.  Garnish with scallions, if desired, and serve warm.

 

Cheesy, Oozy Guacamole Bean Dip

1 16oz can refried beans

3 large avocados

3 TBSP fresh lime juice

2 8 oz containers of non-dairy sour cream (It's really good and not chemical-tasting like many fat free varieties!)

1 packet taco seasoning

1/3 c diced mild green chiles, drained

1/2 c sliced black olives, or more if you like

5 tomatoes, chopped

2 c shredded vegan cheddar cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spread a layor of refried beans in the bottom of an 8x8 quart glass baking dish.  Pit and peel the avocados and place in a bowl.  Mash the avocados together with the lime juice, and spread on top of the refried beans.  Stir together the sour cream and taco seasoning and spread over the avocado.  Sprinkle the chiles over the sour cream and top with a layer of black olives.  Add the tomatoes and sprinkle with the cheese.  Heat the dip for 15 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is melted.  Serve warm or at room temperature with tortilla chips.

 

For a little extra fun and flair, Entourage style, to accompany the dip, try Avion tequila, on the rocks, with a splash of lime juice and a lime wedge for garnish...cold, smooth, tart, crisp...I even enjoyed it with a salad!

 


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Veg and the City