My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!

 

 


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free

 

Entries in honey (11)

Wednesday
Jul062011

beer baked, beer grilled, beer me

Let’s continue with the rest of that beer soaked meal.  It all started with Foodbuzz + New Belgium’s offer, to create a recipe infused with NB’s beer or one that would pair well with it.

Sipping beer is fun, but I find it more challenging to use beer as an ingredient.  What first sparked this meal idea, was Teri’s Beer BBQ Tofu.  I always trust Teri’s recipes, and knew this would be a winner. 

But before we talk about the recipe, let’s talk tofu.  I’ve only ever cooked with “extra firm” tofu, and I only buy this organic, sprouted brand.  Other tofu I’ve eaten doesn’t seem to agree with my stomach, but I’ve never had any issues with Wild Wood’s sprouted tofu.  Sprouted foods are typically easier to digest, which is why I’m guessing my stomach tolerates this tofu much more easily.

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I always cut one block into 8 slices.  I start with a cut in the center and then another cut in the center of those 2 halves, and then another cut in the center of those 4 halves.  This method makes slices fairly consistent in thickness.

For this meal, I sliced 2 large blocks, and placed them on a kitchen towel folded in half.

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I then covered the tofu with another folded in half kitchen towel and wrapped a third towel around the bottom and top.  Then I place cutting boards on top, so the liquid doesn’t seep into the books, which are what help to press the liquid out.

You want to press your tofu for a good 30min, or longer if you have the time.  This makes all the difference with the texture when cooking.

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Now back to Teri’s recipe. 

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I’m not sure you can go wrong with your beer selection.  It would be fun to try with a super thick + flavorful stout beer, but for this I chose New Belgium’s, Fat Tire.

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I also used this OrganicVille BBQ Sauce, which had a sweet, but smoky flavor.  Everyone loved it!

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Mixing all of the ingredients, takes only a few minutes.  Then you add the tofu to a large pan and start the marinating.  I didn’t change much from Teri’s recipe, but here were the measurements I used.

  • 1 bottle beer
  • 1t finely minced ginger
  • 2/3c BBQ sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 blocks, extra firm tofu

*I basically added more beer + garlic and omitted the Worcestershire sauce, because it’s not vegetarian.  I was going to add a few drops of liquid smoke, but this BBQ sauce was already pretty smoky.  If you have a sweeter sauce, Liquid Smoke is a great option, if you want a nice smoked flavor.

If you want to bake your tofu, definitely check out her fabulous blog for the instructions!!

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While the tofu marinated [for 1.5hrs], I worked on the salad. 

romaine + spinach + grated carrot + pepitas

simple.

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Then I created my best dressing to date, thanks to my new potted herbs!  The photo may not look pretty, but trust me on the taste! 

Honey Lemon Herb Dressing [serves ~6 side salads]

  • 1/4c fresh lemon juice [~1 lemon]
  • 2-3T apple cider vinegar [or another 1/2 lemon]
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2t honey
  • 1-1 1/2t dijon mustard
  • 1/3c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2T fresh thyme, coarsely chopped
  • 3T fresh basil, thinly sliced + chopped
  • 1/4-1/2t salt
  • black pepper
  1. Whisk together lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard, and olive oil until thoroughly combined.
  2. Whisk in garlic, salt + pepper.
  3. Whisk in fresh herbs, taste + add more salt/pepper to taste.

*Start with 1t mustard and 1/4t salt.  You can always add more after the initial taste.  If it seems to oily, add more apple cider vinegar.  If it doesn’t have a hint of sweetness, add another teaspoon of honey.  Just keep tasting along the way!  If you want a really accurate taste, dip a piece of lettuce in the dressing!

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Now, you have your beer fries + dressing, what about that grilled tofu?

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The trick is greasing the grates + making sure the heat is high enough!  I tried grilling tofu once before, with half success. 

As in, half stuck to the grates.

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This time I had no problems with sticking! Check it out!

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Grilling Tofu

  1. Make sure your tofu is thoroughly pressed.
  2. Heat your grill to med-high, ~400*.
  3. Grease your grill with oil, but be careful!  Do not use an aerosol grease can, as it will cause large flames.  I used my Misto can, filled with olive oil, and it worked perfectly.  You could also heavily brush the grates with oil.  Make sure the grates are well coated!
  4. Place your sliced tofu [~1/4-1/2” thick slices] on the grill and close the lid. 
  5. Now, try your best NOT to touch the tofu for 6-9min.  Knowing when to flip the tofu, really depends on your grill.  You can check on the tofu at 6min, with a large metal spatula.  If it seems like it’s easily lifting, and it’s nice and charred, you’re good to flip.  If it’s sticking, you either didn’t put enough oil on, or you need to let it cook longer.  You’re looking for grill marks, like in the photos.  When the pieces are nice + charred, they will be easier to flip.
  6. Carefully scrape under the tofu, and flip over to cook for another 6-9min.  Before closing the lid, pour/brush the leftover marinade onto each slice.  *If they seem to be sticking a bit, before you flip over onto the grate, spray or brush with more oil.
  7. The longer you cook, the less moisture it will have.  Everyone really liked the charred pieces!

It really was easy!  I just want to be thorough with the instructions. :)

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If your fries are done before the tofu, just turn the oven off and leave them inside.  If they’re already super crispy, crack the door open, to prevent further cooking.

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Summery, beer infused meal complete!

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And oh.that.tofu. 

Possibly the best I’ve ever made!!  Thanks to Teri, for the great recipe!

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Back to editing people photos…have a great rest of your day!

Ashley

Saturday
Apr302011

a little zing

Lately, a lot of you have been mentioning/asking me 2 things.

  1. How do I come up with the some of my food combinations?  For instance: tempeh/apple/pumpkin/pnut butter sandwich

  2. I wish I liked salad as much as you.


To answer question #1 – 90% of the time, I am literally just throwing things together, based on whatever randomness is in our fridge.  I haven’t made a lot of full-on, recipe-following meals lately, because I haven’t had the time or energy.  However, I am still cooking.  I think about food a lot.  I think about my next meal almost right after the meal I just ate.  I start to brainstorm.
I really want a bagel for lunch.  That won’t hold me over too long, so I need to beef it up with something else.  I have a 1/4 block of tempeh leftover.  Tempeh and bread work.  If I just lightly toast the tempeh, I can combine it with other things in the fridge.  I want something crunchy.  I have apples.  Apples + cheese go perfectly on a sandwich or bagel.  Maybe apples and tempeh would too.  Tempeh doesn’t have much flavor, so maybe I’ll add some peanut butter.  Peanut butter + bagels + apples = success, so maybe tempeh would be good too.  Oh, wait, I have leftover pumpkin.  I might as well just add it in and see what happens.  It will add moisture to the sandwich, like mayo or mustard typically would.

So there you have it.  The thought process of putting my lunch together.  Exhilarating, I know.

Now let’s talk about comment #2. Salad haters.  I used to be one.  No shame!  First, you need to find which lettuce you like the best.  Right now I’m on a spinach kick, but about a year ago, I was really sick of it.  I also used to really like arugula, but got burnt out on it and don’t like it at all now.  Romaine is one of my favorites, as is raw kale.

After you pick you lettuce, you can’t just pour the dressing on.  I would understand why you hate salads, if you do this.  You need to fill the salad with other foods you love.

  • chickpeas [roasted, perhaps?]

  • sweet potato cubes

  • black beans

  • avocado

  • fresh basil

  • tomatoes

  • mushrooms

  • carrots

  • pickles!!

  • cucumbers

  • croutons

  • almonds

  • nutritional yeast

  • sesame seeds

  • pepitas

  • hummus

  • etc.etc.etc.


Don’t like veggies?  What about putting fruit on your salad?

  • spinach or arugula

  • strawberries/apples/pears

  • almonds/walnuts

  • stinky blue cheese or gorgonzola


Sometimes I get bored with my salads too, which calls for some extra creativity.

I mean, this isn’t anything revolutionary, but it changed things up a bit + was very refreshing.

Do you ever add citrus to your salad?  If not, you must try.  Little clementine slices?  Yup!  Lemon in your dressing?  Sure thing.  Delicious + zingy.

Who doesn’t like a good zing?

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Salad contents:

  • spinach

  • cherry tomatoes

  • cucumber

  • mushrooms

  • clementine – the star of the show

  • walnuts

  • salt + pepper

  • sprinkle of dried thyme


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For the dressing, I wanted something citrusy + sweet.  I do not buy store bought dressings.  I just don’t like them!  I’ve tried way too many and have wasted way too much money in the process.  Plus, I like to control what ingredients are going into it.

In this mix:

  • ~1.5T hemp oil [can use other high quality salad oil – walnut/almond/sunflower/etc]

  • 1t local raw honey

  • 1-2T fresh lemon juice

  • s+p to taste

  • sprinkling of fresh or dried thyme


Nothing exact here.  I just tasted along the way.

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I will say, mushrooms + citrus aren’t the best combo, but other than that this was refreshing, crunchy, and fun.  Yes, I just called my salad fun.

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Have you had any good salad combos lately??



And now, just a little snippet from Friday night with the bro + sis in law.

Natalie is just about 7 months along in her pregnancy + looking so lovely!  Her baby bump is the cutest.  I can’t wait to meet my niece!!!!

They headed up to Ft. Collins to hang out with us for the night.

Bashful Pat, requested we eat at Tasty Harmony.  The veggie/vegan/GF friendly restaurant.  Fine by me!!!  Chris + I love this restaurant.

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Come July, they will be parents!!!

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We scarfed down a vegan artichoke dip [SO good], faster than the speed of light, and anxiously awaited dinner.

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Dork.

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I went with the jackfruit tacos.  A new-to-me dish.  I typically get something different every time I go.
Two crispy taco shells filled with jackfruit and tempeh cooked in Mexican spices, topped with guacamole, salsa fresca , sour cream and shredded lettuce. Served with black beans and Spanish rice.

OH my.  Were these good!

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Everyone else at the table got the Kentucky Fried Freedom.  The chard greens were delicious!!  You can’t see but there is a pile of mashed potatoes behind the “mock” chicken [house-made seitan, the best I’ve ever had] as well.  The most amazing vegan gravy ever.  YUM.
Battered and pan fried mock chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, black eye peas and garlicky greens.

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And with that, we called it a night.  Chris + I were so exhausted that we were IN bed before midnight, which doesn’t even happen on the weekdays.  Time to get a-movin!  So much to do!

Ashley