Simply in Season on Farm to Philly

Simply in Season
Simply in Season

I wrote this post about one of my favorite cookbook series’ – More-with-Less, Extending the Table, and Simply in Season –  on the blog Farm to Philly, for which I am a contributor. Farm to Philly focuses on eating locally, organically and sustainable in Philadelphia. Simply in Season is a great cookbook whose goal is to help you eat lots of local produce, in season, and on a budget. What could be better? None of the books in the series are strictly vegetarian, but they encourage eating low on the food chain and include many vegetarian recipes. Check it out!

Advertisements

Honest Tom’s Taco Shop

Breakfast Tacos
Breakfast Tacos

Honest Tom’s taco truck, run by a nice, floppy haired Drexel grad, has been getting a lot of local press lately. Why? Well, there aren’t a lot breakfast taco trucks around, and that’s a shame. Also, he serves   tacos made from fresh, homemade ingredients, and french pressed coffee to go along with them, at a great price. But I had to try the taco for myself. I was delighted to find that Honest Tom’s camps out in Clark Park on the weekends.

I’m going to have to say, while the wait was a bit long, the taco was delicious. The potatoes perfectly fried, the eggs still slightly soft, the guac and pico fresh in piquant. And all for $2.50. Thank you Tom!

Honest Tom's truck sign
Honest Tom's truck sign

As a lover of food trucks, and tacos, I hope that Tom does well, and that he gets more competition!

Red Pepper, Shitake Mushroom and Tofy Stirfry

Red Pepper, Shitake Mushroom and Tofu Stirfry
Red Pepper, Shitake Mushroom and Tofy Stirfry

The simplist little stir-fry – my own version of a recipe in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian – was delicious and packed with flavor. I served it with baby bok choy, steamed with garlic in a dash of rice wine and soy sauce.

Red Pepper, Shitake and Tofu Stir Fry
serves 4

8 oz extra-firm tofu, pressed and cubed
chili sesame oil
2 Tbs. sesame oil
2 red bell peppers, sliced thinly
1 small onion, diced
1 cup fresh shitakes mushrooms (or rehydrated dried ones) sliced thinly
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbs. fresh ginger root, grated or chopped
4 green onions, sliced thinly
4 Tbs. Shaoxing wine
2 Tbs. soy sauce
3 Tbs. vegetable stock

Fry the cubed tofu lightly in a touch of chili sesame oil. Remove from the pan and set aside. Heat 1 Tbs. of regular sesame oil in a nonstick wok. When hot, add the green onions,stirring until the onion begins to soften. Add the peppers and onion and cook on med-high heat until the peppers are slightly crisp and charred on the edges. Remove the peppers and onions from the pan with a slotted spoon. If necessary, add another Tbs. of oil to the wok. Add the sliced shitakes, garlic, and ginger stir, cooking until the garlic lightly browns. Add the tofu. Heat through, about 4 minutes, and stir occasionally. Add the wine and stock and cook, stirring, until half of the liquid evaporated. Add the peppers and onions, and stir, heating through. Add the soy sauce and scallion and stir to coat everything evenly.

Eggplant Rollitini from Veganomicon

Eggplant Rollitini from <em>Veganomicon</em>
Eggplant Rollitini from Veganomicon

I’ve been eyeing this Rollitini in Veganomican for quite awhile. The writers make it sound very difficult, but it’s really not. If you get all the steps going in order, you can have the whole thing completed in about an hour. The key is to slice the eggplant very thinly. While the have you cut-off the sides (to avoid more of the peel), I say peel the eggplant and use the whole thing! Note the vegan Parmesan – called “Almandsan” in Veganomicon. Made of crushed almonds, toasted sesame seeds, lemon zest and garlic, it adds texture and a pleasing flavor to vegan Italian dishes.

Rolled, pre-sauce
Rolled, pre-sauce

The most amazing part about this recipe, I think, is the tofu ricotta. It was so easy to make, and really, I couldn’t tell the difference at all. Success! Here are the eggplant slices fried, stuffed with spinach and “ricotta” and rolled up. I added extra breadcrumbs on top, for added textures.

Rollitini - smothered in sauce
Rollitini - smothered in sauce

I made this with a basic marinara sauce, but added aged Greek olives and about a half a cup of red wine. I tend to like my food smothered in sauce, so that’s the way I make it.

goat cheese and fresh tomato basil Bruchetta
goat cheese and fresh tomato basil Bruchetta

On the side, I served some bruchetta I made with a delicious seeded baguette from Metropolitan Bakery, spreadable goat cheese, and just a quick tapenade of tomatoes, fresh and ripe from Iovine’s that day, fresh basil, a bit of herbed olive oil, and some salt. Scrumptious.

CousCous soup

CousCous soup
CousCous soup

CousCous soup is so easy to make! While Bittman and others have good recipes, I usually just make it up as I go along. Some veggies, some spices, a little tomato and vegetable broth, and then through the couscous in at the last second.

In the soup above I cleaned out the crisper  used carrots, celery and onion, throwing them in a Tupperwear with a chopped garlic clove, a teaspon of  cumin, and half a cup of couscous. I threw everything in a saucepan at work with a little olive oil, heated it until the garlic and celery softened and cumin toasted, added a Tbs. of tomatoe paste and a cup of vegetable broth, boiled everying together for a few minutes, topped everything with a healthy dose of black pepper and had a delicious lunch.