Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chai is the Hindi word for Tea

That's my fun fact for the evening - because it cracks me up! From now on, every time I hear someone say "Chai Tea" I'm going to laugh inside my head. I wanted to share that so you can laugh inside your head, too, or if we're together we can laugh out loud and give the person who said "chai tea" a complex.

I saw that in a little color patch in The Vegan Table, which is funny since dinner came from a different cookbook. I can't remember why I had that one open, but let me move on. Dinner tonight came from La Dolce Vegan and it's one of my favorite recipes. It is extremely simple to make, comes together quickly, smells fabulous, and tastes even better. I think this dish was the first time Mister realized he could actually like tofu.

*Gasp* A vegetarian who doesn't like tofu??? It happens.

Anyway, I'll share the recipe at the end of this post because it doesn't actually belong to the author so I don't feel bad reposting it. Hopefully, too, it will encourage you to buy this wonderful book. There are three:
How It All Vegan
The Garden of Vegan
La Dolce Vegan
<-- my favorite

I actually stumbled upon Sarah Kramer and her BFF Tanya Barnard and their amazing trilogy of cookbooks as the result of my wonderful mother trying to accommodate my crazy new lifestyle and make a vegan recipe for some holiday dinner (Christmas, I think), but it didn't quite work out for her, so she gave me the cookbook (HiaV). It had some of the best soup recipes in my collection so it won a fast place in my heart and I got the other two over the years.

Anyway, today I had my Chocolate Cherry Jocalat bar, finally.
I think my favorite thing about this bar is that the cocoa is Fair Trade Certified, which is important to me. To be honest, much like the Chocolate Mint Jocalat bar, the first bite was absolutely horrific. However, considering how well the Mint bar worked out by halfway through, I gave this one another chance and had the same result. Dried cherries are a little more tart than I would like, and these were unsweetened (unlike my craisinets), but it gave a good finish to the bar and I would probably get this one again...but it will never stand up to my Nectar cacao bars.

Now, as promised, I'll share the recipe for tonight's delightful dinner. I love this recipe so much! I chose it because we don't have any more room in the fridge for leftovers and there are never leftovers when I make this. That's another "favorite" thing about this cookbook - Sarah is just cooking for herself and her husband, so her recipes are usually the right size for me and my husband! The recipe was submitted to Sarah from Inder and Vandna Bedi from
Punjabi Peppers & Tofu
brown rice (or grain of your choice), enough for two people*
1/2 lb firm tofu, cubed**
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp hot chili powder
1 large tomato, finely chopped

In a medium pot, cook the rice accordingly. While rice is cooking, in a wok or large saucepan on medium-high heat, saute the tofu and onions in oil until onions are translucent and tofu starts to brown. Add the green and red peppers, salt, chili powder, garam masala, and tomatoes. Reduce heat and cover with lid. Simmer for 4-6 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serve over rice. Makes 2 large or 4 small servings.

* I used 3/4 cup brown rice in 1.5 cups water.
** I used a whole 14 oz container of tofu. I have no idea how much a 1/2 lb would be and I don't really care - the point was not to have leftovers, so I didn't want whatever was left of the tofu after I skillfully carved away exactly half a pound to sit in some far corner of my fridge awaiting the opportunity to become a science project.

By the way, I don't know what "tea" is in Punjabi and Google won't help me.

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