Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Delight: Baked Tofu in a Lemon and Dill Marinade

Spring delight

For Spring, something fresh and light like dill and lemon is a great idea. I love the delicate and strange taste of dill combined with the tangyness of citrus.
I made it a base for a baked tofu marinade, and it turned out simply delicious accompanied by a simple casserole of brown rice, lentils and fresh vegetables.

The tofu needs to drain and then marinate for at least a few hours. I find it easier to make it the day before and let it sit overnight. Since the recipe calls for cooked rice and lentils, I cook a big batch of both beforehand, for this dish and other purposes. Otherwise the prep time is pretty short.

Ingredients for 2
2 blocks of firm tofu
Prep: drain tofu by wrapping it in a clean towel and sitting some weight (plates, books...) on top.
this marinade is also a great salad dressing
2 lemons (or one lime and one lemon)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh dill, cut in small pieces
I clove of garlic, minced
pepper (to taste)
Put everything in your food processor and blend.
You should end up with more marinade than you need, but you will use it to flavor your side dish (It's a great salad dressing too).

Place drained tofu in a container and fill with marinade. Let sit for a few hours or overnight. I usually don't refrigerate it because things don't soak as well when they are cold.

freshly baked

Side Dish: Spring Rice and Lentils Casserole
1/2 cup green peas
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1 onion, minced
1/2 cup green or black lentils, cooked
1 carrot, diced
2 stems of celery, diced
1/4 cup of dill, finely cut
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper (to taste)
Turn the oven on at 400˚.
Cook the green peas in water (it should only take a few minutes)
Chop onions, celery, carrots (you can put other veggies like pearl onions, spinach, etc...)
Mix everything together with olive oil, season to your taste.

Put marinated tofu and rice and veggie mix into a casserole dish. Cook in oven for about 40 minutes.

You can serve the tofu on a bed of fresh spinach leaves. Place the remaining marinade on the table, to be used as dressing for the greens or to be sprinkled on the casserole: it's tasty!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Savannah's Spring Detox Tea

tea time still life:
herbs, almond galette and a good book

Not long ago, I ran into Savannah in the spices and herbs section of my favorite coop, Rainbow Grocery. Her and her friend seemed to be having so much fun picking up bulk herbs from the big jars that I wondered what kind of witches' brew they were going to make. As it turns out, they were making detox tea. I was myself shopping for spices to make a cleansing soup for Spring (modeled after my Winter detox chorba, but with Spring veggies) so we exchanged recipes*.

I love this tea, mostly because of the licorice. In fact it's so good that I ironically find it pretty addictive. I usually brew a big pot on the stove and keep drinking it all day when I'm at home. Or I transfer it to my crockpot so I can always enjoy a hot cup.

Savannah's detox tea**
2 parts burdock roots
1 part red clover flower
2 parts dandelion root
(for mucus, phlegm:)
1 part fennel seed
1 part fenugreek seed
½ part licorice root

Apart from being fabulous and awesome, Savannah Knoop is a talented local fashion designer from San Francisco, and Tinc, her business, is green! Check it out here. And if you like good stories -and juicy Hollywood revelations- read her inspiring memoir, Girl Boy Girl, how I became JT Leroy, on her impersonating the infamous young queer writer.

one of Savannah's Spring o9 creations

* My favorite part of the story is when we ran into each other that very same night, "detoxing" at a bar with hot toddies!
** Found in Paul Pitchford's Healing with Whole Foods