Purple Slaw, Spicy Baked Tofu, and Food52 Love.

I came a little late to the Food52 party, but still it's a website I've enjoyed for several years.  There is always plenty of inspiration when the pantry seems bare but really is well stocked, and the community setting is comforting in the big world of Internet food.  When I see something tagged with "Genius Recipe" or "How to Make _____ Without a Recipe" (or Not Recipes as they are called), I'm always sure to give particular attention.  I think about cooking without recipes pretty frequently - especially since I tend to cook what I find on sale and also what needs to be used up, often on the fly during this homeschooling year. 

Last week, organic purple cabbages were on sale at my food co-op and when shopping on that cool Sunday evening after a weekend out of town with my boys, I couldn't shake the feeling that I needed cilantro and a fresh hot pepper and and some kind of slaw.  The next day, half of it became a medium-spicy concoction that really hit the spot.  What I had originally thought would be more Asian in flavor turned out to be more Southwestern/Mexican and I couldn't get the "without a recipe" moniker out of my head.  The second half of the cabbage was made into a similar slaw, only instead of letting the cabbage drain in a mixture of salt and sugar, I decided to just add some candied jalapenos and their juice.  It was spicier, and even better than my first attempt.  I'm pretty sure you could add anything to the slaw to make it good; just be sure to keep a rainbow of colors.

Purple slaw, topped with spicy baked tofu.

I'm not so good at typing up a non-recipe - they beg to be told word of mouth.  Basically, toss the cabbage and salt (and a tad of sugar if you want it nuanced with sweetness) together (you could add the peppers and carrots to the salted mix if you like, or if you forget add them after).  Let it stand at room temp for an hour to draw out some moisture.  Then drain it well and add the rest of the ingredients. You can omit the mayo and use Vegenaise, or skip the creamy mayo component altogether and use a couple tablespoons of cider or rice vinegar.  Just taste and go with it!  It tastes better after it sits a day, and stays remarkably crunchy for nearly a week.

Purple Slaw (vegetarian, vegan option)
serves 4-6 depending on serving size
  • 1/2 head of small purple cabbage (about 1 lb.), cut into quarters and thinly sliced
  • about 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (or more), thinly sliced
  • 1-2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 small bunch of cilantro, minced
  • 1-2 small hot peppers, thinly sliced (or several slices of candied jalapeno and a tablespoon of their brine, minced if desired
  • 1-2 spoonfuls mayonnaise (I like Hain Safflower mayo despite the non-health benefits of that particular vegetable oil...) 

spicy baked tofu.

Baked tofu is another non-recipe.  I used to follow a more rigid approach to baked tofu, but recently I've been making it this way with exceptional results.  I cut a 1 pound block of firm tofu into two even slabs, press it for at least a half hour but usually longer in a makeshift contraption of dish towels and plates and weights (cast iron pans).  Then I slice the drained tofu again into 4 total slices.  In the bottom of a baking dish, drizzle in a fair amount of sriracha, an equal amount of maple syrup (or honey), and roughly the same amount of olive oil.  Turn to fully coat, add a little salt and pepper if you feel like it, and let it sit overnight if you want - or just bake it at 425 right away.  I've been using my toaster oven to bake, which probably runs a little hotter than 425 due to the compact baking space.  I just watch it, and turn it about halfway through.  When it looks done, it's done.  I like nibbling it warm, or cubing it cold and adding it to other things.  Like the purple slaw (picture above), or these spring rolls I made for lunch today using the same slaw and more candied jalapenos...  I am totally remembering these for picnic season.

purple slaw spring rolls

Last week, I used a spicy tofu slice in a grilled sandwich which is also worth noting!  I had a few tablespoons of leftover red chard from the night before (just fried in olive oil with shallot - I'm always surprised at how good greens are this way, and I shouldn't be), some avocado, and sourdough with the crusts cut off and spread on the outside with mayo.  Last summer, Food52 highlighted Gabrielle Hamilton's method for grilled cheese, which was the way a friend of mine made grilled sandwiches more than a decade ago but I had forgotten about it.  It was a wonderful sandwich.

That's a sprinkling of those Urfa Biber chile flakes I'm still obsessed with...

While spreading the Food52 love around, I will mention the latest book to come from their collective: the Genius Recipes book.  I haven't read it yet, but it's on my list.  It includes things like Marella Hazan's tomato sauce and Michael Ruhlman's chicken.  Simple things that always work and are always good - and now all found in one tome.  I don't really need to read it before being sold on it.  Genius is genius.

What I Did With the Homemade Tofu...

I'll admit that I didn't really know what to do with my newly accomplished, 100% from scratch tofu. It seemed too much work to just do ordinary things with it; it felt as if I needed to fuss and create something new and exciting which is what ended up happening around lunchtime today. As I stood with steaming, crunchy, soft, sweet, salty tofu in hand, I knew I hit the mark. And the inspiration came from my cookbook shelf.

fresh tofu appetizers.

Some time ago, I picked up a copy of Jessica Seinfeld's (yes, Jerry's wife) Deceptively Delicious at a thrift. For the small price, I figured it would give me some inspiration, and it did have nice photography and was spiral bound. Somehow, the spiral bindings always get me...

I seem to go in "cookbook jags", rereading books that I have in my collection and then kind of cooking my way through them, in my own fashion of course, long after I've acquired them. I can follow instructions, but I would say (outside of testing written recipes) I have only loosely followed instructions for the past couple of years. The recipes in this book perfectly complement my experimental outlook in cooking life, and they end up being pretty healthy as well.

The gist of the book is to hide pureed vegetables in "kid-friendly" foods. The trouble with my kid is that he doesn't like "kid-friendly" foods, so most of this book tantalizes me but no one else in my family. I am happy he won't go anywhere near a soda or a chicken nugget, but I have a harder time of hiding veggies in anything that isn't a direct descendant of a carbohydrate. The best I can do is to veg-pack the pizza sauce that goes on our homemade pizzas that I try to make once a week. I take an abnormal amount of pride that my kid only eats sauce pizza. I bolster it with any red vegetable and even a sneaky carrot or two. It's nothing the pinch of sugar and plenty of oregano can't fool his tastebuds with.

tofu, broccoli puree

Last night at dinner, I steamed a little extra broccoli with the express notion that I would puree some of it to include in a hidden-veg recipe. Broccoli, strangely, is one of the vegetables my son will eat without question - so I also knew I was going to be doing some experiment for myself. I ended up using it with my very own, soft set tofu. I was shocked at both its hidden flavor and adhesive qualities. I thought for sure the whole outer coating would slide right off the slippery tofu, but it did not... and the creamy interior was such an amazing texture I just stood alone in my kitchen muttering aloud just how good it was. Next time, I may play around more with the spices but really, this is a pretty amazing little starter for a vegetarian meal.

fresh tofu appetizer, <span class=

My homemade tofu is much softer than the local, commercial tofu that I have bought, though I am sure commercial tofu is a fine substitute. I also used my own sourdough bread crumbs, that I grind very fine. Any fine dried bread crumb is a good bet. I also used something for the dipping sauce I fondly refer to as "Volger Sauce". I'll explain that below.

I did have to work carefully with the homemade tofu, it was delicate and would break if I wasn't so careful. But that said, I was surprised at the sturdiness of these after pan frying them. If you were the putzy type, you could probably wrap the whole tofu nugget entirely in a lettuce leaf (endive, butter lettuce?) and secure it with a toothpick - but eating them hot like little lettuce/tofu tacos was pretty unbeatable, and had the bonus of keeping my fingers relatively clean.

Fresh Tofu Appetizer (adapted from Jessica Seinfeld)
(makes 10 good sized pieces, easily scaled up for more)
  • 10 oz. fresh tofu (not the silken variety of buying commercial)
  • a heaping 1/2 c. dried sourdough breadcrumbs (seasoned with salt, pepper, and paprika to taste)
  • 1-2 T. chia seeds
  • 1/2 c. pureed broccoli
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • olive oil for frying
  • Volger Sauce and honey for adorning or dipping
  • lettuce leaves for wrapping

Cut the tofu gently into 1/2 inch thick slices and cut into large sized cube shapes.

Toss the breadcrumbs and chia seeds together in a medium sized, shallow bowl.

Combine the egg and broccoli puree in a small bowl.

Dip the tofu pieces one at a time in the broccoli puree/egg mixture and turn to coat it completely. With a fork, carefully lift it into the breadcrumb mixture and use a spoon to help coat it completely. Use a fork to carefully transfer it to a plate and repeat with remaining pieces of tofu.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot enough to sizzle a drop of water, add 1 T. of olive oil and add half (5) of the dredged tofu nuggets. Pan fry 3-4 minutes on the first side, carefully flip and continue frying for about 3 minutes longer. The tofu will be nicely browned and will feel firm.

Serve on lettuce leaves with equal parts Volger Sauce and good honey.

fresh tofu appetizer, pan-fried.fresh tofu appetizer, cut

So, what exactly is Volger Sauce? Lukas Volger wrote a book I adored on Veggie Burgers, and this sauce was one of the accompaniments from it. I have had a little bottle of it in my fridge since first dip of my finger made the journey to my mouth. It's a wonderful homemade condiment, and adds a little zip to all kinds of things. (Volger makes a particularly great veggie burger with tofu and swiss chard, and adds a few drops of this sauce to each side just before frying them... that could be what made me think of trying it on these little bite-sized appetizers.)

To make it, combine 1/4 c. pomegranate molasses (I use this from POM, which may make it a tad thinner), 1/4 c. soy sauce, tamari or shoyu, 1 tablespoon molasses and 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil. Shake it up, store in the fridge, and use it on all kinds of stuff.

Kindly pay his web site a visit too, there is all kinds of greatness going on over there.

fresh tofu appetizer

I love when lunches appear like this, even though this lunch was pretty light and that's why I've considered it an appetizer. I have always held lunch in very high regard, if only because for the better part of the last 6 years, I can make whatever my heart desires. The liberating freedom that comes from cooking for only me is something I treasure, and when something is a success, the victory is all the sweeter.

(To check out one more Jessica Seinfeld hidden veg recipe I made last week, click here.)

From Bean to Block: Making Tofu from Scratch

I made tofu from scratch this morning, and surprisingly, it wasn't time consuming and it didn't make too much of a mess. But the soymilk I made yesterday to make the tofu today? Well, that's another story.

pressed tofu

I began reading up on homemade soymilk last week and wondered what my efforts would produce. Many people claimed that the homemade version was "beany" and unpleasant. Some people took hours to separate the beans from the hulls after soaking them, claiming it would rid you of the nagging beaniness. Most of the recipes looked similar, but when paging through my VitaMix cookbook, I noticed their recipe called for one thing most of the others I read had not: the beans were steamed prior to blending. (But then just today, I read this nice post from Tiny Urban Kitchen. Give it a perusal.)

I followed their instructions, using metric weights for a 1 quart yield of soymilk, but even when straining through a very fine nut milk bag, I couldn't get the yield until I boiled more water and re-blended my mixture. Then, the texture and thickness of the soymilk was more like commercially available soymilk, and also was exactly the 1 quart yield I was after. As one other recipe source I read said, "You can not over-strain your soymilk". I wore kitchen gloves, and pressed persistently.


I could have cheated and just purchased some soymilk, but after reading so many vegan recipe websites for making my own, I realized that there is an awful lot of stuff in prepared soymilk. The only things in homemade soymilk is soybeans and water, and it seemed fairly painless, so I decided without much debate I would make my own. What I didn't count on was a bit of a mess, and a whole lot of manual pressing to get the soymilk to a thin consistency.

I soaked my whole, organic soybeans for 8 or 10 hours yesterday during the day. They turned from tiny, round pellets into golden yellow, familiarly bean-shaped things. Then, I steamed them for 20 minutes, until they were tender and didn't taste too beany. One tip? When steaming soybeans or boiling soymilk do not turn your back on the pot. It will boil over, and it will make a mess everywhere causing you to wonder why you didn't just buy a half gallon of soymilk and be done with it.

After steaming, cool the beans, boil the water, and blend. I used my VitaMix which does a superb job of emulsifying, but any blender should work ok. Like I mentioned, I had a super thick first batch, so I boiled more water and poured it over the soybean pulp that was very thick, returned it to the blender and then strained it again. You can see how I pretty much dirtied every bowl in my kitchen. I may just blend it in two batches when I make it again, that will probably cut down on the mess a little. For the ratios to yield 1 quart of milk:
  • 300 g. (1 1/2 c.) soybeans
  • 840 ml (3 1/2 c.) boiled water for first strain
  • 580 ml (scant 2 1/2 c.) boiled water for second strain

When I finally got there (at 11 o'clock last night), I declared the messing around with it to be fully worth it. I found the soymilk to be extremely tasty, it was wholesome and maybe slightly beany in flavor, but certainly not unpleasant. It was a creamy white color, a good thickness and I had exactly one quart. I cleaned up my mess, and went back to reading and monitoring the Brewer's extra innings...

<span class=

The transformation from soymilk to bean curd was then no trouble at all. Not too long ago, a friend and I split a package of Nigari flakes, a tofu coagulant, purchased from Cultures for Health. (The pound package makes 200lbs of tofu, so we'll have plenty to practice with!) When she gave me my portion in a glass jar, it looked and sounded like sea glass, a dreamy clinking that smelled vaguely of the sea itself.

The directions for tofu making call to dissolve 1 teaspoon of the nigari flakes into 1 cup of warm water to culture 2 quarts of soymilk that has been boiled for 5 minutes, then cooled to around 165 degrees. My precious yield of soymilk was only 1 quart, so I halved that. I was expecting large curds to separate from the soy "whey", the way that dairy curds do, but they were very small, a curdled look that I hoped would work when it came time to press it. I let it sit for 25 minutes as recommended, then poured it into my makeshift press of pint-sized, plactic berry containers, one lined with several layers of cheesecloth and the other used as the press with a heavy cutting board perched on top of it. I had to pour the coagulated milk into my mold in several additions, letting some of the liquid drain off so that it would fit. Ideally, a mold/press set up that was this size, but maybe twice as high would work better.

coagulated <span class=

I only let the curds press for 30 minutes, and had a nice, semi-firm mass of beautiful tasting tofu. I nibbled a few bites, wondering what to turn it into that would be worthy of a day's worth of experimentation. I still haven't decided, so I packed it into a glass bowl, covered it with water and added a pinch of sea salt to see if it would help it to "cure" a little bit when I am pondering.

My quart of soymilk made 300 g. (10 oz.) of fresh, finished tofu.

pressed tofu2

I've been kind of into making alternative milks lately - and for no specific reason. I really love almond milk, and made some a week ago that I thoroughly enjoyed every drop of. I drank it neat, out of small glasses and savored it. I tried out a peculiar rice milk recipe that had me boiling rice for several hours. I was left with a thick, viscous liquid that was maybe a little strange, but I'm still enjoying it blended with ice and extra cinnamon like some strange horchata, or including it in smoothies to use it up. A cup of rice gave me close to a gallon of rice milk when I was finished diluting. There is no denying that it is economical, but come to think of it, I made quite a mess with that project too.

Soymilk is definitely more labor intensive than other nutmilks, but I really love the result so I will likely be making it again. As for the tofu - that is so simple, it practically makes itself. All you need is the culture, and a small measure of patience. The finished tofu can also be cultured further into tempeh, if left for more time at a constant 88 degrees for a day or two - maybe I'll try that sometime in the future as well.

Frozen Tofu and Fresh Spring Rolls.

Seeing as I am neither vegan or vegetarian, I feel my affinity for tofu is wholeheartedly genuine. I do feel my kitchen enthusiasm may be slipping a little however, since I recently read a book on making tofu, and I didn't once attempt to make it. Maybe it's because I'm really trying harder to spend more time outdoors, but I think it was also in part because we have a pretty amazing local company who make it fresh so I don't have to try. It's as tasty as it is affordable, and actually I don't like to overdo my soy consumption. I treat tofu like I do meat, eating it only occasionally and savoring it when I do.

A couple of weeks ago, I took a Thai cooking class taught by my friend Nell. Admittedly, I have never cooked much in the Far Eastern realm. I tend to stick closer to my Eastern European and Mexican roots maybe, but I love being so inspired not only to learn more about the culture of the Far East, but also to attempt some foodstuffs that may or may not be an educated, Americanized version of their spicy fresh flavors.

One thing we made at the class were fresh spring rolls - such an easy task that I couldn't believe I'd never done it actually. Sitting around a communal table that evening, the vegetarian girls next to me asked if I'd ever frozen a block of tofu before baking it, and I had to admit I'd never done that either. I suspected it would be an efficient way of draining out the excess moisture prior to searing it up in the oven, and I couldn't really wait too long to try it out. I promptly bought a block of tofu, brought it home, and popped it into the freezer.

frozen defrosted tofu
Simple Soyman. Frozen, defrosted.

A week in a frozen state, I took the tofu out yesterday to defrost, curious if the texture would taste as spongy as it looked. It did, but really in a great way. I should maybe back up and preface this by saying that I'm not a person easily put off by the texture of foods. I don't know of much that I've tried and disliked due to texture - except for the odd piece of raw fish that has been cut wrong rendering it chewy and nearly (in my eyes) inedible.

When the block was fully defrosted, I sliced it into 4 fat slices and gently pressed out at much extra water as I could. Then, I let it sop up a marinade - which it did in no time - exactly like a sponge should. After cooked, it was still vaguely sponge-like, but flavorful, and keeping it's nice, toothsome texture even overnight. It's definitely a trick I'll use again.


The heat of the oven did give it an accomplished sear. I based the tofu marinade, and the whole recipe really, on a favorite Moosewood recipe that uses both baked tofu and pineapple with other Thai flavors like cilantro and peanut. I was nearly out of shoyu though, and the marinade was a bit skimpy, but fortunately the spongy tofu absorbed every last drop of it.


As I was throwing the cubes of tofu in a bowl with some fresh pineapple (which has been a staple around here lately since they've been so tasty), I still had no idea that this tofu would become a spring roll. After a late lunch today and a day filled with plenty of sunshine and warming temps outside, I guess Spring was on my mind. One little spring roll was plenty for a light supper, but I do look forward to rolling a few more for lunch tomorrow.

tofu, pineapple, cilantro

The idea of the original Moosewood recipe is to top a green salad with the marinated and baked tofu, fresh (or canned) pineapple, a vinegary dressing, and plenty of peanuts, carrots and bean sprouts. Instead, I tossed the tofu with pineapple, cilantro, shredded carrots and a touch of oil. Then I made Nell's peanut sauce, improvising with what I had in the pantry. I daresay that I'd serve these to my chef friend, and be quite proud of them!

You can certainly use fresh tofu that has been weighted and pressed for a half hour to remove moisture instead of freezing it first. The texture will be different, maybe preferable to you.

Spicy Tofu Pineapple Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce (inspired by Moosewood Daily Special and Nell Benton)

For the tofu: freeze one block (about a pound) of fresh (not silken) tofu. A day or many days later, defrost (under refrigeration) and cut into 4 equal slices. Press out any extra liquid and set aside to make the marinade.

Tofu Marinade (eyeball everything into the pan you will use to bake in)
  • 1/4 c. shoyu (or similar soy sauce) (I used about 2 T. with good result)
  • 2 T. rice vinegar
  • 1 T. veg oil
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 2 t. fresh grated ginger
  • a chile pepper, minced (or dried red chile flakes to taste and home canned candied jalapeno juice like I used)

Preheat oven to 400. Turn the tofu over a few times to fully coat it in the marinade, it will soak it all up if you have first frozen the block. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the first side is seared and toasty looking, then flip and bake about 20 minutes longer until the other side matches. (When the tofu cooks, mix up the peanut sauce - see below.) Cool slightly, cut into cubes, and place in a bowl.

To the tofu bowl, add about as much pineapple as you have tofu, or less if you like things less sweet. Add one or two shredded carrots, some cilantro to taste and maybe some more chile flake. Use right away or refrigerate for later use.

To make the spring rolls, soak spring roll wrappers one at a time (I got this kind, locally, at a much better price...) in cool water for a minute to soften. Put it on a plate, add the filling, sprinkle with roasted peanuts, and fold and roll up kind of as you would a burrito. Serve immediately with peanut sauce.

Peanut Sauce (again, this is eyeballed)

  • 1/2 c. coconut milk (I used some of the thickened coconut "butter" that sometimes forms when you make homemade, it made it nicely creamy)
  • 2 T. peanut butter
  • 1 T. red curry spice (I used dried, Nell recommends Masaman curry paste)
  • 1 T. fish sauce
  • lime juice
  • 1 T. sugar (I just got some jaggery, and used it)

Heat all ingredients gently in a small saucepan, taking care not to bring to a boil. Taste to adjust seasonings.

spring roll

I think with all of this talk about tofu, I may just end up trying to make my own yet. It doesn't really seem all that complicated, and I just need some soybeans after all... though I can't promise I would put any of my homemade stuff into the freezer.

My final thoughts on frozen tofu? Use it as a preservation method if you have a block that is close to expiring or if you are going to cook or bake it into something that has a lot of flavor. But if you are a texturally challenged eater, you may not be too enthused. As for these spring rolls, I love them, and will without a doubt be making them again.

Vegan Monday: Tofu Scramble (and Bonus: Sweet Potato Smoothie)

I sometimes wonder if my library sees my check-out trends and stocks new books just for me. On our weekly trips to the library, Boy-O usually dictates the time that I can spend looking at books for myself, but usually is able to use his "library voice" long enough for me to at least peruse the New Books shelf. Last week, I was excited to find a brand new vegan cookbook: The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

Colleen's book is a guide to vegan entertaining, and recipes are organized seasonally and by occasion. It's full of great photography and recipes, exactly the type of cookbook that I can read cover to cover and then drop into my endless Amazon cart since I know it will continue to be an inspirational addition to my kitchen library.

So, early this morning when I was "Vegan Mondayless", and awake bright-eyed at 6 AM instead of bleary-eyed at 7 thanks to that daylight savings time, I decided that I had to make a tofu scramble for breakfast. Tofu scrambles, or the vegan approach to scrambled eggs, are things that I've eaten out numerous times, but for some reason have never made at home. The scramble in The Vegan Table looked so good when reading about it late last night, and since I had it on two accounts with recently reading a similar recipe in the VitaMix cookbook, I felt more than confident that a good breakfast would ensue. Well, needless to say, I loved it... and now know that I will probably be making it a lot using up all kinds of different veggies.

Now, I should note that I wish I had a bottomless appetite. The truth is, it usually doesn't take much to fill me up. I used a half recipe (amount from The Vegan Table) which should have fed me, one person, but it actually could have fed me twice. That's OK, since now I have tomorrow's breakfast taken care of...

Vegan Tofu Scramble (adapted from The Vegan Table and the Vita-Mix cookbooks)
serves 1-2, easily doubled
  • 8 oz. firm tofu, crumbled (not silken)
  • 1 T. olive oil or water
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 10 crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 - 1 red or green (or some of each) pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (or pinch of granulated garlic)
  • 2-3 leaves fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 t. turmeric
  • 1/2 t. cumin
  • 1/4 t. paprika
  • 1 T. nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper
  • (optionals: chopped jalapenos, diced tomatoes or salsa, red chile flakes... etc.)
Heat olive oil or water in a large pan over medium high heat. Saute onion, mushrooms, garlic and pepper(s) until softened. Stir in crumbled tofu, spices, nutritional yeast and spinach, and saute about 5 minutes until tofu is bright yellow, and heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

I ate half of the above portion with a Black Bean Tortilla that I had made the other day using some leftover pinto beans. The tortillas are also vegan and freeze well.

Tomorrow's breakfast.

Happily working through my morning organizing my house and paring down clutter before Winter comes, I eagerly anticipated this smoothie for lunchtime. Yesterday afternoon, I roasted some sweet potatoes (whole, in their skins at 400 degrees for about an hour) with this recipe in mind. It is in the VitaMix cookbook, and I never would have imagined how delicious it is. So good in fact, that even if you don't have a VitaMix, it would be worth trying to approximate in a food pro or with an immersion blender. But hey, if you live in Milwaukee, just stop in so you can share one with me!

Autumn Sweet Potato Smoothie (VitaMix cookbook)
makes 2 generous cups (I drank one glass, and saved one glass for later...)
  • 1 c. red grapes
  • 1/2 medium orange, peeled
  • 1/2 sweet potato, cooked and cooled
  • 1/2 medium apple, halved
  • 1/4 c. fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 t. fresh ginger root (I love ginger, so I used a two inch section of ginger root, roughly chopped)
  • 2 whole pitted dates
  • 2 c. ice cubes
  • (I also added about 1/4 c. water)
"Place all ingredients into the VitaMix container in the order listed and secure lid. Select Variable 1. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High. Blend for 1 minute, or until desired consistency is reached."

Every once in a while, one part of a whole makes me feel like alone it is worth the price of admission. That is how this smoothie is. Like if it was the only thing I ever made in my new machine, it would be fully worth astronomical VitaMix pricing. (Though, in all reality, I couldn't be happier with my machine. It stands up to it's hype, is worth it's price, and impresses me daily - so consider me a proud spokesperson!)

I was thinking about Mark Bittman today, and how he likes to "go vegan until 6 PM". I guess that would be 5 PM central time, and I'm well on my way for today anyway. It is an intriguing idea for those of us omnivores who tend to be heavy on the veg side of things. If it wasn't for my leftovers, that often loom large for me to clobber days after a meal if I forget to appropriately scale down, I would certainly be able to commit to this diet myself!