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marinated

Tofu Banh Mi Collard Wraps with Wasabi Peanut Sauce

Tofu Bahn Mi Collard Wraps

Certain neighborhoods of Philly are infiltrated with Banh mi. The classic Vietnamese sandwich essentially acts as the Chipotle of the Asian food world, but even cheaper. You walk in, select your “meat”, and leave within 5-10 minutes with an aluminum wrapped, $5 foot-long sandwich, ready to be eaten. It’s a great feeling.

Scallions

Since it’s so easy to pick up a Banh mi around Philly, I rarely take the time to make it. Yet, it’s hands-down one of my favorites of the sandwich world, and so on the occasion that I’m getting a simultaneous desire for both Banh mi and a chef’s knife in my hand, I put on my cooking hat and grab my own tofu to be canvassed.

Tofu Bahn Mi Collard Wraps

When Banh mi making is going down in my kitchen, you can nearly guarantee it’s going to have a little flair to it. What’s the point of making the original version when I can grab that anytime, with little detriment to my bank account?  Besides, if I’m recreating a dish, I’m always about finding further ways to maximize its flavor since the ingredient make-up lays entirely in my hands. No doubt, that’s going on with this recipe. Wassuppppp wasabi?

Tofu Bahn Mi Collard Wraps

I don’t eat a ton of white bread, but when it comes to Banh Mi, a chewy white roll will always oust a whole wheat counterpart. This is one instance where whole wheat just won’t work. The flavor is unfortunately just too overpowering.

Collard wraps, on the other hand, those can create some Banh Mi magic.

CollardWraps_blog11

Here, collard wraps are able to balance the delicate freshness of the traditional Banh mi composition, while adding an even extra layer of freshness on top of it all. It lightens up the whole meal, while enabling more flavor to shine through. Peel back that one-inch layer of bread, and the notes of deliciousness from the slaw, cilantro and other jamboree of ingredients are able to reach their fullest potential.

Shredded carrots

Be patient with the tofu, and make sure it gets a nice crisp so it can add that contrast to the creamy peanut sauce you’ll place beneath it.

For a fun, spicy twist, this peanut sauce receives a generous punch of wasabi that’ll make it stand out among other sauces. I love the flavor it brings to the subtle sweetness of the peanuts and the carrots.

CollardWraps_blogmontage

True to the grab-and-go nature of banh mi — but more so with the intention to make your wrap-eating a little less messy! — envelope your collard packages in aluminum foil. This will seal in all the flavors so they don’t end up on your shirt. Although, if you’re like me, that’ll probably happen anyway.

I brought that big pile up above into work last week, and served it with a slide of Asian slaw for my coworkers. Two thumbs up, all around.

Since these are destined for pre-packaging, this will makes a great recipe for your own workweek lunch. While best the first day, the wraps can certainly withstand being rolled up the night before and kept in the fridge till you head out.

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Marinated Tempeh Strips

Tempeh Strips

The first few months of 2013 ran out the door faster than my latest jar of peanut butter. I see a pattern similar to last year. I guess my mom was right  — the older you get, the faster life moves. And right now I’m sprinting.

For me, when time starts to go missing, I often resort to breakfast-for-dinners. Though in my mind, this is rarely a sacrifice. I love breakfast. You feel me? Good. We can probably be friends then.

In my dream world, I’d wake up every morning and whip up homemade blueberry pancakes. I’d heat up the syrup and toast up some walnuts. Sliced bananas and mangoes would sit on the side, and homemade OJ would be flowing from the juicer. In my dream world, every morning would have time for a two-hour breakfast.

Too bad my workweek mornings consist primarily of cereal, oatmeal and overnight oats. Don’t get me wrong, I love these dietary staples. But, they just don’t quite bring the romanticism of a homemade stack of pancakes or even a simple omelet.

Cereal will never make up my breakfast-for-dinner. A late night snack, maybe, but dinner, no way. Weeknights are short on time, but if I’m going to eat in, I should at least have a little time to get the stove going. This means eggs and lately, a ton of tempeh bacon. Tempeh bacon is actually what led me to this recipe. Searching for a new way to make it, I came across this, my new favorite tempeh sensation.

The marinade is wildly addicting, and can make me want to munch on the strips before they’re even cooked. Plus, it’s fairly simple. It has an Italian flair from the oregano and a saltiness from the tamari that lends itself well for everything from breakfast, to sandwich material, to a salad topper. I recommend making extra so you can enjoy this tempeh for other meals of the day too.

Click here for recipe…

Miso Marinated Salmon

Miso Marinated Salmon

The last time I went to my sister’s house, she sent me home with a five-pound bag of miso. Three little kids in the house she can handle, but ten pounds of miso, that’s what she calls a struggle. Guess that’s what you get when you order miso from the Internet.

Good thing she’s down to five pounds now, and I’m fortunately up five of my own. What would I do without a handheld weight of miso?

Here’s what I am doing with it: Miso Marinated Salmon. After you get the ingredients assembled, this becomes such a simple recipe to execute. Slightly (but only a pinch) sweet and a little salty, this becomes a transformative marinade for salmon. I’m itching to try it out on tofu or on some other protein-based forum.

Salmon

Though not pictured, I may suggest serving this atop brown rice. You could even snag a Tbsp. or two of the marinade to set aside (before adding the salmon) to drizzle over your rice. That’s an Asian pairing I will be cooking up soon. Considering I’m only ¼ cup down, I think I’ll have plenty of room left for more miso creations.

Miso Marinated Salmon

Any suggestions for how else to use the ingredient?

Click here for recipe…

Skillet Soba, Baked Tofu and Green Bean Salad With Spicy Dressing

Soba with Tofu

This one’s for the tofu lovers. And the tofu haters. A gingery marinade and bake in the oven yields tofu that’s anything but slimy and bland. Perfectly crisped on the edges, this flavorful rendition serves as a great introduction to the ingredient.

I picked this recipe up off of the New York Times Recipes for Health column, which as I’ve expressed before, generally churns out tons of great ideas. It’d been awhile since I made a sesame soba noodle dish, so I decided to give this one a go.

Every time I eat soba noodles, I’m pretty sure I decide that I like them better than traditional Italian pasta. They are extra nutty from the buckwheat in which they’re derived, and have this chewy texture that won’t ache your jaw like an al dente pasta might do. Soba is also unusually smooth on the outside and lends itself well to both cold and hot dishes. For instance, I enjoyed this recipe under both circumstances.

While I’m on this PR pitch for soba noodles, let me also mention the variety is also lower in calories and carbs than traditional wheat pastas, and contains a lower glycemic index. This means your blood sugar is less likely to spike than with wheat pasta (particularly non-whole wheat varieties). Blood sugar spikes ensue energy crashes, the food hangovers we’d all like to avoid.

So have I sold you yet? Do you want to make your own soba noodles and crispy tofu? This New York Times recipe is another winner. For an extra satisfying punch, I recommend topping your plate with a drizzle of sesame tahini and Sriracha if you enjoy some heat.

Soba Noodles

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