Saturday, December 31, 2011

This Week's Menu

The Well on Wheels test kitchen was all abuzz this week with pungent aromas and exotic flavors.  After the holidays, I must confess that I get a little burnt out on food, so in times like these I poke around my spice jars for inspiration.  This week I came up with a winner in paprika.

I had always heard about Chicken Paprikash, but I've never made it, and yet that didn't stop me from pondering, "I wonder if I could make Tofu Paprikash."  So that was my mission.  I found a chicken recipe in Real Simple magazine which I tweaked a bit and came up with my own combination of savory-spicy-sweet that I think was a winner.  I started by sauteeing red, yellow, and orange bell pepper with some sliced onions in olive oil.  When those softened, I added mushrooms, garlic and sundried tomatoes to the mix.  The last step is to stir in some vegan yogurt, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, and paprika, then season with salt.  I used So Delicious plain coconut milk yogurt, which has a slightly sweet undertone.  The sauce cooked for a few minutes until thick and bubbly, then I poured it on top of baked tofu and fettuccini pasta.

Another test recipe this week was Millet and Sunflower Seed Patties with Roasted Garlic Aioli.  Both required several steps in the prep arena, but once they were out of the way, the process went pretty quickly.  If you've never roasted garlic, I highly recommend it, because after doing it once you'll think to yourself, "why don't I make this every day?"  Just lop the top off a bulb of garlic, drizzle with about a teaspoon of olive oil, wrap it in a little foil pouch, then bake at 400 degrees for about a half an hour.  You'll smell it when it's done... just be careful to let it cool before squeezing out the garlic goodness.

The last entree I've made several times for a client who had eaten Pecan-Crusted Seitan at Candle 79 and wanted me to give a try making it.  She said mine came out just as good, if not better, than the original.  The crust is made with a combination of pecans, rosemary, and tarragon, then it's topped with a citrusy tomato marinara.  I served it with a Potato Turnip Mash and Stringbeans.  It's a pretty and tasty combination.

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