Local Ingredients for the Week

August 5th, 2007 yum Posted in Blog News, Ingredients of the Week, Local Food Movement No Comments »

farmersmarketbounty.jpgOne of my favorite things to do on the weekend is stroll over to my local Farmer’s Market and buy produce for the week. What were the stars of the show last weekend? Probably the most tender baby chard I’ve ever seen. I never knew it even CAME in a baby size- aren’t I a silly city girl. I immediately brought it home and sauteed it up in some sesame oil, garlic, and minced onions. I also found some beautiful cranberry beans, zucchini (yes those ever so mundane veggies have FINALLY won me over this summer) and of course, petit pan squash because they are just so darned cute. Figs and other assorted round fruit, summer squash, broccoli and Kale made their way home with me as well. So far I’ve used the broccoli in a vegan “cheddah” soup and part of the red pepper in the promised white bean knishes. Don’t worry- I will blog the worthy recipes and let the rest sink into the oblivion of time. bebekale.jpg

Coming attractions: The July installment of the Gluten Free Recipe Box, a recipe for Gluten Free lasagna with homemade ricotta and a recipe for homemade ice cream. And a teaser- the Gluten Free Beer is still bubbling its way into fermented drinkability!

News: As you may have noticed, the Book of Yum is getting renovated. Quite simply, we’ve accumulated so much content since we began in January that we need better structure and organization. I’m really excited about these changes and think that you will notice a definite improvement in the usability of the site. Feel free to post any suggestions for improvements in the comments, and we will do our best to implement your suggestions into our remodel. In the meantime, see if you can spot all the changes! (Kinda like Where’s Waldo, but less exciting.) There are more changes to come, so stay tuned! And don’t worry, barring any terrible accidents, we plan on staying online and will continue to post at our normal rate during our renovations.

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Yum of the Week: Toofu for Me

April 16th, 2007 yum Posted in Chinese, Local Food Movement, Vegetarian, tofu, yum of the week 10 Comments »

toofu.jpg Sunday morning I went to the farmer’s market for my weekly produce shopping. As I wandered through the shops, I noticed something different- something out of place. The kiwi stand had moved… the tomatoes were different- and… there was a completely new stand offering something called Toofu. Toofu? And it claimed to make a fresh batch every twenty minutes… I was intrigued but confused. It turned out that this new company Toofu has a “soymobile” that they drive to local bay area Farmer’s Market and use to make fresh “toofu” on the spot. How cool is that? It reminds me of the local tofu trucks in Japan, or the little specialty tofu shops at the train stations… I couldn’t have their soymilk as it uses a proprietary grain based sweetener, but I bought one lovely block of tofu and began imagining how I would prepare it. I’m not a huge fan of cold tofu, so I decided that fried tofu was the way to go. I love the contrast between the crispy, crunchy exterior and creamy, soft interior. I think it really allows you to appreciate the delicate flavor of the tofu. I thought of a replica recipe I stumbled across some time ago for PF Chang style “spicy shrimp” and decided to try it with tofu instead. The vegetable saute was entirely my own invention, and an attempt to keep the sodium down to reasonable levels. PF Chang serves their spicy shrimp or chicken with a crunchy saute of celery and other veggies- since I hate celery, I always wish they’d leave it out. We enjoyed our spicy tofu and veggies with some leftover brown rice. I can’t wait to get some more fresh tofu next week, and try it in another yummy tofu dish.

Pickings at our local farmer market seem to be a little slim recently, partly due to all the people rushing to enjoy the gorgeous weather we’ve had lately. I’m especially sad to see the winding down of the mutant kiwi sales. Alas, just as I fell in love with those funny, bulbous fruits, it seems like their season is over. Alas, alas. The lime and avocado man has also vanished- and plentiful apples have been replaced with strawberries of varying degrees of sweetness. I did find some very lovely beets- and unique green and purple scallions, and I look forward to seeing what new delights are waiting me as Spring advances. Stay posted- and while you’re at it, why not check your local farmer’s market? There might even be some gluten free baked goods waiting for you.

Click HERE to find a farmer’s market in your area (US).
If you’re a resident of California click HERE to find a market associated with the California Federation of Certified Farmer’s Markets.

tofuback.jpg spicytofudish.jpg

A reader asked where I found the gluten free hoisin sauce. Edward and Sons, AKA Premier Japan Biologique, has a Wheat Free Hoisin sauce (labeled accordingly). You can see a list of their GF products here. Both their hoisin and teriyaki sauce are GF. You can see images of the bottles if you scroll down on this page.

This recipe can be used with a non-vegetarian ingredient like shrimp as well. See the Whole Gang’s Friday Food Fix blog event with gluten-free shrimp recipe roundup

PF Chang Style Spicy Tofu
Tofu  Chinese  
Spicy Tofu:
1 lb. firm tofu, cut into cubes
Potato starch
Peanut oil
3 teaspoons oil back into hot wok
1 clove chopped garlic
1/4 cup green onions
1 1/2 teaspoon chili paste
1 1/2 ounce house white sauce (i like vegetable
boullion with a touch of GF hoisin sauce or gf san-j tamari)
2 ounce Chang’s Sauce (equal amounts of sugar and vinegar combined)
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 teaspoon cornstarch

Veggie Stir Fry:
2 carrots cut into matchsticks
5 or 6 large cabbage leaves, with spine cut out and cut into sticks, and the leafy part cut into rectangles
1 cup mushroom caps, sliced
Tops of green onions

Veggie Sauce:
1 oz rice vinegar
1 oz sugar
1 oz vegetable broth
1 tsp cornstarch

Lightly coat tofu with potato starch.

Fill hot wok with enough peanut oil to fry tofu. Fry tofu for two
to three minutes until golden brown and cooked all the way through.
Put tofu on plate with paper towels. Rinse out the wok.

Add oil back into hot wok, garlic, green onions, chili paste, house
white sauce, Chang’s Sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch. Mix in fried
tofu. Sauce should bind to the tofu.

For the Veggie Stir Fry, take one tablespoon or so of oil from the tofu frying oil, heat in wok and add the veggies. Stir fry to desired level of crispiness (or just under it) and create a well in the middle of the veggies. Add Veggie sauce, combine with ingredients and let thicken over heat.

Serve tofu with steamed rice or noodles, and on bed of slivered vegetables if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from recipe for PF Chang’s Spicy Chicken found at:

As you can see, we are still playing with the proportions of sauce,
but the basic idea is there.

You can also substitute shrimp or chicken for the tofu.

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