2 October 2013

Enrico’s favourite Vegan recipe

I am not a vegetarian because I love animals;
I am a vegetarian because I hate plants.
E Whitney Brown

My favourite source of frank and peerless information, Wikipedia, advises that Vegetarian Awareness Month, known variously as Reverence for Life month and Month of Vegetarian Food, commences each year with World Vegetarian Day on 1 October, a day of celebration established in 1977, ‘to promote the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism.’ The month ends on 1 November with World Vegan Day.

To help celebrate the month with all the joy and compassion one can muster, please find below a Vegan recipe for Baked Tofu with Ratatouille# that I have helpfully adapted:  
500g of firm tofu
2 c (cups) green capsicum and 2 c of red or yellow capsicum, cut into quarters lengthwise, sliced horizontally
2 c of onion, cut into half-moons
5 T (tablespoons) of virgin olive oil
2 c of zucchini, cut into 1.25 cm x 5 cm sticks
1 1/2 c yellow squash, cut into 1.25 cm  x 5 cm sticks
4 t (teaspoons) of garlic, minced, divided
1/2 c white wine – preferably a good Chardonnay
1/3 c Kalamata olives, pitted, and each cut from end to end into strips
1/4 c freshly chopped basil, divided
1/4 c freshly chopped parsley, divided
1/2 t salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 T red wine vinegar
1T tomato paste
1 1/2 t Dijon grain mustard
1 t soy sauce; and
1/2 thigh of young adult Vegan* (skinned and boned)
Cut the block of tofu in half lengthwise, turn each half cut-side down on the board, and cut through the outer edge of the block of tofu 3 times to yield 4 tofu cutlets from each half. This means that the block of tofu will yield 8 tofu cutlets.
Repeat the process with the half thigh.
On a large baking sheet, place a clean, lint-free towel or a layer of natural, unbleached paper towels, then all of the tofu cutlets in a single layer, followed by another layer of towelling, and finally place another large baking sheet on top. Place several large cans or other heavy objects on top of the baking sheet and leave tofu to sit for 1 hour. This process makes the texture of the tofu much firmer.
Just leave the thigh pieces on a plate in the fridge.
Meanwhile, in a non-stick pan, sauté both peppers and onion in 2 T of the olive oil for 3 minutes to soften. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, 1 t of garlic, and sauté an additional 3 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp tender. Add the white wine, olives, half of the fresh herbs, salt, and 1/4 t black pepper, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes. While the vegetables are simmering, in a small bowl, combine the remaining olive oil, garlic, fresh herbs, black pepper, and other remaining ingredients, stir well to blend, and set aside.
Pan seer the thigh pieces for 5 minutes in 2T of virgin olive oil. Set aside to rest on natural, unbleached paper towel.
Lightly oil a 250 x 380mm baking dish. Spread the sautéed vegetable mixture in the bottom of the pan.
Take the boned thigh pieces and place between tofu pressed in two rows over the top of the vegetables, and then pour the reserved red wine vinegar mixture over the tofu and thigh pieces.
Cover the baking dish with a piece of aluminium foil and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. Serve 2 pieces of thigh and 2 pieces of tofu per person with a generous portion of the ratatouille spooned over the top.
Serves 4 (omnivorous misanthropes)
# Thanks to the website of The Vegan Chef, Beverly Lynn Bennett (who looks quite tasty herself...)
* Vegans, being herbivores, have far more tender and nutritious meat than do omnivorous Homo sapiens


Anonymous said...

Delicious vegan food is one reason why the number of vegans has doubled in less than 3 years. Here's a video to help everyone understand why so many people are making this life affirming choice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKr4HZ7ukSE

Join the revolution! 21-Day Vegan Kickstart http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/kickstart/kickstart-programs

Anonymous said...

Can you suggest a reputable purveyor of vegan thigh meat?

Dr Enrico Brik said...

Dear Anonymous 2

Why, a Vegan butcher of course...