Friday, May 20, 2011

Tofu Bruschetta

I can't really post the recipe for this tofu "bruschetta" because it's from a copyrighted cookbook. But I can tell you how absolutely delicious it was. For Mother's Day I bought my mom Sheryl Crow's new cookbook If It Makes You Healthy. To my pleasant surprise the cookbook turned out to be pretty veggie friendly. And to my even bigger surprise my mom chose the tofu bruschetta as the first recipe she wanted to try.

Now, my mom is not a vegetarian, but she's really supportive and open minded. I mean, hello, she took me to Sublime for my early birthday dinner, so obviously she's awesome. But she's not really the biggest tofu fan. I think this recipe may have converted her. But then I was in for a third surprise!

My dad and my sister tried it as well. And not only did they try it, they loved it! While my dad and sister are supportive of my choice of being vegetarian, they're not always the most open minded when it comes to food. Especially my sister, who basically eats no vegetables at all (it's ok little sis, I still love you). My mom and I conveniently did not answer their question for the first ten minutes of dinner when they asked what was in the "spread". I basically listed every other ingredient. "Oh, it's just lemon juice, olive oil, garlic..." But my dad finally guessed right and continued to eat two more servings. So what I'm telling you is that you can get this spread approved by even the most die hard, tofu bashing omnivores.

We served the tofu "spread" with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions. We made crostini out of our favorite whole grain baguette. And then we sprinkled our assembled bruschetta with fresh herbs. It's was ridiculously delicious.

Well my lovely Blake Bakes followers, this will be my last post for about a month. Because...I'm going to Costa Rica! I'm studying abroad for four weeks and I will be a little busy studying Spanish and site seeing to do any posting. But I will be back at the end of June, probably with a recipe for gallo pinto, a traditional Costa Rican dish.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Couscous Salad

This recipe comes from my wonderful mom. She actually doesn't use a recipe for her couscous salad, and neither do I. But this is the "recipe" I've come up with after watching her make it and being a professional taste tester.

I've made this salad three times in the past two weeks. The first time was for a class pot luck party. It wasn't so well received there. The football players in my class don't like to eat that much green (seriously, their words, not mine). I then made it again for the USF Community Garden potluck for two reasons: 1) I needed validation that my salad is in fact delicious and 2) I love this salad. Thankfully, it was very well received at the second pot luck. In fact, one party goer was licking the bowl clean. And the final time was for mother's day. And yes, my mom loved it!

Couscous Salad:
  • 1 box whole wheat couscous
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1-2 carrots, grated
  • 1-2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4-1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Prepare couscous according to box directions. While the couscous is cooking prepare the vegetables and herbs. Place all prepared veggies, herbs, and cranberries in a bowl. When the couscous is done mix with veggies. Stir in lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. I prefer to make this a day ahead and let the flavor meld in the fridge. But it's also good the day of.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


A few weeks ago as a very early birthday present my mom bought tickets to Wicked at the Broward Center of the Performing Arts. I had wanted to see Wicked for about five years, so I was super excited to finally see it. Even more conveniently the play was in Fort Lauderdale, the home of Sublime, an all vegan restaurant I've been wanting to try for basically forever. It was a girls day with me, my mom, my sister, and the Vegan Pandamonium mom.

First we were brought a complimentary amuse bouche of basil polenta. My mom usually doesn't really like polenta, but she gobbled hers right up. It was smooth, creamy, and had a lovely basil flavor. It was a very nice way to start the meal.

For our appetizer we ordered the Frito Misto; fried cauliflower in a sweet chili sauce with sesame seeds. I really enjoyed it. I order a similar dish when I go out for Indian food but there was definitely a difference. At Sublime the Cauliflower wasn't too soft, it had texture. I loved the sweet chili sauce, but I would've liked a little more heat.

For my entree, with the recommendation of Sammi over at Vegan Pandamonium, I ordered the "steak" sandwich. The "steak" was made of gardein and was topped with daiya cheddar and housemade "special sauce". The sandwich was really good, but I don't know if I'd order it again. While I really do love gardein products, since I make them at home I don't usually like to order them when I'm out to eat. But still, the sandwich was really good. But the best part of my entree by far was the sweet potato fries. They were thick cut like steak fries. Oh. My. Gosh. So good.
For dessert, again from the recommendation of Sammi, we ordered the chocolate nirvana cake. The cake was chocolate cake with kahlua buttercreme covered in chocolate ganache. The cake was really good. But Sammi built the cake up a lot, telling me it was the best chocolate cake she had ever had. I don't know if I would go that far. The cake was good, but a little dry. However, I could have eaten the kahlua buttercreme with a spoon. Bring on a bowl of kahlua buttercreme.

All in all, it was a really wonderful meal. Great company and great food. What more can you ask for?