Farmers Market Friday: Aubergine Crisps

Throughout the summer, I’ve been eyeing aubergines. Commonly known as eggplants, these purple pear-egg-shaped vegetables are usually harvested from mid summer to late fall. So when you go to the market, you can now find tons of them and purchase them, … Continue reading

Baked Tofu

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At some point in their life, most people have, or will, try tofu. Many people, including me, don’t like it at first but that’s because they try it in its natural form as a white, jelly-like block. It took me a long time until I started to enjoy tofu but that was simply because I couldn’t find a way to cook it in a way that was appealing to me.

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Since September, I have not had a lot of meat. Instead, I’ve been eating more tofu. Eventually, my mom started whipping up batches of baked tofu. With this recipe, I started to see why some people love tofu.

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Baked tofu can be served in many ways. It can be eaten as your protein, added on top of salads or served like a kabob with other veggies. If you are not a fan of tofu, give this recipe a try. Who knows, maybe you’ll start eating more tofu or even consider going vegan/vegetarian?

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Baked Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 1 14oz package drained/firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Press the tofu for 20 minutes.

Slice the tofu into 1/4 inch thick slabs

In a wide dish, mix together the tamari and olive oil.

Lay the slabs of tofu in the dressing. Let sit for 10 minutes and rotate. Let sit for another 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Place tofu on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 20 minutes.

Serve in any fashion you desire.


Bon Appétit,

-Stephanie

Farmers Market Friday: Watercress Salad

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Slowly but surely, it seems like Spring is finally coming. So I decided that I would spice things up for this Farmers’ Market Friday. And when I say spice, I mean a watercress kind of spice. If you’ve had watercress before, you know what I mean. It is small, green and leafy but don’t let that fool you.  Watercress is a Spring vegetable that’s known for its kick. A couple weeks ago, vendors at my local market, The Westover Farmers’ Market, started to bring this fierce vegetable to their stands. For me, that was a sign that Spring was on its way.

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Being the fierce leaf that it is, watercress is packed with important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K and vitamin A. Besides benefiting your vision and your cardiovasular system, it is also made of compounds that are suggested to have an anti-cancer effect. But with all these health benefits, why isn’t watercress popular? It might be because when you look up recipes, you tumble upon hundreds of ideas for watercress soups or salads topped with watercress. But since you’re an International Palate reader, you want something more, right? Yes and that’s why I’ve combined the two for an updated version of a watercress salad.

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At your local farmer’s market, you can definitely find root vegetables all year-round. These reliable root veggies are the base to my salad recipe. You might be wondering, “how is she mixing soup with salad?” Answer: Watercress tops the salad and a watercress dressing (soup) is drizzled on top. This dressing has a similar texture to the tahini dressing and will coat your veggies. It can also be stored as a dressing for another salad.

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Watercress Salad

Farmers Market List (depending on your location, ingredients may vary): Watercress, Beets, Carrot, Parsley, Mint, Lemon

Ingredients:

Dressing

  • 1 bunch watercress, thick stems trimmed
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • clove garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt, plus more for tasting
  • ½ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice

Salad

  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 golden/red beets, peeling and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch watercress

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375F.

In a large bowl, toss together the carrots, beets, olive oil, salt and pepper. Evenly disperse them on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until they become soft. Set aside and let cool. Chop the carrots and beets in to smaller pieces, if desired.

Dressing: Bring a saucepan with water to a boil. Cook watercress, mint, and parsley just until wilted, about 15 seconds; drain. Transfer watercress and herbs to ice water; let cool. Drain and pat-dry with a paper towel. Chop coarsely.

Purée watercress, herbs, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, pinch of salt, and ¾ cup water in a blender until smooth, thinning with more water as needed to reach desired consistency; season with salt and more lemon juice, if desired.

Salad: Place all the carrots, the beets, the chickpeas and the watercress (from the salad ingredients) into a salad bowl. Toss with salad dressing, adding as much as desired. Season with salt and pepper.


Bon Appétit,

Stephanie