Greetings all! I am finally back in my kitchen and have started to cook in a frenzy. I have been missing creating dishes, but I have been creating something else meanwhile, like music! I had to make some sacrifices this weekend but it was VERY much worth it.
I took advantage of creating 2 recipes tonight that feature a company that will be part of the Foodbuzz Festival in November in San Francisco. When I saw the coverage last year, I really set my mind to be part of it this year. Foodbuzz has given Featured Publishers an opportunity to create dishes with Nature’s Pride breads. They will be choosing six new Bread Ambassadors to have the opportunity to showcase unique recipes using Nature’s Pride breads at the Foodbuzz Taste Pavilion. As a thank you for their participation, Nature’s Pride will cover their accommodation and airfare costs! Folks, it is expensive to get to California, but I am really determined to go and am even nervous as I type this post. 🙂
Monday is a great day to make good meals, because there is more time and more opportunity to create, at least this is the way it works for me. Autumn welcomed this morning at 6am with chilly weather so I decided to make an Autumn-inspired soup as a starter. I have not had the opportunity to make my own pumpkin, but I was able to snag a can or organic pumpkin so that I could make this dish.
In the summer I made a Spanish Gazpacho so I decided to work off my original recipe and create one for the this great fall weather. Even though I used a Vitamix to make this quick and delicious soup, it can be warmed up quickly on the stove, for those who like warm soups. Vitamix has the option of letting the mixture blend as long as you want to for the blade to create some natural warmth. Either way, I had mine at room temperature and it was super creamy.
I carefully used my bread slices appropriately like using the sad bread butts that everyone usually ignores.
I pulsed these 2 slices in the food processor and toasted them in the oven.
I quickly washed all my vegetables and added them to my high-powered blender and processed until completely smooth and creamy. I definitely could not wait to have this soup. But was is a soup with a nice hot sandwich?? Nothing! Well, not entirely but it would be a little naked, ya know.
I whipped out my lovely tofu press and pressed a block of tofu. I was in the mood for something with meaty consistency. DANGER VEGETARIANS and MEAT-EATERS! This sandwich is OUT of this world! I have prepared this sandwich 3 times and my non-vegan husband loves it and even said that it was my best creation yet. Thanks babe!
After pressing the tofu:
I sliced in half and then slice it in thirds width-wise. I marinated it with olive oil, Italian spices, salt and white pepper.
I grilled them and then sauteed the onions and peppers.
I then sliced the tofu in strips and added it to the veggie mixture.
I then prepared my special Red Pepper Mayo and added some to 2 slices of toasted Multi-grain Bread and added the Tofu Steaks mixture to one slice.
I then added some cheese for my hubby and some vegan cheese on mine and placed in the oven to broil until melted.
How about a little bit more? I then topped it off with Pepperocini Peppers and sealed the deal folks.
This was my favorite part of the meal as it was for Ryan. It was so flavorful and it definitely satisfied my protein factor. Meat-eaters, Vegetarians, and Vegans! This dish is for you!
Vote for me so I can get to go this this fantastic festival. Make the sandwich too while you are at it!
I also added this to the Kitchen Bootcamp series for this month which focuses on sandwiches.
1 – 14 ounce extra-firm tofu, water-packed
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasonings
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red Pepper Mayo
3 strips Mezzetta Roasted Bell Peppers (3/4 cup)
1/3 cup Veganaise (or regular mayonnaise)
2 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper and Onion Fry
2 onions, sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 slices of Nature’s Pride Healthy Multi-Grain bread
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (or Daiya vegan mozzarella)
1 cup deli-sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini
Use a tofu press to press tofu for 45 minutes. If a tofu press is not available, wrap extra-firm tofu in papertowel and place on a plate. Place another plate on top and wiegh down with several heavy cookbooks. This will release the excess liquids.
Meanwhile, mix the olive oil, seasonings and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Using a food processor, blender or immersion blender, place the red peppers, mayonnaise, garlic cloves, and salt in a bowl and blend well until completely smooth. Place in the fridge for chilling.
Slice the onions and red peppers thinly and set aside.
As soon as the tofu has finished pressing, remove from press or from paper, and pat dry with a dry piece of paper towel. Heat a griddle on the stove on medium heat.
Turn the oven on broil and place the rack on the next to top level.
On a cutting board, slice the tofu width wise. Take each half and slice in 3 slices each for a total of 6 slices. Using a kitchen brush, brush the olive oil and seasonings mixture to each side of the tofu steaks. Lay each steak on the griddle and cook for 20 minutes(10 minutes on each side) until slightly browned. Remove steaks from the griddle and add the red pepper and onion mixture and fry for 10 minutes until the veggies are slightly caramelized.
Slice each tofu steak in slices and place on the griddle along with the grilled veggies and continue cooking for 5-7 minutes. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slightly toast the 8 slices of bread in a toaster. Place those slices on the baking sheet. Add 2-3 teaspoons of the Red Pepper Mayo on each slice. Divide the Tofu Steak Mixture on only 4 slices of bread.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella on each slice and place the baking sheet on the rack. Broil until cheese is completely melted.
Remove the sandwiches from the oven. Add 1/4 cup of sliced peperoncini on top of each sandwich and cover with the other of the bread. Slice in half and enjoy.
2 1/2 cups tomatoes (2 large tomatoes)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
2 garlic cloves
1 carrot, peeled
2 slices Nature’s Pride Healthy Multi-Grain Bread, pulsed and toasted
1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 Tablespoon agave nectar or honey
2 teaspoons dulse flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pulse 2 slices of bread in a food processor until all crumbled. Place bread crumbs on cookie sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned.
In a high-powered blender, add all the above ingredients, including the bread crumbs, and blend until smooth and creamy. Allow the blender to blend for a 1-2 minutes on high so that the soup will be warmed, if not eat as is. Enjoy!
As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a coupon for any free product in Nature’s Pride line of buns and bread. For the purposes of this contest I selected Nature’s Pride Honey Wheat Bread to make my recipe