Summer is definitely here, in both CA and in NY, where I just got home from! I was working Summer Fancy Food Show, which you may have seen on my instagram/twitter/etc. It was a fun experience that I will talk more about in another post! For now, I’m excited about the 4th of July coming up and all the grilling that is going down. What better to make than extremely flavorful and easy Tofu Shawarma Skewers?
I never really understood the appeal of store-bought marinades, when I got into cooking. And, this is coming from someone who’s dad has an entire shelf dedicated to marinades and spice rubs. I would make basic marinades at home for mushrooms, tempeh, etc. But, sometimes you want something with a bit more *POW* than your pantry spices can provide.
Marinades also come in handy when you may be traveling with said tasty eats! For this exact reason, I was really excited to try the Shawarma Quick Marinade from Wild Garden. Typically, I would go for BBQ sauce to brush on all things grilled, but this was such a nice change! The marinade is very concentrated and has a wonderful blend of spices like cumin, cardamom and herbs, with the right amount of tangy-ness. I added water to it, because of said concentration levels, and the marinade ended up perfect.
Another thing I love about skewers is that you can really customize them however you want. I went with seasonal veggies and fruits, but also made these choices based on what would complement the Mediterranean flavors of the marinade. I maaaaaybe also have a TON of zucchini from my garden, so it will be in all of the recipes, this summer! 😀 To round out the Tofu Shawarma Skewers, I placed them on a bed of arugula and Wild Garden’s Couscous Heat & Serve Pilaf. Pearled couscous with chickpeas, in a seasoned, tomato based sauce, that lightly coats everything. Seriously, a tasty pilaf in 90 seconds? Yes, PLEASE!
Oh! I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you about this tofu tip: FREEZE IT! When you freeze tofu, the water inside turns to ice and expands all throughout the block. So, when you defrost it, there are bigger pockets for marinade to seep into. This was my first time using this method and it was amazing. I will certainly be doing this a lot more!
You can buy Wild Garden products on Amazon or you can see where their products are sold near you. So, be a hero at your 4th of July gathering next week, and make these Tofu Shawarma Skewers. You will not regret it! Also, be safe out there! <3
As I’m working on this second cookbook, freezer burritos have quickly become a part of my life. So, when I saw the new Curry Satay Seitan from Sweet Earth Foods, I knew. I KNEW I needed to make a burrito with these. Of course, I wanted to add some vegetables and delicious rice, plus some heat. Ta-dah! Curry Cauliflower Burrito!
I’ve played around with some SE products before (and got my mom hooked on their Benevolent Bacon), so I was excited to try this one out. Plus, how can you go wrong with curry? I didn’t have any potatoes on hand, though they would be really good in these. BUT, I did have about 10 pounds of zucchini from my garden that I needed/still need to use.
Let me tell you, the combination of oven-roasted, curry-spiced veggies, the cilantro lime rice, the fresh greens and tomatoes and of course the satay, was so damn good. A hearty burrito without being over-the-top! I found it especially tasty with a side of vegan, plain yogurt to drizzle on, occasionally. If you add a little lemon zest, cilantro and salt to the yogurt, even better!
If you’re a real glutton for fiery punishment, add more hot sauce to this! I added a few slices of a jalapeño from my garden and it was game over. It’s such a loving, but painful relationship I have with hot peppers, sometimes.
Back to this Curry Satay! It comes in four 1″x1″x4″ strips, perfect for grilling on skewers, but still very versatile. The seitan is seasoned perfectly, so that you can just top a salad or bowl with chunks of it, for added protein and flavor. Sweet Earth is found in a TON of stores, but if you don’t know where it is near you, use the store locator!
Meanwhile, I’m on my way to NYC for the Fancy Food Show (see you there?!) and I can’t wait to return to this tasty freezer curry cauliflower burrito! Especially, since I won’t feel like cooking. 😀 ALSO, Sweet Earth was awesome enough to have me host a giveaway for y’all, over on my Instagram! Enter to win a month’s supply of Sweet Earth products and some rad swag. <3
True Life: I’m a Snacker. Really, I love putting together really delicious dishes, and meals! But, if I’m not in that mode, you will find me eating all kinds of things throughout the day. It’s at its worst when I have a lot of work on the computer, so I’ll have hummus and pita chips for a meal. Maybe I’ll have avocado toast later? If I’m really slacking on eating fruits and veggies, I’ll throw together a smoothie for a late dinner. It’s really a mess sometimes. So, I thought I’d create a little something for a protein-rich, flavorful snack: Pizza-Roasted Almonds!
I got this idea from a Vegan Cuts snack box, where there was a snack of raw pizza-flavored almonds. They were SO good! I knew I had to take matters into my own hands and make some at home, for every day snacking. Now, originally, I wanted to try to make pizza-roasted chickpeas. But, after two batches of not having the best luck, and nearly breaking a few teeth, I moved on. I may revisit making crunchy, crispy chickpeas later on; for now, I’m loving these almonds.
The coating is super simple! Tomato pastes, spices, olive oil, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast AKA nooch. The tomato and herbs give you that marinara vibe, while nooch and lemon juice give a hint of cheesy-ness. Lately, these pizza-roasted almonds have been the perfect snack to enjoy with an afternoon beer, while hanging out in the sun. And if you’re not into beer, iced tea or lemonade work well, too. 😉
In this recipe, I used some dried basil from my garden last year, which is awesome. This year, my tomato and zucchini plants are taking over one of the raised beds and the basil is getting buried! It’s been really awesome to have a “huge” garden, this year, starting 90% of it from seeds. I have a feeling I’ll be giving away a lot of tomatoes, seeing as how all SIX plants are doing well and will soon have ripe ones coming up! Two Romas, a Chocolate-Striped, a Gardener’s Delight, a Homestead and a bonus plant that volunteered from my compost. Woohoo!
The corn stalks seem to be doing well, and my pepper plants are really bringing the heat. I have pole beans growing FAST, and just started some bush bean plants for tasty green bean dishes. Basically, I’m just super excited about all of this and can’t wait to make more recipes showcasing all of these beautiful ingredients. I might put together a video of when I constructed the raised beds, what seeds I used, what I’ve been doing to help everything grow, etc. If you’re interested in something like that, or organic gardening, let me know!
Now, back to these Pizza-Roasted Almonds! 8 ingredients, 20-25 minutes of your time, and a delicious product. Need I say more? ALSO, keep your eyes peeled for the next few blog posts here on VYA, some gorgeous new recipes coming your way!