Friday, July 25, 2008

Stir-Fried Tofu & Collard Greens

This is one of my favorite dishes to prepare. I started cooking it in my mini-wok in Cambodia over the little gas stove. For this recipe I get to use fresh collard leaves picked from my garden!

Firm tofu (I like Trader Joe's brand Extra Firm)
6-8 leaves of collard greens (or substitute kale, spinach or chard)
1/2 yellow onion cut into slivers
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
salt & sugar to taste
1 Tbsp oil

1. Begin cooking rice in an electric rice cooker or on the stove-top.

2. Heat wok with 1 Tbsp oil. Drain and cube tofu. Place in oil, salt and sugar, then cover. Cook until golden on one side before turning and cooking some more. Add minced garlic and stir in. Continue browning.

3. While tofu is cooking, separate collard leaves from stems by slicing down each side of the stem. Slice stems into 1 inch pieces. Fold leaves over onto each other and slice across the bundle to create thin slices. Slice onions. (If desired, other dense vegetables can be added to the stir-fry mix such as broccoli, cauliflower or cucumbers.)

4. When tofu is slightly crispy on the outside, add the collard stems and any other vegetable you'd like. Don't add the onions or leaves just yet. Add 1/2 cup water to the pan. Stir this together. Cover and let cook for about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the onions and cook another 2 or so minutes covered. Finally, add the collard leaves, mix in and cover for about 1 minute. (You can also leave off the cover and stir with a spoon.) Turn off the heat. Serve with steamed rice.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Garden Delights

My vegetable garden July 08
My vegetable garden Squash uploaded by Nikkster

I am beginning to enjoy the fruits of my labor of a small home garden that I put together in my backyard using half wine barrels and other large terra cotta pots that were free.

My vegetable garden July 08
My vegetable garden Collard Greens uploaded by Nikkster

I have enjoyed two yellow zuchhini squash so far, by steaming them and serving with steamed rice. Also enjoyed were several tender leaves of collard greens stir-fried with tofu and onions. In addition, my Bibb lettuce leaves have been a tender addition to my daily salads I take to work.

My vegetable garden July 08
My vegetable garden Squash & Beans barrel uploaded by Nikkster

Soon the tomatoes will be producing as the first flower buds have appeared. There are also some beans just now growing. I don't think they get enough sun because the squash leaves have taken over. My peppers are slow but steady. I think they'll be late bloomers.

I can hardly wait for the tomatoes to start producing as I have high hopes for doing some canning of homemade spaghetti sauce.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The perfect peach

mmmmmmmm. . . I just ate the most perfect peach. It was the kind of peach that you slurp while eating with just the right balance of sweet and slightly tangy. The juice dribbled down my chin and hands.

It is so rare to find such delicious peaches anymore. This one had to come from the Central Valley of California. The only other time I had such wonderful peaches where when they came directly from the farmer in Dinuba, California when a cousin brought them during a visit.