Monday, March 14, 2011

Sag Paneer and Food Farewells

Hi guys, how was your weekend? Did you remember to set your clocks forward? We didn't! We did not realize it was Spring Forward until we noticed our clocks were messed up on Sunday morning. Good thing it wasn't a work day for Tony!  It's nice to have that extra hour of daylight in the evenings. Spring is really on the way now.

Saturday night, Tony and I stayed up late talking, planning our upcoming move. We are so excited, but we are trying to calm down and get organized. Today Tony finds out when his last day of work is at his current job. They are kind of being jerks about it. This attitude is just one reason why we are so ready to move! After he gets that straightened out, we can start scheduling the movers and everything else.

On Sunday we made a farewell trip to the cute, artsy town of Hudson. Full of little galleries and secondhand stores, we've always enjoyed our day trips to Hudson. And although we will have no shortage of Mexican restaurants to choose from in Austin, we wanted to eat one more time at Mexican Radio, where we've had so many tasty meals.

On one of our previous visits, Tony ordered the carne asada fries, which looked so good that I was inspired to make it at home.  This time I decided to try Mexican Radio's version for myself, veganized of course (they'll veganize pretty much anything on the menu.)  It was so perfect -- a bed of French fries covered with chunks of crispy-on-the-outside-chewy-on-the-inside seitan, and topped with guacamole, pico de gallo, and vegan cheese and crema.

While Jackson was helping me devour it, the waitress brought over some jalapeno ketchup to dip the fries in. Yum!

So long, Mexican Radio! We love you. P.S., I'm going to decorate my new house like you.

I also did a little home cooking over the weekend. My latest tester for the Urban Vegan was Sag Paneer with Dry-Fried Tofu. This is one of the top recipes I've tested so far. You guys are going to love her new book when it comes out. So many winners.

Sag paneer, if you don't know, is an Indian dish consisting of creamed spinach studded with cubes of cheese. It's usually quite rich. In one of his books, Anthony Bourdain notes that people are often disappointed when they try to recreate a restaurant meal. They just can't get it to taste the same. The reason, he says, is because they have no idea how much butter and cream are used in restaurant dishes. That is where the rich flavor comes from. I've found this true in the past when I've tried to cook Indian food at home. Even before I was vegan, I didn't want to invest in a jar of ghee (Indian clarified butter) or use heavy cream, so something was missing in the end result.

But I have to say, nothing is missing from this Sag Paneer. Vegan half and half adds the necessary richness without the cholesterol, and dry-fried tofu stands in for the cubes of cheese. I'd never browned tofu without using oil, but it works quite well when you use a nonstick pan. I had golden brown cubes of tofu in minutes with no added fat.

Roxanne recently shared a useful article with me --  a long list of vegan recipes that are especially appealing to kids. I'm definitely going to be making some of these dinners for my little dudes, so I thought I would share it with you guys, too.

Have a great day!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, My husband and I have been vegetarians for years but have now gone Vegan (due to the problems of Factory Farming - even so-called organic dairy and egg products come from animals that end up being brutally slaughtered). I shall miss cheese but am not too heart broken! Looking forward to learning more recipes - we have The Vegan Cookbook and I want to get the La Dolce Vegan you mentioned. Good luck in your move - it is a high stress event but once done it will be great for you!