Brrrr, it is chilly out there. This morning I had to unpack the gloves and scarves we haven't seen since we lived in New York. So we are staying inside as much as we can, spending a lot of time in the kitchen, of course.
One morning we made gingerbread men (as well as gingerbread footballs, trees, and stars!) Olivia helped with the rolling...
while Jackson assisted with the icing. They are both such good helpers these days.
One evening, I made two dishes from Appetite for Reduction that paired well together -- Cranberry Cashew Biryani and Curried Chickpeas & Greens. Opinions were split over which dish was best. Tony and Livi preferred the biryani, which is slightly sweet, thanks to the dried cranberries. Jackson and I preferred the savory chickpeas and greens. I used two giant bunches of kale in this recipe. I think it's my new favorite way to eat kale.
Another day, I had the idea to make a homemade version of the popcorn tofu po'boy from Wheatsville. I've raved about this sandwich before. It is a thing of beauty. But, Wheatsville is kind of far from my house and, unless I'm already in that part of town running errands, I sometimes feel silly driving all that way for a sandwich.
For my version, I prepared some Tofu Fun Nuggets from Peas and Thank You.
Since the tofu nuggets are baked, they have a lighter texture than the fried popcorn tofu. Not as chewy. But still delicious, especially once the po'boy is fully assembled: ciabatta roll, tofu nuggets, lettuce, tomato, red onion, sprouts, and dressing. I found a cashew tamari dressing recipe online and I think it's pretty close to the one Wheatsville uses.
I'm so psyched that I still have another po'boy in the fridge to eat tonight!
Finally, I knew I had to make the Post Punk Kitchen's Cashew Queso as soon as I saw the recipe. Tortilla chips, salsa and queso can be a meal for me. I just love it. When I'm eating at a Mexican restaurant, it is really hard not to indulge (thankfully, at least one restaurant, Guero's, now offers a vegan version.)
I was in a time crunch, trying to have the queso ready when Tony came home for lunch, so I half-assed the directions. I didn't soak the cashews, and I only cooked the queso for ten minutes. And, because Isa's recipes are amazing, it still turned out fabulous.
The recipe makes a good amount, so I have plenty left over to use for tacos or enchiladas. You know, do something a little more fancy with it. But for a warm, comforting lunch on a cold day, give me hot queso ladled over crispy tortilla chips, and I don't need anything else.
Except maybe a hose. Look what these two got up to while mama was making that queso!