09 January 2010

This Week in My Kitchen: Polenta with Tofu & Veggies, Amazing Greek Salad, Lettuce Rolls, Curried Chickpea Soup

After Christmas I didn't do a lot of cooking since we had so many leftovers to eat. But the leftovers eventually dwindled, and I got back in the kitchen. After the glut of sweets over the holidays, I've been focusing on fresh, healthy, savoury dishes. I need to wean myself off of the sugar again!

Polenta with Tofu and Veggies
Exactly how it sounds. For my second foray into polenta of late I chose to add a half cup of water more than I did last time and set it in a loaf pan rather than free-form. I liked the loaf-shape (which served to keep me from breaking pieces off the edges and snacking on them), but the texture was a bit too wet for my liking. I marinaded the tofu in cider vinegar, veggie broth and some spices. I sauteed the tofu, carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, bell pepper and spinach, then added veggie broth thickened with arrowroot and served it over a slice of polenta. Yum!
I used the polenta to press the tofu

Amazing Greek Salad
Craving fresh veggies late one evening, I decided to make myself a quick Greek-type salad. I chopped cucmber, bell pepper, grape tomatoes and green onions (because I didn't have a red onion) and dressed it with red wine vinegar, Bragg's Sea Kelp Seasoning (because I'm out of oregano) and mustard seeds and topped it with kalamata olives. It was heavenly!

I'm hungry again just looking at this photo!

Lettuce Rolls - A Five-Minute Dinner
Last time I was in Nanaimo, my friend Carmen made these wonderful lettuce rolls, and this week I recreated them from memory. I used Asian style Yves Ground Round (you could use TVP and add your own flavourings) and sauteed it with diced onion and bell pepper. I think Carmen's sauce was made with peanut butter, but peanut butter is my mortal enemy, so I made mine by adding coconut milk to almond butter (cashew butter would be good too) and microwaving it until it was soft and soupy. I assembled the rolls by putting a scoop of the ground round mixture into the middle of a piece of iceberg lettuce, adding some sauce, and rolling it up. A cheap, healthy dinner prepared in five minutes. Thanks Carmen!

Curried Chickpea Soup
As part of my new life with a budget, I've been focusing on preparing hearty meals for very little money. I had a bag of dried chickpeas in my pantry, so I used a recipe from the ReBar Modern Food Cookbook to make curried chickpea soup. ReBar is a great little restaurant in Victoria that was one of my favourite places for breakfast. I added chopped fresh spinach, since I had some in the fridge that I had to use, and the leftover sauce from the lettuce rolls, which added a nice subtle nutty flavour.

I definitely recommend this recipe.


Bragg Organic Sea Kelp Delight Seasoning  Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook


  1. gasp. all those sound so delish and I had no idea bragg's made seasoning. i MUST try those lettuce wraps.

  2. I was thinking a nice variation on the lettuce wraps would be to use endive instead of iceberg lettuce. No need for wrapping, and it would look a little more sophisticated.