This & That
Beat the heat this summer with Starbucks’ new vegan iced coffee drink
Starbucks has done it again! In an attempt to embrace the demand for non-dairy alternatives, it has added an all vegan cold coffee drink to its permanent menu offering. Iced Vanilla Bean Coconutmilk Latte
features shots of espresso over iced vanilla bean coconut milk. This sounds like the perfect drink to complement those afternoon patio visits this summer…Janik can stick to his dark roast and I’ll cool down with this cool and creamy glass of vegan bliss!
Note: At the time of posting this blog we have not been able to confirm what locations are offering this new iced coffee drink. Stay tuned~
Learn more about Starbucks’ latest announcement here.
My Favourite Things
I love exploring used book stores. During our recent trip to Vancouver Island we stumbled across a gem called Cozy Corner Books and after scouting out the cooking section I discovered a vegan cookbook that was calling my name. As I was waiting in line to pay for it, a customer glanced at the book and said “that is a REALLY good book, you’ll love it”. She was right. “How It All Vegan” (by Tanya Barnard & Sarah Kramer) has become my go-to reference book for everything vegan from easy-to-make vegan entrées and decadent desserts to animal-free health and beauty products. There’s even a section on DIY household cleaning products free of any animal-based ingredients. Whether you are thinking about scaling back the use of animal products from your diet and lifestyle or a vegan enthusiast looking for a few nuggets of vegan-centric information this book is nothing short of wonderful. The book has been reprinted 14 times and its success has been followed up by several other books including The Garden of Vegan, La Dolce Vegan! and Vegan à Go-Go!.
*If you visit the Old Country Market (known as Goats on the Roof) in Coombs, BC on Vancouver Island don’t miss Cozy Corner Books. It’s tucked away but worth looking for!
Feature Recipe | Roasted Pineapple Sauce with Crispy Tofu
Pineapple is a staple for juicing and smoothies in our household, but this dish has cemented its place in my vegan test kitchen! Lately I’ve been coming across plenty of recipes for everything roasted – from nectarines to radishes — so I decided it was time to explore roasting this glorious fruit! I should start off by warning you of the tantalizing aroma that ensues when you roast pineapple; in fact I had to pull the kids away from the baking tray to make sure I had enough to make this recipe!
Once grilled, pineapple takes on delicious caramelized notes and the pinch of brown sugar added toward the end of roasting enhances its elevated sweetness. This roasted pineapple sauce features crushed garlic, red onion, pineapple juice, tamari sauce, brown sugar and red wine vinegar blended together with fresh, golden pineapple that is roasted and caramelized to perfection. In this dish I pair the roasted pineapple sauce with roasted bell peppers, roasted button mushrooms and crispy pan-fried tofu (plated over basmati rice) but you could easily adapt to your liking.
Feeling saucy? Why not try one of our recipes that spotlight a deliciously dazzling vegan-friendly sauce:
Note: Some steps in this recipe make reference to a T5 Thermomix appliance; however, the recipe can easily be adapted using any multi-function prep tool that chops/minces.
- 1/Prepare tofu marinade; let tofu marinade for 30 minutes (longer if time allows!)
- 2/Preheat oven to 400F
- 3/Cook 2 cups dry rice (or noodles) as directed
- Half of one small ripe golden pineapple (peeled, cored), diced into cubes
- 2 red peppers, coarsely chopped
- One 225 g pkg brown mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- Olive oil
- Himalayan pink salt
- Dried rosemary
- Brown sugar
Quick & Easy Tofu Marinade:
- 350g package extra-firm tofu (pressed & drained); cut into cubes
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled (20g)
- 1/3 cup tamari sauce
- 2 Tbsp cane sugar
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Pinch of Himalayan pink saltTofu Coating:
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp dried rosemary
- Olive oil (for pan-frying)
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled (10g)
- 1/2 red onion, quartered (50g)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (20g)
- 1 cup pineapple juice (235g) (Note: Juice from concentrate vs fresh is fine)
- 1/3 cup roasted pineapple chunks (Note: Be sure to reserve extra chunks for assembling your dish)
- 2 Tbsp tamari sauce (30g)
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar (20g)
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar (5g)
- 1.5 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- Pinch of Himalayan pink saltAssembly:
- 1/Prepare roasted medley:
1A/Add chopped pineapple, sliced bell pepper and brown mushrooms to a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes.
1B/At 30 minute mark remove tray from oven. Drizzle with olive oil. Add a few pinches of dried rosemary and salt. Sprinkle pineapple with a scant amount of brown sugar (optional). Bake for 30 minutes.
1C/At 60 minute mark remove tray from oven; let cool. Set aside.
- 2/Prepare tofu marinade:
2A/ Add garlic to your Thermomix mixing bowl. Chop 5 sec/Speed 7. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to collect the minced garlic at the base of the bowl.
Note: Insert the butterfly whisk attachment to the Thermomix mixing blade before Step 2B
2B/Add tamari sauce, cane sugar, olive oil and salt to the TM bowl. Whisk 45 sec/Speed 3. Your marinade is now ready.
Note: Remove the butterfly whisk attachment from the Thermomix mixing blade before Step 2C
2C/Transfer prepared marinade to a shallow bowl. Add cubed tofu to the bowl and ensure all pieces are evenly coated in marinade.Let tofu marinate at room temperature for 30 mins (longer if time allows!)
- 3/Pan-fry the tofu:
3A/Add flour, cornstarch and dried rosemary to a large plastic/Ziploc bag. Add the marinated tofu pieces, seal the bag, and shake until the tofu is evenly coated.
Important: Remove excess marinade from the tofu before tossing in the plastic bag to avoid clumpy results. Save the excess marinade for another batch or freeze and use another day.
3B/Transfer the cornstarch mixture-coated tofu cubes to a skillet on medium-high heat. Pan fry the tofu (using olive oil) until well cooked and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to soak up excess grease; set aside. Important: Pan fry the tofu in batches to avoid overcrowding the skillet. The end result will be crispier tofu!
- 4/Prepare sauce:
4A/Add garlic and red onion to your Thermomix mixing bowl. Chop 5 sec/Speed 7. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to collect the minced garlic at the base of the bowl.
4B/Add olive oil to the TM bowl. Sauté 3 min/120C/Speed 1.
4C/Add remaining ingredients (pineapple juice, 1/3 cup roasted pineapple chunks, tamari sauce , brown sugar and red wine vinegar) to the TM bowl. Blend 25 sec/Speed 5. Then Cook 3 min/100C/Speed 1.
4D/Add cornstarch, chili flakes and a pinch of salt. Simmer 3 min/85C/Speed 1 (Note: If using a Thermomix use the simmering basket).
4E/Replace simmering basket with lid. Blend 45 sec/Speed 7. Your sauce is now ready!
Plate your cooked rice/noodles. Top with roasted pineapple, bell peppers and mushrooms. Add crispy tofu cubes. Drizzle prepared sauce on top.