AuthorLouise Stevens

How to Julienne

If you’re anything like me, your chopping skills may need some sharpening. For some reason, julienning fruits and vegetables has always been difficult for me—it’s a lot of precise cutting, alignment, and time. However, learning to julienne will significantly up your “gourmet” factor; friends and family will pick up a forkful of vegetables, gasp, and ask, quietly, “Are these… julienned?”

 

Learning to julienne goes beyond trying to impress friends and family. Perfect for making coleslaw, pickling, and topping a variety of foods, these sliced vegetables will improve your personal eating experience. The best part? Once you get the motion down, it’s easy as heck.

 

Directions:

  1. Take any fruit or vegetable slice thinly on the diagonal. If you’re just starting out, choosing something firm but not difficult to cut—a carrot or cucumber will do.

 

  1. Stack several of the slices and cut them thinly into matchsticks.

 

  1. That’s literally it. You’re done. Go make some coleslaw!

 

Fool-Proof Tortilla Soup

This one-pot, hands-off soup is fast, easy, and delicious. It includes a simple sauté, added spices, and a simmering period, clocking in at just under thirty minutes for a combined cook and prep time. Though easy, this one is big on flavor, and you can customize it to suit your needs. Want some added protein? Throw in some chicken, tofu, or seitan. Is corn in season? Use the fresh stuff instead of a canned alternative.

 

The soup is hearty, filling, flavorful, and packed with fiber. Perfect for meal prep, entertaining, or a lazy night in, you can’t go wrong with this one.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil (olive, vegetable, coconut, avocado, &c)
  • ½ onion (white or yellow), diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ red or orange pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 ½ cups salsa
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 2 15-ounce cans of black beans, slightly drained
  • 1 15-ounce can of whole kernel corn, drained

 

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pot. Once hot, add the oil, onion, pepper and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook these for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Adding the garlic after the onions is important—garlic will burn more quickly than other vegetables.

 

  1. Add your spices (cayenne, chili powder, and salt/pepper) and stir to coat. Add salsa, vegetable stock and brown sugar.

 

  1. Increase heat to medium and bring to a low boil.

 

  1. Once the soup starts boiling, add the black beans and corn, then stir. Reduce to a low and simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes while stirring occasionally. If you have some additional time, let it simmer longer—the flavor will become more intense.

 

  1. Serve with lime juice, fresh cilantro, tortilla chips, and/or sour cream. The soup will keep for 5-6 days in the refrigerator, but you can freeze it for up to one month.

 

Easy Peanut Tofu

This is the perfect every-meal topping, feature, or stand-alone dish. Easy, crispy, and better than takeout, this is about to become your new “healthy” indulgence. Though a bit more time-consuming than some of our other recipes, it’s worth the wait. Plus, this recipe takes a bit longer because of the added marinating time—in reality, you’re only moving around the kitchen for 15-ish minutes.

 

In addition to being super easy, this recipe is versatile. Serve over rice, cauliflower rice, or a kale salad—whichever you’re in the mood for.

 

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp chili garlic sauce or sriracha
  • 2 ½ tbsp peanut butter

 

Directions:

  1. The first step of this recipe concerns the tofu. To drain, throw your block of tofu in the microwave for 30 seconds to one minute. If you have a bit of extra time, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cut the tofu into small, bite-sized cubes. Arrange on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes.

 

  1. If you don’t have the time to bake your tofu, cut into bit-sized pieces and cook on the stove in a non-stick frying pan. Stir occasionally to ensure all sides are browned.

 

  1. While the tofu cooks, combine the brown sugar, peanut butter, chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil in a small mixing bowl. Mince the garlic but set aside.

 

  1. Once sufficiently browned, allow tofu to cook for several minutes. I like to hold it in the freezer for a few seconds to start the cooling process.

 

  1. Add tofu to the sauce and stir to coat. Allow to marinate for 15-20 minutes.

 

  1. Heat a large frying pan on low/medium heat. Once hot, begin to add the tofu/sauce mixture little by little, stirring frequently to prevent burning or sugar crystallization. Cook on low for several minutes, until the sauce looks thick and sticky.

 

  1. Serve immediately over rice, cauliflower rice, or salad. Enjoy!

 

 

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