26 May 2014

Cookbook Review: Vegan Eats World

Terry Hope Romero's newest cookbook, Vegan Eats World is a guided tour of culinary locales East, West, North, and South. She provides handy spice blends for Indian, East Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Persian, and African dishes, then travels around the globe to provide a very wide variety of offerings to please not just vegan palates, but everyone who might be a bit adventurous in their dining habits. Because the book contains such a diverse selection of recipes, I think it would be a great book to use to plan parties and date nights, as well as everyday dishes.

For this review, I decided to try a quick and simple recipe that didn't require running out for any ingredients. The selection, as you can see in the photo to the left, is Savory Baked Tofu. I recently visited one of my favorite health food stores (Whole Earth Center in Princeton -- pricey indeed, but consistently the best organic produce around) and bought some fresh, super-firm tofu to try for this recipe. Romero recommends the super-firm tofu, and she's absolutely correct. There is no substitute for the texture in this recipe. The result was so tasty, I ate it cold by itself for breakfast one morning. I also enjoyed it with roasted mushrooms and onions. Suffice to say, it went very quickly.

I only made one ingredient substitution, and that was using low-sodium tamari for the soy sauce (GF). One note of caution: You'll need to pay attention toward the end of the cooking time because the marinade burns fairly quickly, especially if you use agave nectar. If you prefer a Mediterranean, African, or Eastern European flavor to your tofu, Romero includes marinades catering to those flavor profiles as well.

Here is the recipe as I made it, Savory Baked Tofu on page 50 of Vegan Eats World:

Savory Baked Tofu

1 pound super-firm tofu
3 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1. Slice the tofu into 1/4 in. slices.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.
3. Add the marinade to a large glass baking dish and wet the tofu with the marinade on both sides.
4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
5. Bake the tofu for about 20 minutes, then flip the slices. Cook another 15 minutes, until you see the tofu has turned golden brown with some caramelization on the edges. Take care to watch for the last 5 minutes so that the tofu doesn't begin to burn.
6. Enjoy!

The tofu will keep for 5 days, but it likely will be eaten way before that.