18 October 2014

Pressed Eggplant and Olive sandwich

I made this recipe again this week.

Changes I made:
- My greens had gone slimy, so I didn't have any spinach to put on the sandwich.
- I added some smoked tofu to help even out the deep flavours of the olives and eggplant.
- I put vegan cream cheese on both sides of the bread.
- I picked up the olives already chopped from the olive bar at the grocery store, and they also had artichokes and roasted garlic so those got added into the sandwich.

I pressed it for about 24 hours in the fridge and the olive oil had seeped into most of the bread. So so great.

I liked the tofu on the sandwich, it did bring a more neutral flavour to the heaviness of the olives and eggplant. I did NOT like the cream cheese. I'm not sure if it was the brand I used (Daiya, it was soo sweet) or if having it sit for 24 hours allowed it to react with the rest of the ingredients in some weird way? It nearly ruined the sandwich for me. Next time, no cream cheese. The rest of the sandwich was good, but the first time I made the sandwich was much better.

Soy Curls with rice and broccoli

Back by popular request (well, one person requested that I start posting again)!

Sorry for the crappy cell phone photo! Sometimes the delicious food does not want to wait for the good camera to get out for the party.

Have you heard of soy curls? They are the new faux meat of choice here in Portland and I have really enjoyed trying all the different takes on them around town. I first tried them in a Buffalo "Chicken" sub at the Sweet Hereafter (all vegan bar) and fell in love. My next taste test was at the Double Dragon with the Orange Sesame Soy Curl sandwich. In a Mexican iteration, Los Gorditos allows you to add soy curls to practically any menu item so I had them in Gordito form, which was delicious. The latest soy curl consumption came from Canteen (another all vegan place) in the Southern bowl (see below).

The Southern Bowl and Apple Ginger Greens smoothie from the Canteen.

My husband was walking by the vegan grocery store after work a few weeks ago and picked up a package of soy curls for us. We just finished cooking through the 1lb bag (which lasted about five meals for the two of us) and I am eager to go pick up another package (or twelve). The texture is what I find so amazing about them. They are very substantial and don't break down like tofu can do. They also really do take up whatever flavour you put on them (like tofu is SUPPOSED to do) and don't require several long steps to get a good texture consistency (pressing, then marinating, then cooking it just right), just some rehydration, some sort of sauce, and go. They are wonderful!

Other things we tried with our package of soy curls:
- rehydrating and sautéing them with veggie broth, white wine, and butter, served with rice and vegeteables
- rehydrating with veggie broth, then sautéing with cumin and chili powder for use in fajitas

Ideas that look tasty from other food blogs:
Mongolian Soy Curls
BBQ Soy Curls
Sesame Soy Curls
Thai Soy Curl Pizza
Smokey Soy Curl Chili
And for more ideas, Pinterest seems to have a lot of recipes for these amazing bits of awesome.

warm veggie broth
1/4-1/3 cup of soy curls (for 1 VERY large serving or two normal size servings)
sweet chili sauce

fresh ginger, minced
fresh garlic, minced
broccoli, chopped


Start cooking rice in whatever method you choose (I can't live without my rice cooker).

While the rice is cooking, put the soy curls in the veggie broth and allow to rehydrate and marinate.

In a skillet over medium heat, add some olive oil and sauté the garlic and ginger for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the broccoli and some of the veggie broth (about 1/4 cup) from the soy curls. Stir, then cover and steam for about 5 minutes until the broccoli is to the desired doneness. I like it more on the crunchy side than soft. Taste for salt and pepper needs. Remove broccoli from pan.

In the same skillet used for the broccoli (no need to wash it!), add the soy curls with about 1/4 cup of the veggie broth and several glugs of the sweet chili sauce. Sauté over medium high heat until the broth has evaporated and the chili sauce is coated around the soy curls.

Serve soy curls with the rice and broccoli.

Seriously, get your hands on soy curls. This was a winning dish and I can't wait to get another package for more experimentation!