Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy Super-Fat Tuesday!

As yet another winter storm descends upon us, we are preparing to celebrate Super-Fat Tuesday, a.k.a. Super Tuesday plus Mardi Gras, a.k.a. Pancake Day, a.k.a. Shrove Tuesday. Dinner will consist of chocolate chip pancakes, tempeh bacon (free-range uncured bacon for the boys), and scrambled tofu (eggs for the boys, who still haven't opened their minds and palate's to tofu's considerable charm).

For cocktails, traditional hurricanes, of course. We plan to feast while watching the election returns, and possibly playing a rousing family game of Pictionary.


2 ounces light rum
2 ounces dark rum
2 ounces passion fruit juice
2 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
1 ounce sweetened lime juice
1 tablespoon grenadine

Combine all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and serve in a tall glass over ice, garnished with orange slices and cherries.

Chocolate Chip/Mixed Berry Pancakes

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I like Bob's Red Mill)
2 tablespoons brown sugar (I used organic)
1/4 cup baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups rice milk
1/4 cup canola oil
chocolate chips, chopped nuts, and frozen berries, as needed, for sprinkling over the pancakes

1. Preheat a griddle over medium heat. Spray it with cooking spray.

2. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

3. In a glass measuring cup, combine rice milk (soy milk also works) and canola oil. Pour into the dry mixture and stir until just combined. Don't over-mix or the pancakes will be too tough.

4. Pour the batter onto the griddle in 1/4-cup dollops. Sprinkle chocolate chips, nuts, and/or berries on top, as desired. When the edges start to bubble, flip them over and cook for another minute.

5. Keep the pancakes on a plate in a low oven so they stay warm and you can serve them all at once. Serve with real maple syrup or orange marmelade, with or without whipped topping. These pancakes go very well with tempeh bacon. (Or maybe it's the maple syrup that makes the tempeh bacon so irrisistible...?)

Tempeh Bacon

This recipe is a slight variation on Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Tempeh Bacon in Vegan With a Vengeance. This should serve 4, or in my case, one, with leftovers to make frozen burritos with the scrambled tofu, below.

1 8-ounce block of soy tempeh
1/4 cup Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or you could use soy sauce)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, put through a garlic press
1 tablespoon peanut oil

1. Slice the tempeh in half to get two approximate squares, then slice each square into strips. You should get about 24 strips.

2. Heat about three cups of water in a heavy pot over high heat. When the water starts to steam, add the tempeh strips carefully, so you don't break them. Cover and let steam for ten minutes. Remove from heat, carefully drain into a strainer or colander, and let cool for about ten minutes.

3. In a large ziploc bag, combine all the remaining ingredients, except the peanut oil. Add the tempeh strips, seal the bag, and move the bag around to cover all the strips in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight.

4. Heat a griddle over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil. Fry the tempeh bacon until golden-brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels.

Scrambled Tofu

This serves two, or in my case, one, with leftovers for tomorrow. I normally put veggies in this, but I was hungry so streamlined it this time.

about 8 ounces firm or extra firm tofu (whatever you have around)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablesoon Bragg liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
hot pepper flakes, to taste

1. Wrap the tofu in paper towels and drain for at least 15 minutes (if longer, keep it in the refrigerator).

2. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Add the garlic and saute for one minute. Crumble the tofu into the pan. Sprinkle with the turmeric and stir to combine everything.

3. Cook and stir until the tofu starts to get brown and crispy. Season with salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes.

To use leftovers, wrap scrambled tofu and tempeh bacon in warmed whole wheat tortillas, wrap in plastic, then freeze. To defrost, unwrap them, roll them in a paper towel, and cook for two minutes.

You can also freeze the pancakes, stacked with wax paper between them or in individual plastic bags. Defrost these in the microwave on a plate, covered with a paper towel, for one minute, or a little less, depending on how big they are.

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