The season’s festivities have officially begun for us as we had some friends over for dinner this weekend. Though it may sound a little early, it really is not with only one weekend left before Christmas. Since this is the last week of school, many will be travelling this coming weekend. Before that happens, it is good to catch up with some old friends who may be out of town during the holidays. I am glad our Christmas tree and decorations are up. There is even a beautiful wreath hanging at the front door. A few more baked goodies and we are more or less ready…
With greater awareness of food allergies and sensitivities, it is good practice these days to inquire from your guests about any dietary restrictions they may have. I try to cater as best I can to make the dining experience both positive and enjoyable for everyone. This time round, I needed to make a couple of vegan dishes in addition to the traditional holiday fare.
I went through my archives and settled on Vegetable Moussaka. I omitted the cheese and added some beans for protein. For the second dish, I wanted something a little “meatier”. This brought to mind an Indonesian salad called gado-gado which comprises of cooked and raw vegetables, tofu, tempeh, and boiled eggs with a peanut dressing. I kept it simple, choosing only three ingredients. Of course, the eggs had to go. As for the peanut dressing, I made a no-cook peanut butter dressing.
- 8 oz (225g) firm tofu, drained and sliced into 1in x ½in x ¼in slices
- 8 oz (225g) tempeh, sliced into 1”x½”x¼” slices
- 8 oz (225g) long beans, cut into 1½-inch lengths
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 3 to 4 lettuce leaves
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup (60ml) hot water
- 2 tsp agave nectar
- 1 tsp (or to taste) sriracha hot sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp lime juice
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick fry pan. Add half of the tofu and pan fry each side for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Repeat with the other half. Do the same with tempeh.
Fill a medium sized saucepan with water. Bring it to a boil. Blanch long beans with a little salt for 2 minutes. Remove and place in cold water bath to stop cooking. Transfer to a colander to drain.
In a medium sized bowl, combine all dressing ingredients. Stir to get it well mixed. Place in a nice sauce boat.
Line a platter with lettuce leaves. Place tofu, tempeh, and long beans in separate sections and sauce boat in the middle. Alternatively, dressing can be poured over salad. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Other vegetables that may be included are raw julienned jicama and cucumber, blanched bean sprouts, and boiled potatoes.
This dish is vegan, egg-free, and gluten-free and was very well received by all the diners that evening.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8)