Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Vegan Mofo #17 - Celine & Tamasin's Tofu Pomegranate Pockets...
Vegan Mofo #17 - Celine & Tamasin's Tofu Pomegranate Pockets
The Book - Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!
The Author - Celine Steen & Tamasin Noyes
The Recipe - Tofu Pomegranate Pockets
Page # 67
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - 20-30 minutes not including the time it takes to press and drain tofu, or if you want to marinate your tofu as I did before baking. Once tofu is done it comes together in under 10 minutes.
I chose to make this recipe for one reason and one reason only, Pomegranate! Growing up Pomegranate was one of my favorite fruits, it was one of my favorite parts about the autumn and winter season. As a kid I remember my mom would come home from grocery shopping and she’d have 1 pomegranate for each of us, sometimes there would be extras, but pomegranates were/are expensive and so they were usually a treat. I would cut my Pom open, grab a bowl then hunker down in front of the t.v. watching some show while pulling all the little pom kernels free of their membrane. Snapping and crunching them between my teeth, enjoying their sweet and sometimes sour, occasionally bitter flavor. I tend to eat pomegranates a lot less these days, pomegranate juice sure, pomegranate flavored stuff definitely but actual pomegranate fruit? It’s rare. I’ve got so many fillings, plus a crown and all that fibrous pulp gets stuck between my teeth. When I saw this recipe however I knew I couldn’t pass it up. First of all pomegranate on a sandwich? Who would have thought! I love the originality of that. Plus it’s combined with smoky baked tofu, bitter greens, and a creamy dressing, what’s not to love?
So first, the tofu. Now you all know how picky I am about my tofu I’m sure, so this bare-bones approach to tofu had me a bit skeptical to say the least. All it is, is Tamari, Liquid Smoke, onion powder, sea salt, black pepper and Maple Syrup. The recipe says to coat the tofu in this mixture and then cut it into cubes and bake it for twenty minutes. Instead I decided to let my tofu marinate in the mixture to really give it a chance to soak up the flavor. I probably let it marinate about an hour before slicing it into cubes. Then I made a little extra marinade - because by then all of the original had been soaked up - to brush the cubes with before popping them into the oven. I probably let them back for about 25-30 minutes until they were really nice and brown because I wanted my cubes really crispy and I have to say - these were freaking amazing! No lie, the tofu cubes were so delicious I was eating them plain, right out of the oven. This is definitely a method I’ll be coming back to again and again.
Second there is the sauce which is super easy-peasy. All it is, is Cashews, Apple Juice and Ume vinegar. That’s it! You blend it all together and somehow you get this super creamy, all flavorful sauce that reminded me a bit of a Ranch or a Cesar. I truly appreciate that the ingredients for the sauce were simple and wholesome and it just goes to show that you don’t need a laundry list of items or any fancy vegan this or that to make a good sauce.
Lastly the recipe says to combine the sauce with sliced red onion, and spinach or arugula. Unfortunately I didn’t have either of those greens but I had a box of mixed salad greens in the fridge that needed to get used. Arugula was one of the greens in the mix so I thought it was a good choice. Once the salad is mixed you stuff it into the pockets along with sliced cucumber, the tofu bits and the pomegranate kernels and bam! The most amazing, delicious combination ever! I really, really urge you to give it a try. It’s so simple, yet so impressive, I know I’ll be making it for years to come.