Vegan MoFo

Vegan MoFo Day 25: Preserved Lemon & Friends

I want to start this post by mentioning something I did not make but wanted to: tempeh. Years ago, we saw a demonstration by someone who had created a complicated system for homemade tempeh; it involved fish tank equipment, among other things I didn’t want to buy, and at least two dozen PowerPoint slides of instruction. Then I watched the East Meets Kitchen’s video in which she made mung bean tempeh wrapped in banana leaves. It looked doable. Also, despite my general distaste for actual bananas, I love things cooked in banana leaves, so, like many of her videos, I got hungry just thinking about it. Anyway. Maybe another time.

A much more achievable “international food product” with my current energy level is preserved lemon. So I made that last month–it needs to ferment and chill for a couple weeks before using, after all.

Above: Lemons, salt, jar. Woo.

Preserved lemon is an ingredient in some tagine recipes, so I figured I’d attempt one of those. I’d made vegetable stews that were Moroccan-“inspired” before, but not necessarily with much knowledge of those cooking techniques. So I read up a little and modified (veganized) one of the recipes I found.

Above: Veggies, aromatics, and chickpeas, layered and stacked neatly in my Dutch oven.

A key difference from how I’d cooked this *handwave* general-ish type of food before is that ingredients are purposefully and carefully stacked and arranged inside the cooking vessel, then simply simmered until cooked to desired doneness. That is, instead of sauteeing and adding ingredients over a cook, it all goes in the pot. Making a little mound of chickpeas and layering slabs of zucchini and bell pepper was a nice, pretty bonus.

Above: Preserved lemon.

The preserved lemon was also nice and tender and tangy. I’ve got a whole jar of ’em, now, too, so I’ll need to continue to experiment…

Food Blog

Lemony dill summer noodle bowl

We buy tofu from a local vendor at the farmers’ market, and they don’t last through the week. Today’s preparation is a simple one: pan-fried steaks (olive oil + pinch of salt in a cast iron skillet), sliced and arranged on top of the rest.

For the noodles I opted for soba. While the water boiled and the noodled cooked, I sauteed julienned zucchini and thinly sliced yellow bell pepper with olive oil, sliced garlic, and crushed red pepper. To that I added thinly chopped cooked collards (yesterday’s leftovers) and strips of lemon zest, then finished with dill when I mixed in the soba noodles.

Finished it off with a light twist on my favorite tahini sauce: juice of ½ a lemon, tablespoon or so of minced fresh dill, olive oil, tahini, a splash of hot sauce, a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, and water to whisk to the consistency I wanted (thin enough to pour, but thick enough to cling to the food).

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

Putting one giant zucchini to good use… Savory zucchini bread and pureed zucchini brownies.

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

Serious question: what am I going to do with all this grated zucchini? Thinking some kind of savory quick bread…