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As a Dutch foodie blogger quartet we had so much fun with our previous ‘cool collective Weekend Cooking post’ (about dips & spreads), that we decided to do another blog hop this month. Tofu & Tempeh is today’s topic.

Greek salad with faux feta

I chose a recipe that I had my doubts about but wanted to try anyway: tofu feta. I’ve heard plenty of positive stories but would not believe it could really taste like the real thing. And there was only one way to find out! As a newbie vegan I do sometimes miss the fresh, somewhat stingy taste of dairy, like in feta, yoghurt, sour cream and things like that.

But what am I saying… v-gan newbie??? This post marks my 1 year anniversary of going ExtraVeganza!

ExtraVeganza logo, © variomatic

What started out as a 10-day pilot meant to help reduce my intake of animal products in January 2011, turned into Gnoe going totally herbivore. Although I know I’ve come quite far, it’s rather shocking to hear it’s already been a year. O_o

My biggest hurdle is still the feeling that I’m a pain in the *ss for other people, whether they are friends, family or restauranteurs. :\ But I’m healthy and it feels really good to live this way, so I’m mostly very HAPPY about the step I took! :)

As you probably know, soy products like tofu and tempeh are an important protein source for vegetarians and vegans. Except if you’re unlucky like our Weekend Cooking host Beth Fish, who is hyper-sensitive to it. I don’t know what I’d do without my daily soy cappuccino!

Faux feta

So today I’m sharing a tofu recipe: faux feta. There are many recipes around, but I used the one from Becky’s Tasty Planet. She served it to a Greek omni friend and it passed the test!

Most mock feta recipes are easy to whip up but they need a lot of waiting time. Marinating often takes a minimum of 24 hours. What actually happens during that time is that the fermenting process is (re)activated.

Ingredients

Ingredients for Faux Feta

  • 250 g tofu
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 big or 2 small garlic cloves, smashed but left whole
  • dried oregano (to taste)
  • crushed red pepper (to taste)

Preparation

  1. Drain tofu and wrap in a clean kitchen towel or paper.
  2. Place a cutting board on top and weigh that down with something heavy like a cast iron or water-filled pan, books, cans of beans, etc. Leave for ca. 30 minutes to drain out excess liquid.
  3. In the meantime whisk together the rest of the ingredients for the marinade.
  4. Unwrap the tofu and cut into 1 cm thick slices.
  5. Put the tofu in a container with a well-closing lid, pour over the marinade and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, preferably 2-3 days.
  6. Flip the container every few hours to ensure even coverage.
  7. Pat the tofu pieces dry before use and crumble or cut into desired shape.

Taste test

I was pleasantly surprised with the taste and texture of this faux feta. The bite actually resembles the real thing and its sour tang is good too. You could use a little more salt (real cheese is pretty salty most of the time), but that can be easily fixed with a salad dressing as well. Still, this is no feta cheese. I guess that’s why Becky called it “feta-style marinated tofu” in her post. :)

I will probably make it again and try other recipes as well, like this one on Vegweb. Have I made you curious enough to have a go at it?

Salad with feta-style marinated tofu

Please check out the yummy recipes my fellow blog hoppers shared!

– – – – –

Join Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking with a food-related post!

Beth Fish Weekend Cooking logo

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Four Dutch tweeps -slash- foodie bloggers have teamed up to share some dips & spreads with you for New Year’s Eve.

Chinoiseries is serving us Roasted Cauliflower Dip (vegetarian with vegan suggestion)
JannyAn shares some Nutty Blue Cheese Spread (vegetarian; post in Dutch)
Uniflame is spooning out Bean Paté (vegetarian with vegan suggestion)
And me?

Mediterrenean Carrot Spread

The recipe that I’d like to share is a super easy, vegan dip that I’ve made several times now and is always a hit with vegetarians, flexitarians and omnivores alike: Mediterranean carrot spread.

I dedicate this post to Uniflame who seems to be at a loss with all the carrots among her CSA vegetables. ;)

Mediterranean Carrot Dip

Mediterrenean Carrot Spread

Ingredients

  • 250 grams carrots, cleaned and cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp good quality olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (or vinegar)
  • 1 small garlic clove (or half a big one)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • cayenne pepper / harissa / sambal
  • salt & pepper
  • optional: salty black olives

Also handy: a (hand) blender

Preparation

  1. Thoroughly cook the carrots on either your stove (about 20 minutes) or in microwave (4 minutes on 700 Wt). Drain.
  2. Blend (or mash) together carrots, olive oil, lemon juice (or vinegar), cumin and garlic.
  3. Add harissa (cayenne/sambal) and salt ’n peppa to taste.
  4. Let it completely cool down.
  5. Serve as a side dish or mezze, with Turkish pide bread, Italian ciappe, melba toast, veggies or whatever. It’s nice -but not necessary at all- to garnish this dip with salty black olives.

If you’ve got a few minutes left before you need to get ready for your s-mashing End of Year Party: grab some carrots and throw together this nice snack!

This spread can easily be made a day in advance but after 48 hours it gets too watery. Not that you’ll have any leftovers for that long! ;)

Now I highly recommend you hop over to the other participants’ recipes (links above)! :)

AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!!

Check out other food-related posts at Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking!

Also submitted to Kookgrrl’s December theme: Food to share,

& Zesty Palette’s New ‘U’ Event.

Button New "U" Event

If you’re from my generation, this song will probably bring up some memories.

It’ll be my birthday next week so when Leeswammes announced she was hosting a literary giveaway blog hop, I figured that would be a nice opportunity to share a book of my all-time favourite author: David Mitchell. And which novel would be more appropriate for a forty-something birthday than Black Swan Green? You’re only turning 41 once. ;)

Do not set foot in my office. That’s dad’s rule. But the phone’d rung twenty-five times. Normal people give up after ten or eleven, unless it’s a matter of life and death. Don’t they? Dad’s got an answering machine like James Garner’s in The Rockford Files with big reels of tape. But he’s stopped leaving it switched on recently. Thirty rings, the phone got to. Julia couldn’t hear it up in her converted attic ‘cause ‘Don’t You Want Me?’ by Human League was thumping out dead loud. Forty rings. Mum couldn’t hear ‘cause the washing machine was on berserk cycle and she was hoovering the living room. Fifty rings. That’s just not normal. S’pose Dad’d been mangled by a juggernaut on the M5 and the police only had this office number ‘cause all his other ID’d got incinerated? We could lose our final chance to see our charred father in the terminal ward.
[Black Swan Green, p.1]

Cover Black Swan Green (David Mitchell)Black Swan Green is Mitchell’s fourth novel and can be considered a semi-autobiographical ‘coming of age story’. The book’s thirteen chapters each represent one month—from January 1982 through January 1983—in the life of 13-year-old Worcestershire boy Jason Taylor.* The story is written from his perspective and contains teen speech and popular-culture references from early-1980s England.

Although the novel was published in 2006, the first chapter, January Man, appeared as a short story in Granta 2003 Best of Young British Writers. At a reading I attended Mitchell confessed he had not felt ready to write (t)his story, that is so close to home, before.

Needless to say that Black Swan Green is a nostalgic trip. Not everything is familiar to me as a Dutch person (like the Rockford Files from the first paragraph), but it’s a feast of recognition anyway. All the 1982 hits passing by are a party treat in itself! Mr Gnoe has been busying himself with tracking down the songs in this novel (as ‘children’ of the eighties we just love lists ;) Through this he found out that what seems like random stage setting at first actually gives the story depth. Jason assumes for example that his elder sister Julia is having ‘a ball’ now that she’s old enough to leave home. But from the songs Jason says she’s playing — we, who have been there and know the lyrics by heart ;) — understand Julia is having her own troubles.

I definitely need to reread this book! Now how about you? Would you like to get to know Jason Tyler? Don’t you want to discover which characters from Mitchell’s universe reappear in this story?? Here’s your chance! I have a brand new copy of Black Swan Green to give away. Just leave a comment and tell me what is your favourite 80’s song. But you can only participate if you’re 35+.
LOL Just kidding!!! Open to all ages of course — and worldwide. Make sure I know how to contact you! If I have no way of contacting you, you can’t win.

[* For those of you too lazy to do the maths, in 1982 I was just a year younger: 12.]

* Stay tuned for your very own Black Swan Green Disco Party! *

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. A WINNER WILL BE SELECTED SHORTLY.
This giveaway ends on February 23rd, 23:59 GMT+1 (=Amsterdam/Berlin time zone). A winner will be randomly selected at the end of the week.

Literary Giveaway Blog Hop Button

Now go and have a look at all the other fabulous books that you can win!
(Note: the Literary Blog Hop has ended.)

Sunday Salon logoThe Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, blogging about bookish things of the past week, visiting each others weblogs, and oh — reading books of course ;)

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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