EASY VEGETARIAN RECIPE
The vegetarian easy recipe this week is sort of an east meets west meal because it fuses Tofu with a Chipotle Vinaigrette. I think the fusion creates a fun meal for the family or entertaining.
The Chipotle Vinaigrette recipe is from Mii amo Cafe’, located in the Mii amo Spa and Resort in Sedona, AZ. Their step by step recipe is reprinted here with their permission. To learn more about their resort, and Mii amo Cafe’ cookbook go to http://www.miiamo.com/mii-amo-cafe/ .
2 Chipotle Pepper Pods (canned with adobo sauce)
1tsp Fresh Oregano
1/4 Yellow Onion (diced)
1/2 C Red Wine Vinegar
1tsp Dry Mustard
1tsp Adobo Sauce (from the can of Chiptole Pepper Pods)
2 C Thickened Veggie Stock (add cornstarch to thicken)
Add all ingredients, except veggie stock and cilantro, into blender. Slowly add veggie stock while blending to emulsify. After the ingredients are nicely blended add the cilantro and blend again briefly (do not turn the vinaigrette green).
You will also need:
1 package of Soft Tofu (or hard cube Tofu if you are making the party salad)
1 Avocado peeled and sliced
A mixture of various red and green lettuces
1/2 C Jicoma skinned and julian sliced
1/2 Red Onion thinly sliced and cut in half
Sun roasted tomatoes – thinly sliced (for use on Tofu)
Pearl Tomatoes and/or assorted tomatoes.
1Tbsp Olive Oil
If using the soft Tofu for individual salads slice the Tofu in 3/8 inch slices, heat olive oil in fry pan and brown. Remove Tofu and cut slices in half lengthwise. Using all salad ingredients make salads on individual plates, place three slices of the Tofu next to the salad. Place sun roasted tomato slices on Tofu. Drizzle Chipotle Vinaigrette over salad and Tofu and serve.
If you choose to make the party size salad use uncooked hard cubed Tofu, and toss with salad mixings and 3/4 C Chiptole Vinaigrette. Top with parmesean or other cheese of choice.
We had a smooth flight from LAX to Maui. After a beautiful drive along the coast, we checked into the Sheraton Black Rock around 5:00 p.m. This was our first stay at the Sheraton, and from the view off the lobby area it looked like a good choice.
We parked our car, and slogged along an open exterior walkway, passing door after door. On one side of the walkway there was a lovely mountain view, but the other side of the walkway was pretty basic. As we entered through our door, we discovered that the room was large and nicely decorated. Next we opened the curtain on the balcony, and as promised, we had an absolutely beautiful view of the grounds, beach, and ocean.
I have gone to Hawaii a number of times with She Who Must Be Obeyed. And, on all those occasions I had never gotten around to attending a Luau. The whole idea of piling into a car or tour bus and going to a venue to eat mass quantities of food with total strangers had just never seemed to grab me.
But, there I was on the balcony enjoying that Maui view, when I noticed workers setting up chairs and tables in a closed off portion of the grounds. I later learned that the set up was for the Sheraton Luau that evening. I was told that people would be coming from all over the Island to attend their Luau. So let’s recap, I have never been to a Luau, largely because of the inconvenience; yet here I was staying in a room within about 50 feet of a Luau. Seemed like the perfect opportunity to check Luau off my list of things to do.
After securing our tickets for the Luau, we were off for a day on the beach. All day I was teasing Sue that we would have to volunteer to get on stage to dance the hula. She did not take the bait. From what I have seen on TV, it appears that dialing in juuuuust the right amount of alcohol allows the mind to balance courage and lack of common sense so that an otherwise rational person will decide that he or she has, over the course of the evening, been bestowed with sufficient skills to dance the hula in front of 100’s of people.
So, we made the short walk from our room to the Luau, received our first Mai Tai while waiting to enter the venue, got our picture taken on the way in, and were seated near the stage. The show started off with mellow Hawaiian instrumental music, while everyone had a cocktail or two. Next we were directed to a seemingly endless buffet line. After we were seated, the ceremonial lighting of the torches and high dive into the ocean was performed and then the show went into high gear.
And you know what? A luau is a blast! I loved the music, dancing, and demonstrations of islander skills performed by warriors. The food was good, and the choices seemed unlimited. What more could I want, a beautiful sunset, Hawaiian music, hula dancers, fire dancers, good food, and of course an open bar.
I am very happy to report that neither I nor She Who Must Be Obeyed got up onto the stage to dance the hula that evening. I left that chore to others. But, you know what; it did look like they were having fun dancing with the hula girls and warriors. Who knows, maybe next time I will find that perfect balance and join in the fun.
Good Eating and Table Talk,
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