grilled tofu with rosemary and juniper berries.

Our dad is THE grill king.

charlie_bradfordHe is the owner (and co-builder) of a 14 foot long stainless steel grill, capable of roasting a whole pig on one side while a multitude of hamburgers and hot dogs sizzle on the other.

charlie_bradford_grillHe makes a beef tenderloin so juicy and succulent, the aroma alone is enough to make a grown man weep. He was commissioned to make it for our cousin’s rehearsal dinner, and the smell wafting from the grill caused a minor stampede and a small child was trampled.

[slight exaggeration]

Our family went to North Carolina for our dad’s birthday this year, and he decided to make this scrumptious, wonderful, amazing tenderloin (although the grill down there isn’t nearly as amazing as his 14 foot-er). Unfortunately … Dani and I weren’t eating meat. We were (justifiably) sad about it, but we knew there must be an answer. The solution? From Dani’s clever brain, it emerged: take the tenderloin rub and, instead of putting it on beef, put it on tofu. Pure genius.

To make Dani’s mouth-watering grilled tofu, you will need:

  • 1 package of firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • olive oil
  • several garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • juniper berries
  • fresh rosemary
  • kosher salt
  • tin foil and a grill

It’s really simple to make! Once your tofu is cut into cubes and dried (lay it out flat on paper towels and let sit for 10 minutes or so), lay the cubes onto a layer of tin foil, leaving enough foil to fold over and use as a cover when grilling. Brush the cubes with olive oil. Distribute the garlic evenly over the tofu cubes. Sprinkle with salt, fresh rosemary, and juniper berries. Fold the foil over and crimp all the edges. Put the entire foil package onto the grill for 15-20 minutes, checking occasionally. The end result?

grilled_tofu_rosemary_juniper_berries

It was fantastic. Try it – you’ll see! Happy Vegetarian Monday!

veggies & starches.

Happy Vegetarian Monday!

I have a bowl of healthy things on my table, and I’m going to make something out of them tonight for dinner. What, I don’t know. I hope everyone has tasty and healthy dinner plans tonight! And if you don’t … that’s okay, too. I love junk food. Especially hot dogs. Worst vegetarian ever.

butternut_squash_onions_yams_photoHave a wonderful Monday, everybody! Happy Veteran’s Day!

the senoritas

Pirate Juice

Pirate Juice has unknown origins. Its shadowy past includes appearances at Luca’s, my favorite bar in Locust Point until it closed in 2010. Not many know its ingredients or how to create it, but we have decided to share with you its secrets.

To make pirate juice properly, you will need:

  • 3 cups Malibu Coconut Rum*
  • 1.5 cups Pineapple juice*
  • A dash of Naked Berry Blast juice (or something similar)
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • Sliced fresh strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries for topping. Apples, clementines, and blueberries are good, too.

*The Malibu and pineapple juice mixture is 2:1, so feel free to mix more than 3 cups/1.5 cups.

1. Mix the Malibu and pineapple juice.
2. Squeeze the orange wedges into the Malibu/pineapple juice mixture.
3. Fill a glass with ice and pour in the Malibu/pineapple mixture. Add a dash of Naked Berry Blast to the glass.
4. Top with fruit, and preferably, a straw. A paper umbrella too if you have one.
5. Drink outdoors for maximum enjoyment. A well-timed “arrrr” wouldn’t be misplaced, either. Happy summer cocktail drinking!

homemade vegetable pot pie

Perfect for a rainy Monday night.

You will need:

  • 3 small onions, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 2 small yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp freshly chopped sage
  • 8 oz frozen peas
  • 8 oz frozen corn
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (we use a delicious vegan bouillon from Whole Foods)
  • Course ground black pepper and sea salt
  • Several pinches of flour to thicken
  • 1 box of amazing pie crust from Whole Foods (picture to follow)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°. Peel carrots (but not the potatoes, the skin is tasty), and chop them into pot pie sized wedges, about the size of a nickel. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, sea salt, and course ground black pepper. Roast for 35 minutes, covered with aluminum foil.

2. While the potatoes and carrots are roasting, sauté the minced onion, garlic, and celery in a saucepan/pot for 15-20 minutes. Add the freshly chopped herbs, sauté for another 5 minutes.

3. After the potatoes and carrots are done roasting, add them to the pot with the vegetable broth and remaining vegetables. Add several pinches of flour, and simmer for about 40 minutes until it has a nice, thick consistency.

4. You should now have a lovely stew-like mixture of deliciousness to top with the crust of your choosing.

We would give you our homemade crust recipe, except we made it out of buckwheat flour and it tasted like gritty sh*t. Does anyone out there have a good vegan crust recipe that doesn’t use an artificial ‘buttery’ spread?

almond milk yogurt!

Yogurt + fresh, crunchy granola = deliciousness. It’s a perfect breakfast or, if you’re hobbits like us, second breakfast.

We recently discovered Michele’s handmade granola* at the awesome farmer’s market in Baltimore (the one located under 83, at Saratoga and Gay street), so we have the granola bit more than covered – but when you’re not eating dairy, what sort of yogurt can you have? Soy yogurt is one alternative, and there are several great brands out there. However, we were getting worried about eating too much soy, and so thought we might have to give up eating yogurt altogether.

Meet amande yogurt!

It’s cultured almond milk, which is exciting because 1) I didn’t know you could make almond milk into yogurt, and 2) Eating plain almonds is a bit like eating pieces of wood, so I’m always happy to find a new way to ingest them. On a recent trip to Whole Foods, we spotted amande on the shelf and gave it a shot. The texture is a bit surprising, and you need to mix it thoroughly, but it’s delicious! So far we’ve tried the strawberry, cherry, coconut, blueberry, and peach. It also comes in vanilla and plain, but our Whole Foods isn’t carrying those flavors yet. Amande is vegan, gluten, soy, and dairy free, and is flavored with natural fruit juice. It also has six active cultures, so if you’re eating yogurt for the culture benefits and probiotics, you’re covered.

Hooray for almonds and their multi-purposeness!

the senoritas

* Michele’s granola is fantastic. My personal favorite is the ‘ginger hemp’, but ‘pumpkin spice’ is also really delicious. We’ve been buying the granola from Michele herself, who is incredibly nice and friendly. If you can’t make it to the farmer’s market, the Whole Foods in Mt. Washington carries her granola, as well. Happy eating!

pescatarian monday!

Pecan-crusted salmon on a bed of baby kale with spinach shallot sauce and roasted sweet potatoes.

Holy mackerel! That sounds amazing!
Ahem. Actually, it’s salmon.

Oh, yes. Feast your eyes, friends, on the deliciousness we made for dinner last night:

pecan crusted salmonRead on to learn how to make this scrumptious dish for yourself!

You will need:

  • 12 oz wild caught salmon (Washington state is good this time of year. Otherwise, a trip to your local Whole Foods will suffice)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1.5 teaspoons chopped shallots
  • 1 cup hemp milk (or regular milk. or whipping cream. or anything similar will work)
  • 1.5 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, or one huge one
  • olive oil

To make the sauce:

  1. Combine the spinach, wine, and shallots together in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the spinach begins to wilt, about 3 minutes or so.
  2. Add the hemp milk and lime juice, then cook until it’s a saucy consistency. This will take 12 or so minutes.
  3. Toss the sauce into a blender, and puree. Transfer it back into the saucepan and add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm on low heat.

While this sauce business is going on, cut your sweet potatoes into little chunks, sprinkle with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper, and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees (fahrenheit).

Next, dry off your salmon, drizzle with olive oil, then roll in chopped pecans. Put two tablespoons of olive oil into a frying pan, and heat. When the oil is hot, place the fish face-down into the oil. Cook until done, flipping occasionally.

While you’re simultaneously stirring the sauce, watching the potatoes, and flipping the fish, place baby kale leaves in the center of a plate. Once the potatoes are done, arrange them nicely around the edges of the plate. Place the salmon on the bed of kale and spoon sauce over the salmon. Enjoy!

the senoritas!

self-control? we have none.

Over the last week or so, we have been frequenting awesome restaurants/bars simply to be gluttonous. Why get one dessert when you can get two? Why choose just one appetizer when three look marvelous? Why get a single glass of sangria if a pitcher is offered? Here is a sampling from one of our evenings out:

What? They’re all vegetarian.

the senoritas

vegetarian monday!

Behold, our vegetarian eatings from yesterday:

tomato and fresh, homemade mozzarella with basil pesto from coastal provisions in southern shores

tomato basil soup, also from coastal provisions

mussel and watercress chowder, coastal provisions, featured in the previous day’s ‘chowder cook-off’ (which we took part of. great fun!)

our mom’s absolutely scrumptious homemade cheesecake

vegetable samosas from red parrot

green tofu with curry and rice, also from red parrot

kimchi soup from red parrot (do not eat this. it is imposter kimchi soup. kimchi soup does NOT contain baby corn, green beans, or asparagus).

happy eating, friends!

the senoritas