Thursday, September 13, 2012

Easy Heirloom Tomato Salad

Part of the reason I haven't been around with many recipes is because summer just doesn't require overly complicated dishes. With stunning farmers market ingredients, you can put together a delicious meal without a lot of bells and whistles. 

This summer tomato salad is just one such dish. I've been trying to eat as many tomatoes as humanely possible recently, trying to get my fill before fall comes and the tomatoes disappear. This salad I threw together the other day was just perfect. Easy, no fuss, but delicious. 

Since I've been trying to stay away from dairy as much as possible (one week without dairy and my skin clears right up!), I tossed in some cubed firm tofu for some protein. I was skeptical of how the flavors would meld but tofu is a blank slate and thanks to all the other strong flavors (basil, onions, balsamic), the tofu ended up almost mimicking a mild mozzarella

East Heirloom Tomato Salad
Serves 1
2-3 heirloom tomatoes, the more colorful, the better, cubed
1/2 cup firm tofu, cubed
1/4 avocado, cubed 
1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
handful of basil, sliced thinly
handful of spinach, sliced thinly

For the dressing:
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp red wine vinegar

Whisk the ingredients for the dressing together and set aside. Combine all the ingredients for the salad and serve with the dressing. This salad actually tastes better after sitting for a few minutes because the tofu has a chance to absorb all the flavors, so don't hesitate to make ahead of time. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Best BBQ Sauce Ever

Honestly, I haven't meant to stay away for so long, from this here blog of mine. Summer was a total whirlwind and before I knew it, I was back in New York City.

It's only been a few days since I've been back and I already miss Istanbul a lot, but I'm trying to embrace being back in the city and thankfully my mama is coming for a visit soon, which always cheers me up.

I didn't get around to cooking a lot this summer, if at all, because we have this wonderful lady who helps out around the house, who also happens to make delicious Turkish food. Between her food and all my going out, I rarely got around to cooking.

And boy did I miss it! I've been cooking up a storm ever since I've been back in my apartment and it feels great. For me, periods of eating out a lot are always followed by a few weeks of cooking the majority of my meals. I guess this is what we'd call balance.

Last night I wanted to make a yummy dinner for myself, but didn't have too much on hand, and was too lazy to pop down to the market. Yes, that lazy. Luckily I had a log of tempeh, some potatoes and some spinach and I came up with a delicious meal, if I must say so myself. And one of my best friends called just as I was finishing up, so she joined me. She has perfect timing, that one- she can feel when I've cooked or baked something and I love her for it.

I ended up making a homemade barbecue sauce that was to die for. It's Kathy's recipe from this blog, and if you haven't checked it out yet, you must. Her blog is one that I visit daily and she never lets me down with her fantastic creations.

You can find the barbecue sauce recipe here, and even though I didn't have a few things on hand (ketchup, for example), the sauce was still perfection. I plan to make a large batch of it soon to keep in the fridge and slather on everything. If any of you are as obsessed with BBQ sauce as I am, you might want to know that most commercial varieties have high-fructose corn syrup or a lot of sugar in them, so making your own is a wonderful way to avoid this. Plus you can make it as spicy as you like.

I slathered it on some tempeh that I had sautéed and we enjoyed it with some oven-roasted garlic potatoes, recipe courtesy of another favorite, The Barefoot Contessa, and a simple spinach salad.

Trust me when I say you should make a double batch of the BBQ sauce. I might or might not have ended up finishing the remaining sauce with a spoon only! Don't judge.

My awesome followers!