On A Lighter Note….Spicy Peanut Marinade & Sauce

I love peanut butter, organic of course. Non-organic peanut butter is ridden with pesticides and nasty chemicals that you do not want to consume! So what would be better than a peanut butter marinade for tofu or a peanut butter sauce for over veggies and rice?! So awhile ago, I decided to concoct my very own peanut sauce since none I ever try seem to fit my picky standards ;) . Well, I must say the recipe I came up with is a sure fire winner. Bonus: the very same recipe transitions from marinade to sauce with no additional ingredients (too often I find the marinade is not the same as a sauce, especially when you wish the sauce to be thick). So use this as a marinade for tofu or tempeh or whatever you wish, and then slather your rice and veggies with the thickened sauce! Yummy!

 

Spicy Peanut Sauce over marinated tofu, steamed veggies and rice!

Spicy Peanut Sauce over marinated tofu, steamed veggies and rice!

 

Spicy Peanut Marinade & Sauce

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup peanut butter (I prefer crunchy for the extra peanut chunks

1 1/2 T soy sauce (I use low-sodium Tamari)

1 T apple cider vinegar

1 T agave nectar

1 1/2 tsp minced garlic

3/4 tsp red pepper flakes (reduce to about 1/3-1/2 tsp for sauce if you are not big on spice–keep the same for marinade as the effect is not as strong in marinating)

1 pound Tofu (post-frozen is best) or 1–8oz package Tempeh if marinating

 

1. Whisk together all ingredients until peanut butter is consistent throughout. Place in either a pot for a sauce or a container suitable for your marinating needs.

Prepared marinade

Prepared marinade

2. For marinade, place tofu or tempeh in marinade and marinate for at least 3 hours to get the best flavor. Be sure to flip the tofu/tempeh a few times during the time frame you choose. I have used this marinade for only about an hour, and it tastes quite good then as well. You can pretty much go anywhere between 1 hour to 2 days. **If you find when you are using 1 pound of tofu that there appears to not be enough marinade due to the size container you are using, just add extra water and increase marinating time.

Tofu marinating

Tofu marinating

3. Once the tofu/tempeh is done marinating, bake it at about 350F for 25 minutes, flipping once. Or you can cook it in a skillet on the stove top until browned. **If you only marinate for an hour or so, there may be extra marinade available. You can just use it to turn into a sauce and add more if necessary.

Baked tofu

Baked tofu

4. For sauce, heat on medium/medium-low until it thickens. Spread over veggies, rice and tofu/tempeh.

Voila!

Voila!

This sauce recipe serves 2. If you are serving more, just adjust as necessary. This marinade serves as many as 1 pound of tofu or 1 package of tempeh will serve (it varies for us between 2 people to 4 people ;) ).

Enjoy!

Good Ol’ Veggie Burger ‘N Fries

Changing to a lighter note after the previous post regarding the Vilifying of Animal Rights, I give you a post about food! Which hopefully no little critters in farm fields had to die for *stupid anti-vegans*.
Amy's Organic Bistro Burgers

Amy's Organic Bistro Burgers

I usually make my own burgers from tempeh or seitan crumbles, but it is nice to every now and then to just pick up some organic vegan burgers at the store. I recently discovered Amy’s Bistro Burgers….which are just completely awesome! I’ve tried other burgers from Amy’s but these are the best thus far. It is mainly constituted of mushrooms, brown rice, tofu, onions and other veggies–all organic. The greatness of this veggie burger has made me really want to attempt to make my own rice burger.

Incredible Veg Burger, Organic Corn & Organic Baked Fries! Yummy!

Incredible Veg Burger, Organic Corn & Organic Baked Fries! Yummy!

Sure I don’t eat burgers everyday, but if I had to I’d probably choose this one! Unlike many veggie burgers….this burger actually stays in one piece when you grill it up, but it is really soft as well when you bite into it. I have no doubt that this burger could satisfy even the pickiest of meat-eaters (but who really cares if they are satisfied right? at least an animal wouldn’t have died for their meal!). But hey, who am I to say? I haven’t had a non-veg burger for over 10 years. Matt on the other hand has…..what do you think? Think he is suffering any? ;)

Yup, he looks like he's suffering alright

Yup, he looks like he he's suffering to me!

Poor poor man. You just have to feel sorry for him! ;) Feel sorry for me….’cause I’m going to be in trouble for posting that picture! ;)

Ah, there is nothing better than an organic sesame bun slathered with mustard, ketchup and vegenaise….with onion, tomato, lettuce and pickles….with an awesome rice burger. Then to have oven-baked organic fries to boot? Oh, I’m making myself hungry!

The Dinner Plate Disconnect

I occasionally watch the TLC show Jon & Kate Plus 8. Why I watch the show at all even perplexes myself as I am not one to oo and aah over children and in fact I do not want any of my own. Then add to that the fact that these children came from fertility treatment, which I am against since there are so many children in this world needing homes already, and it becomes ever so much more perplexing! I was ever so intrigured while watching an older episode when the family headed to an organic farm about an hour from them. I believe the name of the farm was Natural Acres Farm, but don’t quote me on that!

While the family was at the farm they were able to feed chickens, see cows and calves and horses. I was fairly surprised to see that the chickens were able to be running around in fairly open pastures, however the conditions inside the barn were not shown on camera. As a vegan I am always skeptical…… Whether the chickens were in open pastures or crowded in the barn(s) I am in no way legitimizing the eating of chickens. My main drive to write this blog about the show was the way the family acted with the cows and calves. They were very excited and thought the calves were absolutely adorable. Kate especially found the calves endearing and couldn’t get over how cute they were. Yes, I certainly agree that the cows/calves/chickens/horses and so on were absolutely adorable, its one of a plethora of reasons I do not consume them! However, the events that followed the family visiting the animals is what alarmed me so much.

Before the family was set to leave to head back to their home, they stopped at the shop at the farm to buy organic foods and get this, half of a cow. Yes, I said half of a cow. Even in the summary of the show it stated that Jon and Kate buy half a cow. Mind you it wasn’t a deal to have half ownership of a cow with someone else, no no no. This was in fact Jon and Kate purchasing box after box of organic beef from the farmer. This is where they lost me. How, after seeing the cows and calves in the fields and ooing and awing them, can you turn around not more than a few hours later, and buy one of the cows’ dead and mutilated cousin/brother/sister/mother/father etc?!?!!?!?! This epitomizes the disconnect most people have between their food and the animals it comes from. Sure, its quite possible that Jon and Kate see it for what its worth and do not mind, but it seems that in more cases than not that most people just don’t see a baby cow and think “oh thats beef”. I guarantee if the children knew they would not wish to eat the beef after visiting with the cows. It seems as though children are much more in tune with nature than we as adults are. Perhaps it is the lack of stress or knowledge of all the pressures of this world that make them able to possess closeness to nature.

All I know for sure is that in the moment that Kate paid for “half a cow” I saw glaring in my face a majority of the world’s disconnect between what is on the dinner plate and how it got there.

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