I mentioned in a recent post that I spend a long weekend visiting the Dana Treat headquarters this month but I didn’t go into very much detail about my first trip to Seattle.
When I quit my job in the beginning of January one of the things I promised myself I would do was travel, now that my schedule is more flexible than it has been in the past (among the other things I promised myself I would do: work out more, get more sleep, keep my apartment cleaner. 1/4 ain’t bad). Dana has been telling me that I should visit practically since I met her so it only made sense that I head to the Northwest asap. I took two of her fantastic cooking classes, we ate at Delancey, Palace Kitchen and what must be the most adorable French bistro outside of Paris, Le Pichet.
As it turns out, I’m pretty terrible at taking pictures on vacations, so what you see is about the extent of what my camera saw outside of the pocket on the inside of my purse:
Pike Place Market in Seattle was a fun place to browse: they have tons of fresh produce stands, fresh fish markets and a dozen bakeries, each which smelled better than the first [doughnuts!]. There was a tiny European market that specialized in Italian wines, salumi, cheeses and all sorts of gourmet food-stuff, including espillete, a red pepper from France that I only recently learned about but obviously had to buy.
I wish I took more photos at some of the little cafes and restaurants we went to because the food in Seattle was spectacular and there are so many neighborhoods that are full of charm and personality. Seattle reminded me a little bit like Chicago in that when you were in a specific neighborhood, you hardly felt like you were in a city. Even the grocery stores there were sprawling, well lit – unlike anything you’d find in a city proper.
Some people visit Seattle and go to the Space Needle. I go to the grocery store. Typical. (in my own defense, it was raining too much for sightseeing. I saw what I needed to see from the warmth of Dana’s car, where there was heat and candy. I win).
We did manage to take a quick peek inside the first Starbucks store, so I can truly say I had the full Seattle experience. In a brand new city and I manage to find Starbucks? Also typical.
When we weren’t shopping, cooking, eating, or dodging the raindrops that never seemed to cease, I found myself immersed in one of Dana’s cookbooks, which lined multiple shelves in her kitchen. If she had put me in a room for the weekend with her cookbooks, I probably would have been able to entertain myself.
Okay, that’s a lie. I would have also needed a batch of Dana’s malted milk sandwich cookies. But THEN I would have been able to entertain myself just fine. For about an hour. Anyway. The moral of the story is that while I was browsing through Dana”s cookbooks I came across Clean Food by Terry Walters.
Many of Terry’s recipes are vegan and after browsing the book, I was inspired not only to go home and buy it, but to cook more tofu. It’s so easy, it’s super healthy and unlike cooking raw poultry, (which to be honest, kind of weirds me out) you won’t have to give your entire kitchen an antibacterial bath after you prepare it.
Makes about four servings
I can’t take the credit for this recipe. It’s about 75% Dana Treat, 20% Terry Walters, 5% yours truly. The truth is, there are so many things that you can do with tofu and Asian flavors that you could probably use any combination of the ingredients below to produce an edible, if not delish, recipe for tofu. I like this sliced, served over spinach or alongside steamed broccoli with a little bit of lemon. Add brown rice if you so desire.
What You Need:
1 block extra-firm tofu [Note: do not buy the kind sitting in water. look for a tightly sealed/vaccuum-packed block of tofu that will absorb more flavor] blotted dry
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin [an Asian-flavored cooking wine, similar to sake]
1 tbsp. dark sesame oil
2 tsp. hoisin sauce
2½ tsp. light brown sugar
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated or finely minced [or buy it in jars at the grocery store. Whole Foods has it, as do many local chains, in the produce aisle].
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except the tofu. Place the tofu in a small baking dish and pour the marinade over top, coating well. Allow to sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally to make sure the tofu is coated with the marinade.
Place in the oven, uncovered, and allow tofu to bake until most of the marinade has been absorbed and the top of the tofu begins to brown, about 35 minutes. Remove tofu from the oven and allow to cool. Serve immediately over spinach or brown rice [or both!].