Asparagus, Peanut Sauce, and Food Justice

Image from Food First

I would like to start today’s post by saying that, while I don’t post much on this page about social or political issues, food is, in and of itself, a political issue. Food security is tightly wound with our societal responses to race and socio-economics. When we are sitting in positions of privilege, we need to consider how food insecurity threatens the lives and wellbeing of others in very real ways. While this can occur for individuals of all races, there are disproportionate effects on some. To read more about this, check out this backgrounder from Food First and all of the work they have been doing related to the food movement and food justice. To learn more about ways you can help combat food insecurity, organizations like Food First, Feeding America, Food Not Bombs, and local food banks and food security funds offer much good information.

And now, if you dropped by for a recipe:

Asparagus with Peanut Sauce

Ingredients
1 lb. asparagus (thinner is better)
1 TBSP olive oil
sea salt 
1 TBSP sesame oil
4 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 TBSP jarred minced garlic)
1 tsp of ginger, minced (or 1.5 tsp of jarred minced ginger)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 TBSP soy sauce (use wheat-free tamari for gluten-free)
1/2 tsp hot chili oil (if desired)
water

Process
Remove and discard bottom inch or two of each asparagus stalk. Place asparagus in iced water and swish to clean. Repeat until no more sand comes from the stalks.

Drizzle asparagus with olive oil, and sprinkle with minced garlic and sea salt. Toss or turn so that all stalks are completely covered with oil, and then spread out on a baking sheet.

Roast at 450, stirring/flipping asparagus occasionally, until it starts to brown (about 15 min for thin stalks).

Mix remaining ingredients well, and add enough water so that it becomes spreadable/pourable (I added about 3 Tbsp here and could have added more). Place asparagus on serving dish and drizzle or spread with sauce.

Vegan Fauxage and Cheese Quiche

It’s faux eggs, other goodies, and pie crust. What’s not to love?

For this recipe, I made a sourdough pie crust. But, you don’t have to do that! I’ve provided ingredients/directions for that below, but also ingredients/directions for a standard crust.

“Standard” Crust

Ingredients
320g all-purpose flour
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
170g (12 TBSP) cold vegan stick butter/margarine, cut into ¼ inch slices
81g (6 TBSP) cold vegan shortening , cut into ¼ inch slices
1/2 cup very cold water
3 TBSP cold vodka

Process
Mix dry ingredients.
Cut in butter and margarine, until the mixture is like coarse sand (you can use a food processor if you have one).
Slowly add liquids and toss with hands to disperse.
Gently create a loose ball and then divide into two pieces.
Wrap each half in plastic wrap as a disc.
Place in refrigerator for 1 hour to 3 days.
Roll out and shape in pan and then return to fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Sourdough Crust

Ingredients
280g flour
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
227g (or 16 TBSP) cold butter, sliced
227g 100% hydration cold sourdough starter discard

Process
Combine dry ingredients.
Cut in cold butter.
Cut in starter.
If the dough won’t hold together at all, add a tablespoon of ice water
Divide into 2 equal pieces
Press into disks and wrap in plastic, place in fridge for at least an hour.
Roll out and shape in pan and then return to fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Quiche Filling

Ingredients
1 container firm or extra firm tofu
1 TBSP cornstarch
2 TBSP nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp turmeric
1.5 tsp black salt
4 TBSP unsweetened soy milk
1 TBSP vegan butter
1 small onion or 2 scallions, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 handful of parsley, washed and chopped
8 field roast sausages, chopped
2/3 cup non-dairy cheese

Process
Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil
Add sliced sausages, mushrooms, kale, etc. and cook until warmed through
Mix tofu, cornstarch, nutritional yeast, turmeric, black salt, and soy milk in a blender or food processor until smooth
Add tofu mix and non-dairy cheese
Fill crust
Bake at 350* for 45+ minutes (until firm and golden on top)
Remove from oven and cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing (or refrigerate)

Basic Sandwich Bread

Sourdough is the bomb, but sometimes it’s not what you want for a sandwich or toast. As long as you can find a little packaged yeast, this is an easy sandwich loaf recipe. It’s mostly based on a recipe from Joshua Weissman. I’ll embed his video below!

Ingredients

  • 448g warm water
  • 150g full-fat non-dairy milk (I used soy)
  • 2 packets yeast
  • 880g bread flour
  • 42g sugar
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 84g or 6 TBS softened butter 

Process

  • Stir warm water and milk together and heat until 98*F
  • Add yeast, a sprinkle of sugar, and stir to dissolve. Cover and set aside 10 minutes to bloom.
  • Combine flour, sugar, and salt in stand mixer bowl.
  • Using dough hook on low speed, slowly add the bloomed yeast mixture.
  • Knead for about 2 minutes beyond when the dough is cohesive. 
  • Slowly add butter and mix to incorporate.
  • Shape into a ball.
  • Place dough in oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise for 1-2 hours or until it doubles (mine went a little beyond!). 
  • Punch down dough l and divide into two.
  • Flatten and roll to form into “logs” and place in greased loaf pans. As you can see below, my dough was rather wet and I didn’t get very tidy rolls, but it did not matter in the end!
  • Cover lightly and let sit for about an hour to double again.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.