Thursday, July 31, 2014

Reclaim Your Culinary Traditions

In yesterday's post, I reviewed Sharon Palmer's Plant-Powered for Life, a new vegan cookbook with 52 tips for eating your way to lasting health. Each chapter is a tip and includes a few recipes that go along with that tip. For example, the "Lose your fear of fats" chapter has a recipe for Fresh Guacamole with Tomatoes and Serrano Chiles.

Today, I cooked from the "Reclaim your culinary traditions, or develop new ones" chapter. It's all about choosing healthy meals from various food cultures. Y'all know I've certainly claimed my Southern roots, and through my own cookbook Cookin' Crunk, I've attempted to healthify some of the classic down-home staples.

But I'm particularly interested in the "... or develop new ones" part of that sentence. I love experiencing other culinary traditions. I'm especially fond of Middle Eastern food, and I get such a thrill from roaming the aisles at our local Middle Eastern market, picking up halva, rose syrup, and Turkish cardamom coffee.

There weren't any Middle Eastern recipes in this chapter though, so I opted for my second favorite food culture — Asian! (Okay, maybe third favorite ... I think Indian tops Asian for me). "Asian" cuisine is kind of a catch-all term, of course. I know Japanese food can be very different from Chinese or Vietnamese food, etc. But I'm a fan of the sort of Asian fusion cooking that blends them all together. This Sesame Udon Salad with Snow Peas is just that.

I used some dried Explore Asian udon noodles that had been in my pantry for awhile. They're tossed with five-spice baked tofu (purchased from the Asian market by my house), snow peas, carrots, and an amazing homemade peanut butter-sesame-ginger sauce. I topped it with sesame seed gomasio and sriracha. Delicious and perfect for mid-summer.

For more on Plant-Powered for Life, check out my review post.

No comments: