Cucumber, Corn and Tomato Salsa

My co-worker gave me some cucumbers she and her husband had grown in their garden. I wanted to use them right away as they were so fresh. This is a variation on a classic cucumber and tomato salad. I added charred corn for sweetness and smokiness. I also added poblano and jalapeno for spice. 

2 small or 1 medium cucumber, diced
2 ears corn
3 vine tomatoes, diced
1 poblano, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbls apple cider vinegar
2 tbls olive oil
2 tsps dry dill
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsps salt

I wasn't about to turn on the broiler to cook the corn. It's been in the 90's here. Instead, I used the same technique often used to char bell pepper. Put the shucked ears directly over a gas flame on the stovetop. If you don't have a gas stovetop you can broil them or use an outdoor grill. 

The corn will pop and make a bit of a mess on your cooktop, but it's worth it. 

Char the corn evenly all around. Allow to cool and them cut the kernels off the cob. 

Stir together all i…

Spicy Seared Tofu Sandwiches

Here's a simple tofu sandwich that is simple to make and easy to enjoy. I like to buy the enhanced tofu with added vitamin B12 because that just makes things simpler. If it's in some of my foods then I'm not forced to use a vitamin or cereal to get it. And as you may or may not know, B12 is an essential nutrient which cannot be gotten for non-meat eaters without a supplement. You can take a vitamin, you can use nutritional yeast. You can eat some fortified cereal. You can drink silk almond milk. But you'll never get from plant sources without it being manually instilled by humans.

I like to marinate my tofu in soy sauce. For an hour or two. First I drain it. Then I slice the block into thin 1/4 inch slices. Extra firm is my preference. Then I let it soak in the soy sauce. I just save up the free packets I get from Chinese takeout. But store bought is fine. I just marinate it in the same easy peel package in which it came. Using a clip or a rubber band to re close it for it's hour rest back in the fridge.

Then I get a frying pan very hot and add the tofu in batches. In a 10 inch fry pan I only add 4 slices at a time. I sear the slices on each side. Using a spatula to press gently and really get a good sear. As I remove each batch from the pan I sprinkle them with black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and some cayenne powder.

Let the tofu cool. First on the counter for at least 15 minutes. Then in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

To assemble the sandwich slather your bread with 1-2 teaspoons of peanut or almond butter. Use your favorite bread. A fresh garlic bagel or whole wheat wrap are good choices. Add 2-3 slices of the cooled spiced tofu. Top with kosher dill pickle slices, some red onion slices, red bell pepper slices if you have them, a smattering of yellow corn niblets. Sprinkle with vegan imitation bacon bits.

There are endless variations possible. Everything goes great with tofu. Crunchy is always good. Artichokes. Black beans. Hummus. Vinaigrette. Jalapeno. Romaine. Barbecue sauce. Cucumber. As long as you add some crunch, some texture and some flavor you can't go wrong. And always choose a sturdy and flavorful bread.