Sunday, May 26, 2013

Kale and Tofu Saute with Japanese Sweet Potato and Vegan Swiss Cheese Open-Faced Sandwich

I have been a vegan for a number of years now and love the wide variety of plant-based foods that are so tasty. I do occasionally eat a vegan cheese, particularly a raw nut cheese or prepared Daiya cheese. When I was shopping today, I found that Daiya now has Swiss-style slices! Many years ago, I would enjoy melting Swiss cheese on an open-faced sandwich, and thought that I would try that tonight.

I got a sweet potato baking. I love Japanese sweet potatoes - they are purple on the outside and off-white inside. The smell a bit like perfume when they are cooked and cut open!

I then got to work in preparing the main course. This is the last night of my cooking for myself; my wife doesn't eat tofu but I happened to have some at home, so used it in tonight's meal. I cut a shallot into thick 3/8" slices and put them in my Saladmaster stainless steel saute pan. I turned the heat on to medium and started cooking the shallot; after about 3 minutes or so when the shallot was turning a bit clear, I added about a fifth of a block of tofu cut into 1/2" cubes and continued cooking for a few more minutes till the tofu was warmed and some cubes starting to brown.

I then added hand-torn approximately 2" square kale leaves, sans stem, from both lacinato and red kale varieties, using maybe 3 leaves of each kind. I also put in a small roasted red bell pepper that I had sliced into 3/8" widths. The dish was ready in a few minutes, when I added just a touch of salt.

I had a baguette that I lightly toasted. I put half of a slice of the Swiss "cheese" atop either half and put the bread back in the toaster oven. I watched it toasting; within a minute or so, the "cheese" was bubbling and becoming brown. I served the toasted baguette with a few drops of hot sauce and a little bit of tomato.

The verdict? Dinner was quite good, especially the kale. The "cheese"? As much as I like other Daiya products, this one was acceptable but didn't have a lot of flavor. I was happy to see how it browned and melted so easily, but it has very pungency.


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