spicy barbecue shrimp and tofu salad bowl with tzatziki sauce


This salad bowl is as filling as it is nutritious. I added the shrimp and reduced the tofu because Andy must have meat or seafood with dinner. My becoming vegetarian for Lent has been very hard on him. To make this completely vegetarian, leave out the shrimp and increase the tofu to 1 1/2 cups. It’s a very satisfying dish either way and the addition of the tzatziki sauce is cooling.

Spicy Barbecue Shrimp and Tofu Salad Bowl with Tzatziki Sauce
Serves 2

Tzatziki Sauce
1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
2/3 cup Japanese cucumber, seeded and diced (Note: Japanese cucumber is milder than regular cucumber)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 oz or 2 heaping tablespoons of fresh dill or 1 teaspoon of dill seeds
1 1/2 oz or 2 heaping tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 oz (about 2 tablespoons) white vinegar, or to taste
1 oz (about 2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until well blended. The mixture should be slightly thick. If additional thickness is desired, increase the cucumber. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the bowls
1 cup extra firm tofu, drained and patted dry
1 1/2 cups large shrimp, shelled, deveined, tails on (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for the baking sheet
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup sugar snap peas
2-4 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Make the tzatziki sauce. Whisk all ingredients except salt together in a small bowl until emulsified and well-combined. Taste and add salt. Set aside.

Make the bowls. Slice tofu into 1/2 inch slices. Slice into 1 inch cubes.

Heat the oven to 400˚F/200˚C. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up, then lightly coat foil with olive oil.

In a medium bowl, combine paprikas, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and stir to combine. Pour in 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil and stir to combine. Add the tofu and shrimp, if using, and gently stir to evenly coat.

Place the broccoli and sugar snap peas on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat. Spread in an even layer, making room for the tofu and shrimp, if using. Place tofu and shrimp, if using, in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast tofu and veggies for 15 minutes.

Drizzle tofu and shrimp, if using, with barbecue sauce and toss to combine.

Divide rice, vegetables, tofu (and shrimp) between 2 bowls. Drizzle with tzatziki sauce and garnish with cilantro. Serve warm.

oven-roasted tandoori chicken drumsticks with cilantro-red onion relish

DSC_0368Date night! Home-cooked dinner with Danny Collins, a feel-good movie.

Yesterday Andy rebelled against yet another vegetarian meal, when I made the zucchini-ricotta fritters. So to make it up to him,  I made chicken for tonight’s dinner. I found this recipe on the Food and Wine website and halved it, because it served four. We ate these chicken drumsticks with sesame rice salad. The drumsticks were indeed a treat because I left the skin on. They came out tender and juicy, spicy without the heat. Plus the skin was crispy and slightly charred around the edges, just the way I like it.

Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks with Cilantro-Red Onion Relish (adapted from Food and Wine)
Prep time: 30 minutes
Grilling time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2

1/2 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 tablespoon garam masala
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander (I didn’t have this so I increased the cumin slightly)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (original)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated fine (original)
4 cloves garlic, minced (original)
1/4 cup Greek-style yogurt (original)
Juice of 1/2 a medium lime
1/4 cup plus 4 tablespoons rice bran oil, divided (original; Substitute: canola oil)
Salt and pepper
6 chicken drumsticks with the skin on

1/3 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped (3/4 cup in the original)
1/2 medium red onion, minced (Substitute: 1 medium shallot)
3 tablespoons white vinegar

Pre-heat the oven to 450˚F/230˚C. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray for easy clean up.

Pat dry the chicken drumsticks with paper towels and set them aside. Some recipes state that this makes the chicken skin crisp up.

In a 10 inch skillet combine the ground spices, and heat them, until they release their fragrance, about 1-2 minutes. Scrape the spices in a medium bowl to cool slightly. Add the ginger, garlic, yogurt, lime juice, and 2 tablespoons oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make 2-3 slashes in the thickest part of the chicken. Put the chicken in a large bowl with 2 more tablespoons of oil, and toss to coat thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Scrape the yogurt spice mixture onto the chicken and toss to coat thoroughly.

Roast 40 minutes or until the drumsticks reach an internal temperature of 160˚F. Turn the chicken once after 20 minutes. Check after 35 minutes. If the chicken doesn’t show signs of charring, put them under the broiler for about 5 minutes. I skipped this step because the drumsticks showed signs of charring after 40 minutes.

Make the relish. In a small bowl combine the chopped cilantro, red onion, vinegar and 1/4 cup of oil.

I recommend doubling the ginger and garlic and use a whole lime when doubling this recipe for 12 drumsticks. I like ginger and garlic together.

DSC_0370The sesame rice salad pictured here is a variation on a rice salad recipe I found in a South Beach Diet cookbook. I used red and brown rice here, but brown rice is recommended in the original recipe. I used sugar snap peas and green peas, but your favorite combination of two vegetables will do. I added a tablespoon of minced Chinese celery stalks for flavor. The dressing is easy: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Whisk with a fork and pour over the rice. Add vegetables and toss.