Have you all voted for the VegNews 2010 Veggie Awards yet? I went through all the categories and was really impressed with how much stuff I knew about or have tried – as well as all the awesome stuff I haven’t tried (yet). I’m proud to say Cincinnati’s own Park + Vine is nominated for best storefront. I’ve also tried two of the best restaurant nominees, Chicago Diner and Horizons.
I lived in Philadelphia for several years as a student, and Horizons was a special place I loved to go. After we moved away, Alex gave me a Horizons cookbook. At the time, I scoffed, thinking he was asking me to cook him a Horizons-quality meal. There were also many, many ingredients I wasn’t familiar with. Back then, I cooked much simpler foods, repeated menus a lot, and we also ate out more often. I had less time to cook at home, too, working two jobs, finding my way around a new city, and getting ready for our wedding.
Now, though, I figured it was time to revisit the cookbook. I made oven-roasted tofu with a pesto made of basil, cilantro, garlic, ginger, and macadamia nuts. The tofu is marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and a “Latin” spice blend. I cut the tofu into three large pieces because I like the way it looks. The marinade and pesto are so flavorful that even the middle of the big piece of tofu is seasoned, and it’s nice to have the more bland center bites along with the super-coated edge bites. I also like some crunchy macadamia pieces on top, too. Those beauties aren’t just for show!
For sides, I actually took the recommendations in the cookbook and made coconut rice with brown basmati and a marinated tomato salad. The tomato salad is also from the Horizons cookbook and is a nice twist on the cucumber tomato salad. Actually, the recipe features the cucumbers over the tomatoes, but I switched the ratio because I only like cucumbers a little bit. The salad also includes scallions and basil.
The dressing for this salad is unlike anything I’ve seen before, but it was sweet and delicious. It’s made with carrots! All those little orange bits you see are from the carrots after going through the food processor. Other dressing ingredients include Vegenaise, lots of ginger, some spices and seasonings, and a little water to thin it out. The only vinegar in this dressing is from a teaspoon of ketchup (I used my Local Folks Foods ketchup). I have to say, I prefer this sweet salad to the vinegar-dressed cucumber salad we’ve had several times this summer.
This is a cookbook I’m glad I pulled back out, and I hope to incorporate a meal at Horizons during my next trip back to Philly. But in the meantime, I’ll be trying more of their recipes at home.