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June/July 2005
Hot Summer Lovin’

By Joshua Ploeg

Hello again Vegans, Vegetarians and Well-Wishers!

I hope this summer double issue finds all of you doing well. I thought I’d turn up the heat a bit with this delicious set of recipes. Your taste buds will get a good workout with all the flavors being exercised here. My loyal fans out there will notice that the prep and cooking time is reasonably short for once, so take advantage of this while you can!

Blazing Tofu
Heat may be adjusted up or down according to taste.

1 lb. Pre-Fried Tofu Cubes or Triangles
2 Bell Peppers, one red, one orange, seeded and chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 White Onion, chopped
Mixed Hot Peppers, seeded and minced
2 T. Ginger, minced
1⁄2 C. Cilantro, chopped
1⁄2 C. Thai Basil, chopped
1⁄4 C. Tropical Fruit Jelly
1 T. Sesame Oil
1 T. Corn Oil
Soy Sauce to taste
2 T. Plum Vinegar or Chinese Black Vinegar
2 T. Chili Sauce or Sambal
2 t. Hot Sauce
2 t. Hot Curry Powder
1 t. Cumin Seed
1 t. Five Spice Powder
1⁄4 C. Lemon or Lime Juice
1/3 C. Water, Broth, or Fruit Juice
Sweetener to taste
Optional: 2 t. Lemongrass, minced; and 1 T. Tamarind Paste or Pomegranate Concentrate

1. Heat all of the ingredients in a pot and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep the lid on for about half of the cooking time.

2. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve with seasoned rice. Thicken the sauce with cornstarch if you want to.

Seasoned Rice
Long Grain Basmati
Cumin Seed,
Black Sesame Seeds
Mustard Seeds
Chili Powder

Cook long grain basmati rice with seasonings to taste.

Salt Cucumber
Serve as the salty side to Blazing Tofu and Seasoned Rice.

3 Cucumbers, cut into strips
1 Carrot, peeled and shredded
1 t. Salt
1/3 C. Seasoned Rice or White Vinegar
2 t. Panch Phoran (Persian spice mix)
1 Small Onion, cut into thin strips
Cilantro, chopped
Fenugreek Leaves, chopped
1 T. Sesame Oil
2 T. Corn Oil
Lemon Juice
2 T. Fresh Grated Roots—galangal, burdock, turmeric

Toss all together in a bowl, cover and allow to marinate for an hour, stirring every once in awhile.

Curried Pineapple Raita
Sweet, cooling accompaniment to Blazing Tofu and Salt Cucumber.

8 oz. Vegan Cream Cheese
1⁄2 C. Fresh Pineapple, crushed
2 T. Lime Juice
1 T. Corn Oil or Olive Oil
1⁄4 C. White Onion, minced
2 T. Cilantro, minced
1⁄4 C. Coconut Milk
1 T. Yellow Curry Powder
Salt and Sweetener to taste

Mix all together and chill.

Melon Lassi
This rules! Some extra chopped or shredded melon may be added to this on top for extra melony goodness.

For every two drinks:
1 C. Chopped Honeydew Melon
2 T. lemon juice
1⁄2 C. Coconut Milk
1⁄2 C. Lemon Vegan Yogurt
Pinch Salt
Sweetener and Ground Cardamom to taste
1⁄2 C. to 1 C. Vegan Milk (vanilla is good)

Blend all until smooth. Serve over ice.

Recipe of the month, tour information and occasional diatribe: Contact Joshua at His cookbooks are available at



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