Food & Drink Magazine

Tropical Getaway (at Home)

By Yonni @vegandthecity
You know those days where you just wish you were on a tropical island? Sunglasses, bathing suit, lotion and waves, freshly skewered pineapple, and a cute little umbrella drink in your hand?  I just had a week like that!  I didn't cook a thing, and I didn't go out to eat, but I did find these three vegan recipes in Vegetarian Times that made me long for island living and find a way to bring it home.  I hope you like them!
Teriyaki Tofu and Pineapple Kebabs1 14-oz package, extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 18 cubes1/2 large pineapple, peeled and cored, cut into 12 1/2 inch cubes1 large red bell pepper, cut into 12 pieces1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce1/2 cup mirin1 TBSP toasted sesame oil1 TBSP minced fresh ginger2 cloves garlic, minced2 tsp maple syrup1 pinch red pepper flakes2 tsp arrowroot powder
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Thread each of 6 bamboo skewers with 3 cubes of tofu, 2 cubes of pineapple, and 2 pieces of bell pepper and place in a baking dish.
Simmer soy sauce, mirin, oil, ginger, garlic, maple syrup and red pepper flakes for 3 minutes in a skillet over medium heat.
Combine arrowroot and 1/4 cup plus 1 TBSP cold water in a bowl.  Add to skillet and simmer 2 minutes, or until sauce begins to thicken.  Pour sauce over the kebabs and bake for 20 minutes, turning once to keep the kebabs coated.
Pineapple Fried Rice2 1/4 c low sodium vegetable broth1 cup long grain brown rice1 3/4 cups diced fresh pineapple1 TBSP low sodium soy sauce or tamari1/2 tsp red pepper flakes2 TBSP toasted sesame oil1/2 cup diced yellow onion6 cloves garlic, minced1 small carrot, finely diced1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper5 green onions, thinly sliced
Bring 2 cups of broth and rice to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 40 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender
Blend 1/2 cup pineapple, remaining 1/4 cup of broth, soy sauce and red pepper flakes in a blender until smooth.  Set aside.
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic and saute for 3 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium, add carrot and bell pepper and, saute 3 minutes more.  Add remaining 3/4 cup pineapple and cook for 3 minutes.  Add rice to skillet and cook another 5 minutes, and then add the blended mixture and cook for another 3.  Stir in green onions, season with salt or pepper if desired, and serve.
Pineapple-Ginger Elixir4 cups fresh pineapple cubes2 TBSP minced fresh ginger1/4 cup light coconut milk, optional2 1/2 TBSP lime juice2 TBSP pure maple syrup1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract1/4 tsp ground cinnamon1/8 tsp ground cardamom or allspice1/8 tsp cayenne, optional4 1/2" thick pineapple rings or lime wedges for garnish
Puree pineapple cubes, ginger and 1/2 cup water until smooth.  Strain through a fine mesh blender, using a spoon to help get out the maximum juices.  Pour liquid only back into the blender. Discard the pulp.
Add coconut milk (if using), lime juice, maple syrup, vanilla and spices (again, cayenne optional) to the liquid in the blender until smooth.  
Serve over ice and garnish with pineapple rings or lime wedges.

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