Get Ready for Hodo Adobo Mexican Crumbles

Tacos made not with meat -- but Hodo Adobo Mexican Crumbles.
Tacos made not with meat — but Hodo Adobo Mexican Crumbles.

You know a tofu product has got it going on when my husband, aka Meat Boy, will bite into a taco stuffed with it and not miss meat one iota.

Hodo Adobo Mexican Crumbles makes Taco Tuesdays even easier and more healthful.

It’s the newest product from Oakland’s Hodo, maker of artisan tofu products made with only organic soybeans, which I had a chance to sample recently.

The plant-based crumbles are like ground meat in texture with a warm, smoky, spicy taste from chipotle, ancho, cumin, and tomato paste.

Just sear in a pan, then spoon into griddled tortillas with salsa and your favorite fixings. Dinner is ready — just like that. The crumbles could also be used in taco salads, chili or enchiladas.

Find it at Whole Foods in the coming weeks.
Find it at Whole Foods in the coming weeks.

The 10-ounce package ($6.99) states that it makes 3.5 servings. I’d say that the crumbles will easily fill enough tacos for two hungry people. The entire container has 510 calories. Each serving has 13 grams of protein, 182 milligrams of calcium, and 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Read more


A Peanut Butter Cookie with Finesse

Peanut butter cookies dotted with dried cherries and cocktail peanuts.
Peanut butter cookies dotted with dried cherries and cocktail peanuts.

Peanut butter and bananas — of course!

Peanut butter and jelly — you bet.

But peanut butter and dried cherries?

I admit the combo gave me the briefest pause when I first considered this particular cookie recipe.

I had been on the hunt to find a recipe to use up a big handful of dried cherries I had around. I didn’t want the usual oatmeal-cherry cookie. Or the standard chocolate chip-cherry one. Or even the typical cherry shortbread.

Been there, baked those already.

Martha Stewart’s “Peanut Butter Cookies with Dried Cherries” offered a peanut butter cookie not only studded with dried cherries, but also salted cocktail peanuts.

It also offered up a pleasant contrast to the usual heavy and indulgent peanut butter cookie archetype. As my neighbor murmured between contented bites when I shared some with her, these are “less in your face.”

Read more



What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 13

A new way to enjoy single-serve wines.
A new way to enjoy single-serve wines.

Le Grand Verre

First came single-serve wine and Champagne bottles. Then, mini wine cans.

Now, get ready for tube wine.

Just launched in the United State, Le Grand Verre packages offerings from boutique French wineries in single-serve, screw-top, slender, plastic tube-like containers.

The shatter-proof, recyclable container, which holds 6.3 ounces, was designed by research funded by the state of Burgundy. It’s so compact that you could easily slip one into your pocket, too.

The company was founded by CEO Nicolas Deffrennes, who got the idea for it after joining Harvard University’s wine club; Regis Fanget, who has worked in advertising for French luxury goods; and Valerian Dejours, a computer science engineer.

The wines come in 4-packs, either featuring one wine or a variety, for $19.99 to $29.99. Most are also crafted by female winemakers or female-owned estates who adhere to organic or sustainable farming practices.

A cute and convenient 4-pack.
A cute and convenient 4-pack.

I had a chance to try a sampler pack with two different reds and two different rosés. Each tube holds one generous glass.

Read more

Cheers with Chilled Smoked Salmon Spaghetti with Capers and Avocado

A smoked salmon-avocado pasta with a glass of bubbly -- the makings for one fabulous dinner.
A smoked salmon-avocado pasta with a glass of bubbly — the makings for one fabulous dinner.

Smoked salmon, capers, avocado, and a squeeze of lemon.

That’s the mouth-watering makings for my favorite bagel topping. That’s also what stars in this easy and terrific cold pasta dish.

“Chilled Smoked Salmon Spaghetti with Capers and Avocado” is from the new cookbook, “Wine Style: Discover the Wines You Will Love Through 50 Simple Recipes” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy, by San Francisco food writer Kate Leahy.

Leahy is the co-author of cookbooks by San Francisco restaurants, A16: Food + Wine,” “SPQR: Modern Italian Food and Wine,” and “Burma Superstar: Addictive Recipes from the Crossroads of Southeast Asia,” plus so many more. But surprisingly, this is her first cookbook that’s all her own.

Pairing food and wine can easily intimidate and befuddle. But Leahy makes it easily approachable. She doesn’t inundate with too much nitty-gritty that would make most casual wine drinkers’ heads spin. Instead, after a short primer on wine basics (textures and flavor categories), she dives into the heart of the book, which comprises nine categories of wine, along with specific recipes that marry well with each.

For instance, in the chapter on “Rich White Wines,” you’ll learn about Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewurtztraminer, Viognier, and a handful of Italian white wines, all of which are “rich enough to coat your mouth a bit, allowing them to complement creamy sauces and richer dishes in a balanced, even-handed way.” That is why “Oil-Packed Tuna with Potatoes, Olives, and Lemon” goes smashingly well with Albarino or Chardonnay.

Read more

The All-Natural Red Velvety Strawberry Cake

A most unique red velvet cake.
A most unique red velvet cake.

Admittedly, the hoopla over red velvet cake has always left me perplexed.

Sure, the dramatic color captures your fancy — for a hot second.

Then, as quickly, reality tells you that’s all due to red food coloring. At which point, I say, “Pass me a wedge of all-real devil’s food cake instead.”

“Red Velvety Strawberry Cake,” though, sparked a far different reaction.

It had me all in from the get-go.

Nope, no artificial anything in this stunning cake. No food coloring whatsoever — only an entire bottle of red wine.

And if that doesn’t grab you, I don’t know what will.

Now, that my friends, is a cake.
Now, that my friends, is a cake.

To be fair, this cake doesn’t possess that vivid maroon you expect from red velvet. Instead, the wine, which first gets reduced before being added into the batter, adds the merest bit of rosiness to the dark chocolate-colored cake. The wine (I used a Pinot Noir) also adds a touch of acidity to balance out all the sweetness.

Read more
« Older Entries