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November 05, 2004

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Publication Date: Friday, November 05, 2004

'Secret' holiday recipes from a teen's kitchen 'Secret' holiday recipes from a teen's kitchen (November 05, 2004)

Dishes are healthy and easy to make

By Lanvy Nguyen

November signifies the beginning of perhaps the most exciting and happy time of the year -- the holidays, a time of family reunions, presents, and the best of all, great food.

But it's not going to be as easy as before. Now that the Mistress of Craft and Kitchen, Martha Stewart, isn't going to be able to help us out from behind bars we're going need to look to someone else for holiday inspiration.

Who can save the holidays from complete culinary disaster? Why, the Teenage Flour Busters, the best chefs in teen dining.

We all know that teenagers have major cooking potential, so we're sharing recipes so they can tap into that potential and create holiday magic that fits into their lifestyle.

Our first project, tofurkey, is vegan-friendly and simple enough that even a tween could do it. It is a great fat-free alternative to regular turkey.

In addition, this project combines culinary skill with artistic ambition; this is not just a tofurkey, but your tofurkey, and it can look any way you want it to look.

The second project uses a staple of the teenage diet, Top Ramen. It's so simple and so delicious but it may seem too casual for the holidays. This receipe revamps Top Ramen like no other.

Better leave room for dessert because we also have a simple recipe for the traditional apple pie.

We hope you enjoy these recipes, and next year, should Martha find herself in another pickle, we'll have even more secrets to share. Happy Holidays!

Lanvy Nguyen is a junior at Los Altos High School.

Flour Busters Secret #1: Tofurkey

2-3 blocks of firm tofu
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh chopped herbs (such as cilantro, rosemary or basil)
1 tbs. vegetable stock powder dissolved in a couple tbs. of hot water
1 tsp. of vegan mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. powdered sugar

1 sharp knife, not a butter knife
1 3-D model of a turkey (optional)

Begin by combining the balsamic vinegar, herbs, stock powder and mustard in a large deep dish. Place the tofu blocks into the dish, add enough water to cover it half way, and marinate for 15 to 20 minutes on each side. Then bake the tofu on a clean dish for at least 1 hour in a 300 F oven.

After the tofu is cooked, let it cool and set until it does not jiggle. Once it is firm, use the turkey model or your own imagination and carve out the turkey parts you need -- a head, a stomach, legs, wings, beak, and so on. Then, add enough water to your sugar to create a glue-like paste.

Finally, glue your tofu pieces together, and shazzam! You have your very own Thanksgiving tofurkey to eat and enjoy.

Flour Busters Secret #2: Top Ramen surprise

3-4 packages of Top Ramen, different flavors
2-3 herb sprigs, such as cilantro or mint
1/8 cup chopped onions
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste

Pot for boiling
Nice bowls

First, follow the instructions on the Top Ramen package and add all the water and flavors to one large pot. Meanwhile, chop the herbs and the onion. Add these to the pot. As it boils, crack open the egg into the soup and stir so the egg is broken up.

Serve in nice bowls to dress up this dish further.

Flour Busters Secret #3: Traditional apple pie

Store-bought apple pie filling
1 store-bought 9-inch pie crust
Vanilla ice cream
Caramel sauce

Ice cream scooper
Piping bag

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While you are waiting, place the pie filling into the pie crust carefully, so you do not spill. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a golden color forms.

Serve on plates with as much ice cream as you like. Put the caramel sauce in a piping bag, or just a Ziploc bag with a hole in it, and drizzle over for an extra punch!

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