Saturday, April 14, 2012

Daring to do it: Create your own recipe

One of my favorite things about being a part of the Daring Kitchen is the opportunity to play with my food. Clearly I love to cook and bake, and this group makes sure that, every month, I am doing something which I might otherwise never try. This month's challenge was more like play time than challenge...

Our April 2012 Daring Cooks hosts were David & Karen from Twenty-Fingered Cooking. They presented us with a very daring and unique challenge of forming our own recipes by using a set list of ingredients!

This looked like it had the possibility to be either a total "phone it in" type challenge, or a whole heck of a lot of fun. There were three lists of ingredients provided, and we were to choose one (or more) item from each list to create a main meal dish. The lists were:
List 1: Parsnips, Eggplant (aubergine), Cauliflower
List 2: Balsamic Vinegar, Goat Cheese, Chipotle peppers
List 3: Maple Syrup, Instant Coffee, Bananas
Dave and Karen dubbed the lists as vegetables (list 1), strong flavors (list 2) and weird (list 3). There are so many possibilities. But using one from each list, together in one dish? Seemed like there was a big possibility for failure. Luckily, Dave and Karen though of this... They specifically stated in their instructions that, if your dish failed, you were you to order pizza for dinner...!
I had really hoped to make a variety of dishes for this challenge. With so many combinations, there had to be a lot, right? But time and opportunity were not on my side. So I only got one dish prepared. I chose to use the following items:
Parsnips, balsamic vinegar and plantains. Parsnips and balsamic vinegar are nothing new in our house. Neither are bananas, but I am not too big a fan of them. I know, that makes no sense, but hey, I don't make sense. But I had never used plantains before, and I thought this would be a good opportunity. And plantains are in the right family, so...
I marinated tofu in a combination of balsamic vinegar, honey and spices.
I then cut up the parsnips and plantains.
Yummy, but a little bland looking. Very white meal so far. So I added color in the form of veggies. Lots of veggies.
That looks better...! I then roasted everything and served it over quinoa.
Yum. I loved the tofu. And the roasted veggies? Great. The parsnip gets nice and sweet, which worked so well with the tofu. As for the plantains. I liked them. But I think they weren't ripe enough, or I didn't cook them long enough or something. So they weren't as good as I thought they would be. But. I want to try working with them again...!
This was a fun approach to the challenge this month. I am glad that Dave and Karen gave me, and all of us, the chance to play with ingredients and flavors, and the safety net of pizza, too!
You should definitely check out the creativity this challenge brought out in my fellow Daring Cooks!!


  1. It's fun to see everyone's interpretation of the list. I like the roasted approach :-)
    Looks lovely with all the color added in! Great job.

  2. I love this. Healthy, colourful and delicious!

  3. Would you believe I roasted parsnips and plantains in a honey balsamic vinegar????? Reading your post almost gave me a Twilight Zone moment! Almost, since I cooked chicken and no tofu...