by Holladay Allen
Native Foods Cafe
1) Tarragon I remember my mother making tarragon chicken once a week and it was a family favorite, but other than that (and the Bearnaise sauce she prepared for asparagus) I can not remember ever really hearing about this herb. Well tarragon is terrific. It is one of the four that make up the fines herbes of French cooking, and it is very easy to find fresh in the supermarkets. A couple years ago, my friend Ange taught me a new way to use it... in a sprout salad! She would take fresh sprouts and sprouted beans and legumes and toss them with fresh tarragon, sesame oil and a pinch of salt. It was flippin' delicious! A nice alternative to cole slaw in the summer. So start talkin' tarragon in the kitchen.
2) Tea Lattes Warm on cold days and iced on hot, tea lattes are lovely with almond milk as a lighter on the palate, less-caffeniated alternative to coffee. My favorite? Zhena's Earl Greater Grey, iced with three splashes of almond milk (not a true latte, I know. But it does the job very well).
3) Temptation Soft Serve Ice Cream from Chicago Vegan Foods. This is reason enough to buy a soft serve machine my friends. Chicago Vegan Foods' own Dan Reed describes the vanilla as "cake batter" and the chocolate as "frosting." And it is FAT FREE! I think I may have to make an Amazon impulse buy.... that can fit on my kitchen counter, right?
4) Tapioca A very interesting food, that is actually a starch that is extracted from the cassava root. It is most famously used in pudding, but can also be used as a base for candy, chips, breads, the deliciously melty Daiya cheese, and even biodegradable plastic bags! Wow. And in the past 10 years, the tasty boba phenomenom has catapulted tapioca into the trendy drink spotlight, with the tapioca balls offering a nice chewy contrast to the sweet creaminess of the boba teas.... yum. I like avocado smoothies with boba, but the thai iced tea with coconut milk and tapioca pearls is pretty dang wonderful too...
5) Tofu Still my favorite all-time plant-based protein, other than straight up beans that is. Tofu is not just for health food freaks and hippies anymore. You can bake it, buffalo wing it, and so much more. Try making kabobs with tofu and fresh veggies then marinating them in this fabulous Greek marinade. Let sit for a few hours, then grill, bake or sear.... and be ready to lick the plate.