Today I'm writing about food on instagram, why simplicity in food is everything and why I do what I do as part of my 3-day Saveur Awards countdown. However, if you're here for the delicious vegan tofu satay recipe, I don't blame you. Just scroll down to the very end to find what you're looking for ;).
WHEN INSTAGRAM BECAME THE HOME OF FOOD PORN
When Instagram launched in October 2010 it was all about sharing instant shots of yourself in the here and now. Think polaroids for the online, digital age. Posting candid, real shots is exactly what instagram pioneers did, that is, until they didn't anymore.
I'm unsure at what point the shift happened, but by the time I discovered instagram in 2014 strangely coloured smoothie bowls, insanely high pancake stacks, and all sorts of weird, wonderful and artistic food creations had taken over. And why not?! By Spring 2014 instagram had very much morphed into a platform for incredibly creative, talented foodies who were eager to show what they were made of and in doing so, even more eager to inspire us to live our full instagram-able foodie potential. And inspire us they did - they still do - with their gorgeous food art, photography and styling.
WHY SIMPLICITY IN FOOD IS EVERYTHING
Though I've dabbled in that kind of styling and food photography, I feel both my strength as a stylist as well as a food photographer is to make real, everyday, plant-based food look like a meal fit for queens and kings. That's because I want YOU the mama of 2, who works full time and has to put a nourishing meal on the table every single night feel OK about your 1 carb, 1 protein, 2 veg and sauce offering (yes ketchup DOES count). Because - I believe - the beauty and challenge lies in showing how gorgeous our every day life and everyday food actually is.
WHY I BELIEVE REAL, SIMPLE, PLANT-BASED FOOD IS MY PATH
As some of you may have noticed, my instagram has very much shifted towards simply sharing my everyday food. Nothing more, nothing less. In fact today's 1 (colourless) carb, 1 (brown) protein, 1 (brown and delicious satay) sauce and 2 veg is nothing complicated or mega exciting. But MAN did it hit the spot and made for a cosy, delicious and comforting family meal. My hope is that it translates into something that makes YOU happy and that gives YOU the courage to showcase YOUR real food in the most gorgeous, inviting way you know how.
3 DAY SAVEUR COUNT DOWN BLOG SPECIAL
Is any of this enough to set me apart from all the other finalists in this year's Saveur's Best Food Photography Awards? I don’t know, but I sure hope so and if you do too, may I ask you to vote for me by clicking here and voting for The Little Plantation one last time? If you're not convinced yet, then please come back tomorrow for a brand new blog posts with LOTS of food photography images. Or follow along on instagram in the interim, to see some behind the scenes of my Saveur blog countdown. Can't wait to see you there.
EASY VEGAN TOFU SATAY BOWL RECIPE
Satay sauce is hands down one of my most favourite sauces ever!!!! Since I was a little girl I’ve absolutely loved it and I can’t believe it’s taken me until now to share a vegan satay sauce recipe on the blog. The one I normally make requires some cooking etc. but I spotted the recipe for this super quick and easy satay sauce in Laura’s the First Mess cookbook and I thought it would be the perfect addition to this quick, easy mid-week meal. I was not mistaken ;)….
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
INGREDIENTS FOR THE SATAY SAUCE:
4tbs tamari or soy sauce
1/2cup/100ml almond milk (see tips for alternative)
2tbs maple syrup (see tips for alternative)
4tbs/60ml about the juice of 2 fresh limes
1/2 cup/100ml natural crunchy peanut butter (I used this brand - no affiliate)
4 garlic cloves
2-inch piece of garlic, peeled tsp minced ginger
100g of rice noodles (I used these)
200g broccoli or broccolini/tenderstem + a pinch of salt
280g firm tofu + a splash of veggie oil+ a pinch of salt
handful of sesame seeds (black and/or white)
Start by making the satay sauce; combine all the satay sauce ingredients in a small blender (think Magic Bullet style), once smooth, set aside.
Heat a pot full of water, bringing the water to the boil. Once boiled, turn off the heat and place your rice noodles inside the boiling water for about 3 minutes (or follow instructions on the package). Discard the water immediately when done and pour some cold water over the noodles to stop them from cooking further!
Whilst the water for the noodles is heating up, wash and cut the cucumber into slices. Set aside.
Also, prepare the broccoli/broccolini by giving them a good wash, chopping off the stalky bits and boiling them in hot water for about 5 minutes or until the broccoli is still crisp, but warm and just cooked. Discard the hot water, splash the broccoli with cold water to stop it from cooking further and set aside.
Take your firm tofu and discard the water it came in. Place the tofu on a kitchen towel to soak up any residual moisture and then gently place another kitchen towel on top, press lightly and carefully absorbing more moisture. Next, cut the tofu into equal sized cubes, place in a non-stick frying pan together with a splash of vegetable oil and a pinch of salt. Over a low heat, gently brown.
Serve the warm noodles, cucumber, broccoli and tofu immediately with a dash of satay sauce. Enjoy!
Tip 1: You can use coconut milk (the drinkable type that comes in a carton for the fridge) instead of almond milk. It will give it a more authentic, creamy flavour.
Tip 2: if you’re ok about eating honey, you can replace the maple syrup with honey. It’ll be a bit cheaper.
Tip 3: The quantities above will give you more sauce then you need. This means you have extra for your next meal.