A cool Aspen morning quickly turned warm in the high altitude sun. We strolled the Aspen Farmers’ Market with our dog, China, picking up some juicy organic peaches along the way.
We could smell the sweet and smokey aroma of assorted green chills being roasted over flames and hear the sound of a young couple playing their violins in the shade. I grazed the pastry stand with my eyes trying not to drool on anything as I went by. Thankfully, my willpower held strong and I didn’t give into the temptation to eat one.
One thing we always see loads of at the Aspen Farmers’ Market are dogs. Lots and lots of dogs. There were big fuzzy ones, terrified tiny ones, and everything in between. There were a couple of showstoppers that we’ve seen before who always command an audience of photo takers and kids wanting to touch them. There were a couple of scrappy littles pups who tried to pick fights with our dog, mostly, everyone behaved and it was a great way to get our morning going.
The weather was beautiful and the town was filled with all kinds of festivities including the reopening of the Aspen Art Museum which was a 24 hour affair.
We saw the hilarious comedian and actor, Kevin Nealon at the Belly-up, which was so much fun, ate lunch at the Woody Creek Tavern, famous for being the old hang-out of writer, Hunter S. Thompson and danced to the AMAZING Big Bad Voodoo Daddy who performed an outdoor concert in front of the museum. It was a great little get-away.
Soon the summer will wind down, kids will be going back to school and the leaves will begin to turn. I’m not quite ready for it all to be over, especially grilling out on our deck and enjoying the warm evenings outdoors.
Even though I’m a vegetarian, I am very attached to our grill. I love the taste of just about anything cooked over a flame. What does a vegetarian grill? Salads, veggies, fruit, flatbreads and these, my favorite, Savory Tofu Satay marinated in a delicious peanut and sesame sauce.
I usually make a double batch of the marinade and reserve half to use as a dipping sauce, and since we sometimes have guests who are not vegetarian, I often make half with chicken and half with tofu.
To make a dipping sauce, just add an additional olive or peanut oil to thin the mix out and then add 1 or 2 tablespoons of rice wine or red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
- 1 cup chunky peanut butter
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 2-3 tablespoons hot sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ brown sugar
- ½ cup soy sauce or Tamari for gluten free
- 4 scallions onions, white and green parts sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bell peppers (I like to use 1 red and then one either green or yellow pepper)
- 1 red onion, cut into cubes
- 15-20 bamboo skewers
- 2 packages (14 oz.) extra firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes (6 chicken breasts if you are using chicken)
- Combine the first ten ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add the cubed tofu or chicken and mix until thoroughly coated.
- Cover with plastic or foil and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Soak the wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes.
- Thread the tofu or chicken onto the skewers alternating with the veggies.
- Cook over a hot grill on a well oiled rack or under the broiler for 5-6 minutes, turning at least once during the process.
- I like to serve this dish with either rice or couscous and a crisp salad.