Chili Roasted Corn w/ Spelt Berries + Seared Tofu + Quick Pickles + Arugula

September 2, 2015

Chili Roasted Corn w/ Spelt Berries + Seared Tofu + Quick Pickles + Arugula // by Faring Well #vegan #recipes

I am so excited I could POP. This next Monday we hit the road for our end of summer camping trip! We took a week off this past May to go home to California – but since then its been nearby sunset hikes and day trips that have filled our summer. All of these have been wonderful, but getting off the grid for a solid chunk of time with my man is going to be just what this summer ordered. Six days and five nights with our beloved tent in a handful of new-to-us adventure destinations. I would divulge all the details to you now, but I’ve never fully planned a camping trip like I have with this one. I usually wing it and see what happens. So in order to avoid jinxing this master plan in any way, I’m going to withhold all the juicy destinations for now. But I will at least say that it begins in Arches National Park, Utah (!!!). HELLO STARS. I cannot wait to stay up on those warm, summer, desert nights and gaze into space. I AM GOING TO POP.

Now – since its just mean to talk about something you can’t really talk about, lets move onto discussing the fact that it is September 2nd. Yes, this is a means for discussion. How has you summer been? How are you going to soak up these last three weeks before the seasons shift? Despite what some clamor around the web might let on to, it isn’t fall just yet. So don’t let the idea of September slow you down from savoring these last few weeks of late summer. It’s (to me) the best time of the season. Fruits and vegetables are ripe for the picking, the warm air is mixing with a cool breeze, and you can still wear shorts while watching a few leaves begin to change a little early. I’ve heard people say they don’t like summer, some say the same about winter, maybe even a few (weirdos) about spring. But I’ve yet to hear anyone say “I don’t like fall”. Most of us are gearing up for the pleasant shift from fresh berries and raw salads to stews and pumpkin baked goods. So now is the time to be happy with where we are, and excited about what’s to come. How great of a spot to be in, right? Excited about now, and later. Let’s live out these last few weeks with that perspective, yeah? Yeah!

Chili Roasted Corn w/ Spelt Berries + Seared Tofu + Quick Pickles + Arugula // by Faring Well #vegan #recipesChili Roasted Corn w/ Spelt Berries + Seared Tofu + Quick Pickles + Arugula // by Faring Well #vegan #recipesChili Roasted Corn w/ Spelt Berries + Seared Tofu + Quick Pickles + Arugula // by Faring Well #vegan #recipesChili Roasted Corn w/ Spelt Berries + Seared Tofu + Quick Pickles + Arugula // by Faring Well #vegan #recipes

A summer veggie I haven’t touched on yet here on the blog is corn. We’ve had a rough patch, corn and I, ever since I was introduced to the canned version as a kid. When it was on the cob (slathered in butter and salt) I use to chow down on it Loony Toon style. But when the overly sweet, watery, canned version was introduced to my palate – I decided I loathed corn. And haven’t touched it since. That was until last week. I’m a firm believer that no one doesn’t like anything (did that make sense?), especially when its comes to fruit and vegetables. You just have to find the right way to prepare it depending on your taste buds! For me, corn has to be grilled with a salty/savory kick. Seeing as I have no access to a grill, I decided to use the closest thing I have – the rack in my oven! And it totally worked. I “buttered up” the corn with a little refined coconut oil, salt, and chili powder. Then oven-grilled (roasted?) it to perfection on the oven rack. I sliced off the kernels and tossed them with some chewy spelt berries, and then plated it over a peppery arugula tossed with a light drizzle of nutty flax oil. Then we get kooky with some quick pickles (or “quickles” as Jodi taught me – I still giggle every time I say it) taking the flavor meter up a notch with coriander seeds and fresh dill. Then oh yes, the spice-rubbed tofu I sear in a skilled to top it all off. Let me tell you, this is one killer late-summer-bowl that will fuel you for the last of summer’s festivities. Just take a bite and see.

Chili Roasted Corn w/ Spelt Berries + Seared Tofu + Quick Pickles + Arugula // by Faring Well #vegan #recipes

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Makes two servings.

chili roasted corn
1 corn on the cob
nob of refined coconut oil
chili powder

spelt berries
1/2 cup spelt berries
1 1/2 cups water

seared tofu
1 7.75 ounce block extra firm tofu
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
nob of coconut oil

quick pickled cucumbers (8 ounce jar)
thinly sliced fresh cucumber
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
coriander seeds
fresh dill

fresh arugula
cold pressed flax oil

Begin by preheating the oven to 350F. While the oven is preheating, prepare the corn by husking (if un-husked) the cob. Then rub the cob with a small nob of refined coconut oil. Sprinkle all sides of the corn with salt and chili powder. Place directly on the grate in the oven (once preheated) with a baking sheet on a rack below the corn to catch any spices that may fall off (easier to clean that the bottom of the oven). Roast for 30 minutes, rotating the corn every 10 minutes.

Once the corn is in the oven, combine the spelt berries and water in a sauce pan on the stove. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Let cook for 30 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed. Drain any excess water at the end if there is any.

After you have the spelt berries cooking on the stove, prepare the quick pickles. Thinly slice your cucumber, overlapping and stacking the slices in an 8 ounce jar until they reach the top (I used about half of a medium sized cucumber, refrigerating the remaining for another recipe – but feel free to use the entire cucumber and double the recipe in a 16 ounce jar too). As you are stacking the cucumber slices, sprinkle a few coriander seeds and sprigs of fresh dill in-between the layers. Mix the vinegar, water, maple, and salt in a small bowl. Pour the liquid over the jar of cucumber slices until it covers them entirely. Seal the jar and set in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the salad. (Leftover pickles are best if eaten within one week.)

Once the corn has finished roasting, remove it from the oven and place on a plate to cool. When the spelt berries are finished cooking, remove them from the stove and leave the lid on the pot to allow them to finish steaming. During this time prepare the tofu. Remove the block of tofu from the water and pat dry. Slice into 8 squares, place them between a few sheets of paper towels, and press to remove the excess water. Heat a nob of refined coconut oil in a skillet on medium-low heat. Mix the spices in a small cup and rub onto one side of the tofu slices. Place the tofu in the skillet, seasoned side down, and rub in the remaining spice mix on the other side of the tofu slices. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side (or until a crispy golden brown). Remove the skillet from the heat when done and set aside.

Place a handful of fresh arugula in two bowls and lightly toss with a small drizzle of cold pressed flax oil. Holding the roasted corn on the cob upright, slice off the kernels with a knife. Add the kernels to the cooked spelt berries and toss. Divide this mixture evenly between the two prepared bowls of arugula. Top each bowl with 4 slices of the seared tofu and a good portion of the quick pickles.

Now grab a fork and dig in!

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Chili Roasted Corn w/ Spelt Berries + Seared Tofu + Quick Pickles + Arugula // by Faring Well #vegan #recipes


  • Reply Abby @ The Frosted Vegan September 2, 2015 at 6:37 am

    I’m soooo not ready for summer to end, mainly because I felt like it totally FLEW and I didn’t even get to give it a high five while it passed me by :) Corn is my favorite summer vegetable, mainly because I grew up eating the really good stuff in the heart of the Midwest, so I was rather lucky! Enjoy your trip my dear, it sounds quite lovely and just what you need for an end of summer shebang!

    • Reply Faring Well September 5, 2015 at 10:26 am

      It did fly by didn’t it? It always seems to compared to the other three seasons! I bet you had the cream of the crop when it came to corn over in the midwest growing up. And thank you about our trip! We are so pumped! Hope wedding planning is going well for you guys and that you are getting more and more excited too! Eeeee!

  • Reply Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist September 2, 2015 at 7:28 am

    This bowl has my name on it! I love your writing Jessie. Your blog is one I look forward to reading each week. There is such a beautiful quality of reflection and introspection in your writing that is just a perfect start to my Wednesdays. “Now is the time to be happy with where we are, and excited about what’s to come.” So, great. And beautifully said. I’m constantly endeavoring to find that sweet spot. I am so excited for you and your trip. And I know what you mean about fear of jinxing, I am the same way! Looking forward to the big reveal :-)

    • Reply Faring Well September 5, 2015 at 10:28 am

      Aw thanks Kathryn! That means a ton that you enjoy reading my posts each week, sheesh, that is just too awesome. Got to love it when you can find that sweet spot :) we all know they don’t come along often! And thanks about our trip too! So excited to share it with you guys. Hope you have a great weekend girl! <3

  • Reply Grace September 2, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Yay for late summer/early fall and living in the present moment! Love that. Also yay for corn – the way you’ve prepared it here looks absolutely perfect in this lovely salad. Enjoy every second of your fabulous trip! #jealous!

    • Reply Faring Well September 5, 2015 at 10:30 am

      Thanks so so much Grace! This truly feels like the best time of year. Hope you are enjoying every bit of it too! And thank you about our trip, I’m bouncing in my seat I can hardly sit still this weekend I’m so excited! <3

  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full September 2, 2015 at 7:54 am

    I’m so excited for you!! Ryan and I are DYING to visit Arches National Park :p I’m expecting lots of jealousy-inducing photos missy! ;) And I laughed when I read what you wrote about corn… I’m the exact same way!! My mom mad canned corn a lot when I was growing up, and I just couldn’t get past the taste/texture. Even now I still feel weird eating corn!! It’s crazy how childhood experiences can affect your tastes as an adult! But I’m in love with this chili roasted cob… I love anything spicy so this is really speaking to me right now :D

    • Reply Faring Well September 5, 2015 at 10:32 am

      Eee thanks Sarah! I hope you guys get a chance to go sometime soon! I am SO PUMPED. We both love exploring the desert. Its so vast and jagged and wild, I love it! Maybe some pics to come will get you guys planning your trip too! And haha YAY about the corn! Glad this version could semi-entice you after your not-so-great childhood experiences with it too! Hugs xo

  • Reply The Clever Carrot September 2, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Hey Jess! I’m with you on milking summer! We’re in the land of in-between which really is not so bad after all. For our household, the approaching start of school kinda forces us to attempt to ease back into a routine which has been met with resistance.
    I’m so glad you’re excited about your camping trip. After all, that’s part of the trip too…. the anticipation. Sounds like it will be awesome! Make lots of wishes when you see those shooting stars!

    • Reply Faring Well September 5, 2015 at 10:34 am

      Ah yes back to school! I was one of those weird kids that always got so excited, but my brother always entered this time with resistance too so I understand that – hope the “getting back into a schedule” thing goes smoother for you guys this week! And thank you thank you about our trip! I am going to make SO MANY wishes on those stars! Hehe <3

  • Reply Sydney | Modern Granola September 2, 2015 at 9:28 am

    I’m totally on board with still celebrating summer, but being crazy excited for fall. I think you’re right that this is one of the best times of the year. The pockets of chilly breeze and perfectly ripe produce are hard to beat! Speaking of awesome things, THIS bowl! Those quickles look amazing :)
    xx Sydney

    • Reply Faring Well September 7, 2015 at 6:39 am

      I know right! Best time of year ever. And thanks for the recipe love, Sydney! Hope you’re enjoying the long weekend and soaking up the last of the summer goodness. <3

  • Reply Maikki / Maikin mokomin September 2, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    That bowl looks so lovely and fresh! :)

  • Reply KJ September 2, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Yum a nice seared blackened style tofu! Sounds good!! I LOVE corn on the grill. It is by far by favorite way to have corn. Its also one of my favorites for backpacking/camping. Wrap it in foil and let it cook in the fire – YUM!
    I’m excited you get to go to Arches! If you get a chance going up on top into Canyonlands is sweet too! The views are amazing!

    • Reply Faring Well September 7, 2015 at 6:40 am

      Ah what a neat idea of camp food too! Love it! And YES, so pumped for Arches and Canyonlands – thanks KJ! Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  • Reply Danielle + Rooting The Sun September 2, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    “Men come and go, cities rise and fall, whole civilizations appear and disappear-the earth remains, slightly modified. The earth remains, and the heartbreaking beauty where there are no hearts to break. Turning Plato and Hegel on their heads I sometimes choose to think, no doubt perversely, that man is a dream, thought an illusion, and only rock is real. Rock and sun.”

    Says Edward Abbey about The Arches! I am very excited for you. We will hopefully make it there next year and it will be a wonderful celebration. To be in the wilderness is necessary. If you have time, I’m curious: what provisions (of the food variety) do you bring with for camping trips? Is there anything you find essential?

    Lovely recipe you’ve provided, the kind that gets me super excited (as I am for the fall!). Tofu, pickled cucumbers, and corn? Very delicious – I’m excited to check this out. I wish you the best adventures to come! So much beauty to behold. xo

    • Reply Faring Well September 7, 2015 at 6:44 am

      What an awesome quote! Thanks for sharing Danielle! And for the well wishes on our trip. Excited for you guys to get to visit next year too! I will be hopefully posting soon here my camping trip essentials, as well as a few recipes here and links to ones I will have published around the web! I’ll be sure to mention them all so you can check them out if you’d like! Thanks again for commenting and following along :) hope you had the best weekend! <3

  • Reply Emily September 2, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Love the flavor combo going on here and hooray for oven-roasted/grilled corn! Such a beautiful bowl of beautiful food. Have fun on your upcoming vacation- I am sure it will be filled with gorgeous adventures. Cannot wait to see your pics!

  • Reply Alana September 2, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    YES YES YES YES YES. This is everything I hoped it’d be and more!! That tofu is making me so ridiculously happy right now. And hungry. So excited for you and your man and your awesome camping trip. Already looking forward to hearing all about it when you get back. As for end of summer, thank you, you said everything I was thinking (but much more eloquently than I would have)! SO GLAD that it’s not over yet, and imma hold onto it for as long as I can. :D :D Ps – Picturing you eating that corn right now put a huge smile on my face! xoxoxo

  • Reply Kathryn September 3, 2015 at 2:42 am

    I’m not generally a huge corn fan (and have found that it’s one of those very divisive vegetables – I know so many people who want touch it!) but I love the way you’ve prepared it here, so full of sweetness and spice. Such a great looking bowl of deliciousness too. Here’s to September!

  • Reply Rebeca September 3, 2015 at 3:22 am

    I don’t care if some believe summer’s already over; it isn’t for me! I had so much work these past months that there wasn’t much time for adventures and fun, but I’m on holiday now and I’m going to enjoy the heck out of it. Hiking to new places this weekend – yes! Your camping trip sounds like a lot of fun. Looking forward to the beautiful pictures!

    And this bowl <3. So many good things going on. I don't like cucumber… or maybe I just haven't found the right way to prepare it? I'm going to be open-minded and make it with the cucumbers. Who knows, I may even like them.

  • Reply betty September 3, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Oh yum, this looks so good and has everything I love – corn, pickles (I’m a recent convert), and TOFU. I love that you love tofu. I have so many friends looking at me with disgust as I eat tofu, and when I offer a perfectly tasty one WITH CRISPY SKIN, they still think it tastes rubbery! To each their own I guess. :) Also, I’m glad you and corn found each other again. I’ve been making soups, salads, even pasta with corn. And of course, just chowing down whole cobs.

    PS – I just made some quickles as well!! But with chili peppers and such! Can’t wait to post about it :)

  • Reply Sophie | The Green Life September 3, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Hey Jessie! I made this last night!! (First time I actually get to make the recipe BEFORE leaving you a comment!) It was DE-LI-CIOUS! I had some leftover corn from the market I had to use, so the timing couldn’t have been better.
    Everything in this dish was perfect. My boyfriend said “Omg it’s amazing” about five times while we were eating it, so you can imagine how much he loved it too. ;) This quickle (just learned that word now and I love it haha) was soooo good! I definitely should have made a double batch cause it’s all gone already!
    I’m so excited for you and your man! This trip sounds absolutely incredible! I can only dream about how amazing this starry sky will be. I look forward to seeing all of your fantastic photos!

  • Reply Melanie @ Food Heals Me September 3, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Hi Jessie, I love grilling my corn too! Isn’t it the best way to eat it or what? The fiery smoked taste is aaaamazing! That’s awesome you’re going to visit the Arches. I haven’t been there for so long, and I live in Utah; crazy right? I can’t wait for you to tell us about your trip and all the details! :)

  • Reply joan September 4, 2015 at 6:06 am

    I just had a wonderful two weeks with my sister in Colorado. So fun! Had an abundance of fruit and vegetables from their garden, and the pueblo chile….. wow, so good!
    Have a great time on your camping trip. :)

  • Reply Jess | Urban Alchemy September 5, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Totally with you about summer! I’m in Boston milking every last second it:) Have an amazing time on your trip, can’t wait to hear about it! PS. THAT RECIPE THOUGH — OMMGGGGG !!

  • Reply Sasha Swerdloff || TENDING the TABLE September 6, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Lovely! Have a fantastic time camping. Can’t wait to see all the amazing photos. I’m heading out this week too! We’ll be on the Sunshine Coast Trail for 3 days. It will be our first time backpacking with the dogs…yikes! This looks delicious and I love what you have to say about no one not liking anything…did I get it right? Anyways, it’s so true.

  • Reply Jodi September 7, 2015 at 12:42 am

    QUICKLES!!!!! And oh GIRL did you ever do right by them! This bowl is glorious and exactly what I will be eating loads of once I touch down in mapleland TOMORROW! Europe just doesn’t get corn on the cob and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into that harvest deliciouness! AH MAN WHAT A SUMMER. It’s been such a whirlwind the last few days, I am looking forward to sitting down and enjoying the quiet September air, it is my favorite. I hope things are warm and sunny for you out west, happy to be ‘”back” – big love Jessie xo

    • Reply Faring Well September 15, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      Hahaha YES! Quickles! You are the best thank you Jodi! SO EXCITED you are home! Eeeee! Hope you are enjoying all of the foods you’ve missed, and settling back into your hometown with lots os smiles! Big big love right back at you Jodi <3

  • Reply hannah-phoebe September 7, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    YOU are the absolute master-ess of texture – this was omg chewy spelt, perfect corn, crunchy cucumber SO GOOD! Just a shame I couldn’t get my tofu to crisp, any tips? In my mind there are myriad options – more pressing? more/less oil? higher temp? I’ve been near raw for a while now and my cooking skills have VANISHED! ;p

    • Reply Faring Well September 15, 2015 at 9:59 pm

      Thank you so much Phoebe! I’m so glad you loved it all! Minus that tofu – I would say leaving the tofu on to cook longer. Best not to cook it at too high a temp and make the oil smoke. But a few extra minutes on each side should do the trick! (Also using very very little oil will help too.)

  • Reply Linn September 8, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    I love the colors in these photos – the yellow and green together. Beautiful! (And it sounds delicious too – it always does in here!)

    • Reply Faring Well September 15, 2015 at 9:56 pm

      Aw thank you Linn! You are too sweet! <3

  • Reply Ju (JuYogi) September 26, 2015 at 1:36 am

    Mmmmh what a great combination!
    I especially like the pickles – we don’t eat them very often here in Austria. Especially not as a side dish. But it sounds wonderful!

  • Reply Lita Watson June 24, 2017 at 1:18 am

    So delicious and attractive your dish is! So frozen corn will work well in this recipe, won’t it? How long will this dish last in the refrigerator?

    • Reply Faring Well June 26, 2017 at 10:52 pm

      Hi Lita! Thank you for your sweet comment! I have only made this dish with fresh corn in the summer, and we usually eat these bowls right away when made as well. I would guess that the separate components would last a few days, just wait until you are ready to enjoy the meal to combine the dressing and everything together!

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