Archive for Tofu

Warm Millet Salad with Delicata Squash, Crispy Tofu and Beet Greens

My cousin Beth always seems to be cooking up some amazing things. When I saw the recipe for this on her blog I immediately got excited. I had a container of millet in the pantry for awhile now, that I bought in bulk from the Co-op, and have been waiting for an idea to come along and strike my fancy as to what to make with it. I had everything on hand which is also great, including more Delicata squash than I can actually use. So I got to cooking.

Cutting up the squash was not the funnest part by any means, and I went right ahead and peeled the squash while cutting it, after reading that the skin is not exactly edible, despite how colorful and charming it may seem. Don’t let it deter you though, this is one of the better squash I have eaten, becoming very soft and remaining incredibly sweet.

I then made the millet, which is super easy to make, which makes me think I should have made some earlier, and should make it more often as well. I then whipped together the dressing (using brown rice syrup instead of honey), pressed, cut, and cooked the tofu, and then cooked the beet greens. I chose the beet greens because we had a ton of them on hand, and they seemed in peril of going bad quicker than the rest of the greens. As it turns out, they were wonderful in this dish and went very well with the dressing. I would consider cooking beet greens and tossing them in the dressing on their own.

This salad, which functioned as a main dish for me two nights after work, is super great and packed full of flavor. It is also great cold! The best part is that it is easy to make, not ingredient heavy, and is also pretty cheap to throw together. Next time I would even cut the squash in half and stuff it with the greens, millet and tofu, and drizzle the dressing on top!

Apple Cider Tofu with Quinoa salad

Here the power grain quinoa and the ever amazing tofu come together to make a fantastic dinner (or lunch, snack, whatever you prefer). In opening my pantry, seeing a container full of quinoa, and remembering that it has loads and loads of calcium, I knew I had to make it. Other than that, I really wasn’t sure where else I was going to go from there. All I knew is that there were bricks of tofu in the refrigerator, tons of vegetables around from the farm share (need I tell you again how awesome farm shares are!?), and that I wanted to have dinner cooked for the boyfriend after he got home from class and before he had to go to work. I had precious little time to work with, and from it came this meal, which I am actually pretty proud of.

I started by cutting up a little less than quarter of a sweet red onion, and sauted it in a medium sauce pan with a clove of minced garlic. Then, I added some cut up swiss chard and a can of chickpeas. Following this, I added two cups of vegetable broth, and then one cup of rinsed, uncooked quinoa. I also added some salt and pepper, and a touch of hot sauce, since I’ve been putting it on/in everything lately. Once it came to boil, I reduced the heat. threw the lid on and let it simmer.

I then retrieved my pressed block of extra firm tofu, and cut it into eight pieces, width-wise. I began pan-frying them in a tablespoon of olive oil, not sure yet what I would be doing with them. While they were cooking, I was inspired by opening the refrigerator, when a bottle of maple syrup fell off the bottom shelf from the inside of the door. “Ok,” I thought, “I will make maple-glazed tofu.” And then, even better, I saw a quart of apple cider left in there as well, and decided to make maple apple cider glazed tofu. When the tofu was just about done, I added in 1 1/2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup, and 1/2 cup of apple cider. I let the tofu simmer in the glaze for a bit, to ensure that it would soak up all of the goodness, and then added cornstarch (you could use this or flour), teaspoon by teaspoon, until the glaze became thicker and throughly coated the tofu.

With the quinoa finished, I served it into a bowl and placed two pieces of tofu on top. I think the tofu really stole the show. Maple syrup and apple cider always go well together, and being slathered all over tofu is no exception. I think next time I would even consider marinating the tofu overnight in it, to give it even more of that great sweet, tart, maple apple flavor.

The quinoa was great as well. Cooking it in the vegetable broth with the onion and garlic really gives it more a flavor, because sometimes, in my opinion at least, quinoa can be a bit bland. The chickpeas and swiss chard went great together, and even without the tofu this would be a wonderful meal or side on its own. The mild taste of the quinoa really let the swiss chard shine, and after not having this leafy green prior to this year, I cannot tell you how much I love it, and what a distinct taste it has. I even added some of the diced stems, because I think they taste great as well, and don’t like wasting any part of the vegetable if I can help it. The quinoa salad really was great and filling, and the best part is that it is very versatile. You can add whatever vegetable or bean you’d like. Everything tasted amazing, was warm, filling, and was done just in time for the boyfriend to get home!

Tofu, Wild Rice and Almond Stuffed Acorn Squash

A refridgerator full of squash

As mentioned before, we have a TON of squash, as you can probably tell from the above picture, and the previous one of our squash center piece (hey, it is pretty). After seeing this recipe posted on my cousin’s amazing blog, I knew I had to make it, and that it would be perfect to utilize one of our many acorn squash lying around. This really is a fantastic recipe. It is easy to make and is also very versatile, depending on what you have in your fridge that day, or what you feel like eating. It is the perfect way to present and eat the best things fall has to offer. I followed the recipe, which you can find by following the link to her blog, with a few exceptions. I threw in about a cup and half of swiss chard (we had a great bunch of it from the farm share), and added sliced almonds instead of hazelnuts.

glorious!

First of all, you can tell that is going to taste great right away, while it’s still baking, because it makes the house smell fantastic (and warms it up too!), and because it looks beautiful. The bright colors of the squash play well with the colorful wild rice, almonds, and the earthy green of the swiss chard. When you eat it you’re not surprised that it tastes amazing because it looks so appetizing to begin with. The nice chew of the wild rice is a great contrast to the soft, sweet acorn squash, and the tofu adds another level to the dish, being slightly crispy on the outside and still relatively soft on the inside. The swiss chard tastes fantastic with the almonds and with the filling as a whole. This dish alone is one of the many reasons to celebrate the fall.

Collard Greens and Grilled Cheese

Dinner!

I don’t know why, but for some reason I had it in my head that I hated collard greens. Perhaps I was getting it confused with okra (yeah, I don’t understand that either), which I am pretty sure I don’t like either, but I suppose that is in question too. Anyhow, so when a huge bunch of collard greens showed up in our farm share bag, I was not thrilled. Not like I would have been if it were kale or swiss chard at least. Regardless of this, the boyfriend cooked some up, by boiling  it and then tossing it in Bragg’s. After a bit of reluctance and preparing for the worst, I tried it. As it turns out, I love collard greens. They have a great earthy taste and a good chew to them. I love how dense and dark green they are. It’s one of those vegetables you know must be awesome for you while you are eating it (kind of like kale- which it is extremely genetically similar to). Plus, researchers at the University of Berkeley found that they are high 3,3′-Diindolylmethane, a compound that helps the innate immune response (functioning in anti-viral, cancer, and bacterial activity). There’s my Biology degree in action! And also why you should eat your collard greens.

Along with this, we had some Gimmie Lean sausage to use up before it risked going bad, along with some Toffuti cheese slices. We pan-fried some tofu strips as pretend egg, threw on some hot sauce, and were good to go. Earlier in the day I bought an amazing loaf of whole grain whole wheat bread (no corn syrup!) from the coop, so we made some great grilled cheese. The collard greens and sandwiches were awesome together! I was pleasantly surprised at our pieced together dinner, and at the fact that I love greens.

BBQ Tofu

I love BBQ sauce. Lately I’ve just been using Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce (it really is amazing) whenever I feel the need to put sauce on things, mainly Boca chickens and the various dishes they make it into. On this particular night, I made the Backyard BBQ Sauce from the Veganomicon. I followed the recipe until the very end, where I added chunks of pineapple and a small amount of pineapple juice. After reading the ingredient label of Sweet Baby Ray’s, I realized that it has pineapple in it, and that must be what makes it amazing. I think I was right.

They cooked up great (I baked them instead of pan-frying), they had just enough of a bite to them. The BBQ sauce was an awesome combination of sweet and sour, and the chunks of pineapple in it were great. It was almost a little too tangy, so I think next time I would add less vinegar if I were to add the pineapple juice as well. I served it over a slice of toasted wheat bread, alongside some sweet corn and maple-mustard glazed string beans and potatoes (from Vegan with a Vengeance). I had a decent amount of BBQ sauce left over and served it up another day with some Chickpea cutlets. It’s good to know the sauce is versatile and lends itself well to other dishes. If you get the chance, you should definitely make the sauce – it was great with the baked tofu!

Greek Tofu Benedict and Diner Home Fries

Roasted Red Peppers - I should make them more...

I know what you are thinking. Another breakfast post? Again!? Yes. Believe it. The Veganomicon has yet to let me down. After work the other night I was actually in the mood to cook, but definitely wanted breakfast-ish food. I always want breakfast food, so that’s no surprise. In digging through both the fridge and my recipe books, I knew I have everything to make the Greek Tofu Benedict and Diner Home fries, along with Dill-Tahini dressing leftover that I had previously slathered all over kale. These are two things you definitely NEED to make from this book.

This was the first time I roasted my own red peppers and broiled my own tofu (or even used the broiler for that matter. I was always somewhat scared of it for whatever reason. I think I have childhood memories of my mom frying steak to a crisp in it – scary on multiple levels). Roasting your own red peppers is amazing. They smell great and they just feel and taste more authentic. It’s great to have them still warm from the oven when you go to eat them as well. It takes some time but it is totally worth it.

The combination of the tofu, roasted red peppers, dill-tahini dressing and Gimmie Lean Sausage is to die for. It looks nice all stacked up, and they compliment each other better than you would ever believe. It is impressive looking and colorful, and others would think you put a lot more effort into it than you really did. I think it would be really good in sandwich form as well, if you really wanted to mix it up a bit, perhaps with a couple of avocado slices as well. And let’s not forget about the diner home fries as well. Ridiculously simple to make, they are so good, and really taste like something you would get at any good breakfast place.  I liked the colors of the roasted red pepper from the tofu benedict next to the green peppers in the home fries too. Would I make this again? In a heartbeat!

Make this!

Scrambled Tofu

One of my favorite meals...

November has finally come upon us, and that can only mean one thing: Vegan MoFo. Well, that and a bunch of great vegetables are in season (squash, broccoli!), the leaves still have some leaves, and it hasn’t started snowing yet here in Buffalo. I figured I would kick off the month with a recipe probably everyone knows & loves, just for safe-keeping. I have tofu scramble at least two times a week, weather it be slapping it onto a plate or wrapping it into burrito-form. Either way, it is delicious and good for you!

Tofu scramble is one of the best things ever. It’s simple, delicious, and easy to turn to at any given moment. It’s warm, filling, smells great, and is highly adaptable as to whatever veggies you want to cook in it, or with whatever other food you feel like serving it with. It is even awesome as a stand alone dish. That being said, this was one of the first dishes I made out of Vegan with a Vengeance, and I have made it multiple times since. The spices are right on, and it is a fabulous recipe.

And here is the recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (I used 2)
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • sprinkling of Daiya cheddar cheese

Spices:

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt

The first thing you want to do is heat the oil in a skillet and saute the onions for 3 minutes. Then add the garlic, saute a little longer, then whatever veggies you choose to use, and then add the spice blend, cooking for about 15 seconds longer. It will smell great by this point. To deglaze the pan and get all the good stuff off the bottom, add 1/4 cup of water and scrape away.

Then you want to crumble the tofu into the skillet. The key here is to crumble it and not mush it. Bigger chunks have more of an egg-like consistency and feel to them, but also taste better. I have made tofu scramble a number of other times with mushy tofu and it doesn’t even compare. Then, let the tofu cook for 15 minutes, adding water if you need to get the tofu to stop sticking to the pan. Add the lemon juice and nutritional yeast. When you are about to be done cooking, sprinkle some Daiya over the tofu and mix.

I added in peppers (green and red) and sliced cherry tomatoes that I had from our farm share, along with a good handful or two of spinach. The cherry tomatoes were an amazing addition because they become just the right amount of soft while cooking, and add a hint of sweetness to the dish. Towards the end of cooking the tofu I sprinkled some Daiya shredded cheddar cheese over the pan and let it melt, incorporating it’s gooey, salty, cheesy greatness all over the entire thing. Because of it, I added slightly less nutritional yeast to the mixture while cooking. Also, another great plus of this dish is that it ended up being three meals for me.

I love scrambled tofu so much. The spice mixture is spot on. I was never really a fan of real scrambled eggs, but this stuff is amazing – and healthy!

Stuffed Shells staring tofu ricotta

 

An extremely convincing fake ricotta

 

I’ve wanted stuffed shells for a really long time. Being vegan for almost a year now, I haven’t had any since before I made the transition. In my mind, I never thought that there would be a good substitute for ricotta cheese. This was before I bought the Veganomicon and made the tofu ricotta recipe, which is fast and ridiculously easy.

Tofu Ricotta:

  • 1 pound extra-firm tofu
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

The first thing you want to do is break apart the tofu until it’s crumbly. Then, add the garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and lemon juice. Mush the tofu again until it reaches the consistency of ricotta cheese (it really will look like it too!). Then add in the olive oil and nutritional yeast.

After I made up the tofu ricotta, which took maybe ten minutes at the longest, I cooked up half a package of Gimmie Lean sausage, crumbled it up, and mixed it into the tofu ricotta. As it turns out, this was an awesome decision because it tasted fantastic in the stuffed shells. While the sausage was cooking, I prepared my pasta (a prepared a whole box – I wanted a lot of leftovers so I didn’t have to cook after long work days if I didn’t feel like it), and when it had cooled I stuffed them with the tofu ricotta/sausage filling.

 

Even naked, they look tasty

 

I placed them in a casserole pan with a very thin layer of water on the bottom (to prevent drying out/hardening of the pasta) and covered them in spaghetti sauce. I placed them in the oven at 350 degrees and let them bake for around 25 minutes.

 

All lined up!

 

They were so good! There was enough to feed a small army, and I ended up having six meals from it, which is great, seeing as how it was quick, easy, and fairly cheap to make. The sausage really played well into the filling and added a great flavor to the stuffed shells. I really, really adore this recipe and would make it again (except not too soon – I don’t want to wear myself out on them!).

 

Devourment.

 

More sweet than sour

Pineapple and tofu were made to be together. I am even more of a believer in this ever since I made Sweet and Sour Tofu following a recipe from Nasoya’s website, to go along with some left over Jamaican Tempeh Patties with the things I had in the refrigerator or cupboard.

I was pleasantly surprised! This ended up being super good (but how could it not, with pineapple in it) and really filling, and it went well the patties. It also came together relatively quickly, which is always a good thing. It also fed me for about 5 meals as well, which was great seeing as how I never want to cook right when I get home from work. Here’s the recipe:

1 pkg Extra Firm Tofu
2 tsp Cornstarch
1 20 oz. can of pineapple chunks
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp ginger, grated
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp salt
2 tbls vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, chopped

After running outside and pulling onions from the garden, which I LOVE being able to do, I started cooking.

First, you dissolve your cornstarch in 2 tbsp of water, and then drain the pineapple while saving the juice. Mix the juice with 1/4 cups of water, your vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper. Then, in a large skillet saute the onion in the vegetable oil for 3 -5 minutes. Toss in the green peppers and carrots, and saute for another two minutes. Then add in the tofu that you have sliced into bite-sized cubes, and add to the skillet, cooking until the tofu has browned. Then, cover your skillet, reduce heat to low and let it simmer until the carrots are soft. Once this occurs, and 2/3 cup of pineapple chunks to your liquid and spice mixture. Continue cooking until your sauce has thickened.

 

Mmmmmm

While I served this with the leftover patties, it would be great with noodles, rice or even quinoa. It was the right amount of sweet from the maple syrup and pineapple, and the ginger really rounded out the dish. Plus, the aroma of it was enough to get me to make it again. In paging through other Nasoya recipes, many of them seem tasty, so keep an eye out for more tofu dishes!