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Archive for the ‘Tofu’ Category

Masala Chai Latté Pudding

 

This is the perfect season for chai lattés.  It’s also the perfect season for comfort foods.  This dessert combines the two in a rich and deliciously Indian-spiced pudding that begs to be enjoyed on a comfy sofa while wrapped in a blanket.

 

Masala Chai Latté Pudding

Ingredients:

2 cups non dairy milk [I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut milk]

6 oz non dairy vanilla yogurt

½ cup date sugar

1 block organic firm silken tofu

4 T organic cornstarch

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt

12 cloves

8 green cardamom pods

1 stick cinnamon

½ tsp ground mace

4 bags Assam Black tea

1 inch ginger, sliced

¼ tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions:

Pour  1 ½ cups milk into a pot and heat over medium low.  Add the cloves, cinnamon, mace, cardamom, ginger, pepper.  Steep for ten minutes.  Add the tea bags and steep for an additional five minutes.  Strain over a fine mesh strainer and wring out the tea bags.  Return the pot to the stove.  Dissolve the sugar into the flavored milk.  Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining ½ cup of milk and pour into the flavored milk.  Bring to a low simmer until the mixture thickens. 

Add the tofu, vanilla and yogurt to a blender and pulse until homogenous.  Add the thickened flavored milk and blend until smooth.  Pour into ramekins and chill until set.

I garnished mine with some Indian-spiced sliced almonds, but any toasted nut would be a great choice to add a bit of crunch on top.

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Mexican Chilled Chocolate

Here is a quick and easy, chilled and spicy treat for a hot late Summer’s night when you’re craving something thick, rich and abundantly chocolate.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients:

2 boxes firm silken tofu

1/2 cup + 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp ground cinnamon

chili powder, to taste [I used 1/2 tsp.]

cayenne pepper, to taste [I used 1/8 tsp.]

1/2 tsp espresso powder

pinch of salt

agave syrup, to taste

Dandies vegan marshmallows

Directions:

Add tofu to a food processor and pulse.  Add cocoa powder, extracts, salt, espresso powder and spices.  Process until incorporated, scraping down the sides at times.  Add agave syrup until it’s as sweet as you wish.  [The agave will also loosen up the consistency a bit because the cocoa powder will thicken the tofu.]  Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to chill.

Anytime I get to use my kitchen torch is awesome.  I love this nifty little tool and used it to toast the tops of the marshmallows.  Serve in a mug and garnish with a cinnamon stick, and/or dried chile pepper.  Toasted almond slices would also rock the top of this.

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I haven’t posted a homemade tofu recipe in a long time and decided that it was long overdue.  Aside from making the actual tofu, I took the easy way out and used a pre-prepared red curry paste for this variation and freshened the flavors of the dish with some shredded kaffir lime leaves.  To add to the southeast Asian flavors, I dredged the tofu in a mixture of almond meal,  shredded coconut and red pepper flakes, and then pan-fried it in a little bit of coconut oil.   I served this over some brown basmati rice. 

[You could use store-bought tofu for this dish and marinate it in a slurry of red curry paste made by adding a bit of water or vegetable stock to give it the consistency of a marinade .  If you choose this method, cut the block of tofu into the size of the pieces you wish to pan-fry so that you get maximum exposure to the marinade for the greatest flavor.  I would also suggest marinating overnight.]

 

 

Red Curry Tofu

Ingredients:

One recipe homemade tofu at curd stage [Procedure here.]

4 ounce jar Red Curry Paste

4 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded

Directions:

Transfer the tofu curds to a bowl and gently add in the red curry paste [Add a little bit of water to loosen it up beforehand] and lime leaf shreds.  Allow to marinate for 30 minutes.  Place the contents in a tofu press and press for an hour.  Cut the block into whatever sized pieces of tofu you wish to pan-fry.  [I cut mine into two bite-sized chunks so that there would be more crunchy batter per bite than if I’d pan-fried larger sized pieces.]

 

 

Almond and Coconut Batter:

Ingredients:

1 T ground flax seeds

1/3 cup almond meal

1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1/3 cup water

coconut oil, for pan-frying

Directions:

Blend the ground flax seeds and water together and transfer to a bowl.  Let sit for a few minutes to form a slurry.

Place a pan over medium high heat on the stove and add a sufficient amount of coconut oil to evenly cover the bottom of the pan.

Place the almond meal, coconut and red pepper flakes in a processor and pulse a few times to break up the pepper flakes.  Transfer to a bowl.

Dredge the pieces of tofu into the flax wash and then through the coconut and almond flour. 

Pan-fry on each side until browned and crispy.

 

 

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I have fallen in love with Tofu Shirataki noodles.  They’re packed full of fiber and calcium and have such a low calorie count they are almost an afterthought.  I’ve been using them lately in everything and wanted to spread the word to those of you who may be looking for interesting and less caloric pasta choices.  They have a somewhat squidgy texture, but they’re soft unlike kelp noodles which are crunchy and brittle-textured.  Here I tossed them with some quickly sautéed kale [we have to get in our daily cruciferious fix!], shiitakes and garlic in a really quickly freshened Asian-style sauce.

 

Orange and Mushroom Noodles with Kale

Ingredients:

1 bunch lacinato kale

2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, plus the zest of one orange

¼ cup vegetarian oyster sauce [aka mushroom sauce easily found in Asian groceries]

1 – 8 oz package Tofu Shirataki, or noodle of your choice

Directions:

Add a couple teaspoons of neutral oil to a sauté pan and bring to a medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and onion.  Sauté until softened. 

Add the orange juice, zest and vegetarian oyster sauce to a small pan and bring to a low simmer.  Allow this to simmer and reduce slightly while the vegetables cook.

Put a pot of water on to boil to heat the noodles.

Add the garlic and kale to the pan containing the mushrooms and onions.  Once the kale has wilted down [should take about 10 minutes], add the sauce and set aside.

Rinse the noodles under running water and then add to a pot of boiling water.  Boil for 2-3 minutes.  Drain and toss with the vegetables and sauce.

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This makes a really nice quick and easy lunch or dinner entrée.  When cut into smaller triangular pieces and paired with some spicy cocktail sauce, they make a great appetizer. 

 

Sesame Bay Tofu Points

Ingredients:

1 block firm tofu

½ cup sesame seeds [I prefer to use un-hulled seeds because they have a greater nutritional content]

¼ cup rice flour

2 T Old Bay Seasoning, divided

1 T ground flax seed

½ cup water

neutral oil for pan searing [I used rice bran oil]

Directions:

Blend water, flax seed meal and 1 T of Old Bay together.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside to thicken.

Mix the rice flour and remaining 1 T of Old Bay together and pour onto a plate.

Pour the sesame seeds onto another plate or wide-mouthed bowl.

Cut the tofu into ½ -inch thick slices and then cut diagonally to create two triangular pieces from each slice.  Dredge in the seasoned rice flour and then dip into the flax seed slurry.  Dredge through sesame seeds to coat fully.

Pan sear over medium heat until the tofu is heated through.  Take care not to burn the seeds by adjusting the temperature accordingly.

 

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Savory Phyllo Roll

This dish is similar to the Mediterranean Braciole dinner in that it’s a combination of separate dishes combined into one  main course.  It’s very straight-forward and easy to assemble and well worth the time investment when you want to create a memorable and special meal.  The three main components can be made ahead of time so that you can create a beautiful dinner without any stress.

Ingredients:

Greek-Gyros seitan [Half a recipe was used for this]

Tangy Greek custard-style tofu [Half a recipe was used for this]

2 cups cooked greens that have been squeezed dry to remove excess water [I used nettles, but spinach could easily be substituted]

1 package phyllo dough

Olive oil

Directions:

Thaw the phyllo at room temperature while still in the box.  [You do not want to open it until you’re ready to use because it dries out very quickly.]

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cut the seitan and tofu into blocks that measure roughly one inch by three inches and set aside. 

Unroll the phyllo dough and cover with a slightly damp towel to keep pliant.  Set a baking sheet on the counter in front of you, vertically.  Take one sheet of phyllo and place upon the baking sheet.  Using your fingers or a brush, lightly dot olive oil over the surface of the sheet.  Place another sheet of phyllo atop the first and repeat. 

Using a pizza cutter or knife [If using a knife be careful not to tear the dough, applying pressure from above rather than drawing the knife across it], gently cut the phyllo down the center, vertically so that you create two pieces.  Place a piece of seitan on either half of the phyllo three inches from the bottom edge of the sheet.  [You want to have enough room to be able to bring the phyllo up and over the filling.] Place a piece of tofu atop the seitan and then add a final layer of cooked greens.

 

Roll the phyllo up and over the filling and roll over a couple of times.  Tuck in the sides and continue to roll until all the phyllo has been used.  Rub the outside with oil and set upon a separate baking sheet. Repeat until all the rolls have been created.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the phyllo is golden brown on the edges.

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This is an unabashedly cheese-less pizza, and it is all the more delicious for its absence.  The savory richness of the chili-peanut sauce,  the fresh and vibrant vegetables, leafy greens, crunchy peanuts and chewy pizza crust will have you craving this combination from the first bite forward!

Spicy Thai-Style Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

⅔ cup peanut butter [creamy or chunky works equally well]

⅔ cup warm coconut water [warm water could be substituted]

⅓ cup soy sauce [I use low sodium]

2 T lime juice

2 tsp freshly minced ginger

2 garlic cloves

1-2  tsp garlic chili sauce, depending upon your heat tolerance

1 tsp dark [roasted] sesame oil

Directions:

Mix the peanut butter and warmed coconut or plain water together first, dissolving any clumps with a whisk.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pizza Ingredients:

1 large portion of pizza dough or large pizza crust  [Whichever type you prefer.  I do not make this from scratch, but rather buy it premade at a local grocery store.  It is in the refrigerated section in a plastic bag.]

1 block of tofu, broken into medium-sized crumbles

1 large zucchini, sliced

1 carrot, cut into thin strips using a vegetable peeler

1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced into rings

2 cups mesclun lettuce mix

1 cup mung bean sprouts

½ cup cilantro leaves

½ cup sliced green onions

4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

⅓ cup whole peanuts

1 T Bill’s Best Chik’Nish vegetarian seasoning [This seasoning tastes like powdered chicken soup, without the chicken ;-)]

Pizza pan [I have an aluminum pizza pan that was really inexpensive price-wise but that has become an invaluable kitchen tool.]

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Stretch out the dough to the size of a large pizza and place upon a pizza pan.  Set aside to rest.

Sprinkle the tofu with the Chik’Nish and sauté over medium heat until lightly browned.  Set aside.

Sauté the zucchini, bell pepper and garlic over medium heat until slightly browned.  Set aside.

Assembling the pizza:

Spoon out a generous amount of the spicy peanut sauce over the pizza dough and disperse evenly. [Remember to save a bit of the sauce to dress the mesclun salad greens.]  Next, simply spread out the cooked ingredients:  tofu, zucchini, bell pepper and garlic.  Top with an even layer of carrot strips and peanuts.

Bake in the oven until the crust and toppings are browned.

Dress the mesclun greens with some of the spicy peanut sauce.  Top the pizza with the sliced green onions, cilantro, mung bean sprouts and dressed mesclun.

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