Archive for tofu

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Cilantro Cream Sauce

This is so delicious and versatile. Super easy and fast to make too! This is from Veganomicon, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. They named it Sour Cilantro Cream, but I decrease the oil and call it Cilantro Cream Sauce. I make this in a food processor and it is done in about 5 minutes. Really, it is fast. We use it for a topping on enchiladas, which was my last post, as well as on any other mexican dishes like tacos and burritos.

Cilantro Cream Sauce

1 pkg. mori-nu silken tofu, soft

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 tbsp. agave syrup

3/4 tsp. salt

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1  tbsp. grapeseed oil

2 c. loosely packed fresh cilantro (stems and leaves)

Drain off the excess water from the tofu and puree in a food processor. Add in the lime juice, agave, and salt. Blend until it is smooth.

Heat up the oil in a small cast iron pan and add the garlic, cooking until it is just about to turn brown. Don’t let it brown! Put this in the tofu and blend again. Add the cilantro and puree again until it is smooth. Scrape down the sides and taste to adjust for salt and lime. Put into a sealed container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This sets up a little bit so plan on it being a little thick when you serve it. This will last for at least 5 days in the refrigerator.


2 c. cilantro


Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Barley and Spinach Salad with Tofu Dressing

barley spinach salad w:o auto small

This is the second time that I have posted this recipe since I lost it the first time. I love this sooo much, I had to write it again for you all. My friend found this recipe, a long time ago, and gave it to me. The original is here. It is not vegan, so I worked on it a little bit and now I am a little addicted to this stuff. The barley could be exchanged with another hearty grain, like brown rice, but I love the chewy texture of barley, so I never mess with that part. The dressing has tofu that I squish with my hand into the tomato mixture and after stirring it into the salad, it looks like feta cheese. This combination is very satisfying and filling, so you don’t have to rely on another dish to supplement your meal. It is delicious!

Barley and Spinach Salad with Tofu Dressing

1 c. pearl barley

3 c. vegetable broth

6-8 thyme sprigs

4 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp. olive oil

5 c. baby portabella mushrooms, quartered  (the original recipe calls for cremini mushrooms, but baby bellas are my favorite)

4 shallots, thinly sliced

8-10 c. fresh spinach, chopped coarsely

1/3 c. basil leaves, chopped

1/4 c. mint leaves, chopped

1/4 c. sherry vinegar

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 c. grape tomatoes, sliced in half

8 oz. firm tofu, drained and crumbled

In a medium saucepan, combine the barley, stock, thyme and half of the garlic. Add about a 1/4 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium low and cover and cook about 25 minutes, or until the barley is tender. I let it sit in the remaining broth, if there is any, covered, while preparing the next part.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. of the oil and add the mushrooms. Salt and pepper to taste and cook over high heat until lightly browned. I had a lot of juice in the pan, so I drained it just a little, leaving about half. Add the shallots and cook until softened. This all only takes about 5-7 minutes. Now combine the barley and the mushroom shallot combination in a large bowl. Add the spinach, basil and mint, but don’t stir it together yet.

I use the same skillet and add the remaining olive oil, heating up to medium high. Add the leftover garlic and cook until just softened. Add the vinegar, lemon juice and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Cook until it is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are cooked through. Add the crumbled tofu and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until heated through. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Serve warm or chill in the refrigerator for a cold salad. Yummy either way!

tomato tofu dressing small


Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Cilantro Pesto Veggie Bowl

cilantro veggie bowl small

Cilantro Pesto goes well with so many different foods. It is obviously great on a bowl of pasta and it is great as a sandwich condiment (just think of a roasted veggie cilantro pesto sandwich, YUM!). A spoonful of it on a veggie burrito or enchilada is divine. And it is super good as a dressing for a noodle bowl, or on a bowl of veggies and millet. One cup of millet has 6 grams of protein and 6% of your daily iron needs, as well as a little calcium. It has a lightly chewy texture without a heavy flavor when cooked. I love this stuff. This recipe has lots of steps to cook the veggies, but it does not take long and is not hard so don’t be discouraged. I posted the recipe for Cilantro Pesto here. It makes this recipe complete. The pesto recipe makes enough to have some left over after using it for this combination.

1 c. millet

2 c. water

1 tsp. grapeseed oil

2 large carrots, cut into sticks about 2 inches long

1/4 c. water

4 c. kale, baby leaves or big leaves chopped

1 pd. tofu, sliced into 3 slabs

1 recipe cilantro pesto

handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Add the millet and water together in a 2 qt. pan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and keep at a low simmer until the water is absorbed into the millet and turn off the heat. This takes about 25-30 minutes. While the millet is cooking, start cooking the veggies. Add the oil to a heavy bottom pan, preferably cast iron, and heat to medium high. Add the carrots, stir and saute til lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the 1/4 c. water, cover with a lid, and turn down the heat a little. This obviously steams the carrots. It does not take long to cook til they are tender, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, put the carrots in a bowl, and set aside. Use the same pan and add the 1 tsp. grapeseed oil to saute the kale. Use medium heat and stir frequently because the kale cooks very quickly, about 3 minutes. Put kale into a bowl and set aside. Now just use pan spray on the same pan and heat to medium high again and add the tofu slabs. Remember to be patient while cooking tofu and wait for the edges to turn brown before turning it over so it won’t stick to the pan. Cook both sides until it is lightly browned. Remove from heat and cut the cherry tomatoes in half if you didn’t do it already. Cut the tofu slabs into 1 inch cubes. Now, finally, assemble the veggie bowls! Put 1 c. of millet into a bowl, add a spoonful of carrots, kale, tofu, and cherry tomatoes. Top with about 1 tsp. of cilantro pesto. Stir and eat warm or cold. It is a delicious mix!

cilantro pesto veggie bowl ingredients

cilantro pesto veggie bowl ingredients

pressing tofu

pressing tofu

browned tofu

browned tofu

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Vegan Vegetable Fried Rice

When I was in college, I went to one of those restaurants where the chef comes to your table to cook whatever you ordered and to throw sharp knives around. It was very impressive. But the best thing about it for me was that it was such a great cooking demonstration. The fried rice was so delicious and it looked easy to make if you didn’t have to throw any knives. I started making a version of that fried rice soon after and have been making vegan versions of it ever since then. Lately, the emphasis has been a little less on the fried part to make it more healthy. So today I will post the basic vegan version of my fried rice and soon I will post a few variations. This is a pretty big recipe for my big eaters. You can scale it back, or save the leftovers in the refrigerator for another meal.

Vegan Vegetable Fried Rice

2 tsp. grapeseed oil

4-5 large cloves garlic, crushed and minced

1 large onion, chopped medium

2 large carrots, chopped

4 c. broccoli chopped into small florets

1 pd. extra firm tofu, pressed

4-5 c. cooked rice, cooled (I use short grain brown, but others would work just fine)

1/3-1/2 c. soy sauce

Cut the tofu into two pieces, making  two slabs. Use non stick spray on a heavy bottomed or non-stick pan. Heat to medium and cook the slabs of tofu, browning each side lightly. Careful not to turn over too soon or it will stick. Remove from pan and put on a cutting board and let cool while preparing the vegetables.

I also use a large cast iron pan to cook the vegetables because they won’t stick, but any non-stick cookware or wok is great. Heat oil to medium high and add onion. Cook til softened and add the garlic. Stir and cook one more minute and add the broccoli and carrots and cook and stir frequently until these are softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Now cut up the cooled tofu into one inch cubes and add to the vegetables. Heat up til the pan is hot again and add the rice and the soy sauce. Stir until well mixed and heated through. I use a thin metal spatula to keep the bottom from sticking because it will want to. Enjoy hot!

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Stuffed Shells

When I was in college, I had a vegetarian boyfriend for a while and he had the original Moosewood Cookbook. He taught me how to make vegetarian lasagna which I loved! We made it together frequently and I used variations of that recipe for years. However, once I decided on a vegan diet I started to try other ways to create the creamy goodness of ricotta cheese and eggs as a filling with all of the great vegetables in between. Tofu was a natural choice and mixed with garlic and fresh herbs, especially fresh basil, this filling makes for a delicious substitute. It is even better because it is not so heavy. It tastes a little pesto like if you use enough basil. Yum! So I will post about making  vegan lasagna too, but today, Stuffed Shells are on my mind since we made them last night for dinner. This is super easy to make if you have a food processor and if you don’t have one, it is still easy. We ate this with a mix of greens and my family could not eat them fast enough.

Stuffed Shells

1 box of giant pasta shells, cooked al dente.

4 cloves garlic

10-15 big leaves basil, washed and dried

2 pkg. or 2 pds. extra-firm tofu, pressed

juice from 1/2 lemon (about 4-5 tsp.)

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. grapeseed oil

1  c. soy cheese, (I used Daiya mozzarella)

4 cups red sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Start by putting the tofu blocks on top of each other and put a small pan or something kind of heavy on top of it to press the water out. This can sit while you  start the shells and filling. Add the shells to a pot of boiling water. Cook al dente and no longer. Cooking the shells less is better for this recipe because the pasta will turn too soft in the oven. Put the garlic in a food processor and pulse til minced. Add the basil and pulse til it too is chopped. Drain the water from the tofu and add it, lemon juice, salt, and oil to the processor and puree til smooth. This might take a little while. I stopped it a few times to break up some big chunks and also to scrape down the sides to keep the garlic and basil included. Scoop mixture into a bowl and stir in the cheese til well blended.  If you don’t have a food processor, you can mince the garlic and chop the basil and then add them to a bowl with mashed tofu. You can do this with a big fork or with your hands. Put 1/4 c. red sauce in a 9 x 13 glass pan and spread it around to coat the bottom. Once all the ingredients are well blended and smooth, spoon about 2 tbsp. into each shell and put the shell into the pan. Keep going til all the shells are filled. Pour the rest of the red sauce into the pan to surround and cover the shells. If they are not completely submerged in the sauce, don’t worry, they will cook fine, but these are tasty with a little extra sauce on them. Cover the pan with foil and place in the hot oven to cook for about 40 minutes. Take the foil off the top and cook for 10 more minutes. Let the pan cool for about 10 more minutes before eating. This is a big recipe so if you are not feeding a big group, or a few teenagers, cover the leftovers and enjoy them later because they stay great in the refrigerator for a few days.


Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Seitan Stroganoff

My last post was the recipe for making seitan and today I get to share my very favorite way to use it. This recipe may be one of my favorites because it brings back childhood memories of eating my moms stroganoff, except it was different because it was made with ground beef and what seemed like lots of dairy products. This was inspired by Robin Robertson, Vegan Planet. This takes a little longer to make the first time, just because its hard to know what it is supposed to look like, but it is hard to mess up so don’t despair because you will enjoy the result.

Seitan Stroganoff

3 tbsp. olive oil

3 c. seitan, cut into small pieces

3 tbsp. tomato paste

3 c. vegetable stock

1 large onion, chopped

2 red peppers, chopped

2 c. mushrooms, sliced ( white are fine, bellas are deluxe)

3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. sweet hungarian paprika

salt and pepper to taste

3/4 cup vegan sour cream (recipe to follow)

Heat up 2 tbsp. of the oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Once hot, but not smoking, add the seitan and brown on all sides. This takes a little while, maybe 10 minutes,  and you have to use a metal spatula because it will want to stick. Let it brown before trying to turn it and it will stick less. Set this aside. In a small bowl, mix the tomato paste and 1/4 c. of the broth. Make sure it is well combined and then set it aside. Use the rest of the olive oil and heat it in a large cast iron pan over medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper and cover and cook until they are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, uncovered, until the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and paprika and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste mixture, stirring until smooth. Stir in the remaining vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low and simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook until it is a little thick, about 25-30 minutes. Slowly add in the vegan sour cream (recipe to follow) and stir until it is well blended. Add the cooked seitan and cook til heated through. Serve over brown rice.

Tofu Sour Cream (from Vegan Planet) I doubled these amounts to add to the recipe above

6 oz. soft silken tofu, drained

1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp. sunflower oil or other neutral-tasting oil ( I used grapeseed)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. sugar or natural sweetener (optional) I used sucanat

Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth and creamy. Put in a container with a tight- fitting lid and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Keeps for 3-4 days.

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Tofu Scramble

I have tried to make tofu scramble a few times and have not loved the result, until yesterday. I found this recipe on ppk. I did not change anything about it except to add the nutritional yeast to the spice blend and to double it to feed my crew of six. It was not hard at all to make and everyone loved it. It was the perfect filling for a crepe, which we did, along with red potatoes, baby portabellas, and steamed broccoli. I also added our favorite soy sausage to the filling and with the vegan hollandaise sauce, it was a feast and so delicious. This made for a very satisfying meal that is meant for breakfast, but we love to splurge and have breakfast for dinner sometimes!

Tofu Scramble

spice blend:

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed

1/2 tsp. ground tumeric

1 tsp. salt

3 tbsp. water

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pd. extra firm tofu, drained

1/4 c. nutritional yeast

black pepper to taste

First stir the spice blend ingredients together and add water, stir, and set aside.

Preheat a large heavy bottom skillet to medium high heat and add oil. Add the garlic and saute for only one minute. Crumble the tofu in your hand right into the pan to add to the garlic. Stir frequently and cook for about 10 minutes. Don’t let it stick to the pan. The tofu should get browned on one side at least. Let the water from the tofu cook off and then add the spice blend and mix to incorporate. Add the black pepper and the nutritional yeast if you didn’t add it to the spice blend already. Cook for about 5 more minutes and serve warm.

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Vegan Hollandaise Sauce

My husband requested some sort of tofu scramble filling for crepes for his birthday dinner. I had yet to create or find a super recipe for a tofu scramble, but yesterday, I made a yummy one! I will post about that later, but the sauce I made for the crepe filling was a vegan hollandaise sauce that was the perfect addition to the rest of the filling ingredients. Super simple to make and I know it will be good with other steamed veggies for leftovers. This is from the Vegetarian Times.

Vegan Hollandaise Sauce ( doubled this)

1/2 c. silken tofu

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper ( I used paprika instead)

1/8 tsp. tumeric

2 tbsp. corn oil ( I used canola)

Heat the tofu  in microwave for 30 seconds to just warm through. Put it into a food processor and puree til smooth. Add lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, cayenne (or paprika), and tumeric. Pulse til well combined. Add the oil while processing to finish the sauce. (I heated it just a little before serving). The whole recipe takes about 5-10 minutes.



Monday, March 25th, 2013

Spicy Thai Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce

I have had lettuce wraps a few times but never attempted to make them until last night. I adapted this recipe from one on this website. It originally used a substitute chicken product but I wanted to try tofu instead. It worked out really well and it was also not difficult to make. The sauce was an awesome contribution and super easy to make.

Spicy Thai Tofu Lettuce Wraps

1 tbsp. grapeseed oil

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. grated ginger

bunch of green onions, chopped

1 1/2 c. shredded carrots

1 can water chestnuts, chopped

1 pd. firm tofu *see note below

1/2 c. cilantro, chopped

1 tbsp. sriracha sauce

2 tbsp. soy sauce

1/2 c. peanuts, chopped

10 lettuce leaves, ( I used green leaf and it was excellent)

Heat up oil in heavy skillet and saute onion til it is soft and add the garlic, ginger, and green onions. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then add carrots, chestnuts, tofu, half of the cilantro, sriracha, and soy sauce. Cook until all the veggies are soft. Spoon into lettuce leaf, add a few peanuts, and a little fresh cilantro and dipping sauce. These are so tasty!

* I like to press and drain the tofu and then cut it into three slabs and cook it in a heavy skillet covered with pan spray. Cook each side on medium high heat until lightly browned and then cut into very small cubes.


Peanut Sauce

3 tbsp. peanut butter

3 tbsp. agave syrup

2 tbsp. soy sauce

1 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

3/4 tsp. ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp. sriracha sauce

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.



Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Vegan Ranch Dressing

When my oldest kids were very young, we had family friends that ate ranch dressing on everything. You know, like fries, and veggies, and potatoes, etc. So my kids started asking for it too. I just hated this idea and wanted them to develop the love for veggies without ranch dressing on them, or at least dip them in something healthy. When we moved away, we left that the ranch dressing behind us but every once in a while they have this memory and start asking for ranch dressing again. So I have been on a quest to find a good vegan recipe for something of the sort. I made this the other night and it got very good reviews.

Vegan Ranch Dressing

1 box (12.3 oz.) med. silken tofu, drained

3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp celery seed

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp dill

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

3/4 tsp salt

4 tbsp pure maple syrup or agave

2 1/2 tbsp grapeseed oil

After draining the tofu, put it in a food processor and puree til smooth. Add in all the other ingredients, scraping down the sides, process til smooth again. Check for flavor and tweak it if needed. Keep refrigerated and it lasts for a long time. Enjoy as a dip for anything!