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Posts Tagged ‘tofu’

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During the whole Team Lean Challenge I did with my friend, Rachel, I cut out a ton of bad food. I realized if it was in my house, I would eat it. I’m looking at you bread, pb and chocolate chips. I may not have cookies in the house but combined, you make an amazing 9pm snack.

At the top of my list was pasta. It’s just so easy! I mean, I could roast a ton of veggies which takes forever… or I could just heat up some noodles and dump some sauce on it/cook up roman noodles/pour boxed mac and cheese into a pot.

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See. Pasta had to go.

But the week of the bombings in Boston, a friend of mine was planning a potluck for Sunday as a way to end what had been a very stressful week on a positive note. It was a great idea! I brought this and all the non-vegans ate it up. I had no leftovers!

Of course, it was so delicious, I was dying to make it again, fitness challenge or not! When I made it for just me, I pumped up the veggies significantly and added some tofu for an extra kick of protein. The result was a super creamy, veggy-packed noodle fest. So delicious!

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Peanutty Noodles and Veggies
adapted from Chloe Coscarelli’s Peanutty Noodles recipe found in Chloe’s Kitchen and on line at KATU.com
s
erves 4 to 6

  • 1 pound brown rice noodles
  • 1 block of tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup peanut butter, chunky or creamy
  • 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 cup of edamame (no shells, thawed if using frozen, which I did)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup peanuts, roughly chopped, for garnish

Instructions:
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add brown rice noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Return noodles to pot.

Heat some sesame oil in a skillet. Saute tofu in the pan until golden. (if you prefer your veggies cooked, you can also throw them in with the tofu at this time. I sauteed my edamame with the tofu but left my peppers and carrots raw). Set aside.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining coconut milk, water, maple syrup, soy sauce, peanut butter, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, and garlic in a medium saucepan. (this will look so gross when it’s all going into the pan and you will definitely be thinking “eeew! this is going to taste weird.” It won’t. Trust me.) Let cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until sauce comes together and thickens.

Remove from heat and mix in lime juice and sesame oil.

Toss hot noodles with the sauce, tofu and veggies.

Garnish with peanuts and scallions and serve. Any leftovers can be served warm or cold the next day for a delicious lunch.

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I had fro-yo three times last week and may or may not be planning to share some Game of Thrones-themed cupcakes with you later in the week. Yeeeah…clearly, the fitness thing is over. Good thing I haven’t given up on the exercise!

PS. This would be great for a memorial day cook out. It tastes good hot or cold and it doesn’t scream, LOOK AT ME I’M VEGAN! well…maybe leave out the tofu if your hanging with all carnivores…

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(Before I begin, please know that 1. my photo editor, which is free and does minimal things anyway, is not working and 2. the light in my kitchen is out so I’ve been using this tiny stand lamp to light the entire kitchen and my photos. So, we’re kind of lucky we have any photos at all but I’m sorry they are sort of flat)

Anyway, When I planned my menu for this week, I was soaking up the sun in 75 degree weather. I was wearing sunglasses. I was sipping strawberry frickin’ margaritas on my porch!

Currently, I am in two layers of clothes,under two layers of thick blankets…sipping strawberry margaritas…but it’s way colder!

they get all golden and delicious. yum!

So keep in mind that even though this is quite possibly my favorite dinner, when I planned on making it and sharing it with you, I imagined it going well with my cold margaritas and sunshine…and without the layers of blankets.

Crispy Tofu Margarita Wraps with Strawberry Avocado Salsa
 
adapted from How Sweet Eats

4 lb of tofu, pressed*

8 4-inch tortillas (corn, whole wheat, flour)

1 cups panko bread crumbs

1 1/2 TBSP whole wheat flour

zest of 3 limes

1 teaspoon ground coriander

for marinade:

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup tequila

1/4 cup lime juice

zest of 2 limes

1 teaspoon ground coriander

for salsa:

1 avocado, chopped

1 medium tomato, chopped

1/4 red onion, chopped

4 large strawberries, chopped

juice of half a lime

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

toppings: shredded lettuce, vegan cheese, cilantro, lime wedges

12-48 hours before making the tacos, combine the marinade ingredients in a baking dish. Slice the tofu into strips and season with salt and peper. Add the tofu to the marinade and let sit in the fridge until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine panko, flour, lime zest and coriander in a bowl. Lay a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray with non-stick spray. Remove tofu from marinade and coat strips in panko mixture, pressing so crumbs adhere. then place on wire rack. Bake for 30 minutes.

While tofu is cooking, combine avocado, tomato, strawberries and onion. Mix with salt, pepper and lime juice.

Heat tortillas if desired, then serve with crisp tofu, salsa, and toppings. Spritz with lime wedges.

*You can also use some sort of meat substitute like Morningstar Farm or Quorn chicken patties. They absorb the marinade quicker than the tofu but many of them aren’t vegan. Make sure you check the package first. Also, I pressed my tofu too long so it didn’t absorb the marinade in the time I gave it (12 hours). I would recommend using the paper towel/plate method or pressing it in a tofu press just over night. I forgot mine and left it in the fridge for two days. Whoops!

Seriously, this salsa recipe is easily in my top 10 favorite foods. Anything you pair it with will pretty much taste amazing. You can serve it with tortilla chips if you don’t want to make the wraps and it will still be delicious. My wraps usually end up being 1 or 2 strips of tofu and then half the serving of salsa, or something like that. I should really have called this recipe a strawberry avocado salsa wrap…with some crunch tofu thrown in.

Best. Dinner. Ever

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find my gloves. I’m going to need them to finish off this ice cold margarita in my heatless apartment. Clearly, I have my priorities straight.

PS. How sticking cute is this little purple bowl I bought on vacation?? I wanted to buy them all but wasn't even sure I could justify purchasing one.

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LASAGNA!

I’m such an old lady.

tofu ricotta

Monday night I had a laundry list of things to do, including post this uber yummy lasagna recipe. What did I end up doing? Having dinner, crawling into my bed (because it was so frickin’ cold in my house that night!) to watch back episodes of New Girl and Once Upon a Time and falling asleep at 9.

…I’m so exciting…

Spinach mixture

I did manage to call Rent-a-center to see about renting a big screen TV. $500!! FOR ONE DAY! I laughed out loud when they told me that because my brother rented a TV from there in December and it was about $25 for two weeks. Talk about inflation. Is that even legal?? So despite practically having already planned out my menu for the Super Bowl, we kind of hit a snag with what we are doing. Ideas are welcome because our TV is really bad.

 

On a different note, I realized while looking over old posts that I’ve been giving you a lot of desserts and a lot of soups/stews. I thought I’d spice things up and throw in a comfort food recipe. After all, what is the winter for but to hibernate…which is clearly what my body is trying to do.

Vegetable Lasagna
adapted from my Mom’s veggie lasagna recipe

Marinara Sauce – homemade or jar (1-2 jars, depending on how saucy you like it)

12 lasagna noodles

2 medium zucchini, cut into ¼ inch thick slices

2 TBLS olive oil

¾ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper

2 TBLS all purpose flour

2/3 cup non-dairy milk, warmed (I used unsweetened, unflavored almond milk)

2 pkg (10 oz each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

2 TBLS plus ¼ cup nutritional yeast

1 bowl of vegan ricotta cheese (see below)

1-2 cups of vegan mozzarella cheese

Vegan ricotta cheese
from Healthydiaries.com 

14 oz. box medium firm or firm tofu
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or 1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 c. olive oil
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
dash of black pepper

Mash tofu with a fork. Add all other ingredients. Continue mashing until it has a ricotta-like texture. Set aside. (If you want it super smooth, you could put the tofu in a blender or food processor before adding the other ingredients. I just mashed it with a fork and it came out great.)

Prepare Marinara sauce, if making homemade.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepot, cook lasagna noodles as label directs.  Drain and rinse with cold running water.  Return noodles to saucepot with enough cold water to cover.

Preheat over to 450.  In large bowl, toss zucchini with 1 TBLS oil, ¼ tsp salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper.  Arrange zucchini slices on large cookie sheet and bake, turning once, until tender, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat remaining 1 TBLS oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook until garlic is golden.  Stir in flour until blended.  With wire whisk, gradually whisk in warm non-dairy milk with wooden spoon.  Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened and boils, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in spinach, 2 TBLS nutritional yeast and ¼ tsp salt.

Turn oven to 350.  Drain lasagna.

In 13 x 9 baking dish, spread about 1 cup marinara sauce.  Arrange 4 lasagna noodles over sauce, overlapping to fit.  Spread tofu ricotta mixture on top of noodles.  Arrange 4 more noodles over “ricotta” and top with all of zucchini, overlapping slices to fit.  Spread with 1 cup sauce and sprinkle with half of mozzarella; top with all of spinach mixture.  Arrange remaining 4 noodles on top and spread with remaining marinara sauce.  Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.

Cover lasagna with foil and bake 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake until cheese is lightly golden, about 10 minutes longer.  Let stand 15 minutes for easier serving.


Fresh Outta the Oven

I was super excited to try the tofu ricotta. It was actually really good. Though, seeing as regular ricotta gives me the heebie jeebies, I was clearly going to favor the tofu version!

Overall though, this lasagna has a ton of flavor. I’m not a marinara sauce kinda gal. I was the type growing up who had her spaghetti with butter and salt…cause I didn’t like the shake from a can parm either.  So, I only used one jar of sauce. It didn’t go very far, though, so if you want your lasagna saucy, definitely pick up two jars.

 

I’m off to go act my age. No more 9 o’clock bed times for me! Er, what do 20 somethings do? Drink copious amounts of alcohol on the beach? Have sex with strangers? Let my vajayjay hang out while I dance on bar tops? I mean, that’s what those Jersey Shore kids do right? That’s totally appropriate behavior for a work night, right???

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This post is dedicated to Amelia…because I stole her recipe… even though her sister gave it to me and told me to try it. Then again, she also put open markers in Amelia’s bed when she was little so maybe I shouldn’t trust her with Amelia’s things…

Anyways, I never had artichokes growing up. I’d never even tried one until I think after college when my roommate ordered it on pizza. I still don’t really get them and I certainly couldn’t make them edible if I was presented with one.

BUT…

I can saute them out of a can and then bake them into a dip! Oh yeah! Mad cooking skills right here! Hollah!

…I’m so cool…

Anyways, consider this part 3 of my Super Bowl recipes- BBQ Chili and Funfetti Footballs being Parts 1 and 2.

Amelia’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip
courtesy of  Theprettyvegan at Food.com

  • 1/2 yellow onion , diced
  • 1 (12 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach (I believe Amelia used fresh and it worked great but I’ll let he comment on that below if she wants)
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (12 ounce) package firm silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 -3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
 
Preheat the oven to 350. Saute the oil, spinach and artichoke hearts over medium heat for about 6 minutes or until the onions are soft. Set aside
 
In your blender, combine the rest of your ingredients until smooth.
 
Pour the tofu sauce into the pan with your spinach and artichokes and mix until fully incorporated. Transfer to a baking pan and bake for 15-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown (the recipe says 15-20 but mine needed the extra 5 minutes. Also, I used a 9″ round cake pan). If your pan is not non-stick, give it a quick spray with cooking spray before pouring your mixture in.

*I have no idea what “marinated artichoke hearts” are. Like I said, I’m an artichoke virgin. All I know is, nothing at Whole Foods had this on the label. So I opted for a can of organic artichoke hearts packed in water, not oil, and salt and pepper. They worked perfectly!

uncooked

This. Is. Delicious. I know my pictures are atrocious because I opted for that awful yellow background (sorry about that) and because quite frankly, artichoke and spinach dip just isn’t pretty! But trust me.

It’s also significantly healthier then a traditional spinach and artichoke dip which has tons and tons of cheese and mayo. It will help you and your friends keep those New Years Resolutions. Yeah, remember those?

In fact, I can’t think of one reason you shouldn’t make this recipe! So there!

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I have the day off today!! I’m soooo excited. I work two jobs and I can’t remember the last time I had a whole 24 hours to myself.

But, I’m definitely not just hanging out doing nothing. I took the day off so I can focus my efforts on the single most important day of the year…Cookie Baking Day, obviously! Each year, my mom and I usually set aside one day around Christmas to bake our Christmas cookies, which we then give away at parties and as gifts. Of course, I’m flying solo this year because there wasn’t a weekend that I was free so Mom and I could both bake. It’s a bummer but so far, so good. I’m jamming to It’s a Punk Rock Christmas and A Day to Remember and singing really loudly and obnoxiously.

I started my day off with this yummy breakfast. A girl needs fuel for an all day baking/rocking out marathon!

Scrambled Tofu and Veggies
from Post Punk Kitchen
serves approximately 2-3

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium chopped white onion (about a cup)
2 cups cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon thyme, crushed with your fingers
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 cup water
1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
juice of 1/2 a lime

Directions
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high. Saute onions 3 minutes, until softened. Add mushrooms, saute 5 minutes more. Add garlic, saute 2 minutes more. Add spice blend and mix it up for 15 seconds or so. Add 1/4 cup water and deglaze the pan,  scraping the bottom to get all the garlic and spices.

Crumble in tofu and mix well. Don’t crush the tofu, just kind of lift it and mix it around. You want it to remain chunky. Let cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding splashes of water if necessary to keep it from sticking too much. Lower the heat a bit if you find that it is sticking. Add lime juice. Add nutritional yeast and mix it up. If it seems too dry add splashes of water. The moistness really depends on how much water the tofu was retaining before you added it.

PPK suggests serving this with salsa and guacamole. I didn’t have any guac but I mixed salsa in with it and it was SO good.

I’m officially done one batch of cookies, have a bunch more chilling and am working on my laundry. I also took the dog for a drive. I would be such a kick ass house wife. I will now be accepting applicants for husbands. Tattoos preferred but not necessary.

 

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