Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Vegan Butter Tofu

I was happy to get this recipe from a friend and it is so addicting!  The flavors are mild and sweet and I love the creamy texture.  I added peas and a hit of cayenne to my version, which I’ve included in the notes.

Vegan Butter Tofu
·       1/4 cup vegetable oil  (I used a bit less)
·       2 medium onions, finely minced   (I used 1 red onion)
·       1 teaspoon sea salt
·       1⁄2 cup raw cashews
·       3 tablespoons grated ginger
·       5 garlic cloves, finely grated  (I used 3 large cloves)
·       1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
·       1 teaspoon ground turmeric
·       1 teaspoon ground coriander
·       1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
·       Seeds from 4 cardamom pods   (didn’t have on hand)
·       One 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
·       9 ounces soft tofu, cut into bite-size cubes (I used 14 oz. firm tofu – cubed and baked)
·       3/4 cup frozen peas (optional)
·       2 tablespoons brown sugar
·       2 tablespoons almond butter
·       1/4 cup vegan yogurt of soy creamer
·       cayenne pepper to taste (optional)   

Tofu:  I baked mine slightly to dry out the tofu a bit but this step is optional.
Drain and pat dry the tofu (did not use Silken).  Cut into cubes and place on baking sheet.  Cook at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.  Turn oven off and keep in until ready or take out and set aside.  Cooking to
Dry and firm up tofu a bit. 

Step 1
In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add onions and sea salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are medium brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cashews, ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the rest of the spices and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Step 2
Stir in the crushed tomatoes, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly for about 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and begins to splatter.

Step 3
Remove from the heat and allow sauce to cool for a couple minutes. Transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor and blend for 1 minute, or until very smooth.
Step 4

Return the sauce to the pan and stir in the tofu over low heat until it is warm. Remove from the heat and stir through the brown sugar, almond butter, cayenne (if using) and soy cream. Add in frozen peas, if using.  Stir until peas are thawed.  Season with salt to taste .

Friday, November 24, 2017

Cauliflower Tacos with Romesco Sauce

I ordered these unique tacos at Bartaco in Nashville and let me tell you, they were good!  The description on the menu simply said Cauliflower Tacos with Romesco Sauce so in order to recreate I had to find a recipe for the sauce.   I added coleslaw as a bottom layer but you can just keep it simple and add a bit of cilantro and let the cauliflower be the star.

Cauliflower Tacos

            Small tortillas
1          head of Cauliflower, cut into small pieces.

Roast the cauliflower pieces in a 350 degree oven until slightly browned (15-20 minutes).  Take out and put aside.

While cauliflower is roasting, make the Romesco Sauce, or make the sauce the day before.

Pour the Romesco sauce onto the cauliflower and mix to make sure every piece is coated.  When ready to serve, just heat up the mixture and make the tacos.  I suggest
adding a bit of your favorite hot sauce for a little extra kick.

Spanish Romesco Sauce
Bon appétit – web

1            large roasted red bell pepper from a jar
1            garlic clove, smashed
1/2         cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4         cup tomato puree
2            tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2            tablespoons Sherry vinegar
1            teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2         teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2         cup extra-virgin olive oil
              fresh sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pulse first 8 ingredients in a food processor until very finely chopped.  With motor running, slowly add oil; process until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Romesco can be made 1 week ahead .  Cover and chill.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Simple Salad with Squash Ribbons

There is a simple salad made a little fancy by adding raw Squash Ribbons and a hand full of Marcona Almonds.  If you don’t have Marcona Almonds,  Macadamia nuts will be
just fine.  I used a mandolin to get the squash ribbons nice and thin but feel free to use your knife skills if you don’t have a mandolin.   If you aren’t crazy about the creamy Italian dressing, a nice lemon vinaigrette works as well.

Simple Salad with Squash Ribbons

            Romaine and Kale mix
            Red onion, thinly sliced
            Shaved yellow squash (thinly sliced and rolled up)
            Marcona Almonds

Creamy Italian Dressing

1/3      cup vegan mayonnaise
2 1/2   tablespoons red wine vinegar
            kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1          tablespoon olive oil
2          teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Fully Loaded Vegetable Chili

I thought the addition of carrots and celery in this recipe was a nice change-up.  Next time I'll remember to add the corn kernels!

Fully Loaded Vegetable Chili
The Pollan Family Table – adapted recipe

Seasoning Mix

3            tablespoon chili powder
1            teaspoon dried oregano
1/2         teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1.5         teaspoons paprika
1/8         teaspoon cayenne pepper
1            teaspoon ground coriander
1            teaspoon ground cumin
              Kosher salt
              Freshly ground pepper


1            pkg. Tempeh, boiled for approximately 15 min., chopped finely
1            15 oz. can organic black beans
1            15 oz. can organic kidney beans
2            tablespoons olive oil
2            cups chopped yellow onion
3            cloves garlic, minced
1            cup peeled and chopped carrots
1/2         cup chopped celery
1/2         cup chopped bell pepper
2            tablespoons tomato paste
1            28-oz. can crushed tomatoes with juice
2            cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1            tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1            bay leaf
1/2         cup frozen corn kernels (didn’t use)
            green onion, vegan cheese and vegan sour cream for topping

For the seasoning mix, place all the seasoning ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir to blend.  Set aside.

Rinse beans and set aside.

In large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the chopped tempeh and cook until slightly browned.  Add the onion and sauté for 1 minute.  Add the garlic, carrots, celery and bell pepper.  Saute until softened, about 10 minutes.

I like to add the seasoning mix at this time to get all the ingredients coated.  Once ingredients are coated with the spice, add the tomato paste and 2 cups water.  Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, soy sauce, and the bay leaf and mix well.  Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.  Turn down to simmer. Add beans, and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.  Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Do a final season tasting and add more salt or pepper as needed – maybe even a hit of your favorite hot sauce.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Asian Spiced Nuts

The Asian 5 Spice Powder gives the nuts a unique flavor.  Five Spice Powder is a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise and Szechwan peppercorns.

Asian Spiced Nuts
Joanne Weir 

2            tablespoons vegan butter
1.5         tablespoons brown sugar
2            tablespoons soy sauce
1/4         teaspoon cayenne
1/4         teaspoon dried ginger
1            tablespoon 5 spice
1            teaspoon kosher salt

Toasted and unsalted:   Walnuts, almonds, pecans (1 cup each)

Melt vegan butter in non-stick pan.  Add brown sugar and soy sauce.  Add spices and stir to mix.  Add toasted nuts to pan and coat well.

Transfer to baking sheet and cook at 275 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Cool completely.