Archive of ‘Tofu’ category
Ever tried Kimchi?
Of course you probably haven’t! Unless you enjoy Korean food or are excited to try new things, this ingredient might be completely foreign to you. Let’s be honest, fermented cabbage doesn’t usually scream “delicious” if you haven’t tried it before.
This is one of those ‘you just have to trust me’ kinda dishes. Kimchi is typically made with cabbage and daikon radish, but I’ve seen some varieties include a lot of other vegetables as well. Whatever. It doesn’t really matter that much which one you go with, but try to find a napa cabbage based variety for this dish.
If you want to impress your friends and family. (“Who me? Fermenting cabbage on a school night? You don’t do the same?”) You can follow the tons of homemade Kimchi recipes available online. If you want to leave the fermenting to the pros, head to your local Whole Foods or Asian Market for a jar of it.
I don’t think we eat enough fermented foods and am hoping you will join me in changing that. Why are they so important? Here’s the deal. Everyone has microflora (bacteria) in our intestine which is key to keeping us healthy and to help fight off the “bad” bacteria. Fermented foods help to keep the “good” bacteria thriving and our microflora balanced. This is especially true for those who take antibiotics, their job is to kill the bacteria in your body, regardless of whether it is “good” or “bad.”
Kimchi Fried Rice
1 cup napa-cabbage Kimchi (homemade or prepared)
3 cups of leftover cooked rice (brownie points for brown rice)
1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
8 oz. firm tofu, crumbled or chopped into small pieces
3 tbsp. butter (I like Earth Balance brand)
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. Sirarcha
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp. soy sauce
In a large saute or wok, heat the butter over medium high heat . Add the kimchi and fry for 1-2 minutes, add the onion and garlic and saute 5 minutes more. Add the tofu and saute 2-3 more minutes. Add the rice, soy sauce, Sirarcha, scallions and cook until heated through.
I can’t get enough of eggplant these days. Miso eggplant, eggplant with Thai basil, eggplant-parm sandwiches. It’s one of my favorite late summer vegetables and is totally worth the wait each year. I admit, I eat produce out of season more than I would like too but eggplant is something I refuse to eat unless I can get it at the farmer’s market. If you’ve written off eggplant, I urge you to try it again this summer while it is still in season.
I recently had a similar version of this dish at Michelangelos, one of our favorte restaurants in Sacramento. It is my go-to dish there and I wanted to recreate it at home. Their version uses cheese in the layers but I wanted to make it healthier and lower-fat, using ricotta cheese in place.
I have been making this for the last few weeks. Each time I do, I tweak it a bit more but it always comes out delicious.
Eggplant Pesto Stack
1 globe (Italian) Eggplant, sliced
1 recipe, herbed ricotta (see below)
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
3/4 cup Italian dressing
1/4 cup prepared pesto
2 cups marinara sauce, warmed
1 pound firm tofu, pressed
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
1 tbsp. white miso
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
small handful chopped oregano , or 1 tsp dried oregano
salt, pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the eggplant into 1/4″-1/2″ slices. Dip in Italian dressing and then press into the breadcrumbs. You want the slices of eggplant to be well covered in a thin layer of crumbs. Place on a baking sheet and continue to bread the rest of the eggplant. Bake for 15 minutes each side until cooked through and golden brown.
Prepare the tofu ricotta. Alternatively, for a non-vegan version, you could use slices of Mozzarella cheese or your favorite cheese. In a food processor combine the ingredients for the tofu ricotta and pulse until everything is combined and mixture is smooth.
To prepare the stacks, place one piece of eggplant on a plate. Top with a spoonful of tofu mixture, and another slice of eggplant. Continue with tofu, eggplant, tofu and a final piece of eggplant. Cover with warmed marinara sauce and dollop pesto.
What restaurant meals have you recreated?
I recently had the vegetarian lettuce cups from PF Changs and wanted to try and recreate them at home. I forget how much I love lettuce cups, they are such an easy way to throw-together dinner with whatever is in your pantry. These have a bit of heat in them so feel free to scale down the peppers to your liking.
Spicy Lettuce Cups
1 package baked tofu, savory flavor, finely diced
1 can (4oz) water chestnuts, drained and diced
1 can bamboo shoots, drained and diced
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. Chinese chili sauce
1 tsp. Sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. sesame oil
You will also need:
2 cloves garlic
1/4 red onion, minced
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 thai chili, minced
1 habanero, minced
2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 tbsp. Chinese chili sauce
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
I know it sounds like a lot of ingredients, but you are using the same ingredients over again in different places.
Mix together the first set of sauce ingredients and toss with the bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, and tofu. Allow to sit for 5 minutes while you heat a large pan/wok over medium heat.
Add the red onion, scallions, chili peppers (if using), and garlic. Stir fry with water or 1 tbsp. sesame oil and cook for 5 minutes until onions are soft. Add the tofu mixture and stir together.
Meanwhile, combine the cooking sauce ingredients. Whisk together to combine and add to the pan. Stir together and cook for 10 minutes.
Wash and clean the lettuce. Place a scoop of the mixture into the lettuce cup and devour!
What are your favorite restaurant recipes that you would like to see made over?
I love the idea of buffalo-sauce coated anything. Seriously, the heat and buttery goodness taste amazing on any food: tofu, tempeh, or straight out of the bottle. BL and I are huge buffalo fans and make nuggets often during the fall for football games. A big pile of those, homemade ranch, and beer is my favorite way to spend a lazy saturday. But, health reasons included, those days are very far and few between.
My sister was visiting a few weeks ago and as a somewhat new vegetarian I was showing her how to use tofu multiple ways. I started of with this version, the easiest and most impressive, lightly fried. As a fellow buffalo sauce freak we decided to make Buffalo Chix Salad because as everyone knows, eating lettuce with your fried tofu makes for a very healthy meal.
Buffalo Chix Salad
1 16 oz. container extra firm tofu
1/2 cup corn starch
pinch sea salt
1/4 cup oil
Lettuce- enough for 4 salads
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup Buffalo Chicken Sauce (like Frank’s)
3 tbsp. Earth Balance Margarine
(I use this version from Morgan at Little House of Veggies. I add lemon juice to it as well. It’s so addictive we affectionately call it vegan crack in my house).
Start by pressing the tofu. There are lot’s of ways to do this, I just drain the water from the tofu, wrap the block in a kitchen towel, place it on a plate and set a sauce pan with heavy cans on top. Keep it like this for 10-15 minutes while you shred the carrots, prep the salad and make the dressing.
Prep salad: combine shredded carrots, lettuce, avocodo and whatever other vegetables you want.
Make the dressing: follow directions from LHOF.
Unwrap the tofu and cut into small, bite size cubes. Combine the corn starch and salt on a large plate.
Heat a skillet, I like my cast-iron pan for this, to medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 1/4 cup canola oil.
Dredge the tofu in the corn starch mixture and place in the skillet. Let cook until golden on one side and flip with tongs, continue to cook the rest of the tofu mixture like this.
Place on paper-towel to drain when finished.
Melt the butter and combine with the buffalo sauce. Toss the cooked tofu with the buffalo chicken sauce.
Assemble: Salad, ranch dressing, buffalo chix. Dig in and smile.