No meat, No wheat

Archive for August, 2015

Egg-less Egg Salad

Egg-less Egg Salad 

Yummy eggless salad in nori wraps

Yummy eggless salad in nori wraps with crispy homemade pickles

Tofu Salad, or Egg-Less Egg Salad Ingredients

Tofu Salad, or Egg-Less Egg Salad    Ingredients

I’ve done a lot of experimenting with tempeh and tofu this summer, far more than ever before. This was a recipe I’d definitely make again. Good enough to serve non-vegans, too. In one of my last tofu recipes, I was advising using a heavy pan (cast iron works great), to eliminate moisture from tofu for better cooking, and better absorption of marinade flavors. Then, a friend wrote explaining her method of wringing out the liquid in tofu by using a cotton towel. I’ve included this excellent step below. Thank you Reggie.

I’ve named this egg-less egg salad, since it looks like egg salad, but this recipe could have just as easily been named Chicken-less Chicken Salad.  I suppose I could also just call it what it is: crumbled tofu salad, but that doesn’t really describe what you could expect from this recipe. As far as using tofu as the base, I found this to be a really good, filling main course, or wonderful in a salad or by itself, and fantastic in wraps. My favorite use for this dish was in a nori wrap.

Whenever I’ve used tofu in the past, it was going to be fully cooked. Either I was sautéing it for a stir fry, or browning it in chili, etc. As this was to be my first attempt to use tofu raw, I decided to insert an extra step, as you will soon see in the instructions below, because I am always leery of air borne bacteria wherever raw food is involved. Who knows what the raw tofu was exposed to before I bought it home?!

I hope you’ll enjoy this as much as I did. Betayavon!  Good Appetite!

Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz. package of extra firm tofu, rinsed and drained

    egg-less egg salad; the ingredients

             Egg-less egg salad; the ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons each: shredded carrots, celery, yellow pepper
  • 4 thinly sliced scallions or 2 Tablespoons minced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon mellow white miso
  • 1 Teaspoon yellow mustard
  • small pinch turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 2-3 Tablespoons vegan mayo, hummus, or mashed avocado
  • Optional: parley, dill, paprika, or any other seasoning you like

Supplies 

  • Cast iron pan for steaming tofu

    Steaming tofu to remove any bacteria since you'll be eating it raw

    Steaming tofu to removes any bacteria, since  you’ll be eating it raw

  • Cast iron pan for pressing tofu
  • Large plate
  • Slotted spoon or spatula
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Mixing bowl and spoon for stirring
  • Container and lid for storing salad

Instructions

Cut the tofu into 24 small pieces, and steam in cast iron pan for five minutes.  Drain tofu very well and place on a flat plate and then put the cooled cast iron pan on top of the tofu to press out the moisture. While it’s sitting on the plate, dice the veggies and gather the rest of the seasoning and condiments you will use. Now back to the tofu. After about 10-15 minutes under the press, you can eliminate even more liquid by using a clean cotton kitchen towel to wring any remaining liquid. Just roll up the tofu in the towel, and squeeze. If you’ve never done this step, you’ll be amazed, as I was, at how wet the towel will be. Rinse out the towel and toss the towel into the laundry to deal with later. Now crumble the tofu into your bowl and squish with your hands, or mash with the back of a big spoon,  until the lumps are pea sized. Add the scallions, shredded carrots, celery, and peppers, mustard, mayo, turmeric, vegan mayo, avocado, or humus, if you’re using, add salt and pepper, and any other seasoning you choose.

tofu wraps, close up

Combine everything and moisten with more mayo, humus (that was my favorite), or avocado, and adjust the seasoning. Store covered in the fridge, and the egg-less salad will absorb all the flavors as it gets cold. I loved this in a nori wrap, but it’s also wonderful in the gluten free wraps we buy, on toasted bread, on salad, or pureed or mashed even more until it resembles a dip you can stuff into potatoes, or into hollowed out eggplant or zucchini boats.

Advertisements

Tofu and Vegetables with Brown Rice

Tofu and Stir Fried Veggies with Brown Rice

 

Crispy tofu and veggies with brown rice

Crispy tofu and veggies with brown rice

I don’t own a tofu press, and I’m not eager to own one more device, appliance, or gadget. I have enough stuff, and very full cabinets at this point. But I do find it is very beneficial, even essential to take the time to eliminate the moisture in tofu before you attempt to cook it. Below you’ll see a photo of what I use to get the moisture out:  my very own cast iron pan, which does the trick of extracting the moisture from the tofu quite well. And if you are going to enjoy tofu, you don’t want it to taste soggy. Also, the tofu will absorb the sauce or marinade you choose to use if you eliminate the liquid in the tofu before you marinate it or add sauce to your finished dish. Betayavon! Good Appetite!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound package extra firm tofu, rinsed, thinly sliced in small rectangles, and then pressed so the moisture releases
  • 4 T. Olive Oil, or 2 T. Olive Oil for the veggies and  2 T. Sesame Oil for the tofu
  • one inch piece ginger root, chopped fine
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped small
  • 3 Scallions, chopped small
  • 1 medium yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, cut into thin rounds
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into thin rounds
  • 2-4 large mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 16 oz. bag shredded cabbage
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 1 cup brown rice, rinsed and cooked according to package directions

Supplies

  • Cutting board and knife
  • Cast Iron Pan
  • 2 Plates
  • Wok and Large Spoon for stirring

Instructions

Drain and slice the tofu into thin slices. From each slice, make about 4 small squares or rectangles, about 2-3 inches each. Smaller pieces are just easier to work with, I find. Place the tofu pieces on a large plate and place a cast iron pot on top.

Homemade Tofu Press

Homemade Tofu Press

 

In the meantime, add 2 T. olive oil to your hot wok and sauté the garlic, ginger, scallions, and pepper slices. Add salt, pepper, and stir, cooking until they begin to wilt, about 7 minutes.  Add the carrots, and cook for 3 minutes, then add the zucchini rounds, stirring often, and cook about 7 minutes or less, but until they become soft and translucent. You can remove all the veggies from your wok and sauté the cabbage and mushrooms separately, because the wok will probably be full, by now. Or, you can just add the shredded cabbage and mushrooms to your wok and mix it all together at this point, cooking just until the cabbage wilts, about 3-5 minutes.

cooking tofu after it's been pressed

cooking tofu after it’s been pressed

When you drain the water from the plate that surrounds the tofu pieces, just go ahead and repeat with the other half of the package of tofu. Heat either the remaining olive oil or the sesame oil if you prefer to a hot cast iron pan and when it sizzles, (makes that sizzle sound when you put a drop of water on it), add the drained pressed tofu slices. I like my tofu crunchy and crispy, but it’s entirely up to you how long to cook your tofu. I added no marinade or sauce, as I like tofu when it’s sautéed and crispy in the sesame oil with the veggies over brown rice, but you can add any marinade or sauce you like. Readjust salt and pepper, add more garlic powder, if desired. Serve with your favorite rice.

 

Crispy tofu and veggies with brown rice

Crispy tofu and veggies with brown rice

Mock Spaghetti and Meatballs

Mock Spaghetti and Meatballs                            

mock spaghetti and meatball

Mock Spaghetti and Meatball

Last week, I was craving spaghetti and meatballs, of all things!  Since I don’t eat either meat or wheat, I knew this was going to require a hefty dose of creativity on my part. Fortunately, the results were delicious, yielding several ideas I will share with you today. The idea for the meatballs comes from a friend who is a vegan, but she used bread crumbs. I simply swapped gluten free rolled oats as my binder  to make them gluten free. For spaghetti, I used the black bean noodles in a pouch my supermarket carries, and is good with pesto or red sauce. Do you know about this product?

IMG_1149

When that was all gone, I turned to spaghetti squash, which I love with red sauce, but also very good with pesto and anything you want to put on top: mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, ground flax seeds, and so on.

black bean pasta

Spaghetti squash makes yummy pasta

At a recent family dinner to celebrate our son David’s 21st birthday, our sons loved the spaghetti squash with red sauce.  They didn’t realize it was a vegetable. I suggested they try it the next time with the pesto I keep making from the basil in our garden.  David must have remembered that I said basil pesto was excellent on spaghetti squash, because yesterday he was looking for it in the refrigerator, and really liked it on the spaghetti squash.  So happy this wonderful new food is now popular in my house.

The meatballs were too bland the first time around, so I adjusted the seasoning to improve them. Then again, mushrooms, lentils, and oatmeal have no taste without adding herbs, but this was quickly corrected with a bit of this and a shpritz of that. Once corrected, my mock spaghetti and mock meatballs were tasty, filling, and best of all, satisfied my desire for this hearty summertime treat. Now I can really say Betayavon! Eat Hearty!

Mock Meatballs                                                                  

mock spaghetti and meatball

   Mock Spaghetti and Meatball

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. Mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup Gluten Free Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 cup Brown Lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Wheat Free Tamari or Liquid Aminos
  • 2-3 Teaspoons of whatever fresh or dried Italian Herbs you like: suggested are basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Supplies

  • Small cast Iron pot with lid
  • Food Processor
  • Large Cast Iron Pan
  • Large Spoon for stirring
  • Cutting Board and knife
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Roasting Pan

Instructions

Into a small pan, place lentils, water, and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Lower the light and simmer for 9-10 minutes, and remove from heat when the lentils are still a little bit firm, in other words-  “mostly cooked”. You actually want to stop them from becoming fully cooked. Drain the lentils so they’ll cool slightly. That’s important, as you don’t want them to get mushy. I’ve done that before and regretted it!  Throw away the bay leaves.

Into the food processor, add the mushrooms, garlic cloves, chopped herbs, and the cooled cooked lentils. Pulse until coarsely chopped. In your skilled, heat the oil; then add the mushroom and lentil mixture, the red wine and vegetable broth, tamari, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer and stir constantly, until all the moisture evaporates. At this point, you should taste the mixture, and readjust the seasonings to suit your taste. Remove from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool.

Preheat oven to 350. Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, shape into meatballs, either 6 large or 12 small. My friend who shared this recipe with me places her meatballs in a greased mini muffin tin that’s been sprayed with no-stick spray, but I just formed the meatballs and put them on a sprayed roasting pan. If the mixture is for some reason too loose or soft to work with, you can either add some coconut or brown rice flour (or any gluten free flour your like or oat bran), or just add a bit of cornmeal to make the mixture firm enough to hold together and form your meatballs.  Bake about 45 minutes, until golden brown.

Tempeh Sloppy Joe Wraps

Tempeh sloppy joestempeh sloppy joes with veggies

Truthfully, tempeh is not one of my favorites. Still, there always seems to be a package in my fridge, that I’ll brown and throw into a pot of chili, or that disappears into a stir fry, soup or stew. I manage to find different ways to use it. So I’m always on the lookout for interesting ways to disguise this slightly nutty tasting protein source, and saw an idea I decided to adapt on ohmyveggies.com.  I feel really fortunate whenever I find or create something with tempeh that’s not only edible, but delicious.

In this Tempeh Sloppy Joe recipe, tempeh is the base to which I added a lot of vegetables I had on hand with a red sauce, to make “Sloppy Joes” that I stuffed into the gluten free wraps my husband had just picked up at the market. Since I had the tempeh sitting in my fridge,  the best part (besides how great these came out), was that I already had all the ingredients, and didn’t have to go out and buy anything special.  I would have liked to use a bag of shredded cabbage and carrots (aka: cole slaw mix), but didn’t have. You could substitute any veggies you want, and use your favorite barbecue sauce right out of the bottle. The wraps were very good, and the Tempeh Sloppy Joes are really yummy without a wrap or roll;  just serve it in a bowl with a big side salad; or stuff some inside a potato!   I hope you’ll like this one. Betayavon!

Tempeh sloppy joes

Ingredients

  • Four scallions (green onions), chopped
  • One large pepper, chopped
  • One inch piece of ginger root, finely chopped
  • Four garlic cloves, minced
  • Olive oil, about 2 Tablespoons
  • 8 oz. package Tempeh, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, or more or less, according to your taste
  • 2 ears of corn on the cob, corn removed, or else 1 cup frozen
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped small
  • 2 large mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Liquid Coconut Aminos or Wheat Free Tamari Sauce
  • 1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar or Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Veggie Broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon, or less, cayenne pepper
  • 1 box Pomi brand Strained Tomatoes (it’s thick like tomato puree, but comes in a box instead of a can)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Gluten Free Wraps or buns sliced in half
  • Any toppings you like: shredded lettuce, shredded carrots, sprouts, onions, etc.

Supplies

  • Large Cast Iron pan
  • Wooden Spoon (always use wood if possible with tomato sauce)
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Cutting board and knife

Instructions

Heat olive oil in large cast iron pan. Saute scallions, chopped peppers, minced garlic and ginger, until soft, about three minutes.  Crumble tempeh and add to pan. Stir for two minutes, then sprinkle the brown sugar, cayenne, tempeh sloppy joes, saute crumbled tempehvinegar, veggie broth, tamari or aminos, and tomato paste, and lower light, cover the pan, and allow to simmer, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped veggies, stir to combine all the ingredients, and simmer, about 12 minutes, covered, stirring frequently. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tempeh sloppy joes

Tag Cloud