Tag Archives: tofu

Ever Wanted

Navratan Korma

Navratan Korma

Every now and then I tend to bite off more than I can chew when it comes to blog challenges, and this week’s r/52weeksofcooking is a prime example.  The theme this week was Indian which is a cuisine I’m familiar with and have done a few times in the past.  However I wanted to try something different so instead of my standard tomato based curry I decided to attempt a yogurt based dish, and then go the extra step in making it vegan.  I researched a variety of different dishes before finally deciding on Navratan Korma which translates to Nine Gems Curry.  For my nine gems I settled on: peas, green beans, Indian Eggplant, green bell pepper, tofu (or paneer), Indian red chilies, shallots, cashews, and carrots.  I debated about using cauliflower or broccoli but it’s still too early in the season for them and couldn’t find any at the local market.  Needless to say this is a very (very!!!) prep-heavy dish with lots of cleaning and cutting.

I started prep work with the tofu in order to give it time to press before moving on to the eggplant, for similar reasons, and then all the remaining vegetables.  To figure out the right spices I looked at a variety of online recipes before finally settling on the below combination.  For a more traditional dish use paneer in place of tofu, just keep it mind it will cook a lot faster than tofu and might require additional vegetable oil in order to brown.

Ever Wanted

Serves: serves 5-6

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seed
  • 1/4 tsp cardamon seeds
  • 1/4 tsp amchoor powder (mango powder)
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tsp ginger, shredded
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 lb of tofu, well pressed and drained (can also sub paneer)
  • 4 Indian eggplants, sliced and salted
  • 1 cup spring peas
  • 1 cup green beans, tipped and halved
  • 1/4 lb carrots, cut in to 2inch pieces
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 Indian red chilis, diced and seeded (optional)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (plain or original - can also used canned version)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used So Delicious Coconut - but Almond or Dairy would work as well)
  • 1/4 cup cashews (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saute dish over medium heat. Once hot add the seeds, spices, garlic, scallions, and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes or until cumin seeds start to split stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  2. Add the tofu and cook for 10 minutes, turning regularly so tofu browns on all sides. Add the remaining vegetables and stir well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once to prevent sticking.
  3. Remove lid and add the coconut milk and yogurt. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Serve hot over coconut (or regular rice) or with fesh Naan topping the dish with cashews (optional)
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2013/04/ever-wanted.html

I served the cashews only on top of mine since I couldn’t find a bag that was marked in such a way to indicate it was 100% peanut free.  This dish might have taken a while to get started but it’s incredibly quick to come together and delicious – making all the cutting worth it!  I also have a feeling this dish would work well in a slow cooker and look forward to testing that theory shortly.

Note: I’m submitting this to the So Delicious Dairy Free Recipe Contest

Secret Is

Sloppy Joeys

Sloppy Joey

Time for the April installment of the Secret Recipe Club!!!! This month I was assigned the incredible Ilona’s Kitchen blog which is packed to the brim with delicious treats – both sweet and savory!  As always I had a hard time finding the perfect recipe, something that would be different than the normal and showcase the delicious recipes on her blog.  After much debate I decided to go with one of her two (!!!) recipes for Sloppy Joe’s,  figuring if they were such a hit with her munchkin they would also go over well with my husband.  In honor of the vegan twist on this recipe I’m renaming them Sloppy Joey’s, and my Joey seems to have no issue sharing his name with this incredible dinner!  Other than the vegan twist most of the recipe is as you will find it on Ilona’s Kitchen, as long as your overlook my avoidance of celery in this dish in favor of more peppers.

Secret Is

serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Add the tofu to the skillet, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks until all the tofu is a deep golden almost brown color, about 10 minutes minutes.
  3. Stir tomato sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce into tofu mixture in skillet. Simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Season the mixture with more salt and pepper, as desired. Spoon onto buns (or fresh bread!), and serve immediately.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2013/04/secret_is.html

These came together in record time, the only trick was finding a vegetarian friendly Worcestershire sauce.  In the end I wound up making my own using this guide from the incredible Martha Stewart.  I have to say this homemade version was far better than any I had before, and used the extra sauce as a topping for the mashed potatoes that I served with my Sloppy Joey’s .  Thanks Ilona’s Kitchen for an incredible dinner idea!



Goes On

Mega Tofu Nachos

Mega Tofu Nachos

This week the challenge for /52weeksofcooking wasn’t a real challenge, at least not for me.  This week we had to cook with tofu, something that I’m more than a little familiar with.  However I still wanted to get something out of this challenge so I started thinking about all the different ways that I could use tofu, as well as recipes that I could reinvent using tofu.  I also wanted to clean out my fridge of some leftovers from another challenge, namely homemade salsa and guacamole.  After much debate I was stuck between tofu rancheros and tofu nachos, with the nachos winning out.  For the tofu I decided I wanted it to be more than just a topping and decided to spice it up a bit.  In order to achieve that, this tofu was pressed for just over 30 minutes to make sure there was no liquid left.

Mega Tofu Nachos

Ingredients

  • 8 oz tofu, well pressed and cubed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 3 cups chips, divided
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, diced (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • guacamole (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the cumin, chili, and cayenne powder. Heat up for a minute and then add the tofu. Cook the tofu for 7 minutes, breaking it up as it cooks. Set aside
  2. Meanwhile preheat oven to 400 degrees and spread half of the chips out in a rimmed cookie sheet or roasting pan. Top the chips with half of the tofu and half of the cheese. Add the remaining chips along with the onion, jalapeno, olives, and the remaining tofu and cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, or until chips and cheese are starting to brown.
  3. Serve topped with cilantro, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, or anything else!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2013/03/goes_on.html

The original idea was these nachos would be an appetizer but in the end they were so filling that they became the entree.  Precooking the tofu gave them a slight crunch which was perfect since I was slightly concerned the tofu was going to fall apart.  This might not have been the healthiest of dinners but it went well with our West Wing marathon so I’ll just have to behave the rest of the week.

Like it Hot

Chili Garlic Bok Choy with Tofu

Spicy Bok Choy & Tofu

An excuse to make spicy food?!?!?  Sign me up!  I was thrilled when I saw the theme this week for /52week was spicy, as it gave me an excuse to experiment with all my chili pastes.  I decided to keep the other ingredients rather basic, since the point of the dish was the sauce and not the proteins.  With some of the sauces I blended all of the liquids in advance and then stirred them in, however this time I decided to add things in layers in order to have more control over the final result.  With my new chili garlic paste I have three different chili based pastes, and every time I cook with them I’m amazed with how complex and different they taste.

Like it Hot

serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp chili garlic paste (to start - add more to taste)
  • 1 lb bok choy, white sections sliced and leaves torn
  • 1 lb tofu, pressed and cubed

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 5 minutes, until garlic starts to brown.
  2. Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, and chili garlic paste stir well and then cook for 2 minutes. Add the tofu and cook on each side for 5 minutes, or until tofu starts to brown. Check the seasonings and add more chili paste if needed!
  3. Slowly add the bok choy, making sure to not crowd the wok. Stir to prevent sticking, and cook until leaves have wilted.
  4. Serve with soba noodles or fried rice
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2013/02/like-it-hot.html

  Sesame Oil has also become my  new bff, since it gives a nutty flavor to dishes without the risks of nuts.   I’m also thrilled that so far I’ve been able to keep to my goal of doing as many of the 52week challenges vegan as possible.  While I don’t see myself going vegan, pending vegan Ritter Sports bars, I love pushing myself outside of my normal cooking comfort zone.

Make Way

Thai Basil Eggplant

and

Grand Ma’s Tofu

Thai Basil Eggplant & Grand Ma's Tofu

There is just something about Chinese food around the holidays, it just feels right!  This week I had the added encouragement of /52weeks Take Out at Home theme.  I debated about trying a thincrust pizza but forgetting to add water to the bread machine took care of that idea, so on to Chinese Food!  Joe and I get Chinese food about once a month and our favorite place no longer ask us what we want, they hear my name and they know we are calling for eggplant and tofu.  I had wanted to try making both of these recipes for awhile but every recipe I found online featured either pork or fish sauce and I wasn’t sure how our place does it without either of those.  So I started experimenting with sauces, testing them out on soba noodles until I found the “right” combination.  The hardest part was finding a chili paste for the tofu that didn’t include shrimp paste or fish sauce, but after a very long trip to the Asian grocery store I was able to locate one that was safe!

Thai Basil Eggplant

serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1.5 lbs Thai eggplant, roll cut
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Thai green chilies, diced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3/4 Thai basil, well rinsed and loosely chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok over medium heat. Add the eggplant and cook for 5-7minutes, then add the onion. Cook for another 5minutes then add the garlic and green chilies and cook for another 5 minutes. The eggplant should be starting to brown while the onion should be turning golden.
  2. Add the soy sauce, water, and vinegar. Stir well then add the Thai basil. Turn heat to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Serve hot over rice or rice noodles.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2012/12/make-way.html

Grand Ma's Eggplant

serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, minced
  • 16 oz tofu, well pressed & cubed
  • 2 Thai Chilies
  • 4 spring onions, chopped (all whites and some tops)
  • 2 tbsp chili bean paste
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok or saute pan, then add the mushrooms and cook for 7-10 minutes. Add the tofu and cook until brown on each side, about 5 minutes each. Add the onion tops and green chilies and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile mix together the onion whites, bean paste, vegetable stock, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Pour the sauce over the tofu, and bring to a quick boil before turning heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until sauce has reduced by half. Serve over rice or rice noodles and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2012/12/make-way.html

The best part about these dishes is that the sauces are so versatile, could easily switch things up and do a Thai Basil Tofu or a Grand Ma’s Eggplant.  Each of these dishes would also make a great topping for some rice noodles, or just as they are.