Basil Tofu Scramble

Basil Tofu Scramble

Hi everyone. What do you think of FLB’s new ‘do? It’s a work in progress but I am hoping this new layout will be more visual and more user friendly for you all.

Basil Tofu Scramble 2

Yesterday was a holiday and I love nothing more than spending the day in the kitchen when there is no agenda :). So I whipped Scott and I up some brunch that was inspired by one of our favorite organic cafe’s, The Plant. We are just a little bit obsessed with the basil tofu scramble at this cafe so I decided to try it out for myself. It was super easy and super tasty – we had it for brunch, but it would be great for dinner as well! I served it with a side salad and a recipe to come – sweet potato and brussels sprouts hash. Let’s just say, we were both wishing I made made a bit more! Oh and you can find the homemade pesto recipe here.

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7 Vegetarian Dinners in 30 Minutes or Less!

When I posted Five 20 minute meals, I got a lot of great feedback because many people get home from work late and just don’t have time to spend hours cooking a meal… but just because you are busy or work late doesn’t mean you can’t end the day with healthful wholesome meals. So here is a week’s worth of meals you can make in 30 minutes or less :). And the good news is you’ll probably have left overs to take with you for lunch!

1. Delicata Squash and Tofu Curry

Delicata Squash and Tofu Curry

2. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad… 

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Mostly Veggie Potato Salad

Mostly Veggie Potato SaladFrom the recipes on this site, you guys know I love sweet potatoes but I received some red potatoes in my Full Circle box last week so needed to get creative. Aside from the fact that you get fresh local veggies delivered to your doorstep (which is awesome!), I also love getting these CSA boxes because they present me with challenges. I knew I didn’t just want to roast the potatoes so I searched around and came across this recipe in Super Natural Everyday, Heidi Swanson’s cookbook. It is a very easy dish and a different take on the traditional potato salad. Scott and I have been using the leftovers on top of salad all week for lunch and I imagine this would be a great additional to a summer potluck!

Mostly Veggie Potato Salad
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 4 small pink or red skinned potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
  • 2 cups of green beans, trimmed and sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • ¼ cup whole grain mustard
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup EVOO
  • Sea salt
  • ¼ cup chopped dill
  • 1 leek, trimmed and chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
  • 1 small cucumber, unpeeled and cut into tiny cubes
  • 1 Tbsp chopped chives
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Salt generously, add the potatoes and cook until tender but not falling apart (approx 10 minutes). One minute before potatoes are done, add in the green beans. Drain potatoes and beans and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, sautee the dill in a splash of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add a couple of pinches of salt, stir in the leek and saute until golden and slightly crispy (about 4-5 minutes).
  3. In the meantime, make the dressing by whisking together mustard, vinegar, oil and salt. Taste and adjust as needed.
  4. In a large bowl, gently toss the potatoes, green beans, celery, cucumber, chives and leek with the dressing. Salt to taste. Serve room temperature or chilled.

Photo credit: Hello There Home.

Tofu Lime Ceviche

Tofu CevicheThe weather here is SF has just been fabulous lately and there is nothing more refreshing that a crisp cool meal or snack when the weather is nice. I loved this idea of a vegetarian ceviche when I saw this recipe on the Whole Foods website and I have recently started to get avocados and tomatoes in my CSA box, so I thought it was the perfect time to try it out… and this will be a great addition to your cinco de mayo menu (don’t forget to serve with some yummy Guacamole as well). I love the fresh flavor combo’s of the avocado, lime, cilantro, coconut and ginger.

Tofu Lime Ceviche
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat tofu dry with paper towels, then transfer to a bowl and toss gently with Worcestershire sauce. Spread tofu out evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake, turning once, for 30 minutes. Set aside to let cool to room temperature.
  2. Put tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeño, salt, onions, avocado, ginger, garlic and coconut milk into a large bowl. Add tofu and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight, before serving. *If marinating for a long time or overnight, you can add avocado in prior to serving in order to avoid browning.

Photo Credit: Whole Foods

Traditional Pad Thai

I apologize for the hiatus, I was doing some research abroad… I traveled all the way to Thailand to seek out some Thai recipes to share with you all :)! We took an incredible cooking class that I would highly recommend to anyone visiting Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand. It is called Siam Rice Thai Cookery and Pot, the founder takes you to the local market, then welcomes you into his home which is also a cooking school. These were some of the best dishes I ate the whole time we were out there. I’ll start with the classic Thai dish, Pad Thai… but don’t worry there will be plenty more to come.

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Visiting the local market

Traditional Pad Thai
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil of your choice (we used palm oil due to the high heat of the cooking – you can use canola, sunflower or peanut oil as well)
  • 3 Tbsp garlic, smashed
  • 1 (12oz) package tofu, diced into ¼ inch cubes
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup oyster sauce (oyster flavored sauce for vegetarian)
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce (fish flavored sauce for vegetarian)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (palm sugar is what is used in traditional Thai cooking)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp black soy sauce (just use additional soy sauce if you cannot find this version)
  • 1 package (12 oz) rice noodles – if they are dried instead of fresh, you may have to soak in cold water for about 30 min
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 bunch chives, chopped
  • Ground peanuts, chili powder and lime (preferably kaffir lime) for garnish
Instructions
  1. Add the cooking oil to wok, keeping high heat. Add garlic and tofu and cook until fragrant.
  2. Crack in eggs and cook until egg is fully cooked.
  3. Add water, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and soy sauces.
  4. Add noodles. Stir until the noodles are soft and then add bean sprouts, green beans and chives. Cook for one more minute and then remove from heat.
  5. Garnish with ground peanuts, chili powder and lime.

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The finished product – and a well deserved Chang beer!

 

Tofu, Peanut Butter and Roasted Tomato Panzanella

Stepping outside of your comfort zone is not always easy but usually it leads to a lesson learned, both in life and in the kitchen… either you get a nice surprise because something works or it doesn’t and you simply know not to do it again! When I saw this recipe, I was very unsure how all these different flavors would work together, but thankfully I gave it a shot and now I am thrilled to share it with all of you. A big thanks to Heidi Swanson for this one 🙂

Tofu, Peanut Butter and Roasted Tomato Panzanella
 
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Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO
  • Sea salt
  • 2 thick slices of multigrain or whole wheat bread (about 6 oz)
  • 12 oz block of firm tofu, sliced into 4 slabs
  • ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp brown rice vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ¼ tsp toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ⅓ cup – ½ cup hot water
  • 1½ cup packed sunflower sprouts
  • 2 cups arugula
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Slice each tomato in half and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Toss until coated and arrange tomatoes cut side up. Roast for 45-60 minutes until the tomatoes shrink and start to carmelize. (This step can be done beforehand and kept refrigerated).
  2. Meanwhile, brush bread with both sides with the olive oil and toast in oven or grill on pan until each side is golden and crunchy. Tear the bread into bite size chunks.
  3. Brush tofu with olive oil, and cook in a pan until tofu is golden and crispy on each side (about 5 minutes). Cut into ½ inch pieces and place in a large bowl.
  4. Combine peanut butter, vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and ¼ tsp salt in a medium bowl. Thin with hot water (varies depending on the consistency you want your dressing).
  5. Once tomatoes are roasted or just before serving, pour a generous amount of the dressing over the tofu and toss it gently – it will look overdressed at this point. Add the bread and toss again.
  6. Dish arugula onto a plate or bowl, top with tofu mixture, tomatoes and sprouts.

 

Vegan Lettuce Wraps

I came up with this recipe and since then, I pretty much make it every time I ask myself “What am I possibly going to make for dinner tonight?!”

There is a nice contrast between the hot filling and the cool crisp lettuce… all combined with a crunch from the final few ingredients. It is incredibly healthy and incredibly delicious.

Enjoy!

Vegan Lettuce Wraps
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • For Sauce
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder, divided
  • ½ cup soy sauce or (braggs liquid aminos for gluten free)
  • 3 tablespoons oyster-flavored sauce
  • ½ teaspoon arrowroot
  • 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • For Filling
  • ½ cup farro (use quinoa for gluten free version)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 package (15oz) soft tofu, drained
  • 4 cups mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cups bean sprouts, chopped in half lengthwise
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 head of butter lettuce
Instructions
  1. Cook farro (or quinoa) according to package directions.
  2. Make sauce by combining ½ tsp five-spice powder with remaining ingredients and whisk together. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil and cook shallot until fragrant and it starts to be come transparent.
  4. Add block of tofu and smash with a wooden spoon until it becomes small chunks. Season with remaining ½ tsp of five-spice powder. Cook until slightly browned, approximately 5 minutes.
  5. Add mushrooms and cook until tender.
  6. Meanwhile prepare lettuce wraps, but removing butter lettuce leaves and setting aside.
  7. Add cooked and drained farro and sauce. Cook for a few more minutes until mixed together.
  8. Finally add bean sprouts, water chestnuts, cashews and scallions. Mix together and then remove from heat.
  9. Spoon a bit of the filling onto a plate with a side of the butter lettuce leaves. Make individual wraps at the table in order to not have lettuce get soggy.

 

Delicata Squash & Tofu Curry

Delicata Squash and Tofu Curry

I’ve found curry recipes to be a little hit and miss… and I will safely say this one was a hit! After my post about butternut squash, I realized there are so many winter squashes out there I have yet to try. I found this recipe on Eating Well and was determined to try out this new squash. If you cannot find delicata you can replace with pumpkin, butternut or kabocha squash.

Delicata Squash & Tofu Curry
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 package (140z) extra-firm or firm water-packed tofu
  • 4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 large delicata squash (about 1 pound), halved, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 14oz can “lite” coconut milk
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped kale or chard, tough stems removed
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice, plus more to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine curry powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Blot tofu dry with a paper towel and cut into 1-inch cubes; toss the tofu in a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture.
  2. Heat ½ the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook, stirring every 2 minutes, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add squash, onion, ginger and the remaining spice mixture; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add coconut milk; bring to a boil. Add half the kale (or chard) and cook, stirring, until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the rest of the greens and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Return the tofu to the pan, cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the squash and greens are tender, 3 to 5 minutes more.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice.

Serving suggestion: Serve over grain of choice

Kung Pao Tofu

Kung Pao Tofu

I’m not the hugest fan of chinese food because I don’t like the thick sauces but my husband loves the Kung Pao at our local Chinese spot (we always sub the chicken out for tofu). It is actually quite good because it has a lighter sauce. So I searched far and wide to find a recipe that would give a lighter sauce – FYI, you’d be amazed how hard it is to find a Kung Pao dish without a few table spoons of sugar in the sauce!!! I ended up finding a great recipe at Eating Well but subbed in my own veggies that I thought would be a better combo and made some modifications to the sauce, to give it that extra little kick.

Kung Pao Tofu
 
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Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1 (14 oz) package extra-firm water-packed tofu, rinsed
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder, divided (can be found in the spice section of most grocery stores)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons oyster-flavored sauce, (0yster sauce works if you are not worried about a vegetarian meal)
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • 2 cups broccoli crowns, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted roasted peanuts, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce, (omit or find gluten free soy sauce for gluten free recipe)
  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
Instructions
  1. Pat tofu dry and cut into ½-inch cubes. Combine with ½ teaspoon five-spice powder in a medium bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook, stirring every 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk water, oyster sauce, cornstarch, chili garlic sauce and the remaining ½ teaspoon five-spice powder in a small bowl.
  4. Add broccoli, red bell pepper and snap peas to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 6 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low, add the oyster sauce mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 30 seconds.
  5. Return the tofu to the pan along with peanuts and stir to coat with sauce; stir in scallions and soy sauce (if using).

Serving Suggestion: Serve over brown rice or grain of choice.

Vegetarian Spring Rolls

So, next to bruschetta, spring rolls are one of my favorite things. I absolutely love the texture and the freshness. This was my first go at making them and I must say, I was so excited when I enjoyed these beautiful fresh spring rolls that I had made myself.

I did learn some lessons along the way. Rice paper isn’t THAT easy to find. You may be able to get it at Whole Foods or other specialty stores but you can also get it online. I ended up getting Three Ladies Brand. Play around with the sauce to your desire. I tried 2 different ones and didn’t love either so I kinda combined two different ideas to make it my own.

Average Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 8 spring rolls

Ingredients

Peanut Sauce

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

2 Tbsp brown rice vinegar

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/3 cup – 1/2 cup hot water

Spring rolls

8 sheets of rice paper

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 package (14 oz) organic extra firm tofu, drained

2 Tbsp tamari

1 small head of red cabbage, shredded

2 carrots, shredded

1 bunch of basil leaves, stems removed

1 bunch of mint leaves, stems removed

Directions

1. Combine peanut butter, vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and 1/4 tsp salt in a medium bowl. Thin with hot water (varies depending on the consistency you want your sauce).

2. Slice tofu into strips (approximately three inches long and 1/2 in by 1/2 inch). Preheat a saute pan with olive oil. Saute the tofu flipping occasionally until cooked to your desire. Add the tamari once the tofu is partially cooked. I prefer my tofu slightly toasted so I cook on a higher heat for a longer time each side.

3. Prepare a bowl filled with hot water. Dip rice paper in hot water until it starts to lose its stiffness and feel rubbery. Place rice paper on work surface and let sit 30 seconds. Layer ingredients on the third of the paper closest to you. Fold bottom of paper over ingredients. Fold sides, roll up (like you would a burrito) and place seam side down on plate.

4. Slice in half and serve with a side of peanut sauce.