Tag Archives: recipe

Raw Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons

23 Jun

I rarely venture above 23rd street, so when I had to go to the Upper East Side the other day, I made a few stops along the way. First on my hit list? Candle Cafe!! I didn’t have time to indulge in a full-fledged meal, but I got the Green Goddess juice which boosted my spirits. (I’m sure this guy would appreciate looking like he’s scratching his butt in the picture below. He’s actually just putting his wallet in his pocket, but my version is funnier).

Candle Cafe NYC

Look how vibrant and beautifully green the juice is!!

Green Goddess Juice at Candle Cafe. Mixed Greens, Apple, Lemon, and Ginger.

I swung by Beanocchio for a soy latte and couldn’t resist these delicious coconut macaroons.

Raw Almond Vegan Macaroons at Beanocchio

And they’re even heart-shaped (-ish)! So cute.

Raw Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons at Beanocchio

They were sweet, but not cloying, and held together perfectly. I love raw cookies and bars because I don’t feel gross after I eat them. They aren’t packed with processed sugars and artificial ingredients that can send your body into a frenzy. Plus, raw desserts are filling and satisfying. They’re typically high in protein, good fats, and fiber, which means I don’t get the urge to binge on 50 of them. It’s not about the calories, it’s about the quality of the ingredients.

I took a stab at making my own raw vegan macaroons. Next time, I think I’ll try chocolate covered ones. Mmmmmmmm.

Raw Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup almonds (soaked for 1 hour)

1/2 cup toasted unsweetened, low-fat organic coconut

1/2 cup unsweetened, low-fat, organic coconut

1/4 cup agave

Directions:

1. Soak the almonds. Drain, disposing of liquid. Reserve almonds.

2. Toast coconut in a small saute pan over low heat.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.

4. Put all ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until finely ground and begins to hold together.

5. Using a tablespoon, scoop mounds of the mixture and place onto prepared baking sheet. Note: when scooping, be sure to press mixture into the tablespoon to ensure it forms a mound and holds together. If the mixture is sticking in the spoon, have a cup of hot water to dip the spoon into between scoops.

6. Refrigerate for one hour. These little mounds of joy were soft but held together, even when bitten into. They tasted even better on the second day.

7. Eat!!

Raw Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons

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Chocolate Nut Smoothie Recipe

29 May

Happy Memorial Day weekend, Food Buffers! It’s officially warm here in NYC. When it’s hot, I want my food cold (along with frosty beverages and an ice bath to soak in). What can I say? I grew up in Maine, I wasn’t made for high heat. I’ve had a smoothie every day this week and been playing around with different flavor combos.

This Chocolate Nut recipe is the perfect jump-start to the morning, or a great afternoon snack. It has a creamy, smooth texture that’s truly satisfying and is packed with nutrients and quality protein. I love making smoothies at home because I can control the portion/calories and quality of ingredients. Plus, they’re fast, healthy, and filling. If you buy smoothies when you’re out, be careful. They can be loaded with calories, sweeteners, and artificial ingredients. Try to see a list of ingredients in the smoothie. Stay away from anything with purees, tons of juices, added processed ingredients/sugars, or fillers like frozen yogurt. Look for organic or raw ingredients, whole fruits, etc.

I’ve used the antioxidant/health benefits of dark chocolate as an excuse to eat more of it (and I know I’m not alone here), but if you really want to reap the benefits, from what I’ve learned, raw, organic cacao is the way to go. Cacao nibs are crushed, peeled cacao beans. They’re deemed a “superfood” and are high in antioxidants so you get the good stuff without all the sugar. According to LiveSuperfoods.com, “Cacao has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far, including blueberries, red wine, and black and green teas. In fact, it has up to four times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea.”

This Chocolate Nut smoothie reminds me of chocolate milk, but better. Get your smoothie-on this holiday weekend!

Chocolate Nut Smoothie

1 cup hemp milk

1 tablespoon cacao nibs

1 frozen banana

1 tablespoon almond butter

optional: add in 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil for added nutritional benefits like fiber and Omega-3s. 

1. Blend all ingredients until smooth in a high-powered blender (like Vitamix). Drink immediately!

Please keep in mind I’m not a nutritionist, doctor, or dietician so if you have any health concerns or dietary questions, please see a medical professional. Here are some other great resources if you want to learn more about cacao nibs and the nutritional benefits.

http://www.rawcacao.com/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/356782-cocoa-nibs-nutrition-information/

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/columnnn/nn100218.html

http://www.medscicommunications.com/just_for_fun.htm

Bay Scallops with Broccolini and Fried Garlic

23 May

When I go home, my mom usually cooks and I watch (while consuming a lot of wine). This time, I had the pleasure of cooking for my family. I was happy to return the favor after all these years. I wanted to make something they’d both enjoy, and showcased different cooking techniques and ingredients. Oh and of course, was healthy. 🙂

My mom prefers Asian flavors and already had plans for a cluster of frozen bay scallops. Yes, frozen. As they thawed, I pictured bay scallops steaming in soy sauce and wine. I’d wished they were fresh sea scallops but hey, who am I to judge. Frozen fish is tricky. It can be difficult to fully remove all the water. In order to get a good sear, it needs to be dry. Whether it’s chicken, meat, fish, tofu, or tempeh, if it’s wet, all it’s going to do is steam in the pan. I offered to lend a hand and see if we could do something special with these little frozen morsels.

I was feeling a bit out of my element. I hadn’t selected the ingredients, was in a kitchen with no idea where anything was, and didn’t have the typical tools of the trade (like my lovely knives). I’m a big baby, aren’t I? Well, I love a challenge. I imagined I was in a Quick Fire challenge on Top Chef and had at it.

Thanks to some paper towels, high heat, and oil, the scallops browned beautifully and had a crispy, carmelized exterior. And it took about a half hour to make! This is a perfect weeknight dinner that comes together quickly, but tastes like it took hours to make. If you can, use fresh wild caught fish whenever possible for best results (and optimal quality fish/nutritional benefits). Next time, I’m making fresh sea scallops for them.

If you’re interested in learning more about the health benefits of wild fish over farm-raised, check out this article. Click here.

Bay Scallops with Broccolini and Fried Garlic

Note: I served this over a bed of mixed rice using (50% brown sticky rice, 25% red rice, 25% wild rice). You can use any rice, quinoa, or even pasta drizzled with olive oil if desired. 

2 T olive oil

1 lb bay scallops (or sea scallops if you prefer, patted dry between paper towels)

2 large bunches broccolini, chopped into bite-size chunks

3-4 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced horizontally

salt & pepper

1. With either frozen or fresh fish, be sure to gently pat the fish between layers of paper towels to ensure surface is dry. Season with salt and pepper right before cooking.

2. Make garlic oil. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Once hot, add sliced garlic and cook until golden brown. Remove from pan and reserve for later use.

3. In the same pan, using the garlic flavored oil, get the pan hot over medium-high. Add scallops being careful not to crowd the pan.

4. Sear on one side until they easily release from pan, then flip to sear the other side. Be careful not to burn anything that sticks to the pan as this will contribute to the sauce at the end. Remove from pan and reserve on plate.

5. Add broccolini to the pan, saute around over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1/4 cup red wine. Deglaze the pan until all sucs on the bottom are removed. Cover and cook over low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the broccolini are tender.

6. Plate broccolini over a bed of rice. Top with scallops and garnish with fried garlic.

Bay Scallops with Broccolini

Vegan Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

10 May

We are finally on a hot streak this week in NYC (knock on head), and what better way to celebrate than with homemade ice cream? Making ice cream is nostalgic for me. My dad and I used to make it with the old school ice cream maker which looked kind of like the first one ever made:

Hand Crank Ice Cream Maker

We’d pour salt on the ice and take turns churning. I vividly remember making peach ice cream with big chunks of fruit in it. I haven’t seen any good-looking peaches and didn’t have any frozen on hand so this time I went with coconut.

I used MimicCreme as the milk/half & half in the recipe. It’s made from almond and cashew creme, is lactose and gluten-free, non-GMO, soy free, and completely vegan. It adds a nice creamy, chewy, texture and can also be used in smoothies. Available through their website and at Whole Foods.

Of course, if you don’t have Mimic Creme, feel free to use a non-dairy milk or half & half to keep this vegan.

Get creative! Try using pureed fruit, bits of chocolate, toasted hazelnuts, the options are endless. What’s your favorite summertime treat?

Vegan Coconut Ice Cream

I made minor tweaks from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

2 cups Mimic Creme (or non-dairy milk or half and half) 2 T of it reserved in small bowl

1 cup coconut milk

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 T cornstarch

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted

1. Put milk or half and half in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring just to a boil, stirring.

Warming up the Mimic Creme

2. Mix cornstarch with 2 T reserved Mimic Creme (or non-dairy milk or half & half if you’re using) to make a slurry.

3. Whisk the slurry and sugar into the warm milk in the pan. Heat stirring constantly, until thick. The mixture is ready when it thickly coats the back of a spoon and a line drawn with your finger remains intact. (Strain the mixture before proceeding if you think there might be any lumps.)

Coated Spoon Test

4. Pour the mixture into a bowl and create an ice bath by placing the bowl over another bowl filled with ice and water.

5. While that’s cooling, toast the coconut. Put the coconut in a small, dry skillet. Toast the coconut in the skillet over medium heat until golden. Watch it carefully and stir frequently, as it’ll creep up on you and burn quickly.

6. Once the ice cream mixture has cooled, add the coconut milk. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. When the ice cream begins thickening in the machine, add the toasted coconut.

7. Best eaten right after making, but can also be frozen in an air tight container. Remove from freezer and let thaw at room temperature for five to ten minutes before eating.

Vegan Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

Lentils and Potatoes with Curry recipe

4 May

It’s a dreary spring day here in NYC. With the rain pouring down, the only thing I want to do is cook a comforting meal and crawl in a corner with a good book. However, I’m on day three of the Blue Print Cleanse so no food for me, but I’ve been saving this recipe for this exact occasion. I made this Lentils and Potatoes with Curry recipe a couple days ago so I’d have leftovers for the hubbie to eat while I cleanse.  Although it’s delicious fresh, I actually think it’s better the second day. It resembles a stew, but is thicker, and a perfect accompaniment to a loaf of crusty bread and a glass of Chianti Classico. Plus it’s basically a four ingredient, one-pot recipe that comes together in less than 45 minutes.

Here’s hoping sunny days are ahead, but in the meantime, turn this doldrums day around by having this for lunch or dinner. You’ll even have enough leftovers to get you through another rainy day (if necessary).

What’s your favorite dreary day comfort food?

Lentils and Potatoes with Curry

slightly tweaked from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

1 cup dried lentils, washed and picked over

3 1/2 cups organic coconut milk (veg stock or filtered water can also be used)

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 lb new potatoes, halved (or 2 medium russet, peeled and cut into large chunks)

1 bay leaf

salt & freshly ground pepper

minced fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

1. Combine the lentils, liquid, and curry powder in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat down to medium-low so that the mixture bubbles gently, cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils start to absorb the water a bit, about 15 minutes.

2. Add the potatoes and bay leaf. Cover the pan completely.

Cook, undisturbed, for 10 minutes or so, then stir gently and check to make sure the lentils aren’t too dry. If so, add a little more liquid. Add salt as the lentils become tender.

3. Cover and continue cooking until the lentils are soft and the potatoes are tender at the center, another 5 to 10 minutes, add liquid if necessary. It should be moist, but not soupy. Fish out the bay leaf. Add lots of black pepper, stir, then taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with cilantro (and soy or regular yogurt if desired).

Cinco de Mango Salad

26 Apr

The weather is finally warming up and that means one thing, more salads. The hotter it gets, the less I use the oven. I grew up in Maine, people! High heat, humidity and I are not friends. Today was sunny and a glorious 79 degrees. Hot, but not I need to hide in the air-conditioning hot.

In honor of the upcoming Cinco de Mayo, I was feeling festive. Warm weather does that to me. I always want margaritas, guacamole, and chips. I picked up a few beautiful mangos that were just screaming to be salad-ified. (Yes, salad-ified is a word. I say therefore it is.) This is a somewhat healthier option that’s like mango salsa, but a little less tart so the different flavors have room to stand out, but also meld together. I was flipping through the May issue of Bon Appetit and saw a recipe using pickled onions that inspired me (Shrimp and Potato Salad, pg 152). The sour onions really balance out the sweetness of the mango. I tried this Mango Salad a few different ways: on its own (which was amazing), over a bed of baby spinach, and even in a tortilla with the avocado mashed up. Insane!

I also couldn’t resist the gorgeous radishes either. They are such a misunderstood vegetable. I’ve grown to love them in salads and even as a dipper with hummus. They’re crunchy and have a bitterness/heat that kind of bites you back.

What’s on your Cinco de Mayo menu?

Mango Salad with Pickled Onions

1 red onion, thinly sliced

5 T red or white wine vinegar

1 mango, sliced into spears

2 mini seedless cucumber (or 1/2 a whole one), diced

1 lime, juiced

1 avocado, sliced

1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced

handful cilantro, chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 a serrano pepper, membrane removed, minced

salt & pepper

1. Put the sliced onion in a bowl. Rinse with cold water for a minute. Drain well. Season with salt and pepper. Pour vinegar over and mix until coated. Marinate for at least one hour before using. Stir occasionally while marinating to ensure all onions pickle. This is kind of the cheater’s version of pickling because there’s no cooking involved.

Sliced Red Onion Marinating

2. In a large separate bowl, add the lime juice, cumin, cilantro and serrano. Mix until combined.  Add mango, cucumber, sliced radishes and avocado to vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until all elements are covered in vinaigrette.

3. Garnish with pickled onions.

Last Minute Vegan Passover Dessert

19 Apr

If you need a quick and easy dessert for Passover, look no further. I made a couple minor adjustments to this recipe by David Lebovitz (which he adapted from Marcy Goldman of BetterBaking) to make it vegan. Granted, it’s still tons of sugar, so it’s not exactly healthy, but it’s completely vegan and uses whole foods. Toffee and chocolate are one of my favorite classic combinations. Semi-sweet chocolate is perfect because it’s not cloyingly sweet and is complemented by the nutty, buttery, toffee. The dashes of salt also help balance things out. I even made 1/2 the pan with toasted coconut, and the other half of the pan sprinkled with sea salt. You can’t even tell it’s matzoh under there! As David mentions, you could also substitute matzoh with saltines (omit the pinch of salt). I also want to try pretzel rods. MMMmmm. The thing I love most is I didn’t need to do a huge grocery shop for this. All I needed was matzoh and I was good to go!

I made a version of this last year and it got great reviews so it’s making a second appearance this year. It’s rare for me to repeat a dish, but I got such great feedback I decided it could become “my thing”. Hopefully our seder tonight will also enjoy it! Happy Passover everyone.

Chocolate Toffee Matzoh Bark

Takes approx 30 minutes total

  • 4 to 6 sheets unsalted whole wheat matzohs
  • 1 cup (230g) Earth Balance vegan butter (or unsalted butter), cut into chunks
  • 1 cup (215g) firmly-packed organic light brown sugar
  • big pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract (for Passover use Kosher brand)
  • 1 cup (160g) vegan semisweet chocolate chips (or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate)
  • 1 cup (80g) toasted organic coconut (optional)

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet (approx. 11 x 17″) completely with foil, making sure the foil goes up and over the edges. Cover the foil with a sheet of parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375F.

Prepped Sheet Pan

2. Line the bottom of the sheet with matzoh, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in any spaces. Try not to overlap too much or you’ll end up with naked pieces later. No one wants naked matzoh!

3. In a 3-4 quart heavy duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the mixture is beginning to boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Once the toffee becomes foamy, remove from heat. Add the salt and vanilla, and pour over matzoh, spreading with a heatproof spatula.

Brown Sugar and Vegan Butter

Melted

Ready!

4. Put the pan in the oven and reduce the heat to 350F degrees. Bake for 15 minutes. As it bakes, it will bubble up but make sure it’s not burning every once in a while. If it is in spots, remove from oven and reduce the heat to 325F, then replace the pan.

Fresh Out of the Oven

5. Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread with an offset spatula.

Spreading Melted Chocolate

6. If you wish, sprinkle with toasted almonds (or another favorite nut, toasted and coarsely-chopped), a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, or roasted cocoa nibs.

Toasted Coconut

Let cool completely, then break into pieces and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. I let it cool in the refrigerator for an hour before breaking into pieces. It should keep well for about one week.

Chocolate Toffee Matzoh Bark

If you’re bringing as a host gift, pick up some cute food containers at The Container Store along with a hand written label identifying the contents.

Host Gift

Note: You can toast unsweetened, shredded coconut in a 1/4 sheet pan at the same time the matzoh is in the oven just watch it carefully as it can burn quickly. Take it out once or twice and stir the coconut for even browning. 

Aspara-pea-bean Israeli Couscous Salad

5 Apr

I received a few requests this weekend for easy, vegetarian recipes. Couscous and quinoa salad immediately came to mind because they’re healthy, full of whole grains and vegetables, and are very simple to make.

When it comes to couscous, I prefer Israeli to North African. Israeli couscous is bigger and more pasta-like than the smaller, grainy North African. Instead of North African, I usually use quinoa which has a similar texture, but more nutritional benefits.

Israeli Couscous

Israeli couscous, or pearl couscous, is typically made from semolina and flour. Its’ small, round granules give it a lovely chewy consistency. It’s often a side dish, but don’t dismiss it as a main. It can be the star too! Toasting the couscous gives it a nutty flavor and helps the morsels cook through without falling apart.

North African Couscous

I was inspired by the sugar snap peas, asparagus, and green beans at Whole Foods today, but you can use any vegetable readily available. It would be fantastic with a mix of roasted zucchini.

You’ll see this recipe calls for cinnamon. Even if you’re not a huge fan of this spice, I encourage you to at least try it in this recipe once. The cinnamon gives the final dish that extra “somethin” special and really makes a world of difference.

Happy eats!

Aspara-pea-bean Israeli Couscous Salad

2 T olive oil

1/2 cup pine nuts

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick

1 dried bay leaf

1 3/4 cups vegetable broth

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 lb green beans

1/2 lb sugar snap peas

1/2 lb asparagus, ends trimmed

1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

zest & juice of 1/2 lemon

juice of 1/2 orange

1/4 cup raisins

black pepper to taste

1. Add 1 T olive oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add pine nuts and toast until golden brown. Transfer to small bowl.

Toasting Pine Nuts

2. Soak the raisins in the orange juice, set aside to use later.

3. Prepare to steam the vegetables. Pour a couple of inches water into a pot. Place the steamer insert in, cover, and place over medium-high heat until water is boiling. Place string beans in the steamer basket for about 5 minutes until a pairing knife goes in with no resistance. Immediately shock them in an ice water bath to maintain bright green color. Do the same to the asparagus and sugar snap peas.

Tip: Steam extra veggies (1 lb of each instead of 1/2 lb) and store in the refrigerator for an easy weeknight saute, or salad.

All-Clad Stainless Steamer Insert

Steamer Set-Up

Sugar Snap Peas in Steamer

Ice Bath

4. Add 1 T oil in same pan, add shallots and saute until golden.

Sauteed Shallots

5. Add couscous, cinnamon and bay leaf. Stir continuously until couscous begins to brown. Add broth and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender (approx 10 minutes).

Cooked Couscous

Remove from heat, stir in parsley, pine nuts, raisins with orange juice, and lemon zest.

Couscous with Pine Nuts and Parsley

6. Serve warm or room temperature.

Aspara-pea-bean Israeli Couscous Salad

For the Love of Young Coconut

3 Apr

You already know I’m obsessed with kale smoothies, particularly the coconut kale smoothie from Naturewell in LA.

I’ve been too chicken to buy a young coconut, and mine for my own coconut meat, but Whole Foods had some in stock so decided it was time to take the plunge.

Here are a couple great links on how to do it. I took suggestions from both and the gist is, be ready to wack that knife and curl your fingers so you don’t lose a digit.

How to Open a Young Coconut

How to Open a Young Coconut – with step by step visuals

Young Coconut

Here’s what I did:

1. On a very stable surface (I used a cutting board with gripper bottom), begin cutting off the white outside layer around the pointed top of the coconut, using your knife.  Continue scraping off the outside layer until you hit the brown shell.

2.  At the base of the pointy part, strike the knife or cleaver a couple times. It took me a few hard strikes until the knife was in there. Pry the top open with your knife. BE CAREFUL with this entire process. Make sure your work surface is stable and your fingers are out of the way. When you get it open, the juice will flow out so quickly upright the coconut so you don’t lose too much liquid. The coconut is surprisingly full (mine was completely full to the top).

Opened Young Coconut

Coconut Top

Coconut Top Opening

Fresh Coconut Water - look how much was in there!!!

3. Using a spoon or ice cream scooper, scrape off the thin layer of white meat inside the coconut. Be careful not to press too hard, as you want only the white layer and not the brown stuff behind it. Cut off any brown parts so you don’t have any hard particles in whatever you end up making.

Young Coconut Meat

4, Store the coconut meat and juice in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.

Benefits of coconut meat & juice:

Coconut water is high in potassium and electrolytes making it a great workout hydrator. Skip all those fake drinks filled with artificial colors and added mock-nutrients and hydrate with this amazing refreshment.

The first thing I did was make a smoothie (shocker, I know). I had some frozen pineapple which inspired a pina colada smoothie. I was tempted to add rum, but figured working out with a buzz-on probably wasn’t my smartest move.

Pina Colada Smoothie

1 cup frozen pineapple

1 frozen banana

1/4 cup coconut meat

1/4 cup milk (I use hemp – add another 1/4 if you need it)

1. Blend together until completely smooth. Add additional milk if necessary.

2. Drink immediately!

Pina Colada Smoothie

Easy Tamari Baked Tofu Recipe

30 Mar

Curious about tofu, but not sure what to do with it? Afraid of the texture? Fear no more!

My favorite preparation is baked tofu. It’s great in sandwiches, stir-fries, over noodles, on rice, the options are endless. It has a meatier texture which makes it particularly good for tofu newbies. Even if you’re a novice cook, tofu is simple and forgiving unlike meats or fish which can be very temperamental if not cooked properly.

The recipe below is perfect for sandwiches. You can cut slices so it lies flat in bread or in a wrap, and top with veggies, sprouts, hot sauce, hummus and avocado.

For use with noodles or rice, I like to cut it into bite size cubes first, then marinate and bake. In this version you can put the cubes in a plastic bag and pour a couple tablespoons tamari over them to marinate. The cubes will have more flavor because the tamari can soak in further.

To make a complete, quick meal, combine baked tofu with any sautéed vegetable, and either rice, or quinoa (which cooks incredibly fast). Be sure to season each component well so nothing is bland. Make all the sides while the tofu is baking so you’re ready to go as soon as the tofu is done. Or for a quick weekday dinner, bake the tofu over the weekend so it’s ready any night of the week.

Tofu is low-fat, high in protein, low cholesterol and a good source of calcium.

Fun facts (courtesy of About.com):

  • One half-cup serving of raw firm tofu contains 10.1 grams of protein.
  • One half-cup serving of raw firm tofu contains 94 calories.

Fun, right? And the best part is, tofu is a total chameleon. It’s like a sponge, taking in whatever flavor you throw at it, making it incredibly versatile. So if you’re looking for a healthy protein replacement, look no further.

Tip: Make batches and keep some in your freezer for later use as a meal or snack. You can also use the same technique with BBQ sauce, miso sauce, balsamic vinegar, or any other marinade you fancy.

Simple Baked Tamari Tofu (from Mark Bittman‘s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)

  • 1 package extra-firm or firm tofu
  • 2 Tablespoons organic low sodium tamari
  • Canola high heat spray

1. Set the oven to 350F.

2. Spray a quarter sheet pan with canola oil spray.

3. Gently press out water from the tofu block with paper towels.

4. Using a pastry brush, coat all sides of tofu with tamari until completely absorbed.

Brushing tofu with tamari

5. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven for 1 hour or until tofu is firm and browned.

Tamari Baked Tofu. This is the version baking the entire tofu block at once. Cut into slices for sandwiches.

Baked Tofu Squares

Baked Tofu Slices over Asian Slaw

Baked Tofu Squares with Broccoli and Vermicelli

Alton Brown has a great recipe for Asian Slaw here. I adapted his dressing by adding garlic and using almond butter instead of peanut. I also had a bag of Trader Joe’s pre-cut carrot/broccoli stalk that I used. Next time I’d try Alton’s version with cabbage. I short-cutted here using the pre-cut veggies and it showed. I liked my adjustments to the dressing though.

The Vermicelli recipe was a complete whip up. sautéed sliced garlic in olive oil. Removed garlic. Sautéed broccoli florets in same oil. Added cooked vermicelli, mixed all together with 2 T tamari, sesame oil (to taste) and red chili pepper flakes. Garnished with fried garlic slices.

When shopping for tofu, choose USDA certified organic to avoid consuming GMO soybeans (genetically modified organisms). GMO foods have been linked to cancer, sterility, and developmental disorders. Click here to learn more about the dangers of GMO foods.

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