Tag Archives: tofu

It’s the little things…

1 Jun

…that count.

Not feeling completely exhausted.  MasterChef Australia.  Having a peeler that I don’t have to battle with.  The power of steam.

Things that make me excited about getting into the kitchen and making things.  Making delicious things (and sometimes, making not so delicious things…)

All I need now is a food processor.  How did I ever live without one of these amazing things?  Plus, there is no way that I’m going to create any kind of culinary masterpiece of baby food without one.  Not that I will be making baby food for a while, but…  when the time comes, I’d like to have the processor set up and ready to wizz.  (Also, it’s so much easier for pastry when one is lazy with kneading like me.)

I’ve also been watching MasterChef Australia season three.  Apart from the fact that there is a small, devilish part of me that would like to eat George Calombaris.  I’m not sure he’d be able to successfully veganise anything of his, but boy do I love veganising his food.  And, although MCA is very, very meaty (particularly this season) there is something about it that inspires me.

And on that note, I’m not quite ready with the red wine braised tofu.  I think it needs another run (although it did pass the S taste test…) I will, however, leave you with some pictures of the dish mark 1 (and yes, you can see the wanky influence that watching a show like MasterChef has on my at-home plating):

Saturday Morning Scrambled Tofu

29 Jan

aka – best hangover cure known to mankind

Many years ago BV (Before Vegan) I used to cook up huge platefuls of scrambled eggs with onions on Saturday mornings.  We ate them with buttered toast, coffee, and orange juice.  It was one of the best ways to start the day.  Except it wasn’t because the way egg-laying chickens are treated is horrific.  Yes, even so-called ‘free-range’ chickens.

Even PV (Post Vegan) I was always a little hesitant to try scrambled tofu – even though I love tofu – because I didn’t want it to compare to those early morning, hung-over, scrambled egg breakfasts.  But, I was wrong.  I was wrong not to try the mighty scrambled tofu earlier than I did because it is far superior to scrambled eggs in every way.

This one is not very fancy – it’s some diced and grilled onions, tofu mushed up with some soy sauce and some Tabasco, thrown through the frying pan and served, sans toast due to my laziness, with a very tiny amount of salt and pepper.  And a big glass of water and a mug of green tea.

So long, hang-over!

P.S Make sure you buy non-GM tofu (actually, non-GM everything!).  A horrific amount of soy is genetically modified – according to GMO Compass more than half of all soybeans planted worldwide are from genetically modified crops, that includes 85% of American soybeans and 98% of Argentinian soybeans.  It’s not cool.

There is a really good Q-and-A over at the World Health Organization about GMOs, for those interested in looking into GMOs a little bit more.  It’s here.

Tofu Rolls and Raw Almond Chocolate Balls

26 Aug

Tofu Rolls

Well, it’s been raining here all day and it’s just so damn depressing (yes, even with the few rays of sun that shine through the clouds every so often).  And, what is more cheerful that party food!  So, here are some wonderful ‘sausage’ rolls – great for packed lunches and picnics too!

I have slightly modified my pastry recipe (found here) to suit my new eating habits.  The plain flour should be exchanged with wholemeal or whole wheat flour (or rice flour if you wish), and most of the Nuttelex with vegetable oil.  You can make it whichever way you wish.  If you prefer, you can just roll this out on frozen pastry sheets (Borg’s make an excellent vegan puff pastry which would work well.)

What you’ll need for the filling:

  • 1/2 cup loosely packed walnuts
  • 3/4 cup loosely packed almonds
  • 250 grams firm tofu
  • 1 decent sized onion
  • 4-5 spears of steamed and cooled asparagus (or tinned asparagus)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup or maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup water

Put the nuts into a food processor and wizz up until in small chunks (if you want the mix more nutty, leave the nut-chunks bigger, if you want it smooth, make them smaller).  Put in the tofu in large cubes and blend until combined.  Add the onion (sectioned into 8 chunks) and the asparagus and wizz until they are combined in.  Then add the nutritional yeast, soy sauce and syrup and begin wizzing those in, while slowly pouring the water into the mix.

Spread the mix out onto pastry sheets and roll – brush the pastry with a little bit of non-dairy milk!  Bake in a pre-heated 180-200 degree oven for about 20 minutes, turning over for the final five, or until pastry is golden.

As you can see from the photo, I didn’t trim the excess pastry off the edges – these are just for S and I to have for lunch during the week, and I’m tired.  Also – I kind of like how rustic they look (though, you will notice that one of them split…  ah well!)

Raw Almond Chocolate Balls

This recipe only makes a very small batch.  Maybe 5 or 6 balls depending how big you roll them out.  This is meant to just be a sweet-tooth quencher or a for those times you really feel like something delicious with your tea and there are no biscuits in the entire house.

You’ll need:

  • 6 tablespoons almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon LSA mix (Linseed, Sunflower and Almond)  Alternatively – use 7 tablespoons of almond
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • just enough agave syrup/maple syrup/rice malt syrup to bind together (choose your poison, but remember that these will produce different sweetness levels)

Mix all the dry in a small bowl, slowly add the syrup until the mix is just combined enough, roll into balls, eat.

That’s it.  I would give you a photo, but I ate all the balls…

This is what a vegan weekend looks like.

9 Aug

Go Pies!  (and, for S… Go Dees!)

Lentil Vol-au-Vents with roast vegetables

Angus reading the Eumenidies

Red Kidney Bean and tomato sauce

S hangs out in the backyard

Sunday Morning Scrambled Tofu with Onion

The S Special: Triple-decker sandwitches

Angie-Pants hanging out under the ferms

Oliver in the Sun

My back-pyramid…  after a painful trip to the osteopath

And – that’s what our weekends look like (when not studying or knitting!)

Vegan Tofu Stroganoff

15 Jun

I am ashamed to admit that from the opening minutes of last night’s MasterChef I have been thinking – nay, obsessing – about the logistics of this dish.  How to make the beef and sour-cream laden dish vegan?  And, honestly, this dish would not be at all possible without the use of a sour-cream substitute.  You can either make one yourself, or you can use Tofutti’s Sour Supreme.  I really wasn’t sure how this would turn out, but it passed the S clean-plate test, so it must be okay.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 block of firm tofu
  • 1 medium sized brown onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • A big handful of mushrooms
  • plain flour
  • sweet paprika
  • a few spoonfuls of tomato paste
  • Sour Supreme or a home made sour-cream alternative
  • about 2 cups of very light vegetable stock
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fettuccine – home-made or store bought, if desired.

What you need to do:

Start by chopping up your tofu into blocks – as traditional stroganoff calls for ‘strips’ I cut my tofu into strip-like bits.  In a bowl, mix about three tablespoons of plain flour with about two teaspoons of sweet paprika and toss your tofu around in the mix to coat.  In a hot pan with a little bit of water, toss the tofu around a bit in order to ‘toast’ the sides of the tofu.  Set tofu aside.

After this, in the same pan, add the finely chopped onions and garlic to brown off a bit.  When they’re starting to look good, add the tofu in along with about 2 cups of light vegetable broth, and two dollops of tomato paste and, after giving it all a good stir around to incorporate, add in the flour and paprika mix from the tofu coating.  At this stage, put on your fettuccine, if you want it (depending on how long it will take; fresh will obviously be much, much quicker so should go on right at the end.)

This is the most important stage to taste your sauce.  Add more paprika if needed, or tomato paste, or broth (if you like thinner sauce) or flour (for thicker) and some salt and pepper.  Now add your cut up mushrooms – you can cut them in any way, really, but I like to slice.  Along with this, add in about two heaped spoonfuls of the Sour Supreme (or alternative) and carefully incorporate all that together.  Turn the heat down to a simmer, until the mushrooms are nice and soft.  Serve either alone, or, on top of the fettuccine.

Edited to add:  I have just seen that the addition of paprika to the MasterChef Stroganoff is causing a bit of an uprise amongst Russian cooks.  To be honest, the few beef recipes I looked at over the course of the day did include paprika, so that influenced my decision to use it.  However, it seems it may be not a true ingredient – in which case, use at your own peril.  Another small note, most recipes I looked at included either wine or sherry, neither of which I had on hand so neither was included.  A spoonful of sherry or splash of wine could be easily (and probably, tastily) included just before the simmering, or with the first lot of liquid.