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Category: food (page 1 of 90)

Quick, versatile tofu recipe

People seem to spend a lot of time fretting over how to flavor their tofu. Yes, there are a billion different marinade recipes out there and preparation methods. But sometimes simple is best. Especially when you’re lazy.

This is my goto seasoned tofu recipe. It’s generic enough that it can go in almost any cuisine. But flavorful enough that you’ll find yourself popping cubes in your mouth before the rest of the meal is done.

Quick Tofu Recipe

Ingredients

tamari, chili garlic paste, sesame oil

1 lb. firm or extra firm tofu, pressed
2 tablespoons Tamari, Bragg’s or Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2-1 teaspoon chili garlic paste
oil for frying or baking pan prep

Directions

First cube your pressed tofu.

cubed tofu

Put it in a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients except the oil for the pan. Stir it around until it is coated.

bowl of tofu

There are three different ways I finish it off, depending on my needs. You can fry it up in a pan until browned. You can bake it in the oven at 375F on a sheet sprayed with oil for about 20 minutes, flipping them at about 10 minutes in. Or, instead of cubing the tofu you can cut it in sticks or slabs and put it in a George Foreman grill, use a grill pan or even grill it outside. My first preference is to bake it. And my second choice is to pan fry, especially when my oven is broken like it was for a while.

browned tofu

We eat this tofu on salads, in burritos, and dropped into any other dish that feels like it wants some tofu in it. Since there’s no marinating required, it comes together quickly. The hardest part is remembering to press the tofu. We have a Tofu Xpress so I usually just keep a block of tofu in it in the fridge so it’s ready to go. It seems expensive for what it is, but sometimes it is worth it to pay for convenience.

Giveaway: free Tofutti products!

UPDATE: winners have been chosen & contacted. Thanks for playing!

For many of us, Tofutti was one of our first experiences with vegan cheese and ice cream products. Cream cheese, sour cream, cheese slices – their products helped many of us transition to being vegan.

Tofutti cream cheese was also an essential ingredient in many items at the bakery. Banana whoopie pies, the glaze on the cinnamon rolls, our pimento cheese, red velvet cake…so many things! When our distributor decided to stop carrying the 30 lb. food service block of Tofutti, we were frantic trying to figure out how to avoid buying the retail packs. I wrote Tofutti and they very kindly sent a bunch of coupons and other goodies to us to help us out.

vegan banana whoopie pies

Since they were so generous, I want to in turn share these with you. Just leave a comment below, make sure whatever method you use to comment includes an email address where I can contact you, and I’ll randomly pick three winners that will each receive two Tofutti product coupons. The coupons are for up to $3.99 off, which means most items will be free. Oh, and there’s NO EXPIRATION DATE. Deadline for entry is Friday, October 3rd at noon Eastern time. Sorry, U.S. residents only!

So enter below and start dreaming about some of these goodies:

tofutti vegan blintzes tofutti vegan cream cheese tofutti vegan ice cream drumsticks

Disclaimer: Yes, they gave me the free product coupons but they have no idea I’m doing this giveaway. I just enjoy their products and appreciate their company.

Final roundup of vegan food in Playa Del Carmen

Playa Del Carmen, Mexico is super vegan friendly. As I covered in my two previous posts, resorts are not your friend but Kaxapa Factory definitely is. This post will cover all the rest of the vegan food in Playa Del Carmen, at least the food that went in my mouth.

First, you need coffee. Well, I need coffee. Yeah, there’s a Starbucks. Yay. But there’s also a local chain called Ah Cacao Chocolate Café. They’ve got soy milk and a couple of things marked vegan right on the menu.

ah cacao menu playa del carmen

We were there in June, so it was HOT and the Espresso Frappé was the perfect foil for the heat. It’s three shots of espresso, sugar and ice blended on up. It’s not overly sweetened like a Starbucks drink and it’s so good you’ll want to just drink them all day. But don’t unless you want to start vibrating on your own.

vegan espresso frappe

The other vegan drink on the menu was sipping chocolate. It’s a little shot of melted chocolate. It’s perfect after a meal when you want a little something sweet. We definitely had a few of these during the trip.

vegan sipping chocolate

When we moved place into our little hotel in town, we gained a little kitchenette, or at least a mini fridge, a sink, a hot plate and a blender. We weren’t really going to cook, but saved a little money by having breakfast in the room most days. So we headed out to the health food store DAQ to pick up cereal, milk and bananas.

There’s a little cafe in the corner of the store called La Ceiba de la 30 that had veggie options so we had lunch there. I had a couple of burritos. It wasn’t a memorable meal, but it also wasn’t memorable for being bad. There are many tastier options, but will do if it’s convenient.

la ceiba de la 30 menu

vegan burritos

We ate at Bio-Natural a couple of times. They have plenty of vegan options on the menu. And there’s a tiny health food store next to it about the size of a single car garage. The first thing I tried was the falafel pita for lunch one day:

falafel pita

And then another time I had this quinoa salad with their house cashew cheese. By the way, most of these places make fresh juices so we usually got in on some of that.

fresh juice

quinoa salad

Another place we went a couple of times was La Senda Restaurante. This one is 100% vegan so you can eat all the things. The first time we went, I had some enchiladas and Kevin had the tofu tacos. I think the white stuff is their cashew cheese.

vegan enchiladas

IMG_1017

Our next visit, I tried the mango jicama ceviche which was outstanding. It’s also pretty easy to recreate at home. I need to do that again soon. And then I got a burger of some kind, chickpea maybe. I remember it being falafel like. It was okay, but it was crazy filling. The side salads that came with the dishes were always outstanding.

mango jicama ceviche

vegan burger

The last morning we decided to have breakfast here because we heard about this thing. Yes, that’s strawberries and bananas wrapped up in an oat pancake and drizzled with chocolate.

oat pancake

So good! While we were there this pulled up with a delivery. Cargo bike is how a lot of deliveries are made in Playa Del Carmen and I think that’s pretty awesome.

cargo bike delivery

And the last restaurant I have to tell you about in Playa Del Carmen is Babe’s Noodles & Bar. They have a number of noodle, rice and salad dishes that can be made vegan. I had the Vietnamese salad. I liked it and might’ve gone back, but it’s not my first choice of food when in Mexico.

vietnamese salad

Whew! That’s about it. Hopefully this will help fellow travelers find vegan food in Playa Del Carmen.

Vegan Venezuelan food in Playa Del Carmen

Eating vegan in Playa Del Carmen, Part 2

Once you get outside of a resort, the vegan options in Playa Del Carmen improve immensely. I’ll round up the rest of the options in a future post, but this one restaurant deserves a post to itself.

Kaxapa Factory is a short walk from the center of town. It is a small space with an outdoor patio owned by a Venezuelan family that makes fresh, authentic Venezuelan food, including vegan Venezuelan food. Lots of vegan options. It was so good that we went pretty much every day.

Naicel and her father are usually handling the front of the house. Both are a joy, but if you are vegan, Naicel will probably help you because her English is better. They are also not afraid to stray from the menu and make substitutions, so you can totally build your own meal. Now, let’s get on to the food porn.

The first thing I tried was a Patacon. It’s like a sandwich with fried green plantain discs as bread. I think this one was filled with tofu, avocado and black beans. Yeah.

vegan patacon at kaxapa factory

And these were some tostones with tofu. This was just my taste. It was a bigger appetizer that was shared.

tostones

And here’s a look back at Kaxapa Factory. That’s Naicel in the doorway and her father in the back with the cap. Her mom does the cooking.

kaxapa factory interior

Next visit, Kevin and I both had the soursop drink. Our first visit, Naicel’s dad gave us samples of all their house made drinks.

soursop drink

And this time, I got their namesake, a Kaxapa. It’s a pancake made by pounding a special corn into a batter. Mine was full of stir fried vegetables and tofu.

vegan kaxapa

Oh hey, look, we’re back again, chowing on fried.

tostones appetizer

And this time, the Venezuelan lemonade to drink.

Venezuelan lemonade

And finally, time to have an arepa! This one is filled with black beans, avocado, tofu and sweet plantains.

vegan arepa

And, we’re back again. This time I’m getting up on another Kaxapa.

vegan kaxapa

Naicel felt really bad that they didn’t have any vegan desserts. So she set about making one for us at home. On our previous visit, we saw her randomly head out to the street and hop in a cab. She came back about 15 minutes later. She said she had a vegan dessert for us at home but forgot to bring it. She took a cab home to get it and then didn’t have her key with her. OMG! Seriously, this is how nice these people are.

So this night, she had the chocolate mousse she had made. It was a lovely sweet touch to the end of the meal. But she wasn’t done with dessert experiments.

vegan chocolate mousse

Oh yeah, back again! Can you blame us? This time I had the hibiscus drink.

hibiscus drink

And this is the appetizer we got when Kevin said “surprise us”, mini Kaxapa with toppings. I didn’t take a pic of my main this time, so it must have been a repeat.

mini kaxapa

When brainstorming vegan dessert ideas with Naicel, we decided she should try filling their empanadas with fruit. Both are things they already had on hand. So this last meal at Kaxapa, we had mango (I think) filled empanadas that were absolutely perfect.

vegan fruit filled empanadas

 

 

 

Another Herbivorous Friendship Society vegan supper club

It’s about time to torture you with another flood of photos of fancy vegan food from a Herbivorous Friendship Society vegan supper club. I introduced the concept back towards the beginning of VeganMofo, so for this post I’m just letting the photos speak for themselves. Sadly, I don’t have descriptions. When each dish comes out, Chef Billy Cole tells us all about it, but it falls out of your brain while you enjoy the deliciousness and good company. And yes, there are four desserts this time.vegan appetizer

vegan appetizer

Herbivorous Friendship Society vegan dinner

Herbivorous Friendship Society vegan dinner

vegan peppers

vegan onion

Herbivorous Friendship Society vegan dinner

vegan bread

Herbivorous Friendship Society vegan dinner

Herbivorous Friendship Society vegan dinner

Herbivorous Friendship Society vegan dinner

Herbivorous Friendship Society vegan dinner

Herbivorous Friendship Society vegan dinner

Herbivorous Friendship Society vegan dinner

Herbivorous Friendship Society vegan dinner

Herbivorous Friendship Society vegan dinner

Herbivorous Friendship Society vegan dinner

 

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