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
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
First cube your pressed tofu.
Put it in a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients except the oil for the pan. Stir it around until it is coated.
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.
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.
One of the cool things about Vegan Mofo is that while you’re cruising around checking out other people’s posts, you get ideas for new posts of your own.
This happened to me yesterday as I read Bianca’s post about vegan sugars. It’s true, it can be hard to find vegan brown sugar and powdered sugar in certain places. And sometimes even when you find it, it’s really expensive.
A while back, our supplier for the bakery was out of vegan brown sugar. For a few weeks. Our supply was completely cached and we had to figure something out. Buying retail bags would be way too expensive. Since brown sugar is just sugar and molasses, you can just add sugar to molasses! Der. I just googled how to make brown sugar to get the ingredient ratio. After this, we just kept making it instead of buying it. It’s cheaper and easy to do.
At home this is especially handy when you don’t bake often and would rather not have an extra bag of stuff you rarely use taking up space in your cabinet. So here’s how to make brown sugar:
Brown Sugar Recipe
1 cup vegan sugar
1 tablespoon molasses for light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons for dark brown sugar
Mix together with a hand mixer or stand mixer. Use immediately or store in an air tight container.
Just because you’re vegan, that doesn’t mean you have to throw out all of your non-vegan cookbooks. Making a recipe vegan is oftentimes really simple. If the recipe is good in the first place, making it vegan won’t change that fact.
This June, the peach tree we had at the bakery produced a bumper crop. So many peaches. So I needed to come up with some more ways to use them. I did the expected peach cobbler, peach pie, and even some peach crumb muffins. So I turned to the internet like we modern folks do. And this Spiced Peach Carrot Bread caught my eye.
When trying to find an easy baking recipe to veganize, look for one that has two or fewer eggs. It’s not that you can’t veganize one with more eggs, fewer is just easier. Milk and butter are easy to replace your non-dairy milk of choice and Earth Balance. My egg replacer of choice in most baked goods is flax. I use one tablespoon of ground flax plus two tablespoons of warm water to replace each egg. So here’s this recipe above as made and served at the bakery:
Vegan Spiced Peach Carrot Bread
¾ cup chopped pecans
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ½ cups peeled and chopped fresh, ripe peaches
¾ cup freshly grated carrots
⅔ cup vegetable oil
½ cup non-dairy milk
2 flax eggs
Preheat oven to 350°. Toast pecans in pan on stove top until fragrant. Cool 15 minutes.
Stir together flour and the rest of the dry ingredients in a large bowl; add peaches, remaining ingredients, and toasted pecans, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into a lightly greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
Despite growing up in the South, I never ate grits growing up. It was mostly a texture thing. I didn’t like anything mushy like that. Mashed potatoes don’t count.
Once I started making vegan cheese grits I felt stupid for not making them before. They’re so easy, cheap and delicious! So here’s my basic recipe. I use Daiya in these because the flavor is stronger than most of the other vegan cheeses.
Vegan Cheese Grits
5 1/3 cups water or unsweetened non-dairy milk
1 1/3 cups white corn grits
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup Daiya mozzarella or cheddar shreds
Bring the water or non-dairy milk to boil. Slowly stir in grits then add salt and pepper. Cook on medium until it starts to thicken. Stir in Daiya. Continue to cook a minute or two more until it’s the thickness you want. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 6 servings.
These particular vegan cheese grits ended up with sausage gravy on top. Perfect for a Breakfast for Dinner situation.
If you think you hate cauliflower or know someone who thinks they hate cauliflower, this is the way you need to try it. Actually, any vegetable you think you hate, you might like roasted. In this case, the cauliflower is also coated in seasoned nutritional yeast which makes it particularly tasty.
If you’re locked into going grocery shopping once a week or less, cauliflower, like broccoli, is very forgiving and will hang out and chill in your fridge for at least a week if not longer. When you aren’t sure of your plans day-to-day, these vegetables become your best friends.
Vegan Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS olive oil
Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a baking sheet with oil.
Cut cauliflower into fairly uniform florets about 1 1/2-2″ long and put them in a bowl with room to stir them around. Chop up the leftover stalk and feed it to your dog if she likes that kind of thing. (mine really does)
Stir together dry ingredients in a small bowl.
Drizzle olive oil over florets and stir to coat. Sprinkle dry ingredients over cauliflower and stir to coat. Pour out onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake 10 minutes, then stir around and bake another 10 minutes. Test to see if largest pieces can be pierced with a fork. If so, they’re done. If not, give ’em a few more minutes.
Do you roast vegetables? What’s your favorite?