Butter Tofu Paneer

When I lived in South Africa, I had the ability to try some delicious Indian dishes. One of my favorites was the sauce to a butter chicken dish. I’ve been looking for a meatless option and came across this recipe. I followed the recipe very closely and it turned out wonderfully. I kept my tofu and sauce separate, then added them together in a bowl with rice and greens:

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Recipe that follows is from Vegan Richa with a few of my own modifications:

Ingredients:
  • 14 oz firm tofu, pressed and cut into cubes
  • ½ tsp each of garam masala, paprika, salt, and turmeric
  • 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 tsp water (1/2 tbsp)
  • 1.5 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
Butter Sauce:
  • 1 tsp coconut
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • Cashew cream made with with ¼ cup soaked (15 mins) cashews blended with ½ cup water
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ to 1 cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
Tofu Marinade:
  1. Mix spices, lemon juice, water, cornstarch, nutritional yeast and oil. Toss tofu in spice marinade. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the tofu cubes on parchment lined sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Butter Sauce:
  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden.
  2. Puree the tomato. Add to the skillet and cook until the puree starts to thicken
  3. In the same blender, blend the cashews and water until smooth.
  4. Reserve 1 tbsp of the cream for garnish. Add the rest of the cashew cream to the skillet. Add spices, salt and sugar and mix well. Use ½ cup water to rinse out your blender and add to the skillet. Mix and Bring to a boil. Taste and adjust spices as needed.
  5. In a bowl, add rice, greens (if using), tofu, and top with sauce

The Perfect Cornbread Muffin

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Perfect recipes are hard to come by these days and often involve rounds of trial and error to weed out the less than perfect recipes.

Once Upon a Chef has the best cornbread muffin recipe I’ve tried thus far. The muffins are moist and full of flavor. Each bite you get some sweetness from the honey, a little texture from the cornmeal, and richness from the butter. I also jazzed up 6 of the muffins by adding a little cheddar. I think they would be good with jalapeño or fire roasted corn!

Next time I bake these, I would like to replace the chicken’s egg and use a flax egg (1 Tbls flax, 3 Tbls water for one egg) and see what happens. You could easily swap dairy butter for non-dairy butter.

Recipe courtesy of Once Upon a Chef

  • 3/4 c yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 1 Tbls baking powder
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbls honey
  • 3/4 c milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Add-ins like cheddar or jalapeño!
  1. Mix the dry ingredients, set aside
  2. Combine the wet ingredients, and pour the wet ingredients into the dry
  3. Stir until major clumps are gone, if using add-ins, add them in!
  4. I followed the main recipe and opted out of the muffin liner. Instead, I sprayed the muffin pan with cooking spray
  5. Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes

 

BBQ Pulled Jackfruit

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Veganizing recipes can be a frustrating and arduous process. When successful attempts come along, it’s cause for a celebration! I came across this recipe today and thought, “mmm.. that looks good, but how can I make it better?”

The answer: Jackfruit. If you don’t know what jackfruit is, I suggest you buy some, preferably canned as it’s easier to work with. As jackfruit becomes more mainstream, you should be able to find it nearby. I just spotted cans of jackfruit at Trader Joe’s last weekend.

You can incorporate jackfruit into most shredded beef/chicken/pork recipes (think: burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, rice bowls, tacos, and sandwiches!)

Within minutes I was sautéing some onion and green pepper. When the veggies were tender, I added them along shredded jackfruit to a slow cooker. The special sauce follows in the recipe below. Together, the ingredients simmered low and slow for several hours.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbls brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 c ketchup
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 1/2 Tbls apple cider vinegar
  • pepper to taste
  • water
  • 1 can of jackfruit in brine (approximately 10 oz drained)
  1. Sauté the onion and green pepper in olive oil until tender (5-10 minutes)
  2. Mix the spices and liquids (water as needed) together to make a sauce
  3. Drain and rinse the jackfruit and shred the jackfruit with your hands or a fork
  4. Add the sautéed veggies and jackfruit to you slow cooker*, add BBQ marinade
  5. Set the slow cooker on low and cook for about 4 hours, then reduce to warm and eat when ready. You will likely want to add water along the way to  make sure the jackfruit stays saucy

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6. Serve on a bun or over rice and top with your favorite barbecue sauce!

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*Don’t have a slow cooker? No worries, follow this recipe and simmer all ingredients on the stove for at least an hour – making sure the veggies are tender and the jackfruit has absorbed some of the sauce.

Spaghetti Squash with Lentil Patties and Cashew Parmesan

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What a fun twist on the classic spaghetti and meatballs! I really enjoy working with traditional recipes and finding ways to get creative with them. This meal is completely plant based and is very easy to make.

First, I roasted a spaghetti squash at 400F until it was tender. Then, I set this aside to cool.

Then, I made the sauce – I used a jar of my favorite sauce and added some mushrooms that were sautéed in red wine and garlic, mmm!

For the lentil patties and parmesan, see the recipe below…

Lentil Patties

  • Olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbls flax plus 3 Tbls water)
  • 1 1/2 c lentils, cooked
  • 1 Tbls Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbls tomato paste
  • 5 Tbls cashew parmesan (see below)
  • bread crumbs
  1. In a food processor, pulse all ingredients together until ingredients reach a dough-like consistency. I had to use about 1/4 c of breadcrumbs because my mixture was too wet
  2. Scoop about a tablespoon of the mixture and form into a patty. Add oil to a skillet and fry each side of the patty
  3. Once the patties have slightly browned, put them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 15 minutes

Cashew Parmesan

  •  3/4 c raw cashews
  • 3 Tbls nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  1. Pulse everything in a food processor until you reach a desired texture.

Frittata 101

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While I am not a regular egg eater, on occasion I enjoy a nice frittata or egg bake. I think Bon Appétit does a great job explaining the steps to make a flawless frittata. For this frittata, I diced and roasted 2 small potatoes. During the same time, I also added a handful of broccoli florets to roast. While those veggies were roasting, I sautéed some mushrooms and onion.

After my veggies were cooked, I greased a 9″ pie dish and added the veggies. Then, I added 6 eggs that were whisked with a little cream and seasoned with salt, pepper, and mustard powder. I topped my frittata with a wild rice gouda. I baked it at 350 F for at least 30 minutes.

Veggie Enchiladas topped with Cinnamon Pistachio Verde Sauce

No photo for this one – I had a hard time getting one that was pretty. The green from the verde along with the monochromatic tortilla and cheese.. just believe me, I am sparing you from an unappealing image.

The recipe, on the other hand is outstanding. I love the trio of flavors: slight sweetness of the cinnamon, the crunch of the pistachio, and the spice and acidity from the salsa verde. I feel like cinnamon is underutilized in savory recipes and am trying to encourage its use!

Veggie Enchiladas topped with a Cinnamon Pistachio Verde Sauce

  • 1 jar of Salpica salsa verde
  • 1/3 c pistachios
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Olive oil
  • ½ onion diced
  • 1 zucchini , chopped
  • ½ c black beans
  • 1/3 c corn
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4-6 corn tortillas
  • 4 oz of cheddar jack cheese
  1. First, make the enchilada sauce. This is not your traditional enchilada sauce as you will be using premade salsa. Pulse the pistachios in a food processor. Add the jar of salsa verde and cinnamon. Pulse a few more times. Set aside
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, add the onion and zucchini. After 5 minutes, add the cumin and chili powder. Sauté the veggies until they are tender. Add the corn and beans. Salt and pepper your filling mixture as needed
  3. Add a thin layer of verde sauce at the bottom of a 8×8 pan
  4. Important step in making enchiladas: heat the tortillas first, and then dip each tortilla in the verde sauce. Stuff the tortilla with the veggie mixture, roll, and place in the 9×9 pan
  5. Continue this process until you run out of tortillas or room in the pan
  6. Top the tortillas with the remaining verde sauce, then add the cheese
  7. Cook at 350 F for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbling

Cumin Citrus Jackfruit Tacos with Tomatillo Sauce

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If you aren’t familiar with jackfruit – you are not alone! You can work with fresh jackfruit or canned – since I too am new to the jackfruit game, I opted for canned jackfruit. I made sure the jackfruit was in a simple brine and not in a sugary syrup.

Jackfruit reminds me of pineapple, but is so very different from pineapple. The texture is soft with a little bit of chewiness. The flavor is neutral which allows you to adapt it to many types of recipes. I prefer to use jackfruit as a replacement for shredded meat, which makes it great for a taco!

Cumin Citrus Jackfruit Tacos

  • Olive oil
  • 1 14 oz can jackfruit in brine (not syrup)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/3 orange juice
  • 1 Tbls lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp chili
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Corn tortillas and toppings of your choice (tomatillo sauce, cilantro, red onion, avocado, fresh lime, pico de gallo)
  1. Drain jackfruit and place into a bowl. Tear jackfruit with a fork into shredded pieces
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together juices, minced garlic, tamari, liquid smoke and spices
  3. Pour marinade mixture over the jackfruit. Let sit for several hours in the fridge, if possibleimg_5026
  4. In a pan, heat some olive oil and sauté the onion. After 5 minutes, add the marinated jackfruit. Cook for 5 minutes uncovered, then cover and set heat to low. Simmer for 20-30 minutes
  5. Heat the tortillas and add the jackfruit along with any desired toppings

Spaghetti Squash Tacos

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Tacos are an incredibly versatile dish. You can keep it traditional with your protein asada or you can get creative and add new veggies, like spaghetti squash.

What I loved about this meal is that it was ready in less than 30 minutes. If you bake your spaghetti squash the night before, all you need to do the next night is marinate and heat the squash. I added corn to my squash, but you can add peppers, onion, beans, etc. I hope this recipe inspires you to get creative the next time you are craving tacos!

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash, roasted, set 2 cups aside
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp chipotle sauce, if you like more heat, add 1 chipotle pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ c to 1 c vegetable broth or water
  • 1 c corn
  • ½ c black beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Corn tortillas and toppings of your choice (cilantro, red onion, avocado, fresh lime, pico de gallo)

 

  1. Make the spaghetti squash ahead of time. Slice squash in half, scoop out the seeds* and coat inside of squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast flesh side down at 400 F until fork tender. Set aside to cool. Pull squash out using a fork.
  2. In a skillet, sauté olive oil, spices and garlic. After 3-5 minutes, add ½ c of broth or water
  3. Next, add the spaghetti squash, corn and beans into the marinade. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes or until warm.
  4. Season as necessary. Heat the tortillas, add the butternut squash filling to each taco and garnish with desired toppings

Dinner for One: Couscous Bowl with Veggies and Sun-Dried Tomato Cashew Cream Sauce

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When my partner is out, the thought of cooking for just myself seems lackluster. Usually I default to making myself a salad or finishing off various leftovers that weren’t enough for the two of us. Tonight, I decided to wine (er, beer) and dine myself, while trying out a new sauce recipe. I don’t have exact measurements, but I am happy to share the process with you…

First, make a grain. I went with couscous because we had about 1/3 c left and that’s the perfect serving size for one person.

Next, get the veggies roasting. I decided to go with broccoli. Preheat the oven to 400F, douse the cruciferous veggies in olive oil, salt and pepper, then roast until they are slightly brown.

While the veggies are roasting, make your sauce. I absolutely love cashew “cream” sauces. Ideally, you want your cashews to soak in water for 8 hours-overnight. However, in a pinch, like I often am, I will resort to simmering them for about 10 minutes. I reserve some of the water and puree the softened cashews, with a little bit of that reserved water, then add some seasonings such as garlic, nutritional yeast and sun-dried tomatoes.

Finally, pick your toppings. I went with feta because it’s what I had on hand. You could sub in nuts or diced, raw veggies, such as red peppers.

Classic Tomato Soup with Pepper Relish

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There is nothing better than a hot bowl of tomato soup. On occasion, I will buy cans or cartons of tomato soup from the store and am usually disappointed with the product. While making your own can take a few more minutes, if you have the energy, it’s totally worth it.

Once you get everything into the pot, you simply let it simmer until the veggies are tender. There is very little labor necessary for this recipe. With most soup/stew recipes, feel free to get creative – add cream or fresh herbs, or incorporate a fun spice like berbere!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
  • 6 Tbls butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbls flour (optional, it just helps thicken the soup a bit)
  • salt, pepper, thyme, paprika to taste
  • 1/2 c tomato sauce (optional, I just happened to have some leftover that I wanted to use)
  • 3 small sweet peppers
  • olive oil and balsamic

 

  1. Melt the butter in a pan – please feel free to reduce this amount as I went a little stir crazy with the amount… although if you keep it at 6 Tbls, you won’t be disappointed
  2. Sauté the onion and carrot for 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic. Once this becomes fragrant after a few minutes, add the flour, spices, herbs, and tomatoes. Make sure to crush the whole tomatoes with your spoon. Bring so a simmer, then cover
  3. While the soup is simmering, roast some sweet peppers at 400F until charred. Once they cool, peel the skins and slice them. Dress them with a little olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper
  4. When the soup is ready, garnish with sweet pepper relish