Archive for Vegan

Sweet and Sticky Tofu

Well, it’s the new year and here we all are trying our best to be more healthy. 

In all honestly, I’m not normally the kind of girl to do new years resolutions and to do diets or hit the gym. I’m not generally a fan of making huge, sweeping changes, because I find that they don’t always stick. Small changes? I can handle those much better. 

I did kinda overdo it in December. There were lots of parties, and an immense amount of cheese (no regrets, though!). I’m dedicating some time this month to trying to figure out what food makes me feel lousy, and I’m doing this thing where I’m basically cutting out anything white: white sugar, white flour, etc, and staying away from processed foods as much as possible. Also, alcohol. 

Sweet and Sticky Tofu

In order for me to be successful at this, I have to be smart and plan ahead. Otherwise, it’s just too easy to grab a bagel at Timmies when I’m hungry. 

So I’ve been doing a weekly meal prep and making healthy pre-made/pre-packaged meals that allow me to grab and go. Or if I’m at home, I can easily just heat up in the microwave and eat. 

I’m doing things like soups packed with mostly vegetables and beans for protein, hard-boiled eggs, and “bowls” that consist of brown rice, a protein and vegetables. Protein can be either beans or tofu. The problem with tofu is that I always feel like no matter what I do to it, it always just tastes like tofu. So I’m experimenting with different sauces to make it tastier. 

I recently got my hands on an interesting new product, flavour-infused soy sauces. They have a plain soy sauce, and three flavoured options: garlic, ginger and siracha. Perfect for Asian-inspired tofu, right? Those are the flavours I would normally infuse into my sauce by using either powdered or freshly-chopped garlic or ginger (or gochujang in the case of the spicy one). But by using the already-infused soy sauces, it’s a shortcut. 

If I had an air fryer, I’d probably try doing these in there, but I’m still on the fence about that particular appliance, so I just did these on the stove in my cast iron. 

The final result is kind of like a chicken wing; crispy, sweet, salty, sticky. Perfect overtop some rice and some sauteed veg. 

Tofu sweet & sticky

Sweet and Sticky Tofu

Ingredients

  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup flavoured soy sauce of your choice (I used 1/2 garlic and 1/2 ginger) 
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch 
  • splash of sesame oil 
  • garnish: sesame seeds and chopped green scallions

Method

  1. Remove the tofu from the package and place on a plate. Put something heavy on top of it, and leave it for an hour. 
  2. Cut the tofu into bite-sized pieces, then toss with 1 tbsp of cornstarch. 
  3. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small mason jar, and shake well to combine. 
  4. In a frying pan over medium-high heat, heat up a couple tablespoons of neutral oil, like canola. Add the tofu to it, and fry until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes. 
  5. Add the sauce and stir well. It will thicken very quickly. Toss the tofu well in the sauce to coat. 
  6. Serve atop a bed of rice, and garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onion. 

Pasta e Fagioli {Vegan}

Ugh. This is the only word I can think of right now to describe the weather. November in Western Canada–it’s dark at 5pm, it’s raining all the time, and it feels like we haven’t seen the sun in ages.

Michael came down with a cold this week, and I’m ingesting vitamins by the handful in an attempt to stave it off.

This situation calls for comfort food, stat!

egan white pasta e fagioli

For me, that means carbs. And something saucy.

Pasta e Fagioli is just simply pasta with beans. Most traditional versions of this recipe involve a red, or tomato sauce, and it’s more of a soup-like consistency.

I wanted to make something a little different. I wanted to use the beans to coat the pasta in a kind of creamy sauce. I wanted it to be more like a vegan alfredo, less like a soup. But the problem with the recipe was that when it was done, it looked frightfully beige–the beans and pasta made for a monocromatic dish–so I added some greens for extra nutrition and a punch of colour.

This dish comes together in just a few minutes, so it makes a great weeknight supper, when served with a salad and maybe some bread on the side. Pasta e fagioli vegan

Pasta e Fagioli {Vegan}

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 box of short, round pasta, like rotini or penne (around 150 g, uncooked)
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can cannelini beans
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary or 2 tsp dried
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 cup greens: kale, spinach, arugula
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onion, season, and allow to sweat out for about 5-10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and rosemary, stir well, and allow to cook for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with lemon juice white wine.
  2. Add half of the beans (drained–save the aquafaba!) to the pot along with about 1 cup of vegetable stock and allow them to cook down a little, just about 5 minutes. Scrape into a blender and puree. Set aside.
  3. In the same pot, heat 4 cups of vegetable stock to a boil and salt generously. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Return the pureed beans (sauce) to the pot, along with the rest of the cannelini beans and the nutritional yeast. Stir well. Taste for seasoning. Allow to cook down until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency (leave it looser if you like a soupier pasta, cook it longer if you like a thicker sauce). If the sauce gets too thick, add additional vegetable stock.
  4. Once your pasta is how you like it, add the greens and stir well. Cook for one minute, just to wilt slightly. Finish the dish with 2 tbsp of vegan butter. Stir in and allow to melt to give the finished dish a glossy appearance.
  5. Serve with lashings of parmesan cheese (vegan), a drizzle of olive oil, and if you’re feeling fancy, a bit of truffle salt or truffle oil.
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