I’m having a love affair with crunchy tofu

If you haven’t tried crunchy fried tofu, you are seriously missing out. Perhaps not the healthiest thing out there when all dressed up, as a vegetarian protein option it’s top of my list and it’s sooo easy!

There are countless blogs out there that explain how to get perfect crunchy tofu and different ways to dress it up. Most days, I simply dip mine in some corn starch and fry in a frying pan with some coconut oil until golden adding a little bit of seasoning. I find this great to add to stir-fry’s or wraps. You can also dip the corn starch powdered tofu in some nut milk and then into some panko to take it up a notch. Here are some of my other favorite ways to dress it up:

Hot for Food: Crispy Sweet and Sour Tofu 

Budget Bytes: Pan Fried Sesame Tofu with Broccoli

Omnivores Cookbook: General Tso Tofu

Olives for Dinner: Super- Versatile Crispy Tofu Cutlets

Soy and tofu tend to get a bad rap because it comes highly processed and most of it is genetically modified unless labelled otherwise. There are so many amazing benefits to soy though and the reality is the processed soy is in everything. I personally choose to eat soy in moderation and only select non-gmo and organic tofu. There are many health benefits to eating tofu including it’s protein content for vegans and vegetarians.

This article does a great job of breaking it down.

| A little of everything veggie burgers |

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All week I have been craving veggie burgers. I have been finding it sort of challenging being back at work to come up with interesting meals nightly + lunch leftovers. While I love cooking, I’ve lost some inspiration these past few weeks but, I am slowly finding my groove. The grocery run is a whole separate challenge all together but the shop online – pick-up services have been a huge help.

This week I made two veggie burger recipes. The first was this one from Minimalist Baker (LOVE all of her recipes)! These simple veggie sliders turned out amazing and were so simple to put together! They also worked out great for leftover lunch for work with some collards.

The second recipe, which I am going to outline in this blog post is also super simple and super tasty and definitely packs a protein punch!  I am a super hap-hazard cook so I tend to randomly make stuff up by getting inspo from recipes and then adding my own twist. So, today, I was inspired by Oh She Glows!

Here’s what I did!


A little of everything veggie burgers

1/4 cup walnuts

1 tbsp hemp seeds

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 carrot (chopped)

1/4 cup chopped mushrooms

1/2 – 1 cup sprouted lentils

1/4 cup quinoa

1/4 cup red onion chopped

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp pure maple syrup

tsp salt

tsp pepper

tsp cumin

Juice of one lemon

|| Directions ||

yields six large-sized veggie patties

preheat oven to 375 degrees

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until it is the consistency you want. I prefer my burgers with a bit of texture but not with large chunks of ingredients. After the ingredients are combined to your preference make patties and place on baking sheet. Cook at 375 for about 10 min or until they are ever so slightly crisp on the outside.

Make a traditional veggie burger with a bun and all of your favourite fixings or eat wrapped in collard greens, butter leaf lettuce or even swiss chard!

An alternative to the patties would be making a mini loaf with a muffin pan – this would go great with Oh She Glows mushroom gravy! 

Enjoy! 

Chickpea and quinoa “souvlaki” with mashed lemon potatoes

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I’m pretty sure I was Greek in a past life because I am obsessed with Greek food and all of the flavours, colours, and smell that come with the cuisine! This recipe is super straightforward. Actually, I am not really even going to post a recipe because I kind of just threw it together. Basically, my idea was to take the basic ingredients of traditional Greek souvlaki and use chickpeas and quinoa instead. The only seasonings I added were salt, lemon juice, olive oil and oregano and I seasoned everything with those things. I lightly sautéed the chickpeas, cooked quinoa and red onion and then quickly put together a Greek salad of cucumber, green pepper, and heirloom grape tomatoes which I drizzled with evoo and seasoned with lemon juice, oregano, salt and goats feta! I cheated and bought some store bought tzaziki and just put them altogether in a pita – my pita wrapping skills need some work but the flavour was all there! And, voila a super east and vegetarian weeknight meal + a ton of leftovers!!


Scrumptious vegetarian sweet and sour “meatballs”

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This recipe is out of this world delicious and sure to be a crowd pleaser for the vegetarians and carnivores alike. It’s not dairy or gluten free but for a hearty-weekend dish, it sure does the trick! My aunt made these for us on Christmas Day as an appetizer and I’ve made them twice since! The recipe is super simple and they come together super quickly!

Recipe is from allrecipes.com


Ingredients

4 eggs
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Sweet and Sour Sauce:
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1/4 cup white vinegar (I used apple cider)
3/4 cup apricot jam (I used maple syrup)
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 dash hot pepper sauce (skipped)

Preheat the oven to 350
In a  bowl, mix together the eggs, cheese, and cottage cheese until well blended. Mix in 1/2 cup onion, pecans, basil, salt and sage. Stir in bread crumbs. Form the mixture into 2 inch balls, and place them in a 9×13 inch baking dish.
In another bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, syrup, ketchup, 1/4 cup onion, oregano and hot pepper sauce. Pour over meatballs.
Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until meatballs are firm, and sauce is thick and bubbly.

I served over brown rice


Greek-Style Lentil “Tacos”+ Leftover Meal Idea

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Okay, so this recipe is basically an amalgamation of all of my favourite recipes – done tastefully, don’t worry.

This recipe can be turned into a variety of meals including, obviously tacos, but also a lentil bowl, or even a pasta dish. It is so versatile!

I use french lentils or sprouted lentils for this particular dish.

I cook the lentils based on the provided cooking directions and then I add them to a pan to season and sauté with other ingredients.

I personally like to add one onion, one red pepper, cherry tomatoes (vitamin c helps to absorb iron), and some greens (kale, chard, spinach). I cook down until the ingredients are soft but not overcooked.

The sauce is super simple and is my go-to for so many dishes, especially when I am in a pinch!

Sauce (all measurements approximate):

1 tbsp EVOO

1 tbsp nut & seed butter

1 tbsp tamari sauce

1 small garlic glove, grated or minced

1 tsp lemon juice

pinch of salt and pepper

It really is that simple.

To finish the tacos and what gives it the greek flare, in my opinion is the Greek Feta Cheese. While the sauce isn’t really a Greek-style adding the feta in addition to the tomatoes, peppers and onions + the lemon brings out those flavours.

I call it a taco but I really wrap it up like a burrito!

But, I also like to make it into a bowl! Adding a few simple ingredients can really change up the flavours! I like to add steamed broccolini, avocado, squash or sweet potato, and fresh pomegranate seeds to add a nice refreshing punch! I have also topped this dish with coho or sockeye salmon and the dressing paired so nicely!

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Rustic pizza recipe

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I absolutely love pizza! In my world, it is its own food group. I love that you can make pizza so many different ways and they can all taste fabulous and I love how easy it is to make. This pizza recipe is my all-time favourite and it is soo easy!

To start I use this recipe for pizza dough. I rarely leave it to rise 24 hours but you definitely can do that. Sometimes I put it in the oven on low with a wet towel wrapped over the bowl so it rises more quickly. I also, sometimes like a bit of a thicker, more flatbread type dough so I don’t leave it to rise too much in that case.

This particular recipe is a white pizza so there is no tomato sauce but you could definitely add some if you prefer.

I spread my dough out on a pan and drizzle with oil of choice. Typically for pizza that is EVOO but, some say heating EVOO is bad as it oxidizes so choose what oil you prefer, or brush with grass fed butter. I also like to mince some garlic and spread out with the oil or butter.

Then I add some cherry or grape tomatoes, mushrooms, and feta cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the crust is golden. I then rip fresh basil leaves and disperse them over the pizza. To finish it off I drizzle with honey and cold pressed EVOO. I love the saltiness of the pizza and feta cheese combined with the sweetness of the honey.

That’s it! A super simple, rustic pizza recipe!

I love making pizza because it is always a great way to get the entire family involved in cooking dinner, especially the little ones!

What are your favourite toppings for your pizza? 

 

 

 

Deliciously healthy lentil bowl and cookbook review

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I am a big fan of getting inspiration from cookbooks and then modifying them to suit your needs and taste. Also, it’s even better when you can make two meals out of one! Recently, I picked up the cookbook THUG Kitchen at Indigo. I was looking for more inspiration when it comes to plant-based meals and was inspired by the lentil taco recipe on page 144 of the cookbook. I ended up making the lentil taco recipe adding my own spin to the slaw as I was unable to find jicama. I was pleased that I had enough filling and ingredients left over to make a yummy deconstructed lentil taco into a yummy veggie bowl!


Save on Music, Books and DVDs at Indigo.ca

 

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The great thing about THUG Kitchen is that nearly every page has pictures and I love the intro to the cookbook and their no nonsense approach to eating real food.

“It’s easier to sauté kale than it is to eat pizza bites without burning the fuck out of your tongue.” — What the fuck is this (preface) to THUG Kitchen.

Yup, my kind of cookbook! All of the recipes are simple and I like that it breaks down the basics of plant-based cooking while serving up a side of realism and hilarity.

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I did a modified version of the jicama slaw by adding some Wildbrine red beet and cabbage sauerkraut. I also served up some oven-baked yam fries on the side. This recipe was simple and tasty. It also left enough of the filling over for a hearty lentil bowl to which I added my modified slaw, the leftover yam fries and the red beet and cabbage sauerkraut for some extra probiotics. I love recipes like this where I can get two healthy and relatively similar but different meals out of one! I am excited to delve further into this THUG Kitchen book and would recommend that you do too for some good recipes and a good laugh!

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