Vegan MoFo & Baked Tofu

I am so excited to finally participate in Vegan Month of Food (VeganMoFo).

400x84_g2

Vegan MoFo goes through the month of September, and it’s a chance for bloggers to talk about all things Vegan. There are some various categories of bloggers, such as; Arts & Crafts, Baking, Beauty & Life, Comfort Food, Convenience, Desserts, Entertainment, Family & Kids, Gluten-Free, Travel, etc. etc. (There are some amazing vegan bloggers out there!)

I am not going to focus on a specific category of veganism. I plan to blog a few of my favorite recipes and open it up to my readers about anything you may want to read about. Do you have any questions about veganism that I can try to answer? Is there any recipe you would like to see me try to veganize? Anything else?

I want to kick off my VeganMoFo experience with a delicious recipe. I went to a work conference over the summer. The Hyatt, where it was held, was nice enough to always have a vegan option available for me, in place of the buffet food. I was served this delicious dish of tofu, brown rice and broccolini. It was so simple, not overly seasoned and flavored. The ingredients natural wholesomeness and taste stood out. Not to mention, it was incredibly filling and delicious.

I knew it should be relatively easy to replicate and I was right. The brown rice was simple, nothing fancy, just boiling water and steaming rice.

The broccolini I cooked for 2 minutes in boiling water, then shocked with cold water. I then gave it a very light sautee in a pan with Earth Balance, garlic and lemon zest. I only sautéed it a few minutes so the broccolini did not get wilted, only flavored. I wanted that beautiful crunch to stay in tact.

I started draining and pressing the extra firm tofu earlier in the day, so it was dry and firm by dinner. I cut the block into slabs, and put it in an oven pan sprayed with Olive Oil spray.

I drizzled Bragg’s Aminos & Vegan Worchestire sauce on the tofu, along with salt & pepper. I baked it in the oven at 375 degrees, for 10 minutes, then flipped the tofu slabs over, added more marinade, and baked for another 10 minutes.

9643115094_0657939e4c_o

The tofu remained firm, but the flavors seeped in wonderfully. It all came together as a beautiful and hearty meal.

9642226808_9089f21905_o What would you like to see from me, during Vegan MoFo?

Tahini Broccoli Salad

This meal was inspired by the 1) the delicious tahini sauce from Joni Newman’s upcoming book and 2) a broccoli salad one of my fellow yoga teacher trainers was eating over the weekend, from a local market. I swear, my best recipe “ideas” are all stolen.

Her broccoli salad contained: broccoli, almonds, red onions, raisins and mayo. I knew it would be easy enough to veganize and Joni’s sauce came instantly to mind.

As soon as I was out of training that day, I whipped up a big bunch of this salad. I had two bunches of broccoli and I gave them a quick steam in boiling water, followed by a shock with cold water.

I mixed the broccoli with almonds, sliced red onions, raisins, 2 blocks of Trader Joe’s cubed savory tofu and the tahini sauce. The sauce consists of tahini, lemon juice, Bragg’s aminos, olive oil and garlic.

9552331838_b1bd1a3920_o

This salad was so satisfying and delicious. It was a nice mix of sweet and salty, with a nice, filling bite from the tofu.

I served it up with Trader Joe’s brown rice wraps filled with Veganaise, pesto, tomatoes, bell peppers and avocado.

9552348614_63ce51f262_o

This meal was surprisingly filling and amazingly flavorful.

Do you ever copy recipes?

Angie’s eats of the week

I get so many questions and confused looks about  what I actually eat, when I tell people I do not eat meat or dairy. I think there is the misconception out there that vegans eat nothing but salads. While I do love a fresh salad, I eat much more variety than that. Here is a sample of some of my favorite eats of this past week:

Breakfast: Usually, this is a green juice or a smoothie. I did smoothies all this week. Besides what is listed, all smoothies also include 2 tablespoons of chia seeds & 2 tablespoons of flax seed meal. These usually make enough for 3 people.

  • 2 big handfuls of kale, 1 sliced green apple, 1 whole cucumber, 1 knob of ginger, a few sprigs of fresh mint and tons of coconut water (this one has such a fresh taste to it)
  • ginger apple cucumber
  • 2 big handfuls of kale, 2 cups of frozen blueberries, 2 cups of frozen pineapple, tons of coconut water
  • kale blueberry pineapple
  • 2 huge handfuls of spinach, sliced cantoloupe, 2 bananas, coconut milk (this one was a big hit with the other 2/3 of my household, who prefer the sweeter smoothies. I had such a yummy, creamy taste and texture).
  • cantaloupe

Lunch: I pretty much pack and bring lunch everyday. There are not many options around where I work, so I try to always be prepared.

  • Spinach, strawberry salad: I had this a few days this week, it is my favorite salad! I cover 1 block of cubed tofu in Brianna’s Poppy Seed dressing. I keep this refrigerated all week. To assemble the salad I use about 2 big handfuls of chopped spinach, 1 cup of sliced strawberries, 1 cup of tofu, slivered almonds and fresh mint. I top everything with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • spinach salad
  • Brown rice wraps with tofurkyTrader Joe’s sells these awesome, gluten-free tortillas. I have been using them for wraps with hummus, tofurky, spinach and tomatoes. I also chomp on a few carrots on the side.wrap1wrap
  • One of my co-workers, who has been eating vegetarian since the beginning of this year (woohoo!), shared this next dish with me. He made it with quinoa, carrots, zuchini, onions and cilantro. It was mixed with a spicy peanut butter sauce. So yummy! Thanks, B!
  • quinoa

Dinner: I can not take too much credit for dinners. I make all breakfast and lunches, but my love usually handles dinner for us. Here is some of what he whipped up.

  • Quick Indian food: Tasty Bite has ridiculously convenient, reasonably-priced and delicious pre-made items. We had the Bengal Lentils and Tandoori rice, they just have to be heated up. We ate them alongside sliced bell pepper, warmed pita bread and THE most delicious jalapeno, garlic, cilantro hummus that my love made from scratch.
  • tasty bite lentils rice hummus
  • Soyrizo & potato tacos: This is a weekly staple meal. We usually prefer it on the weekends, after our run. Soyrizo is mixed with diced potatoes in a skillet and cooked till the potatoes are done. We serve them up in corn tortillas, topped with onion, cilantro and avocado.
  • soyrizo
  • Sweet potatoes + chili: I can’t rave about this meal enough. It is tasty and filling! We buy sweet potatoes at our local farmers market each week. They are so reasonably priced at $1/lb. We bake them and top with Trader Joe’s vegetarian chili, sliced scallions and avocado.
  • sp
  • Veggie hot dogs: My week is not complete without a stop at Haybird’s Hot Dog stand, at our local farmer’s market night. This week, I tried the New Yorker with a veggie dog. It was topped with sauerkraut, spicy mustard, onions and tomato. My favorite juice stand is also back! I drank a watermelon juice with my dogs.
  • haybird

I hope that helps you have a better idea of what vegans it. Let me know if you have questions, I love talking about food!

This Week’s Dinners

This week has full of some amazing new recipes I tried, that I have to share with you all.

Monday: First up was one of my favorite blogger Spabettie’s Avocado Shiitake spring rolls . I had never made spring rolls before, so I was a little nervous, but they turned out to be similar to sushi, even easier. Once all the ingredients were prepped, it just became a quick assembly line of work.

8611471919_80502e9fcf_o8623519873_3c17820164_o

My spring rolls did not turn out quite as pretty as Spabettie’s, but they were still pretty delicious.

8612580402_b18667727c_o 8624623684_49b99b712b_o

The REAL star of this dish though, is the Spicy Coconut Almond Dipping sauce.

8612576532_91b3566507_o

It’s amazing the amount of flavor that packed in with so few ingredients. I highly recommend trying this sauce for dips or dressings. Thanks, Spabettie!

Tuesday: Korean Tacos. These are one of my favorite fast, weeknight dinners. So much flavor is packed into this small dish. I filled my tacos up with korean tofu, avocado, bellpepper, radishes, cilantro, sriracha and black sesame seeds.

8624626710_94e43c7909_o

 

Wednesday: Cabbage & kale salad and The Soup that Heals

I made huge salads this night using: kale, red cabbage, yellow bell pepper and hemp seeds. I topped it off with Lisa’s tahini cashew dressing. This dressing is so creamy and flavorful, I am glad I have leftovers. The dressing was hearty and decadent enough that I did not even put avocado on my salad, this is a huge deal because I add avocados to everything.

I also made a big batch of The Soup that Heals at the beginning of the week, and had a nice, warm bowl alongside my fresh salad.

8624628354_ea7529b295_o 8611481037_6bf9578ca3_o

Thursday: Indian food

We went to my favorite Indian restaurant The Clay Oven. We started off with samosas, that ate too fast to take a picture of. Oops.

I ordered the Tikka Masala Curry and ate it with basmati rice and garlic naan. YUM.

8624630034_68b46d027f_o

Dessert was my favorite carrot pudding topped with slivered almonds:

8624630776_8589c2c639_o

Friday: Loaded veggie dogs with mac & cheese

We had a wild Friday night and made veggie hot dogs, while watching Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban (which I fell asleep half-way through), because apparently I am 8.

I loaded up my hot dog with veganaise, hot mustard, ketchup, onions, tomatoes and olives.

8623530161_6708f2ec5c_o

We also had Amy’s Vegan/Gluten-free macaroni and cheese on the side. This was pretty tasty! I topped it off with paprika, garlic salt and fresh cracked pepper.

8623529127_083ae8ef8e_o

Let me know if you try any of these recipes. I highly recommend the spring rolls & tahini dressing!

CSD: Day 21

Today is the last day of the Crazy Sexy Diet. I hope to have a full recap up for you sometime next week, but I will currently say that I feel amazing and I am really not wanting to go back to eating junk. I truly hope to keep up this way of living/eating as much as possible.

However, this weekend, I may have a drink or two, because I am going to see Lady Gaga in Las Vegas! Paws up, Little Monsters!

I have two new meals to share with you. These were both taster recipes for Joni Newman’s  new cookbook.

The first is Chinese Style Macaroni Salad. The key ingredient in the recipe is the Sweet Chili Sauce. It really makes the dish stand out and gives it a kick. There is a nice POP from the fresh veggies (green beans & snap peas, especially) and some added crunch from the cashews & carrots.

However, I used a gluten-free brand of pasta that I never have tried before (I have had pretty good luck with other brands). My fellow taster said of the dish, “I like everything but the pasta.” It could have been the brand, it could have been that I cooked it too much or little, either way, I agree it would have tasted better with a different pasta. This is still an amazing recipe.

I served it on the side of Tofurky sandwiches. It was a nice twist on picnic food.

8408557982_b2d70b6d54_o

The next dish I made with the same Sweet Chili sauce is grilled tofu. I marinated the tofu in the sauce overnight, and served it up with brussel sprouts and mashed sweet potatoes. We ate most of these while we waited for the potatoes to finish.

8415870184_c007904dd1_o

8415869374_ac5e676649_o 8414775415_75cde5ebeb_o

The tofu was great! The tofu marinade was a great mix of savory and sweet, grilling gave it nice, smoky flavor and the texture was just crunchy enough.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Check back next week for a full re-cap of the cleanse.

Tofu Scramble

I started off Day 2 of the CSD with a steaming cup of ginger tea, with added lemon and cayenne pepper. It is suggested to start of each day with a warm cup of lemon water + cayenne pepper. I added in the ginger tea to get my digestion moving even further. There is no better to start off a day then with a book + tea.

8355079326_45bb778efe_o 8355077272_09271bdb55_o

A few hours later, I got hungry and decided to make tofu scramble. This is one of my favorite weekend breakfast meals.

I started off by pressing the water out of the tofu. I have learned that tofu cooks so much better when the water is pressed completely out of it. Tofu acts like a sponge and it does not readily absorb flavors and spices if it still full of water.

I generally do this by wrapping a block of tofu in a towel and placing heavy books on top. Cook books work great!

8355075220_7762793287_o

I chopped up all my veggies for the scramble; 1 red bell pepper, green onions, broccoli and spinach.

8354018867_b2166e378b_o

I started off by sauteing minced garlic in Earth Balance, then I added in the rest of the chopped veggies. After letting them cook for a few minutes, I deglazed the pan with Bragg’s Aminos, then added in all of my spices; thyme (crushed between my fingers),  tumeric, garlic powder and curry powder.

8354021727_e996b92dc6_o

After the seasonings were in the pan, I crumbled the tofu with my hands and mixed it all together.

I topped it off with my Mom’s homemade (HOT!) salsa and I served it up with a side of Trader Joe’s refried black beans, and a piece of Sprouted Grain Ezekiel Bread toast, with smooshed avocado and a sprinkle of sea salt. YUM!

8354024137_15ce1d818d_o