Pan Fried Tempeh (made with Local Tempeh!)

*tempehdinnerI was in no mood to cook, I was relieved when I only needed to unscrew the cap off the bottle of wine….. However, I had left over quinoa in the fridge, a garden full of gorgeous kale and yesterday I bought a beautiful, unpasteurized, locally made, brick of tempeh, made by Hosta HIll at the Greenfield Farmer’s Market. Since finding out that Lightlife Foods, my favorite tempeh (and typically the only tempeh offered) has since been bought out by ConAgra (a GMO supported CORP), I haven’t been eating much tempeh- so when I saw it, I snapped it up. Cooked all in the same pan; first the tempeh, then the kale, then the quinoa- it made for a super simple and delicious Sunday night dinner. I ate it with some Sriracha sauce with a side of Buch and a glass of wine…..FRICKEN YUM.

Pan Fried Tempeh

1 package of tempeh, cut in half then sliced

1 clove garlic, smashed and minced

3T olive oil

1t fresh hot pepper *opt

Salt and pepper to taste

 In a hot sauté pan, add the oil and the garlic and sauté until just golden. Add the hot pepper and the tempeh and pan fry until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Flip to brown the other side.

You can vary the taste by pre-marinating the tempeh in flavors of your choosing.

 Serve as part of a simple meal with a grain (quinoa, rice) and green (kale, chard, cabbage) with a sauce of your choosing. I love Sriracha sauce or my homemade fermented Hot Sauce.

TLT Sandwich

*TLT

So I know this isn’t huge on the creativity scale of vegan food preparation but with beautiful tomatoes abundant now- why complicate? I have been boycotting Lightlife Foods, as they are owned by ConAgra; a pro GMO (genetically modified organisms) Corporation, but my friend just bought a package of Fakin Bakin and brought it to the house -with a GORGEOUS heirloom tomato on the counter waiting to be dressed- I couldn’t resist 🙂 ….I use Ezekiel Whole Grain Bread, Follow Your Heart Organic Veganaise and the rest is either from my garden or someone else’s.

Tomato Lettuce Tempeh Bakin Sandwich

2 slices whole grain bread, slightly toasted

2t vegan mayo

1 small tomato, thinly sliced

baby greens

salt & peper

*tom

Smoked Tofu Vegetable Salad

*smoked tofu salad

This is my favorite served in romaine lettuce leaves but it also makes a great sandwich filling. It is so easy to make and I love having it in the house as a quick snack option- it light, crunchy and fresh tasting. You can try using different varieties of the baked tofu, they will all produce a slightly different taste.  I ate this for lunch today on whole grain Ezekiel bread, one of my heirloom tomatoes and baby lettuce from the garden.

8 oz Smoked Tofu Lin, broken in chunks

4 stalks celery, roughly chopped

1 large carrot, roughly chopped

1/3 to 1/2c vegan mayonnaise

pink salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor or vita-mix, pulse the celery or turn on low to mince. Remove into a large bowl. Do the same with the carrot and then the tofu. Process the tofu until desired consistency, it should at least be a fine, even. meal. Add into the bowl of veggies. Add the vegan mayo, salt and pepper and with a spoon, mix all of the ingredients together until well incorporated.

*tofu san

Tofu Vegetable Crust-less Quiche

*veg quiche

VOTE FOR THIS “FOLLOW YOUR HEART VEGAN CHEESE SHREDS RECIPE CONTEST” HERE!!!

This is so so good, super easy to make, only takes some prep work; chopping, getting your ingredients in order. I woke up knowing I wanted this for brunch today after Lora’s class at the studio so I got up, walked the pups and got it started straight away. Pressing the tofu helps to release extra water, the cornstarch however will help to absorb some of the water that will be released by the more water dense ingredients; tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms etc. This morning I had on hand Yellow squash, red pepper left over from the Thai Fresh Rolls, baby spinach, Kalamata olives and fresh herbs, mostly all from the garden. I use Follow Your Heart Monteray Jack style vegan cheese, I like the subtle flavor the best out of the vegan cheeses. You can absolutely omit the faux cheese, the base has a cheesiness on its own!

25 mins prep, 60 minutes bake time

Tofu Vegetable Crust-Less Quiche

1/4c olive oil, divided

1 red or yellow onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic divided, minced, divided

1/4-1/2c kalamata olives, chopped, halved or sliced

2t pink salt, divided

1/4t red pepper flakes

1/2 small red bell pepper, finely chopped

1T Tamari or shoyu

1t raw agave, or maple syrup

1 lb firm tofu, drained and pressed

¼c nutritional yeast

1 small summer squash or 2c chopped broccoli

2c baby spinach

3T fresh basil

3T fresh parsley

1T cornstarch

2T lemon juice- 1/2 lemon

2T tahini

1t rice vinegar

1/2t ume vinegar

up to 1T of water only if needed to process

1/2c vegan cheese, shredded + 2T to top the quiche (Daiya, Follow Your Heart)

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9″ pie plate, loaf pan or 8″ square baking pan. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2T of the olive oil, adding the onions once hot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly caramelized, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, zucchini, peppers, 1t salt and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic smells fragrant and the mushrooms have lightly browned, about 5 minutes more. Add the fresh herbs. Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to a bowl.

In a blender or a food processor, process the tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, corn starch, tahini, rice vinegar, ume and remaining garlic and salt until smooth. Season to taste. Both the veggies and the tofu mixture should have a good seasoned flavor.

In the bowl of veggies, fold in the tofu mixture and the vegan shredded cheese, stirring until evenly mixed. Pour the filling into the pan and bake for 30 minutes covered with tin foil, 15-20 minutes without, and bake until golden brown and set. Can be served hot or cold.

*veggie quiche before mixing

You can use any combination of vegetables you prefer, you want to end up with at least 3 cups of fresh veggies to go into the skillet.

  • Mushrooms,
  • Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard

Fresh Thai Basil Peanut Rolls with Sweet Hot Chili Lime Dipping Sauce

Thai Basil Peanut Fresh RollsThese really are not difficult to make, they are definitely more time consuming than throwing pasta in a pot of boiling water, but they are so worth it. They are more of an “occasion” meal or made per a craving request. I was definitely craving them, so I made them for myself after yoga this morning. After already having made the Thai Basil Pesto with the Thai basil out of my garden, half the work was already done and in the fridge! I made a Peanut Sauce earlier today, which takes no more than 5 minutes so the rest of the prep is all about getting the components gathered and ready for you to roll (hehehe). What you put inside the rolls is really personal preference; my standard go to’s are:

  • grilled or smoked tofu, sliced into thin strips
  • red peppers, sliced into thin strips
  • rice vermicelli or glass noodles, cooked and drained
  • hoisin sauce or pesto and or peanut sauce- I use both!
  • fresh cilantro, fresh basil, fresh mint
  • fresh lettuce
  • crushed roasted peanuts

I use the water that I boil the noodles in to soften the rice wrappers. You can purchase the wrappers in almost every main stream market now a days, or in asian specialty stores, they are also easily found online at specialty markets.

On a clean surface or cutting board, lay your dampened rice wrapper, making sure there are no hard edges, if there are, try to moisten them with the heated water. Now you are ready to fill- my rhythm is as such:

  • lay down about one 2 teaspoons of pesto
  • then plenty of fresh herbs next to the sauce, above or below  (they look pretty showing through the transparent skin when fully rolled)
  • then lettuce
  • then tofu stacked on the lettuce
  • then peppers stacked
  • then peanut sauce gets spooned over
  • then crushed peanuts

Roll from the bottom edge up towards the top to encase the tower of yum. Fold in the sides, the rice wrapper will help you by sticking in place. Once both sides are folded in, roll up to the top to close the package. They don’t keep well, the wrapper tends to stiffen overnight, thus lending  to their name, fresh rolls. Dip into both the peanut sauce and the sweet chili lime sauce. FRICKEN YUM.

*sweet chili dipping sauce

Sweet Chili Lime Dipping Sauce

3T raw agave, or local raw honey

2T apple cider vinegar

1T lime juice

1/2t pink salt

1t red chili flakes

Vegan Fresh Rolls

Simple Grilled Tofu

This is one my most favorite ways of preparing tofu- it is even more delicious cold. Use it as is, with a side of greens and quinoa or brown rice or how I made it tonight, sliced and served over Thai Basil Pesto Soba with fresh baby Spinach. I would double up on the amount you make if you want to have any left over for the next day! You can season the oil in all kinds of ways imaginable, from curry, to lemon pepper, to super spicy jerk rub.*grilled tofu

Simple Grilled Tofu

1 pound extra firm tofu

2T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 large clove garlic, smashed and minced

1/2t pink salt

black pepper

Heat up the grill or grill pan.

Prepare the tofu:

Remove the tofu from the package and drain the water. Rinse and then place the tofu between to plates. Weight the tofu down in the sink with something over the top plate. Let press for at least 15 minutes to remove excess water. This makes for a “chewier” end result.

Slice the tofu in ¼-1/2” slices, an average block of tofu should yield 7-10 slices.

In a large plate, add the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the tofu slices in the oil – I use a silicone pastry brush to paint the oil on, oil and set aside.

Over high heat, place the slices on the grill or pan and close the grill or cover the pan. Let grill for about 6-8 minutes. The slices should easily flip and have gorgeous markings. Once flipped, continue to grill for another 5-6 minutes.

Salt and pepper the slices again to taste.

Serve hot or cold.