This vegan diet has really forced me to be creative in the kitchen, especially when it comes to cooking or baking with tofu. That spongy, watery goo is hard to master. But I did it! The trick is, you really have to press it and get all the water out. Then you can soak it in a marinade and it will take on the flavor, like a sponge…not that I eat sponges…just works the same way.
Here is a recipe I tried tonight and it was yummy.
- 1 pkg Firm Tofu, drained and sliced length wise
- 1/2 c wheat germ
- 1/4 t garlic powder
- 1/8 t pepper
- salt to taste
Place a thick, clean, absorbent towel on a cutting board or flat plate. Place the slice of tofu on the towel. Lay another thick, clean, absorbent towel over the top of the tofu. Place a piece of plastic wrap over that towel then lay a heavy book on top. Let it all sit that way for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 375. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. In a bowl, mix the wheat germ, garlic powder salt and pepper together. Place the slices in the bowl, one at a time, and gently press down to coat the entire slice. Once they are all coated, back for 20-30 minutes or until they are a little crispy. serve with a Teriyaki glace (recipe to follow)
- 1/2 Cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 Cup water
- 2 Table spoons brown sugar
- 1/4 Cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon cold water
Mix the cornstarch and water together, set aside. In a medium sauce pan, combine all the other ingredients. Bring to a bowl then add the cornstarch and water. DONT walk away from it because it could boil over, I learned that the hard way…Turn the heat down to medium/low and cook until desired thickness. Pour over hot baked tofu and enjoy!
Our garden is over flowing with zucchini so I’ve had to be creative with what to do with it. Adding it to our lasagna was a great idea.
Here are the ingredients I used. Follow the baking directions on the lasagna noodles.
Ooops forgot the tofu. I mixed it up with the Gimme Lean and a little bit of pasta sauce.
Then I layered it like this. Noodles, tofu/Gimmie Lean, zucchini then cheese.
It turned out delicious! The super cheesy side is mine. My husband isn’t a big fan of cheese. My son LOVED this too.
Around here we love spaghetti and meatballs. I mean who doesnt!? Spaghetti Wednesday is a weekly thing for us. My husband takes great pride in his meatballs. The man knows his meat Since embarking on the Vegan adventure, we have had to alter our recipes a little. Being unfamiliar with a lot of the alternatives to meat, and only trying one recipe, we opted to just have spaghetti…no meatballs for a while. Needless to say, spaghetti Wednesday just wasn’t the same anymore.
On a recent trip to the commissary we found a great substitute for our meatballs. Gimmie Lean Ground Beef Style turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to our spaghetti. Here is the recipe we used. We love it. My son, who is now 13 months, loves them too.
This turned out absolutely delicious! No one will ever know its vegan.
- 8 oz package lasagna noodles
- 1 pound firm tofu
- 13.5oz can spinach-drained
- 1 pound tomatoes sauce (add your own spices)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 14oz vegan mozzarella
- 1 bag Boca Burger meal starters veggie crumbles (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350. Cook the lasagna noodles as directed, set aside. In a food processor combine the tofu, spinach, lemon juice, salt and garlic powder, set aside. In a 9×13 glass pan, lay one layer of lasagna noodles out, should fit 3 across. Spread a layer of the tofu mix on the lasagna then the burger crumbles then the cheese. Repeat until the noodles are gone. On the top layer pour the tomatoes sauce evenly over the lasagna then sprinkle with the remaining cheese*. Bake for 45 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling.
*I baked my lasagna a head of time without the cheese on top. Then when we are ready to eat I will sprinkle the cheese on top and bake at 375 till the cheese is slightly brown.
I have always loved Sheppards pie so when I found a vegan recipe I was super excited to try it. I found this one on the PETA website.
- 4 medium potatoes, diced
- 2 Tbsp. margarine
- 1/4 cup soy milk
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 12 oz. faux ground beef-style crumbles (I used Morning Star Meal Starters)
- 1 10.5-oz. can Campbells mushroom gravy (or 1 1/4 cups prepared vegetarian gravy of your choice)
- 1 6-oz. can mixed peas and carrots, drained
- Salt, garlic powder, pepper, and cayenne, to taste
Boil the potatoes for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and mash with the margarine and soy milk or nondairy creamer. Season with salt and pepper. In a medium pan, sauté the onion in the oil until translucent.In a medium bowl, mix the cooked onions, faux beef crumbles, mushroom gravy, peas and carrots, and spices. Pour into a pie pan. Top the crumble mixture with the potatoes, spreading to the edges.Bake in a 350°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are browned and the crumble mixture bubbles out the edges.
Next time I think I will use frozen peas and carrots instead of the canned.
This turned out delicious!
- 16oz package of elbow macaroni or pasta of choice (I usedBarilla whole wheat pasta
- 3 cups shredded Daiya Cheddar Cheese
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups* unsweetened rice or soy milk (see recipe below for notes)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Salt to taste (or omit, the Daiya is pretty salty)
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- Enough panko bread crumbs to liberally cover (I used an “Italian” flavored variety)
- Red chili flakes to taste (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook pasta about 5 minutes until it’s just tender. Don’t cook all the way or it will fall apart when you bake it.
3. Drain pasta and transfer to greased baking dish. I packed it all into a smaller 8×10 dish so it would set up nice and thick.
4. Mix in about 2/3′s of the cheese into the pasta and set aside.
5. In a small pot melt the butter. Add the salt & pepper, then whisk in the flour until combined. Stir in the milk. Keep stirring until it starts to boil, then keep stirring for about another minute until it thickens up. *(Start with 2 cups of milk but if sauce gets too thick just add a little bit more, you don’t want it to be like a paste, just a thickened liquid).
6. Pour the milk mixture into the pasta and mix everything well. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover everything with a generous layer of breadcrumbs. Give the whole thing a light dusting of paprika.
7. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and top is starting to brown. If you like it spicy sprinkle some of the chili flakes on top when serving.
These meatballs turned out great. We used some Greek spices we got at the City market in KC.
Preheat oven to 350. Grease pan.
- 1/2 Cup quick oats
- 3/4 Cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1/2 Tsp chili powder
- 1/2 Tsp Greek seasoning(or Italian seasoning)
- 1 Tsp pepper
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 2 Cups bread crumbs
- 1/4 Tsp garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 1 Cup water
- 1/4 Cup soy sauce
- 1 Pkg firm tofu
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, add wet ingredients. I used my stand mixer and it worked out well to incorporate all ingredients. Roll into small balls and place on greased pan. These will not spread out so you can place them close together. Bake for 40 minutes. We enjoyed ours with some whole wheat paste and red sauce. My husband also made his meatballs and we ate them together to compare. My husband actually preferred the vegan meat balls over the meatballs.
Oh yeah and we had some Texas toast…it was in the freezer. Have to get rid of all the non-vegan stuff anyway.
My husband makes the best meatballs. One night we didn’t have any breadcrumbs, so to my surprise my husband crushed up some plain cheerios and used those instead. The meatballs turned out great! So if you are ever in a pinch and dont have any breadcrumbs, just crush up the same amount of cheerios that the recipe calls for breadcrumbs. Enjoy!
My husband made his own version of ratatouille with some fresh zucchini and squash from my uncles garden. It was delicious!
- 2 onion, sliced into thin rings
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 zucchini, cubed
- 2 medium yellow squash, cubed
- 2 chopped red bell pepper
- 4 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
- 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1/4 tablespoon oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot add the garlic and tomato sauce. Do no heat.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and saute the veggies in batches until slightly browned on all sides. Remove the veggies and place in the pot with the garlic.
- Saute all the remaining vegetables one batch at a time, adding 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet each time you add a new set of vegetables. Once each batch has been sauteed add them to the large pot.
- Season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and thyme and cover the pot. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
- Add the chopped cilantro to the large pot, cook another 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Remove the bay leaf and adjust seasoning.
- Serve over bow-tie pasta, or any pasta. Add cooked chicken for a complete meal.
I came up with this yummy recipe that I absolutely love.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Spray 9×13 glass baking dish with non-stick spray
- 5-6 Yellow, orange or red peppers. I find green ones are a bit bitter.
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 2-3 Turkey Italian Sausages squeezed out of casing
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion Diced
- 2 Cups Cooked Rice
- 1 8oz Can Diced Tomatoes
- 1 4oz Can Tomato Paste
- 1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
- Oregano and Parsley to taste
- 1 4oz Can tomato sauce
Combine the meats, onion and garlic in a non-stick pan and cook until no longer pink. In a bowl, combine the cooked rice, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, and parsley. Add the meat and stir until well combined. Cut the tops off the peppers and clean out the seeds from inside. Stuff the peppers with the meet/rice combination. Once all the peppers are stuffed, pour the tomato sauce over the tops of the peppers, cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until the peppers are tender to your liking. Serve with Greek yogurt and enjoy!