Tom Yum Soup with Tofu and Mushrooms

One of my favorite Asian vegetarian restaurants serves the best tom yum soup! It has a delicious lemongrass-infused broth with just the right amount of heat. It also has sliced mushrooms and cubed tofu (great for protein!) in it. This is my attempt to capture the same flavors in my homemade version! Lemongrass can be found in Whole Foods, Asian or specialty markets.
(Note: You can also add 1 cup coconut milk at the end for a creamier soup!)

hcv_tomyumsoup-1-14 cups veggie broth/stock
2 cups water
1/2 med onion, minced (or 1/2 tsp onion powder)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
1″ piece ginger, peeled and minced (or 1/4 tsp powdered ginger)
2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
2 Tblsp olive oil
3 Tblsp
Thai chili sauce/paste
5 stalks lemongrass, chopped in 1-2″ pieces
1/2 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and cubed
1 tsp salt
Cooked white rice (optional)

Garnish:
Lime wedges
Fresh cilantro

hcv_tomyumsoup-1In a soup pot, hear 1 Tblsp olive oil and add onions, garlic and ginger.
Saute a few min until soft.
Add another 1 Tblsp olive oil and sliced mushrooms.
Saute 5-10 min until mushrooms are cooked and slightly browned.
Add veggie stock and water.
Add chili paste, lemongrass and salt.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 12-15 min.
Add cubed tofu piece and simmer 5 min.
(Stir in some cooked white rice at end if desired!)

Garnish with lime wedge & fresh cilantro –
The fresh lime juice really brightens the flavors!

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Roasted Beet Salad with Tofu “Feta”

This is a simple salad, but very delicious and filling! The sweetness of the roasted beets is offset by the saltiness of the tofu “feta cheese”! I used golden beets in this version, but any type of beet would work, as well as any other roasted veggies. The tofu feta is best after a day or two in the fridge, but can be used after a few hours. The tofu feta is also a delicious addition to other types of salads, such as a Greek salad!

Roasted beets:
3 med beets (red or golden), trimmed and cut
1 Tblsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp seasoned salt

Green leaf lettuce or any type of salad greens

Tofu feta cheese:
1/2 package (or block) of extra-firm tofu
2 Tblsp olive oil
2 Tblsp red wine vinegar
2 Tblsp lemon juice
2 Tblsp water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp black pepper

First, press out as much moisture from the tofu as you can. You can put weights on top of a plate to press it, but I usually don’t have the time or patience. Instead, I slice up the block of tofu in about 8 slices. Then, I take about half the slices at a time and press them together with my hands over the sink or a bowl. Repeat a few times and you can press out much of the moisture. Chop tofu into small, cubed pieces.

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Combine olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, water and spices in a jar with tight-fitting lid.
Add cubed tofu.
Shake gently and put in fridge.
Let marinate for a few hours or overnight.
(The longer in fridge, the more flavor it will absorb.
It will keep in the fridge for several days.)

 

HCV_BeetSaladWithFeta - 1Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray baking pan or cookie sheet with cooking spray.
Toss chopped beets in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and spread in pan.
Bake for 40 min or until beets are tender.

Place roasted beets on top of some salad greens.
Top with some marinated tofu “feta”.

 

The crunch of the lettuce, the sweetness of the beets and the saltiness of the marinated tofu… Delicious!

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Baked Pasta with Tofu-Cashew Ricotta

This non-dairy ricotta is very versatile and so good in many Italian-style dishes! Other than a baked ziti type of dish like this, you can also use it for lasagna, stuffed shells, manicotti or eggplant rollatini. Make sure you press out as much moisture as you can from the tofu (you can use a weight or apply even pressure holding over sink). The texture of the ricotta is perfect with the combination of cashews and tofu! Plus the lemon juice and vinegar make it slightly tangy. (You can also make a day or two ahead of time and refrigerate it. 🙂 )

This dish is similar to a baked ziti… There are four components that you need:
– One package of any type of dry pasta (penne, ziti, spiral, etc)
– 2-3 cups tomato/spaghetti/marinara sauce (homemade or store-bought)
– 1 cup cooked spinach (or any other veggies you like)
– 1 batch tofu-cashew ricotta

Start to cook pasta while you make tofu-cashew ricotta.

HCV_BakedPasta - 1 (1)Tofu-Cashew Ricotta: (makes approx 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 block tofu, moisture pressed out
1/2 cup cashews, soaked for a few hours (or boiled for about 10 min)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other unsweetened non-dairy milk)
1 Tblsp lemon juice
1 Tblsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Garlic powder

 

HCV_BakedPasta - 1Make tofu-cashew ricotta:
Add all tofu-cashew ricotta ingredients to food processor bowl except for tofu.
Blend on high until smooth.
Add tofu and blend a few seconds more.
The consistency should resemble ricotta cheese. If needed, add a bit more almond milk.

In large mixing bowl, mix cooked (drained) pasta, cooked spinach, tofu-cashew ricotta and approx 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce, depending on how saucy you like it.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce in bottom of 9×13 pan.Add pasta mixture and spread evenly.
Spoon 1/2 cup tomato sauce on top.
(Sprinkle nutritional yeast or shredded vegan cheeseon top if desired)
Cover with aluminum foil and bake 40 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.

Enjoy!

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Easiest BBQ Tofu Ever!

This is one of those fool-proof recipes that’s so easy to make and adults and kids both seem to love it! The two things that will ensure success are to press as much moisture out of the tofu that you can, and to use a good-quality store-bought BBQ sauce (i.e. no high fructose corn syrup or additives/preservatives). Stubb’s and Nature’s Promise are both good (as well as others). As far as the tofu goes, I usually buy Nasoya or Nature’s Promise Extra-Firm Tofu. The nice thing about this recipe is that you don’t need to marinate the tofu ahead of time. It absorbs the sauce as it simmers!

HCV_BBQTofu - 1 (1)1 block extra-firm tofu (the type that comes in water in a plastic tub)
1/2-1 Tblsp oil (or cooking spray)

Sauce:
1/4 cup veggie broth
3 Tblsp BBQ sauce
2 Tblsp teriyaki or soy sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder

Mix sauce ingredients together in a measuring cup and set aside.

HCV_BBQTofu - 1 (6)Press as much moisture from tofu as you can. You can place a dish and weight on top (and wait until water drain out) or try my quick-press method.

Here’s what I do:
Remove tofu from tub and rinse. Slice into appox 8 slices (1/4-1/2″ thick)
Pick up half the slices at a time and press/squeeze together over sink. Press firmly on both sides without crushing the slices too much. You can remove a lot of moisture this way by applying even pressure.

HCV_BBQTofu - 1Okay, time to saute tofu:
First cut tofu slices into cubes or triangles.
Add a little oil or cooking spray to a skillet (I use ceramic non-stick).
When pan is hot, carefully add tofu.
Cook on med heat for about 5 min or until it starts to lightly brown.
Flip pieces of tofu and brown on other side.
Pour in sauce and let simmer about 15 min.
(The sauce will seem thin at first, but it will reduce and thicken up as it simmers!)
You can also add a little more broth/water if needed.

This tofu is great served over rice or with mashed potatoes!

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Tofu Lettuce Wraps

These tofu lettuce wraps are as good or even better than those I’ve had in restaurants… and with much less oil and sodium! The iceberg lettuce is so fresh and crunchy, and is the perfect wrapper for the salty, earthy flavors of the filling. These always go so fast when I make them, so I need to make a double-batch next time!

TofuLettuceWraps - 11 head iceberg lettuce
1 package extra firm tofu
1 package shiitake mushrooms
1 small bunch green onions
1 small can sliced water chestnuts
2 Tblsp oil (for sauteing)

Sauce ingredients:
2 Tblsp tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Garlic powder, ground ginger

TofuLettuceWraps - 1 (5)First, press out as much moisture from the tofu as you can. You can put weights on top of a plate to press it, but I usually don’t have the time or patience. Instead, I slice up the block of tofu and then take about half the slices at a time and press them together with my hands over the sink or a bowl. Repeat a few times and you can press out much of the moisture. Chop tofu into small, cubed pieces.

Add 2 Tblsp of oil to a skillet (I use half olive and canola oil).
Add diced tofu.
Cook for 10 min, occasionally turning tofu. (This step should also remove moisture in the tofu)
Finely dice green onions (white and light green parts) and mushrooms.
Add to onions and mushrooms tofu and saute another 5 min.
Drain water chestnuts and chop into small pieces.
Add water chestnuts to skillet.
Mix sauce ingredients and add to skillet.TofuLettuceWraps - 1 (6)
Cook for a few more minutes and you’re done!

To make iceberg lettuce cups:
Cut or bang out core of lettuce head
Cut off end of lettuce head on core side
Run remaining head under cold water so water runs between outermost leaf and the rest of the head. This should help separate outermost leaf until it peels off. Repeat with next outermost leaf, etc.

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Spoon filling into lettuce cups and fold over to make wraps! This recipe makes 6-8 wraps.

 

 

 

TofuLettuceWraps - 1 (8)Super-delicious! ENJOY!

Tofu Scramble

Soybeans are a great source of protein, and I think they’re best in their truest, least processed forms… to me, this means edamame, tofu or tempeh. You might think that you don’t like tofu… that it’s spongy and flavorless. Even though it might seem boring and bland on its own, this is one of my fool-proof ways to prepare it, and it’s quite easy and delicious! It’s very similar in look and texture to scrambled eggs, but without all the cholesterol! I love to eat this with fried potatoes and/or toast!

1 block firm tofu
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
Spices (salt, garlic powder, onion powder)
Veggies such as leaf spinach, chopped mushrooms, onions, potatoes, tomatoes or fresh herbs – whatever you like!

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The key is to press out as much moisture from the tofu as you can. You can put weights on top of a plate to press it, but I usually don’t have the time or patience. Instead, I slice up the block of tofu and then take about half the slices at a time and press them together with my hands over the sink or a bowl. Repeat a few times and you can press out much of the moisture.

 

 

HCV_TofuScramble - 1 (5)Once most of the moisture is pressed out, add the tofu slices to a large bowl and crumble with a fork. Add soy sauce, olive oil, turmeric, dry mustard and any other spices. I like to add salt, garlic powder and onion powder.

Now you’re ready to cook it. First, stir-fry your chopped veggies in a skillet in a little oil. I added spinach and mushrooms to this batch. Then add the tofu mixture. Cook for a few minutes, tossing in the pan until everything is heated through. It will turn an even brighter yellow as you cook it!

 

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Enjoy for
breakfast or any meal of the day!