Tofu with Hot Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Vegan

Tofu with Hot Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

This sauce is a delicious little concoction, perfect for a quick meal. It is just about the right amount of sauce for a pound of tofu. I simply sliced and grilled the tofu and you can cook it whatever way you like best. As you cook the tofu, you can prepare the sauce, which won’t take more than 10 minutes (just right amount of time for grilling tofu!).

Yields 4 servings:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotles
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup tomato purée
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water

Directions:

  1. Mix together all the ingredients.
  2. Brush on seared or grilled tofu as soon as it comes off the heat or onto uncooked slices.

 

Comments: I don’t think I have any suggestions for this recipe, as it is quite straightforward. If you wish, you can prepare the sauce beforehand and store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Honestly, though, there is no need for advance preparation. The sauce is somewhat spicy but I did not find it overwhelmingly hot.

Tofu with Hot Chipotle Barbecue Sauce, close up

Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew

Vegan

Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew

Adapted from Cooking Light May 2010

I was given a large stack of cooking magazines, which meant many new recipes to try out. That’s always exciting. It being late October, I was in the mood for a nice, heart-warming stew. This recipe, inspired by a dish served at Etete (a restaurant in D.C.), looked promising. I was right!

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 teaspoons dried ground ginger, divided
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dried small red lentils
  • 4 cups hot cooked rice

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the cloves, 1 teaspoon of ginger, coriander and allspice. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 15 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the tomato purée and spice blend. Cook 1 minute, stirring to combine. Gradually add the broth, stirring with a whisk until blended. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add the lentils to the broth mixture and simmer, partially covered for 35 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve the stew over the rice and sprinkled with some parsley or cilantro.

 

Comments: This is an incredibly easy recipe though it does take some time, like any stew. We all really enjoyed it, including my father who is not a fan of lentils. Though it has very few ingredients, the stew is very flavorful with the combination of spices. The original recipe calls for 1½ tablespoons of Berbere spice (mixture of dried chiles, cloves, ginger coriander and allspice); since I did not have this, I made my own blend but if you find Berbere spice feel free to use it instead of making your own blend. The recipe also says to use basmati rice; for my parents, who prefer white rice, I made regular white rice and for myself I made Minute’s Multi-Grain Medley. Use whatever type of rice you prefer.

Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew, close up

Crispy Tofu Fingers

Vegan

Crispy Tofu Fingers

Adapted from vegetariantimes.com

I love Trader Joe’s Chickenless Tenders; they are crispy and really do taste like actual tenders. Nonetheless, I came across this recipe and was intrigued by the idea of making my own tenders. It’s and easy and quick recipe. Once baked, you can refrigerate or freeze them.

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 14- or 16-ounce block firm tofu, drained
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup unsweetened soymilk
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried ginger
  • Black pepper, to taste

Crispy Tofu Fingers, plato

Directions:

  1. Wrap the block in a tick layer of paper towels and press between two plates or heavy cutting boards for about 30 minutes to remove excess moisture. Cut the tofu block into 16 fingers.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C). Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Place the cornstarch in a shallow bowl and gradually stir in the soymilk. Set aside.
  4. Combine the breadcrumbs, oats, flour and spices in a second shallow bowl.
  5. Dip the tofu fingers first into the soymilk mixture and then in the breadcrumb-oat mixture, making sure to coat all sides. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake the tofu fingers in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown, turning once. If eating immediately, bake for 5 to 10 more minutes or until deep golden brown.

 

Comments: These go wonderfully in an English muffin or bun as a sandwich. I also suggest chopping the fingers into smaller pieces and tossing them in a salad. The original recipe calls for just 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs, which I didn’t have. Instead, I decided to use ½ cup of regular breadcrumbs and ½ cup of oats to add some whole grain and texture. I’ve never used panko but I think next time I’ll use half panko and half oats to add even more texture. To store the fingers in the refrigerator or freezer, allow them to cool and transfer them to a rectangular resealable container, placing wax paper between the layers so they don’t stick. To reheat, bake them 5 to 10 minutes more at 350F (177C).

Crispy Tofu Fingers, plato close up

Double Corn Cakes with Black Beans

Other, Vegetarian

Double Corn Cakes with Black Beans

Adapted from vegetariantimes.com

As I have stated before, polenta is a staple in an Argentinean’s pantry. Since the first time I had polenta I have loved it. This is a different take on polenta where you form it into corn fritters with some corn and egg. They pair wonderfully with the warm black bean salad. I really liked this dish and the corn cakes will definitely be on my mind to make in the future as a side dish for something else.

Yields 4 servings

Double Corn Cakes with Black Beans, corn cakes

Corn Cakes on the Griddle

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 ½ cups thawed frozen corn kernels, divided
  • 1 18-ounce tube pre-cooked polenta
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Double Corn Cakes with Black Beans, black beans

Black Beans Sizzling Away

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cumin and sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans, tomatoes with their juice and 1 cup of corn. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes or until heated through. Reduce heat to low to keep warm.
  2. Crumble the polenta into a microwaveable bowl and mash with a fork until nearly smooth. Add the remaining ½ cup of corn. Microwave 1 minute to soften the polenta. Stir. Add the beaten egg and fold into the polenta mixture until smooth.
  3. Grease a griddle and heat over medium-high heat. Shape the polenta into 8 1/3-cup cakes. Cook the corn cakes on the griddle 5 minutes per side or until golden brown.
  4. Serve the corn cakes over the black bean mixture.

 

Comments: Besides being delicious, this is also a very quick meal to make; it won’t take you more than 30 minutes. Instead of frozen corn you may also use fresh corn if you wish. When forming the cakes, the original recipe suggests gently flattening them with your palm. What I did was fill a 1/3 measuring cup with the polenta mixture and plopped the cakes directly onto the griddle from the cup. I did not flatten them in order to get some nice, thick cakes. (They also look very perfectly beautiful). The recipe says you should get 8 corn cakes; I got 9 so don’t fret if you don’t get exactly 8.