Tag Archives: tofu

Chocolate Silk Pie with Cashew Crust and Tofu Whipped Cream

I was mad craving chocolate the other day (what else is new), and was casually browsing through the dessert section of my vegan cookbooks (aka salivating at the glorious professional photographs of food porn).  I stumbled upon this intriguing recipe, which I noticed had chocolate.  And cashews.  And tofu (the secret ingredient).  And vanilla extract and maple syrup.  And did I mention chocolate?

Came home from work today with a few hours to spare, something you always need when you’re deciding whether or not to bake, and decided to just go for it.  Twas a delightful endeavor, totes worth it.

Before I start, I should emphasize that you betta looooove chocolate if you’re planning to make this.  Because I have some crazy people that happen to be related to me that aren’t “chocolate fans” (I won’t name any names), and that was their complaint about this dessert.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

For the crust:

  • 1/2 c raw whole cashews
  • 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp neutral cooking oil
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 1.5 c semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1.5 firm silken tofu (I used Mori-Nu from whole foods)
  • 3/4 c pure maple syrup
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 container extra-firm silken tofu
  • 1/4 c pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c apple juice
  • 1 tbsp agar agar flakes (we’ll get to this later) (basically it’s a vegetarian gelatin that I didn’t use but should have: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agar)
  • pinch of salt

Start with the crust.  Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Lightly coat in 9-in pie dish with oil.  Pulse the cashews in a food processor until finely ground (our food processor is mysteriously missing, so I had to use a mortar and pestle.  good times).  Stir the ground cashews and the flour in a large bowl to blend.  Whisk the oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl to blend.  Stir the oil mixture into the cashew-flour mixture to blend.

Press the mixture into the prepared pie dish.  Bake until the crust is set and pale golden around the edges, about 20 minutes.  Then decrease the oven to 325

Filling: While the crust is baking, stir the chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 10-15 minutes.  Puree the tofu, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt in a food processor until smooth.  Blend in the melted chocolate, making sure the mixture is well-blended (not too lumpy).  Pour the chocolate mixture into the prebaked pie crust.

Bake until the edges puff and dry but the rest of the filling is glossy, about 45 minutes.  Don’t worry if the edge of the crust looks a little crumbly (it will be but the rest of the crust is fine), and if the filling is still jiggling after baking.  Refrigerate the pie for at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

While it’s refrigerating, you can start making the tofu whipped cream!

So usually I try and be crafty when I’m cooking/baking and purposely don’t include ingredients that I either don’t like or sound expensive and fancy.  Like agar agar flakes.  For some reason the sound of them reminded me of fish food.  No thanks.  Turns out they’re like super necessary to give the whipped cream the right consistency.  Of course you need the weird, exotic ingredient to make it work.   Of course.  So my whipped cream was basically watery tofu with some sugar, but it wasn’t bad.

Here’s what you’re supposed to do.  Blend the tofu, maple syrup, and vanilla in a food processor until creamy and smooth.  Then combine the juice, agar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until the agar dissolves.  Immediately blend the hot agar mixture into the tofu mixture, and transfer to a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Chocolate silk pacman!

Okay, this might not win the aesthetic appeal award.  It may not look so good, but it is light and chocolatey and fantastic, trussst.

Whipped cream? More like tofu juice.

A slice of the moist pie with the tofu juice.  I mean, if that’s doesn’t sound appetizing to you, I don’t know what would be…

This treat also can be enjoyed with (vanilla) coconut milk!

 

 

Sesame Tofu Frittata with Asparagus

I’m going to give a little disclaimer and let you know that attempting to make this actually didn’t work out so well for me.  Usually I just try and pretend that the  failed recipes I don’t include on here never really happened, but I’ll let someone else try and make this correctly because it has a lot of potential to be awesome.

Also, I took the shiitake mushrooms out of this because yuck.  But if fungi are your thing, by all means throw them in.

  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchstick-size strips (I cut mine way too huge… the smaller the better)
  • 3 scallions, sliced diagonally
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 container firm tofu, drained
  • 1/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 c unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 7 oz fresh asparagus

This takes a while, so be prepared.

Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Heat the sesame oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add the carrots, scallions, 1/2 of the garlic, and sesame seeds and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the soy sauce and set aside.

Blend the tofu, flour, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, salt, turmeric, and remaining garlic in a food processor until smooth.  With the machine running, slowly add the soy milk and olive oil.  Process until thick.

Heat a heavy nonstick pan over medium heat.  Spoon the carrots, scallions, and garlic onto the pan, and pour the tofu mixture on top of that.  Cover and cook until the tofu begins to simmer in the center.  Decrease the heat to low and continue cooking for about 8 minutes.

Thennn you’re supposed bake it for 45 minutes.  But I decided to try and be crafty and just cook it for a really long time. That was a poor decision.  As was not using a nonstick pan.

For the asparagus topping, just place them on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and set in oven for about 10 minutes.  Then throw it on top of the frittata, so it looks approximately like this:

And it was good! But not baked through at all, obviously, since I cooked it instead (rookie mistake, right?).  I still definitely recommend this dish, especially as an additional egg/omelette-replacer in the morning.  It’s flavorful and hearty, which I like for breakfast.  Enjoy!!!

 

 

Scrambled Tofu: Part Two

I was strapped for time today, and after a hurried run to Trader Joe’s and picking up some tofu, I decided to try out Alicia’s version of tofu scramble, a staple in the vegan diet.

It came as a pleasant surprise! Although I love the cheesy, rich flavor of the one I did before by Ann Gentry, this dish was more subtle and had hints of Asian fusion with the sesame seed oil, soy sauce, and green onions.  The best part about this recipe, though, was that it took less than ten minutes to throw together! And my theme this week is all about quick and dirty preparation, but gooood food.

All you need is…

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 c chopped mixed veggies (e.g., leeks, broccoli, zucchini, sugar snap peas, corn, onion, carrots, cabbage)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 package of firm, organic tofu
  • 1/8 c toasted seeds (I used sunflower, sesame and pumpkin are good too)
  • chopped fresh scallions or cilantro for garnish
Heat the oil in a skillet and, when hot, add the vegetables.  Saute until tender, about 5 minutes.  Season the veggies with soy sauce and salt.  Add the tofu and cook until heated through, about two minutes.  Add more seasoning to taste.  Serve sprinkled with the seeds, scallions, or cilantro.
This is what you get!

I promise there’s tofu and zucchini hiding under the mass of sunflower seeds and green onion! Enjoy this lovely Asian-style tofu scramble, which works great for any meal of the day.

Kung Pao Tofu and Vegetables

If you’re looking to make an Asian-inspired entree that everyone, guaranteed, will like, this is what you should go with.  It has three parts: rice, tofu, and vegetable stir fry.  Fairly simple prep and ingredients, my only suggestion would be to get started on the rice, tofu marinade, and vegetable chopping very early on (a couple of hours before meal time), so things will run much smoother.

Rice:

  • 1.5 c brown rice
  • 3 c water
Tofu:
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/3 c water
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 container extra-firm tofu, cut into 3/4 inch cubes

Stir-Fry:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 1-in dice
  • 1/2 head broccoli, trimmed into florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 3/4 in dice
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into half-moons
  • 5 oz sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1.5 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp water

 

As I said, get started early on the rice (I just use the rice cooker on the brown rice setting).  It should take at least an hour and a half before the rice is ready.

After that, you can get started making the subtle spicy/sweet marinade for the tofu.  Find a casserole dish or shallow pan, and whisk together the soy sauce, water, maple syrup, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, chili powder, paprika, crushed red pepper, and salt to blend.  Add the tofu cubes and toss gently to coat.  Don’t toss too vigorously or the tofu will break apart – if necessary, turn over some pieces so that they are covered with the sauce.  Allow it to marinate for at least a half-hour before stir-frying.  I covered mine and put it in the fridge for a while.

This is where I got started chopping vegetables, and also had a dance party in the kitchen with my nine-year-old sister (she’s a much better dancer than I am).  She reintroduced me to a favorite song at that age:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-u5WLJ9Yk4

Once the rice is almost done, you can get started stir-frying.  This works awesomely if you have a wok, like my family randomly has, but I know that most people don’t.  You can use a heavy saute pan instead.  Over medium-high heat, heat the coconut oil, onion, broccoli, bell pepper, carrot, and snap peas and stir-fry until the veggies are crisp and tender.  That should take about 2 minutes.  Stir in the tofu, its marinade, and the cornstarch mixture and stir-fry until the sauce thickens slightly and the tofu is heated through, which should take about 3 minutes.

You’re done! Doesn’t it look great?

Enjoy with rice and mango/peach juice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Notorious Tofu Scramble

This is probably the best vegan dish I can make to date.  Like, I would have it for breakfast every day if I could.  Besides tasting awesome and being super easy to prepare and clean up, it’s a great recipe for people who aren’t vegan and want to ease into it, or even people who are staunchly not vegan.  What’s amazing to me about this tofu scramble is that it tastes just as good, if not better, than scrambled eggs.  It has a rich flavor and lots of room for variety if you want to try adding other crazy ingredients.

I used the same cookbook that I did for the grilled cheese, one by Ann Gentry, who is definitely worth checking out: http://www.realfood.com/about/ann-gentry-founder.  She is the founder of Real Food Daily and has multiple restaurants and cookbooks and interesting perspectives on the culture of food. Her cookbook has the most flavorful, somewhat offbeat, and delicious recipes I’ve made in my vegan cooking endeavors thus far.  The only sacrifices you may have to make are with time (who knew that tofu needs multiple hours to be drained?) and obtaining pricey, somewhat obscure ingredients that you can only really find at a Whole Foods or other health food stores.

So worth it though, I promise.

Here goes!

  • 1 (14-oz) container of firm tofu (get FIRM, not extra-firm or silken.  you need the right texture, trust me)
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper

Optional but highly recommended ingredients:

  • vegan sausage
  • nondairy cheddar-style cheese, grated
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked, drained and sliced

Drain the tofu and then wrap in paper towels and set aside on a plate for 10 minutes.  Rewrap with dry paper towels and gently squeeze out excess water. Coarsely break the tofu into about one-inch pieces, allowing for some pieces to crumble more than others, and set in a small bowl.  In a larger bowl, whisk together the water, 1 tbsp of the olive oil, the nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, thyme, cumin, turmeric and white pepper to blend.  Add the tofu and toss just enough for it to absorb the seasonings.

By the way, this is nutritional yeast.  You can find it at Whole Foods in the section where there are lots of plastic baggies and weird flours and seeds and miscellaneous ingredients.  It gives the tofu scramble a cheesy flavor and bright yellow color.

Next, heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  This is when I cooked the vegan sausage for about three minutes, which you are free to skip.  I think that it adds a really nice texture and spicy tang and actually tastes better than meat sausage!  This is the brand I used:

After that’s heated, again, the sausage should take about three minutes, add the tofu scramble and stir gently for about five minutes.  Then, either on low heat or no heat at all you can add the grated cheese and stir it around so it will melt right in.  I really recommend Daiya.  It really does melt and stretch!

Other super yummy ingredients that work well to put in here are the avocado, onion, and/or sun-dried tomatoes.

Here’s the final product!

Beware of the bright yellow stain this leaves behind.  Otherwise, enjoy!!!