Sweet and Spicy Curried Tofu Taco Lettuce Wraps

Sweet and Spicy Curried Tofu Taco Lettuce Wraps

With ingredients like hot Jamaican yellow curry, cooling cucumber and mint tzatziki sauce, Asian slaw and sweet pineapple- these tacos are infused with flavor that’s bursting at the seams! And they’re gluten free! The Hot Jamaican Yellow Curry Hot Sauce used in this recipe from my good friend, Cowboy George, at Blaze Gourmet, will have you running home crying for yo momma. That’s where the fresh mint leaves and tzatziki come into play. Without them, you might really run home crying to yo momma.

Also, follow these tips on how to freeze and thaw tofu to achieve the best texture and flavor. Don’t skip this step. It’ll give you the best tasting tofu you’ve ever had!

What you will need:
oil for sauteing
1 lb extra firm tofu
1/2 c yellow curry sauce (I recommend Trader Joe’s Yellow Curry Sauce)
1/4 c Blaze Gourmet Hot Jamaican Curry Hot Sauce
Asian coleslaw (you can buy this prepackaged at just about any grocery store. Most of them already have the Asian slaw dressing included. If not, look for an Asian ginger salad dressing)
canned pineapple tidbits, drained

tzatziki sauce
red onion, sliced
fresh mint leaves
romaine lettuce leaves

First, follow these tips on how to freeze, thaw and drain tofu. Crumble the tofu into a scrambled egg consistency and fry in a greased frying pan over medium heat, letting the tofu get crispy on the outside. Mix the two different curry sauces in a bowl and add to the frying pan, making sure to coat every piece of tofu in the sauce. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, mix together the ingredients for the Asian slaw. Then, start filling your romaine lettuce leaves, starting with tzatziki, then the curried tofu, Asian slaw, red onion, pineapple tidbits, and mint leaves. Serve with tequila for your next Taco Tuesday night!

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Cauliflower Bread Sticks

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My first attempt at making cauliflower bread sticks has been a total SUCCESS! I wanted to come up with a gluten free, grain free, crust that my grandma can enjoy for the holidays (she has celiac disease and gluten is a no-no). This recipe is still a work in progress (I have a second batch baking in the oven for pizza right now), so bare with me. I’m still experimenting with cooking time, temperature and even the consistency of the cauliflower (should I make it more of a “rice” consistency? I don’t know). But I guarantee that these cauliflower bread sticks are amazing no matter what!

What you will need:
Food processor, mixing bowl, large pot for steaming, baking sheet
1 small head of cauliflower (it weighed just over a pound at the store)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1  c cheese (I used fresh Asiago, Parmesan and mozzarella)
about 1/4 c fresh basil, shredded
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
butter to coat the baking sheet

Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease the baking sheet with butter. Chop or break the cauliflower into small florets and add to the food processor. Blend the cauliflower until it is smooth (well, as smooth as you can get it). Steam the cauliflower for 5-7 minutes and set aside to let cool. Once it has cooled, make sure to squeeze out any excess water in the cauliflower, otherwise, your bread sticks won’t stick together or crisp up as nicely. In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg. Again, strain any excess water from the cauliflower, add it to the mixing bowl along with the cheese, Italian seasoning, fresh basil, crushed red pepper, garlic and salt and stir. Form into 1/4- 1/2 inch thick bread sticks and bake for 40 minutes or longer until the edges are golden brown and the bread sticks are firm and stay together. Dip them in marinara sauce or olive oil and balsamic vinegar with herbs or eat them just as they are. Serve to your friends and see if they can tell the difference between the cauliflower bread sticks and the real thing!

Egg-cellent Fried Egg, Goat Cheese, and Fresh Herb Kale Wrap

Egg-cellent Fried Egg, Goat Cheese, and Fresh Herb Kale Wrap

Initially, this recipe wasn’t intended for a blog post (hence the low quality cell phone picture). I was just hungry and needed a good breakfast void of a lot of carbs but high in protein. I also need to use up the massive amount of kale in my fridge. And goat cheese. Oh my gosh, goat cheese. I used honey goat cheese for this recipe, but really, any type of cheese will do. Makes one serving.

What you will need:
2 eggs
butter for frying
1 large kale leaf
honey goat cheese, crumbled
fresh herbs (i used rosemary. basil, dill and thyme are a couple of good ones, just too name a few)

Warm a frying pan on medium- low heat and coat it in butter. Slowly and carefully crack the eggs directly into the pan, letting the whites pour out first. If the pan is hot enough, the whites will begin to set and keep the yolk centered. Cover the eggs with a lid and continue to cook. They are done when the whites are set and the outer edges are just starting to curl up. I didn’t time this part, but I’m guessing it takes about 4-5 minutes or so. Lay out the kale flat on a plate and carefully transfer the eggs from the pan to the piece of kale. Top with crumbled honey goat cheese (or your choice of cheese), fresh herbs and maybe some scallions, too. Enjoy!

Cucumber Cups- Vegan with Roasted Corn Salad and Vegetarian with Goat Cheese and Pickled Beets

Cucumber Cups- Vegan with Roasted Corn Salad and Vegetarian with Goat Cheese and Pickled Beets

This is actually a recipe for two different types cucumber cups; one is vegetarian with goat cheese, pickled beets, heirloom tomatoes, red onion, celery and arugula. The other is vegan with a corn salad made of Tofutti cream cheese, roasted corn, purple sweet peppers, red onion, celery and heirloom tomatoes. Cucumber cups make great finger food for parties and gatherings. I will admit, these are a little time consuming to make, but so worth it. All of the ingredients can be prepped the night before, just make sure to keep the salad separate from the cucumbers. Otherwise, you’ll end up with watered down, soggy cucumbers (gross!). One cucumber will make about 10 cups. this recipe is for 20.

What you will need:
a mandolin slicer and a melon baler (if you don’t have either, a knife will work just fine.)

Vegetarian Cucumber Cups with Goat Cheese:
1 large cucumber
1 1/2 c arugula
1 jar of sliced, pickled beets
about half a package of small heirloom tomatoes, cut in half
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced with a mandolin
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced with a mandolin
fresh dill
fresh parsley
2 oz goat cheese
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Cut cucumbers to about 3/4- 1 inch thick (you won’t want them any larger than that. It’ll make them harder to eat as finger food. Ask me how I know). Use a melon baler or knife to hollow out the cucumber bowl, making sure to take as much cucumber off of the sides of the bowl, while still keeping the bottom in tact (this is also very important. the thicker the sides of the cucumber, the harder it will be to eat).

Then, in a salad bowl, combine arugula, dill, parsley, goat cheese, red onion, celery and balsamic vinegar and and mix until everything is coated in goat cheese and balsamic vinegar. Place into cucumber cups and top with a pickled beet slice and heirloom tomato halves. Arrange on a plate and serve.

Vegan Cucumber Cups with Roasted Corn Salad:
1 cucumber
2 ears of sweet corn
2 spoonfuls of Tufutti cream cheese (about 1/3 of the package)
1 sweet pepper, thinly sliced with a mandolin
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced with a mandolin
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced with a mandolin
about half a package of small heirloom tomatoes, cut into 4ths
fresh dill
juice of half a lemon
a tsp or less of extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit, and roast both ears of corn for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. While the corn is roasting, prep your cucumbers as explained in the recipe above.

In a salad bowl, combine Tufutti cream cheese, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and mix. Then, add sweet pepper, celery, heirloom tomatoes, red onion, and dill. Once the corn has cooled, remove the kernels with a knife and mix all of the ingredients together. Fill cucumber cups, arrange on a plate and serve.

Tofu Salad- Vegan Faux Egg Salad

Tofu Salad- Vegan Faux Egg Salad

This vegan twist on egg salad will have your taste buds dancing. Crisp, flavorful veggies and fresh herbs really give this dish a bright and delicious flavor. This recipe yields quite a bit of tofu salad, so if you aren’t feeding a lot of people or don’t plan on eating it for days on end, it’s really easy to cut the recipe in half.

What you will need:
2 packages of 14 oz extra firm tofu drained and pressed
2 celery stalks cut into 3rds lengthwise and chopped
1 c chopped red onion
1 large carrot cut into 4ths lengthwise and chopped
1 garlic clove chopped
1/2 c chopped parsley
dill to taste (I usually end up using a lot. dill is one of my favorite herbs)
1/2 c vegenaise
a generous splash of Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids
1/8- 1/4 c yellow mustard
2 spoonfuls of whole grain dijon mustard
juice of half a lemon

In large mixing bowl, crumble drained tofu into the consistency of scrambled eggs with a fork or your hands. Add all chopped veggies and herbs, along with all your liquid ingredients and mix. Spread over multigrain bread for a delicious sandwich or stuff into mini sweet peppers for a quick, finger food snack.

Mini Shiitake Mushroom and Black Bean Chipotle Hummus Sliders

Mini Shiitake Mushroom and Black Bean Chipotle Hummus Sliders

If you made yesterday’s spicy black bean chipotle hummus, you might be wondering what to do with the leftovers (if there are any!). Here’s a simple, quick and delicious gourmet vegan dish you can make in under 10 minutes.
With pita, I’ll keep it in the freezer and when I’m ready to use it, I’ll use tongs to toast it over an open flame on my stove top. Otherwise, I’d forget I even had it and let it all go stale (it happens too often).

What you will need:
shiitake mushrooms
mini pita rounds
spicy black bean chipotle hummus
red onion
cucumber
kale (i used red kale because it’s so darn pretty)
earth balance buttery spread for sauteing (or olive oil)

Clean and remove stems from shiitake mushrooms. In medium size pan, heat earth balance on a medium/low heat and add shiitake mushrooms. Cook for about 8 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Toast pita on the stove top and spread the chipotle black bean hummus on it, then layer the shiitake mushrooms, red onion, kale and cucumber on top. Great to share with friends or have as a meal all to yourself.