Archive for the ‘tofu’ Category

Fried Tofu and/or Tempeh

This is a simple way to fry tofu and/or tempeh. It is adapted from a recipe that is included on the packaging for Westsoy’s tempeh products:

8 ounces of tofu and/or tempeh, cut into strips or cubes
4 tablespoon of margarine
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of coriander
2 tablespoons of tamari

Mix the margarine, garlic powder, and coriander together in a skillet and heat over medium heat.  When the margarine starts to sizzle, add the tamari and mix it in with the margarine.  When the margarine and tamari mixture starts to sizzle, add the tofu and/or tempeh and fry until most (or all) of the margarine and tamari has been absorbed.

I like to eat the fried tofu and/or tempeh on sandwiches and salads. Here is a picture of a (homegrown) salad with fried tempeh on top:

Vegan BLTs, a.k.a. TLTs

Sunday I made vegan BLTs for the first time.

For the bacon I consulted several vegan bacon recipes online and ended up doing the following: I cut 8 oz. of extra firm tofu into sixteen 1/4 inch thick strips, then I fried the strips in a little vegetable oil over medium heat until they started to become crispy, then I added one tablespoon of liquid smoke and one tablespoon of tamari, and then I fried them until the liquids were absorbed and the strips were definitely crispy. Here is how they looked when they were done cooking:

For the mayonnaise I followed a recipe from Robin Robertson’s Vegan Planet, which used our friend silken tofu as the main ingredient, with some vinegar, peanut oil, and agave nectar added. Here is a picture of a slice of bread with the mayonnaise and bacon on it:

Both the bacon and the tofu ended up tasting and feeling very much like their meat- and egg-derived counterparts, a pleasant repeat of my good experience with the vegan gyros. I just added some tomato and lettuce and voila! A nice TLT (tofu, lettuce, and tomato) sandwich:

Vegan Gyros

Today I made vegan gyros for the first time. They turned out quite well and more gyro-ish than I expected.

First, I made some vegan feta cheese following a recipe I found online:

Basically, it’s marinated tofu, and basically, it tasted like marinated tofu. That’s not a problem for me since I like marinated tofu, but this didn’t taste much like feta to me, and it really didn’t feel like feta at all. It was good, but not in a feta-esque way.

Next I made some vegan tzatziki sauce, following another recipe I found online:

Oooo, this was really good. It tasted very similar to “real” tzatziki sauce, although it was a bit thicker than any tzatziki sauce I’ve had before. I didn’t know that if you ran silken tofu through a blender it ended up with a consistency like that of sour cream. Live and learn.

For the meat I cut up some Field Roast Co. vegan Italian sausages and pan fried them in olive oil:

This worked even better than I expected. The feel of the fried sausages was amazingly similar to that of gyro meat, and the Italian sausage flavor fit in surprisingly well with the other gyro indgredients.

I put the meat, sauce, and feta on a pita, added some sliced onion and chopped tomato, and voila! A vegan gyro:

It really does look like a “real” gyro, doesn’t it? And it tasted pretty much like one too, much more so than I was expecting. Usually vegan versions of carnivorous dishes don’t taste much like the dishes they are imitating, although sometimes they taste good in their own way. (And sometimes they just taste awful.) Of all the vegan imitation dishes I have made this is the one that turned out the most similar to the carnivorous dish it was imitating.

For what it’s worth, I estimate that it cost about $3.00 to make one of these gyros. That’s a pretty good price for a gyro, certainly lower than I’ve ever paid for one in a restaurant. And for those who (needlessly) worry about protein in vegetarian and vegan diets, I estimate that each of these gyros has about 40 grams of protein: 25g from the sausage, 8g from the pita, and about 7g from the tofu in the feta and tzatziki sauce. The last time I checked the daily RDA of protein is 46g for adult women and 56g for adult men, so 40g is quite a lot.

Improvised Asian Soup

This is what I made for dinner last night. I didn’t follow a recipe, I just improvised. It turned out pretty good.

4 cups of water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of tamari
4 dried oyster mushrooms, ground up in a coffee grinder
2 big pinches of dried wakame seaweed
1 green onion, chopped
2 ounces of tofu, cubed

I just brought the water to a boil and added all of the ingredients in the order listed above. It made enough for two big helpings of soup, one for dinner last night and one for lunch today.

I think I’ll try making some variations on this soup, such as substituting different kinds of mushrooms for the oyster mushrooms, or using less vegetable bouillon, or adding a little bit of chili paste. The possibilities are endless.

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