Monthly Archives: May 2013

Kung Pao Tofu

I know I say this a lot, but this is my new favorite way to enjoy tofu.  Yes.  Tofu.  Tofu is the chameleon of vegan foods, taking on the flavors of whatever you cook with it, while providing a nice texture your mouth will enjoy.  This recipe was inspired by the clearance corner of the local grocery store.  It’s located right next to the produce department–very, very convenient for this vegan!  Anyway, a recent visit produced a variety of Asian sauces and marinades, including a Kung Pao sauce.  Kung Pao has always been a favorite Chinese take-out option, so why not try it at home?  With tofu.  Oh, yeah, yum-o-palooza!

yum1

I Googled around and found most Kung Pao recipes had peppers, onions and squash–staples of my vegan fridge.  I also had a bit of broccoli and a head of cauliflower.  Essentially, this is a stir-fry of whatever veggies you have, Kung Pao sauce and usually peanuts.  I used cashews instead.  Here’s what was in my recent Kung Pao, cut all veggies to a similar size–about 1 inch.

ingredients

  • 2 bell peppers (different colors), diced 
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • broccoli
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1/4-1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 1 package firm or extra firm tofu
  • Kung Pao sauce–enough to coat the veggies
  • 1/4-1/2 cup cashews

Squeeze moisture from tofu and dice.

cut tofu into cubes

 

Lightly spray a large fry pan or wok with cooking spray and saute tofu until golden.

saute tofu til golden

Set tofu aside and add peppers and onion to the pan.  Saute until onions start to caramelize–about 5 minutes.

saute peppers and onions

Add the rest of the veggies to the pan and  saute until tender-crisp, another 5-10 minutes.

add squash cauliflower and broccoli

Gently add tofu back to the pan, avoiding breaking it up.

add tofu back

Add cashews, gently stir to combine.

add cashews

Add enough sauce to coat the veggies and tofu.  I used about half the jar.

add sauce

Serve over rice.  How pretty is this?!  The pre-made sauce makes this company-worthy meal quick and easy.  And taste?  Yum-o-palooza!  I liked it just like this, but Michael added some hot sauce to kick up the heat.  Red pepper flake would be awesome as well, or a sambal chile sauce.  Mmmmmmm.

yum2

 

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Filed under dairy-free, dinner, Garden produce, recipe, Vegetarian

Spreadable White Bean Dip

Hummus just got multi-purpose.  Well, hummus has always been spreadable and dip-able, but make it with white beans, and it becomes almost mayo-esque.  You know, that extra little bit of flavor that really makes a sandwich yummy, but doesn’t try to take over the sandwich filling.  The perfect veggie dipper as-is or with whatever fresh chopped herbs inspire you….dill?  Oh yeah.  How about adding rosemary and topping a baked potato?  Are you feeling the versatility?  You’ll want some in your fridge at all times.

store in a jar

How simple are these ingredients?!

ingredients

  • 2 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed–retain the liquid from one can to adjust the texture
  • 2 small lemons, juiced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Place beans, lemon juice, and garlic in a food processor.

all in the processor

Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides and adding bean liquid as needed to smooth out the spread and attain a velvety texture.  Taste it and add salt and pepper as needed.

process until smooth

Spread on a flat bread, top with veggies of your choice and lunch is served!  Yummy!

sandwich spread

Store in a sealed container in the fridge.  I added some to a tabbouleh instead of the oil suggested–even better!  How will you use YOUR spread?

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Filed under appetizer, dairy-free, lunch, recipe, snack, Vegetarian