Pasta, Crispy Tofu and Green Bean Salad

by Jennifer

This pasta salad, from either Cooking Light or Eating Well (can’t remember!), is better at room temperature but can be eaten cold as well.  I’ve made a few changes to the original recipe;  it serves 4 – 6.

  • 14 oz package extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed using either paper towels, plates and something heavy, or the EZ-Tofu Press;  slice pressed tofu into cubes
  • 1 TBS neutral oil
  • 1 lb short whole wheat pasta, such as farfalle or penne
  • about 3 1/2 cups cut green beans, in about 2” pieces (roughly 13 – 14 oz)
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into four pieces, each piece halved crosswise and sliced into thin pieces
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions.

Five minutes before the pasta is ready to drain, add the green beans.  Drain when time is up and rinse pasta and green beans with cold water.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 1 TBS neutral oil in a nonstick (this is key) skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Cook tofu until crispy and golden on all sides.  Transfer tofu to paper towels to drain and cool.

In a small bowl whisk together the red wine vinegar through salt and pepper.

In a large bowl combine pasta, green beans, tomatoes, yellow pepper, basil and dressing.  Serve at room temperature or cold.

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Teriyaki Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables

by Jennifer

This was a quick weeknight spin on Stir-Fried Noodles, using a variety of vegetables from our CSA share this week, and using store-bought teriyaki sauce.  Once everything’s prepped (which you can do ahead of time, if you like), dinner comes together in minutes.  Serves 4.

  • 14 oz extra-firm tofu, pressed, cut into 1/2” cubes
  • 3 TBS neutral oil, divided
  • 8 oz brown rice noodles, soaked in hot water for 6 – 8 minutes, then drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 small – medium carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • about 10 oz bok choy (a small bunch), both leaves and stems thinly sliced
  • scant cup chopped scallions, greens and whites
  • 3/4 cup teriyaki sauce (I used Soy Vay’s Island Teriyaki)

Heat 1 TBS oil in a wok over medium-hight heat;  add tofu and cook, tossing occasionally, until tofu is golden and crispy on most-to-all sides.  Transfer tofu to a bowl.

Add another TBS oil to the wok and stir-fry garlic until fragrant;

add carrots and stir-fry for a minute or two.

Add peas and stir-fry for another minute.

Add bok choy and stif-fry until almost wilted.

Add scallions and stir-fry for another minute, then transfer vegetables to a bowl.

Heat last TBS oil in the wok and add the noodles, using two spatulas or tongs to toss for a few minutes.

Add tofu and vegetables to the wok, then add the teriyaki sauce and toss well to heat through and combine.  Serve hot.

Snow Pea, Cashew and Tofu Stir-Fry with Stir-Fried Rice with Broccoli Rabe

by Jennifer

This dinner was fantastic!  We couldn’t stop eating the snow peas, they were that good.  I will definitely make these recipes again.  Both are adaptations;  the stir-fry from Eating Well magazine, the rice from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.  I used one wok for everything, wiping it down after boiling the broccoli rabe and after making the rice (just kept the rice warm while I made the stir-fry).

Snow Pea, Cashew and Tofu Stir-Fry

While the tofu is being pressed, prep the rest of the ingredients.

  • 14 oz package extra-firm tofu
  • 3 TBS hoisin sauce
  • 2 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chili-garlic sauce
  • 2 TBS neutral high-heat oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 lbs snow peas, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup lightly salted cashew halves and pieces

Press tofu between two paper towel-lined plates, topped with something heavy (like a full tea kettle), for 30 minutes.

Slice tofu into 1/2” pieces.

Whisk together hoisin sauce, soy sauce and chili-garlic sauce in a small bowl.

Heat 1 TBS oil in a wok over moderately high heat;  add tofu and stir-fry until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes.  Transfer tofu to a plate and wipe the wok clean.

Heat remaining 1 TBS oil and add the onions and garlic and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Add snow peas and continue to stir-fry until they’re bright green, about 3 – 4 minutes.

Add the tofu, cashews and sauce to the wok,

tossing everything until it’s hot and coated with the sauce.

Stir-Fried Rice with Broccoli Rabe

Cook the rice (ideally in a rice cooker) ahead of time, even the day or two ahead;

spread it out on a baking sheet to cool, then refrigerate until you’re ready to make the dish.  This is a great non-Italian way to use that broccoli rabe from your CSA or farmer’s market!

  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, large stems removed
  • 3 TBS neutral high-heat oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 1 bunch scallions, whites and half of greens, thinly sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 cups cooked and cooled brown rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 TBS low-sodium soy sauce

Bring salted water in a wok to a boil and boil the broccoli rabe for 5 minutes.

Drain, and when cool enough to handle squeeze out any remaining water and chop.  Wipe wok dry.

Heat oil in the wok over moderately-high heat, then add scallions, garlic and cilantro, stir-frying for 1 minute.

Add rice and broccoli rabe, stir-frying for a few minutes.

Stir together the eggs and soy sauce;

make a well in the middle of the rice, pour the egg/soy mixture into the well,

then quickly stir-fry everything until the rice is all coated with egg and everything’s hot.

West Indian Rice and Peas with Tempeh, Avocado Ahdi

by Jennifer

This dinner was part of a Caribbean-themed meal I made for our friends Jill and Bob, which began with rum punch and fried plantains, and ended with bananas foster.  It was 97 degrees today and the kids and I went to the beach (my husband stayed home with the puppy), so a cold glass of rum punch and this meal with friends was the perfect way to end it.  Both of these absolutely fantastic recipes come directly from the fabulous cookbook, Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant.

West Indian Rice and Peas with Tempeh – serves 4 – 6

  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened grated coconut
  • 2 1/2 TBS vegetable oil
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas, soaked for at least 5 hours OR 2 cups fresh black-eyed peas
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 8 oz. tempeh, cubed
  • generous pinch of fennel seeds (recipe calls for ground fennel seeds;  honestly, by the time I made this I was working on my second glass of rum punch and just tossed the seeds in….and it was still wonderful)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 scallions, chopped

In a medium heavy pot, heat the 2 1/2 TBS vegetable oil over medium, then cook the rice and coconut, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes.

Add the water and cinnamon stick, cover the pot and turn the heat to high.  When steam comes out from the edges of the lid, turn heat to medium-low and simmer,

without ever lifting the lid, for 40 minutes.  Discard cinnamon stick.

Meanwhile, bring another medium pot full of salted water to a boil, and

cook the peas (drain and rinse, first, if they’ve been soaking) and bay leaves until the peas are tender, about 30 minutes.

Drain and discard bay leaves.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the 1/4 cup oil, then cook the onion and garlic until the onions become soft, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the cayenne pepper.

Stir in the red and green pepper, tempeh, fennel seeds, salt and pepper and cook, covered and stirring occasionally,

until the tempeh is golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Combine everything – the rice, peas, tempeh mixture, and serve sprinkled with scallions.

Avocado Ahdi – serves 4

  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 10 Spanish olives, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Tabasco or other hot sauce, to taste
  • chopped fresh cilantro for serving

Combine red pepper through Tabasco in a bowl.

Slice avocados in half, discarding pit, and carefully scoop out flesh, leaving shells intact.

Finely chop avocado flesh and add it to the bowl, stirring gently to combine everything well.  Generously fill each avocado shell with the mixture, and sprinkle with cilantro.

Herbed Tofu and Vegetable Saute

by Jennifer

This recipe, adapted from Mollie Katzen’s Still Life with Menu cookbook, is great:  fast, light, fresh, healthy and delicious.

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 – 6 garlic cloves, depending on size, chopped, divided
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 lb. broccoli, cut into florets
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, stems removed or trimmed, sliced
  • 14 oz. package firm tofu, drained, cut into about 1/2” cubes
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat.  Cook onions, half of the garlic, and salt for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add broccoli and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes,

or until the broccoli turns a deeper shade of green.

Add the tofu through pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 – 6 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender.

Add the remaining garlic and cook for another minute or so, then stir in the cheese until it melts and serve.

Tempeh Sloppy Joes, Creamy Cole Slaw, and Potato Chips

by Jennifer

The Sloppy Joes are an adaptation of a recipe found in Soy! Soy! Soy! by Jeanette Parsons Egan, and are delicious.  My oldest son, who has forsworn tofu and tempeh “until I turn 18”, actually had two helpings!  Though I have fond memories of eating tator tots with traditional Sloppy Joes as a child, we’re currently fans of Utz reduced-fat potato chips.

Tempeh Sloppy Joes – serves 4 – 6

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 lb. soy tempeh, crumbled
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • couple dashes of hot sauce
  • Whole wheat hamburger buns

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Saute onions, green pepper, garlic and celery until tender, about 8 – 10 minutes.

Stir in the dry mustard and thyme, cooking for 1 minute.

Add tempeh through hot sauce, lower heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 – 20 minutes.

If it’s too thick for your liking, add a little water.  Serve on hamburger buns.

Creamy Cole Slaw – adapted from Bobby Flay by way of Foodnetwork.com

Serves 4.

  • 10 oz. package of finely shredded green cabbage
  • 1 large carrot, finely shredded
  • scant 2/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 TBS sour cream or non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 TBS grated onion
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 1 TBS white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whisk together mayonnaise through pepper.

Toss with cabbage and carrot in a large bowl until well-combined.

Tofu Steaks with Tomato-Olive Sauce over Whole Wheat Penne, Cauliflower with Capers

by Jennifer

Tofu is not just for Asian cooking!  The sauce can be made up to a day ahead.  After cooking the cauliflower in the skillet, wipe it clean and use it to pan-fry the tofu.  This dinner serves 4.

Tofu Steaks with Tomato-Olive Sauce over Whole Wheat Penne – adapted from Cooking Light

  • 13.25 oz. package whole wheat penne
  • 3 TBS olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 14 oz. package extra-firm tofu, pressed if you like, sliced into 4 equal portions and patted very dry

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.

In a large skillet, heat 1 TBS olive oil over medium heat, then add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes and let sauce simmer for 10 minutes.

Add olives and let cook for another minute or two.

Remove from heat and add parsley and black pepper.  If you’re not making the sauce ahead and would like to only use one skillet, transfer sauce to a smaller pot to keep warm and rinse out pan to use for the cauliflower and then the tofu.

Cook penne according to package directions until al dente;  drain.  Meanwhile, heat 2 TBS olive oil over medium heat in the skillet until it shimmers.

Add tofu and cook, turning once, until both sides are golden brown, about 4 minutes or so per side.  Divide penne among 4 plates, top with a slice of tofu, and top that with sauce.

Cauliflower with Capers – adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 lemon, sliced in half cross-wise
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 TBS chopped parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp capers, drained
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Fill a large pot about half-way full of water, add 1/2 lemon, and bring to a boil.

Cook cauliflower in boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain and discard lemon half.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then cook the cauliflower for 6 minutes, until crisp-tender and slightly charred in places.

Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

Transfer cauliflower and garlic to a bowl and add the juice of the remaining lemon half, parsley, capers and salt, tossing well.