Tofu Scramble and Mushrooms

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This is an ideal breakfast dish for the weekends or days when you want something more filling than oats. You can use different tofu flavours like smoked tofu or nut tofus  or even a softer tofu but I used plain, hard tofu here as it crumbles well and takes on the flavour of the onions and peppers well.

Ingredients

Serves 2 with toast and fried mushrooms

Half a block of hard tofu crumbled

Half a red pepper thinly sliced

Half a large onion very thinly sliced

A quarter clove of garlic crushed

A sprinkle of dried oregano or marjoram

A tablespoon of olive oil

Salt and black pepper to taste

Heat the oil gently in a frying pan and add the onions, peppers and garlic. Sweat down for about 5 minutes then add the crumbled tofu, herbs and seasoning. Meanwhile make the toast and fry the mushrooms in a separate pan. Cook the scramble until the vegetables are soft. Spread the toast thinly with non-dairy spread or hummus and serve with the tofu scramble and mushrooms.

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Tofu, Mushroom and Spinach Burritos with Raw Corn Salsa

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Burritos are a really quick midweek meal. I fry the filling in a cast iron pan which retains the heat evenly so you can cook your veg quickly without burning and while retaining their juiciness. You can use peppers, tempeh, other green veg like Pak Choy…just about anything will work. I used oyster mushrooms but any kind will work.

The fresh, corn salsa is my favourite part of this meal. I also love pineapple salsa.

Serves 2
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 10 minutes

Ingredients
For the filling
Half a packet of tofu cut into small chunks
A medium onion thickly sliced
A large handful of oyster mushrooms left chunky
A large handful of washed spinach leaves sliced
A crushed clove of garlic
Half a teaspoon of ground coriander
Half a teaspoon of ground cumin
Half a teaspoon of ground chilli
A tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the salsa
Two ears of raw, fresh corn
Two medium tomatoes
Two spring onions
Quarter clove of garlic
Two whole red chillies
A handful of fresh coriander
A teaspoon of lemon juice
Salt and per to taste

Heat the oil in a caste iron pan until it is hot. Add the onions and tofu with the garlic and spices. Stir continuously for a few minutes until onion are cooked but not soft. Add mushrooms and spinach. Stir for another two minutes and season.

Meanwhile place all salsa ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Season to taste.

Heat 4 tortillas. When warm fill with the burrito filling, fold and top with the salsa.

Malaysian Tofu Laksa

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Laksa is a spicy, coconutty, noodle soup. We travelled in Malaysia shortly after becoming vegan. Laksa was the best of Malaysian food and we were lucky to find a tiny vegan café in Malacca where they sold it in huge steaming bowls for less than a euro. It was some of the best vegan food we had eaten. Like many Asian soups, the secret is in the garnish which introduces bags of freshness to compliment the rich spiciness of the broth.

If you have pre-made curry paste as I did or you use shop bought, this takes only minutes to prepare. It is very messy to eat and you need a fork or chopsticks for the noodles and a spoon for the broth. Asian people are very adept at doing this without making a mess. I, on the other hand, usually end up wearing the noodles but it is fun to eat.

Serves 4
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 10 minutes

Ingredients

A tablespoon of homemade Malaysian or Thai curry paste or shop bought curry or laksa paste (see the recipe for Tempeh Penang for a good curry paste that would work well in this dish).

400ml of water
200ml of coconut milk
Two thumb size pieces of fresh ginger or galangal
A dessert spoonful of soya sauce
A teaspoon of sugar
A stick of lemon grass cut into three
300g tofu cut into cubes or slices
300g of brown rice noodles
Two large handfuls of fresh spinach roughly chopped
Two handfuls of fresh bean sprouts
A handful of fresh coriander chopped
A handful of toasted peanuts crushed roughly
4 spring onions chopped
Chopped fresh chilli for garnish

Place the water in a large pan and bring to the boil. Add the curry paste with the coconut milk, soya sauce, sugar, lemon grass and ginger/galangal. Simmer for a few minutes before adding the noodles. Cook until the noodles are al dente. Add the spinach, tofu and half of the coriander, onions and beansprouts. Ladle into large bowls and garnish with more coriander, beansprouts, onions, peanuts and chilli.

Moroccan-style Burgers

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I have been to Morocco and they definitely don’t have vegan burgers. However, I used Moroccan spices to flavour these burgers which are spicy and rich and can be served with just about anything. Try couscous or quinoa salad, potato wedges or just a huge green salad.

When I make burgers, I don’t start off with a recipe as it really depends on what is in the cupboards and fridge. Any pulses and/or nuts and/or tofu will work. There are infinite flavours you can create by adding vegetables and herbs and spices.

The problem with vegan burgers is getting them to stay together as you cannot use eggs to bind them. I discovered recently that a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds mixed go a paste with water and then added to the burger mix binds them really well. At last my burgers look like burgers.

Ingredients
For 4 large burgers
Half a pack of smoked tofu
A tin of chickpeas
A handful of almonds
Half a medium onion
A clove of garlic
2 teaspoons of chermoula paste or dried Moroccan spices
A chilli
2 tablespoons of whole wheat breadcrumbs
A tablespoon of ground flaxseeds mixed to a paste with a little water
Salt and pepper to taste

Blitz all of the ingredients in a food processor, except for the flaxseed paste and breadcrumbs. Turn out into a bowl and mix together. Add the breadcrumbs and the flaxseed paste. Form into burger shapes and put into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Place on an oiled baking tray and cook in the oven at 180 degrees centigrade for 15 minutes before turning and cooking for 15 minutes on the other side.

Tempeh and Pumpkin Penang

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I found fresh tempeh in the Asian supermarket yesterday for just over a euro. Tempeh is fermented soya bean curd and they use it a lot in Indonesian cooking. It makes a nice change from tofu as it has more texture and really crisps up when fried. It also takes on the flavour of the sauce it is cooked in really well.

This curry is influenced by Thailand, Burma and Indonesia. It is made with a homemade paste but you could buy a Thai yellow curry paste and add some fresh spices in the cooking to liven it up. Bought curry paste is very salty and needs sugar to be added to the curry to get the right flavour.

The finished dish should be thick with the sauce coating the tempeh and pumpkin. It is quite rich so I made a Thai inspired salad to go with it.

Ingredients

The curry paste

Two sticks of lemon grass

Four cloves of garlic

Two thumbnails of ginger

A handful of fresh coriander- if you can get a bunch with the roots on then use only the roots and stems, save the leaves for later

Five small Thai chillis

A teaspoon each of whole cumin and coriander seeds

The curry

Half a small pumpkin chopped into small chunks with the skin left on

A small packet of tempeh but you can use tofu

250ml of coconut milk

A handful of toasted peanuts ground to a fine powder in the coffee grinder

2 big chunks of galangal, a whole black cardamom pod and a star anise

Salt to taste

Oil

A small handful of fresh coriander and fresh Thai basil plus 2 fresh kaffir lime leaves to garnish

Make a paste with the first set of ingredients. I do this by first using the food processor and then transferring it to a coffee grinder to get it smoother. Add a few drops of water to get it moving.

Cut the tempeh into small cubes or slices and fry in a tablespoon of oil on a low heat for about ten minutes, turning it until it is brown on all sides. Remove from the pan. Fry about half of the curry paste for a few seconds and then add all of the coconut milk and the pumpkin. stir through before adding back the tempeh. Add the galangal, cardamom and star anise. Simmer with a lid on for about 20 minutes until the pumpkin is just soft. Add salt to taste and then stir through the ground peanuts. You may need to let it down with a little water at this point if it is too thick. Stir through some finely chopped coriander and, if you can get it, Thai basil leaves and very finely shredded kaffir lime leaves.
I served this with red rice.