Tag Archives: garlic

Building Block Recipe: Lemony Baked Tofu

Slices of Lemony TofuInspired by my blogging buddy, Susmitha at Veganosaurus, I signed up for a How Do account about a year or so ago.  Susmitha has a great voice and her How Dos are cute, concise, and helpful.  So, I made one (Hot Chocolate Mocha),” back in 2012, and while the process was fun, a negative review I got took the wind out of my sails and it was a long time before I tried again.  But every time I watched one of Susmitha’s it nagged at me: I wanted to try again.

Lemony Baked Tofu (in turn inspired by Oh Mai in Salt Lake City – but that’s another blog post) seemed like a good candidate for the How Do treatment. It’s a simple recipe that can easily be broken down into short steps.  I’m still working out the How Do kinks (Martin Scorcese, your job is safe), but I think these little “videos” are a great idea and add a nice dimension to a blog post.  Incidentally, my freebie WP site won’t allow for me to embed the video, which would be super-nifty, but clicking on the image will get you to the same place.  (I shared this recipe on Healthy Vegan Friday at The Veggie Nook.)

Watch my How Do video by clicking the image, or you can follow the recipe below.

How Do ImageLEMONY BAKED TOFU a micro guide by Annie on HowDo

Lemony Baked Tofu
Makes ~20 slices

1 14 oz. block extra firm tofu
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. lemon oil
1 garlic clove, minced

Make the marinade:
Whisk together all of the ingredients and store in the refrigerator until needed.

Prepare the tofu:
Press tofu for several hours or overnight.  I splurged for a TofuXPress and I’m so glad I did.  It does a fantastic job of squeezing out all of that water – but use your own tried-and-true method.

Layer a baking sheet (I used a quarter sheet) with paper towels.  Set aside.  Cut the tofu into very thin slices.  You should get about 20 per block of tofu. Place the slices of tofu onto the paper towels; stacking layers is fine.  Cover slices with more paper towels, top with another baking sheet and place in the freezer overnight.

When you’re ready to bake the tofu, remove the pan from the freezer and let the slices thaw.  At first the slices will be dark yellow, but they’ll return to their regular white color once thawed.

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Place the slices into a baking pan (I used Pyrex) and pour the marinade over top.  Again, don’t worry about having the slices in one layer.  Bake the tofu for about 20-25 minutes or until the marinade is nearly gone.  The edges of the slices should be brown and the tofu should be fairly dry.  Let the slices cool; they’ll firm up even more.  They are now ready to use in sandwiches (like the Lemony Baked Tofu Sandwiches I’ll be featuring here soon), salads, and in Asian-inspired soups.

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Thoughts on Vegetarianism & Oil-free Black Bean, Corn, & Walnut Burgers.

Single Burger in BunI was a vegetarian for a few years before going full-on vegan. I ate great quantities of eggs and cheese – even though neither one of those things consists of vegetables. So how did that make me a vegetarian? Because (as I understood it) I wasn’t eating the flesh of an animal. (Eggs do move into that territory though, don’t they?) Now that I no longer consume animal products of any kind, I look at vegetarianism as a gray zone in a field of black and white. Hey, each to his own, but for me, I get into this kind of circular conversation with myself about whether or not there should even be a mode of eating labeled vegetarianism. (With love and respect to my vegetarian friends and their choices) I believe that veganism and vegetarianism should be one and the same. The word vegetarian sounds pretty specific: either one eats animal products or one doesn’t.

Maybe the problem is in the human need to label, sort, file, and define when really choices are limitless. Maybe the problem is that the Believer (me) hopes for an unrealistic mass conversion to plant-based eating. I suspect that the real problem lies elsewhere: veggie burgers. Yep, it could just be that simple. How many times have you picked up a box of frozen black bean burgers only to see the words, eggs or egg whites, lurking in the ingredient list? Eggs and egg whites are products of animals. How many “vegetarian” black bean burgers have you consumed at restaurants thinking it was the lone vegan item on the menu? I no longer eat veggie burgers in restaurants because I have no trust in what’s in them. And anyway, the ones I make at home taste much, much better.

I shared this recipe with The Veggie Nook on Healthy Vegan Friday.

Black Bean, Corn, & Walnut Burgers
Makes 4 large burgers

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup walnuts, soaked for about 15 minutes, then drained
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn (if using frozen, thaw first)
1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
1 small onion, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. dried onion flakes
1 tbsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander powder
salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. Liquid Smoke
1 tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 tbsp. vegan grated parmesan (such as Go Veggie! or Parmela)
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten

Kale-edamame hummus

~1/2 cup edamame hummus (homemade is the best, of course, but Trader Joe’s has a super-tasty version)
slices of red onion
fresh greens

4 rolls/buns (may I suggest my Chipotle Chile Pepper Rolls?)

Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions, bell pepper, and garlic in a little water or vegetable broth until soft. Stir in the onion flakes, cumin, coriander, and salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a food processor, process the walnuts until finely ground – but don’t go into nut butter territory.

In a large bowl, mash the beans, leaving some whole. Add the onion mixture, the walnuts, and the remaining ingredients and use your hands to mix everything up. Divide the mixture into four and form into flat patties. Place patties on the baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 375F and bake the burgers for 20 minutes, then carefully flip (they will be very soft) and bake for another 20 minutes or until beginning to brown and firm up. Serve immediately with hummus, red onion slices, and greens – or let the burgers sit for 20 minutes or so – they’ll continue to firm as they cool.

Open-face Burger

Black Bean Burger

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Potato/Sweet Potato Chipotle-Cheez “Chips.” Oil-free. Gluten-free. Nut-free. Not Raw, Exactly.

Potato ChipsI’m feeling pretty good about the fact that I haven’t consumed a bag of salty snacks in months thanks to my dehydrator (the various tiny bags of chips that come in my Vegan Cuts Snack Box DO NOT count!), but despite the warm fuzzies I’m experiencing, there was still something missing.  Something starchy.  And spudly.  And toasty.  Where does the potato fit into the raw world??  To answer this need, I went Frankenraw and created a chip that was part potato, part sweet potato, part raw and part roasted.

I’ve shared this recipe on Healthy Vegan Friday on The Veggie Nook.

Potato/Sweet Potato Chipotle-Cheez “Chips”
Who’s counting?  Makes 2 full dehydrator trays

1 1/2 cups flaxseed meal
2 red-skinned potatoes, baked (leave skin on if organic) & cooled
1 sweet potato, roasted, cooled and peeled
2 tbsp. vegan Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3-4 baby carrots
pinch salt and black pepper
1 to 1 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried onion flakes
1 tsp. prepared horseradish (not “sauce”)
1 tsp. agave nectar
1 tsp. chipotle in adobo (or more if you like it spicy)

Put the flaxseed meal in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.

Cut the potatoes and sweet potato into chunks and add to a food processor.  Pulse a few times to break them down, then add the remaining ingredients (cheese through chipotle) and process until thoroughly combined and smooth.

Divide the mixture between two dehydrator trays that have been lined with non-stick sheets and pat or roll out (using another sheet on top) to create a smooth and even layer.  Lightly score the dough into desired shapes and place the trays in the dehydrator and turn it on to 145F.  Dehydrate for 30 minutes, then turn it down to 115F and continue dehydrating for about 12-14 hours – or until the chips are very crisp and dry.

Chips with Dip

Chips on Green Plate

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Oil- and Nut-free Berry-Miso Salad Dressing

Salad DressingKel and I average 5 salads per week which means about 20 salads each month – hey, that’s a lot of greens, sure – but it also means preparing and consuming a lot of salad dressing.  Which means that I’m constantly thinking up new combinations of acids and bases.  This one contains no nuts and gets its sweetness from a small amount of fruit preserves.

Oil- and Nut-free Berry-Miso Salad Dressing
Makes 1 cup

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg brand)
1/4 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. hemp seeds
1 tbsp. fruit-sweetened jam (I use seedless blackberry)
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp. dried onion flakes
1 tbsp. white miso


Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until very smooth.  Dressing keeps for several days in the refrigerator.

Bite of Salad

Salad Dressing & Salad

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Virtual Vegan Potluck 3.0: Sweet Potato Fries with Parsley, Garlic and Lemon Zest

Sweet Potato FriesFor the past two Potlucks, I went fairly elaborate. For Potluck numero uno I made Sage & Rosemary Dinner Rolls with Roasted Garlic Coconut Butter. For Potluck number two, I created Maple Creme & Mocha Spice Cake Trifle with Fresh Blueberries. Just reading those long recipe titles wears me out. Though the title of this recipe is long, the preparation of the dish is not.

Which brings us to sweet potatoes. And garlic and parsley and lemon. Just look at those bright orange babies dotted with flecks of fresh green, dabs of garlic and zingy lemon – all glistening with one of my current favorite muses: coconut oil. I go easy on the oil in my household, but for a party like this one, I had to make an exception.  I hope you enjoy it!

Thank you very much to all of the enthusiastic participants of this, the first Potluck of 2013.  It amazes me every time that someone signs on!  Thanks to my Potluck besties, Somer, Jason and Lidia for helping plan and execute this shindig and keeping me sane in the days leading up to the Potluck.  And thanks to all of you who are taking time out of your Saturday to enjoy the beautiful plant-based and cruelty-free dishes being shared. Munch on!

Sweet Potato Fries with Parsley, Garlic and Lemon Zest
Serves 2

1 very large sweet potato, peeled and cut into fry-shape
1/2 tbsp. virgin coconut oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
zest of 1 lemon

Sweet Potato Fries IngredientsPreheat oven to 425F and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.

Spread sweet potato slices onto pan in a single layer and bake for about 15 minutes. Turn slices and continue to bake until they are soft and beginning to brown.

While the sweet potato bakes, put the coconut oil in a deep skillet and add the garlic. Just before the fries are done, gently sauté the garlic in the oil until fragrant. Add the fries and stir, coating them with the oil and garlic. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the parsley and lemon zest. Serve immediately.


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Creamy Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup in Small BowlKel and I got into a habit during the long hours in the car on a recent road trip.  As mealtimes approached, I’d use my phone to begin the hunt for vegan-friendly restaurants in whatever large city was coming up along the highway.  On the second day of our drive back through Florida on our way back to Oklahoma, Kel and I hit the lunchtime jackpot and were treated to the best meal of our trip.  Once inside the doors of End of the Line Cafe in Pensacola, there was no need to explain veganism, no asking for the mayo/cheese/sour cream to be removed from a dish – it was straight-up, 100% plant-based manna.

End of the Line Cafe sits right along the railroad tracks (hence the name) and not far from the waterfront.  It’s a humble setting and I’m not sure I’d be lingering in the area after dark.  No matter, it was a bright and warm day and our stomachs were loudly protesting their emptiness.  End of the Line was serving up a prix-fixe brunch that Sunday and the place was full – all of us clutching forks and knives in anticipation.  The meal started out with little cups of rich and flavorful creamy tomato soup.  After slurping our first sips, my eyes met Kel’s and in hushed tones we both murmured, “Wow.”  I have no idea what they put in there, but whatever it was, I want to bottle it and sell it.  The rest of the meal was also outstanding (photos below).

I have to admit, I didn’t even come close to End of the Line’s version, but this is still a tasty, easy soup.  For this recipe, I used the last of 2012′s homegrown tomatoes that Kel had cut into slices and put into the freezer.  They were real beauties and part of me hated to use them all up, but since we have new tomato plants starting in the greenhouse, we should be buried in the red beasts by July.  Canned tomatoes will work just fine in this recipe.

I’ve shared this recipe on Healthy Vegan Friday.

One year ago today: 7 Days of Salad: Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Couscous with Sweet Lime-ginger Dressing
One year and one day ago today: 7 Days of Salad: Orzo w/ Black-eyed Peas, Olives & Cucumber

Creamy Tomato Soup
Serves 6

2 large onions, sliced
water and/or Bragg Liquid Aminos, for sautéing
~8 cups tomatoes (peeled), or two 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can white beans
1 head garlic, roasted and the cloves squeezed out
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp. white miso
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. curry powder
~1/2 cup nut milk, optional

orange gremolata, recipe below

In a large pot, slowly and patiently caramelize the onions in splashes of water and Bragg Liquid Aminos.  For buttery, soft and brown onions, this should take about 30 minutes.  Don’t skip this step – it gives the soup its rich flavor.

Once the onions are caramelized, add the tomatoes and cook down for about 10 minutes.  Stir all of the remaining ingredients, except for the nut milk, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to simmer and cook the soup for 30 minutes or so, tasting to adjust the seasonings.

Using a blender or a stick blender, puree the soup. Stir in the nut milk, if using, and heat gently while you prepare the gremolata.

Garlic, Onions Collage

Orange Gremolata

1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup or so of parsley, finely chopped
zest of one orange
1/4 cup or so of raw walnuts, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

GremolataDivide the soup between bowls and top with gremolata.

Bowls of Tomato Soup

Brunch at End of the Line Cafe:

Tofu Migas

Two salads plus rice and tofu migas at End of the Line Cafe.


And for dessert: a luscious macaroon.

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Cashew Creamy Lentil Soup

Creamy Lentil SoupYou don’t need to say it. I’ll say it for you: my, but that’s a homely soup. Homely, yes, but delicious.

Now maybe this is knowledge held by every vegan out there except for me. I’ve always felt a little wasteful tossing out the seitan cooking water. It smells pretty good! Certainly it could be put to good employ somewhere. Like in soup. After my last batch of seitan, I decided to hang on to the broth – and I used it in this soup. I have to say, it really did something special. If you haven’t tried using all of that good seitan broth before, I’d suggest giving it a whirl.

One year ago today: A Peek Into the Man-cave (a.k.a. The Greenhouse)
One year and one day ago: German Chocolate Bundt Cake

Cashew Creamy Lentil Soup
Serves 4

1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 cups vegetable broth (or seitan cooking broth)
1-2 tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 cup dried brown lentils
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup cashew cream (or nut milk)
2 tbsp. dry sherry
salt and ground black pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan, saute the onions in the Bragg Liquid Aminos for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sweet potatoes, carrots and celery and sauté for another 5 or so minutes. Then add the lentils and broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about an hour, or until the vegetables are very soft.

Using a stick blender or food processor, or blender, puree the soup until it’s mostly smooth. Return to the pan, stir in the cashew cream (or nut milk) and the sherry. When soup is thoroughly heated (do not allow to boil), it’s ready to serve. Garnish with something green, if desired.

Creamy Lentil Soup

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Pinto Bean Hummus

Pinto Bean HummusSometimes you get tired of garbanzo bean hummus. Or sometimes no matter how many times you paw through the cans on the pantry shelves, those chickpeas remain illusive.

This pinto bean hummus could also masquerade as “refried” beans – without the refry – but all of the expected flavors are right there. All you’d have to do is warm it up prior to eating. I served mine at room temperature in a wrap loaded with broccoli slaw, baby kale, sprouts and generous portions of ranch dressing.

1 15 oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. tahini
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
pinch coriander
pinch ground black pepper
handful of cilantro

In a food processor, combine the pinto beans through black pepper and process until smooth. Add the cilantro and pulse a few times to chop the cilantro.

One year ago today: The Miracle Cure

Pinto Bean Hummus Wrap

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VeganMoFo: Spicy Baked Tofu Sandwich

Tofu SandwichI’ve got a thing for tofu snuggled between two pieces of bread and have offered a few variations (Muffaletta w/ Smoky Tofu; Tofu Salad Sandwiches; The Virtues of Baked Tofu) here already – so what’s one more?  This sandwich contains flavors that I return to again and again in my cooking and is accompanied by the always-welcome creamy avocado, juicy tomato and peppery red onion.

What I posted one year ago today: Rice and Beans with Greens and Artichoke Hearts

Spicy Baked Tofu Sandwich
Makes 4 sandwiches

1 16 oz. block tofu, cut into 8 thick slices
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp. chipotles in adobo sauce (I puree mine)
1/2 tsp. paprika, smoked or otherwise
1 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. soy sauce
dash Liquid Smoke
1 tbsp. tomato paste concentrate (I use the stuff in a tube – wonderful)
1 tbsp. white miso paste
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
juice of 1/2 a lime
2 cloves garlic
dash ground black pepper

1 avocado
handful of cilantro, chopped
dash cumin, chile powder, coriander and black pepper
squeeze lime
glug of Chipotle Tabasco
some chopped red onion

1 big tomato, thinly sliced

8 slices whole grain bread, toasted

Make the tofu:
The tofu…The first time I made this I didn’t take the time to press/freeze/press the tofu.  What I ended up with was a rather bland sandwich – more tofu than spicy.  The second time I pressed the *!@$ out of the tofu, cut it into 8 slices, froze the slices, thawed them and pressed again.  Yes, you just end up soaking the tofu in the marinade, but the spicy liquid gets into the tofu and isn’t diluted by – - tofu water.  End of speech about pressing/freezing/pressing. You now know where I stand on the matter.

Mix all of the marinade ingredients in a shallow baking dish.  Add the slices of tofu, flip them, and then let soak for a few hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 425F and bake the tofu, turning once or twice, until deeply reddish-brown and crispy on the edges.  Add more vegetable broth if needed.  I prefer the tofu to be very firm throughout – but bake it to your textural liking.

Make the guac:
Meanwhile, prepare the “guac.”  In a small bowl, lightly mash the avocado and mix in the cilantro, spices, lime juice, Tabasco and red onion.  Let the guac sit for a while to let the flavors develop.

When the tofu is ready, assemble the sandwiches by piling the guac, tofu and tomatoes on the whole grain bread.  Slice and serve.

Baked Tofu

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VeganMoFo: Sunflower, Pepita & Hemp Seed Bread Spread

Sandwich w/ SpreadLunch can present problems.  I’m usually starving by noontime, but I don’t want to spend a lot of time preparing anything – and unless there are leftovers waiting in the refrigerator – a meal from scratch is the only option.  That’s why a spread like this is worth its weight in gold.  It’s quick and easy to prepare, is mighty tasty and very satisfying.

I poached the idea from Feeding the Healthy Vegetarian Family, by Ken Haedrich, but changed it up when I saw that I would have to toast the sunflower seeds and then let them cool.  Lunch was due in 30 minutes.  So I decided to do the raw thing; and instead of all sunflower seeds, I foraged in the cupboard for pepitas and hemp seeds.  I also cut back on the amount of tahini and added miso paste for richness and saltiness.  Top with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, red onion, avocado and/or sprouts.

Sunflower, Pepita & Hemp Seed Bread Spread
Makes a couple of cups

1 cup + 1/4 cup raw, hulled sunflower seeds, divided
3/4 cup + 1 tbsp. pepita seeds, divided
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. hemp seeds, divided
2 tbsp. tamari
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. white miso
1/3 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 celery rib, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp. white ground pepper

Set aside 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 1 tbsp. pepitas and 1 tbsp. hemp seeds.  In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Stir in the reserved seeds.

Spread on whole grain bread and top with your favorite veggies or use as a dip.  The spread thickens as it sets.

Seeds, Lemon

Sandwich w/ Spread 2

Vegan MoFo

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