Tag Archives: tamari

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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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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Guest Posting at Veganosaurus: The Kelvis Sandwich

Waffle, Tempeh, Almond Butter Sandwich

Kel + Elvis = The Kelvis

I’m very pleased to be “appearing” today on Veganosaurus – a blog jam-packed with inventive and delicious vegan recipes and written by one of the most kind-hearted women it’s been my pleasure to come to know.  Besides blogging at Veganosaurus, Susmitha has an Etsy shop and also herds us plant-based cats at Vegan Temptivists on Facebook.

I’m sharing a kind of crazy recipe for a big, fat Elvis-worthy sandwich I call the Kelvis which consists of maple waffles, tempeh bacon, almond butter and a cherry-cranberry-fig compote.  If this sounds like something you’d like to get your mouth around – please head on over to Veganosaurus for the recipe!

One year ago today: Brunswick-ish Stew
One year and one day ago today: Other People’s Food


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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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Kung Pau Tofu: The Unprocessed Giveaway

IngredientsKung Pau Tofu from Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight, by Chef AJ.  For details on how to enter the giveaway, please see below.

Bowl Kung Pau Tofu

Kung Pau Tofu Bowl

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment below or on any other Unprocessed blog post describing what you find most addicting: sugar, salt or fat.  Or, share your story of how you have cleaned up your diet and changed your life.  For additional entries you can also Like my Facebook pages, An Unrefined Vegan and/or Virtual Vegan Potluck.  The giveaway ends September 25.  Thank you!

The Deets
Title: Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight
Author: Chef AJ (aka Abbie Jaye) with Glen Merzer
Publication Date: 2011
Page Length: 178 pages including 100+ recipes
List Price: $19.95
Publisher: Hale to the Kale Publishing
Websites: www.EatUnprocessed.com; www.chefajshealthykitchen.com

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Stuffed Artichokes Oliverio: A Family Tradition Veganized

Two Stuffed ArtichokesChristmas Eve.  Christmas Eve was a big deal in my childhood – and in many ways, much more special than Christmas Day.  By 9:00 am on Christmas Day I always felt a little deflated, as if I’d caught just the tail-end of a raucous parade.  But Christmas Eve was full of promise and anticipation: the decorated tree awash in delicate multi-colored light, the empty stockings at the fireplace, the plate of cookies waiting for Santa.  And then there was the Christmas Eve dinner, a tradition created by my father with a nod to his Sicilian and Italian roots.  He spent days in the kitchen preparing a rich tomato sauce with a variety of savory meats and seasonings; special cheeses were purchased from the Italian deli in downtown Cleveland and boxes of lasagna noodles were at the ready.  My dad’s lasagna was a many-layered thing of beauty, dotted with fat green olives, thick rounds of sausage, crumbled hard-boiled eggs, creamy ricotta and tangy Parmesan.  Cutting into that first pieces was like slicing into a wedding cake.  We kids could not wait to dive in with our forks.  But before the lasagna came out of the oven (dangerously hot), there were the artichokes.  Stuffed to the point of bursting with Italian sausage, bread crumbs and copious amounts of Parmesan cheese (hand-grated by dad), they sat temptingly before us on our plates, leaves begging to be plucked and scraped clean of their bounty.  The prize was at the bottom – the succulent heart of the ‘choke.  Some of us slowly savored their artichokes and some of us, more impatient, tore through them like twisters roaming across Kansas.

Italian sausage and Parmesan cheese are no longer part of my food vocabulary, but that doesn’t mean the end to the tradition.  It just means getting creative.  Below is my recipe, lovingly crafted, for Stuffed Artichokes Oliverio.  Dad, I love you.  Thank you for so many loving, warm and delicious memories.

Trimmed ArtichokeStuffed Artichokes Oliverio
Makes 4

4 large fresh artichokes, washed, stems cut off and top 1-2″ removed

1 cup boiling water
1 tsp. salt
1 cup TVP
1 cup dry red wine
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 tsp. dried rosemary
4 whole cloves
2 tsp. tahini
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
2 garlic cloves, finely minced (or use a microplaner)
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs or panko

1 cup of so of vegan Italian sausage, crumbled
1/2-2/3 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast

Make Sausage:
Combine red wine, cloves, garlic (the roughly chopped clove) and rosemary in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 6-10 minutes or until liquid is slightly thickened (I ended up with about a 1/2 cup of liquid).  Strain to remove solids and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the TVP and the one cup boiling water.  Stir and let stand for about 10 minutes.  Then add the tahini, fennel, poultry seasoning, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, black pepper, minced garlic, cornstarch and strained wine mixture.  Mix well.

Cover and put the mixture in the refrigerator for about an hour to firm up.  When ready to bake, heat the oven to 425F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment and if desired, form the mixture into 6-8 patties.  I simple spread the mixture onto parchment – it was easier than forming patties and for the purposes of this recipe, patties weren’t necessary.  Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the mixture is crispy on top.

Vegan Italian Sausage

Allow to cool so that you can handle the mixture easily.  At this point, crumble about 1 cup’s worth of the sausage into a bowl and set aside while you prepare the artichokes.

3 ArtichokesArtichokes:
Wash the artichokes and carefully cut off the top 1″-2″ of the artichokes; cut off the stem close to the base of the artichoke so that they can sit on their bottoms.  Gently pull the leaves to allow room between them for stuffing.

Get that bowl of crumbled sausage and have the 1/2-2/3 cup of bread crumbs (plus salt and pepper to taste) in another bowl.  With a small spoon, place breadcrumbs down in between the leaves – stuff as many leaves as you can – even the deep, inner leaves, pulling apart as needed.  When all of the ‘chokes have been stuffed with the bread crumbs, go back in and divide the sausage among the artichokes, stuffing it in the same leaves into which you’ve put the bread crumbs.

Pour a half inch of vegetable broth and 1 tbsp. tamari into a large pot and turn the heat to medium-high.  When the broth is steaming, gently lower the stuffed ‘chokes into the pot, drizzle a little bit of vegetable broth, tamari or Bragg Liquid Aminos over the tops of the ‘chokes and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.  Bring to a boil, then cover and turn down the heat to low – just so you have a little bit of a simmer going.  Add more broth or water as needed.  It can take 1-2 hours to cook artichokes, depending on the size and freshness.  Mine took close to a full two hours.

How do you know when they’re done?  Gently pull one of the outer leaves.  If it comes off easily, the ‘chokes are probably done.  Taste the leaf you’ve pulled off – if the “meat” at the end of the leaf is tender – you’re good to go.

Artichokes in Pot

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