Savory

  • Tofu Banh Mi with Quick Pickled Veggies

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    Banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich, typically made with pork but since I was pescatarian for a few years before becoming vegan I’d never had the “real thing”. And yeah, it’s pictured with kimchi which is Korean, not Vietnamese, but I’ve been on a real kimchi kick after going to Franchia Vegan Café in the city. I could have very well served it with a simple salad, but to be honest I’m a vegan who doesn’t like salad. If you ever dare to make me one, it better be the best damn salad I’ve ever had. But I digress. You can serve this banh mi with fries, or whatever floats your boat. This can be made GF, so I will asterisk substitutes. And honestly, if you want to change anyone’s mind about tofu, this is the perfect recipe.

     

    Prep time: 35 minutes

    Cook time: 5 minutes

    Serves: 4-5

    INGREDIENTS

    For the pickled veggies

    • 2 large carrots, peeled and julienned or cut into small matchsticks
    • 6 red radishes, sliced into thin rounds
    • 1 large cucumber, peeled, de-seeded and cut into matchsticks
    • Optional: sliced jalapeño
    • 1/4 C rice wine or apple cider vinegar
    • 1 and 3/4 C water
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/4 C white sugar or 3/4 C agave

    For the tofu

    • 1 block extra firm tofu
    • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari*
    • 2 cloves minced garlic
    • 2 tbsp lime juice
    • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
    • 1/8 tsp  black pepper

    For the spread

    • 1 C vegan mayo
    • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce – my best friend is gluten free and I made this for her party. Hoisin is not gluten free, so I stumbled upon this gem at the supermarket: shiitake stir fry sauce

    Additional ingredients

    • Baguette (typical baguette is 26 in but two 12 in. will do)
    • Fresh cilantro
    • Sriracha

    PREPARATION

    1. Begin by mixing the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a pint sized jar or large bowl, then add the veggies . You may want to do this an hour or so earlier than you want to make the sandwiches so it has enough time to absorb the vinegar. Set aside.
    2. Next, press your tofu for about 15 to 20 minutes. I don’t have a fancy tofu press, so I use two clean dishtowels and my John Lennon record box set. You can use a textbook or something else that’s flat and relatively heavy.
    3. Combine your tofu marinade ingredients, then lay the tofu in a shallow dish or pan and pour your marinade on top, ensuring all surface area is covered. Of course the longer your marinate, the more flavorful it will be.
    4. When your veggies are adequately pickled and your tofu is pressed and marinated, begin to sear your tofu. Each piece should be brown and relatively crispy on both sides.
    5. While your tofu is cooking, slice the entire baguette horizontally and grill or toast it in the oven on broil (pay close attention, it could burn!)
    6. Finally it’s time to assemble to banh mi. Slather both of the cut sides of the baguette with the hoisin mayo. Next, add the tofu, pickled veggies, sriracha and top with a generous amount of cilantro. I think the cilantro is what really ties the banh mi together, but if you’re one of those people who doesn’t like it, skip it. Place the top of the baguette on the sandwich.
    7. Since this is like a wedge (sub, hoagie, hero, whatever), evenly space four tall toothpicks and slice the sandwich, or just cut it in half twice.
    8. Serve warm

    And that’s that. If you make this or any other recipes featured here, use #killertofublog on social media!

  • Crispy Vegan Broccoli with Spicy Special Sauce
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    Processed with VSCO with l4 preset

    I’m really excited about this recipe, because although it might not be as healthy as a $14 kale salad, it’s amazing and makes for a great party appetizer, or even a meal on its own with a side of rice. I usually end up making the same boring broccoli, and I was getting bored of it so I took some inspiration from a dish I had out at a restaurant years ago and created a vegan version. This would definitely work well with cauliflower too.

     

    Prep time: 5 minutes

    Cook time: 15-20 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients:

    For the Batter

    • 1 C all purpose or gluten free flour
    • 3/4 C cornstarch
    • 1 C seltzer/club soda
    • 1 tsp white vinegar or ACV
    • 2 tbsp sriracha
    • Pinch of salt

    For the broccoli

    • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
    • 3 C panko bread crumbs
    • Vegetable oil for frying

    For the special sauce *

    • 3/4 vegan mayo
    • 2 tbsp sriracha
    • 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce ** (optional)
    • Minced cilantro, parsley or chives (optional)

    *Feel free to adjust the proportions of the sriracha and chili sauce. I recommend adding it gradually and continually tasting it until its as spicy as you like.

    **Huy Fong foods, the company that produces the sriracha that we know and love also makes a chili garlic sauce that can typically be found in the same section.

     

    1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and cornstarch.  After incorporating your wet ingredients, it should have the consistency of pancake batter, but if it’s too thick just add a bit more seltzer. Put the panko to a separate, shallow dish, and set both aside.
    2. Next, Add 3 inches of oil in a medium-sized, deep pot over medium high heat. Frying in a pot allows you to use less oil than you would with a large pan.
    3. While the oil is coming to temperature, start cutting your broccoli into florets. Some pieces will be bigger than others, and that’s okay! Check if the oil is hot by adding a small drop of batter. If it begins to bubble up and sizzle immediately, you’re good to go.
    4. When coating the broccoli in the batter, I found it less messy and easier to use the stalks as a handle. Dip the tops being sure to shake off the excess, and once again using the stalk, press the tops into the panko until they’re thoroughly coated.
    5. Carefully drop into the hot oil, and fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and layer some paper towels on a baking sheet to absorb excess oil from the fried broccoli, and once it seems like there’s no more oil dripping, transfer them to clean, dry paper towels so they stay crispy. Avoid piling them on top of one another, otherwise they’ll steam and become soggy.
    6. While your broccoli is frying, mix up your special sauce ingredients. Once all of the broccoli is fried, plate it, drizzle with the sauce and garnish with herbs. Keep the remaining sauce on the side, because people are definitely going to want to dip!

    Serve immediately and enjoy!

     

    And that’s that. If you make this or any other recipes featured here, use #killertofublog on social media!

    Author: Amanda Spinosa

    Amanda Spinosa is a vegan illustrator, animal rights advocate and mother to two adopted dogs, Ludo and Sasha. She is born and raised in the Hudson Valley of New York where she spends much of her time hiking, foraging, experimenting with plant-based recipes and volunteering at the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary. Amanda is also an avid gardener and grows her own food during the summer months.

  • New England Mushroom Chowder
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    Processed with VSCO with al5 preset

    One of my favorite soups of all time has always been New England clam chowder, so much that I brought it for lunch in elementary school pretty much every day. From a can, no less, *cue barf noises* but it was cheap and we can’t forget the fact that I’m a product of the 90s where convenience was everything. However, my mom always made really good food, so for now I’m just going to blame canned clam chowder on the decade.

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cook time: 35 minutes

    Serves: 6

     

    INGREDIENTS

    For the “clams”

    • 1 large lion’s mane mushroom or 8 oz. container baby bellas, roughly chopped
    • 2 tbsp vegan butter

    For the soup

    • 1 white onion, diced
    • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
    • 3 celery stalks, small dice
    • 2 C fresh or frozen corn kernels
    • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • 3 medium russet potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
    • 2 tbsp vegan butter
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1/4 C vegan white wine
    • 4 C veggie broth
    • 1 16 oz can coconut cream (not milk!)
    • 1 C soy milk
    • 2 tsp dried thyme
    • 1/2 tsp celery seed
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 tsp kelp powder (optional)
    • 2 tbsp flour (all-purpose or GF)
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    PREPARATION

    1. Heat 2 tbsp vegan butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for four minutes or until all liquid has evaporated. Remove from pot and set aside.
    2. Heat remaining butter + olive oil over medium high heat in the same pot that you just removed the mushrooms from. Add onions, carrots and celery, sautéing for five minutes. Next add garlic and cook for another two minutes, stirring frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn…burnt garlic can easily ruin a great soup!
    3. Next, add the corn and potatoes and sprinkle with flour. Stir for two minutes to incorporate it with the butter, making a lazy person’s roux.
    4. Throw in the broth, bay leaves, thyme, celery seed and kelp powder. Stir it well, and allow it to simmer at medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
    5. Stir in the mushrooms, discard the bay leaves, and incorporate both the soy milk and coconut cream. Allow the soup to heat up for 5 minutes, then serve. You can serve the soup unadulterated, or you can do like I did and serve it with croutons. Oyster crackers pair well, and contrary to the name, no oysters were harmed in the making of the crackers.

    And that’s that. If you make this or any other recipes featured here, use #killertofublog on social media!

  • The Best Ever VeganEgg Breakfast Sandwich
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    Processed with VSCO with l4 preset

    In New York, the phrase “BECSPK” is of it’s own language. Standing for “bacon, egg, cheese, salt, pepper, ketchup”, it’s a classic New York breakfast that’s entirely unrivaled. Served on a kaiser roll, it sounds simple, and that’s because it is, but many out-of-state delis and diners have failed at recreating it. Being vegan doesn’t mean I can’t have any of the things I used to have, it just means I have to find a way to make it work. And while this isn’t a replica of the breakfast sandwich of my childhood, it still hits the breakfast sandwich spot.

    Prep time: 5 minutes
    Cook time: 5 minutes
    Serves: 2

    INGREDIENTS

    For the tempeh

    • 1 four inch block tempeh
    • 1 tsp olive oil
    • 1/4 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (I used Whole Foods brand)
    • 1/8 tsp paprika
    • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/8 tsp onion powder
    • 1/8 tsp dried thyme
    • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds, finely crushed
    • Salt & pepper to taste

    For the egg

    • 1/2 C ice cold water
    • 2 tbsp Follow Your Heart VeganEgg
    • 1 tsp olive oil or vegan butter
    • Salt & pepper to taste

    For the sauce

    • 2 tbsp vegan mayo
    • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
    • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh dill

    For the sandwich

    • 2 vegan English muffins (Thomas’ are not, Trader Joe’s are)
    • A handful of fresh spinach
    • 2 sliced onion rounds

    PREPARATION

    1. Heat olive oil over medium high, and add all sausage ingredients. Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently as to not burn the Worcestershire. The sausage crumbles should begin to turn brown and slightly crispy.
    2. While the sausage is cooking, throw your English muffin in the toaster, slice your onion and make the sauce.
    3. Once finished with the sandwich prep, whisk together your VeganEgg mixture. Heat the olive oil or butter in a pan on medium high, the egg mixture should sizzle once it hits the pan. It cooks extremely fast, so if you don’t work quickly you’ll end up with an omelette (and that’s not really a bad thing either!). As soon as you pour the egg into the pan, begin scrambling with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, then season with salt and pepper.
    4. Once the egg is done, assemble the sandwich as follows: bottom bread, sauce, sausage, egg, onion, spinach, more sauce, top bun. Serve immediately and enjoy!

    And that’s that! If you make this or any other recipes featured here, use #killertofublog on social media!

  • Eggplant Parm

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    So my original intent with this recipe was to make eggplant rollatini, but it didn’t stay rolled so it magically became eggplant parm. Growing up, my family never breaded and fried eggplant rollatini, but roasted it with olive oil, salt and pepper instead so this is perfect for all my gluten free folks.

     

    Prep time: 20 minutes
    Cook time: 20 minutes

    Serves: 4

    INGREDIENTS

    For the eggplant

    • 2 medium to large eggplants
    • 4 tbsp olive oil
    • Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
    • 1 C tomato sauce (homemade or otherwise)

    For the ricotta

    • 1 package extra firm tofu, drained
    • 1/4 C nutritional yeast
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp dried or fresh basil
    • 3 tbsp lemon juice
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 C sautéed spinach

    PREPARATION

    1. Preheat oven to 375°, ignite grill on medium heat. If you do not have a grill/do not wish to use one, you may roast the eggplant instead, I just prefer grilling because it gives it a little more of a complex flavor and it’s faster. Line the grill or a grill pan with non-stick foil.
    2. Cut off both eggplant ends so you can stand it vertically. Begin by slicing 1/4 in pieces longways, the entire length of the eggplant and set aside in a large bowl or pan. Discard the ends that are primarily skin. If some of your eggplant slices are short, fear not! We will still use them later.
    3. Brush your eggplant with olive oil (I used an herb infused, but regular is fine) and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place them on the hot foil on the grill and close the top. Periodically check to be sure the thinner pieces are not burning. When they are soft and slightly charred, remove from heat.
    4. While you have your eggplant on the grill, start making your ricotta by combining all ingredients except the spinach into a food processor and begin blending, scraping off the sides occasionally (obviously turn the processor off, I’m not trying to have you sue me). Once blended, scoop into a bowl and mix with the sautéed spinach.
    5. Take a glass baking dish (I used an 11×7 and it fit perfectly) and put a 1/2 C layer of tomato sauce at the bottom.
    6. Lay an eggplant slice on a cutting board or countertop, scoop a few tbsp of the ricotta mixture onto it and lightly spread it. Don’t worry about being neat, it’ll partially unroll anyway. Place the eggplant slice snugly in the baking dish and repeat until all eggplant slices are used.*
    7. Once all of the eggplant is in the dish, lightly spread the remainder of the tomato sauce on top, and finish with grated mozzarella. My favorite brand for this is Miyoko’s Creamery which can be found in a number of stores, including Whole Foods.
    8. Bake for 20 mins on the center shelf. Once the timer is up, turn on the broiler and carefully watch for the top to begin to bubble and turn slightly golden brown.
    9. Serve hot on a layer of tomato sauce and garnish with chiffonaded basil and a sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese.

    *When you come across the smaller pieces of eggplant or pieces that broke, simply overlap the ends and roll, it’s basically like making a longer piece and reduces waste. Why throw away a perfectly good piece of eggplant?

    And that’s that! If you make this or any other recipes featured here, use #killertofublog on social media!