Tag Archives: Vegan
Whenever I find myself at Whole Foods I can’t leave without picking up a container or two of their golden sesame tofu. I love this stuff. The tofu has a perfectly dense and chewy texture and the saucy coating is just sweet enough with a little bit of spice. The whole thing is finished with fresh scallions for the right amount of crunchy freshness, yum!
For years, I’ve been buying Whole Food’s Golden Sesame Tofu and trying to recreate it myself at home. I’ve looked for recipes online and have tried just going off the ingredients list on the package, but I’ve never been quite happy enough with my results, that is to say, until now….
I’ll admit, and if you’ve had the Whole Foods version before, you’ll know this recipe is not exactly the same, but for me I think it’s even better and the family agrees, even my meat eating husband loves my Golden Sesame Ginger Tofu! Whether, it’s the golden sesame tofu you’ve had from Whole Foods or not, my Golden Sesame Ginger Tofu is delicious, give it a try and see for yourself.
I start by pan frying the tofu with a light cornstarch coating, dotted with toasted sesame seeds, just until the tofu is golden and crisp but still tender and a little chewy on the inside.
My sauce is a little sweet, a little tangy, a little spicy.
The recipe comes together fairly quickly and makes a perfect meal topping Forbidden Rice, soba noodles, crispy and fresh cabbage slaw, or anything else you can imagine.
This dip is my take on a traditional middle eastern Muhammara dip which is an amazingly delicious mixture of roasted red peppers, walnuts, bread and pomegranate molasses. If you’ve never tried pomegranate molasses before, it’s worth seeking out at your local middle eastern shop (I bought mine at Yaranush in White Plains, NY) or other specialty market, you may even find it in the “international” section of your local supermarket or in places like Whole Foods. Pomegranate molasses is a deep dark burgundy colored syrupy sauce with an unusual sweet and tangy almost citrusy taste, it’s like nothing I’ve ever tried before, but once I did I started imagining all kinds of possibilities!
I first came across this recipe from one of my favorite bloggers and cookbook authors Heidi Swanson of 101cookbooks.com and knew I had to give it a try. I changed it up a bit from the traditional recipe, by adding in some sun dried tomatoes, just thought their tangy umami flavor would work well and it does! I also skip the bread all together, making this a great grain & gluten free dip, of course I still serve it up with a some toasted baguette slices for anyone who enjoys bread, it is delicious as a topping this way or spread into a leaf of romaine as a topping for a bean & veggie burger, with falafel, in a hummus wrap as Colin likes it, with tuna or even on top of a fried egg! As you can see, the list is pretty endless and once you try this I’m sure you’ll come up with even more ways to enjoy this unusually delicious dip, also perfect for parties…
I must confess, I’m a little late on getting this post out as my original intention was to post this in December as I thought this a perfect party dip for the holidays. Well, a house full of sick people and the normal/stress filled rush of the season kept that from happening, but I am happy to note I’m squeaking by getting in my first post of the New Year in before the month of January officially ends (even if by mere moments!).
Syrian Style Roasted Red Pepper & Walnut Dip
with Pomegranate Molasses
Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones
gluten free, vegan
1 roasted Red pepper – jarred works just fine, but if you have fresh roasted all the better
½ cup toasted walnuts – toast in a dry skillet until fragrant or toast in the oven
6 sun dried tomatoes – oil packed preferably – roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 Tablespoon pomegranate molasses
½ clove or 1 very small clove of garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Sea salt to taste
1-2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped mint
Squeeze of fresh lemon
Into the bowl of food processor add – red pepper, walnuts, sun dried tomatoes, tomato paste, pomegranate molasses and garlic. Process until mostly smooth, or leave it a little bit chunky if you like it that way. Next mix in red pepper flakes, salt and water, blend again and add more water if needed to get it to the consistency you like. Stir in chopped herbs and finish with a squeeze of lemon.
Pour into a small bowl and use as you like. For a party, surround the bowl with *toasted sliced baguette* and small romaine or endive leaves OR on a platter with other spreads & salads such as hummus, taboulli, creamy feta and some cut up veggies and pita wedges.
*I like to slice a baguette, rub each slice with garlic infused olive oil and then grill each side until lightly toasted. You can even make this a few hours ahead of a party.
Other serving ideas: this is an all around delicious condiment; spread in place of mayo or mustard on a turkey or chicken sandwich, on a hummus wrap or dolloped on top of a bowl of nutty brown rice & veggies or even atop a runny yolk fried egg, yum, Enjoy!
On any given day, you can find stacks of cook books around my house, many of them mine, but also a constant rotation from the library, there are just SO many great new books coming out that speak to me like never before, thanks in large part to the amazing and growing array of healthy food bloggers on the scene. One of the latest I’ve been happily perusing through is Anna Jones – A Modern Way to Eat – lots of yummy looking recipes and I’m working on more than a few, new ideas but plenty you’ve seen before (if you read as many blogs and cookbooks as I do!). One such recipe, not so different than others I’ve seen and even made, like this, this and that, but it still spoke to me and spurred me to create a new favorite around here, was Anna’s Maple Peanut California Wraps. It has so many of the flavors I just love, nutty peanut butter and Tahini, maple syrup, miso, soy and citrus. Of course, I did change up her recipe a bit, varied the measurements of ingredients and most notably swapped out Anna’s lemon for lime and replaced her tempeh for tofu.
What I ended up with was a delicious Tahini peanut lime sauce, perfect drizzled over grilled tofu with greens or rice or soba, yum.
If you’re not a fan of tofu, although if that’s how you feel I urge you to try this it may change your mind and may even change your life, really, truly. BUT, this sauce would also work perfectly with grilled chicken (think chicken satay) or even shrimp, as a sauce over soba noodles or nutty brown rice, mixed into shredded cabbage for an awesome slaw, this sauce IS that good, now what are you waiting for go try it.
Now let’s talk a little bit about lime….Forever a fan of citrus, I just love the scent and taste of all things lemon, lime & orange, but lemon has always been my favorite, I am finding myself now using lime more and more, I think lime may be my new fave, sorry lemon I still love you, but. Lime just wakes up the flavor in sauces, dressings and soups without as much of a hit of acid like you get from lemon, it works in sweet and savory and even just a squeeze of lime over some greens works as a nice light salad. You can even mix up lemon, lime and orange to replicate the Japanese yuzu, fresh and clean tasting, you just can’t go wrong with citrus.
Tofu in Tahini-Peanut-Lime Sauce
Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones
Adapted from Anna Jones’ – A Modern Way to Eat –
1 package extra firm or super firm tofu – 12 – 15 ounces / sprouted if you can find it
Optional: black sesame seeds
Tahini-Peanut-Lime Sauce –
4 tablespoons natural creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)
2 tablespoon miso paste – white or red or a mix
2 tablespoon maple syrup
4 teaspoons (1 Tbsp + 1 tsp) lite soy sauce – gmo free and gluten free
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 whole lime – 1 1/2 limes
1-3 tablespoons water
Remove the tofu from the package, drain and carefully press out as much liquid as you can.
Heat a large non stick skillet over medium-high flame. Pour in enough coconut oil to cover the pan, sprinkle the pan with salt (flaky sea salt if you have).
Once the tofu is fully pressed, cut into about 8 slices or 16 triangles if you prefer, add the slices to the hot pan. Don’t stir around, cook until each slice is golden brown, then flip and cook the other side, lowering or raising the temperature as needed or adding additional coconut oil. Once the tofu is cooked on both sides, remove from the pan to a cutting board and allow to cool a bit, then cut each piece either in half or in thirds lengthwise so you have finger sized pieces of tofu or leave as is if you already cut into triangles.
While the tofu cooks mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl, starting with the juice of 1 lime, adding more if needed, to taste and adding enough water to get the consistency you like.
Spoon the sauce over the tofu or use it as a dip if you prefer. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds if you like. Yummy warm or cold. Great for leftovers. Enjoy!
This makes lots of sauce, so you may have extra to enjoy as you will.
Tofu with Tahini Peanut Lime Sauce with mixed greens & mint & a squeeze of lime
I served this yummy tofu on top of a bed of mixed salad greens and shredded carrots with an extra squeeze of lime and a few sprigs of mint, for a delicious healthy lunch. The tofu would also be great wrapped up in summer rolls with mint or basil, or stir into soba noodles topped with the tofu, shredded carrots, mint and chopped scallions for a more substantial meal or simply with a side of brown rice & steamed veggies with extra sauce drizzled over the top OR in my next post with cabbage slaw and ginger roasted sweet potatoes!
I often find myself with extra bananas past their eating prime, over ripe and brown, which is why I have so many different recipes for baking with super ripe bananas, like these muffins and these cookies or I’ll add them into the daily smoothie that 5 year old Evan often asks for/demands. But, one of my favorite ways to use extra ripe bananas is, in what else, but banana bread. There are a million banana bread recipes out there, but of all I’ve tried, this one is my family’s favorite. Aside from being super moist, flecked with chocolate chunks and often walnuts, it is lower in fat than many recipes and filled with so many heart healthy ingredients. I love using bittersweet dark chocolate and even if I use chips I like to chop up the chocolate so you get different size bits with a few chunks. Honestly, I think even without the chocolate this banana bread would be delicious, but why not indulge a little with chunks of dark chocolate, after all chocolate is a super food too.
Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread. Heidi’s recipe calls for a lemony glaze poured over the top of the finished banana bread and while I love the addition of lemon in so many recipes I am not a huge fan of sweet glazes, and I think in this case the banana bread with the addition of great chunks of chocolate and chopped walnuts really stands on its own with no need for an added glaze.
The base recipe is fantastic with olive oil and aside from eliminating the glaze I’ve amped up the heart health with the addition of oat bran, avocado and flax. And if you add in the optional walnuts, you get even more heart healthy benefits since walnuts are a great source of Omega 3’s, aside from adding in a little yummy crunch. I like the mix of avocado and olive oil, just be sure to really mash the avocado well, but if a few tiny flecks of green remain it’s no big deal. I also like using a combo of one egg plus one “flax egg”. Egg substitutes are easy to make using 1 Tablespoon of ground flax with about 2 ½ Tablespoons of water per egg. Mix up the flax and water at the start of putting together the recipe, to allow time for the water to be fully absorbed and gel up a bit. Again if you prefer, you can always use 2 eggs or go full out doubling the flax and skip the egg altogether. Either way, the banana bread turns out moist and delicious. Super healthy, Super yummy, what more could you ask for!