Peruvian Grilled Tofu

Trevor has become quite the grillmaster this summer! While barbecuing veggies is wonderful and gives them that unmistakable, smoky richness you can only get from the grill, cookin’ up slabs of tofu on the grill is a wholly satisfying experience as well.  He made this crazy-good Peruvian-style tofu the other day that was so unbelievably juicy, and just…amazing. Please definitely make this and make sure you use FROZEN TOFU! I used to be big on freezing and thawing my tofu as it creates this entirely new texture in the tofu…it’s so meaty and chewy.  I forgot about that for a while, but I’m back to always keeping a couple blocks in my freezer for impromptu chewy-tofu needs.

Vegan Peruvian Grilled Tofu

Peruvian Style Grilled Tofu

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp ketchup or tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 block of frozen extra firm tofu, defrosted (it’s important that it’s been frozen!  It gives it a really meaty, chewy texture)

Combine everything but the tofu in a shallow dish, mix and set aside.  Cut your tofu up into 8 slabs (cut the whole block in half width-wise, then each half in half again, then  each quarter in half), pat dry with a papertowel (squish it a bit to remove as much water as you can) then soak in the marinade for at least an hour but up to overnight.  Reserve leftover marinade.

Clean and oil your grill, get it up to a nice heat and then slap those tofu babies on there.  Minimize how much you flip it, baste it along the way, and get a nice grill on both sides.  Serve with leftover marinade on top for some extra juiciness + rice + greens (Our garden was overflowing with Swiss chard so we sauteed some up with raisins — raisins in savoury things is typical of the region and this worked well!).

 

Jamaican vibes and arroz con leche

We’ve been in our new house for about 6 months now and I finally feel like my kitchen groove is coming back.  You know when you move and there’s a period where you don’t have your bearings about you — which drawer is your favourite ladle in?  Where is your 1/2 cup dry measure?  AGH.  But I’m comin’ back, baby.  Today we went out to get some groceries today we ended up at our favourite international shop.  They have EVERYTHING.  And among that everything was callaloo!  We had callaloo in Jamaica and really liked it.  Well, I like any greens, really…but I found the preparation of callaloo in Ital style to be super delicious.  So of course we had to get it and make it, and we made curried TVP to go with it because it’s such a staple at all the Ital/Rasta places we’ve eaten at.  And brown rice.

Vegan Caribbean Food

I made the callaloo per the instructions here and here’s what we did for the TVP:

  • 3 cups dried TVP chunks
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 scotch bonnet pepper, deseeded and finely diced (or leave out if you’re heat averse!)
  • 2 stalks green onion, sliced
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp gravy browning
  • 2 tbsp Jamaican curry powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put some water to a boil, get your TVP in a large bowl and pour boiling water over the TVP until well covered.  Let sit for 10 minutes, or until TVP is softened.  Drain and set aside.

Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add your garlic first, get it to a nice blonde colour (30 seconds), then add your onions and carrots.  Stir to coat in the oil, and cook for 5 minutes (add a splash of water as necessary to deglaze if things are sticking).  Add in your soaked TVP, green onion, water, coconut milk, scotch bonnet, browning, thyme, curry powder and salt.  Stir everything up, pop the lid on, and let it cook down to a nice thick sauce, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Season to taste and serve with brown rice and callaloo on the side.

I also had a hankering for some arroz con leche which is just a Mexican rice pudding with cinnamon.  I made it in my rice cooker using this recipe and replaced the milk with soy milk.

Vegan Arroz con Leche

Now I’m stuffed, sleepy, and happy I’m getting my culinary groove back.

Watch this space.

Bowl Fever

I’m still obsessing over my food from Aux Vivres. My project over the last couple weeks has been trying to replicate some of their bowls! Oh boy, their bowls are awesome and make you feel like Popeye after you’ve eaten one.

Here’s my Dragon Bol dupe!

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Shredded carrots, beets, red cabbage, rice, greens, grilled tofu, and “dragon” sauce.  For the sauce, I used this recipe, which is tasty but didn’t quite hit the mark on authenticity.  Still, absolutely worth making.  Here’s the translation, as the recipe in the link is en Français:

1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 tbsp tablespoons olive oil
2 tbsp tablespoons maple syrup
2 tbsp tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)
2 tbsp water
2 cloves garlic, crushed

And here’s Trevor’s dupe of the Bouddha Bol…

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Steamed broccoli, lots o’ greens, rice, shredded carrots, grilled tofu, sesame seeds, and absent pumpkin seeds and sauce.  For the sauce, we used the ninja carrot ginger dressing from Vegan Eats World, which the author has kindly posted on her blog.

We ate these for DAYS.  The good thing about bowls is you basically just do prep for them and then assemble as needed.  So yum.  And an easy way to pack a ton of veg into your life!

We’ve been enjoying barbecuing tofu lately, too, and Trevor did some up in the ginger beer tofu marinade from the new cookbook Salad Samurai.  Man, Terry Hope Romero is killin’ it with this one.  It’s so full of deliciousness, and everything we’ve made so far has come together really quickly, which is great for week nights.  Served with some Caribbean-inspired red beans and rice, this was mighty filling and protein-rich.

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Also, cake happened this week!

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I had an itch for cake soooo badly.  Work has been crazy stressful and I just wanted some damn cake so badly at 8:30 at night on a Tuesday.  But no dang flour in the house!  Then I remember I read about this flourless chocolate cake recipe and it sounded pretty good.  I’m usually pretty skeptical of gluten-free stuff, but this was so good and fudgy.  A tiny piece is all you need.

I got the recipe from here, and topped it with a simple chocolate glaze (icing sugar, a bit of cocoa powder, soy milk) and of course sprinkles because I just love them.

Cranberry-Cashew Biryani and 2nd Avenue Vegetable Korma

Appetite for Reduction by Isa Moskowitz is my bible.  I refer to it several times a week; everything is just so easy, flavourful and full of nutrition.  This pair is no exception and is worth the price of the cookbook alone.  I swear I’m not paid for these endorsements, I just really love all the titles that Isa puts out.

The korma is full of zucchini, cauliflower, carrot, peas, cilantro, garlic and ginger smothered in rich-tasting, succulent, spiced coconut sauce.  And the biryani!  Little sweet cranberries, carrots (mine are heirloom yellow ones which look oddly like pineapple in this picture), lots of spices, and the nuttiness of brown basmati rice.

You can find the cranberry-cashew biryani recipe in the google books preview over here.

– Crystal

Arroz con Seitan

We’ve got a trip to Mexico planned for the beginning of November (what a way to wrap up MoFo, huh?) and it would be a dream come true if every place we went had food like this dreamboat of a dish here.  Wishful thinking; our plan is to gorge on local fruit while we’re there.
To build up excitement for our trip, we’ve been digging into the cookbook Viva Vegan a bit more lately.  We’ve never made this recipe before as it is pretty involved; what with the making the seitan and all.  Okay, it’s not really that bad if you make your seitan ahead of time, but we’re not so smart.  
This rice dish is laced with succulent olives and capers, juicy “chicken” seitan, cilantro, peas, green pepper, garlic, onion, and spiced with pretty staple Latin spices like oregano and cumin.
I found the recipe posted online here, but I strongly recommend you just buy the book.  There’s a recipe for churros!
Last night, we had some visitors a bit late into the evening and we didn’t even realize we hadn’t eaten dinner until 9:00pm.  What’s a couple of really hungry vegans to do?  Make epic nachos, that’s what.

Salsa, green olives, sliced jalapenos, beefy crumbles and daiya cheese on tortilla chips.  Bake and eat.

– Crystal

Mujaddara

Have we ever told you about mujaddara? You have to try it. Its a popular middle eastern dish consisting of lentils, rice, and sweet caramelized onions. Guess what? Its usually vegan, so look for it at your favorite middle eastern place. Or you can make it yourself. We’ve tried a few recipes, but the one we like the best is from Veganomicon.
You just roast sliced onions in oil for half an hour, while cooking the rice and lentils on the stove with cumin and cinnamon. Combine it all when its done, and serve it with some pita chips and salad. This dish also pairs nicely with and assortment of other middle eastern side dishes like hummus, falafel, grape leaves, etc.
We served it with a side of sauteed kale, and some fresh veggies. Check out those tomatoes! We grew those on our balcony.

– Trevor

Horchata and Latin Food

Vacation week!  Sorry we haven’t been blogging much, but we’re on vacation and between day trips and refinishing furniture, we haven’t been doing much in the way of bloggable food.  Figures, time off means no cooking?!

Anyway, we made a really nice dinner tonight, making a bunch of stuff from Vive Vegan by Terry Hope Romero.  Swiss chard with raisins and capers, Peruvian potatoes with spicy cheesy sauce, Creamy horchata, and some blue corn tortilla chips.

– Crystal