Helen’s veggie burgers

helens_veggie_burger
These yummy veggie burgers were created by a student in Sue’s vegetarian nutrition class. (Helen gets an A+ for this recipe.) They are super-healthy, high in protein and fiber. TVP stands for textured vegetable protein. Helen suggests using frozen TVP crumbles to make shaping the patties easier. We used Amy’s organic lentil soup in the recipe, but you can substitute tomato for a different flavor.

This recipe makes a lot of veggie burgers. After you have shaped all the burgers you need for your meal, you can put the rest into a meatloaf pan and bake it for 25 minutes. Freeze the loaf for another day, and then slice and serve the reheated loaf with pasta sauce and linguini on the side. Add a green salad and a glass of red wine, and voila! Easy weeknight meal.

1/2 medium onion, diced
1 portobello mushroom cap, gills removed, finely chopped
1-2 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 10-ounce bag TVP
1 12-ounce package soft tofu
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and mashed
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning blend
1 15-ounce can lentil soup
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash of black pepper and cayenne pepper

Sauté onion and mushrooms in oil until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside. Chop nuts in a grinder or blender, and then place in a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Shape into patties. Cook in an oiled pan on medium heat until browned. Turn gently. Or cook on the grill for a couple minutes per side. Serve on a bun with lettuce, a slice of tomato, and vegan mayo, ketchup, or brown mustard.

southern-fried tofu

Rumor has it that southern-fried tofu will steal the show at a potluck. Try it and see for yourself. We credit Stephanie Tidwell, who hails from the South herself, for this recipe.

1 lb. firm tofu (Stephanie recommends White Wave Tidal Wave)

marinade:
1/3 cup tamari or shoyu soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin or sherry
Splash of balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
Splash of sesame oil
1 Tbs. chicken-flavored broth (meatless) (look in the bulk foods department of your natural foods store)

breading:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Canola oil for frying

1. Cut tofu into slabs or strips. Mix all marinade ingredients; marinate tofu for at least 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, mix breading ingredients. In a deep pan, heat oil (test by dropping a tiny piece of tofu into the oil—if it sizzles, it’s ready). Coat tofu slabs with breading mix and fry in oil until golden brown on all sides. (For a healthier version, lightly grease a pan and bake breaded tofu slabs in a 350° oven. Turn once after about 25 minutes and bake for another 15 or 20 minutes.)

thai chili tofu

Chef Robert Church, author of The Tao of Tofu, was kind enough to share this recipe with us. Lime and chilies give a tart and spicy hue to this variation of the Thai classic. The vegetables provide additional flavor and color.

1 16-ounce block extra-firm tofu, pressed, drained, and cut into planks
2 Tbs. light vegetable oil
1 medium carrot, cut into 2″ matchsticks
1 red bell pepper, seeded, veined, and cut into 2″ matchsticks
2 Tbs. light vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, serrano, or Thai bird chili, seeded, veined, and finely diced
2 Tbs. tamari, shoyu, or generic soy sauce
1 Tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 Tbs. palm sugar or light brown sugar

1. In a medium-size sautè pan or wok, fry tofu in the vegetable oil until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels.

2. Heat the vegetable oil to medium-high, add the carrot and bell pepper, and sautè 1 minute. Add the garlic, and carefully sautè 1 minute more. Don’t burn the garlic. Add the tofu and continue to cook.

3. Whisk together the chili, tamari, lime juice, ginger, and sugar. Pour into the pan and toss with the vegetables and tofu. Cook until the sauce thickens and coats all the ingredients.

almond tofu

Cindy Gliebe of VeggieSensations provided us with this recipe. Serve over rice for an Asian sensation!

2 cups water
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 Tbs. peanut butter
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. fresh, peeled, grated ginger root
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1 lb. extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
6 cups mixed vegetables of your choice: broccoli, carrots, onions, celery, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, green peppers
1/2 cup sliced almonds

1. Using a wire whisk, mix first seven ingredients together. Set aside.

2. In saucepan over medium heat, heat sesame oil. Sautè tofu cubes until firm and brown. Set tofu aside to drain on paper towels.

3. In the same pan, sautè vegetables. When the vegetables are tender, add sliced almonds and sauce. Heat through and serve over rice.

flamin’ garden fajitas

The combination of jalapeño, cayenne, and paprika gives these fajitas a pleasant heat. If you prefer a milder taste, omit the cayenne and reduce the amount of minced jalapeño. You can find flavored baked tofu in the refrigerated section of most supermarkets. (We used a tomato-basil flavored tofu.)

2 Tbs. canola oil
1 medium onion, sliced into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 jalapeño, minced
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
8 oz. baked tofu, sliced
8 tortillas
Vegan sour cream (try Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream)
1 avocado, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
2 Tbs. cilantro, minced for garnish

1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Sautè the onion until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add bell peppers and jalapeño; stir to combine. Add 1/4 cup water, and cover skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Remove cover and add spices, mushrooms, and baked tofu. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender and the tofu is heated through (about 5 minutes). If desired, begin warming the tortillas (either wrapped in foil in the oven or wrapped in paper towels in the microwave).

3. Transfer fajita mixture to a large bowl. Allow guests to top their tortillas with the fajita mixture, vegan sour cream, sliced avocado, diced tomatoes, and cilantro. Olè!

jamaican jerk tofu

Want to impress your friends with Jamaican fare for your next vegan dinner party, or just spice up your Saturday night supper? Try this full-flavored recipe that bumps up the flavor of tofu to “Irie, Mon!” Hot and spicy (but not too hot), this marinade/sauce can be adapted to the tongue-smoking level by adding Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers instead of the milder jalapeño.

Try serving jerk tofu with baked yams topped with toasted pecans and maybe that Caribbean staple, rice and beans (we’ve posted a recipe for gallo pinto from Costa Rica). Jamaican Red Stripe beer adds a refreshing, authentic touch.

This recipe makes enough marinade to cover two blocks of tofu, which serves four people. Divide in half if using one block of tofu.

6 green onions, sliced thinly (discard top 1/3 of green ends)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, minced
2 jalapeño peppers, minced
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. thyme
1 Tbs. vegan brown sugar
1-2 blocks extra firm tofu

1. In a large bowl, mix the first nine ingredients, including olive oil. In a smaller bowl, combine spices and brown sugar. Add to liquid mix and stir. If using one block of tofu, spray an 8 x 8 pan with oil. Slice tofu into three slices from its narrow end. Place in pan and pour HALF of marinade over tofu. For two blocks of tofu, use a 9 x 13 pan, and pour ALL the marinade over tofu.

2. Let stand for 15 minutes. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

thai golden curry with tofu

thai golden curry with tofu
This recipe is not difficult (don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients). Prepare all items in advance, including slicing the tofu. For best results, rinse the tofu block, and then stand it on its side and slice the narrowest edge into four slices. Then lay it flat and cut into about 2-inch cubes. The slices will be 1/2-inch thick and will cook more evenly.

1/3 cup light olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 16-ounce package firm tofu, rinsed
1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. curry powder
1 Tbs. soy sauce
2 tsp. agave nectar OR 3 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 6-ounce package baby spinach leaves

1. Place 2 Tbs. olive oil, onion, ginger, and garlic into heated large cook pot or dutch oven. Stir occasionally until onion is transparent, about 3 minutes. Add remaning olive oil and tofu and cook until tofu is lightly browned. Add a bit more oil, if necessary.

2. Add coconut milk, pepper flakes, paprika, curry powder, soy sauce, agave nectar, and salt. Stir well.

3. Spread carrot slices on top, and add spinach leaves. Cover tightly and cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Mix before serving over rice or noodles.

tofu stir fry with lime & coconut

You can easily enjoy the tastes of Thailand on a weeknight after a hard day’s work because this recipe is so simple. Marinate the tofu in the lime juice while you prepare the other ingredients and read your mail.

1 16-oz. package firm tofu
1 lime
2 Tbs. canola oil
6 green onions, white parts only, thinly sliced
1 Tbs. diced green chilies, hot or mild
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
2 tsp. tamari
1 12-oz. package frozen stir-fry veggies
Your favorite Asian chili sauce (optional)
Grated or shredded coconut for garnishing (optional)

Rice or Udon noodles

1. Drain tofu and slice into 1″ cubes. Grate lime zest and sprinkle over tofu cubes. Slice lime in half and squeeze juice over tofu cubes. Stir to combine and set aside.

2. Heat canola oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sautè tofu and scallions for about 3 minutes. Add green chilies, coconut milk, and tamari. Heat until mixture bubbles. Add frozen veggies and chili sauce, if using. Heat through and serve over rice or noodles. Garnish with coconut if desired.

vegan pumpkin pie

Here’s a veganized version of a holiday classic.

1 12-oz. package silken firm tofu
1 16-oz. can pumpkin
3/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 9-inch unbaked deep-dish pie shell (Wholly Natural frozen pie crusts are vegan)

Preheat oven to 425°. Rinse tofu and place in blender or food processor. Process on medium speed for about 1 minute until creamy. Add pumpkin, agave nectar, salt, and spices. Process for an additional 2 minutes. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell and bake for 15 minutes at 425°. (You may need to cover crust with foil to prevent burning.) Lower heat to 350° and bake for another 45-50 minutes. Chill and serve.

michelle’s spring rolls

Michelle, mother of five and a great vegan cook, submitted this recipe. You can set out the ingredients and let your guests make their own spring rolls.

2 oz. dried bean thread noodles or rice thread noodles
1 cucumber, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
12 large rice-paper wrappers (8-inch round or larger)
2 cups baby spinach leaves (or other hardy greens such as kale or romaine lettuce), cut in thin strips
1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
8 oz. baked, seasoned tofu, cut into 1/4-inch sticks
12 fresh basil or mint leaves
Peanut sauce for dipping

1. Place the noodles in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for 5 minutes or until softened. Drain well and set aside.

2. Remove and discard the seeds in the cucumber by scraping a spoon on the center of each piece. Cut each piece into thin strips.

3. Fill a large bowl (at least several inches larger than the rice wrappers) with warm water. Soak one wrapper until soft and pliable, 20-30 seconds. Remove the rice wrapper from the water and lay flat on a counter or cutting board. Place 1-2 tablespoons of spinach leaves along one edge of the wrapper. Place an equal amount of noodles over the spinach. Top with 1 tablespoon of carrot matchsticks, several pieces of cucumber and tofu, and a basil or mint leaf.

4. Roll the wrapper, starting with the filling side, folding the ends over the filling as you roll and forming a tight cylinder. Serve with small bowls of peanut sauce for dipping.

strawberry tofool

Maybe you’ve heard of a classic dessert called a fruit fool? Sue found an English recipe for strawberry fool that dates back to 1764! The basic recipe consists of berries and an equal amount of cream, with sugar added. After blending well, the consistency is similar to a pudding. Some modern recipes use cream and yogurt. Sue came up with this veganized version. YUM. Try it. It’s easy and fast.

1 12-oz. package SILKEN tofu
12 oz. fresh strawberries (or 12-oz. package frozen strawberries, thawed)
1/2 cup agave nectar

Blend in a food processor; chill. That’s it!

pasta salad with tofu

Baked tofu is a good way to incorporate isoflavones into our daily diet. It’s pre-cooked, pre-seasoned, and therefore instant (fast and easy), healthy food.

2 1/2 cups rotini pasta, cooked al dente and drained
15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained
2 1/2-oz can sliced black olives, drained
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 oz. baked tofu, tomato-basil flavor, cubed
1/3 cup vinegar and oil salad dressing (or balsamic vinegar and olive oil combined)
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix cooled pasta with remaining ingredients. Chill.