Monthly Archives: March 2012

Vegan Filet O Tofu Fish Sandwiches

So, I haven’t blogged in quite a few days… all of this warm summery weather and unusually high temperatures has been keeping us outside pretty late.  We’ve also been busy working on the yard by doing some light landscaping… planting flowers…  starting our herb garden… trimming our peach trees… weeding the front bed… and of coarse we have also spent lots of time just being together playing outside (mostly swinging).

We’re trying to do our part to stimulate the economy by visiting some of our favorite local restaurants too, which is always fun and usually leaves us with delicious leftovers 🙂 Man, this great weather has really been putting me in the mood for a visit to the ocean… but since a beach vacation isn’t in my near future, I decided to make my own ocean experience with these “fish” patties!

After I whipped up this quick yummy 3-ingredient tartar sauce, I realized just how essential the sauce is – it is the sauce that really makes this fish taste for me… probably because the only fish I ate as a kid that I actually liked were frozen fish sticks with tartar sauce!

These breaded tofu “fish” cakes turned out really great and they can also be made fish stick style, which is how I made them for the kids… My husband and I ate our’s as filet sandwiches on a bun with tartar sauce and a slice of vegan american cheese. My husband has since told me his mouth was salivating in anticipation of his next tofu “fish” sandwich, which makes me really happy  🙂  We may make these again for a Dinner and a Movie night and eat them while we watch Shark Tale, the Little Mermaid or maybe (Not) Finding Nemo!

Tartar Sauce

Mix and chill:

  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (I like Veganaise)
  • 2 heaping Tbsp sweet relish, excess liquid drained off
  • 1/2 tsp mustard (I used Dijon)

Filet-o-Tofu-Fish Sandwiches

First press your block of tofu, then cut it into 4 slices lengthwise and marinate your tofu in a large tupperware or shallow bowl for as long as possible in this mix:

  • 1 cup water & 2 heaping tsp kelp granules or kelp powder (you will need more for coating, see below)

I used this for my patties and it sure gave it a fishy quality!

After marinating the tofu, dredge the tofu slabs through the mix below thoroughly and pan fry them in a little olive oil. You can also bake these for about 40 minutes at 400 if you prefer, flipping halfway through.

  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp kelp granules or powder
  • 4 hamburger buns, 4 slices vegan cheese

* I recommend sprinkling a little extra kelp over the top of the filets as you pan fry them for the ultimate ocean experience! *

marinating the tofu in kelp-water

coating the "fish sticks" with breading

pan frying in olive oil

A simple and delicious sandwich.

Filet o Tofu Fish served with tartar sauce, red quinoa and green beans

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A Mess of Mama’s Vegan BBQ

Check out this weeks Dinner and a Movie  🙂  We watched one of our favorites -Emmet Otter’s Jug-band Christmas and made… what other than… BARBECUE!! A mess of mama’s barbecue to be exact… with baked beans.

Check it out by clicking here!

And if you missed it, check out the pictures I added of my Dr. Seuss Omelet

Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Who says you can’t make a delicious vegan spinach and artichoke dip?  Not me!  I love this dip because it is actually pretty healthy, considering it’s a chip dip… This is one of those recipes that my husband and I usually make by throwing things into the food processor until it tastes just right, without following an actual recipe. Well, I have to say, there is definitely something comforting about finally having this recipe written down 🙂

Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Blend all in food processor, then pour into a large dish and cook for 25-30 min at 375.  You can shred additional cheese on top and broil to melt, if desired.  Eat with mexican style chips (we like the Xochityl brand white chips, available at Publix)

  • 1 small onion, chopped & sautéed in oil
  • 10 oz box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup grated soy cheese ( I recommend Vegan Gourmet Monterey Jack)
  • 1 cup soymilk
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp Tofutti cream cheese (many recipes online contain 1/2 a tub of this stuff AND Veganaise… I tried to tone it down on the processed ingredients.)
  • 1 block extra-firm silken LITE tofu* (I recommend Mori Nu)
  • 1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained
  • salt and pepper

* I honestly cannot taste the difference between lite silken and regular silken tofu. This kind of tofu won’t be found in the cold section at the store… It will be on a shelf in the natural foods section, or maybe with asian foods. I really like the Mori Nu brand.  I happened to have a LITE silken tofu in the cabinet (which I usually use in my homemade quiche) and decided to use it for the dip.  What can I say?… Scrumptious!

Pea and Potato Samosas with Coconut Jasmine Rice

Hey!  Don’t forget to check out this week’s Dinner and a Movie!

This week we watched Disney’s Aladdin & made Pea & Potato Samosas with Coconut Jasmine Rice!

Check it out by clicking right here!

The Dr Seuss Omelet… aka Green Eggs and Ham

Okay, so… obviously, being vegan, this isn’t gonna be your typical green eggs and ham recipe!  Today,  March 2,  is Dr. Seuss’s birthday, so I wanted to make some kind of tribute to this wonderful story-teller who practically lives on a shelf in every home in the entire world.  I thought about trying to make this whole blog rhyme, but I thought that’d be a waste of time, so it’s fine… now lets dine!

I have made both of these recipes before from my Vegan Brunch cookbook and I can vouch that they are truly outstanding examples of vegan breakfast food.  (Hmmm… I’m not quite sure what the rule is on sharing other people’s recipes straight up… but I hope Isa Chandra Moskowitz can forgive me this once, since I’m always giving links to her awesome cookbooks! Thanks, Isa! 🙂 )

I should mention, the eggs here are not scrambled (nor are they like fried eggs in the actual story)… this is actually the closest thing to a vegan omelet I have ever eaten.  And what makes it green is pureeing spinach into the omelet batter (this was my personal addition to the recipe!). Voila! Green “eggs”! You could also make a green tofu scramble by using food coloring, but I’m not a big fan of that stuff. (Another idea to make your omelet “green” is by stuffing the inside of the omelet with greens, like spinach, broccoli, zucchini, asparagus… or anything else green!)

The “ham” in this case is homemade tempeh bacon. (Hey, faux bacon is the same as faux ham in my book.  At least in this kind of recipe.) You can easily buy Fakin’ Bacon or SmartBacon, both of which I enjoy… a lot… but you will find this tempeh bacon to be delicious and there is something very satisfying on making your own tempeh bacon!

(In regards to that, I have decided that I’d like to try to make my own homemade versions of these things more often instead of buying them.  Of coarse, I will still continue to use the store-bought stuff sometimes, just for the ease of doing so, but I’d definitely like to strive to do as much natural cooking as possible!  Some days it just seems there isn’t enough time and dinner sneaks up on me!  Though I must say, all the soy products I use are non-GMO.)

One more thing, if you don’t want a green omelet, just omit the spinach to the puree – you can always fold it into the inside of your omelet instead if you’d like!

Tofu Omelet

 Puree together the following:

  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 block silken tofu or soft tofu (I recommend Nasoya brand soft tofu for this. The vacuum packed mori-nu kind is not recommended for these)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • > 1 tsp indian black salt (aka – kala namak… it is actually dirty pink in color – this particular salt has a sulfuric taste that is similar to what you find in an egg- I had to order this online, though you may be able to find it in a health food store or indian grocery store)
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
  • spinach – as much as it takes to green up your omelet!  (1-2 cups, or two giant handfuls)
  • water if necessary – I added 1/2 cup
  • filling for omelet (whatever veggies & soy cheese that you please)

Chop the garlic and throw it into the food processor with the tofu, nutritional yeast, olive oil, turmeric, and salt.  Puree until smooth.  Add the chickpea flour and arrowroot and puree again for about 10 seconds until combined.  Make sure to scrape down the sides occasionally!  Pulse in the spinach until green color is as desired.  You may end up needing to add a bit more water to the batter because of the spinach addition.  (See tip** below.)

Preheat a LARGE non-stick skillet over med-high heat.  Lightly grease it and  pour 1/2 cup increments into the skillet.**  Spread the batter gently into about 6″ circles using the back of a spoon.

Let the batter cook about 3-5 minutes. The top of the omelet will become dry and matte looking when its ready to be flipped. If it starts to fall apart, give it a little more time. When its ready to be flipped, the underside will be speckled with light- dark brown spots.  Flip and cook about a minute on the other side.  Fill omelet with you choice of ingredients then fold it.  (This makes several omelets, so you can keep them warm on a plate covered with tinfoil as you make remaining omelets.)

**The right batter consistency depends on the tofu used. You can do a mini test omelet by pouring 2 Tbsp of batter in a pan.  If the batter spreads a bit on its own and firms up when cooking, you are good to go.  If it sits there like a mound, add up to 1/4 cup water to the batter and try again.

This is the tofu I use

Here we go….

There’s nothing traditional about a green omelet… this mushroom/onion/pepperjack omelet is served here with soysage and a homemade biscuit with jelly.

Tempeh Bacon

In a wide shallow bowl, mix the marinade and add the tempeh slices.  Let marinate at least an hour.  Preheat a large pan over medium heat. Pan fry the tempeh for 5-7 minutes, flipping occasionally and adding more marinade when you flip.  These will last several days in the fridge (if you don’t eat them all at once, that is!)

The marinade…

  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves

And for cooking …

    • 8-12 oz tempeh, cut width-wise into 1/4″ slices
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Serve with toast and grits… while reading the book Green Eggs & Ham, if desired!