Thyme-Roasted Grapes and Cheese on Grilled Bread

IMG_1668     Thyme-Roasted Grapes and Cheese on Grilled Bread is one of those recipes that’s almost too good to be true.  Quick, easy, elegant and especially delicious.  The earliest origin of roasted grapes I could find online was around 2004.  Here, we’re using vegan cheese, because nobody has to die so we can have really good food.  Having a sweet, salty, creamy and crunchy appetizer is wonderful, but knowing it’s also good for your body and the planet and the animals is priceless!

THYME ROASTED GRAPES AND CHEESE ON GRILLED BREAD

Makes enough for 2 to 4 people, for appetizers

INGREDIENTS
1 lb. seedless red grapes
2 ciabatta loaves, or a baguette
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
spreadable vegan cheese, such as Kite Hill Cream Cheese Style Spread.  Or, Miyoko’s CreameryTreeline, etc.   Or even just Tofutti Cream Cheese (non-hydrogenated).  Any of them should work.

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 Celsius).  Line baking dish with parchment paper.  In a mixing bowl, place grapes, olive oil, sea salt and thyme, and fold gently with a wooden spoon to coat the grapes.  Tip ingredients into prepared baking dish and roast for 15 minutes or so, until grapes are a bit shriveled but still juicy.  Set aside.  Also set out your vegan cheese so it can warm up a bit while you prepare the toasts.

Slice ciabatta loaves in half the long way so you wind up with two wide/flat paddles, or if using a baguette, slice into rounds.  If grilling, brush bread with olive oil on both sides.  If baking in oven, brush oil on just the cut sides.  Grill bread 1 to 2 minutes per side–do not walk away, as it can burn quickly.  If baking bread, have oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 Celsius) and bake for about 7 minutes, keeping an eye on it.  Smear bread with vegan cheese and garnish with thyme-roasted grapes.  Serve.

Notes:  If using a good nut cheese, this can easily be a main meal, especially if served with a salad.  I used the Kite Hill Cream Cheese Style Spread (made from almond milk) in the Chive flavor.

Grilled Broccolini with Pistachio, Cured Olive, and Preserved Lemon – from the Vedge cookbook

IMG_0374     This Grilled Broccolini with Pistachio, Cured Olive and Preserved Lemon is yet another simple-but-superb dish from the Vedge cookbook.  This dish looks gorgeous and tastes even better.  The slightly-bitter and slightly-crunchy broccolini, bright lemon, salty olives and toothsome, creamy toasted nuts are an amazing combination.  I always have a jar of Preserved Lemons on hand for dishes like this.  I cut the oil in half, and also cut down on the salt, and this dish was still extremely flavorful and luscious.  I just used Trader Joe’s Kalamata olives packed in olive oil, and I found organic Broccolini at Whole Foods in Annapolis.   Whole Foods was also calling it Baby Broccoli, which it is not.  The Broccolini seed was developed in Japan, around 1993, and it’s a vegetable similar to broccoli, and is also called different things in different countries–such as broccolette, broccoletti, bimi, and tenderstem broccoli, among other names.  This was my first time cooking broccolini, but now I can say I prefer it to regular broccoli.  In future, I will slice any thick stems down the middle (the long way), while leaving the florets/head intact, to help the thicker stems cook to the same level as the thinner stems and delicate florets.   This recipe is a bit time-consuming if you prepare it all at once–maybe about 45 minutes.  However, you can prepare any or all of the individual components a day ahead, and then it’s quick to throw together.  I used my Calphalon 12-inch round, nonstick grill pan on top of my electric stove and had great results, but this can also be prepared on the outdoor grill.  You can substitute broccoli rabe if you cannot find the broccolini.    p.s.  Leftovers of this dish are fabulous chopped up and tossed with hot pasta!

Strawberry Vanilla Date Shake

IMG_2227    My wonderful neighbor Gail stopped by on Memorial Day weekend with pounds and pounds of freshly-picked strawberries out of their impressive garden.  We ate some, but there were so many I decided to create a shake smoothie worthy of them.  Sweetened with dates, and enhanced with natural vanilla, it’s the bomb.

STRAWBERRY VANILLA DATE SHAKE

Servings:  2 to 4

INGREDIENTS
2 Cups frozen strawberries
4 dried dates, with pits removed   (chop each date into about 4 pieces)
1.5 Cups plant milk
seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean,  or  1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract

Add all to blender and blend.  If your blender gets stuck, a good trick is to slide a long teaspoon down the sides of the blender container or give a quick stir to allow contents to settle once again.  Add a little more liquid if you need to.

Notes:   Using store-bought frozen strawberries is just fine.  To freeze fresh strawberries, rinse them with cold water just before you need them, and lay them on an old dish towel to dry.  Use an old towel in case they stain your towelHull the strawberries using a paring knife, and discard the green tops.  Freeze strawberries on dinner plates until they are frozen.  Then place frozen strawberries into a freezer container.  This method will prevent the strawberries from freezing together in a solid mass.  If you can, organic strawberries (whether fresh or frozen) are worth buying, because strawberries are in the Dirty Dozen (among the most pesticide-laden produce).  If you do not have a high-powered blender, you might want to soak the dates in almost-hot water for 15 minutes before pitting and blending.  Here are good tips for splitting and seeding a vanilla bean.   Make sure to look in the bulk section of your local health food store for vanilla beans, for cheaper prices.  If you really want to gild the lily, add a few Tablespoons of granola to this shake after it’s out of the blender.  This is great with almond milk too.  My favorite soy milk is WestSoy Organic Unsweetened.

Approx Nutrition info for the whole batch:  Calories 489.  Fat 7 gr.  Saturated Fat 1 gr.  Polyunsaturated Fat 4 gr.  Monounsaturated Fat 2 gr.  Trans Fat 0.  Cholesterol 0.  Sodium 45.  Potassium 1538.  Carbs 106.  Fiber 20.  Sugars 78.  Protein 16.  Vitamin A 4%.  Vitamin C 180%.  Calcium 14%.  Iron 27%.

Avocado Toast

IMG_1825    Yes, Avocado Toast is a thing.  If you’ve already had Avocado Toast, you know how good it is.  If you haven’t, get thee to a kitchen pronto.  Lots of people claim they invented Avocado Toast, it’s all over the internet and in foodie magazines, and famously on the menu at Café Gitaine in New York City.  There’s something rustically beautiful about this dish, and it’s so delicious that I’ve eaten it for lunch three days in a row.  Don’t forget the lemon–it makes it sing!

AVOCADO TOAST

INGREDIENTS
whole grain bread
avocados  (approx. one small-to-medium avocado per person)
extra-virgin olive oil
fine sea salt
black pepper
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice  (lemon is a must, in my opinion)

DIRECTIONS
Toast whole-grain bread.  Cover toast with slices of fresh avocado.  Drizzle lightly with extra-virgin olive oil.  Sprinkle with fine sea salt and black pepper.  Squeeze fresh lemon over the whole thing and eat while toast is still crunchy and before avocado goes brown.

NOTES:  This somehow tastes even better with whole-grain bread.  I used Fleur de sel for salt and Shallot-Pepper from Penzey’s Spices, but it still tastes fabulous with plain salt and pepper.  I would avoid kosher salt (too chemical tasting) and I wouldn’t think of mashing my avo because I prefer the almost-toothsome texture of just-ripe slices.  That being said, make sure your avocado is not overly ripe, not mushy.

BANANA FLAXSEED QUICK BREAD

IMG_0159     Bananas and flax seeds are some of the best egg replacers around, so there are no eggs in this recipe (not that we need them any anyway).  Flaxseed meal is simply ground up flax seeds, one of the best sources for Omega 3 essential fatty acids.  I use Florida Crystals brand brown sugar.  Florida Crystals is the first and only certified organic sugar made in the United States!  Unlike most other sugars, It’s processed without bone char or any other animal products, and it is not genetically modified.  Either way, this delectable banana bread is easy enough for kids to make, and is great either served as a dessert, or smeared with peanut butter or Earth Balance organic whipped vegan butter.  p.s.  I love walnuts and dates in this bread, but you don’t have to put them in.

BANANA FLAXSEED QUICK BREAD  (with optional walnuts and dates)

Yield:  one loaf

INGREDIENTS
1 Cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 Cup Spelt flour
1 Cup Florida Crystals Brown Sugar  (packed) (or demerara)
2.5 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (or regular salt)
3/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Flax Meal
1/4 Cup Safflower oil  (or other oil)
1/2 Cup apple sauce
1/2 Cup almond milk  (or other plant milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Cup banana, mashed well  (approx. 2 bananas)
1/2 Cup finely chopped walnuts  (optional)
3-4 dried dates, pitted and diced (optional)

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.    Grease one regular sized loaf pan with Earth Balance Buttery Sticks.    In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
If using the walnuts and/or dates, add them to dry ingredients now, and stir.
In another bowl, mix together the plant milk, oil, applesauce, vanilla and mashed bananas.    Gradually stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, just until incorporated.
Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan.    Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.    Cool pan on a rack for 5 minutes.    Invert pan onto rack until loaf pops out, and then invert bread again, so it’s right-side-up.    Cool on rack completely.

Notes:  Stirring the walnuts and dates into the dry ingredients just before adding the wet gets them coated with flour which should help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf during baking.  In the Fall, you could replace the Cinnamon with Pumpkin Pie Spice.  I like to keep a six-pack of 4 oz. organic applesauce cups in the pantry, to replace some or all of the oil in baking recipes.  I use an old-fashioned potato masher to mash the bananas on a cutting board until they are a fine consistency.   p.s.  If you want to go crazy, add in 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric for an enhanced golden color and natural anti-inflammatory for the body.

Maple Smoked Tofu Steaks

This is my favorite savory tofu to date.  It’s fast, easy and best when it’s hot out of the pan.  It’s succulent with a hint of caramelization and sweetness.  If you or anyone you know is not yet crazy about tofu, this is a great intro dish.  Like my Easy Marinated Tofu Steaks,  this can be a main dish, or sliced up for any other use, such as Bahn Mi sandwiches, wraps, etc.  You could also cube it before frying, and then spoon the crispy cubes over other dishes that need a hit of extra protein;  rice bowls, noodles and the like.  But honestly, if you sit with it and open your mind and nose, this silky, hot tofu steak would be delicious simply atop a bed of brown rice, with a few pickled vegetables or greens on the side.  My favorite way to eat this so far is in a wrap with a little Vegenaise or hummus, sliced dill pickles and raw kale shreds.  Again, I love my Tofu Xpress to squeeze all the water out of the tofu, but you could always do it the old fashioned way.  One more photo below.   p.s.  There’s also a great Teriyaki Tofu under the Tofu Category on this site.

MAPLE SMOKED TOFU

INGREDIENTS
14 oz. package organic, extra-firm tofu
2 Tablespoons Tamari sauce
2 Tablespoons real maple syrup  (use the good stuff)
1 Tablespoon oil, such as grapeseed or safflower (not canola)
1 Tablespoon cooking sherry or sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Liquid Smoke  (found in most grocery stores)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS
Drain, press and drain tofu very well.
Mix all other ingredients and whisk to make a marinade.
Slice dry tofu into two or four thin steaks.
Marinate tofu in refrigerator for an hour or two, turning it over once or twice.
Fry tofu in a dry, non-stick skillet on medium heat, pouring any excess marinade into the pan as you go.
Do not add any additional oil, you don’t need it.
Fry tofu steaks until they are seared golden brown and gorgeous.

Notes:  One of my favorite ways to eat this is in wraps with raw shredded kale, Vegenaise or hummus, and slices of sour pickles.  This amount would make 3-4 wraps.

Nutrition:  Calories 538.  Fat 30.  Saturated Fat 3.  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.  Monounsaturated Fat 3.  Cholesterol 0.  Sodium 632.  Carbs 12.  Fiber 0.  Sugars 7.  Protein 53.  Calcium 80%.  Iron 54%.

Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Here’s one of the best Dill Pickles I’ve ever eaten.  I used organic, pristinely-fresh, full-size cucumbers, and store-bought dill seed, to make this a year-round quick pickle.  By partially peeling and then slicing the cucumbers into spears, we now have a pickle that you can begin eating the next day.  The result is a crunchy, fresh, semi-raw-tasting pickle that’s addictive.  The original recipe appeared in the Dayton Daily News on August 14, 2006, but I cannot find the link and adapted my version from an old photocopy.   It’s one of those popular refrigerator-pickle recipes that’s probably not approved by the FDA.  However, my friend Gail has been making the original recipe for three years and nobody’s gotten sick yet, despite the fact that she refrigerates them for three to six months at a time.  When you consider, for example, the crocks of sauerkraut made around the world and stored in grubby basements, I think we’ll live.  You can find many recipes for refrigerator pickles online, on sites like cooks.com and people are letting them sit in the fridge for months on end and even adding fresh veg into the jars of original brine.  Pickling is the oldest form of food preservation, but there’s a real rebirth of fermented foods going on here in the United States, as evidenced by the plethora of books published on the subject recently (just go on amazon.com and type in “fermented foods“).  The original recipe is called “Cold Pack Dill Pickles” which is a bit of a misnomer, because supposedly, Cold Pack means using a water-bath canner instead of a pressure canner, but this simple recipe uses neither.  I’ve also reduced the salt a bit, added some mustard seeds and brought the yield down from 16 pints, to two quarts, which saves a lot of time and is fine for our home consumption.  Like my Pickled Red Onions, I’ll just make another quick batch when we’re out.  Thank you, Gail, for the original recipe, and all the fabulous garden produce you folks shared with us last summer.  Vegan Mofo 2012.
********
Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Makes 2 quarts.

INGREDIENTS
3 large, full-size, firm, fresh, organic cucumbers
(or four medium cukes)
3.5 Cups filtered water
1 Cup distilled white vinegar
3 Tablespoons fine sea salt
2 Tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons Dill seeds
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds (optional)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved

DIRECTIONS
To make brine:
In a large saucepan or small stock pot, add water, vinegar, salt, and sugar.
Heat until good and hot, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
——–
Have 2 clean quart jars at the ready (or 4 pint jars).
Wash cucumbers carefully and partially peel them, leaving some green strips along the sides.  If the cucumbers are from a safe, organic garden (un-waxed cucumbers), peel them only lightly for visual appeal.
Cut the ends off each cucumber.
Cut each cucumber in half the short way, and then quarter each half into long spears.
Slice away at least half of the seeds from the length of each cucumber spear.
Rinse peeled garlic halves in hot water to make sure they’re clean, and divide the garlic between the two jars.
Add 1 teaspoon of Dill seeds to each jar.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds to each jar.
Place prepared cucumber spears vertically into jars, packing them in tightly.
Fill jars with the hot brine and then tighten the lids by hand.
Wipe jars dry and place them immediately into the fridge.
Supposedly, these keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 6 months.

Notes:  I always run my canning jars through the dishwasher with the other dishes to make sure they’re sterilized.  Make sure cutting board and knives are impeccably clean, etc.  The original recipe calls for chopping the garlic and adding 2 fresh dill sprigs to each jar.  It did not call for heating the brine, or peeling the cukes, and it recommended letting the completed pickles/jars sit out at room temperature for 24 hours, but I was too scared to do that, especially with the garlic in there.

Ambrosial Vegan Granola

This is a decadent vegan granola; sweet, fragrant, and rich with fruits and nuts.  Store-bought granola pales in comparison.  I have two other granola recipes, but this one’s my favorite.  I make this for company, and give it for gifts.  This recipe fills two one-quart canning jars, so you could give one away and keep one.  I also throw this in my suitcase when I travel.   p.s. We like to raid the dried fruits and nuts section at Trader Joe’s when we’re near one.  As an aside, this granola can also be used to make these wonderful granola bars.
AMBROSIAL GRANOLA

Makes about 8 cups, or 16 servings

INGREDIENTS
2 Tablespoons vegan butter (Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
1/3 Cup brown sugar
1/3 Cup brown rice syrup
1/3 Cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fine sea salt  (if using regular salt, use only 3/4 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 Cups rolled oats
1/4 Cup flax seed meal
1/2 Cup chopped raw pecans
1/2 Cup sliced raw almonds
1/4 Cup raw sesame seeds (optional)

1/3 Cup dried blueberries
1/3 Cup dried cherries, chopped
1/3 Cup golden raisins  (or regular raisins)
1/3 Cup shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
Measure out and set fruits aside, as you will NOT be cooking them.
Into a large bowl, put oats, flaxseed meal and nuts, stir and set aside.

In a stock pot, melt vegan butter over low heat.   Add sugar, rice syrup, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and cinnamon.   Stir until well mixed and sugar is melted, do not overheat.
Add oats, flaxseed meal and nuts,  and stir until well mixed.   Spread granola mixture onto rimmed baking sheet.   Bake one hour, stirring after 30 minutes and again after 60.  It will harden more as it cools, don’t worry.   Let cool on baking sheet.  Transfer to a very large bowl, add all fruits and stir well.   Granola can be stored in airtight containers for about 3 weeks.

Nutritional Info:  Serving 1/2 Cup.  Calories 232.  Carbs 37.  Fat 8,  Protein 4.  Sodium 165.  Sugar 19.  This is with sesame seeds but without dried coconut.

Pickled Red Onions

These Pickled Red Onions are something I improvised years ago and we always have a jar in the fridge and we use them on everything.  They add oomph to just about anything calling for onions, you’ll see.

Pickled Red Onions

INGREDIENTS
1 red onion, sliced into 1/8 inch rounds (and some 1/4 inch too)
½ tsp fine sea salt
¾ C red wine vinegar
1 T agave syrup or 1T sugar
¼ tsp ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS
Separate the onion rings and put into jar.
Add all other ingredients and pour over the onions.
Toss and marinate for one hour in refrigerator.
These will keep for about two weeks in the refrigerator.

Use in sandwiches, on appetizers, in salads, on vegan hot dogs, and anything else you can think of.  I love these in various recipes on this site, including the Butter Bean CanapesFrench Red Potato Salad, Welsh Rarebit, vegan hot dogs, vegan grilled cheese, in the Excellent Bean Dip on this site, as a topping for chili, etc., etc.  Also, I mince these to use in place of shallots, with great results.

Note: I use a recycled jar with a plastic lid for these. Due to vinegar (high acid) content, I want a non-reactive lid, in case I choose to shake the jar once in a while. A re-purposed Vegenaise jar works perfectly.

Vegan Twice Baked Stuffed Potatoes

IMG_3042     These vegan Twice-Baked Stuffed Potatoes are one of those classic things you can prepare the day before and even take somewhere (as long as you can use the oven at your destination).  I developed this potato one Thanksgiving when 30 people were coming for supper, and I knew the last-minute scramble before serving would be a nightmare if I had to mash potatoes too.  This is not the gloppy, cheddar-cheese-filled concoction of the 1990’s, but (while still rich) a lighter, creamier addition to the plate.  It’s forgiving, in that the final baking can be done in the oven alongside anything else, on almost any temperature, for varied lengths of time.  I like to use only onion, and some vegan sour cream to make the texture silky.  A perfect dusting of paprika is achieved when you put a bit in a very fine sieve and hold it high above the potatoes and tap gently with one finger.  Here, I did pipe the potatoes through a pastry bag, but these look strikingly rustic when you simply fork the whipped potatoes into their little jackets any which way.  You can also rake the fork over the top of the potatoes (like plowing a field) to make little ridges that will crisp, and little swales that will hold that pooling pat of Earth Balance vegan butter.  I leave the salt out of the recipe, because you can taste it better if you put a finishing sprinkle of sea salt at table.

VEGAN TWICE BAKED STUFFED POTATOES

Makes 8 generous servings, and they freeze well too.

INGREDIENTS
4 white baking potatoes,  such as Russets or Idaho
One white onion  (or yellow, or shallots)
4 Tablespoons vegan sour cream

DIRECTIONS
Wash potatoes well.    Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place potatoes directly on lower-middle oven rack, and bake 30 minutes.
Dice the onion fine, and place into a large mixing bowl.
When 30 minutes is up, pierce each potato (deeply) twice with a dinner fork, along one long sideIt’s important where you poke it, because when you slice the baked potatoes open to hollow out the jackets, you’ll run your knife along the horizontal fork perforations on the one long side.

Put pierced potatoes back into hot oven and bake 30 minutes more, and then remove all from the oven.    Let potatoes cool only slightly, maybe 15 minutes.
Measure out the vegan sour cream into the onions bowl (this will allow the sour cream to soften slightly while you do the rest).
Using a potholder or clean dish cloth to protect your hand, slice potatoes open the long way, along the fork holes.   Taking care to reserve the empty potato skins intact, scoop out the potato innards into the onions bowl.

Mix all with an electric mixer a minute or two, until a thick-but-creamy mixture is attained.    Determine here if you wish to add another tablespoon or two of the vegan sour cream, and complete mixing.    Pipe or stuff the whipped potatoes into the empty potato jackets.    Dust with paprika from on high, through a fine mesh sieve.
Cover and refrigerate until it’s time to do the second baking.
Put any extra, stuffed potato boats in the freezer (they freeze well).
When you’re ready to do the final baking, place stuffed potatoes in the oven on a baking dish, and heat to whatever temperature you are using for your main dish.  You’ll know when they’re done by their golden  appearance.  A guideline would be 35 minutes on 350, or 30 minutes at 400, etc.  No worries, just as long as they’re good and hot.
Don’t forget to serve with a pat of Earth Balance Organic Whipped Butter, and a sprinkling of fine sea salt.

Cheesy Tofu Scramble

I’ve tried three different tofu scrambles now (including this one) and this is the best, the easiest and also a bit creamier than the other two.  At first this recipe looked odd due to the vinegar, but then I read the reviews on Vegweb, and decided to try it.  Serve as a breakfast scramble, or a breakfast burrito, and dress up with salsa, Tofutti sour cream, and slices of avocado.  I’ve changed this recipe just a bit, and added a few vegetables, and adjusted the seasonings to my liking, but the main premise of the original recipe is still here.

CHEESY TOFU SCRAMBLE

Makes:   8  half-cup servings

INGREDIENTS
1 pound firm tofu, squeezed and drained
1 medium onion, diced fine
1 green bell pepper, diced fine
1/4 cup nondairy milk, unsweetened or plain
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon tamari sauce  or  Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce  (less if serving to children)
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 Cup nutritional yeast

1 Tablespoon Earth Balance vegan butter  or  olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 to 4 tortillas  (optional, if making burritos)

DIRECTIONS
In a cereal bowl, mix nondairy milk, apple cider vinegar, water, Tamari sauce, black pepper, paprika, Tabasco and turmeric.  Add nutritional yeast to this same bowl, and stir to combine.

In a non-stick pan, heat oil or vegan butter, and salt over medium heat.  Add vegetables and saute for about 3 to 5 minutes.  Crumble tofu into vegetables and cook for 3 minutes, scrambling tofu in pan.  I like to use a wooden spoon or wooden spatula with tofu.  Pour in the liquid mixture and continue to cook until all the liquid is absorbed.

Serve with fresh avocado slices, salsa and Tofutti Sour Cream.   Notes:  Can be eaten as a scramble, or as filling for wraps.  If using in a tortilla, cook it another couple of minutes and make it a bit dryer.

Nutrition per half-cup serving:  Calories 100.  Fat 4g.  Saturated Fat 1g.  Trans Fat 0.  Monounsaturated Fat 1g.  Cholesterol 0.  Sodium 205 mg.  Potassium 9 mg.  Carbs 6.  Fiber 2.  Sugars 2.  Protein 9.  Vitamin A 6%.  Vitamin C 15%.  Calcium 6%.  Iron 6%.

Tofu Scramble and Breakfast Burrito

This is the tofu scramble from Everyday Dish TV.  It’s the best out of the two scramble recipes I’ve tried so far.  One caveat is I felt there was too much soy sauce, so I would cut it down to 2 teaspoons next time.   I didn’t use mushrooms but added a chopped garden tomato instead.

I also added:

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 T minced dried onion
1/16th teaspoon turmeric for golden color (you will not taste it)

Aside from decreasing the soy sauce (I use Tamari sauce instead as I think it tastes better), none of my changes are really necessary.  All in all, this is a simple, low-fat recipe, packed with protein and zero cholesterol, and, of course, it’s really good!   This would be a great substitute for scrambled eggs in a traditional breakfast, or in a breakfast burrito, as seen here.  I serve this with salsa, Tofutti Sour Cream, and diced fresh avocado.  I like Mission brand tortilla wraps.  This recipe is a keeper, especially because you can switch it up any way you want, by adding spinach or any other veggies you like.  It would also be good with the Crispy Smashed Potatoes I posted in July 2010.  After all, nobody should be left out at breakfast!

TAHINI DRESSING FOR GREENS

OK, this dressing might sound a bit odd, but trust me, it’s DELICIOUS on greens, and so simple and healthy.  One caveat is that on first making this dressing, it looks like it won’t blend together, like oil and water.  I have a little tool I bought almost 20 years ago that is indispensable in the kitchen, especially for whipping dressings or egg substitutes.  It’s called the Bonjour Caffe Latte Frother, and costs about $15,

OK, here we go.  For the greens, choose whatever you like.  This time I used kale, and just removed the stems and ribs, cut it chiffonade-style, and steamed until just tender and slightly limp.  An alternative way to cook the greens is to boil for three minutes, shock in cold water, and then sauté.

Tahini Salad Dressing

INGREDIENTS
1/2 C water
1 T Umeboshi plum vinegar
1/4 to 1/3 C tahini

Combine all and blend.  Once mixed, this will not separate for days.   At first, it will be a bit thin, but it is perfectly usable right away.  It will thicken in the fridge and be even creamier once it’s chilled.  Great to make ahead.  Tahini and Umeboshi plum vinegar can be found in any health food store, and in the international aisle of most supermarkets.