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Smoky Tofu Stuffed Peppers

A relatively easy dish, this serves 2 as a lunch or a side. Chiquino peppers are pictured, but I also made this dish successfully with bell peppers (capiscum); the same method and timing applies.

Ingredients

For the Tofu Filling

300g silken tofu
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion granules
2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt or to taste
2 tsp mild chilli paste (I used chipotle and smoked paprika)
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Everything else

400g sweet peppers
1/2 red onion, chopped
100g mushrooms (I used shiitake), finely chopped
50g kale, in bite-sized pieces

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with a silicone sheet. Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
2. Meanwhile, in a pan over a medium-low heat sauté the onion and mushroom until the onions start to soften (about 2 minutes). Add the kale and 1/4 cup water. Sauté until the kale has softened or the water has absorbed.
3. Fill the peppers with the tofu stuffing and bake for 25 minutes.

Mushroom-Walnut Spread

Totally retro, we’re taking you on a trip back in time with this tasty spread. You don’t need to serve it from a hostess trolley with Demis Roussos records playing in the background, but we won’t judge you if you do.

Ingredients

1 leek, sliced
1 small red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
300g button mushrooms, chopped
20g dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted; save the soaking water
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp chopped, fresh parsley
1 tbsp yellow miso
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

Method

1. Heat a nonstick pan over a medium low heat. Add the leeks and red onion, and sauté until just starting to colour.
2. Add both kinds of mushrooms and the soaking water, nutmeg, cloves, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper, and cook until the mushrooms are soft and the liquid has evaporated.
3. Transfer to a blender or food processor with the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides.
4. Transfer to a ramekin and refrigerate for a couple of hours or until set.

Griddled Vegetable Sandwich

Full of everyone’s favourite vegetables, this recipe makes two full sandwiches and takes under 15 minutes.

Ingredients

For the baste

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp suitable-for-vegans wholegrain mustard
1 clove garlic, minced

For the griddling vegetables

3 small mushrooms, sliced
1/2 courgette/zucchini, in thin slices lengthwise
1 bell pepper, deseeded and in quarters
1/2 small aubergine/eggplant, in thin rounds

For everything else

4 slices suitable-for-vegans wholemeal bread
Mixed greens (kale, spinach, lettuce, etc.)
2 heaped tbsp hummus
2 heaped tsp red onion relish
2 thin slices red onion, in rings

Directions

1. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat, or preheat a health grill.
2. Mix the basting ingredients.
3. Place the prepared vegetables on a plate and baste their top sides. Transfer them to the grill or griddle pan, basted side down, and baste on the other side.
4. If using a health grill, close the lid until the vegetables are cooked (approximately 5 minutes). If using a griddle pan, cook until starting to colour underneath, flip, and cook on the other side.
5. Meanwhile, toast the bread on one side only.
6. When the bread is toasted and the vegetables cooked, spread the hummus on the toasted sides of the bread. On two slices of the bread, layer on the greens, griddled vegetables, and red onion. These will be the bases of your sandwiches.
7. On the remaining slices of bread, spread some of the relish; these will be the tops of your sandwiches. Place the relish-spread bread on top of the sandwiches, untoasted-side-up. Return the sandwich to the griddle pan or health grill to toast the untoasted sides.

Slowcooked refried bean dip with mushrooms and spinach

A very simple, flavourful dip with lots of greens,
garnished here with some scallions, sriracha and a white miso, sesame spread.

Ingredients

1 large, 6″ portobello mushroom, stemmed and cut 1/4″ dice
2 cups shredded green cabbbage (I use cole slaw mix)
3 scallions, minced, 2″ – 3″ reserved for garnish
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/2t dried, ground cumin
1/4t dried, ground coriander
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste)
1/4t coarse sea salt
1 cup refried beans
1T cashew butter
1T lemon juice
1 cup vegetable stock
2T tomato passata (or puree)
2 cups packed spinach, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt and black pepper/red chili to taste

Optional: Add more cashew butter to taste and
application. Garnish with scallions, sriracha, a sour cashew cream, etc. Serve with tortilla chips, fresh bread, whatever you like. If you don’t make your beans from scratch with a little dried kombu, you may want to add a small piece with the stock. Remove it before adding the spinach.

Method

Warm your slowcooker on high. Add the mushrooms, cabbage, herbs, spices, and sea salt. Cook on high for about 2 hours until the cabbage is well wilted. Add everything from the refried beans up to and including the passata.

Reduce heat to low and cook another 3 – 4 hours or so, until the dip has thickened, stirring periodically. Slowcookers vary depending on the size and exact heat. Use the colour and thickness as a guide.

When the dip has thickened, add the spinach and toss to combine. Let cook another 10 minutes or so to wilt the spinach. Remove from heat. Add the nutritional yeast.
Season to taste. Garnish and serve warm.

Turmeric, miso stew with tofu, tempeh, mushrooms, and potatoes

Sweetened with dates, thickened with flax, and finished with baby kale, this is a rich, spicy stew with lots of strong flavour and colour. If you’re not a turmeric lover, keep the amount low to start.

Ingredients

1/4 cup water
1/2t coarse sea salt
2T scallions, finely chopped (reserve a few inches of green for garnish)
1-3t dried, ground turmeric (to taste — I use 1T)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1t fresh ginger, grated and minced
1/2t dried, ground cumin
1/2t dried marjoram, rubbed
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste — I use about 1/2t)
1 cup cremini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced, about 1/8″
125g extra firm, high quality tofu, 1/3″ cubes
125g tempeh, 1/4″ cubes (use pasteurized)
1 1/2 cups potatoes, 1/3″ dice (I use organic russets)
1/2 cup dried, soft dates, pitted and finely chopped
1T lemon juice
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu, about 2″
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups unsweetened plant milk
3T red miso (or more, to taste)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1T sesame seed butter
2T milled flax seed
3 cups loose baby kale (leave a few leaves for garnish)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: White, yellow, or other shades of miso will work, but they’ll change the final colour. Use freshly grated turmeric (start with 1T) if you have an easy source. Leave out the garlic if you prefer. A little shredded cabbage added with the plant milk and/or a little cilantro for garnish wouldn’t hurt. Add some fresh blueberries to brighten up the flavour.

Method

Warm a large frying pan with a lid on medium heat. Add the water, sea salt and scallion. Water saute for 2 minutes. Add the turmeric, and other herbs and spices. Saute another minute.

Add the mushrooms. Saute for another 2 – 3 minutes. Add the tofu, tempeh, potatoes and dates. Saute another 2 minutes. Add the lemon and deglaze the pan (if necessary).

Add the stock, bring the pan to a light simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Uncover, add the plant milk. Increase heat to medium low.

Simmer another 30 minutes or so uncovered on low heat (as low as you can set it but still simmer) stirring periodically. Remove from heat. Remove the kombu. Add the miso, nutritional yeast, sesame seed butter, flax and kale. Stir to combine.

Let stand 2 minutes to cool. Season to taste. Ladle out into bowls. Garnish with scallion green sliced on an angle and a few scallion greens and serve.

 

 

Cauliflower soup with roasted potatoes, mushrooms, cabbage, and red pepper

This is a thick, luxurious soup with some additional texture, flavour and colour added by a layer of roasted vegetables. The cauliflower gives the soup good density, and its surface tension is increased by the arrowroot. The thinly sliced potatoes work like a raft distributing the weight of the roasted vegetables, themselves lightened by loosing their water weight through roasting.

For the roasted vegetables

4 small yellow potatoes, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 small red pepper, cored, seed and thinly sliced (about 1/2 cups)
1 scallion, minced (reserve about 3″ of green for garnish)
2 cups of shredded cabbage
4 small cremini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced (about 50g)
1T of cooking oil
2t of lemon juice
1/2t of coarse sea salt
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the soup

1T of cooking oil
1/4t of coarse sea salt
1T of garlic, minced
3 cups of cauliflower florets
2 cups of vegetable stock
2 cups of unsweetened soy milk
2T of nutritional yeast
1T of arrowroot powder whisked with 2T of water
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Start with the roasted vegetables, then make the soup

Preheat the oven to 400F.
Slice the potatoes in about 1/8″ slices, lengthwise. Reserve the ends; throw them in with the soup.
Slice the red pepper in about 1/4″ slices, and the mushrooms in about 1/8″ slices.
Mince the scallions and shred the cabbage (I use coleslaw mix).
Whisk the oil, lemon juice and sea salt.
Toss the sliced vegetables in their lemon and oil dressing.
Spread the vegetables evening on an oven pan with sides.
Roast for about 30 – 40 minutes or until everything is lightly browning.
Season the vegetables to taste.
While the vegetables cooking, make the soup.
Bring the oil to heat with 1/4t of coarse sea salt.
Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the cauliflower and potato ends and saute for about 5 minutes until the pan is lightly browning.
Add the stock and the soy milk.
Return the pan to a low boil and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
Add the nutritional yeast.
Puree the soup.
Season to taste.
Whisk the arrowroot with the water.
Return the soup to low heat.
Add the arrowroot mixture slowly stirring continuously until it thickens.
Let the soup stand about 5 minutes and let the vegetables rest at least five minutes before serving.
To serve, arrange the potatoes in a thin layer on the surface of the soup (like a raft).
Carefully spoon the other roasted vegetables onto the potatoes, trying not to sink them, although if they sink a little, it’s not a crisis. You should still have enough vegetable to make a nice, nuanced presentation.
Garnish with the sliced scallions greens.

Makes two large bowls or four smaller ones.

Butternut squash gnocchi with mushrooms, parsley, a simple red sauce and a sesame miso white sauce

The squash makes the gnocchi soft and pillowy while the sauteed herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and nutritional yeast, as well as the red and white sauces add a range of flavours and colours to the plate.

Ingredients

For the gnocchi
2 cups cooked butternut squash
2 cups hard wheat flour
1 liter water
1 1/4t coarse sea salt, divided
2T ground flax seeds
1T olive oil
1T nutritional yeast

For the mushrooms and parsley
2T olive oil
1/4t sea salt
3 scallions, minced (3″ of green reserved for garnish)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1T capers, minced
1t dried basil, rubbed
1t dried oregano, rubbed
1/2t dried thyme, rubbed
200g cremini mushrooms, in 1/2″ slices
2T apple cider vinegar
1 cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped (a few sprigs
set aside for garnish)
2T nutritional yeast
2T sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the red sauce
2T gnocchi water
1 cup passata (or tomato puree)
1/4t coarse sea salt
1T olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper (or other seasonings) to taste

For the white sauce
1/4 cup sesame seed butter
2t white miso
1T lemon juice
3-5T cold water
Sea salt to taste

Directions

Make the gnocchi first, then the vegetables, then the sauces.
Combine the squash, flour, flax and 1/4t sea salt and mix well to form a dough.
Bring the water and 1t of sea salt to a boil in a large pot.
Pinch the dough in 2t sizes and roll into balls. You can decorate by pressing with a fork if you want to be
traditional (this also helps the sauce to cling).
When the balls are ready, drop half into the boiling water and swirl gently.
Boil until the balls start to float (perhaps 3-5 minutes –but they’ll float when done).
Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Boil the remaining gnocchi until done and set aside.
Toss with 1T olive oil and 2T nutritional yeast.
Reserve 2T of the pasta water for the red sauce.
In a large frying pan, bring the cooking oil and sea salt to heat on medium high.
Add the scallion and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and the rest of the herbs and saute for 1 minute.
Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes until the pan starts to brown.
Add the apple cider vinegar and deglaze.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 5-7 minutes.
While the mushrooms simmer, make the red and white sauces.
In a small sauce pan, bring the oil and sea salt to heat on medium high.
Add the passata and gnocchi water and simmer on medium low for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside.
In a small cup or bowl, mix the sesame, lemon, miso and sea salt.
Add 3T of cold water to start.
Add more if necessary to achieve a white sauce consistency.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes and nutritional yeast to the mushrooms and stir to combine.
Add the parsley and saute for 3 minutes.
Add the gnocchi and saute for another 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside 1 minute to cool.
Plate gnocchi and add 1/4 of the red sauce in a wider circle and then 1/4 of the white sauce in dollops.
Drip a little red sauce around the plate for added presentation value.
Garnish with thinly sliced scallion greens and parsley around the plate.

Miso soup with tofu, shiitake mushrooms and kale

Simple and nourishing, this makes 4 small bowls or 2 large ones.

Ingredients

1T water
2 scallions, minced about 4″ green reserved for garnish
1 cup shiitake mushroom caps, stemmed and sliced 1/4″
250g tofu, 1/4″ cubes
1T tamari
1T lemon juice
4 cups water
1 ‘spring’ dried kombu, about 1″
2-3T red miso (use low sodium if you can find it)
1 cup green kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
Coarse sea salt to taste
1/2 cup purple carrots, matchsticked

Optional: 1/2t toasted sesame oil add some additional flavour to this dish, and a teaspoon of white sesame seeds will add colour, flavour and nutrition. I often add nori flakes to mine as a garnish as well. White and yellow miso often have a milder flavor than red. Regular orange carrots are also fine for this dish and add a lovely colour contrast.

Method

Bring a medium pan to heat on medium high heat. Add the scallions and water and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the shiitake and tofu stir fry for 2 minutes.
Add the tamari and lemon and deglaze the pan. Stir fry for another 2 minutes or until most of the moisture has been absorbed, the tofu is lightly browning, and the pan is starting to dry again.

Add water and kombu. Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, remove the kombu, add the miso and stir to combine. If you’re new to miso, add 2T to start and add more to taste. Add the kale and stir to combine.

Let stand a minute to wilt the kale lightly. Season to taste. Ladle out. Garnish with scallion greens sliced on an angle and the matchsticked carrots, and serve.

Note, miso ‘tea’ also makes a light, simple snack or breakfast. Bring a cup or so of water to a boil, pour over a 2-3 teaspoons of miso in a mug, and stir until dissolved.

Noodles and cabbage sauteed with oyster mushrooms, onions, and garlic

A simple, syncretic dish, haluški is typically made with a potato pasta (similar to gnocchi) in central and eastern European cuisines. This is a North American version made with soft (gluten free) noodles and cabbage.

Ingredients

For the noodles
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup masa harina
1 cup tapioca flour
2T egg replacer
A pinch sea salt
A pinch turmeric (I use 1/4t)
1 cup boiling water
2 liters water for cooking the noodles with 2t coarse sea salt

For the cabbage
2T plant-only margarine
2T pasta water
4 scallions, minced, 3″ – 4″ green reserved for garnish
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/4t black pepper, freshly cracked
1 cup oyster mushrooms, coarsely chopped
4 cups shredded green cabbage (I use coleslaw mix)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Replace the black pepper with dried red chili for a spicier dish. Use a tablespoon coconut oil and a little sea salt in place of the margarine if you prefer. A dash of liquid smoke will add some additional flavor to this dish. Scallions add colour to the dish, but vidalia onion will also work (adjust the saute accordingly).

Method

Make the noodles first, then the cabbage. Mix the flours, masa, sea salt and turmeric. Stirring briskly with a fork, slowly pour in the boiling water to mix into a dough. As the dough cool, knead by hand until a smooth elastic dough forms. Roll out on a lightly (tapioca) floured board into a large rectangle about 1/8″ thick or between sheets of plastic wrap.

With a pastry cutter or a knife, cut into 2″ x 3/4″ noodles (or the size you prefer). Traditionally, haluški is scraped off the board with a knife into boiling water, but the noodles in this version are a little sturdier.

In a large pan, bring the water to a boil with the sea salt. Add the noodles and simmer for 3 – 5 minutes, or until the noodles float. Drain carefully, reserving 2 tablespoons pasta water. Rinse gently with cold water. Spread them in thin even layer on a dry, clean cutting board or other surface while you make the cabbage.

While the noodles dry a little, start the cabbage. Bring a large frying pan to heat on medium. Melt the margarine and add the scallions and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the oyster mushrooms and black pepper. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and increase heat to medium high. Stir fry the cabbage for 5-8 minutes, until the cabbage is nicely wilted (reduced by about half) but not mushy.

When the cabbage is ready, add the noodles and reserved pasta water. Stir to combine. Cook another 30 seconds or so. Remove from heat. Add the nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Season to taste. Spoon out, garnish with scallion sliced on an angle, and serve.

Tofu, mushroom, and sea vegetable stew with potatoes and poblano pepper

This is a simple, comforting and nutritious stew with a number of rich flavours. The poblano pepper gives is just a little heat This makes a medium bowl for 4 and a large bowl for 2.

Ingredients

2T water
3 scallions, minced, 3″ – 4″ green reserved for garnish
1/4t coarse sea salt
1 poblano pepper, cored, seeded, 1/4″ dice
4 large cremini mushrooms, stemmed, thickly sliced (about 1/2″)
225g extra firm, high quality tofu, 1/2″ cubes
2 cups green cabbage, shredded (I use coleslaw mix)
1 floury potato (about 2 cups, I use organic russet), 1/3″ dice
1T lemon juice
1 cup water
1 ‘sprig’ kombu (about 3″)
2 cups unsweetened plant milk (I use soy)
1/2T white vinegar
1T dried wakame, crumbled
1T tapioca flour dissolved in 1T cold water
1 cup green curly kale, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt, black pepper and vinegar to taste
1/2t purple dulse flakes
1/2t nori flakes

Optional: A tablespoon of garlic and/or replacing the water with vegetable stock will add flavour. A little white miso and/or cashew butter added at the end would go nicely. A little dusting of smoked paprika with the dulse and nori will add flavour and colour. Slowcook for a few hours if you prefer. Press your tofu ahead of time if necessary.

Method

Warm a large frying pan with a lid on medium high heat. Add the 2T water, sea salt, and scallions. Water saute for 1 minute. Add the pepper and mushrooms. Saute for 2 – 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir fry another 2-3 minutes.

When the pan has browned a little, add the lemon and deglaze. Add the 1 cup water and kombu. Return the pan to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.

Uncover and remove the kombu. Add the plant milk and wakame. Increase heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, aiming to reduce the plant milk by about 1/3.

Stirring continuously, add the tapioca mixture slowly and stir until it thickens. Remove from heat. Add the kale and nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Season to taste. Ladle/spoon out. Garnish with scallion green sliced on an angle, dulse and nori flakes.