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Soured Tofu Dip

Don’t be put off by the mention of “sour” in the title. This is adequately balanced by both sweet and salty notes. Perfect for tacos, nachos, wraps, in soups and stews, and it will show you just how versatile tofu can be.

Ingredients

1 block silken tofu (approx. 350g; more or less than this is fine)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
Generous pinch salt

Directions

Blend everything together. Season to taste, and enjoy.

Consider varying this recipe up with the addition of some herbs or garlic (or both!)

Fennel and Mushroom Penne in a Lemon and Garlic Sauce

Delicately fragrant, vivid, and lively, this comforting gluten-free dish is full of nutrients. Eat your fill!

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 leek, finely chopped
250g mushrooms, sliced
1 fennel bulb, quartered and finely sliced
150g tenderstem broccoli (substitute with broccoli florets if tenderstem is hard to find)
5 sage leaves, finely minced
Small bunch each basil and parsley, minced
200g brown rice pasta
2 large handfuls baby spinach

For the sauce

50g white beans of choice
150g silken tofu, drained
Zest 1 lemon
Juice 1/2 lemon
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup unsweetened, unflavoured all-plant milk of choice (soy milk used here)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
1. Steam the fennel and broccoli until just tender (about 5 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid, and rinse to remove the excess starch.
3. Sauté the leeks and mushrooms over a medium heat in a non-stick pan until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the sage.
4. Blend all the sauce ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
5. Add the sauce to the leeks and mushrooms vegetables, thinning out to desired consistency with a little of the reserved cooking water. Toss in the pasta, fennel, and broccoli to warm through.
6. Serve the pasta on a bed of spinach, garnished with a little extra lemon zest, more black pepper, and the minced basil and parsley.

Hot and Sour Soup

With a different combination of flavours in every mouthful, and taking under 15 minutes to prepare, this soup is bound to be a winner. It makes 4 large servings.

If you can’t find the types of mushrooms listed in the ingredients, use 350g sliced mushrooms of your choice, and if you can’t find the vinegars, use apple cider vinegar.

Ingredients

250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
20g dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted (save the soaking water) and sliced
20g dried Chinese black (wood ear) mushrooms, reconstituted (save the soaking water) and sliced
1 can bamboo shoots (120g drained weight)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 inch ginger, grated
1-2 red chilli peppers, deseeded and finely sliced
1.5 l vegetable broth
110g mung bean sprouts
200g extra-firm tofu, cubed
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
Pinch white pepper
2 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced

Directions

1. Heat a large stock pot over a medium-low heat, and when hot add the mushrooms and bamboo. Lower the heat and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, adding just a splash of water if the mushrooms start to stick.
2. Add the garlic, ginger, and chilli, and stir for about 30 seconds.
3. Add the broth, mushroom soaking water, bean sprouts, tofu, soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, and white pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve topped with the green onions.

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.

Tofu Pesto Spread

Although this spread is ideal for crusty bread, it also makes a wonderful stuffing for pasta shells. It’s incredibly simple to make: just put all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor.

Ingredients

1/2 block extra-firm tofu (about 170g), crumbled
1 cup toasted pine nuts or raw macadamia nuts
1 cup spinach leaves, tightly packed
Large bunch basil
Juice 1/2 lemon
2 tsp white or yellow miso
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt, or to taste

Method

Pulse all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides if necessary. Don’t overprocess; you want the finished product to have some depth of texture from the nuts.

Tofu Ranch Dip or Dressing

A creamy, cool dip that’s perfect with sticky BBQ cauliflower bites, or thinned out further and served as a salad dressing.

Ingredients

1 pack firm silken tofu
2 tsp garlic granules
2 tsp onion granules
1 tsp dried dill
1 tbsp cider or rice vinegar
1 tbsp pickle brine (optional)
2 tsp maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste
Soy milk, or other all-plant milk, to thin as desired

Method

Whizz all of the ingredients in a food processor, scraping down the sides as necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings as required.

Vegetable Tofu Tart

This tart is is oil-free, full of vegetables, and with a delicate umami flavour. Feel free to use shop-bought suitable-for-vegan pizza dough for the crust if you want to speed up the cooking process.

Ingredients

For the crust

2 – 2 1/2 cups wholemeal flour (amount will vary according to the flour used; extra for dusting and rolling)
1 tbsp quick-acting dry yeast
1 tsp suitable-for-vegans sugar or maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup warm water; more if necessary

For the caramelized red onion

1 red onion, sliced into thin rings
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp suitable-for-vegans sugar or maple syrup

For the vegetable filling

1 yellow pepper, finely diced
1 red pepper, finely diced
1 cup broccoli florets, chopped small
2 cups spinach, tightly packed

For the tofu filling

1 pack silken tofu (approx. 350g)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp yellow miso paste

Directions

To make the dough

1. Preheat oven to 170C.
2. Knead all of the ingredients together with 2 cups flour. If the mixture seems too moist, add more flour. You should have a smooth, but sticky, dough.
3. Set aside in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.

To make the caramelised red onions

1. Heat a nonstick pan over a medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5-10 minutes until browned, stirring frequently.
2. Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar and cook, stirring, until onions are softened. Set aside.

To make the vegetable filling

1. In a large, nonstick frying pan over a medium-low heat, sauté the peppers and broccoli until the broccoli starts to tenderise (about 10 minutes).
2. Add the spinach and allow to wilt. Turn off the heat.

To make the tofu

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

To assemble

1. Lightly spray a 10-inch flan tin or cake tin with oil, or line with parchment.
2. On a surface dusted with flour, knock back the dough. You can knead it with a little more flour at this point to make it pliable. Roll into a circle large enough to cover the bottom and sides of the dish. Fill the dish with the dough and trim away any excess that overlaps the edges.
3. In a large bowl, mix the vegetable filling and tofu filling. Spoon into the dough-filled tin.
4. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with the caramelised onion. Return to the oven for 5 minutes more. Cut, serve, and enjoy.

Speedy Turmeric Crumbled Tofu

Crumbling tofu and cooking it with vegetables makes for a very quick meal and an economical way of using up leftover vegetable. This recipe takes under 10 minutes, and it serves 4. Any leftovers can be stored in a lidded container in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Feel free to substitute any of the vegetables according to your own leftovers and personal preference.

Ingredients

1 onion, smallish dice
1 each red and yellow pepper, medium dice
350g firm tofu, drained and crumbled
200g asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp soy sauce
Pinch chilli powder
100g baby spinach leaves

Method

1. Spray a frying pan with a little spray oil, or wipe around with a piece of kitchen towel dipped in oil. Sauté the onion and peppers over a medium low heat for about 2 minutes, until fragrant.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, apart from the spinach, and cook until any water expelled by the tofu is evaporated (4-5 minutes).
3. Add the spinach and stir through until wilted.
4. Serve on toast, in a pitta bread, or with a large salad.

Caramelized Red Onion and Asparagus Tart

This rich and decadent tart is ideal for a festive dinner. It serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a substantial starter, and is very simple to make, relying on store-bought, ready-rolled suitable-for-vegan puff pastry.

Ingredients

2 red onions, sliced into thin rings
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
100g fresh asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1-inch lengths
350g silken tofu
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pack ready-rolled suitable-for-vegans puff pastry

Method

1. To caramelize the onions, heat a nonstick pan over a medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5-10 minutes until browned, stirring frequently. Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar and cook, stirring, until onions are softened. Set aside to cool.
2. To make the tofu filling, place the tofu, yeast, herbs and spices, and mustard in a blender and blend until smooth. Season to taste.
3. Cut the sheet of puff pastry as desired, or leave whole. Spread with the tofu filling, leaving an inch uncovered around the edges.
4. Top with red onions and asparagus. Return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to cool again.
5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C. Bake on a parchment- or silicone-lined tray for 20 minutes until golden.

Japanese Marinated Tofu

This budget meal is perfect with noodles or rice and stir-fried vegetables as an accompaniment. There is an air fryer option available. Serves 4.

Ingredients

1 block extra-firm tofu (approximately 350g), drained and pressed
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp shichimi togarashi, or Japanese seven-spice spice mix
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp rice vinegar

Method, Oven Option

1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a baking tray with parchment or a silicone sheet. Cube the tofu, and arrange it on a single layer on the tray.
2. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once.
3. While tofu is baking, mix the rest of the ingredients for marinade.
4. Remove the tofu from the oven and combine with marinade in a shallow dish. Toss to coat well. Leave for 10 minutes at least, and increase the oven temperature to 190C.
5. Remove the tofu from the marinade, return to baking tray, and bake for 5-10 minutes more until sauce has caramelized.

Method, Air Fryer Option

1. Preheat the air fryer to 160C. Cube the tofu, and arrange it in the pan. Bake for 8 minutes, turning once.
3. While tofu is frying, mix the rest of the ingredients for marinade.
4. Remove the tofu from the oven and combine with marinade in a shallow dish. Toss to coat well. Leave for 10 minutes at least, and increase the air fryer temperature to 180C.
5. Remove the tofu from the marinade, return to pan, and bake for 4 minutes more.