Baked Tofu

This is a great recipe for vegans, vegetarians or a meatless meal with a salad and beans. This is also good in wraps with sliced tomatoes, pea shoots, shredded carrots, sliced cucumbers and drizzled with olive oil. For me, I think that baked tofu has better flavor than stir fried or deep-fried tofu. I used Non-GMO, organic tofu for this recipe. Enjoy!

Baked Tofu
Made October 15, 2015

BakedTofu
Prep:
Drain water from the packaged tofu. Wrap the tofu in paper towels to remove the excess water, put on a bowl, then top with a plate and something heavy to help squeeze out the excess water, for approximately 1 hour.

While tofu is being prepped, make the marinade in a bowl.

3 tablespoons Braggs Amino Acids
1/4 cup raw honey (for vegans can use maple syrup instead)
1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix well, and place marinade in a gallon Ziploc bag or a container with a lid. Slice the tofu in even 1” slices and place the tofu in the Ziploc bag or container with a lid, and marinate for 4 hours. Overnight is better, brings out the excellent flavor, when baked.

Put tofu on parchment lined cookie tray or Pampered Chef stoneware bar pan. Bake 350 degrees for about an hour till center is springy to touch.

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Sausage Cacciatore

I make this dish often and especially when I have guests over. Very easy and versatile. I often use different types of sausages with this dish to create a diversity. The prep time is simple. This is excellent with a simple green salad. Sometimes I use purple potatoes mixed with baby red potatoes. When using fresh ingredients, the flavors are incredible. 

Sausage Cacciatore
First made in October 2016

sausagecacciatore
Ingredients
1-pound sweet Italian sausage links, bulk or patties. If use fresh sausage, remove the meat from casing and break up into bite-size pieces. If using pre-cooked flavored sausages from brands like Applegate or Al Fresca already cooked, just cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces.
2-3 lbs. baby red potatoes cut into cubes. If small potatoes, just half them.
1/2-pound mushrooms, quartered or halved, depends on the size big or small. Can use either button or crimini, or both.
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 – 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 28-ounce can crush tomatoes with Italian herbs, or 1 pint of halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 bunch, flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, mushrooms, onion, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet or 9 x 13 baking dish and cook, tossing occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Add the raw sausage and cook for another 10 minutes. (see notes). Toss the 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the tomatoes and/or pre-cooked sausage (see notes) to the vegetables and stir to coat.

Arrange the mixture in an even layer and continue cooking for 15 minutes.
Take out of oven and sprinkle with the fresh chopped parsley (optional).

Notes
If using raw sausage from links, patties or bulk, break up meat and the cook time is 10 minutes (no olive oil, then add the tomatoes with the 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook for another 15 minutes.

If using pre-cooked sausages from brands like Applegate or Al Fresca, add the sausage with the halved tomatoes and 1 tablespoon olive oil and the cook time is not as long as the raw sausage time.

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Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Every year on Thanksgiving, I see my beloved Sweet Potatoes / Yams traditionally swimming in fattening things like butter, marshmallows, and brown sugar. Sorry, for the bluntness but I always think to myself, what a terrible way to ruin a perfect healthy food. This recipe I found on the Food Network with Chef Tyler Florence so I cannot take credit for this one. I was thrilled to see this recipe because it is Gluten Free and Vegan. It could be Paleo friendly too, if honey is on the Paleo list. I am still learning the Paleo way so this recipe may not be Paleo friendly. The sweet potatoes sweetened with just right amount of honey and the cinnamon really makes it wonderful. I love this recipe and it is definitely worth keeping.

Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Created on 11/18/14

image9

Ingredients
Serves 4 people, Preheat oven to 375 degrees
(Double this, it is worth it for leftovers)

4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
¼ cup of olive oil or coconut oil
¼ cup of honey
3 teaspoons of cinnamon

Toss all ingredients well in a bowl and spread single layer on a cookie sheet or a Pampered Chef Large Stoneware Bar Pan. (Cook Note: invest in the Pampered Chef Large Stoneware Bar Pan – it is worth it and you will use it all the time). Roast for approximately 25 to 30 minutes until sweet potatoes caramelize from the honey. Serve with any meal. It does not have to be Thanksgiving. Most Excellent!

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Banana Oatmeal Raisin Bites

The not eating gluten, sugar and keeping my food plan simple is a daily challenge but I will not give up. Today, I had a really terrible craving for cookies and have seen this posted a few times on Facebook and Pinterst. This recipe grabbed my interest so I went ahead and made the snacks. It is not sweet like I pictured but to keep things clean in my food plan it was good for me to try this. I cannot take full credit for this as the recipe has been floating around for a while. Enjoy!

Banana Oatmeal Raisin Bites

Created on 10/04/14

 

Banana.Oatmeal.Raisin.Bites

Ingredients
3 ripe bananas mashed well

2 cups of oatmeal

1/3 cup of applesauce

1/4 cup of Almond milk

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1/2 cup of raisins

Directions
Mix all ingredients well and put tablespoon size bites on a cookie tray. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 mins.

Note: you can substitute raisins with Vegan chocolate chips

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Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf

I have been looking an awfully long time for a decent Lentil Loaf that does not have cheese, gluten (wheat bread crumbs), and eggs. I was browsing the web and came across this recipe from Oh She Glows website and modified some ingredients to match my food plan. I cannot take credit for this, Oh She Glows rocks! This Lentil Walnut Loaf is just simply amazing. The texture reminds me so much of meat loaf, I ate 2 slices in one sitting. My only regret was not having enough glaze to dip the loaf in when I was eating it. Definitely making double glaze next time. I do not think I will ever try another lentil loaf recipe again and will attempt to make burgers out this recipe. Will keep you all posted! Enjoy!!

Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf
(From Oh She Glows, modified)
Created on 9/30/2014

Walnut.Lentil.Loaf
Ingredients
1 cup dry lentils, washed and picked through for stones, twigs
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
3 tablespoons of ground flax seed
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ of a large onion, minced
1 large celery stick chopped, fine
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 medium apple, grated – I used Golden Delicious
1 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon of flax seed meal
½ cup gluten free oats grounded into oat flour with food processor
¾ cup GF breadcrumbs – 2 slices of gluten free bread, toasted and processed with food processor

For the glaze
3 tablespoons organic ketchup
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup

In a medium pot, cook the lentils with vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 40 to 45 minutes until all the stock is absorbed. Stir often so lentils do not stick to the bottom. When the lentils are cooked and the stock is absorbed, set aside and cool.

While lentils are cooking, toast walnuts in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 6 to 8 minutes and cool. Prepare the flax egg, in a measuring cup add 3 tablespoons of flax meal with ½ cup of warm water, stir well and set aside. The flax meal will thicken some into a gel-like consistency.

In a large skillet, heat up olive oil over medium heat and add the onions, garlic, carrot, celery, apple for about 5 minutes and add the walnuts. Season the sautéed vegetables with salt, pepper and thyme. Set aside.

Mix the processed oats, breadcrumbs and the 1 tablespoon of flax seed meal in a large bowl. Add the cooked vegetables and ¼ of the cooked lentils in the bowl. In the food processor, add the 3/4 of the cooked lentils and process until fairly smooth – there will be some lentils still whole. Add the mixture to the bowl. Add the flax egg meal and stir everything well. Use your hands to mix if need to.

In a lined with parchment paper loaf pan, dump the lentil mixture and press down well with fingers. Smooth out the top.

Mix the glaze ingredients together and top on the loaf. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the loaf set for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and slice into 8 or 9 nice thick slices.

Note: Oh She Glows had ¼ cup of raisins in her loaf and 1 tablespoon of apple butter mixed in the glaze. I did not have these ingredients in my pantry and just added another tablespoon of ketchup instead. I still thought the loaf was ahhmazing!!

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Meagan’s Black Bean Burgers

The quest for vegetarian/vegan (V) burgers continues. These burgers were eaten at my friend’s cousin’s wedding shower and the flavors were awesome. I am simply naming these burgers after her. The original recipe came from “Smells Like Home”. I made some adjustments to the recipe to make them gluten free, but they are not vegan because of the eggs. Instead of panko bread crumbs, I used quick minute oatmeal. This is a truly versatile burger. Enjoy!

Meagan’s Black Bean Burgers
Created on 7/8/14

blackbean.burgers

Ingredients
¾ cup quick minute oatmeal
4 tablespoons of olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons
2 (15-oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 medium carrot, diced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, minced
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions
In a sauté pan, with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, over medium high heat toast the oatmeal until lightly browned. Set aside.

In a large bowl, use a fork to mash 2-1/2 cups of black beans. Add the eggs, cumin cayenne pepper, carrot, cilantro, the remaining black beans, and browned oatmeal, mix well. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will help form the patties.

Divide the mixture into 6 equal parts and shape into patties. Place the patties on wax or parchment paper covered tray and chill again for 10 minutes. Cover patties with plastic wrap if chilling longer for 10 minutes.

In the same pan that was used to toast the oatmeal, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook 3 of the patties over medium heat until browned and cooked through (about 5 minutes on each side). Cook the remaining 3 patties with another 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Serve with your favorite burger toppings.

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Lentil Burgers

Vegetarian / Vegan (V) Burgers are a huge deal to me. I am extremely picky about burgers especially trying to cut the animal products out of my diet. Tofu (soy) I do not eat often and soy is often used as the main ingredient for (V) burgers. I am a researcher on a quest for healthy eating and nutrition. During my quest for (V) burgers I came across this recipe from a runner’s blog called scottjurek.com so I cannot take credit for this burger but I can praise this one to the moon and back. I modified the burger ingredients to suit my needs and taste. Enjoy!

Lentil Burgers

LentilBurger

Ingredients
2-1/4 cups cooked Lentils
3 garlic cloves minced
1-1/4 cups finely chopped shallots
¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
2 cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal (pulsed finely in food processor)
½ cup ground flax seed meal
3 cups finely chopped mushrooms
1-1/2 cups fresh coarsely chopped spinach (not baby spinach) you can also use Kale (just remove the stems from spinach or Kale)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika

Directions
Use a food chopper to finely chop the food that requires a fine chop. This is a huge time saver.

Combine the walnuts, oatmeal, flax seed meal, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and paprika in a large bowl and mix well.

In a large pan sauté the shallots, garlic, mushrooms and spinach in olive oil for about 10 minutes, set aside. In another bowl, add the lentils, balsamic vinegar and mustard: mash with a potato masher or wooden spoon until a thick paste forms.

Add the sautéed vegetables, oatmeal mixture to the lentils and mix well. Cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more.

With hands, form burger patties to the desired size and place on wax paper. Lightly fry in the large sauté pan the vegetables were cooked in. The burgers can be broiled or grilled. Cook the burgers until lightly crisp, approximately 5 minutes on each side.

Serve with your favorite toppings like lightly seasoned olive oil and vinegar arugula, Bibb lettuce, or spinach along with tomato and avocado.

Uncooked patties can be frozen between wax paper in plastic bags wrapped. This recipe makes about 10 nice size burgers.

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