Tag Archives: Tofu

Eat your Greens! Palak Tofu

palak tofu with text

Next Wednesday, I’m going to attend my first cooking class EVER! I’m really excited about that! I’ve been considering trying cooking classes for a while but I didn’t know where to go, as a Vegetarian (mostly Vegan) Health Nut Amateur Cook. Well, I’ve stumble across L’Armoire du Haut and I think it’s going to be perfect for me! I’ve subscribed for a course about Indian Food (miam miam!) where we’ll be making Chapati and Aloo Gobi, among other things. Yay!

This class gave me the idea of sharing with you one of my boyfriends favourite dish : Palak Tofu. When I tried this recipe for the first time, he was so thrilled he told me I should do it again and again and again! I’ve made it a couple of time since, and it keeps getting better each time! I’ve never been to India myself, and I wouldn’t say I know a lot about Indian Food (even though I totally fancy it), so I couldn’t say how authentic this recipe is. But it’s good, and I would say — at the risk of shocking some of you — that it’s all that matters to me…. As “cheesy” as it may seem, I could even say that nothing feels better than eating something good with the one(s) you love, and that’s all that matters. Don’t be fooled by my “authenticity insecurity”, this plate is good! Oh, yes it is! I took the recipe on Olives for Dinner and didn’t change it a lot (I tried to make it a little more simple by changing or combining some steps of the recipe). I love Olives for Dinner! Their recipes are totally my style, and the pictures are GREAT. Sometimes I wish my boyfriend could take my pictures and do all the editing (wink, wink, honey! Are you reading?!) He taught me everything I know about photography, but he really is a better photographer than I am! Ah, maybe someday I’ll be surpassing the master! 😉

Hum, seems like I have a lot to tell right now… Can you imagine I’ve been introducing my mother to vegetarian food today? Wow, this could be a long story! How can I put this? I’ve been raised by my mother as an omnivore, and she was quite a good cook! I’d say she was really into traditional cooking : we used to eat Lasagna, Beef Stew, Sheppard’s Pie, Chicken Breast and Pork Loins. Most of what we were eating was accompanied by a Salad or Steamed Vegetables. Even if my mother wasn’t at all into Nutrition, I guess she did a good job by instinct, balancing proteins with vegetables and grains without thinking about it. When I got my first apartment, a few years ago, my mother completely stopped cooking, cause she wasn’t enthusiast to do it just for herself. My mother was a good cook, but she didn’t like to cook. She did it all for me, and I can only be grateful.

Being on my own, I got more and more interested by food. It’s only recently that I went Vegetarian and really started eating clean (meaning non processed) organic food. I feel good about the fact that I’m a newbie to this lifestyle and that I still have so much to learn! So many years in front of me to grow better at cooking!

One of the thing that made me feel sad about all this habit change is that my mother knew I was a “good cook”, but I felt like she was afraid to eat at my place! Indeed, she was really doubtful about Vegetarian food. Well, not just doubtful, scared. Tofu and chickpeas sounded to her like weird things that could certainly not taste good. I had her eating a bit of tofu last summer, and she liked it. But today, I had her over for lunch and we ate delicious sweet potato and black beans tortilla with pesto (I’ll be posting the recipe soon) and she was so enthusiast over it! I even put sprouted lentils on top of the salad and she loved it all! Wow, I didn’t even think she would accept to try legumes someday! I was really pleased! One step at the time, I think I could get her to really enjoy healthy eating. I love my mummy. I want her healthy.

This wasn’t even the only culinary experience of the day for my mummy. We went shopping all afternoon and it was so late when we got at my place I offered to bring her to a restaurant. “Which one?” she inquired. “Lola Rosa“, I said. “Lola what?”, she responded. “Lola Rosa, a Vegetarian restaurant”. I must say I saw fear in her eyes. “Vegetarian? Is there going to be something I like? Something I can eat?” She even tried telling me she wasn’t hungry. Well, let me tell you we went to Lola Rosa and she love it so much she even looked sad when her plate was finished. She was joking about the fact she could lick her plate! She even took a bite in my boyfriend’s plate and loved it as well. She told me we would come back, with all my Aunts and Family. Gosh, this felt great. I made my mummy eating Vegetarian all day and she completely loved it! It’s kinda weird to say, but I feel really proud. And happy.

palak paneer closeNow, let’s get to that Tofu Palak recipe! Here’s what you’ll need :

Ingredients :

  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coconut vinegar (optional)
  • 1 block of extra-firm tofu, well pressed and cut into dice-sized cubes
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 7 oz (1 cup) canned diced tomatoes
  • 16 oz (500g) bag of chopped frozen spinach
  • 1 cup of water
  • fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
  • Brown rice and vegan naan, for serving (optional)

Directions :

Marinade the tofu cubes with coconut milk, coconut vinegar and a pinch of salt in the fridge for a few hours (optional but highly recommended).

Heath a non-adhesive pan to medium. Take the tofu out of the coconut milk and put it in the pan (you’ll use the leftover coconut milk later). Cook the tofu until it gets a little bit golden on every side. **I completely ruined this part by not using a non-stick pan this time ; all the golden crisp of the tofu stayed in the bottom of the pan… Oups!

Put the onion, ginger and garlic in a food processor and mix them until the mix is kinda homogenous. Transfer to a medium or big size pot with the coconut oil. Let this mixture caramelize to low-medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring a few times. Lower the heat a bit and add the spices (curry powder, garam masala, ground cloves and fennel seeds) to the onion mixture, then let it simmer for a minute or two. Add the diced tomatoes, the spinach and the cup of water. mix well and wait until the spinach are completely heated through. Add the tofu and the leftover coconut milk marinade to the pan. Mix it all together until everything is hot.

Serve the Palak tofu and garnish with coriander leaves. You can also add some Fleur de sel, to taste.

Time to eat! You can serve this Palak with naan bread and/or brown rice.

** In case you’re wondering how I put my rice in cute little spheres, I must say it’s incredibly easy. I simply take my 1/3 cup or 1/2 cup measuring cup (that is roundly shaped) and use it as a spoon to take the rice in my rice cooking pan. I tap it a little to make sure the rice in compacted well, then add a little bit if needed until the measuring cup is full. Then, I turn the cup upside down over my serving plate and leave the rice fall of the cup gently. As simple as this!

palak tofu in the cauldron

palak tofu 2 bowls

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Pumpkin and Sweet Potato “Creamy” Cannelloni

cannelloni with titleHalloween already! Am I too late to post a pumpkin recipe? In fact, I think it may be the perfect day to post that Pumpkin and Sweet Potato “Creamy” Vegan Cannelloni recipe cause the appearance of it must be the ugliest one of all the recipes I’ve done so far(!) Trust me, I did my best to make it look good on the picture and it wasn’t easy… But then, you must be like “why is she posting it if it’s so damn ugly?!” I have one thing to answer to you : “don’t judge by the appearance, this recipe is f*cking tasty awesome deliciously amazing” (yeah, this is what I sound like when I try to put together some english adjectives). Anyway, I think I have some tips that may help you get a more beautiful result that I did while keeping all the tasty yumminess!

Ah, speaking of my weak english, I’ve been to Boston with some of my friends… (like almost two weeks ago, already!) It was so much fun! We went there to assist the Blogilates Boston Meet Up and I got to meet Cassey Ho, my social media fitness idol! It was really exciting. If you click on that link I just put, you can even hear me, the poor French Canadian, trying to talk in english while petrified by the glance of the camera over my face! Omg, I literally freeze when I’m in front of a camera! I’m usually so energetic, but as you may have seen in my one and only Veggie Pawa video, I look like I’m on valium every time I talk in front of an electronic device…

Let’s get back to pumpkins! For this recipe, I reused the sauce from Vanilla&Spice I used in a previous post (Healthy Vegan Fettucine Alfredo with Rapini), except I omit the parsley. This really is one of the best sauce EVER, and it fits perfectly with all the pumpkin and sweet potato creaminess.

Ingedients for the sauce :

  • 2 small yellow onions, peeled and pureed in a food processor
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1,5 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Ingredients for the cannelloni :

  • Ready to put in the oven express cannelloni (or regular ones)
  • 1 cup crumbled firm tofu (about half a package)
  • 1 tbsp chia or hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamome
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • a hint of clove
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (fresh or store bought)
  • 1 small-medium sweet potato, cooked and cube  (about 1 cup)

Directions :

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

When you have all the ingredients nearby, chopped and ready to use, make the sauce. Heat some oil in a skillet to medium-high. Cook pureed onions and garlic until brown (but not burn), between 5 to 8 minutes.

In another bowl, stir together almond milk, tahini, salt, nutmeg and pepper until they are well mixed. Once the onions are ready, pour this “milky mix” in the skillet with the onion mixture and reduce heat to medium. Cook it for five minutes, stirring often. Add the lemon juice and let it sit for another minute. Close the heat.

 

While this is cooking, mix all the cannelloni spices and the seeds with the crumbled tofu in a bowl.

Use another pan to cook tofu in a little drizzle of oil. Once some of the tofu gets coloured, add the pumpkin puree and sweet potato to heat them all together. The sweet potato cubes should get crushed a little with everything else. This is your filling. Taste it to make sure the seasoning looks fine to you. You can adjust.

Pour some of the sauce in the bottom of a pyrex. Fill the cannelloni one by one with the pumpkin filling, using a spoon (and ultimately, your fingers).  Place them all in the pyrex (I had some filling left with the quantity of cannelloni you can see on the picture, but I didn’t have any cannelloni left!) Add some sauce on top of the cannelloni so they cook well (but keep some sauce for garnishing after the cooking) and put them in the oven, cooking them according to the cannelloni package instructions (mine were there for about 45 minutes).

Once the cannelloni are served in plates, add the remaining white sauce (that you kept hot, or reheated a bit), to make it look and taste better. This is the step I didn’t figure out at first!

Of course, you can use regular cannelloni that you would boil in water before you fill them. I’ve always been scared of those. I feel like I would break them all! But next time, this is what I’ll try. With the pastas and filling already cooked, I would just have to put them for a little bit in the oven and it would certainly look better! The awkward-looking factor in my actual recipe is definitely due to the sauce adhering to much and getting drier while those “express pastas” are cooking.

If you experiment with this recipe as well, let me know how it turned out! This was such one of the yummiest thing ever, but the look wasn’t there at all… maybe you have a tip for me!

Hope you enjoy this Halloween dish! See more (or less appetizing) pictures below!

filling for cannellonisCannelloni fillinguncooked cannelloniCannelloni before I add some more sauce and put them in the ovencannellonis 1The final, weird looking result (remind me a bit of imperial rolls or egg rolls…)

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Asian Inspired Peanut Butter Tofu Sandwiches

asian inspired peanut butter tofu sandwichesAs you may remember, I’m a real peanut butter lover! So, I was quite please when my friend Vanessa chose, among some other choices, that I would make some Peanut Butter Tofu Sandwiches for our little get together. Miam! Those are so simple yet so good!

We had the perfect day, my friend Vanessa and I. We went apple picking at Hemmingford in the lovely Philion Ecological Orchards. The apples were delicious, the weather was perfect and the orchard’s employee were so sweet and helpful. They even thought us how to pick apples “the right way” and how to keep them longer by putting them in a plastic bag in the fridge. Cool!

Philion orchardsPhilion Orchards. Isn’t it beautiful!?

So, now that I have a ton of apples and pears, I hope I’m gonna be able to come up with some interesting recipes… I always do apple sauce, but I don’t have a lot of imagination to do other things and I’m not quite fond of regular apple pies. Of course, I’m also making some apple arrows, as I’ve show in a previous post, but I’d really like to come up with a vegetarian main course including apples. I hope I’ll be able to, cause I’m not a real prolific recipe developer…

So, lets get back to this meal I had with Vanessa and our boyfriends. I started it with a Beet Carpacio that was way beyond my expectations! It was so full of flavours!

I’ll post the recipe later this week, but just take a look at how beautiful it is.

beet carpacio

We continued the meal with an unpretentious asian inspired sandwich. I took the recipe on Oh my veggies and really didn’t change it at lot.

Vanessa brought some wonderful pastries for dessert! Miam! It’s so rare that I eat such rich dessert, it was just the perfect treat! My boyfriend, who is really picky when it comes to dessert (he doesn’t have such a sweet tooth) exclaimed himself with so much emotion when he tasted the praline rectangle : “oh my god! this is it! this is what I’ve been trying to explain! The perfect texture!”. Hihi, this was quite nice to hear!

desserts avec nessa

Well, let’s get back to the main course! Here is what you need to make 3 to 4 of those yummy sandwiches :

Ingredients :

For the tofu :

  • 1-14 oz. package extra-firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes
  • 1 tbsp olive or coconut or peanut oil

For the peanut sauce :

  • 6 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tamari sauce
  • 2-3 tsp brown sugar (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • cayenne to taste (optional)
  • 1 to 4 tbsp coconut milk or water

For the sandwiches :

  • 1 small carrot, shredded
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 sandwich wraps, pitas, tortillas, or vegan naan

Directions :

Cut the tofu block in 8 equal “steaks”. If you want to, you can cut them again on diagonal to have triangles instead of rectangles (I didn’t do it this time, cause my tofu block had an unusual shape).

Heat some oil to medium in a pan and put tofu there for about 5 minutes on each side or until crunchy. Put the tofu steaks on a plate and remove oil excess with some paper towels.

While the tofu is cooking, mix together all the dressing ingredients except the water (or coconut milk). When everything is mixed together, add the water (or coconut milk) one tablespoon at the time until you reached the desired consistency. You can do it with a whisk or a fork but I use my Vitamix to mix the dressing so I don’t even have to mince the ginger before I put it there…

Heat the bread your using (I had thick pita bread and heat it directly in a pan) and then put the tofu, the vegetables the dressing and the cilantro on one half of it, so you can flip the other one over and have a nice sandwich.

horace à notre souper d'amisHere is a curious cat who wanted to have a closer look at our sandwiches.

sandwich asiatique 1Marc et VanessaHere are my friends Marc and Vanessa! I’ve known Vanessa like… forever! She’s such a joyful girl! It’s quite funny how those two are our “Medical field friends” while we — Mathieu and I — really are the Literature couple. We are passionate about different things but we get along so well ❤

 

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