Tofu Cookery: Tofu Burgers

I rarely make burgers at home. I have tried dozens of recipes but I still have not found one with a texture I like. They are always mushy or crumbly or some combination of the two. Given that I’m cooking out of Tofu Cookery this MoFo, I thought I would give the tofu burgers a try.

The recipe is fairly similar to the tofu spaghetti balls. Tofu, wheat germ (I used bread crumbs as I can’t find wheat germ here), a tiny bit of flour, and some herbs and spices. As you might expect, they were quite tasty (as were the spaghetti balls), but didn’t hold together very well.  Perhaps a bit of flax or some vital wheat gluten in lieu of the flour would have been the way to go.

Oh well. I had my burger on some whole wheat bread with lettuce and tomato and it was still delicious, even if it was crumbly.

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Tofu Cookery: Tamale Pie

 

 

 

Like most folks, I typically make tamale pie with beans. Much like her version of enchiladas, Louise Hagler isn’t satisfied unless there is tofu in there. A lot of tofu.

This recipe was like most any other tamale pie…with the exception that you use torn up pieces of extra-firm tofu rather than beans. The insides looked kind of nasty, but it tasted pretty yummy.

 

I don’t think I’d go out of my way to make this again, but that’s just because I’m lukewarm on tamale pie to begin with. It’s something I generally make when my fridge and pantry are bare, and all I have around is beans, tomatoes, and cornmeal, or when I’m looking for something that’s both A.) filling, B.) fairly healthy, and C.) cheap.

 

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Tofu Cookery: Greek Salad

There are a LOT of tofu feta recipes out there on the interwebz. Sticking with my Tofu Cookery theme for MoFo, I decided to give Louise Hagler’s a try and whip up some Greek salad. It’s pretty standard…the tofu is marinated in a mixture of olive oil, different herbs, red wine vinegar, etc. I let my tofu marinate for a few days in order to get maximum flavour.

The result was so-so. It was certainly okay and very edible, but to be perfectly honest there are better tofu feta recipes out there. This one just tasted like marinated tofu. I’ve been meaning to try this one from Melomeals, I’m just lazy and haven’t bought agar powder yet.

What’s your favourite tofu feta recipe?

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Tofu Cookery: Tofu Enchiladas

 

 

No doubt about it: I’m an enchilada fan. The first vegan enchilada recipe I made was this one from VegWeb. Typically I make my enchilada filling with beans. Beans are delicious, cheap, and healthy. But of course that’s not how things work in Tofu Cookery, those enchiladas need tofu (incidentally, this recipe is also the one that is featured on the cover of the book).

The filling isn’t just crumbled tofu
though. First you coat some tofu in a mixture that includes soy sauce and peanut butter, then the tofu is baked. The baked tofu is what you use for your enchilada filling. I wouldn’t have thought to use peanut butter myself, but it’s actually pretty delicious. You can taste a faint hint of peanut butter once the enchiladas are baked.

I usually make a nutritional yeast cheese sauce for my enchiladas, but this time I thought I would stick with the original recipe and forego it. I’m glad I did, the ‘cheese sauce’ would have drowned out the subtle flavour of the seasoned tofu. I just topped my enchiladas with some black olives and avocado and all was well with the world.

Do you like enchiladas? What are your favourite enchilada fillings?

Tofu Cookery: Zucchini Frittata

I’m a big fan of the frittata recipes in Vegan Brunch. When I saw a recipe for a zucchini frittata in Tofu Cookery I was intrigued. I read the ingredients list and saw that the recipe called for a fair amount of flour. Yep, flour. Essentially you are making a tofu-flour dough that you then bake. I figured this would either be completely delicious or completely horrible.

Turns out the latter was correct. This recipe was definitely a miss for me. The frittata was gummy even though it was fully cooked. I kept the leftovers in the fridge and they quickly turned slimy…not pleasant. I hate wasting food, so I froze the leftovers and hopefully I’ll figure out something to do with them. Any ideas?

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Tofu Cookery: Falafel

One of the things that impresses me the most about Tofu Cookery is how Louise Hagler manages to put tofu into everything. Even things that are vegan without tofu. Like falafel.

I was intrigued by her tofu falafel recipe and had to give it a try. It’s a pretty typical falafel recipe, with the exception that all of the ingredients are whirred up with some tofu in the food processor.

 

Although I love me some deep-fried falafel when I go out to falafel restaurants, when I make it at home I tend to bake my falafel. These were great and stayed together during baking, which can sometimes be tricky. Another issue with baked falafel is that it can be dry. With the addition of tofu these were actually really moist.

All in all I was pleasantly surprised…tofu falafel is actually pretty tasty! It didn’t taste exactly like falafel, but it was pretty darn close and I would definitely make this again.

I served the falafel on a pita with some veggies and sriracha. Nom.

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Tofu Cookery: Tofu Spaghetti Balls

One of the Tofu Cookery recipes I hear mentioned a lot is the tofu spaghetti balls. I figured that was a good place to start my MoFo journey. These are basically balls with mashed up tofu, peanut butter, wheat germ, soy sauce, and a few herbs and spices.

Try as I might, I couldn’t find wheat germ anywhere. I went to THREE different bulk food stores, and they all looked at me as if I had two heads. I guess nobody eats wheat germ anymore. I finally gave up and just used breadcrumbs instead.

These are baked in the oven for about 30 minutes. Mine fell apart quite badly. I mushed them back together for the above photo, but they weren’t very firm at all. But despite their crumbly-ness, they were pretty darn tasty and I can see making them again. The peanut butter was something I would never thing to add but it made them really yummy.

Isa posted her version of the recipe on the PPK blog a few years ago (she uses breadcrumbs instead of wheat germ as well, so maybe it’s not just me that has issues sourcing wheat germ). Her recipe is pan-fried instead of baked, but you could always try baking the balls instead if you were so inclined.

It’s Vegan MoFo time!

Happy first day of Vegan MoFo (aka Vegan Month of Food)!

My theme this year is a month of Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler. I don’t have the fancy 25th Anniversary edition of the book, but a reprinting of the original 1982 version.

I’m intrigued by this book – it really was a game changer in the world of vegan cooking. As someone who went vegan in early 2008, a lot of the recipes seem bizarre and hippie-ish to me. Others sound like something you’d see in a cookbook today. So here I go, exploring the recipes, seeing what is delicious and what isn’t.

Originally I was going to attempt to make 31 recipes from the book in order to post every single day in October. I always set lofty goals such as this for MoFo and it always ends with me burning out halfway through the month and giving up. So this year I’m going to set my goal at 25 posts. If I go over, great! If I don’t, no big deal.

I can’t wait – massive amounts of tofu here I come!

Toronto Vegetarian Festival 2012

Wow. Thank you so much for the kind words on my last post about losing my cat, Phantom. I meant to take a short hiatus from this blog while life was getting back to normal. That ‘short’ hiatus somehow morphed into a long hiatus of 6 months. I won’t go through all of the things that have changed in 6 months, because really, who cares about the details of some random vegan food blogger’s life. To give you a quick update in one sentence: I moved back to Canada (Toronto to be exact), started a new job, and adopted a lovely kitty named Chloe.

Moving along, this past weekend was the Toronto Vegetarian Festival. I heard it was a pretty good event and so I was eager to check it out. The festival actually runs for three days, but alas, I was only able to go one day. That one day was pretty amazing though.

I was able to eat lots of delicious food, such as this mac and cheese from Green Zebra Kitchen. The cheese was cashew-based and incorporated sweet potato and cauliflower. I was a fan of the sweetness from the sweet potato and I’m definitely going to try that next time I make mac and cheese. I have other casserole ideas using this concept floating around in my head as well.

In my pregan days, I adored butter tarts. I’m not sure if those are a ‘thing’ in the U.S. The filling is sugar (and a lot of it), butter, syrup, and egg. I once tried a vegan recipe that was thickened with cornstarch to replace the egg but it fell horribly short of my butter tart expectations. Wandering around the many bakery booths at the festival (seriously, Toronto, we are so lucky to have all of these amazing bakeries!) I stopped in my tracks at Bloomer’s Bakery. There in the display case were rows upon rows of butter tarts! The filling was absolutely perfect! So gooey, so sweet.

My husband couldn’t choose between the chocolate cupcakes and the brownies and so he did the only logical thing – he bought one of each. Fortunately for me, he couldn’t finish them both and so I helped out with the brownie. It was nice and fudgy, just the way I like it.

The highlight of the day for me was definitely the cooking demos. First up, Isa Chandra Moskowitz made the ginger carrot soup from Vegan with a Vengeance, as well as beet burgers.

Being a total PPK fangirl, I was pretty excited to have Isa sign my copy of Vegan with a Vengeance (my first-ever vegan cookbook!) and snap a photo with me.

Next Terry Hope Romero completely wowed me with the most delicious, succulent seitan I have ever tasted! She made seitan gyros with tzatziki sauce.

And I also got to chat with her for a couple of minutes while she signed my book – she is so nice!

It was a pretty amazing day…I really wish every day was a super, magic, happy VegFest. Thanks to the Toronto Vegetarian Association for putting on such a great event!

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Brief hiatus

Things have been pretty quiet around here lately.

For two weeks or so my cat was pretty ill. Although we tried different things to help combat his liver disease, ultimately we had to make the heart-wrenching decision to euthanize him. By the end, he was inconsolable and wasn’t sleeping…he would just walk around howling. It was awful.

He was my baby. My best friend. My everything. The two of us have been through so much together. We’ve moved together to three different cities, heck, even a different country.He was always there for me.

There really isn’t much more to say. This is a horrible time for any pet parent and I’m sure you can understand why I haven’t been cooking /blogging much lately.

There is a giant hole in my heart. I know that time is the great healer and this will get easier. But right now I am still in a place of grief.