Apr 24, 2021

baja tacos


Overview

Time: 35 minutes
Dishes: air-fryer or oven, medium bowl, shallow pan 


Hello, hello Dear Readers!

Now that you have your Seafood Tofu prepared, you need to put it to some good use (if you haven't gobbled it up, yet, that is) and this Baja Taco is perfect.

Baja Taco is a regional food to San Diego and is typically made with fish and chiles. As suited to a weekday meal, I skipped all the fancy shmancy chiles and opted for chili powder. Fear not, this did not lessen the delicious factor, however, if you are looking for a more authentic version, take a look at my Baja Tacos made with lobster mushrooms and tempeh HERE.

A few pointers about the recipe:
  1. Store your Seafood Tofu in the broth (fresh vegetable broth or the sea-vegetable broth, as the recipe indicated) because the tofu needs to be moist before dredging - otherwise the breading won't stick. Simply move the tofu from the broth to the breading.
  2. It is vital that you steam your tortillas (especially corn tortillas), else they will break. To steam, just add the warmed tortillas (warmed over a stove top or in the microwave or oven) to a towel and then place in a tortilla warmer or a pot with a lid. The point is to trap the steam coming off the just-heated tortilla. Steam them for a few minutes; it will do wonders.
  3. Double up your tortillas, else the taco will disintegrate. I called for 16 tortillas in this recipe, making 8 tacos, for 4 servings. This is the way taco trucks do it and they have it nailed.

Follow the above pointers and you will be golden.

I had these tacos on the table in 30 minutes, which is totally doable as long as you adhere to the order of cooking them. First the slaw, then the tofu, then the sauce and finally the assembly.

The tacos have just enough of a sea flavor without being over powering. The slaw is nice and bright and the chipotle-lime sauce adds a perfect amount of heat. Skip the chipotle if you are not inclined to heat and add 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika instead.

I give you the choice of using yogurt or mayo for the sauce. And, yes, use more yogurt than mayo. Because mayo has a lot of fat you don't need as much for the tacos and because yogurt has little fat, you can (and should) add more to the tacos. Yogurt is also fermented, so it needs less lime juice, whereas mayo has a lot of fat which needs to be balanced with the lime juice. 

If you need inspiration for your weekly menu, check out ours HERE.

Enjoy!





Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Prepare the slaw first.
  • Prepare the tofu, plucking them gently out of the broth.
  • Take care with the tofu to avoid breaking them, if you can.
  • Make the sauce last.






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Baja Tacos

www.ZsusVeganPantry.com

Makes 4 servings 

weekday

 

Preheat the air-fryer to 400F.

 

1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage (or slaw mix)

1/2 cup vegan mayo or 3/4 cup plain nondairy yogurt

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon agave or maple syrup

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lime juice

6 tablespoons flour

6 tablespoons dry bread crumbs (not panko)

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 recipe Seafood Tofu, drained but not sautéed

Oil spray

1 teaspoon chipotle in adobo, finely minced or just the adobo part

1 teaspoon agave or maple (if using unsweetened yogurt for sauce)

16 corn tortillas

1 avocado, sliced

Pickled jalapenos (optional)

1. Slaw: Combine the cabbage, 1/4 cup mayo (or yogurt), cilantro, 1 tablespoon agave and 1 tablespoon lime juice in a medium bowl. Toss well. Season with salt and black pepper. Set aside.

2. Tofu: Combine the flour and chili powder in a shallow pan. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the Seafood Tofu slabs in half, lengthwise. Dredge the tofu slices in the flour mixture. Spray with oil and air-fry on 400F for 10 to 15 minutes until crisp. Alternatively, pan fry in 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat until golden.   

3. Sauce: Combine 1/4 cup mayo (or 1/2 cup yogurt), chipotle and 1 teaspoon lime juice. Stir well. Season to taste. Add the agave if using yogurt.   

4. Assemble:  Warm the tortillas over the stove top or in a microwave. Add to a towel and a tortilla warmer and allow to steam for 3 minutes. Assemble the tacos by using 2 tortillas per taco (double them up). Add Tofu, avocado, Slaw, Sauce and jalapenos, if using. Serve. 




© 2021 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.







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vegan vegetarian meatless plant-based

Apr 19, 2021

making seafood tofu



Welcome to Making Mondays, dear Readers! 


Today's Making Monday recipe is Seafood Tofu. This is an easy take on my Marinated Tofu recipe that is from Everyday Vegan Eats.

This tofu can be fried in the air-fryer or pan sautéed. It is perfect for any place you would like a seafood-style flavor. Since the tofu is not marinated overnight or for a long period of time, it can be ready for use in a dish anytime.

I use dulse flakes for this recipe, but if you are a fan of seaweed, go ahead and use kelp or wakame - about a 2-inch piece. You will have to cook the broth for 15 minutes first, though, to rehydrate the thicker and denser seaweed, before adding the tofu. 

Old Bay Seasoning is a mixture of herbs and spices that is popularly used to flavor dishes made of seafood. Here I use it to bring some of that same flavors to the tofu. You can make your own or buy a small jar at any grocery store and stash it in the freezer for maximum shelf life.

The tofu can either be stored in the marinade for extra sea flavor or in fresh vegetable broth. 

You can grill the tofu or dredge it in flour or breadcrumbs to panfry or airfry.

It is perfect in sandwiches, as a main meal with rice and vegetables, or as seafood sticks for dipping into vegan tartar sauce. Don't forget the lemon wedges!

This recipe takes a neutral tofu and transforms its texture and flavor in no time. It is easy and fast to make, so anytime you need a flavorful seafood option, head to this recipe. 

Below is the step by step.

Enjoy!




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Making Seafood Tofu

Makes 4 servings; doubles easily 

www.ZsusVeganPantry.com


14-ounces firm or extra firm tofu


2 cups vegetable broth

2 teaspoons dulse flakes

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

1/4 teaspoon salt

Sautéing:

4 tablespoons flour

1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil


1. Tofu: Press the tofu for 15 minutes, up to overnight. Cut into about 8 (1/2-inch) slices.  

2. Liquid flavoring: Add the broth, dulse, Old Bay and salt to a medium pot, bring to boil, add the Tofu and reduce to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set the tofu aside with the liquid for 10 minutes. If storing the tofu with the liquid, the tofu will get a stronger sea flavor. Store in fresh vegetable broth if this is not desired. Store for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. 

3. Sautee(optional): Dredge the marinated tofu slices in the flour. Shake off excess flour. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the dredged Tofu and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for 2 minutes. Use in recipes or serve as is with lemon wedges. 







© 2021 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.











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vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, meatless

Apr 17, 2021

caldo non pollo soup


Overview

Time: 45 minutes
Dishes: large pot


Hello, hello Dear Readers!

This is a rice, protein, vegetable soup that is tomato-based. It is meatless, vegetarian and vegan. My kids are all into soups right now and I like to oblige them, especially when it is something easy. This one-pot soup is just that, plus very delicious.

It is easy to throw together, but the long cooking time of the brown rice kicks it up to 45 minutes. If you use white rice, the total cooking time is around 30 minutes. Use short, long or medium grain - doesn't really matter.

As another versatile soup, use the vegetables that float your boat, not just the ones I have subscribed. I used green beans in this soup, but I was tempted with zucchini, peas, even potato or turnip. If you add any leafy greens, add it in the last 10 minutes for the tougher greens and last few minutes for something like baby spinach.

I used Gardein strips, but that is what I have available near me - use Seitan or Soy Curlz or  Savory Tofu - or the chicken-type of strips that are available in your area.

In this recipe the rice is first toasted to give it a nutty flavor. If you are using frozen protein, add it with the rice to cook. After you add the liquid, use tongs to remove them to chop up. This way the rice is not clinging to the strips. This step saves you the need to defrost the protein, but if it is already thawed, just chop before cooking. 

For the garnish and accompaniments, use either corn tortillas, to keep within the Mexican theme if using cilantro in the soup, or divert and use croutons if you used parsley. Either way, the soup is delicious and filling.    

If you need inspiration for your weekly menu, check out ours HERE.

Enjoy!




Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Heat the pot while you rinse the rice.
  • If frozen, cook the protein whole and then remove later to chop.
  • Chop the onion while the rice and protein are cooking.
  • Chop the green beans while the onion, rice and protein cook.
 


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Caldo non Pollo Soup

ww.ZsusVeganPantry.com

Makes 4 servings 

weekday


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 cup brown rice, rinsed

1/2 medium onion, chopped

10 ounces Gardein or seitan, chopped if thawed

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes (do not drain)

1/2 cup tomato sauce

2 cups chopped green beans (8 ounces)

2 medium carrots, chopped or sliced

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley

1 tablespoon Easy Savory Broth mix** or 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon

8 cups water


Toppings:

Diced avocados

Broken tortilla chips or corn tortillas

Minced cilantro

Croutons

1. Rice: Add the oil, garlic, rice, onion and protein to a large pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the rice is golden, about 5 minutes.

2. Vegetables: Add the tomatoes, green beans, carrot, herbs and broth mix to the Rice as they are ready.

3. If the protein was not thawed when started cooking, remove the large chunks now and chop them. Add them back to the soup. Cook the soup at a strong simmer until the Rice is tender, over medium heat, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

4. Serve: Ladle into bowls and top as desired.


** Substitute for Savory Broth Mix: 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon sage and 1 teaspoon oregano. 




© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.







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vegan vegetarian meatless plant-based


Apr 10, 2021

maple-dijon seitan with rice pilaf

  

Overview

Time: 45 minutes
Dishes: large skillet, medium pot


Hello, hello Dear Readers!

When I was a youngster, I worked at Bakers Square, where I really loved the Honey Mustard Sauce. Of course, the sauce was over chicken, but I was veg by then and put the sauce over baked potatoes. Here I bring you the vegan version, complete with Easy Simple Seitan cutlets. I am sure they would be great with Gardein, as well.

The sauce has quickly browned onions before adding the yogurt, Dijon and maple. Your yogurt can be sweetened because the maple is sweet, so just adjust the amount of maple depending on the sweetness of the yogurt.

I used cashew milk yogurt by Forager, and I am certain that a coconut based yogurt will impart coconut flavor, for better or worse. 

I absolutely adore rice pilaf and this dish lends itself to a simple pilaf, so I incorporated that into the recipe. All told, the recipe took 40 minutes to prepare, from fridge to table, with delicious results. Serve with a green salad and you are set with a complete meal in very little time.

If you need inspiration for your weekly menu, check out ours HERE.

Enjoy!



Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Gather your ingredients.
  • Make the rice first.
  • Mince 1/4 of the onion while the medium pot heats. 
  • Slice the rest of the onion while the seitan browns.
  • Move the seitan to a plate or the cutting board once browned.






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Maple-Dijon Seitan with Rice Pilaf

www.ZsusVeganPantry.com

Makes 4 servings 

weekday


Serve with green salad or steamed broccoli.


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup long-grain white rice

1/2 cup orzo 

1/4 large onion, minced 

2 cups vegetable broth 

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 Easy Simple Seitan Cutlets

3/4 large onion, thinly sliced 

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (depending on sweetness of yogurt)


1. Rice Pilaf: Add the oil to a medium pot over medium heat. Add the rice, orzo, onion, garlic. Stir well and cook until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the broth, cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 

2. Seitan: Add the oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the seitan cutlets and brown both sides, about 2 minutes. Remove to a plate.        

3. Onions: Add the onions and garlic to the skillet. Season with salt. Cook, covered, until browned, about 8 minutes. Stir as needed. Add splashes of water as needed. 

4. Sauce: Remove the Onions from the heat. Add the yogurt, mustard, maple. Stir well. Taste and add salt and pepper. Add the Seitan cutlets to the sauce. Serve with the Rice.  

 




© 2021 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.









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vegan vegetarian meatless plant-based

Apr 3, 2021

creamy cauliflower soup

   

Overview

Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: large pot, medium pot, steamer basket, blender


Hello, hello Dear Readers!

When I first created this recipe, it was with the intention of making it Cauliflower Au Gratin Soup, but since there was no cheese (or breadcrumbs) in the soup, I thought it would be a stretch to call it that. 

The soup does have notes of cheesiness, thanks to the nutritional yeast, and you could make it all-out au gratin by adding the optional vegan cheese, so I leave the option to you. I love the soup as is but I also love it with some cheese added; it just depends on my mood. 

When I went to serve the soup this week I asked my husband what I should serve with it - thinking a sandwich might be too much or a salad too off beat. With a straight face he said "Fries." After laughing at the idea, I gave it some much needed thought and decided that it would, at least, make for a decent photo.

To my surprise it is excellent with a side of fries! We had curly fries in the freezer, so I air-fried up a batch and tossed it with some vegan parmesan (from GOOD PLANeT). We dunked them in the soup, nibbled on them between spoonfuls of cauliflower bites and enjoyed the meal immensely. Totally healthy, maybe not, but it was well worth the sacrifice from our burger meal to enjoy the fries alongside this creamy, cheesy goodness. 

If you need inspiration for your weekly menu, check out ours HERE.

Enjoy!



Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Gather your ingredients.
  • Chop and cook onions.
  • Peel and chop potatoes and carrots while onion cooks. 
  • Add the water as soon as the onions are cooked and add the potatoes and carrots when they are ready.
  • Steam the cauliflower while the soup cooks. 
  • Cook the potatoes until they are falling apart to avoid gumminess when you blend.





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Creamy Cauliflower Soup

www.ZsusVeganPantry.com

Makes 4 servings 

weekday


1 teaspoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped 

6 cups water

2 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)

2 medium carrots, chopped (about 2 cups)

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes

1 teaspoon salt 

1/2 teaspoon black pepper 

16 to 20 ounces cauliflower florets

1 cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)


1. Onion Base: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, covered, until lightly golden, about 4 minutes. Stir as needed.  

2. Root Vegetables: Add the water, potato, carrot, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper to the Onion Base. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook covered until the potatoes are falling apart, about 15 minutes.  

3. Cauliflower: Steam the cauliflower until tender, about 7 minutes. Reserve 2 cups of Florets for garnish. Set aside.

4. Blend: When the potatoes are falling apart, add the Cauliflower (except for the reserved florets) and blend with an immersion blender. Alternatively, blend in a standard blender. Blend very well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the reserved cauliflower Florets and optional cheese. Stir well and serve.  




© 2021 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.






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