Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Monday, October 18, 2010

Using Prepared Tofu

Music: Anne Akiko Meyers, Seasons...Dreams...

Today's smoothie: organic flat-leaf parsley, frozen raspberries, half o'banana

One of the best things about being vegan continues to be my never-ending desire to try different plant foods and my excitement of a delicious new discovery. It's just so wonderful to eat good food and know that it is also nourishing my body.

I use tofu often, however, it wasn't until a few months ago that I tried baked, marinated, and smoked tofu, which can be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

Two recipes I've tried with them have turned out wonderfully.

Asian Edamame and Tofu Chopped Salad (from Vegan Express by Nava Atlas--thank you, Nava! Love your recipes!)

1 C frozen edamame, thawed
1/4 C pine nuts
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (about 1 C)
1 small red or orange bell pepper, diced
2 large stalks celery, diced
4-5 oz. baked tofu, cubed
1/4 C thinly sliced scallions, green parts only
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste.

After cooking edamame according to package instructions, drain and rinse in cold water. Toast pine nuts in a small skillet until golden. Combine all in a bowl.

And, since the weather has gotten cooler, isn't a nice pot of split pea soup just the thing? But I'll bet you've never tasted a split pea soup like this one! Who needs the animal bone (ew!)? Not me. And certainly not your body.

Smoky Green Pea Split Soup (from Dreena Burton's Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium to large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp paprika
2 1/2 C dried green split peas, rinsed
4 C water with 2 bouillon cubes
4 C water
2 bay leaves
1 pkg (8 oz) smoked tofu, cubed
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add oil, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and paprika. Cover and cook 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add split peas and cook 1-2 minutes. Add all water, bouillon cubes, and bay leaves and increase heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and let cook 30 minutes. Add tofu, stir in, and continue to cook 18-20 minutes until peas are fully cooked. The soup will thicken. Stir in lemon juice and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

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