Tofu Scramble Burritos for Vegan Wednesday

Yes, Vegan Wednesday is actually Vegan Everyday in my case as I have been vegan for the animals since July 26, 2010.

Still, I figure people are looking for some easy, cheap vegan recipes.

This is a tofu burrito and a couple of homemade salads, creamy cucumber and fast coleslaw, I took to work.  I eat dinner at work because of my hours, so brown-bagging it is a much cheaper, healthier, and better alternative to making a run outside the building for food.

Tofu Scramble Burritos

1 package firm tofu, usually about 13 to 16 ounces, drained
1/2 a small onion, chopped
1/2 cup frozen bell peppers, I use the tri-color frozen pepper mix from Trader Joes
Oil for frying, about 2 teaspoons

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional, adds Vitamin B spectrum and flavor)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (provides pretty yellow color and antioxidants)
2 teaspoons salt or to taste

Burrito shells – I used fajita shells from Aldi that cost less than a dollar per package

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The tofu mixture in the fry pan

Directions:

Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat for about a minute and a half.  Add onions and fry them until slightly translucent, about 1 minute.  Thaw the peppers in the microwave for one minute in a small bowl and squeeze off the pepper water.  Drain tofu and crumble it directly into the frying pan with the onions, or just flop the whole cube in there and mash it with a fork once it is sitting amongst the onions.  Add bell pepper, nutritional yeast, turmeric, and additional spices or herbs that you enjoy.  Mix until the turmeric is evenly distributed and then salt to taste.  I like a lot of salt and I have never had blood pressure problems, so I use 2 teaspoons of black salt, a type of sulphured salt from the Indian grocery store that imparts an eggy flavor.

Heat the burrito shells gently in a dry pan or microwave them for 20 seconds to make them pliable.  Dump about a cup of tofu filling into the burrito shell and then roll it up, or eat it like a soft taco.

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Creamy Cucumber Salad

2 large cucumbers
1 tablespoon chopped green, red, yellow, or white onion (I used red onion)
2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise (I used Just Mayo I found at Target for under $4)
1 teaspoon dried dill, thyme, basil, etc. (I used a premade mix of Herbes de Provence)
1/2 teaspoon salt plus salt to taste

Finely slice the cucumbers by hand or use a cucumber slicer — I used the cucumber slicer on the side of a four-sided cheese and vegetable shredder.  Sprinkle the 1/2 teaspoon of salt on the cucumbers, let them sit 5 to 10 minutes.  Press them in a colander over a sink, squeezing as much of their water out as you can with your clean hands.

Mix squeezed, drained cucumbers in a large bowl with onion, mayonnaise, and herbs.  Mix and add salt to taste.

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Fast Coleslaw

1/2 head of cabbage, any kind, finely chopped into shreds (I used white)
1/4 cup onion, chopped (I used red onion)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon oil
Salt to taste

Chop the cabbage and onion finely and mix them together in a large bowl.  Add vinegar, sugar, and oil, toss and add salt to taste.

Wait about an hour for cabbage to marinate and soften.

Can be eaten room temperature or chilled.

 

Daily Vegan Lunch for 25 December, 2013: Nametake Style Daikon Noodles and Enokitake

tofu enokitake
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NGREDIENTS:

1.5 cups tofu, cut into large cubes and patted dry
2 cups fresh enoki mushrooms
1 cup shredded daikon radish, I used a julienne peeler
1.5 cups vegetable broth with 2 squares of kombu seaweed added
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sake
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch plus 1/4 cup additional water

DIRECTIONS:

Combine enoki mushrooms, shredded daikon, and broth, kombu squares, soy sauce, and sake in a medium sized pan or pot at medium high heat.  Allow it to heat through until the mushrooms wilt and start looking like noodles.  Heat the tofu separately on a plate.  Mix the arrowroot and 1/4 cup of water thoroughly and then add to the pan with the enoki mushrooms, stir until a sauce is formed. Turn the heat off and wait for sauce to thicken.  Pour the enoki/daikon with sauce over the tofu.  Serve with steamed bok choy or other steamed greens.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 24 December, 2013: Tofu Cucumber Mint Chutney Cold Pita Pizza

vegan cucumber chutney pesto flatbread with tofu IMG_3882INGREDIENTS:

1 pita round
1.5 cups cucumber, sliced very thinly
1 tablespoon prepared mint chutney or prepared pesto

1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon garlic, minced (about one clove)
Salt to taste

3/4 cup firm tofu, drained

DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl, combine minced garlic, tahini, and salt.  Toast one pita round — I used my broiler on 400 for a minute — and spread it with mint chutney or pesto.  Add a layer of sliced cucumber and tomatoes.  Crumble the tofu and sprinkle on top, then drizzle with garlic tahini sauce.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 23 December: Japanese Hot Pot

vegan sukiyaki japanese tofu hotpot vegan sukiyaki japanese tofu hotpot
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NGREDIENTS:

1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms (1.5 cups reconstituted)
2 carrots (approximately 2 cups) peeled and chopped roughly
1.5 cups leeks, chopped
3 kombu seaweed squares
3 cups water
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cups cooked noodles — I used soba
1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups tofu

DIRECTIONS:

Cook soba noodles or any other kind of long, thin noodles according to package directions, set aside.  You can use anything from tofu shirataki to ramen noodles to thin spaghetti or no noodles at all, it just depends on what you like.

Drain the tofu and cut it into thick slices.  Blot the slices with a paper towel or a clean towel to absorb excess water.  Cut the tofu into cubes.  In a medium sized pan that can withstand high heat (I used a cast iron pan) heat one tablespoon oil until it smokes.  Add tofu to the pan.  Toss the tofu around until it browns on all sides, about two minutes.  Take the tofu off heat and set it aside.

Soak the whole dried shiitakes in enough water to cover them (they will float) for 15 minutes in a bowl.  Reserve the soaking water.  In a medium sized pot, combine carrots, kombu squares, mushrooms and their soaking water, and three cups of water.  Let it come to a boil and then reduce to medium.  Allow it to simmer until carrots are slightly tender, about 7 minutes.  Add leeks, soy sauce, and sake.  Heat through, about one minute, then take off the heat.

Serve sukiyaki by ladling all the separate ingredients into bowls — carrots, leeks, mushrooms, tofu cubes, noodles — and then spooning broth over the whole thing.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 21 December, 2013: Curry Fried Rice-Style Barley and Tofu

This is shown with some leftover okra and onions from a lovely vegan dinner at a local Indian restaurant that was one of the best meals I have ever eaten.  Thanks Shuba and Subu!curried fried rice style barley with tofu vegan
INGREDIENTS:

1 cup barley, cooked (ends up as about 3 cups)
Water for cooking barley
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 carrot, chopped, or about a cup
Water for cooking carrots and peas
1 tablespoon oil
1 green onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1 tablespoon chili sauce or 2 teaspoons sriacha or tabasco
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1.5 cups firm or extra-firm tofu, cubed and patted dry

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Rinse barley and put it into a medium pot with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook until al dente and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Set it aside.

Pre-cook the carrots and peas.  In a bowl in the microwave, cover the chopped carrots and peas with water and cook on high heat until carrots are tender, about 2 minutes.  Alternately, cover the carrots and peas in water in a small pot on the stovetop.  Cook on high until carrots and peas are tender, about 7 minutes total.  Drain the carrots and peas and set them aside.

Cut tofu into slices and pat them dry with a paper towel.  Then cut them into large cubes.

Mix the hot sauce (chili, sriacha, or tabasco) with cumin, turmeric, and garam masala to make a paste.

In a large pan or wok, heat the tablespoon of oil until it smokes.  Add the tofu, quickly stir-fry and tossing around until they are slightly brown on all sides.  Add the rice, stir fry for about a minute, tossing so it browns but doesn’t burn.  Add drained carrots, peas, and spicy sauce, stir to coat all ingredients.  Finish by stirring in green onion and soy sauce.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 17 December, 2013: Seitan Combo, Stuffed Tofu, and Pickled Plum Maki Sushi

 

seitan sushi maki
INGREDIENTS:

1 cup sushi rice (approx. 2.5 cups cooked) and water to cook
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup daikon radish, julienned
1/2 cup cucumber, julienned

2 cups green salad mix
1 tablespoon pickled plums (umeboshi) pitted and sliced very small

1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup black sesame seeds

6 fried tofu pouches — also known as abura-age (pr. Ah-boo-la-ah-gay) available premade from Asian grocers in the refrigerated tofu section

SEITAN INGREDIENTS:

1 cup vital wheat gluten
3/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon kombu dashi (squares of kombu seaweed ground up in the coffee grinder or blender/food processor)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil

4 sheets nori seaweed

DIRECTIONS:

Make the seitan.  Combine vital wheat gluten, konbu dashi, and salt in a bowl.  In another bowl or large cup, combine water, soy sauce, tahini, and sesame oil, mix well.  Now combine wet and dry ingredients and a dough will form.  Bring enough water to cover the seitan to a boil and drop the seitan in gently.  Turn the heat to medium-high and allow the seitan to boil for 45 minutes.  Drain seitan, allow it to cool, and

Rinse the rice well.  Make the sushi rice by cooking rice according to package directions.  I use my rice cooker for this.  Combine the vinegar, sugar, and a teaspoon of salt.  Cook in the microwave or on the stovetop until the sugar melts, take off heat and set aside.  Once the rice is cooked, pour the vinegar mixture into the rice and stir it to incorporate the vinegar.

Lay the nori on a clean surface and spread with rice.  Then lay a row of vegetables.  I used two combinations for the rolls this time: pickled plum plus salad greens and sliced seitan plus daikon radish and cucumber, but you can use anything you like.  Just know that pickled plum are very salty so it makes sense to use them very sparingly.  I used about 3/4 cup of rice per nori sheet and 1/4 cup filling in a small row down the center to one side.

Roll away from yourself, trying to make the  roll tight by tucking under as you go with your fingertips.  Let it rest seam-side down on a flat surface so the moisture from the rice seals the roll.  Slice with a serrated knife, thickness is up to you.

As for the abura-age, cut them in half and stuff each half with a heaping tablespoon of rice each pouch.  Then gently dip the top in sesame seeds.  You can use two colors if you want to be fancy like me but it isn’t necessary.  I like to toast the seeds first in a dry pan on medium heat for about five minutes but it’s not a crucial step.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 3 December, 2013: Teriyaki Unchicken Salad

teriyaki unchicken salad vegan IMG_3783

INGREDIENTS for 2 salads or one huge salad:

5 – 6 cups salad greens
2.5 cups tofu unchicken pieces

Teriyaki dressing, to taste

TERIYAKI DRESSING INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice or other vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar or 1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons sesame oil or regular oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare the tofu unchicken according to this recipe or use a store-bought unchicken, seitan, tempeh, or other veggie protein.

Combine teriyaki dressing ingredients in a small pan on the stovetop on medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until ingredients dissolve. Once it heats up, about 3 minutes, stir until the dressing thickens.

Mix the tofu unchicken and salad greens in a bowl and top with teriyaki dressing to taste.