Saturday, January 7, 2012

Trying Tofu and a Few More Treats

Eating vegetarian pretty much goes against my entire upbringing, so I've had to search high and low for recipes that would satisfy my appetite.  Soy is also new.  Other than popping edamame for snack, I needed to find ways to incorporate soy for meals.  Although a little skeptical, I decided that it was time to try cooking with tofu.  I found a site called the Savvy Vegetarian that offers cooking tips and recipes for tofu.  That's where I found the recipe for tofu sloppy joes.  I figured there was enough added flavors that it might trick me into thinking that I wasn't eating mush.  Anyway, here are our dinner selections from this week, including a pretty yummy recipe for trying tofu. 

Tofu Sloppy Joes (From
1 lb firm tofu
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp minced green pepper
1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic OR 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp minced onion OR 1 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp minced jalapeƱo pepper
Pinch dried cayenne or chipotle pepper
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 cup water
1/4 cup catsup
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp minced parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Mash tofu and mince the veggies.  In small bowl, combine tofu, jalapeno, and green pepper.  In a separate bowl, whisk together catsup, water, soy sauce, brown sugar, and parsley.  Heat oil on medium in a large frying pan.  Add onion and garlic and fry for 5 minutes.  Add mashed tofu and pepper mixture and fry on high for 5 minutes.  Add cayenne pepper and fry for 2 more minutes.  Finally, add catsup mixture and simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has absorbed. 
If tofu mixture seems too dry, you may add more catsup and water.  Serve on bread or bun with tomatoes, lettuce, or other toppings. We needed forks as the mixture was so moist that is soaked through the bread. 

Zucchini and Eggs (From
2 small zucchini, sliced
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil (or olive oil)
salt and pepper

In a medium sized bowl mix egg and soy sauce.  Heat oil in frying pan on medium heat.   Add zucchini in a single layer.  Cook until tender.  Dump zucchini into the egg mixture and coat evenly.  Then dump all back into the frying pan.  Heat until egg is well cooked.  Serve over fried rice.

Fried Rice (From
2 cups cooked rice (regular or minute rice)
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 egg, beaten

Heat onions in oil on medium heat until they appear clear.  Stir in cooked rice, soy sauce and egg.  Heat until egg is cooked.

 Spinach Enchiladas (From Christy Vega Fowler on the Today Show)
*I had to alter the recipe since Tomatillos aren't in season and I could not find them.  Rather than making the salsa verde fresh, I purchased a jar of salsa.  I will include her salsa recipe so we can make our own when the tomatillos are in season again. 

1 package of corn tortillas (I used whole wheat tortillas)
1 jar salsa verde
12 ounces fresh spinach
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 tablespoon cilantro
1 ounce sour cream
3/4 cup shredded cheese (Monterey Jack or Asadero)
1/2 avocado

To make tomatillo sauce, combine salsa, avocado, sour cream, and tablespoon of cilantro in a blender. Blend until creamy.

In a large fry pan, heat oil, tablespoon chopped onion, shredded cheese and a 1/4 cup of the tomatillo sauce from blender. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add spinach and stir until it is dark green.  Remove from heat.

First warm the tortillas by placing a moist paper towel over them and microwaving them for 1 minute on a medium power setting.   Lay the warmed tortilla flat and spoon spinach mixture down the middle. Roll the tortilla and place in a casserole dish.  After rolling all tortillas, cover them with the tomatillo sauce. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake in preheated oven (350 degrees F) for several minutes until cheese is melted. You may also microwave on a medium power setting for 4-5 minutes (Great option if pizza drippings in your oven catch on fire, like we had here Thursday night).  Serve with yellow rice, sliced avocado, and sour cream. 

Salsa Verde
1/2 sliced white onion
8 large green tomatillos
2 cups of water
1 bushel of cilantro
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon of salt

In a deep pan add the water, tomatillos, onion, cilantro, salt and garlic. Cook until it boils for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Pour everything into a blender and blend well.

Baja Bean Salad (From
*This tastes a little more Greek than the title conveys. 

1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup cucumber - peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 tablespoons diced onion
1 (6 ounce) container guacamole (see recipe below for my fresh guacamole)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
shredded lettuce
corn tortilla chips

Combine kidney beans, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, cucumber, and onion in large bowl.  In a separate small bowl, mix together guacamole, yogurt, and salt.  You may thin the dressing a bit with milk if it appears to be to thick.  Add dressing to the  bean mixture and chill. Serve with the shredded lettuce and tortilla chips.

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