Tag Archives: plant-based

Vegan Baked Brie

15 May

This recipe for vegan baked brie is so authentic, you could take it to your Francophile best friend’s house, serve it for book club, and not a soul would know the difference. We’re utilizing some uncommon ingredients to achieve this texture, similar to my recipe for mozzarella and cheddar. Since I wanted a milder flavor for this baked brie, I used my favorite tofu, Mori-Nu Silken Tofu Extra Firm, to balance out the strong cashew flavor.  I love that Mori-Nu is a complete protein, so you can still get protein without the dairy. I think you’ll find that the ease of using a shelf stable tofu like Mori-Nu for this recipe makes the several hour wait to eat worthwhile! And its velvety texture contributes to the creaminess of this delicious plant-based “cheese.” Now into the good stuff.

The first steps of this recipe tell you to blend all of the ingredients until completely smooth in a high speed blender. If you don’t have a high speed blender, you can soak the cashews ahead of time to make your blending easier. I’d like to make a note here that a high speed blender can get this mixture up to a temperature so that the tapioca starch and kappa carrageenan begin to do their starchy magic. Don’t be alarmed if this happens, it will get heated completely through in the saucepan anyway!

Since tapioca starch and kappa carrageenan have different activation heats, we will need to heat our mixture completely up to above boiling for it to properly set. I cook my cheese over medium heat in a non stick saucepan while constantly stirring to avoid the mixture breaking. The cheese will begin to curdle slowly, then as each starch gets activated, it will smooth out into a creamy, stretchy sauce.

After cooking, our cheese mixture needs to cool and solidify a bit. The coconut oil in this recipe will help it firm up upon refrigeration, so don’t be worried if the texture seems too loose when transferring to a lined bowl. It may take up to four hours for your cheese to fully “set”, but since we’re cooking it in a puff pastry, you can skip this step as soon as the cheese is firm enough to “plop”.

When cheese is fully set, just wrap in a vegan friendly puff pastry and bake until puff pastry is golden brown, and the cheese will simply melt inside of the crust. This is the part where your own creativity can come in, puff pastry can be shaped in a variety of ways, and its excellent topped with a sweet jam or fresh herbs. Change it up to your liking! Click below to go to the recipe.

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Edamame Flavored Tofu Dumplings

27 Dec

In between the holidays and the new year, I tend to get a bit restless and sluggish about cooking. It just seems like the days between Christmas and the New Year are made for lazing about and not really doing anything. But I am always in the mood for dumplings, especially when they are light and fresh and come in a crispy rice paper wrapper. With a bit of leftover veggies and a box of shelf stable Mori-Nu Silken Tofu from the pantry, these come together so quickly, and without the hassle of folding dumpling wrappers. The wrapping method for the rice paper dumplings is very similar to how you would fold a burrito, just pull all the sides in fold until you have a small packet to cook. Since the rice paper wrappers are already moistened before wrapping, there’s no need to add water into the pan to steam the dumplings, simply crisp and enjoy!

I had seen multiple versions of these rice paper dumplings making the rounds on social media, but when I saw Mori-Nu Silken Tofu released a new bunch of flavors (Yuzu AND Edamame) I knew they would be a perfect addition to these. The pop of green from the edamame-flavored tofu is gorgeous and the flavor compliments the shiitake mushrooms and soy sauce perfectly. If you would like to substitute, I’d recommend using the Mori-Nu Silken Tofu Extra Firm.

You can add in as many vegetables as you like to this-it’s a very versatile way to use up leftovers from veggie platters and vegetables that didn’t quite make the cut for your charcuterie board. If these dumplings don’t strike your fancy, I’d be happy to recommend trying my mapo tofu dumplings.

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Sticky Eggplant

10 Aug

Some sticky icky eggplant in my chopsticks, to go alongside my platter of sushi, because why not have both?

I saw a similar recipe to this on Instagram a few weeks ago and obviously had to make my own version. I’ve been well stocked on eggplant all summer thanks to the Old Capitol Farmer’s Market in my town and all the wonderful farmers who bring their produce out.


How many other things in your life do you limit to one or the other, when instead, you could just have both? Like sushi and eggplant. Both of my favorite things. But I never enjoy them together!


The eggplant is simply cooked in a large cast iron skillet with some oil and water until its fully steamed and a bit charred. Then it’s topped with sauce and cilantro and sesame seeds and it’s ready for consumption. I like to serve this with rice or rice noodles, or simply by itself. Let me know if you give it a try!

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Mapo Tofu Inspired Dumplings

30 Jun

My kids and husband can all attest to my unending love of dumplings, gyoza, potstickers, ravioli, and any other foods that include a filling stuffed inside of carbohydrates. For Mother’s Days, I often request a bag of premade dumplings and feast on them all day and night.

But the premade version could never compare to these!

This recipe was a combination of leftovers that needed to be used up (dumpling wrappers and mapo tofu) but I loved them so much I started making them regularly. These mapo tofu inspired dumplings combine all the spicy, sweet, and umami flavors I love about mapo with the comfort of a bite sized wheat wrapper.

As usual, I’m using my favorite Mori-Nu Silken Tofu for this. I love having their tofu on hand for dishes like this because it stays fresh on the shelf and it has the perfect texture for slipping into some crispy and chewy dumplings. Unlike water packed tofu, Mori-Nu Silken Tofu doesn’t require a lot of pressing or draining to cook which makes it more accessible and quicker to prep!

There are many types of wonton or dumpling wrappers you could use for this, just be sure to check the ingredients for eggs! If you can find round wrappers, those will work as well, just do a traditional crimping fold to keep them shut.

For my mapo tofu I always use ground Szechuan pepper and a spicy broad bean paste. My brand of choice is Lee Kum Kee, but there are many different options you can use-just adjust the taste based on your spice tolerance!

For folding these, it’s quite simple, just wet the edges of each wrapper, fold corner to corner, and then gently pinch the outside tips together (see above.) You can also look up videos on YouTube for different folding methods if you’d like another shape of dumpling.

Make sure to use a fully hot skillet and a neutral oil for cooking these. The splash of water in the pan helps steam the wrappers and gives them a soft texture, but will splatter everywhere if not covered. I love my cast iron skillet for cooking these because it holds so much heat and the bottoms crisp up perfectly.

Click on read more below to get the recipe!

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Menemen Inspired Tofu

21 Feb

A friend sent me this recipe from Serious Eats and I knew it was going to be breakfast today. Smoky, slightly spicy, and perfect for soaking up with a bit of bread. I might not ever eat anything else for breakfast ever again.

I had never had menemen before, but it’s reminiscent of shakshuka. Something about tomato dishes packed with flavor makes for such a nice savory breakfast. The fact that I can pull most of the ingredients for this out of my cupboard is super easy, but I can’t wait to be able to make this with fresh garden tomatoes over the summer.

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Faux King Crab

24 Jan

I could tell a pretty embarrassing story about crab here. I’ll spare you the details and just share this recipe for faux King crab instead. If you say it three times fast, you’ll laugh just as much as you would have at my embarrassing story.

Algal oil is pretty essential for the ocean flavor of this recipe. I don’t really recommend skipping it and it will give you a good DHA boost for the day, but in a pinch you could use a similar amount of kelp powder. It can be found in the Amazon link below or at your local natural food store in the supplement section as vegan DHA or Omega-3. Please see my notes below the recipe regarding tofu/agar.

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, I recommend steaming on the stove or in a conventional steamer for the same amount of time. A stove top pressure cooker could also be used.

If you make this recipe, be sure to use the hashtag #fauxkingcrab on Instagram or Facebook, I would love to see your results!

Many, many thanks to Somer McGowan of Vedged Out for assisting in recipe testing for this recipe.

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Vegan Calamari

18 Jan

A few months ago I made the Vegan Oxtail recipe by Korenn’s Vegan World of Food and was very impressed by the texture of the oyster mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms are kind of an old card in the vegan world, they work excellent as scallops or pulled barbecue on sandwiches. I thought it would be fun to use their shreddy texture for vegan calamari, and I was not disappointed. The mushrooms take a little oceany flavor on during a bit of marinating time, and get battered in a simple flour mixture. Feel free to use a more advanced batter recipe if you prefer. You can usually find large oyster mushrooms at bigger grocers and international markets. If you can’t find large ones, smaller ones will work just as well, but the calamari rings will be smaller. 

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Tofu Pad Kee Mao

13 Jan

By popular request on my Facebook page, I am sharing my recipe for tofu pad kee mao. I had posted this recipe for pad see ew years ago, which also calls for the same flat fresh noodles. Our store carries them in two pound packages in sheets which I cut into smaller portions. If you can’t find fresh noodles, you can absolutely use dried wide rice noodles.

Traditionally this recipe is made with Thai birds eye chili peppers. I’m currently catering to palates that don’t appreciate spice, so I choose to omit the peppers. If you want to use them, add about 5 or 6 during the cooking step with the other vegetables.

I love using Beyond Meat crumbles for this dish, but they’re not a necessity. Feel free to omit or substitute with your favorite seitan recipe.

Algal oil adds a similar fishy flavor that fish sauce usually adds to the recipe. Flax or hemp oil can totally be substituted for a similar flavor, or you can add your favorite vegan fish sauce.

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Vegan Pizza Rolls

4 Mar Vegan Pizza Rolls

I am a 90’s kid and there’s no reason for me to deny it. I spent many an afternoon in front of a TV watching cartoons with a box of Totino’s pizza rolls. I’m sure most other 90’s kids remember watching shows like Hey Arnold and Rugrats after school, although maybe the pizza rolls were a particular remnant of my own childhood.

Vegan Pizza Rolls

I always have fun recreating foods like this and pizza rolls have been on my to-do list for years. I very specifically remember the thin and crispy, oily crust, so I knew a pizza crust wasn’t going to work here. I made a basic pasta dough, but used a bit of vital wheat gluten to firm it up. Alternatively, you could just use bread flour, but it’s not something I usually have on hand.

I didn’t get any pictures of the rolling and filling process, but it’s the same as making ravioli. YouTube is a great help for beginners if you’ve never made ravioli before, but it’s pretty simple. Dough, filling, and dough, and just seal around the edges.

I fried these, but they could possibly be baked on a parchment lined pan. The crispy crust effect won’t be the same so as long as you’re not eating them daily, I recommend a shallow fry. This recipe makes about 12, but you can easily double it and keep the rest refrigerated after cooking until you’re ready to eat them.

 

Be sure to check out the Vegan Meringue Group on Facebook for more aquafaba recipes and a thorough FAQ.

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Ravioli with Cashew Spinach Ricotta

24 Feb Ravioli with Cashew Spinach Ricotta

I don’t think I’ve ever been one to shy away from my love of carbs (except for during a brief Atkins diet period in the early 2000s.) There is just something wonderful about fresh homemade pasta. I will pretty much eat any pasta, but homemade pasta is something otherworldly. I discovered this recipe for homemade pasta from Vegan Dad years ago and I’ve used it pretty consistently since then. One of my favorite recipes for ravioli is filled with butternut squash, but it’s not really squash season anymore.

Ravioli with Cashew Spinach Ricotta

We love this cashew spinach ricotta in my vegan lasagna recipe, so I knew it would be a hit here.  I added a touch of miso paste this time around, but it’s totally optional so if you don’t have any, don’t fret. You may need to adjust the salt level without the miso, so be sure to taste the cashew ricotta for quality control purposes. Or, you know, general hunger purposes. This recipe made about 30 ravioli for me, but if you plan to make square ravioli with an overlapping pasta layer, be sure to double the dough recipe.

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