Thursday, July 28, 2011

Maple Dijon Tofu with Almond Crumble

Alright. So... before I talk about this recipe I need to talk about tofu.
I love tofu, but in the past could never really get any of my recipes to turn out well. I wanted extra firm tofu, and always relied on the Nasoya brand for my recipes. Not to hate on Nasoya tofu, but I do kind of... hate it.

This past year, however, I went out on a limb and tried a new brand that I saw at Whole Foods that I hadn't tried yet. I had always shopped at Meijer (when I lived in Michigan) and since moving to Chicago have been lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods. I tried the West Soy brand tofu and I love it! It's great for holding its own in marinade, because, well... sometimes I forget I have tofu marinating in the fridge... for 4 days.

So now that I've found a brand that I'm fond of, I've been trying out a ton of tofu recipes. Here is one of them, which I found over at A Profound Hatred of Meat.

In all honesty, this is one of THE BEST recipes I have tried for tofu. The almond crumble is slightly salty, rich and has melt-in-your-mouth crumbly texture that goes well with the maple syrup-y sweetness. Add a little kick from some cayenne and zing from the dijon mustard and you're seriously good to go!

  • 1 package extra-firm tofu (14 oz. = 397g)
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. cayenne (or red pepper flakes)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  1. Combine all ingredients (except the oil) and marinate the tofu for at least one hour. I actually left mine for about 3 days in the fridge! I put my tofu (sliced) into a freezer ziploc bag and pour the marinade in. (RESERVE MARINADE!)
2. Heat oil on med-high in a pan and place slices of tofu in. Sear both sides of tofu until golden brown.
Now, Preheat oven to 350F.

3. Make almond crumble:
  • 1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking GF oats
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
Chopped almonds.
In a food processor, combine all dry ingredients. Pulse until a coarse crumb. Add oil and maple syrup, pulse until mixed well. 

4. After crumble is made, place tofu on lined baking sheet and top with the crumble. Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Top tofu with the reserved marinade! Ta-dah!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Choc. Chip Banana Oat Cake (GF,V)

FYI: Extremely ripe black bananas are needed for this recipe! Yellow ones simply will not do.

I remember when I was little how my mom would always have some black bananas laying around the kitchen. I was always so disgusted by them. Little did I know that these same bananas were the ones that went into my mom's awesome banana bread that I just could not get enough of.

But this isn't a recipe for banana bread. Put those too-ripe-bananas to good use in this recipe from Oh She Glows. I found myself eating slices of this "cake" for breakfast. It definitely didn't disappoint!

  • 2 cups GF oats, processed into a flour (I actually just used 2 cups of GF oat flour)
  • 1/2 cup GF oats (not processed)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8th tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp. whole cane sugar (or sucanat)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 2 medium RIPE bananas, peeled
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup soymilk or almond milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Fold in: 
    • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life brand)
    • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease an 8" cake pan or a pie pan. If you are processing your oats into flour yourself, do that now.
  2. In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients together well. 
  3. In another bowl, mix together the oil, applesauce, almond milk, and vanilla. Add in the two peeled bananas and smush into the wet ingredients.
  4. Add the wet mix to the dry and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  5. Spread into prepared pan and bake for 36 minutes at 350F, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before cutting.
  6. Once cooled, top with PB Banana Glaze. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
PB Glaze
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter (I used crunchy, but I don't recommend it!)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Mash banana in a bowl until smooth. Add in PB and mix until combined. Try microwaving the peanut butter first. Add the powdered sugar and stir until smooth and fully combined. Store in fridge. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Maple Tempeh and Green Beans

Tempeh, which is made from fermented soybeans, is a protein heavyweight. It has a distinct nutty taste to it (which I love).  In addition, it has a ridiculous amount of fiber to keep you feeling full long after dinner is over.

Based on a recipe at 101cookbooks, this maple tempeh goes great with crisp green beans! 


  • 8oz. package of tempeh 
  • 3 Tbsp. tamari
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic (roughly 2 tsp.), chopped
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 2-3 cups of green beans
  1. Make marinade: Mix together the liquid ingredients. Tamari, maple syrup, garlic, rice vinegar, and cayenne. 
  2. Slice the block of tempeh into strips or triangles. 
  3. Place the pieces of tempeh in the marinade, making sure that all the pieces of tempeh are fully submerged. I tend to plan ahead a bit for meals and I let this marinate overnight in the fridge. You could also just marinate it for around 1-2 hours and get away with it but I really suggest overnight at least.
  4. When done marinating, remove the tempeh and heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook the tempeh on stove until lightly browned. 
  5. Prepare the green beans however you like. I boiled mine for about 10 minutes and then topped them with Earth Balance butter and some salt and pepper!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Crispy Peanut Butter Balls

These little guys are quick and easy to make. 

I found that making these with just almond butter (based on this recipe) made them a little bit too dry for my liking. I prefer to make these with peanut butter! I've been struggling with a peanut butter addiction for quite some time now. These treats give me the quick PB fix I need in no time flat. 
These are also super tasty when made with chocolate hazelnut butter! I use Justin's brand.

  • 1 cup crispy GF rice cereal (I used Nature's Path)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or almond butter, or get crazy and use a mix of both!)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or brown rice syrup (or agave maybe?)
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup vegan chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Line a plate or baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine wet ingredients: peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla, and microwave for 35-45 seconds. Stir. Repeat if the peanut butter is still not melted (or if you have a super old school microwave, like me).
  3. Add crispy rice cereal and chocolate chips (if using) to the wet ingredients and stir to coat.
  4. Wet hands with water and roll mixture into balls. Place on parchment paper.
  5. Place in refrigerator until hardened. Store in an airtight container in fridge. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Quinoa Berry Salad

It's been so hot here in Chicago these past few days. As much as I love cooking, I can't stand how hot it makes our little apartment when it's already 90 degrees outside!

So... here's an easy crisp salad with juicy strawberries and quinoa for protein! I topped my salad with Maple Grove Farms Strawberry Balsamic.


  • 1/2 cup dry, uncooked quinoa (can use red or white quinoa)
  • handful of toasted pine nuts, sliced almond, etc. (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 2 cups mixed greens (or any other salad mix)
  • 1/4 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 organic apple, sliced (optional)
  • dressing of your choice (I used strawberry balsamic)
  1. To cook quinoa: Measure out 1/2 cup quinoa and then rinse under water in a fine mesh strainer. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in small saucepan, add quinoa, simmer on low (covered) until all water is absorbed (about 15 minutes).
  2. If you haven't already toasted your pine nuts/almonds, do so now.
  3. Mix all your ingredients together in a big bowl, and drizzle with dressing!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Chocolate Oat Walnut Bars

This is a recipe I found over at (never home) maker. These tasty bars are full of good-for-you fats found in walnuts and coconut oil. The walnuts provide you with a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory), and coconut oil has been found to support thyroid and immune system function. About 50% of the fat in coconut oil is a type called lauric acid. You can read about coconut oil and its benefits here.

  • 3/4 cup steel cut oats, processed until powdery
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, processed into a meal
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
For this recipe, however, I didn't have any steel cut oats on hand so I ended up using plain rolled oats. I think this may have been the reason as to why my bars ended up a bit dry and powdery. I had to store them in the fridge to keep them more solid. 

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together the processed steel cut oats, walnut meal, cocoa powder, and coconut flakes.
  3. In a separate bowl, add honey (or maple syrup), coconut oil, and peanut butter. Stir with electric mixer. Then add in the chocolate chippies.
  4. Lightly oil an 8x8 pan with coconut oil. I used a bread loaf pan. Pour in the mixture and press down.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Then, remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  6. Put the dish BACK IN THE OVEN for another 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove and let cool. 
  7. Store in refrigerator to help them solidify a bit more. 

Enjoy with a glass of ice-cold soymilk 
(or almond milk, coconut get the idea)!