Tofu Tuesday: Spanakopita

Our last recipe in VeganMoFo 2014 is a Greek classic: Spanakopita. Traditionally they’re filled with spinach and feta, so vegan version is naturally filled with spinach and tofu. Once again this has been fun, but blogging every day is also a lot of work. I hope randomofo will be up in October too, I love to browse blogs through it.

A Joyrney with Tiffany nominated us for Liebster Award. Thank you for the honour, but we have to pass answering the questions and nominating other blogs. Today it’s already time to go to bed, and tomorrow after work we’ll have to get ready for a little holiday trip.

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Spanakopita

1 package filo pastry (450 g)
about 2 dl olive oil for brushing

450 g frozen spinach
2 onions, chopped
450 g tofu
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 tbsp chopped dill
3 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
0,5 tsp pepper

Thaw the filo pastry according to the instructions on the package. Meanwhile prepare the filling. Sauté spinach and onion on a non-stick pan until water has evaporated. Allow to cool a bit. Crumble tofu in a bowl and add the rest of the filling ingredients.

Cut the filo pastry into strips, about 10 cm wide. Take one strip and place it on the table. Brush with olive oil. Put a heaping tablespoon of the filling in to one end. Fold one corner to form a triangle and continue folding until the strip is wrapped around the filling. It’s hard to explain, so check this picture. Brush with olive oil and put on a baking sheet. Make the rest of the pies the same way. Bake 10-15 minutes in 225 Celsius degrees.

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Tofu Tuesday: “Fish” Fingers

Everybody likes fish fingers, and here’s a cruelty free version of them! A Finnish blog Vegaaninen versio had already posted a recipe for vegan “fish” fingers, and we more or less followed it. We had our “fish” fingers with roasted root vegetables and cabbage salad.

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Tofu “Fish” Fingers

250 g tofu
2,5 dl water
3/4 sheet nori seaweed
1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1,5 tsp dill

0,75 dl wheat flour
0,75 dl water
1/4 sheet nori seaweed
1 dl dy bread crumbs
salt, pepper
1 tsp dill

oil for frying

Cut the tofu into sticks. Bring 2,5 dl water to boil. Cut the 3/4 sheet of nori into small pieces and add to the water with bouillon powder, salt, lemon juice and dill. Add tofu and marinade at least 15 minutes.

Combine wheat flour and water in a bowl. Cut the 1/4 sheet of nori into very small pieces. In another bowl combine nori, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and dill. Roll the tofu sticks first in the flour mix and then in the bread crumbs. Fry both sides in oil until golden brown.

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Tofu Tuesday: Salad

Salad doesn’t have to be a boring mixture of lettuce, cucumber and tomato. You can make endless variations with different vegetables, they can be fresh, cooked or canned. A bowl of salad can be a filling meal with protein source such as beans, lentils, tofu, soy curls, nuts or seitan, and even more filling with some pasta or boiled potatoes. Besides, salad is a perfect lunch: it doesn’t take long to prepare it and you can take it to work or picnic or wherever, because you don’t have to worry about reheating it.

This tofu and rice vermicelli salad is Asian inspired, even though I didn’t have any particular Asian country in my mind while I made it. My favourite dressing for this kind of salads is peanut dressing: I blend 3 tbsp peanut butter, 1 medium hot chili pepper, garlic clove, some lemon juice or vinegar together and season with salt and pepper.

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Tofu Salad with Vermicelli and Black Beans

250 g tofu (frozen and thawed)

marinade:
juice of a half grape fruit
0,6 dl white wine
1 garlic clove
salt

oil for frying

1 l cabbage
2 carrots, grated
3 dl black beans
3 tbsp tofu marinade
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp mirin
pinch of salt
50 g rice vermicelli (1 portion)
1 small red onion
piece of red bell pepper

Combine marinade ingredients and marinade diced tofu overnight.

Heat some oil on a frying pan and fry tofu until golden.

Put the cabbage in a bowl and squeeze it with your hands until soft. Peel and grate carrot and put it to the bowl. Add beans, 3 tbsp marinade, olive oil, mirin and salt and stir. Prepare rice vermicelli according to instructions on the package. Slice the onion thinly and cut the bell pepper in strips. Divide the cabbage mixture into bowls and arrange the other ingredients on top of it. Serve with your favourite dressing, or drizzle 1 tbsp marinade on each bowl.

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Tofu Tuesday: Burger

Freezing changes the texture of tofu, which is sometimes a good thing. It will become sponge like and it’ll absorb flavours easily. After freezing just thaw the tofu and gently squeeze it to remove as much water as you can. To get it really dry you can slice it, put the slices between towels and put a weight on them. We usually just squeeze it with hands. I don’t recommend freezing if you’re planning to make a quiche or something where you’ll need to crumble or bled tofu. Frozen tofu is better for slicing or dicing.

This time we used frozen tofu for burgers. We marinaded the tofu in a chipotle marinade and filled a home made burger bun with them and onion rings, pickles, lettuce, tomato, mustard and vegan mayo.

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Tofu Burgers

250 g tofu, frozen and thawed
oil for frying

marinade:
2 chipotles (in adobo sauce)
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp oil
2-3 tbsp water
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
0,5 tsp cumin
2 tsp sugar of syrup

burger buns, onion rings, tomato slices, vegan mayo, mustard, ketcup etc.

Blend chipotles, garlic, vinegar, oil and water until smooth. Add the rest of the marinade ingredients. Marinade sliced tofu preferably overnight. If you can’t wait that long, couple of hours will do. Heat some oil in a pan and fry both sides of the tofu slices until browned. Cut a burger bun half and fill it with tofu and your favourite burger fillings.

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Tofu Tuesday: Fried Rice

Fried rice is a common dish in Asia, especially in China. It often contains eggs, meat, shrimps etc. but our version is vegan of course. It’s a quick and easy meal if you have some leftover rice in your fridge. I recommend planning ahead and cooking some extra rice so you can make fried rice next day. This version is mild flavored, add more spices if you prefer spicier. Or pour some hot sauce on top.

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Tofu and Vegetable Fried Rice

4-5 dl cooked rice (turmeric for cooking water)
250 g tofu
1 big carrot
½ red bell pepper
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
0,5 tsp sesame oil
0,5 tsp ground cumin
0,5 tsp ginger powder
1,5 dl frozen peas
1,5-2 dl mung bean sprouts
1 tbsp lemon juice
chopped cilantro (optional)
(salt)
soy sauce, sweet chili sauce and/or hot pepper sauce for serving

Peel the carrot, onion and garlic cloves. Dice tofu, carrot and bell pepper. Chop onion and garlic. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, cumin and ginger in a small bowl.

Heat the oil in a large pan, a wok is good. Fry tofu for a minute or two and add soy sauce mixture to the pan. Continue frying until tofu is nicely browned. Remove tofu from the pan. Add a little oil if needed. Sauté onion and carrot until the onion starts to get soft and add bell pepper and garlic. Continue sautéing until vegetables are done and stir in peas. Add rice and cook couple of minutes stirring often. Finally add tofu, bean sprouts and lemon juice. Season with salt if needed. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

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Bajan Tofu Balls

We were on honeymoon on Barbados last March, and we had great time there. It’s autumn here, and the colder the weather gets, the more I miss Barbados.

Deep fried fish cakes are commonly eaten on Barbados. We were also offered them on our hotel’s rum punch party, but naturally we skipped them. We bought a small Bajan cook book from Pelican Village, and among other Barbadian recipes it had also a recipe for fish cakes, so we had to try to make them with tofu. Tofu worked fine, and I think our version is easier to make, because you don’t have to boil the salted fish several times. Mustardy Bajan pepper sauce is a great accompaniment for these tofu cakes.

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Bajan Tofu Cakes

250 g tofu
1 sheet nori seaweed
1 small onion
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp hot pepper sauce
1 tsp each: thyme, marjoram and dill
2 tsp baking powder
2,5 dl wheat flour
1,5 dl soy or oat milk
salt, black pepper and white pepper
oil for deep frying

Finely crumble the tofu in a bowl. Cut the nori in small pieces, I like to use scissors. Peel and finely chop onion and garlic. Mix all the ingredients together, add little more milk if needed.

Heat the oil and deep fry the cakes. Use two spoons to drop small balls (about tsp) to the oil and deep fry them on both sides until nicely browned. Serve with Bajan pepper sauce.

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Cruelty-free Baked Poussins

Middle Eastern cuisine is full of vegetarian and vegan dishes, and it would have been easy to blog about them for a week. Since our Saturday theme was veganizing, I was browsing Soheila Kimberly’s Middle Eastern cookbook to find a recipe that was tempting enough to veganize. A recipe for poussins baked in yogurt sauce caught my eye, even if I didn’t know what’s a poussin (it’s a young chicken, I know now). I used plain soy yogurt for the sauce and baked sliced tofu in it. I marinaded them for few hours, but I recommend marinading them over night, because when I reheated the leftovers next day, the flavour had grown better. We served the baked tofu with fried potatoes seasoned with sumac and some salad.

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Tofu in Yogurt Sauce

500 g tofu

sauce:
500 g plain soy yogurt
4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
0,5 tsp paprika
pinch of saffron powder or 2-3 saffron strands
4 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

Cut the tofu in 1 cm slices. Peel and chop the onion and garlic. If you use saffron strands, mix them with 1 tsp of hot water. Mix all the sauce ingredients together. Add the tofu slices and stir carefully. Allow to marinade in fridge at least 4 hours, preferably over night. Arrange the tofu slices in a wide ovenproof dish. Bake about 40 minutes in 200 Celsius degrees.

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