This was as easy as can be to make, and yet it looks like a dish you’d order at a Chinese or Thai restaurant (in my humble opinion, lol). It was quite delicious, low-fat, healthy, filling, and super easy and quick to make. If you make the tofu ahead of time (which I’d made the day before), it’s nothing to throw this together. The key here (as in the case of making any dish requiring quick and hot cooking) is to have all your ingredients ready before getting that wok or heavy skillet hot with oil.
1 pkg extra-firm organic tofu (cubed and then tossed in a little olive oil and baked in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes, turned, and baked another 15 minutes or so)
1/4 pkg. dried linguini, broken in half and cooked per pkg. directions, then drained in cold water and put aside
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced lengthwise
1 onion (sweet or yellow), sliced lengthwise
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, sliced diagonally
1 carrot, sliced diagonally
Vegetable oil (I used a light vegetable oil blend)
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
Roasted sesame seeds
Cucumber (few diagonal slices to garnish the plate)
After preparing all the ingredients above, heat oil in a heavy skillet (or wok) over high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and stir quickly for about 30 seconds before adding the red bell pepper. Stir for about a minute before drizzling about 2-3 tbsp. of soy sauce over the vegetables. They’ll steam up. At that point, I added the minced garlic and the grated ginger, and stirred it well into the mixture before adding the cooked linguini. Add more soy sauce to taste, mix well. Plate onto a platter and sprinkle with some sesame seeds. Garnish with the cucumber. Serve immediately.
Lots of vegan protein packed into this meal, and that’s just what I wanted. I made a big batch of lentils and rice, storing it in separate containers in the refrigerator so I can use it to make other salads over the next few days. There’s myriad variations using these two high-protein staples—salads, wraps, patties, and lots more.
2 c organic green lentils (cook ahead and cool)
2 c organic brown basmati rice (cook ahead and cool)
1 c chopped sweet onion (red or white)
1/2 c fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 c thawed and rinsed frozen baby peas
1/4 c chopped fresh mint
lettuce (I used red leafy lettuce from my garden)
1 pkg extra-firm organic tofu, drained well and patted dry with paper towel
Extra-virgin olive oil
S & P
Cook the green lentils and the rice according to their package directions, and let them each cool separately in the fridge.
Cut the tofu in large cubes and toss it with enough olive oil to coat it well, and sprinkle with seasoning of your choice (I used organic dried garlic with sea salt). Bake in a 425 F oven on a parchment-paper lined sheet for about 10 minutes, then remove and gently turn over and bake another 10 minutes, or so. Keep an eye on them; they should be firm and browned around the edges, but not overdone. When they are ready, gently place them onto a paper towel while you assemble the salad.
Mix 2 cups of the cooked lentils, and 1 cup of the cooked brown basmati rice together. Add 1 cup of chopped sweet onion, the peas, basil leaves, and mint. Mix together. In a small bowl, add 1/4 c balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together. If the balsamic vinegar is of a high quality (which it should be), you don’t need to add any sugar. If not, you will likely need to sweeten it. Drizzle olive oil into the mixture as you whisk. It is usually one part vinegar to 3 parts olive oil, but I tend to do less than that much olive oil. That’s optional. When it is to your taste, drizzle over the salad and mix well. Serve it with some leafy lettuce and the tofu. I topped mine with some chives from my garden, but you can add any kind of garnish.
The family really liked the Vegan Pulao I’d made the day before, but I wanted to make a lower simple carb version, using a bunch of really finely chopped vegetables, and just a little bit of rice mixed in after the vegetables were done. I also grilled some super firm tofu, seasoned with Flavor God “Everything Seasoning,” and a light spray of olive oil (not pictured here, but I posted a photo of that on my donnalynnfox Instagram account). This stir fry includes a mouthwatering mix of vegetables that blend together well, and create an awesome, flavorful and colorful dish.
1 c cooked and cooled rice
1/2 large cauliflower, finely chopped
2 c very finely chopped green beans
1 c finely chopped green onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, scraped and very finely chopped
4 stalks celery, very finely chopped
1/2 c finely chopped cilantro
2 tbsp EVOO
Flavor God Everything Seasoning (flavorgod.com) **
Fresh-cut chives for garnish
Heat oil in non-stick wok or frying pan over high heat. Add the beans, carrots, and celery first. Mix and stir for a few minutes until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, cauliflower, green onion and cook for about another minute while continuing to stir. Turn heat down to medium and add cilantro and season to taste. Turn heat off and cover for five minutes. Turn heat back on to medium, and add rice, stirring gently into the mixture. Remove from heat once everything is heated through, and spoon into a large family-style serving bowl. Garnish with chives.
** Flavor God seasonings are the best I’ve used. Flavor God chef and owner, Chris Wallace, grinds his herbs and spices fresh every day for orders going out that day. His business has grown exponentially over the past few months because his product is so excellent. Check out his site at flavorgod.com. I ordered his eBook and the four-seasoning combo pack. I’ll definitely be ordering more once I run out (which will likely be soon)!
“Tofu is a good source of protein and contains all eight essential amino acids. It is also an excellent source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese, selenium and phosphorous. In addition, tofu is a good source of magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1. Tofu is an excellent food from a nutritional and health perspective. It is thought to provide the same sort of protection against cancer and heart disease as soya beans.” (http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ingredient-focus-tofu)
Strawberries are in season right now, and I’ve been getting them weekly in my organic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shipment from “farmfreshtoyou.com.” They’re chock full of antioxidants, but they should be eaten within a few days since they lose their antioxidant potency relatively quickly. The following site (http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-super-health-benefits-of-strawberries.html) describes some of the many health benefits of strawberries.
My recipes for the past several days have all included strawberries as a side, or in the dish; I eat them quickly while their antioxidant potency is at its peak.
1/2 c each of cubed super firm tofu and avocado
1 c sliced strawberries
1 tangelo orange
1 tsp chia seeds
Gently mix the avocado, tofu and strawberries together. Sprinkle the chia seeds over top. Slice off a third of the tangelo and place it on the side of the salad. Squeeze the remaining tangelo over the mixture.
1 c super firm cubed tofu, (from paper-towel wrapped whole tofu kept overnight in refrigerator)
1 tsp of my homemade dressing (1/4 c EVOO, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp Flavor God Everything Seasoning, 1 tsp dried sweet basil, 1/2 tsp black coarse-grind pepper – Mix all together and refrigerate. Use as needed.)
1/4 c chopped red onion
1/4 chopped red bell pepper
1 c finely sliced English cucumber
Half an avocado, sliced in small cubes
1/2 c arugula (or other greens, like spinach)
few leaves of fresh basil
Lemon wedge, plus extra lemon to squeeze over the salad
Flavor God Everything Seasoning
After cubing the 1 cup of dried tofu, add about 1 tsp of the dressing and mix well. Refrigerate and let the flavors blend for an hour or overnight. Chop the other vegetables and mix gently together in a medium-sized bowl. Add the tofu to the mixture, and very gently toss through. Place the arugula on the bottom of your serving bowl, and top with the vegetable mixture, and the basil leaves on the side of the bowl. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the salad, and sprinkle with the seasoning (to taste). Add the lemon wedge (for decoration, or for additional juice to squeeze on the salad.
The marinated tofu is also an excellent addition to other salads, such as Greek salad, to replace the Feta cheese.