Dr. Weil’s tofu veggie burgers

October 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm (B_minus (2 stars, okay), frozen tofu, Website / blog)

I returned from my trip to Asia to a totally empty fridge. So I decided to scavenge whatever I could from the freezer. One of the things I defrosted was 4 pounds of frozen tofu. I decided to use half of the tofu to make my mom’s barbecued tofu recipe, but I wanted to find a new recipe for the rest of the tofu. There aren’t a whole lot of recipes on the internet that call for frozen tofu, but I found this “veggie burger” recipe on the ultimateveggieburgers blog.  (By the way, I love the clean look of the blog and the fact that the author is quite critical about the recipes tried.) It’s not so much a veggie burger as a big hunk of marinated tofu. Either way, the blogger raves about it, so I figured it was worth a try. Apparently, although the recipe comes via Dr. Weil’s website, it’s originally from Bryanna Clark Grogan’s The ( Almost ) No Fat Cookbook.

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Cooking this weekend

November 8, 2010 at 2:28 am (AMA, Cruciferous rich, Fall recipes, French, frozen tofu, My brain, Other, Spring recipes, Starches, unrated, Winter recipes)

I don’t have time to post full recipes right now but I wanted to say a few words about what I cooked this weekend, before I forget the details.  I’ll come back and post the recipes when I get a chance.  For dinner last night I started with white bean, rosemary, and fennel soup, which I’ve blogged about before. I also made two new recipes out of my French vegetarian cookbook.  The first was a brussels sprouts dish with apples, onions, and cider, and the second recipe was for a beet and potato gratin. Read the rest of this entry »

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Best ever tofu and spinach enchiladas

January 1, 2010 at 3:42 pm (A (4 stars, love), Dark leafy greens, Derek's faves, Farm recipes, frozen tofu, Mexican & S. American, Mom’s recipes, Tofu, Vegetable dishes, Yearly menu plan)

Most tofu enchiladas are awful.  Normal tofu just doesn’t have the right texture for enchiladas.  My mom’s enchiladas are different, however.  They’re based on a recipe they used to make on the Farm, which uses frozen, marinated, and baked tofu that has a chewy texture and deep, umame flavor.  When I was a kid and my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday dinner, I invariably requested tofu enchiladas. The enchiladas were simple, American-style enchiladas, made from flour tortillas filled with savory tofu chunks and then covered in a tomato, chili gravy and baked in the oven.    They were simple, but amazingly delicious.  More recently my mom has started adding vegetables to her enchiladas, and I’ve followed suit.   I usually add some combination of spinach, corn,  peppers, and onions, but I’m sure other veggies would also be good. (Last updated Jan 1, 2014.)

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One fine burrito

March 23, 2009 at 4:18 pm (A (4 stars, love), frozen tofu, My brain, Tofu)

I threw together a burrito the other day with some frozen, marinated tofu that was leftover from the tofu I prepared for chili.  Derek loved the burrito so much that he insisted I blog about it, even though it wasn’t particularly original.

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 lbs tofu, frozen, thawed, and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tbs. peanut butter
  • 3 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce (from a 14 ounce can)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 avocados, sliced or diced
  • 6-8? ounces cheddar cheese, grated
  • about 1 cup smoky chipotle salsa or salsa verde from Frontera Grill
  • 6-8 leaves Romaine lettuce
  • 6-8 regular-size flour tortillas

For the tofu:

Preheat the oven to 350.  Add 1 Tbs. of oil to a cookie sheet. Mix together peanut butter, garlic powder, soy sauce, and tomato sauce. Work the marinade mixture thoroughly into the tofu crumbles, using your hands.  Pour the tofu onto the cookie sheet and cook for about 15 minutes per side, until crispy but still moist in the middle.

Makes 6-8 small (but filling) burritos.

Although the combination is not particularly novel or healthy, I agree with Derek that the burrito was certainly very tasty.

Derek Rating: A

Rating: A-

On a second attempt I cut the avocado into slices and sprinkled on top fresh minced garlic, salt, and lots of lime juice.  We ate it with a salsa verde, and the sour tomatillos and lime juice went great together.  Delicious.  I just need to record the amounts and make this a real recipe now!

Update May 15, 2010:  I made 2 pounds of tofu and it made about 7 small burritos.  I served them with 2 avocados that had been sliced, doused in lime juice, and sprinkled with salt and fresh garlic.  Two avocados was just about right for 6-7 burritos.  The main problem was the burritos looked really tiny.  So although they’re high calorie and quite filling, Derek thought I should have made two burritos for everyone.  I’ve got to figure out a way to make them look as large as they actually are!  We ate the burritos with Frontera Grill green salsa and lettuce.  They were yummy.  Some raw onions might have been a nice garnish.

I served everyone one burrito, a small side of roasted carrots, a bowl of Locro, and for dessert a small bowl of vanilla ice cream with salted caramel sauce.  I was very full by the end of dinner!  Derek, however, ate two burritos.

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Barbecue Sauce

October 23, 2008 at 9:58 am (frozen tofu, Isa C. Moskowitz, Mom’s recipes, Quick weeknight recipe, Sauce/dressing, Tofu, unrated)

Sarah Palin grew up in Alaska, which is close to Russia, and thus she claims foreign policy experience. I grew up in Texas, the great state of barbecue, so therefore I’m an expert in the art of barbecuing.  Well…, let’s just say that I know as much about barbecue as Sarah Palin knows about foreign policy.

I’ve only ever tried two barbecue sauce recipes: my mom’s, and more recently the recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance.  The recipe on the left is my mom’s recipe for barbecue sauce, and is meant to be added to frozen tofu which has been marinated in peanut butter, paprika, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil. Barbecue sauce #2 is based on the recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance (I’ve made a few changes), and is meant to be added to tofu baked with oil and soy sauce.  The second recipe calls for more esoteric and expensive ingredients: pomegranate molasses, shallots, maple syrup, liquid smoke, star anise, etc.  On the other hand, I haven’t been able to find American style tomato sauce, brown sugar, salad mustard, or blackstrap molasses here in Germany.  After making the VwV recipe, I was surprised that it tasted quite similar to my mom’s recipe.  I lined the recipes up below to compare them and there are quite a few differences. The most noticeable difference to me was the absence of any acid in the VwV recipe.  I added lemon juice both times I made it, and it helped balance the flavors.  I’m curious, however, to try a side by side taste test and see which one comes out ahead.  My taste test will have to wait until I get my hands on some yellow mustard and molasses.  Ultimately, I’d like to merge the two recipes, and create the perfect, German-shopping-friendly recipe for a vegetarian barbecue sauce.   If anyone has any suggestions for other barbecue recipes I should try in my taste comparison, please post a comment.

2 Tbs. oil 1 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped 1 cup shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced 2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups tomato sauce 6 ounces of tomato paste
2 cups water 2 cups water or vegetable broth
3/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbs. blackstrap molasses 3 Tbs. pomegranate molasses
1 tsp. salt 2 Tbs. soy sauce (maybe more?)
1/4 tsp. cayenne powder 1/8 tsp. cayenne
no smoke flavor in recipe 1/8 tsp. chipotle powder or liquid smoke
1 tsp. allspice a pinch of ground cloves
2 arms of star anise
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ginger
no pepper in recipe, but added to tofu several grinds of black pepper
3 Tbs. dried parsley no herbs in recipe
1/3 cup lemon juice no acid in recipe
1/2 cup salad mustard no acid or mustard in recipe
no peanut butter in recipe, but added to tofu 2 Tbs. peanut butter

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Texas Tofu Chili

December 16, 2007 at 12:59 pm (A (4 stars, love), Beans, frozen tofu, Isa C. Moskowitz, Mexican & S. American, Mom’s recipes, Tofu)

Every vegetarian cookbook has a chili recipe. Some are interesting, some are bland, some are just weird. I’ve tried recipes with exotic ingredients like dried peaches, cinnamon, and peanuts. This recipe, however, makes a very traditional chili (ignoring the fact that it has tofu instead of meat). Maybe I’m biased because this is based on my mom’s recipe, but I like it better than any of the other chili recipes I’ve tried, including various recipes claiming to be the “best ever vegetarian chili.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Mock Turkey Salad

November 12, 2006 at 6:26 pm (B plus (3 stars, like a lot), Derek's faves, frozen tofu, Mom’s recipes, Tofu)

Derek suggested that we serve this tofu ‘salad’ at Thanksgiving. I call it mock turkey salad because it has poultry seasoning in it. My mom calls it mock chicken salad. Whatever you call it, it’s tasty, but pretty calorie dense. The recipe is from my mom.

The night before (or at least six hours beforehand) defrost:

  • 2 one-pound blocks of tofu, which have been frozen for at least 24 hours

Preheat the oven to 350.  Oil a cookie sheet with 1 Tbs. of olive oil.  Mix together in a very large bowl:

  • 2 Tbs. vinegar
  • 4 Tbs. smooth, natural peanut butter  (you can cut this down to 2 Tbs. if you want less PB flavor)
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs. + 2 tsp. poultry seasoning, or add the individual components:
    • 2 tsp. rubbed sage
    • 1 tsp. dried thyme
    • 1 tsp. dried marjoram
    • 1 tsp. dried savory
    • 1/6 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • Pinch of cloves

Squeeze the water out of the tofu, and cut into long, thin pieces.  I cut each block into halves, cross-wise, then cut each half a block into 16 strips.  Add the tofu slices to the marinade, and very gently use your hands to squeeze in the mixture evenly, without breaking up the tofu pieces too much. Some of hte pieces will fall apart.  That’s okay.  Spread the tofu evenly on the oiled cookie sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway through.  Watch the tofu carefully.  You don’t want the tofu to brown too much, or it will come out hard rather than chewy.  The cooked tofu should be crisp on the outside, but still moist on the inside.  The amount of time will depend on whether your cookie sheet is dark or light and on how large your tofu strips are.

While the tofu is cooking, make the vegan mayonnaise.  Use a stick blender to blend together:

  • 4 ounces firm silken tofu or medium-firm cotton tofu
  • 1 Tbs. oil
  • 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sweetener (sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, etc.)
  • 3/4 tsp. mustard
  • 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

When the baked tofu is done, add it back to the bowl you mixed the marinade in, let it cool a bit, and then add:

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (from one recipe above, or slightly less than one recipe?)
  • 4 Tbs. fresh chopped parsley (or 2 Tbs. dried)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery (50 grams)
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots (55 grams)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (75 grams)
  • other raw veggies of your choice (radishes, fennel, chives, scallions, etc.) [optional]

My Notes:

I used nasoya firm tofu. I’m not sure if it hadn’t been in the freezer long enough or what, but it didn’t hold together very well, and the pores seemed awfully small. I baked my tofu for 30 minutes at 375, and some of it got too brown and hard. I think this recipe works better if the tofu stays softer and chewier, so I reduced the temperature to 350. Rather than use the mayo recipe above, I used the simpler one I posted in a previous mayo thread. I think that was a mistake. This one is a bit sweeter and has lemon juice and mustard, which goes better with the saltiness of the tofu I think.

I gave some to a friend recently and she went back for seconds, so she must have liked it.

Rating: B+
Derek: A

Without any extra (optional) veggies, this recipe makes about 6 cups. It has about 250 calories per cup.  It has 54% of calories from fat, 32% from protein, and 14% from carbs.

Update April 1, 2012:

I made this last night but I used 3 pounds of tofu.  I multiplied all the marinade ingredients by 1.5 except the peanut butter, which I left at 2 Tbs.  I baked the tofu in two batches (with 2 Tbs. olive oil) at 350 for about 13 minutes on the first side and 10 on the second side.  I probably could have used only 2 tsp. of olive oil per batch. I made the soy mayo as written and used all of it in the salad.  I doubled, tripled, or quadrupled the veggie amounts:

  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley, packed a bit (60g)
  • 1 cup chopped celery, from two large stalks (107 grams)
  • 1 cup julienned carrots from one medium carrot (107 grams)
  • 1.5 cups chopped red bell pepper (183 grams)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fennel (49 grams)

The mock turkey salad turned out quite well.  I thought it could use a little scallion or chive or radish or something onion-y, but otherwise the balance of tofu to dressing to veggies seemed good.  Next time I might add a bit more celery and something with a little bite.  But otherwise it came out well.  Derek didn’t notice that I used more veggies than last time.  He said it was delicious.

It made about 9 servings and each serving has 248 calories, with 55.5% from fat, 28.6% from protein, and 16% from carbs.  I served the salad with rice and a Thai butternut squash soup.

Update December 12, 2009:
Derek made this last night and it came out quite well.  The tofu cooked in about 20 minutes though.  It would have been overdone after 30 minutes.  A few of the larger strips of tofu that didn’t get broken up ended up a little dry and tough.  The smaller pieces had more surface area and so were moister from the soy mayo.  I thought it also could have used a little more celery and a little less peanut butter.  (Derek used 3 3/4 Tbs. peanut butter.)  The salad was good warm the night we made it, and also cold right out of the fridge the next day.

Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 248
Total Fat 15.3g
Saturated Fat 2g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 505mg
Carbohydrate 8.9g
Dietary Fiber 1.8g
Sugars 3.5g
Protein 20.2g
Vitamin A 64% Vitamin C 60%
Calcium    34% Iron 19%

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