Rice Bowl with Tofu in a Thai Peanut Sauce

Post by Megan Stulberg

My boyfriends works at PETA, which is basically a Vegan Girlfriend’s dream. He’s pretty great, for many reasons, but a bonus is that he used to do cooking videos for PETA2. I’m not going to link to it because he’d probably kill me, but there’s a super cute one he did about peanut butter a few years back and this sauce is in it. We made it together last month, and then I further modified it for this dish.

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INGREDIENTS: 

For the sauce…

  • 3/4 – 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup organic smooth peanut butter
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Black pepper and sea salt, to taste

For the rest of it…

  • 1 block extra-firm tofu (non-GMO if possible)
  • 1 cup texmati rice
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Lime slices, for garnish
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed EVOO

IMG_8569DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare tofu by pressing tofu in paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  2. Bring a pot of water (1 3/4 cup) to boil. Add rice, lower heat, then leave covered to cook for approximately 15 minutes. Every few minutes, stir rice with wooden spoon to prevent sticking. Remove from heat once all water has evaporated and set aside to cool.
  3. While rice is cooking, slice tofu into bite-size cubes. In large saucepan on high heat, add olive oil and wait for it to sizzle. Reduce to low heat, then add tofu to pan. Let tofu fry, flipping occasionally.
  4. Begin the sauce! Add coconut milk to another saucepan on medium heat, then lime juice, garlic powder, salt, pepper and soy sauce. Stir peanut butter like CRAZY before adding it — seriously, this is important or else it’ll be a pain to combine! Also, make sure the peanut butter is room temperature, or even pop it in the microwave for a few to melt it a bit. Anyways, add peanut butter by the tbsp, stirring as you go. The end result should be a creamy, pourable sauce.
  5. If tofu isn’t browned yet, raise to high heat for a minute or so. Add tofu to the other saucepan and thoroughly coat tofu in the peanut sauce.
  6. Serve tofu on a bed of rice, topped with fresh cilantro and lime slices for garnish.

Yum! Makes 4 lunch servings or 2 big dinner servings.

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Tomato Glaze-Crusted “Meat”loaf Casserole

Post by Megan Stulberg

I’ve been working like a crazy person lately, hence the delay in writing up recipe posts. But hey, a girl’s got to eat! If there’s a silver lining from this, it’s just that I have tons of recipes up my sleeve for y’all in the near future.

This was my Christmas day feast, yum yum. Being the only vegan in a family of carnivores is both good and bad. The bad is that they don’t want to eat the food I make, the good is…more for me! I ended up eating leftovers for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Boxing Day. Not a single regret.

I paired this dish with my sweet potato mash that’s already up on Vegan Girlfriend here, as well as some roasted asparagus! I also paired it with a gravy/stuffing hybrid that I’ve nicknamed “gruffing” that was oh-so-good but honestly was an accident so I don’t have a write-up for that.

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Ingredients…

For the loaf: 

  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free vegetable broth
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup canned lentils
  • 1/4 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted nuts of your choice (I chose walnut)
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • Cracked pepper and sea salt, to taste
For the glaze: 
  • 1/2 cup organic ketchup (or tomato paste)
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions…

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Rinse canned lentils. Set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in large saucepan on medium heat. Once oil begins to sizzle, add garlic and onion. Sauté 5 minutes until brown, then add carrot, celery and mushrooms. Add broth at this point.
  4. Use a high-speed blender or food processor to chop toasted nuts into small pieces.
  5. Add sautéed veggies to blender, along with rice flour, flax, maple syrup, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, thyme, basil, sea salt, pepper and of course, the lentils! Pulse until coarsely combined. If the mixture needs to be thickened, add additional brown rice flour by the tbsp and combine by hand. Be careful not to over-process, you want some chunks of veggies and stuff to stay intact for texture.
  6. Coat casserole dish with olive oil to prevent sticking. Use large spoon to transfer mixture from food processor to casserole dish, then flatten out.
  7. Bake casserole dish in oven for a total of 40 minutes.
  8. During this time, make the glaze! Simply whisk organic ketchup, maple syrup and sea salt together in bowl.
  9. Remove casserole dish from oven after 15 minutes, add glaze in a thin layer on top, then place back in oven covered and let bake for remaining 30 minutes.
  10. Wait for dish to cool, then slice and serve with side dishes accordingly.

Dig in! Serve warm, makes 4-6 servings.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Tofu

Recipe by Megan Stulberg 

I found myself craving Brussel sprouts in the produce section of a grocery store a couple of weeks ago, despite never trying them before. I mentioned this to my mum a few hours later, and she reminded me that my grandfather had passed away that day exactly two years ago. Apparently they were his absolute favourite food, which I didn’t know about. I’m sure it was coincidence, but like…how eerie, right?

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Ingredients…

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, washed
  • 1 standard block extra firm tofu
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1/4 cold-pressed EVOO
  • 1/4 cup vegan “butter” spread (I used Earth Balance)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp red chilli flakes
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions…

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Chop stems off of Brussels sprouts and slice all widthwise.
  3. Toss Brussels sprouts in large bowl with vegan “butter”, sea salt and black pepper.
  4. Place on baking sheet covered with aluminium foil. Cook in centre oven rack and let roast for approximately 35 minutes. Flip every 5 minutes to prevent burning. Brussels sprouts will be light brown when done.
  5. While Brussels sprouts are cooking, press tofu block between pieces of paper towel with something heavy on top (book, cutting board, etc) until drained.
  6. Chop tofu into bite-sized chunks.
  7. Add EVOO to hot pan. Add tofu in a single layer and let cook until tofu begins to brown. Sprinkle soy sauce, garlic, nutritional yeast, thyme, chilli flakes, sea salt and black pepper on top. Flip tofu, and toss to coat with additional seasoning. Continue cooking until tofu is browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
  8.  Combine tofu and sprouts. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

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THANKSGIVING FEAST ON LOCK: 6-PART RECIPE POST

Alright, so I went a little wild this Thanksgiving. Hell, I go a little wild every Thanksgiving. I made butternut squash risotto, mushroom gravy, maple sweet potato mash, kale caesar salad and (*drumroll please*) raw pumpkin pie topped with coconut whipped cream. Please note that all the food below was: a) made for 2 people and b) consumed within 24 hours. I will be signing autographs all week, thanks.

Two of these recipes have already been posted on Vegan Girlfriend! For the maple sweet potato mash, view the original post here. For the kale caesar, add fresh lemon to the original post here.

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BUTTERNUT SQUASH RISOTTO

INGREDIENTS…

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, chopped coarsely
  • 3 cups gluten-free vegetable stock
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 cup chopped kale leaves
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup almond or soy milk
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed EVOO
  • 2 tbsp ground sage
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS…

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Cook arborio rice re: instructions on packaging. Risotto is unique because you have to cook rice in a saucepan, not a pot. Slowly add white wine and 2 cups vegetable stock while cooking. Be sure to stir regularly, as arborio rice sticks and burns easily! Drain and set aside.
  3. Place cubed squash in pot of boiling water on medium-high heat. Cover, then let cook until squash is tender with fork (approximately 10-15 minutes). Drain, then set aside.
  4. Blend squash, 1 cup vegetable stock, “butter,” almond milk, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper into a puree.
  5. In a large saucepan, saute garlic and onion in EVOO until browned. Add rice and kale and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Add squash puree and turn up to medium heat. Cook 5 minutes while stirring regularly. Once rice has absorbed, remove from heat.
  6. Transfer everything to casserole dish and bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until top layer firms up.
  7. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 heaping servings.

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IMPROVED MUSHROOM GRAVY: 

INGREDIENTS…

  • 2 cups gluten-free vegetable stock
  • 1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup almond or soy milk
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground sage
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter-style spread
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS…

  1.  Heat EVOO in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 3 minutes until browned. Add sage, garlic, mushrooms, almond milk, salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are browned, stirring regularly. Add vegetable stock and vegan butter-style spread, lower heat to simmer. Once most liquid has evaporated, add vegetable stock and brown rice flour. Stir occasionally and cook for an additional few minutes. For thicker gravy, feel free to add additional flour by the tbsp.
  2. Remove from heat. Top with additional sage. Serve hot!

Makes approximately 2 cups of gravy (4 servings).

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RAW PUMPKIN PIE WITH COCONUT WHIP:

INGREDIENTS…

FOR THE CRUST:

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Pinch of raw pink mountain salt

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 1/2 large can pure pumpkin puree (not technically raw, but cut me some slack)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger

FOR THE WHIP:  

  • 1 standard can full-fat coconut milk, left in fridge overnight
  • 2 tbsp 100% maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp organic vanilla extra

DIRECTIONS…

  1. To make crust: pulse walnuts, shredded coconut and dates in food processor until crumb-like consistency has been reached. Line a small 5-inch round pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Press mixture into bottom of dish firmly to form an even crust.
  2. To make filling: blend all ingredients until smooth. Spread onto crust and let set in freezer overnight until set. Additionally, leave can of coconut milk in fridge overnight to set.
  3. Next day: Leave in refrigerator for 2 hours to thaw, or room temperature for 1 hour.
  4. Make coconut whip while pie is thawing. Carefully open coconut milk without tilting or shaking the can. Scoop out all the cream from the top, leaving the coconut water that has separated at the bottom of the can.
  5. With an electric mixer, beat cream together with maple syrup and vanilla extract until sharp peaks form. Be careful not to over-whip.
  6. Serve pumpkin pie sliced with dollops of coconut whip on top. Leftovers can be kept in fridge.

Makes 1 small pie (4 servings).

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Fried Tofu, Eggplant and Zucchini Sushi Maki

By contributor Megan Stulberg

Two of my favourite things are vegetables and rice, so naturally I love sushi. There are only so many gluten-free/vegan take-out options though (I’m getting sick of cucumber rolls), so I decided to make something more interesting instead.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sushi rice (organic)
  • 4 pieces seaweed
  • 1 standard package firmly-pressed tofu (organic)
  • 1 medium avocado, halved and sliced
  • 1/2 eggplant
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • Dash of red-pepper chili flakes
  • Dash of Himalayan pink salt
  • Dash of black pepper

Other supplies you’ll need: One standard bamboo rolling mat + chopsticks.

Directions:

  1. Wash rice in cold water thoroughly. Bring hot water to a boil with the rice already in the pot. Cook covered for 20 minutes until water has been entirely absorbed and rice is sticky in consistency. If the rice is too hard, add water by the teaspoon and continue cooking. Be careful not to add too much water! I did the first time and it got so mushy that I had to start over. Fluff cooked rice with fork and set aside.
  2. Slice tofu into thin strips. Marinate in soy sauce and nutritional yeast for 10 minutes. In medium saucepan, heat a dash of EVOO until it sizzles. Sprinkle tofu with garlic and onion while cooking, and fry tofu until texture is very firm. Set aside.
  3. Cut zucchini and eggplant vertically into very thin, long strips. Pan-fry on medium heat in EVOO and add red pepper flakes, lime juice, salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables have browned, then set aside.
  4. Line your bamboo rolling mat with plastic wrap to avoid making a big mess and place a glass of water next to your work station. Important: Wait for your vegetables and rice to cool, otherwise the rest of this process will be harder than it needs to be!
  5. Lay the rolling mat flat and place a couple spoonfuls of rice onto the middle of the sheet. Wet fingers and pat rice lightly down into a thin even layer. The rice doesn’t have to go right to the edges — basically, try to create a rectangular section of rice within the rectangular piece of seaweed 1/4 inch from the edge.
  6. Align the tofu strips, eggplant, zucchini and avocado into a very thin horizontal line at the bottom of the rice. Be careful not to overfill. I combined all of my ingredients at once but you can do designated avocado rolls, eggplant rolls, and so on if you’d prefer.
  7.  Tightly roll the seaweed sheet from the bottom, using the mat to press it together. Keep going, squeezing the roll to prevent it from falling apart. Dab a bit of water on the edge of the seaweed to seal it.
  8. Use a sharp knife to slice the roll into bite-size pieces. Wet the knife between cuts to keep it clean. Important: Having trouble doing this right? Use this easy guide here to help.
  9. Keep rolling! Make as much as you’d like and get creative with your fillings.

Serve with gluten-free soy sauce and eat with chopsticks.

Makes approximately 4 rolls (2 servings).