Tofu, Shiitake & Noodle Hot & Sour Soup

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So… it’s been about a year and a half since I have posted to this blog. I’m making an early New Years resolution to post on this most. I’ve cooked up some VERY tasty lactose free goodies over the past year and a half, but I always forget to take pictures until I’ve already stored the leftovers!

It’s been UNSEASONABLY warm in Boston, squashing my hopes of making hearty stews, but on a 70 degree December day, I set out to make a light spring soup and found this delicious recipe. I did not follow the recipe to a t, so below find my variation!

Ingredients:

  • One package of sliced shiitake mushrooms (about 5 ounces)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 2 in x 1/2 in slices
  • 2 8-ounce cans bamboo shoots, rinsed
  • 2 14-ounce packages extra-firm water-packed tofu, drained
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 4 1/3 cups water, divided
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 6 ounces of dry vermicelli noodles
  • 1/2  cup sliced scallions

Directions:

  1. Rinse the mushrooms and cut into 1/2 pieces. Spread the mushroom pieces in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Add carrots and bamboo shoots. Cut tofu into 1/2-inch pieces, add to slow cooker and sprinkle with white pepper. Top with cabbage.

img_42312. Combine 4 cups water, broth, both vinegars, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce and ginger in a bowl; add to the slow cooker.

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3. Cover and cook 4 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low.

img_42344. Whisk the remaining 1/3 cup water, cornstarch and sesame oil in a bowl. Stir into the soup as well as the scallions. Cover and cook on High for 20 minutes. Add the noodles, cover and heat through for 15 minutes. Serve with more soy sauce and chili-garlic sauce, if desired. I also flavored it with a little garlic powder to taste.

ENJOY!

Have a happy rest of 2015, and here’s to hoping that I actually keep up with this blog in 2016!

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Delicious Dairy-Free Restaurant Alert: BOSTON

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Last night I went with one of my roommates to this delicious vegan/vegetarian diner in Cambridge called Veggie Galaxy. Both of us are lactose intolerance and were craving mac and cheese that tasted like the real thing.

We got vegan mac and cheese as well as a vegan oreo cheese cake (yes vegan oreo cheese cake…. it was mouth watering).

We got take out so when we got home, I doctored mine up by adding chicken and peas- as I’m not vegan, and had one of the most delicious meals ever!

I will be back to Veggie Galaxy soon- I want to try out their shakes and all the dairy-free alternatives I rarely have anymore!

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All doctored up with chicken, peas and siracha

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Avocado, Onion Turkey Burgers

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Turkey burgers are a healthy, lighter alternative to beef hamburgers. I enjoy doctoring up my recipes as well so I made  avocado, onion, turkey burgers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of ground turkey
  • one egg
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 avocado
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chili powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic

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Directions:

  1. Chop up the garlic, onion, and slice the avocado
  2. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and combine until well mixed
  3. Make into patties using about a clementine size of turkey mixture
  4. Pan fry until cooked well and serve!
  5. I used the burgers as a protein on salads most of the time! It was delicious 🙂

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Strawberry and Spinach Salad

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This is another recipe from my family cookbook, which also happens to be one of my favorite salads.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserves
  • 1/3 cup grape seed oil
  • 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar (strawberry is ideal, but it’s really difficult to find)
  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • 1 pound of strawberries (halved and sliced)
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced (I don’t like shallots, so I leave them out
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
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vinaigrette

In a small bowl, whisk together the strawberry preserves, grape seed oil and raspberry vinegar. Divide the spinach onto 4 serving plates, arrange the shallots and strawberries over the spinach. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salads and sprinkle with pistachios.

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Dairy-Free Stuffed Shells

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Another food that I miss like crazy is stuffed shells. I can still eat ricotta cheese in moderation- but let’s be real… who actually can eat stuffed shells in moderation- normally I eat them until I’m stuffed.

This recipe is great! One thing I would recommend for the next time I make them is having more pasta sauce to cover the shells afterwards. The recipe comes from Oh She Glows

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Yield: approx. 30 shells or 6 servings

  • 3.5 cups pasta sauce
  • Box of jumbo shells (I cooked them all and then used as many as I had ricotta for) 

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Tofu Ricotta:

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, minced
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 (14oz) package extra-firm or firm tofu, pressed
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3/4-1 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Rinse block of tofu and wrap with paper towels followed by 2-3 tea towels. Place it on a cutting board or plate and add several heavy cookbooks on top. Press tofu for about 20-25 minutes to drain out the water. Alternatively, you can use a tofu press.

2. Grease a very large casserole dish. I used about 30 shells, but you’ll need to cook more than that as some shells will break during the cooking process. Cook shells in a pot of boiling water until al dente, about 8-11 minutes. Be careful not to overcook. Drain shells and set aside to cool.

3. Preheat oven to 400F. For the tofu ricotta: In a large skillet, sauté the garlic and onion in the oil for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the chopped celery, basil, and parsley and sauté for another 5 minutes or so. Feel free to throw in some spinach for extra greens.

4. For the tofu, you can either crumble it into the skillet with your hands or you can give it a whirl in the food processor and then stir it into the skillet. If you use the processor, the texture will be very creamy like ricotta cheese and if you crumble it with your hands it will be more chunky/crumbly. It’s up to you how you want to make it. I usually opt to crumble it by hand so I don’t dirty the processor. Stir in the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, lemon, and cayenne all to taste. Over medium heat, cook for about 8-10 minutes or until most of the water cooks off.

5. Spoon about 1 cup of marinara sauce into the casserole dish and spread around. Add about 2 tbsp of tofu ricotta into each stuffed shell and place shells on top of marinara sauce. Cover shells with the remaining 2-2.5 cups marinara sauce and any leftover tofu ricotta. Cover dish with tin foil and poke several air holes. Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes or until heated throughout.

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Vegan Brownies

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So I was looking for a dairy-free brownie recipe for a dinner party I went to a few nights ago. I thought I was going to have an easier time finding just dairy-free, but most of them were also vegan, which works just as well!  This recipe comes from All-Recipes, and I added a few other spices to the mix.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (next time I’ll add more to give it a little more of a kick)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour in water, vegetable oil and vanilla; mix until well blended. Spread evenly in a greased 9×13 inch baking pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is no longer shiny. Let cool for a bit and then cut into squares before devouring the whole tray.