Mattar tofu and spicy, crunchy salad

We were planning to eat palak tofu paneer and finally use up a bag of frozen spinach. Then we opened the freezer and realized we had already eaten the spinach. Luckily, we had a bag of frozen peas, which are much more exciting anyway. Frozen spinach just does nothing for us lately, particularly in contrast to beet greens, kale, chard, or collards.

Mattar tofu

1/2 block firm tofu, sliced, pressed for 10 minutes and dried

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp Earth Balance

1 onion diced

2 TBL tomato paste

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ginger

3 TBL cilantro (we had some in the freezer)

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

1.5 – 2 cups rice milk

3/4-1 package of frozen peas (we had most of a package)

salt to taste

After you have pressed the tofu, pat it dry, and cut into bite sized pieces. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven, when sizzling, fry tofu with a little salt until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Add Earth Balance to the pan and saute onions until soft, about 7-8 minutes. Add spices and tomato paste, cook 2-3 minutes. Add rice milk and bring to a boil. Add tofu and peas, return to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

This crunchy salad contains sliced radishes, carrots, green onions, as well as grape tomatoes and avocado. The dressing is our special mixture of Siracha, Tofutti, spices, lemon juice, and vinegar.

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Vegan potatoes au gratin, smothered collards with radishes, and red beans

Potatoes au gratin

4 red potatoes, sliced thinly

1 c. rice milk

1 c. water

1/2 c. nutritional yeast

1 TBL parsley

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp miso

2 TBL tahini

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne

3 TBL cornstarch

salt and pepper

Slice potatoes thinly (about 1/4 of an inch), then soak in a cold water about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a casserole dish with a small amount of Earth Balance or olive oil. Whisk together sauce ingredients. Rinse potatoes and add one layer to the the casserole dish. Cover with 1/4 cup sauce, repeat 3 to 4 times until all potatoes and sauce are used up. Make sure to end with sauce on top. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5 until the top layer is brown. Garnish with extra paprika and cayenne. Cool at least 10 minuets before serving.

This basically collards cooked down for hours with hot sauce, bouillon, liquid smoke, garlic, green onions, and some radishes. The secret is the slow cooking.

I forgot to take a picture of the red beans before I finished the last of them today for lunch. Imagine delicious, red beans in a spicy tomato tomato sauce, with green bell peppers and green onions to add a little color. We also veganized Dorie Greenspan’s (via Smitten Kitchen) corny corn muffins, but forgot to take pics of those too. Another time.

Red beans
2 yellow onions, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 jalapenos, diced
2 celery ribs
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups not-chikn bouillon
4 cups crushed tomatoes

1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 tsp pepper
2 TBL Creole seasoning
3 tablespoons hot sauce (Tobasco or other exciting brand)
1/2 teaspoon turbinado sugar
1 tsp molasses
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 package red beans, soaked overnight then cooked (or 3 cans ready-to-eat red beans)

In a dutch oven, sauté onions, bell pepper, celery, and salt for 10-15 minutes, until very soft and fragrant. Add remaining ingredients except the beans, bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Add beans, continue simmering for 1 hour. Serve with rice or cornbread.

Vegan borscht and beet greens salad with siracha dressing

I can’t remember how or why we decided we need to make some borscht, but here you are. Loosely inspired by this Chilled Russian Borscht, we subbed tofu (frozen, then thawed) for the eggs, added some canned tomatoes, and heated it up. It makes a lot, and the flavor changes each time you heat it up again.

Our beets came with a lot of extremely delicious leaves, so we also made a salad. Beet greens tossed with tomatoes and mushrooms. The dressing really brings it all together, spicy and smooth. Approximately: 2 TBL Tofutti sour cream, 1 TBL Siracha, 2 TBL lemon juice, 2 TBL cider vinegar, 1 TBL light tamari, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp dried dill, 1/4 tsp garlic powder. Whisk together, add water if needed until it’s the consistency you prefer. Pour over salad in a pretty bowl.