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Shish kebab style tofu

We’ve blogged this method of cooking tofu before, and it’s so ridiculously easy and makes such a great result that I hardly cook it any other way now!

There’s no need to press the tofu with this method, it’s simply sliced, and baked in a little oil in a hot oven for quite a while – about 45 minutes. The result is a crispy and chewy tofu which is wonderful in sandwiches.

And this past weekend I wanted a kebab! We’d picked up some B-Free pitta breads which happily are vegan and gluten free (but you could of course make our great recipe!).

The tofu is cooked in a marinade of fresh mint, cumin seeds and dried ramsons (or fresh garlic) and stuffed into a pitta with a creamy salad of cabbage and carrot, and some fresh tomatoes. And pickled chillies, yay!

The dressing for the salad is basically the same as the one for our creamy tahini roast cauliflower. It’s so good it’s become an absolute favourite! But a simple oil and vinegar dressing would be great too.

 

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Shish style tofu kebab

For the tofu shish
400 g firm tofu (the kind from the refrigerator)
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp fresh mint leaves, shredded
1 tbsp dried ramsons, (or 1 clove of fresh garlic, crushed)
a pinch of salt
3 tbsp good oil, I used cold pressed rapeseed oil
For the salad
1 large leaf of sweetheart cabbage, rib removed and finely shredded
1 carrot, grated or shredded
100 ml unsweetened soy yoghurt
1 heaped tbsp tahini (softened with a tbsp of hot water if it’s set)
a pinch of salt
1 tsp lime juice
To serve
4 – 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
Pickled chillies
Pitta bread or wraps

 


 

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.

Slice the tofu into 0.5 cm slices. Gently toss it together with the oil, mint, dried ramson, cumin seeds and salt in a bowl. If you’re not ready to cook it straight away it’s fine left to marinate for a few hours.

Arrange the tofu in a roasting tray so it isn’t overlapping. Bake for 30 minutes, and then flip the tofu over. By this point it should have reduced quite a lot in size and be golden on the underside. Bake for a further 15 minutes until it’s crispy and chewy.

While the tofu is cooking make the salad.
Mix together the soy yoghurt, tahini, salt and lime juice and toss with the shredded vegetables.

Serve the delicious tofu stuffed into pittas with the salad, tomatoes and pickled chillies.


 By E.

0

Sausage, apple, parsley and parsnip rice salad

So here’s second recipe using our delicious sausage mix! This time the sausage is rolled into little balls and baked, before being combined with a lovely warm salad of brown rice with apple, parsley, and cubes of roasted parsnip and potato.

The mixture of flavours here with sweet roasted parsnip, nutty rice and tart apple works beautifully with the sage and spice in the sausage. They feel like very English flavours, and are lovely and comforting!

The sausage balls bake for quite a long time, but it’s worth it as they form a good crust on the outside. They can be frozen after baking (and cooling), and reheat very well, either in the oven or microwave. It’s great to have a few on hand for quick meals!

 

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Sausage, apple, parsley and parsnip rice salad

 

makes 4 servings


for the rice
200 g brown rice, rinsed
2 apples, peeled and diced
400 ml water
a pinch of salt
20 g parsley, stalks chopped finely and leaves roughly
for the vegetables
4 parsnips, peeled and diced
1 potato, diced
2 tbsp oil
salt and pepper
for the sausage balls
1 tsp gluten free yeast extract (the marmite type stuff)
100 ml hot water
400 g firm tofu (or 1 standard pack, usually 396 g for some reason)
80 g gluten free rusk
0.5 tsp ground allspice berries
0.25 tsp crushed caraway seeds, or a little less ground caraway
2 tsp dried sage
20 g tapioca starch
30 g coconut oil, melted (we melt it in the jar in the microwave for 30 seconds or so)
6 g salt


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.

First make the sausage balls. Dissolve the yeast extract in the hot water.

Next add the rusk, allspice, caraway, sage, salt and tapioca to a large bowl and mix together. Crumble in the tofu (no need to press it first), pour in the coconut oil, and then the water and yeast extract. Mix well and leave for 10 minutes to allow the rusk to soak up the water. I find it easiest to squodge it all together using my hands. You can use a food processor if you like.

Divide the mixture into 4 and then make 7 balls from each quarter, 28 in all.

Spray or drizzle the balls with a very little oil, and roast for 45 minutes. After they’ve been roasted the sausage balls can be cooled and frozen. They can then be warmed through in the oven for 10 minutes, or also in the microwave for a minute or two.

For this recipe, add the vegetables to the oven (same tray if it’s big enough) after the sausage balls have been in for 15 minutes.

Once the sausage balls are in the oven get the rice on to cook. Add the rice, apple and water to a rice cooker or saucepan and simmer for around half an hour (with a lid mostly on if using a saucepan), until the rice has absorbed the water and is tender, and the apple has softened into a sort of sauce.

Combine the rice with the parsley, then toss through the roasted veg, and top with the sausage balls.


By E.

0

Sausage rolls, vegan and gluten free

As is often the case, my photography skills in no way match the deliciousness of the recipes… After making them three times, I have either forgotten to photograph them at all, or taken pretty odd photographs of these sausage rolls (I think maybe I was trying to be arty).

Don’t let the picture put you off though, this sausage roll recipe is ace! It’s definitely my favourite recipe out of everything that we made for a Christmas buffet, and Alex’s too. They went down immensely well with everyone!

The pastry isn’t exactly the cheapest, being made with rather a lot of ground almond, but it stays tender for a couple of days after it’s baked which can be a difficult thing to achieve with gluten free pastry!

The filling uses traditional sausage flavourings, along with rusk and tofu and is savoury and moreish. We get our gluten free rusk here, it’s great for sausage mixes and burgers too. You could probably use gluten free breadcrumbs instead of rusk, although we haven’t tried it. If you do choose to, be careful of the amount of water you add to the filling, you’ll probably need less than we’ve specified in the recipe.

We firmly believe that is important to make more of these sausage rolls than you think you’ll need, it’s almost impossible to stop eating them. But if you do end up with any leftovers, they reheat beautifully!

The sausage filling is great, we’ve got more recipes using it to come soon!

 

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Sausage rolls, vegan and gluten free (and delicious)

 

Makes 24 sausage rolls 10 – 12 cm long


for the pastry

175 g                     rice flour, plus a little extra for rolling out the pastry
175 g                     ground almonds
85 g                        cornflour
85 g                        tapioca starch
15 g                        potato starch
5 g                          xanthan gum
a pinch of salt
250 g                     vegetable fat (we use Stork)
130 – 140 ml       cold soy milk

for the filling

1 tsp                      gluten free yeast extract (the marmite type stuff)
100 ml                 hot water
400 g                     firm tofu (or 1 standard pack, usually 396 g for some reason)
80 g                        gluten free rusk
0.5 tsp                  ground allspice berries
0.25 tsp                crushed caraway seeds, or a little less ground caraway
2 tsp                      dried sage
20 g                        tapioca starch
30 g                       coconut oil, melted (we melt it in the jar uncovered in the microwave for 30 seconds or so)
6 g                          salt


Before starting, freeze the block of vegetable fat for around 2 hours. It shouldn’t be completely frozen but this will make it much easier to grate.

Using a balloon whisk, mix together the rice flour, almonds, cornflour, tapioca starch, potato starch, xanthan gum and salt until well combined.

Grate the fat into the flour mixture, dipping the end of the fat into the flour after each grate. This helps the strands stay more separate and not just clump back together into a block.

Toss the strands in the flour mix and then lightly rub them in to get rid of any large lumps.

Add the soy milk, starting with 80 ml and mix together with flours and fat until it can be formed into a soft, slightly sticky ball (or lump!)

Wrap in cling film or a bag and chill for around an hour, this helps the pastry to firm up.

To make the filling, first dissolve the yeast extract in the hot water.

Next add the rusk, allspice, caraway, sage, salt and tapioca to a large bowl and mix together. Crumble in the tofu (no need to press it first), pour in the coconut oil, and then the water and yeast extract. Mix well and leave for 10 minutes to allow the rusk to soak up the water. I find it easiest to squodge it all together using my hands. You can use a food processor if you like.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c.

Split the chilled pastry into 4 and roll the first piece into a rectangle around 10 cm x 40 cm and 2 mm thick. Trim the short edges and cut the rectangle into 6 pieces.

Split the filling into 4, and then each quarter into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a sausage around 10 cm long and 1.5 cm across. Lay the sausage on the first piece of pastry and roll, it should fit nice and snugly. The pastry can be prone to cracking, don’t worry if this happens, just lightly pinch the edges back together. Transfer the sausage roll seam side down to a baking tray and pat down slightly. Then repeat with the rest of the pastry and filling to end up with 24 rolls. You can trim the ends at this point if you like, but we don’t bother.

Cut slashes through the pastry in the top of each roll, at an angle and about 1 cm apart.

Bake for 25 minutes, until just starting to turn golden.

The sausage rolls are gorgeous hot or cold, but if you’re making them in advance for a party it’s really nice to heat them through for a few minutes in the oven before serving. This also crisps up the pastry a little.


By A. and E.

0

Flower sprout and tofu rice salad with dill and peas

So last year, flower sprouts were flower sprouts, a cross between a brussel sprout and kale and we’ve blogged quite a few recipes using them.
This year however, they appear to be called Kalettes… Which I think sounds like either a helpful 1950’s electrical kitchen implement, or a mysterious item of ladies underwear.
So I’m sticking with flower sprouts, it’s straightforward and my mind is less likely to disappear off on flights of fancy and am much more likely to get some cooking done.
So, to the recipe! The flower sprouts are slightly bitter, and so go beautifully with the sweet peas and pea shoots. With chewy savoury tofu and lovely fresh dill it all comes together very nicely.
I’m increasingly using the sachets of ready cooked rice as a base for lunch salads at the moment, mostly for speed to be honest, but there’s some lovely varieties around at the moment with all sorts of nice seeds and grains added.

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Flower sprout and tofu rice salad with peas and dill

makes 4 servings


200 g flower sprouts, washed and patted dry on kitchen paper
400 g firm tofu, cut into 2 cm ish cubes
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp dried ramsons or 1 clove chopped garlic
3 tbsp tamari
75 g frozen peas
100 g pea shoots
15 g fresh dill, chopped
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
500 g cooked rice, (I use 2 of the ready cooked sachets, this time the Tilda brand brown basmati with quinoa, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds)


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.
Toss the tofu in 1 tbsp of the oil in a roasting tin. Bake for 20 minutes, until starting to brown.
Move the tofu to one side of the tin, turning the cubes over as you go. Add the flower sprouts to the other side, drizzling the remaining 1 tbsp of oil over them. Sprinkle the ramsons or garlic, and tamari over the tofu and flower sprouts and then bake for a further 15 minutes.
The flower sprouts should be crisp in places and cooked through. Leave to cool.
Cook the rice according to the sachet instructions, and tip into a large bowl big enough to hold all the ingredients.
Stir through the frozen peas, and the vinegar. This helps to cool the rice quickly, but stir it around often too. When it’s stopped steaming pop it in the fridge to cool completely.
Mix the tofu, flower sprouts and dill into the rice and peas, and serve each portion on top of 1/4 of the pea shoots.


By E.

0

Butternut squash, tofu and radish salad

Both Alex and I have been ridiculously busy with work recently, without much time for making a note of recipes. Which will never do!
However we did have this colourful, pretty salad for work lunches over a couple of days and it really helped to brighten the mood.
I baked the squash and tofu one after another, as there wasn’t quite room for them both in the same tin, the squash was quite large.
But if there’s space cook them both together to save time!

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butternut squash, radish and tofu salad

makes 4 servings


1 butternut squash, halved
1 tsp oil
6 – 8 radishes, sliced
4 small cucumbers, diced
4 handfuls rocket
juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon depending on size
salt and pepper
200 g cooked rice (I used a sachet of Tilda whole grain rice and quinoa)
1 400 g tin green lentils
for the tofu
1 400 g block of tofu, cut into cubes
2 tsp oil
2 tsp dried ramsons
2 tbsp tamari


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.
Rub the butternut squash halves with a little oil and put cut side up in a roasting tin. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning half way through, until tender and cooked through.
Cool a little, and then scoop out the seeds and peel off the skin. Chop into chunks.
In the same roasting tin, toss the tofu with the oil and bake for 20 minutes until starting to brown.
Mix in the tamari and ramsons and cook for a further 10 minutes, cool. To assemble, mix the squash, radishes, cucumber, rocket, rice and lentils together with the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Mix the tofu through at the end.


By E.

0

Tamari tofu with green beans

Work lunches have been a bit of a mish mash of leftovers and things that needed to be used up this week, but I did make this lovely tofu to add a bit of interest!
It’s inspired by Korean soy braised tofu, which Alex and I were watching recipes for on YouTube recently.
We were particularly taken by the fact that none of the recipes we saw pressed the tofu before frying!
So here I’ve baked the tofu until browned and then spooned the tamari mix around it for the last ten minutes of cooking, also adding green beans so they wrinkle and intensify in flavour. The texture is lovely, a little crispy, a little chewy, and very satisfying!

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Tamari tofu with green beans

makes 4 servings


400 g tofu, sliced into 0.5 to 1 cm thick squares
4 tbsp oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
4 tbsp tamari
4 tbsp water
1 tsp dried ramsons or 1 small clove of garlic, crushed
a pinch of black pepper
150 g green beans


Preheat the oven to 210 degrees c.
Put the oil in a roasting tin and pop it in the oven to heat up, for 5 minutes or so.
When the oil is hot add the tofu slices and then bake for 30 minutes. Steam the green beans until just tender, I did mine in the microwave for 3 minutes. Cool slightly and cut into 3 cm lengths.
Turn the tofu and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Return to the oven for 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix together the tamari, water, ramsons and black pepper.
Take the tofu from the oven and spoon the tamari mixture around the tofu slices.
Scatter the green beans over the top. Pop back into the oven for 10 minutes.


By E.

0

Seaweed wild rice salad with roasted tofu, edamame, pumpkin seeds and mushrooms

I’ve cooked beans with seaweed before, but never rice until one of this week’s work lunches.
It really works very well for this recipe, seasoning the rice and potatoes and adding a subtle flavour.
To make the rice into a lovely protein packed salad, I roasted a mixture of tofu, edamame beans, pumpkin seeds and mushrooms in a tamari and mirin dressing. The combination was really delicious, and fun to eat too with all the interesting textures!

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Seaweed wild rice salad with tofu, edamame, pumpkin seeds and mushrooms

makes 4 servings


for the wild rice
200 g wild rice, rinsed
10 cm x 10 cm piece of kombu seaweed, cut into 8 pieces
3 smallish potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
water
for the salad
400 g firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1 cm cubes
150 g edamame beans
300 g mushrooms, cut into nice chunky pieces
4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp mirin
3 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp dried ramsons or 1 clove chopped garlic
black pepper


Preheat the oven to 210 degrees c.
If you have a rice cooker, put the wild rice, potatoes, and kombu into the pot along with water according to the machine instructions (about 0.5 l) and set it off cooking. Mine took around 40 minutes for the rice to be cooked through but still with a bit of texture.
If you’re using a saucepan, cook the wild rice as you would brown rice, adding the potatoes after around 15 minutes.
Mix the mirin, tamari, oil, ramsons and black pepper in the corner of a large roasting tray.
Tip in the tofu, mushrooms, edamame and pumpkin seeds and toss everything together well. Work quickly before the pesky tofu and mushrooms soak up all the dressing!
Roast for 25 minutes, until the tofu and mushrooms are browned in places and the edamame beans are starting to wrinkle.
The dressing, and liquid released by the mushrooms as they cook should have almost evaporated.
Remove the seaweed from the rice and mix with the vegetables and tofu. If you’re eating it for work lunches remember to cool the rice as quickly as possible and get it into the fridge.


By E.

2

Basil roasted tofu and mushrooms

Fragrant, slightly sweet, herbal tofu and intensely mushroomy mushrooms to eat with rice and salad leaves for work lunch tomorrow. Yum!
The flavours of the marinade change as it bakes, and come together beautifully. A peppery salad leaf such as rocket makes a lovely contrast!

Basil roasted tofu and mushrooms

Basil roasted tofu and mushrooms

serves 2


400 g firm tofu, cut into cubes or sticks
175g mushrooms, in big chunks (I cut each of mine into 6 wedges)
for the marinade
25g basil
3 tbsp tamari
50 g pickled gherkins
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp molasses
1 tsp oil
50 ml water
a pinch of black pepper


For the marinade simply whizz all the ingredients together in a food processor to make a loose paste.
In a large roasting tray, toss the tofu and mushrooms with the marinade. Leave for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees c.
Transfer the tray to the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, turning the tofu and mushrooms a couple of times. When it’s done, all the liquid should have evaporated, the and the tofu should be browned and crisp on the outside.


By E.

0

Braised tofu and vegetables in sesame caramel sauce

This lovely recipe is inspired by the Chinese and Vietnamese methods of using caramel as flavouring and colour for a savoury sauce.

Here I’ve used sesame seeds for a toasty nuttiness, plenty of ginger for heat, and seaweed for depth and umami.

The tofu and mushrooms are soft and flavoursome, and the just cooked courgette and baby sweetcorn add texture as well as flavour.

It’s very quick to put together, and a pretty easy recipe to remember too, as you need 2 tablespoons each of all of the flavourings!

Braised tofu and vegetables with sesame caramel sauce

Braised tofu and vegetables with sesame caramel sauce

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A sort of okonomiyaki…

I’d never heard of okonomiyaki before today, but when I was wondering (out loud…) what to make with a bag of stir fry veg Alex suggested them, and what a fun idea it turned out to be! Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake/omelette type of thing, made with a yam like vegetable called nagaimo as part of the batter, along with eggs, and stuffed or topped with cabbage, and all sorts of other things, depending on which region the recipe is from. Not having access to nagaimo I’ve gone for instant mashed potato for its gluey texture, and flavoured the batter with nori and nutritional yeast for flavour, and silken tofu and black salt in place of the eggs. Black salt is a very intriguing ingredient, it’s a type of rock salt with sulphur which gives it a very eggy scent and flavour!

The sauce to go with the okonomiyaki is sharp, savoury and creamy and complements them beautifully.

I’ll definitely be making them again!

A sort of okonomiyaki...

A sort of okonomiyaki…

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