Brined Herb Tofu

Tofu, I know, isn’t everyone’s go-to, but this briny, tangy tofu makes a perfect sandwich filling. The tofu is reminiscent of feta with that salty, brininess to it, and it’s made for layering it in crusty bread (say, with roasted red peppers and red onions, grilled portabello slices, black olive tapenade, and baby spinach) for a summery sandwich full of flavor. It’s pictured here with my recipe for Yellow Mustard with Smoked Paprika.

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Brined Herb Tofu

1 pound (454g) extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch slabs
2 1/2 cups (560mL) water
1/2 cup (120mL) white balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup (80mL) lemon juice
1 tablespoon (15mL) dried basil
1 tablespoon (15mL) dried oregano
2 teaspoons (10mL) fine sea or Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon (5mL) yellow miso paste

Wrap the tofu in paper towels. Top with a heavy pan for 30 minutes, replacing the paper towels once, to remove all excess moisture.

Meanwhile, put the water, vinegar, lemon juice, basil, oregano, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce and let simmer 25 minutes. Stir in the miso paste.

Put the pressed tofu in a container. Pour the brine over the tofu, submerging completely. Let cool. Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours. The tofu will become more flavorful as it sits in the brine. Use within 5 days.

homemade mustard and brined tofu1

 

Tempeh Sloppy Joes

Here’s a secret: I don’t really like tempeh. But I really like this recipe, and it’s probably one of the only reasons I’d buy the stuff. Served on garlic toast, it’s one of my favourite go-to comfort food recipes.

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Tempeh Sloppy Joes

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (250g/8oz) package tempeh
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard (or this one)
Himalayan or fine sea salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high head. Add the onions and peppers, cooking until tender, a few minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Cook for 1 moment to bloom the flavor. Add tempeh, gently stirring to coat.

Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan, whisking until paste is smooth. It will not be very thick yet. Cover, reduce the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, removing the lid every few minutes to give it a quick stir. Add a splash or two of water if the mixture starts to stick to the pan. Remove the lid, and let continue to simmer until thickened, about 10 more minutes.

Serve warm.

Slow-Baked Thanksgiving Tofu

Thyme and sage, along with celery and carrot, remind me of the makings of a good Thanksgiving stuffing. Be sure to press out as much liquid from the tofu as possible, which helps it absorb the flavors of the other ingredients. This recipe easily can be doubled and tripled.

Thanksgiving Tofu

Slow-Baked Thanksgiving Tofu

1 (175g/6.1oz) block super-firm tofu
1/2 cup (120mL) celery, diced
1/2 cup (120mL) carrots, peeled and diced
2 shallots, diced
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup (60mL) vegetable broth or mushroom broth
2 tablespoons (30mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (30mL) apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons (10mL) dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon (5mL) ground sage
Sea or Himalayan salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Cut the tofu cross-wise three times to make three slabs. Wrap in paper towels and put on a cutting board. Put a heavy object (such as a plate with a few canned goods on top) on top of it to press out excess liquid. Let sit about 1/2 hour, changing paper towels when they are soaked through.

Preheat the oven to 425 F. After the tofu is pressed, cut each slab into nine cubes. Put in a small glass baking dish with celery, carrots, shallots, and garlic. Add the broth, olive oil, cider vinegar, thyme, sage, and salt and pepper. Mix well. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, stir the mixture, and bake for an additional 30 to 45 minutes until browned and crispy.