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

 

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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.

Cinnamon-Maple Pear and Almond Butter Sandwich

Cinnamon and maple glazed pears (and apples are great here, too), with loads of almond (or any nut) butter, on toasty whole grain bread… it doesn’t get much better than that I like using my Multigrain Hempseed Bread from The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread since it is seedy and thick in texture, unlike the softer sandwich ones, which offers a nice contrast to the smooth, creamy filling. The bread pictured, however, is the Wholesome Flax Bread, since I make it most frequently.

Maple Cinnamon Pear and Almond Butter Sandwich

Cinnamon-Maple Pear and Almond Butter Sandwich

1 small or medium Barlett pear, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pieces whole grain, gluten-free bread
2 tablespoons roasted almond butter
1 teaspoon ground flaxseed

Put the maple syrup in a medium saucepan. Add the sliced pear and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until tender, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Spread the almond butter on one side of each slice of bread. Sprinkle with flaxseed. Layer the pears on one side of the bread and top with the other slice. Slice in half and serve, or wrap to pack in a lunch.