Tofu, Corn, and Hemp Seed Veggie Boats

Developed for a back-to-school article, these veggie boats were created with kids in mind. Kids, we know, are budding architects, and building their own lunch keeps them interested, so keeping these unassembled let’s them have some fun with their lunch.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Fresh Corn and Hempseeds

Tofu, Corn, and Hemp Seed Stuffed Veggie Boats

Creamy Tofu Filling:
1 (350g/12.3oz) package extra-firm tofu, squeezed of excess moisture
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup fresh basil, lightly packed
2 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons roasted tahini
1 clove garlic
Sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

For Assembly
Fresh tomatoes, innards removed
Mini fresh peppers, innards removed
Fresh corn, sliced right off the cob
Hemp seeds

To make the creamy tofu filling, put the tofu, nutritional yeast flakes, basil, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, the tahini, and garlic clove in the food processor. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste, adding lemon juice if desired.

Depending on your child’s appetite, hollow out tomatoes and peppers and put in a container. Put some of the filling in a separate container. Mix together corn and hemp seeds in a third container. Pack the ingredients in the lunch box with a small spoon for assembly.

Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers with Creamy Tofu, Fresh Corn, and Hempseeds 2

Mizeria (Polish Cucumber Salad)

A traditional Polish side dish, very unlike my grandma used to make! The name means “misery” in Polish…perhaps because it is traditionally doused in sour cream, making vegans (and those watching their cholesterol) have to pass. Don’t let the addition of tofu detour you; it delivers the same creamy texture and tang of the original dish.

miziera cucumber

Vegan Mizeria (Polish Cucumber Salad)

3 large field cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 batch Sour “Cream” (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon agave nectar
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
Freshly ground pepper

Sprinkle the cucumber with salt. Refrigerator for 1 hour.

Mix together the sour “cream”, vinegar, agave nectar. Mix with cucumbers. Stir in fresh dill. Season with pepper. Refrigerate until serving.

Sour “Cream”
1 12oz/340g box silken firm tofu
1 lemon
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Put the tofu in a food processor. Add juice from half the lemon, the vinegar, and the salt. Process until smooth, then keep it running while adding the oil through the feed tube. Taste for seasonings, adding lemon and salt if desired. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Ricotta, Tomato, and Basil Tart

A regular rotation in my August/tomato menu, this savoury pastry is lovely alongside a simple soup and salad, making for a filling meal with little effort.

tart

Ricotta Tomato and Basil Tart

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup arrowroot flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup cold water

For the ricotta:
1 (350 g) package firm tofu, squeezed of excess moisture
Juice from half a lemon
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

For the topping:
3 to 5 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 handful fresh basil, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and set aside. To begin with the crust, whisk together the sorghum flour, arrowroot flour, quinoa flour, xanthan gum, salt and Italian seasoning. Add the olive oil and stir to blend. Slowly add the cold water, mixing in just enough to create a soft dough.

Transfer dough to a floured work surface and knead about three times for it to come together. Do not overwork the dough — it will become tough. Roll dough into a circle two to three inches larger than your tart pan. Carefully fold the dough over your rolling pin and place it in the centre of your pan then use your fingers to gently press the dough into the crevasses and up the sides of your pan. Trim the edges and patch if necessary. Set aside.

For the filling, place the tofu, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning and garlic in the food processor, and pulse until crumbled. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and adjust seasonings if desired. Spread tofu filling into prepared tart pan, filling it about 2/3 of the way from the top. Depending on the size of your pan, you may have some left over.

Starting from the outer edges, lay the tomatoes on the ricotta filling, overlapping as you work your way around, until the top is covered. Tuck in the red onions randomly. In a small container, mix together the olive oil and agave nectar, and brush tomatoes with the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the crust is browned and the tomatoes and onions are cooked through. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh basil. Serve at room temperature.