Tag Archive: Tofu


Gumi BentoSooo … this is the video I just uploaded, and as promised, I’ll include a recipe here.  One of the tags I used in the video was カレライス, which is not technically true because there’s no rice but … I mean, you can definitely use rice if you want instead of spaghetti squash – I just wanted to give you more options for your vegan bento box!

We’ll start with my recipe for curry spice, which is:

Curry Spice

2tsp Tumeric
1tsp Corriander
1tsp Cumin
1/2tsp Cardamon
1/2tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4tsp Black Pepper
———————————
1/4 tsp Cloves
1/4tsp Cinnamon
1/4tsp Cocoa Powder

Ok; now I made this powder using the formula on this blog post – the ingredients above the line are the most essential ones, while the ones below the line, as you’ll see on that blog post, can be substituted out for other ingredients.  Try switching out the cloves for coffee or the cocoa powder for sage in the same proportions or something for a fun flavor experiment!  Either way, do be sure to keep the proportions relatively the same – the percentage breakdowns for the recipe above are roughly:

30% Tumeric
19% Corriander
19% Cumin
8% Cardamon
8% Cayenne Pepper
4% Black Pepper
4% Cloves
4% Cinnamon
4% Cocoa Powder

Which fits in with the proportion ranges detailed on that post, except the cayenne pepper which is a little higher in my recipe because I like a little spice in my curry; it took a bit of finessing to come up with proportions that equaled 2-3Tbsp of actual powder, but after some math I got the numbers to work out fine.  Substitute in whatever you want to though – if you want it less spicy take out or lessen the cayenne pepper and add another spice to make the amount of powder the same – for example, only use 1/4tsp of cayenne pepper and use a 1/4tsp of nutmeg as well.  Making quick little substitutions like that can really customize the flavor of your curry to your liking!

Alright, now for the actual recipe for the curry:

Fried Tofu: (Recipe taken from this blog post.)

1-2lbs Extra Firm Tofu, cubed
1-2Tbsp Safflower Oil (or other high heat oil)
1/2c Salt
3c Water

Curry Roux:

4Tbsp Vegan Margerine
5Tbsp Flour or Corn Starch
2-3Tbsp Spices (see above for my recipe)
1-2Tbsp Ketchup
1Tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
3Tbsp Ponzu sauce (or Worcestershire sauce)

Curry:

2 Medium Onions
2-3 Potatoes
1/2 bulb FEnnel
2 Bell Peppers (one orange, one yellow)
2 apples, peeled and cored
1-2Tbsp olive oil
2c Miso or other broth
1c Water
Salt to Taste

And, in case you missed it, here’s the video instructions on how to put it all together!

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groceriesAlright; so I’m getting accustomed to things in my new apartment (I just moved into my own place in the Big Apple, yay!) and I realize … I’m running out of food and paper supplies.  Something that I’ve never had to worry about before.  Which means of course, that I will have to purchase these goods myself.  Now, I’ve been grocery shopping before – ever since becoming a (casual) Vegan, I’ve had to buy my own stuff, mostly because a lot of the time, if someone were going to buy food for me, they’d have no idea where to get what I was talking about if I wrote “Carob Chips” or “SO Delicious Dairy Free Vanilla Yogurt” on the list.  Which is fine by me; this weird food is expensive besides – I’ve totally been living on toast for breakfast for the past like, 3 weeks or so ^^;;  I digress; I am going to have to go to the store and buy things that I have never had to buy before.  Toilet paper, napkins, paper toweling … These are all mysterious items of mystery to me – and not only that, but I am definitely afraid that I am going to forget everything when I go.  And it is a bit of a trek to go shopping where I live, so I don’t really want to have to make multiple trips on the weekend when I am supposed to be recuperating from the work week.

grocerylistEx2So, rather than be worried about all of that happening, I decided to find one of those magnetic pads that you stick to your fridge to make lists; sounds like a good plan, right?  Just jot down what you need when you run out of it or getting low, and at the end of the week just go buy what you need.  Notice I said NEED, not WANT – big difference there, I’m finding out.  ^^;; Anyway, on my quest to find a pad, I discovered a tutorial on how to make your own pad – which I thought was great, because that meant I could save money and just print out lists, glue the pages together, and slap a magnet on the back.  Problem solved.  Which would have been perfect if I hadn’t found this template … It is lik, the cutest thing I have ever seen!

You should totally check out the blog and download it here because it is super awesome and totally free :3  But anyway, this page is a full sheet – which means no sticking it to the front of my fridge because I have plenty of other stuff stuck to it.  I can’t add a whole 8.5″x11″ sheet to it too and reasonably expect my fridge to remain upright … ^^;; But this is the shopping list I’m using from now on – is that not the cutest little grocery store you’ve ever seen up there?  And the rainbow coloring of the categories; I love rainbows!  However, not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it breaks down things to be sure that you take them with you too, which I desperately need …

In the upper right hand corner, under the date line, it gives you check boxes to grocery-shopping1make sure you remember to bring your coupons, reusable bags, and your shopper’s cards to make sure you save all the money you can.  And, speaking of money, there’s a slot to put your budget at the bottom, as well as what you actually spend, so you can make sure you stay on track.  Add that to large lines with plenty of space to write in, and organized categories, and I’m pretty sure this was made specifically with me in mind.

But, what else can you do to make sure you stay on task and buy what you need, not what you want?  I was really nervous about this, so I’ve been doing some research, because I have a tendency to go overboard when I buy things.  I found this site with the Top Ten Shopping Tips listed on it, and it was super helpful.  A quick summary of what it says:

shoppingbag-j
1. Shop with a list.  Ok; check that one off, since I now have the cutest list in creation at my disposal.
2. Set a budget.  Yeah, I always do that, but sticking to it is the problem …
3. Pay with Cash.  Right now since I’m waiting for my first paycheck that’s not happening…
4. Set a Timeframe. … o.o I have never thought about this before … But it totally makes sense.
5. Pick the best time for You. Well yeah; that means the only time I can go, right? xD
6. Shop alone. Ah, one of the times I don’t envy mothers that have to drag their children everywhere.
7.  Don’t shop when you are tired, hungry, lonely, bored or upset. … All of these things!? o.o;
8. Ask “do I really need this?”… I hate this question.  Which probably means I should ask more.
9. Remember that the sales person is there to sell to you! And they do such a good job too …
10. Don’t buy just because it’s on sale. But, if you’re already buying it, make sure you get the sale!

So, in short, I’ve got … one of these things down.  ^^;; Maybe I’ll write these on the back of my shopping list so that I can remember them when I’m at the store …?  Yeah.  That might work. Hopefully.  Maybe.

We’ll see what my bank account says afterwards.

In the meantime … I hope these tips help you, and I hope you too can have a super cute shopping list to help organize your life!

Remember, there’s no use boiling your cabbage twice!kalyn-grocery-cart

Protein_myth

Alright; today I’m here to talk to you as a sort of public service announcement.  I thought of this topic because the family that I’m staying with right now knows that I am eating vegan, and is constantly hassling me about my protein intake, as well as my other nutritional needs.  They are big on medical issues, and are constantly telling me how I need to take vitamin supplements to make sure I’m getting the nutrition I need every day.  And it is really starting to bug me; so I started thinking, are there other people like them out there?  People that think that vegans need to work hard to get the protein and other vitamins and nutrients they need in a day in order to survive?  Because that just isn’t true, and I’m here to prove it to you.

The fact of the matter is, most Americans and people all over the world for that matter eat too much protein in a day.  Between cheeseburgers, fast food, and what we eat every day, people consume way more than the amount they really need, which is around 1/3 of your body weight in grams per day.  I weigh 180lbs, so that means that I need about 60g of protein every day.  And I really don’t have to try hard to get myself there; in fact, I don’t even really think about it or monitor it at all – I did when I first became a vegan because I was nervous that I was going to make myself sick, but after going on two years of eating this way, I think I have a pretty good routine going on.

Let me tell you what I’m eating today, and we’ll see how many vitamins, nutrients, calories, and protein I am getting.

best-smoothie-recipesWe’ll start with breakfast, which for me just about every day is a smoothie.  And, in this smoothie goes all sorts of delicious things (though because of the contrasting colors, it usually ends up looking like mud …)  I always start with kale and/or spinach, depending on what I have, and mixed frozen vegetables.  I’m partial to frozen bananas and peaches, which is what I had today, but if I don’t have those I also make ice cubes using soy or almond milk for the cold part of the smoothie.  I also use a cup of nondairy yogurt, and as you may have guessed from my earlier post about So Delicious Greek yogurt, which you can see here, that is what I use, which has live cultures in it for probiotics.  Then goes the fruit juice, which is a combination of acai juice and peach mango silk juice at the moment, along with some coconut oil.

Let’s look at this objectively now, and consider the numbers.  Half a cup of kale is about a gram of protein, 103% of my daily vitamin A, 70% of my daily vitamin C, 5% of my calcium, and 3% iron.  In ONE ingredient.  Frozen fruits, assuming bananas and peaches, though I believe there is something else in the mix I get, have 1g protein, 3% vitamin A, 15% of my vitamin C, and 1% iron.  In the So Delicious Greek yogurt, (and I’m using the almond milk variety) there is another 7g of protein, as well as 35% of my daily vitamin B12, 35% of my daily Calcium, 30% of my daily vitamin D, and 30% of my daily Magnesium intake.  The coconut oil is sort of like fish oil, since it is good for my hair and nails, and that’s why I add it, so there really isn’t much actual nutritional value in it … After that, as for the juices, we’ll start with the mango peach juice.  That has 5g of protein, 100% of my daily vitamin C intake, 20% of my daily calcium intake, and 4% of my daily iron intake.  And finally, the acai juice has 1g of protein, 81% of my daily vitamin C, 8% of my daily calcium, and 7% of my daily iron, as well as being loaded with antioxidants.

That was a wall of text, I know, but let me show you what those numbers mean.  For breakfast alone, I am consuming:

Nutrient Amount
Protein  15g
Calcium  88%
Vitamin A  106%
Vitamin B12  35%
Vitamin C  266%
Vitamin D  30%
Iron  15%
Magnesium  30%

This is all just the first thing I eat in the morning, and I already have most of the vitamins and nutrients I need for the whole fricking day.  I’ve had a quarter of my protein, all the Vitamin A and C I could ever need, and I’m well on my way to having all of my calcium.  Next, let’s talk about my snacks during the day.  I’ve discovered that the Duane Reade I work above sells Karma Wellness Water in the cooler, so I’ve been getting that for lunch every day.  But, since it is supposed to be like a vitamin supplement, I’m not going to count it – I love the stuff, don’t get me wrong, but if we are only talking about the food I consume in a day, then I will simply have to dedicate a separate post to Karma Wellness Water all by itself.

The first thing I had to eat today when I got hungry at about 10am was a serving of dried dates, which was about a cup of them or so.  A cup of dates has 4g of protein, 1% of my Vitamin C, 6% of my calcium, and 8% of my iron.  About an hour or two later, I had basically ants on a log, except instead of peanut butter I had Sunbutter on the celery, which is basically peanut butter with sunflower kernels instead of the peanuts.  A great alternative for people who have allergies to nuts/tree nuts, btw, and it’s gluten free.  I had 3 large stalks of celery, which means about 2g of protein, 15% Vitamin A, 9% Vitamin C, 6% Calcium, and 2% Iron with about 2-3Tbsp of almond butter.  which is about 9g protein, 8% Calcium, 8% iron, 25% Vitamin E, and 20% Magnesium.  I had about a half cup of seedless raisins, which were about 3g of protein, 6% Vitamin C, 8% Calcium, and 17% Iron.  Next, about a cup of seedless red grapes, which is 1g protein, 2% Vitamin A, 27% Vitamin C, 2% Calcium, and 3% Iron.

Let’s add those numbers to the tally and see where I’m at now.

Nutrient Amount
Protein 34g
Calcium 110%
Vitamin A 121%
Vitamin B12 35%
Vitamin C 309%
Vitamin D 30%
Vitamin E 25%
Iron 53%
Magnesium 50%

It just keeps looking better and better, doesn’t it?  And we haven’t even hit lunch yet.  Lunch consists of about a half cup of hummus, (today I have the Tuscan Garden version, yum!) which is 8g of protein, 2% Calcium, 2% Vitamin A, and 4% Iron.  I’m going to eat that with a bag full of baby bell peppers in varying colors, which means 1g of protein, 1% Calcium, 11% Vitamin A, 200% Vitamin C, and 3% Iron.  After that, for afternoon snacks I have a package of Annie’s Grapes Galore bunny fruit snacks, which has pretty much nothing but 100% Vitamin C, but I love them so whatever xD  I also have a DeLish black bean and corn salsa for this afternoon as well, which I ate half of yesterday.  That has 10g protein, 4% Calcium, 80% Vitamin A, 40% Vitamin C, and 15% Iron.  And finally, I have a bag of sunflower kernels, which I just wrote a blog post about actually, if you want to take a look at it here.  There are 9g of protein in those, and 4% calcium.

If we add all of my lunch and afternoon numbers to the table, now we get this:

Nutrient Amount
Protein 62g
Calcium 121%
Vitamin A 214%
Vitamin B12 35%
Vitamin C 646%
Vitamin D 30%
Vitamin E 25%
Iron 75%
Magnesium 50%

Now, as you can see, I easily hit my protein mark, and I haven’t even added dinner in yet.  Since I’m writing this during the day, I haven’t figured out what I’m having for dinner, but it will probably be something like a seitan cutlet or a veggie burger, some wilted spinach, and some fruit, which will increase my Iron to 100%, as well as increase my vitamins A and C most likely.  Depending on the cutlet or burger could also increase my protein, magnesium and vitamin E and D as well.

But, my point is, people are always getting angry and me and telling me that I’m not going to be healthy because I don’t eat meat and I don’t drink milk, so I must have low protein and calcium.  You can see here quite clearly that I easily hit my protein needs of 60g as well as my calcium needs at more than 100%, and this isn’t even all the food I will be eating today.

Just because I eat different foods doesn’t mean I’m not healthy; in fact, I am probably much more healthy than a lot of people in the world.  If I ate a bowl of cereal and milk, do you think I’d hit the numbers I did today?  Even if I had bacon, eggs, and toast, I still wouldn’t be as well off.  All protein doesn’t come from animals, and all calcium doesn’t come from milk.  All vitamins don’t come from pills.  Just because I don’t to take a supplement every day doesn’t mean that I’m not perfectly healthy.  Yes, my B12 is low, so is my Magnesium and my Vitamin D.  But you know, what?  I go outside a lot, which increases my Vitamin D because your epidermis produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.  Magnesium and B12 are not required to be healthy, they are basically an added bonus and can make some medical conditions easier.  Medical conditions that I do not have.

So, before people start telling me that I’m unhealthy because I don’t eat meat or dairy, I want them to do the same thing I’ve done here – map out exactly what you eat for the majority of the day.  Then, compare your numbers to mine, and tell me which ones look like they are more healthy.

Until next time, this is RaeynnBeau, signing out.

So, decided to make a tofu scramble for breakfast … So at 6:00am, I looked up a recipe online, looked around the fridge to see what veggies I had laying around, and got to work. :]

image

Ingredients

The recipe I found, which you can also find if you click here … And interestingly, this recipe, besides the normal cumin, tumerick, and soy sauce that you usually use, also calls for apple cider vinegar, garlic, and orange juice/zest.  I’ve never seen oranges called for in tofu scramble before – I was really excited to try it!

So, I copied up my vegetables – I didn’t take this picture until halfway through the prep, so you can see my vidalia onion, asparagus, and green pepper are already done, the clementine orange is grated but not juiced, the romaine lettuce isn’t cut … And I didn’t find my cumin powder or coconut nectar until afterwards …

But you get the idea. xD

Anyway, the recipe calls for vegan butter, but I didn’t have any and I didn’t really want the extra calories from it any way – but I wanted a little more flavor than just doing it in water, so I decided to use a little extra virgin olive oil.

While that was heating, I drained my container of extra firm tofu and squished it between several layers of paper toweling a few times.  Then, I put it on some more dry paper toweling and sliced it into pieces, folded the paper towel over and squished it again to get out as much water as possible so that it would absorb the delicious spices and orange juice and stuff instead.  If I end up doing this more often, I might have to get a tofu press …

Anyway, at that point the oil was hot, so I added the onion, peppers, asparagus … And of course, it started spitting and making all sorts of noise because it was hot oil and there was still a little cold water on the veggies.  I get super nervous when the frying pan makes noise and steams and spits, because … I don’t know, just because I guess xD So I turned it down to medium heat from medium high and continued on my way.

Half the spices and liquids (except the orange ingredients and coconut nectar, which is what I prefer to use instead of agave nectar), like the recipe says.  Then I stirred it up every now and again while I was juicing that orange and finding my cumin powder and coconut nectar, and this and that … And then, once the onions started to turn translucent, I added the tofu, more spices, liquids, nectar and orange ingredients and mixed.it up good.

image

There’s a picture, complete with my slotted wooden soon :]

I cleaned up my workspace while it cooked down. I will say that the recipe says to cook it for 4-5 minutes, but mine needed almost 10, and when I added the tofu I turned the heat up to high.  But for some reason the liquid would just not cook down for anything …

However, the end result was absolutely delicious!! O: I was really wow’d by this recipe, and I think a lot of it had to do with the orange juice/zest, and the coconut nectar (or agave nectar, but it’s really almost exactly the same). I’ve never added sweet/citrus to tofu scramble before, and I must say, the subtle complexity of flavor it added was stellar! Will definitely be making this again …

Definitely an A+ recipe – if you’re in the market for a tofu scramble recipe, check this one out!

Also if you have a second, vote on my poll!

‘Til we meet again!
~ RaeynnBeau

Sunday for the Week: Vegan Quiche

I apologize for the not so great quality of the pictures in this post; I couldn’t find my actual camera, so I had to take them with my phone, and this was at night, since that’s when I cook on Sundays …

Alright; so Sundays are my day to cook for the week; however, this is a weekend-long process.   Friday I find my recipe and decide what ingredients I need to purchase.  Saturday morning I go to the local public market in the city and  get the ingredients I want – anything I don’t get there, I head to the grocery store to stock up on afterwards.  And then, Sunday evening around dinner time is when I put everything together so that I have food for breakfast/lunch for the rest of the week, so that I don’t have to really think about food in the morning – I can just open the fridge and eat, and then, I can pick up a container and leave on my way to work.  No fuss no muss.

This week, I discovered a recipe for Vegan Quiche – while I was at college at Wellesley, when the Cazenove dining hall was still up and running, the one thing that was always delicious was the quiche.  It was a favorite for all of my friends and I – the quiche.  So when I found the recipe for vegan quiche, I was really excited, and hopefully I managed to recreate something that tastes delicious too.

Here are all the filling ingredients before I finished mixing them together.  Now, I absolutely hate mushrooms … But, I recently learned a fun fact (which, I am sure you will learn, I know many) that made me decide that I really need to hop on the fungal bandwagon … Which sounds totally appetizing, I know.

Fun Fact/Tip:

A mushroom is a lot like human skin cells when exposed to sunlight; they produce vitamin D the same way our skin does.  So, if you put your mushrooms in the sunlight for an hour or so before cooking them, they will add some Vitamin D to whatever dish you’re preparing with them.

Pretty cool, huh?

So, I decided I had to add some mushrooms, even if they aren’t my favorite.  The pasty looking stuff in the bowl underneath them is tofu, turmeric, garlic, onion, rice milk, a little no-chicken chicken stock (xD that’s not an oxymoron), and red/yellow/orange peppers I pulsed in a blender for a little bit.  (It’s a pinkish color because of the red peppers) Also in this mixture, though you can’t see it very well is about a half cup of hemp seeds and a tablespoon or so of Flax Seed Oil.  Yum yum – Omega 3s.  Definitely gotta get those in; I’ve been slacking recently because I haven’t been making smoothies in the morning, which is when I usually add in some Flax Seed Oil to take care of that, so definitely a good thing to add here.

I didn’t take a picture of the crust before I filled it because for whatever reason, it didn’t occur to me – but here it is after I stirred it with my trusty wooden spoon and poured it into the whole-wheat crust I made.   Which was really easy with a little whole wheat flour, some vegan butter (soy continues to completely amaze me  with it’s versatility), and a few tablespoons of cold water.  Which I mixed in properly I might add, one tbsp at a time, in probably the dumbest way possible … But I won’t go into that.  Just wanted to mention that I DID in fact add the cold water correctly; I learned that somehow it actually DOES make a difference if you add a tablespoon of cold water, mix, and add more, as opposed to just pouring 5 or 6 tablespoons of cold water in at once and then stirring at the end from my friend who worked in a bakery while we were in college.  Go figure.  I dunno what the difference is, but I DID IT RIGHT!

The recipe I was following said to put this guy in a 380 degree oven for 45 minutes and check it – it’s done when the center is firm.  It also cautioned to check the quiche at half an hour and in intervals from then on in order to make sure it didn’t burn, because cook time varies between ovens.  Well, my oven must be slow or something, because not only was it squishy at 30 minutes, and 45 minutes, but I had to leave it in the oven for another fifteen minutes – this baby wasn’t done for an entire hour.  And I kept neurotically checking it every five minutes to be sure it wasn’t burning or becoming ruined due to negligence.  Honestly, I’m not 100% certain it’s really cooked either – I took it out after the hour because I was afraid I was going to burn it, and the cake tester I was using came out clean, even though the middle was still sort of … malleable.

Oh well; I’ll know when I cut a slice for breakfast whether or not it needs to be baked longer, and if it does I’ll heat up the oven and cook it for a little while longer.  However, for a first attempt at a quiche, let alone a vegan one, I think it came out pretty well – it looks good and smelled good while it was baking.

I took into consideration all of the ingredients I used, and looked at the packages and what not – if I cut this into 6 pieces, so I can have it for breakfast all week basically, this quiche comes to about 296 calories per slice, which isn’t too bad I don’t think.

Here is a link to the Tofu Quiche Recipe that I used.

Hope this was helpful to some of you!  I also made a Sweet Potato and Tomato soup today, and an interesting tossed salad with dressing that I’ll post later in the week.  But for right now, I’m going to sleep, since it’s 1am here and I have work tomorrow! 🙂