Recipes for your consideration
Creamy, velvety Queso that’s cashew-, soy-, and gluten-free! Eggplant gives it that creamy texture that’s also lighter in calories than queso and reheats extremely well. Ridiculously close to the real thing! Let the dipping begin!
6 Asian-style eggplant
1.5-2 cups unsweetened original almond milk
2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp finely minced fresh garlic (or garlic powder)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cornstarch (optional for thickening)
1/4 cup chunky medium salsa, slightly drained (OR 1/4 10-ounce can of Rotel original diced tomatoes and green chilies)
OPTIONAL: Smoked paprika and hot sauce for added color and flavor upon serving.
Slice your eggplant into thin rounds just under 1/2 inch (not quite 1/4 inch), then sprinkle both sides of the flesh with a little sea salt and arrange in a colander to help draw out some of the moisture and bitterness. Let set for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with cool water and thoroughly pat dry between two clean towels.
Preheat oven to high broil and place an oven rack near the top of the oven. Arrange the dried eggplant rounds on a baking sheet lightly spritzed with non-stick spray and drizzle both sides of the eggplant with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with a very small amount of salt.
Broil on high for 4-5 minutes on each side, watching carefully as to not let them burn. Flip at the halfway point to ensure even cooking. Once the eggplant appears tender and both sides have golden brown color, remove from the oven and wrap loosely in foil to steam.
After a few minutes, unwrap and peel the eggplant skin away. It should come right off. If you pack your roasted eggplant into a 1-cup measuring cup, it will be approximately 1 cup.
Place eggplant in a blender with the 1.5 cups (to start) almond milk, 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, minced garlic, cumin, chili powder and cornstarch and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added a pinch more sea salt and a little more nutritional yeast. To thin, add more almond milk.
Transfer to a small saucepan and warm over medium to medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly – about 5 minutes. The longer you go the thicker it will become.
NOTE: If it isn’t looking as thick as you want, thicken with a slurry of cornstarch by adding an additional 1 tsp cornstarch to a small bowl with a little almond milk and 2-3 Tbsp of the cheese mixture. Whisk to combine and then stir back into the pot. This should thicken it right up.
Once hot and thickened, remove from heat and stir in DRAINED salsa or Rotel. Don’t put the liquid in or it will make it runny. Pour into a serving dish and top with a little smoked paprika and hot sauce for flavor/color.
Serve with chips, crackers or veggies. Keep warm in a mini crockpot or over a tea light warmer if you have one.
Refrigerate and cover leftovers. Reheats extremely well in the microwave or in a saucepan. Will keep for up to a few days, but best when fresh.
Adapted from: http://minimalistbaker.com/
Crispy tofu that’s baked not fried and tossed in a 5-ingredient peanut glaze! Serve over cauliflower rice with sautéed veggies for a completely plant-based meal that’s gluten free!
Crispy Peanut Tofu & Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry
12 ounces extra firm tofu, organic & non-GMO if possible
1 Tbsp Toasted sesame oil
1 small head cauliflower
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 Tbsp Toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
3.5 – 4 Tbsp light brown sugar, honey or maple syrup
1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
2.5 Tbsp peanut butter or almond butter (natural, salted)
Veggies (baby bok choy, green onion, red pepper, broccoli)
Toppings: Fresh lime juice, cilantro, sriracha
Begin by draining tofu 1.5 hours before you want your meal ready. If your block of tofu is larger than 12 ounces, trim it down. You don’t need a full pound for this recipe (see notes).
Roll tofu in an absorbent towel several times and then place something heavy on top to press. I use a pot on top of a cutting board and sometimes add something to the pot to add more weight. Do this for 15 minutes.
Near the end of draining, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and cube tofu. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Bake for 25 minutes to dry/firm the tofu. Once baked, remove from oven and let cool.
Prepare sauce by whisking together ingredients until combined. Taste and adjust flavor as needed. I often add a little more sweetener and peanut butter.
Add cooled tofu to the sauce and stir to coat. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes to saturate the tofu and infuse the flavor.
In the meantime, shred your cauliflower into rice by using a large grater or food processor. You don’t want it too fine, just somewhat close to the texture of rice. Set aside. Mince garlic if you haven’t already done so, and prepare any veggies you want to add to the dish (optional).
Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat (6 out of 10), and if adding any veggies to your dish, cook them now in a bit of sesame oil and a dash of soy sauce. Remove from pan and set aside and cover to keep warm.
Use a slotted spoon to spoon tofu into the preheated pan. Add a few spoonfuls of the sauce to coat. Cook, stirring frequently for a few minutes until browned. It will stick to the pan a bit, so don’t worry. Remove from pan and set aside and cover to keep warm.
Rinse your pan under very hot water water and scrape away any residue. Place back on stove.
Add a drizzle of sesame oil to the pan, then add garlic and cauliflower rice and stir. Put cover on to steam the “rice.” Cook for about 5-8 minutes until slightly browned and tender, stirring occasionally. Then add a few spoonfuls of sauce to season and stir.
Plate cauliflower rice and top with veggies and tofu. Serve with any leftover sauce. Leftovers reheat well and will keep covered in the fridge for up to a couple days.
All through the summer and fall we eat these with our fingers for pre-dinner snacking. The simplicity is belying; the beans showcase the basil brilliantly.
Lemon Basil Snap Beans
Boil yellow (or green) “green” beans in salted water until tender (just beyond tender crisp). Drain and rinse with cold water to stop their cooking.
Turn the beans into bowl and keep them at room temperature up to 3 hours. When you’re ready to eat, toss the beans with a generous amount of coarse salt and 1 cup of minced lemon basil leaves for every ½ pound of beans. Enjoy them at room temperature.
If anyone has some good recipes for this weeks ingredients, pop on over to the website and enter them there for everyone’s benefit!.