Eggplant Tofu Lasagna

We all love lasagna but we definitely don’t all love how it makes us feel afterwards. Filled with dairy and gluten, it is a super heavy meal that is hard to justify eating every day. Thankfully, I’ve created a vegan and gluten friendly version! With four large servings that each pack 9 grams of protein for only 90 calories, you can safely eat the whole dish, no stomachaches required.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 large eggplant
12 oz firm silken tofu
2/3 cup marinara sauce
1 cup spinach
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
6 basil leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2/3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Slice eggplant into roughly 1/4- 1/2 inch slices. I sliced my eggplant into coin shapes but lengthwise would be preferred. Salt eggplant slices on both sides and arrange into a colander in the sink to remove excess water/bitterness for 15 minutes. Rinse salted eggplant slices well and dry thoroughly. Lay a baking sheet on top and place something heavy on top to soak up the excess moisture.

In a food processor combine final 8 ingredients until smooth consistency is achieved. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

Oil an 8×8 baking dish and spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of the dish. Lay eggplant slices in an even layer on top of the sauce. Top eggplant slices with 1/3 of tofu cheese mixture followed by an even layer of 1/3 cup of spinach and then more marinara. Repeat this process two to three more times until all ingredients are used.

Place entire dish in oven for 20-25 minuts until eggplant is slightly browned and sauce bubbles.

Remove and let cool for at least 5 minutes.

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5 Minute Tofu Cabbage Roll-Ups

This recipe is another one of my more idea recipes than an actual step by step one. I end up making these a lot actually either for a snack or dinner when I am in a pinch. I generally go for the spicy route but you can use whatever seasonings you desire. Get creative with your marinade or make it easy for yourself and use a store bought sauce such as teriyaki or BBQ. I also like to place my filling in cabbage leaves but feel free to use taco shells or wraps!

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Ingredients:
Tofu
Marinade: I used 1 tablespoon siracha, ¼ teaspoon each of chili powder, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder, ½ tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste with salt and pepper to taste
Cabbage leaves
Salsa/pico de gallo/vinegar based slaw
Optional: additional vegetables, seeds or herbs for topping

Directions:
Mix together marinade ingredients into a bowl. Once fully whisked, crumble tofu into the bowl with the marinade. Toss to coat and let sit for at least 10 minutes in the fridge. For added crispiness, you can add almond flour or an other flour of choice into the mixture for a more “breaded” texture.
Spray a sauté pan with coconut oil and once heated, place marinated tofu into the pan. Using a wooden spoon, continuously mix around the tofu so it does not stick to the pan. You want the tofu to brown and become crispy.
Once complete, remove tofu from pan and place desired amount in lettuce cups. Top with sauce and veggies of choice.

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Served with salmon wrapped asparagus and garlic toast topped with bruschetta

Vegan Cheezy Tofu Topped Eggplant

With eggplant’s peak season coming into full swing, I thought it was the perfect time to post a recipe using one of summer’s best vegetables. Whenever I am at the market, I always make sure to pick out an eggplant with firm and glossy skin. I also make sure that it seems a bit heavy for it’s size and then I know ift is going to be a good one!
I came up with this recipe the other night as I wanted something hearty and flavorful, but also healthy and full of protein. Thanks to the tofu and vegan cheese, this recipe is protein packed but also vegan so it won’t weigh you down.
Enjoy the full dish for dinner or just one open sided half as an appetizer.

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Ingredients:
1 eggplant
Oil of choice
½ cup tofu, crumbled
½ cup marinara sauce
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon dried basil
¼ cup sliced mushrooms
2-4 tablespoons shredded cheese of choice (vegan, nutritional yeast, parmesan, mozzarella, etc.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: fresh basil or parsley

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F.
Rinse Eggplant and cut off top and bottom and then slice in half, lengthwise.
Score inside of eggplant sides to create checkerboard pattern. Either brush insides of eggplant with olive oil or use cooking spray and season with salt and pepper.
Place eggplant halves cut side down on a baking tray and place in oven for 35-40 minutes until tender.
When eggplant halves have about 5 minutes more to cook, begin to saute mushrooms. Once beginning to brown add in tofu and spices and stir. Finally, add in marinara.
Remove eggplants from oven and flip over.
Serve each eggplant half with half of the tofu mushroom mixture.
Optionally top with fresh herbs.

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One Pan Tofu Ratatouille

I love eggplant, but it often looks intimidating and I usually turn to more familiar squashes like zucchini or yellow squash. However, when passing it in the store the other day, I felt inspired to purchase a single eggplant and create a new dish.
Eggplant’s peak season is July-October, so while this dish is delicious year round, I always suggest focusing your meals on produce that is in season so it is freshest and often a more environmentally friendly choice.
I have never made ratatouille before, but I knew the gist of the ingredients and the texture of this signature Italian dish. I decided to add in some tofu for an added protein kick, which I added to the pan first to enhance its crispiness. The whole meal was made in about 20 minutes and all in one pan, which my boyfriend who is on perpetual dish duty was certainly grateful for.
This recipe makes two HUGE servings with are each under 200 calories, 23 grams of carbs (7.5 which are fiber) and 12 grams of protein!

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Makes 2 large servings or 6 sides

Ingredients:
1/2 large eggplant, cubed
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh organic spinach
½ container extra firm tofu, cubed (you could use any protein of your choice)
1 cup organic diced tomatoes
¼ teaspoon each dried basil, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, cumin and garlic
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:
In a large sauté pan, heat oil and garlic. Once fragrant, add in tofu to heat. Once tofu is lightly golden brown, add sliced onion and eggplant and let cook for 5 minutes, stirring often until onions are translucent and eggplant is somewhat soft. Add in chopped bell pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes until heated through.

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Toss in your dark greens and mix. Once greens wilt, add in diced tomatoes and seasoning. Stir together and let mixture simmer for 5-8 minutes.
Top with chopped basil.

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Steamin’ hot!

Tofu Croutons

Tofu is a versatile and great source of plant protein. I don’t mind eating plain, straight out of the container, but I recognize for most that that’s just tasteless and plain weird.
Having a half of a container of tofu left after making my crispy tofu tacos, I decided to get creative. I got the tofu into small bits, covered them with some spices and baked them to crisp perfection to create what I like to call tofu “croutons.”
These little nuggets of crunchy heaven are totally customizable. Want them spicy? Add some cayenne or some hot sauce. Use any dried herbs on hand to accompany the dish you’re throwing them on top of. You can even make sweet versions using cinnamon and sugar.
Now you’re thinking, what the heck am I supposed to do with these things? While they can be used for traditional crouton application like a salad and or soup like my caramelized onion and roasted red pepper soup, making them sweet means they’re a great topping for yogurt, oatmeal and more.

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Instead of nutritionally deprived bread croutons, these babies are low carb and high protein. They even make a great on the go snack- just don’t blame me for any strange looks you end up getting.

Ingredients:
½ package non-GMO extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste
Olive oil spray
Spices of choice, here I used:
¼ teaspoon each of onion powder, cumin & paprika

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350F.

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Cut tofu into ¼ inch cubes. In separate bowl combine balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and remaining spices. Place tofu in bowl and use a large spoon to stir to thoroughly coat the tofu without breaking up the cubes.
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Spray sheet pan with olive oil spray and place tofu on the pan. Spread tofu evenly on the pan and then use the olive oil spray again to coat the top of the tofu.
Next, place the tofu in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Finally, broil for 6-8 minutes.

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Crispy Tofu Tacos

Taco Final 1

Serves 2-3

Ingredients you NEED:
1/2 package firm tofu
1 tablespoon Sriracha (if you don’t like hot, use a mild hot sauce or tomato paste)
5-6 drops liquid stevia/teaspoon agave/sugar/honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Dash of cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lime
1 tablespoon oil (grapeseed, canola, even olive or coconut)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Corn tortillas

Ingredients that aren’t essential but make the dish INFINITELY better:

Slaw/cabbage mix mixed with red wine vinegar, salt & pep
Bell peppers
Onions
Guacamole/avocado slices
Salsa
Tomatoes

Directions:
Take your tofu and blot it dry with a paper towel. Doing so will take out some moisture and allow it to better absorb the flavors you’re going to add. Next, cut the tofu into ½ – ¼  inch cubes.
Mix together the Siracha, sweetener of choice and balsamic vinegar into a bowl and throw in your tofu cubes and gently stir to coat.

Tofu Dry Mixture

In a separate bowl, combine the almond meal and seasonings (chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder). You can totally adjust the spices to your liking and feel free to use a pre-made taco seasoning to make things a little easier. After you’ve given your little tofu cubies a few minutes to soak up that siracha goodness, dump them in your almond meal mixture and coat them real goood. Not coated=not crispy and we’re trying to disguise these soy nuggets as much as possible so the boyfriend doesn’t realize what he’s eating.

Crisped Tofu

Begin heating your skillet with a tablespoon of oil. Any type of oil will work, just know that any non-neutral tasting oil will impart its flavor on the tofu. Sauté your minced garlic for a minute and then add your tofu, stirring occasionally so all the sides get nice and crispy. When the edges are nice and browned, turn off the heat and give it a good squeeze of lime and a sprinkling of cilantro/parsley.
To serve this, while the tofu was crisping, I sautéed some onions and peppers in some olive oil on the stove. I microwaved each corn tortilla with a damp paper towel in the microwave and topped them with some of the cabbage that I let marinate for about 10 minutes with the vinegar and salt and pepper and added the sautéed veggies and then the tofu. Finally, I topped mine with some guac, sliced tomatoes, salsa, and a drizzle of lime juice.

Taco Final 2

Dinner is served. All done in about 20 minutes so Casey is happy. Boyfriend thinks he’s eating cubes of cheese so he’s happy. Meal is full of fresh produce and plant protein so belly is happy.

I’d say this was a success.