Preparing Tofu the Right Way

Since I became vegan I have always been afraid of preparing my own Tofu. First it was that I didn’t know how to use the different kinds (lite, firm, silken, extra firm, huh?). Then it was that it was all watery and mushy. Last, it was that everyone told me I had to dry it out or press it down or just buy the pre-baked from Trader Joe’s (which I did). I never knew what exactly to do. Then I started reading blogs and still not completely comfortable. Then I starting asking other vegetarians and cooks that I knew. i got closer to confident. But this past month I got a free cooking school online pass. They taught me so much so fast. I feel so much more confident about my tofu skills now. So here is my simple and best way to prepare tofu successfully. The pictures are provided by my closest friend that currently is living in Florida and doing a fast in which she has to prepare vegan food but was an omnivore prior to this fast. (The fast is called the Danial Fast Click Here to learn more.) I gave her my recipe and she followed it perfectly and topped her veggie bowl with the tofu.

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Pan Fried and Baked Tofu

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1 block of lite or regular extra firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal

 

IMG_3043

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Prepare!

  1. Slice tofu into sticks by dividing the tofu in half and then half each side again creating 4 slabs. Divide those slabs into half to create sticks.
  2. Take tofu sticks and place on a plate that has 3 layers of paper towels. Let tofu drain on those towels at least 30 minutes. Then take an additional paper towel and press away excess water from the top.
  3. Next sprinkle with kosher salt and make rest 5 more minutes.
  4. In a bowl mix together cornstarch and cornmeal. Dredge the tofu through the mixture. You can add salt and pepper directly to the flour to create a seasoned flour.

 

Cook!

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan until almost spitting. To test heat place a droplet of water into pan and watch it sizzle.
  2. With tongs place sticks into the hot oil moving frequently so they do not stick. Rotate each side until lightly cooked then place on a silpat for the oven.
  3. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-20 minutes until firm and not longer leaking excess water.
  4. Place on a dish with paper towels to drain excess oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve.

 

I eat it with a side of peanut satay sauce or over brown rice and veggies with terriyaki sauce. They come out almost with a light crisp like a tempura would but not oily. Its the perfect way to keep it moist, not oily, and crisp. Enjoy!

 

IMG_3045   IMG_3044

 

PS: I have used the following substitutions successfully: Chia Seeds instead of Cornmeal, Arrowroot instead of Cornstarch, Canola instead of Olive Oil.

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Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy.

 

 

Banana Bread Bars

There are very few things that can make me feel as cozy as banana bread. My mom would make it all the time when I was a kid (and would even bring it to my dorm in college sometimes). Saving up all the brown bananas we didn’t eat in time and putting them in the freezer. When she had enough she would make the whole house smell like heaven and it was hard to keep us back long enough for the banana bread to cool so she could cut a slice for my brother and I. My grandmother would cozy up next to me with some tea and her banana bread and on those chilly fall days we would watch infomercials and old movies at my parents house. So when I got a tweet on Twitter the other day from a follower that wanted to use up some Chia seeds I thought what better way than to give out my banana bread bars recipe! The recipe is easy and just requires dumping everything in a bowl and mixing and then placing it in the oven. The weather was cool over the weekend so I made a batch as a breakfast snack for my husband and I this week. They were also snacked on by both my parents yesterday while we continued mounting new things to the walls of my new house.  Note: I bribe family and friends with dinner and snacks for free labor 🙂 

 

banana bread bars done

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Banana Bread Bars

 

Ingredients:

(3) Bananas (overripe and brown is best)

1 1/2 cup Quick Oats

1 tsp tapioca granulated

2 tbsp chia seeds

1/4 cup of Raw Agave Syrup/Nectar

1/4 cup raw unsalted pistachios

1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup white chocolate chips (I use Lieber’s White Decorative Chips)

Spectrum Coconut Oil Spray for pan

 

banana bread bars ingredients

 

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Preparation:

  • Place white chips, nuts, seeds, coconut, and tapicoa in a medium mixing bowl and stir until combined.
  • Add quick oats. Stir until combined.
  • Add bananas (i ususally microwave frozen bananas for 1 minute and then add them). Mix until thick adn well combined throughout.
  • Add agave and fold in.

banana bread raw mix 1   banana bread raw mix 2   banana bread raw mix with oats   banana bread raw mix with banana   banana bread raw mix with agave

 

Cook!

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a bread pan with coconut oil.
  • Place bar mixture into bread pan and pat flat with spatula.
  • Bake for 30-40minutes until the sides turn brown and the center is firm tot he touch.
  • Cut into 6 bars and serve after cooled about 15-30minutes.
  • Enjoy!

 

banana bread raw mix patted flat   banana bread raw mix in pan   banana bread bars done

 

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WW Points: 8pts per bar.

 

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XOXOX,

 

The Hippie Gypsy