Tag Archives: tofu

tsotofucaul0

Damn these short winter days, killing the food blogging realm. I never really put much thought to it before the blog, but nighttime really clobbers photographs. Since I am a working girl in a small apartment, I pretty much only have time to take photos of food the night I make it. Maybe one day I will have enough time to make these great dishes in the middle or the day, or have a special corner to set up lights to photograph at night.

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My latest dish was inspired from our last trip for Chinese takeout. My husband has switched over from General Tso’s Chicken to General Tso’s Tofu. But I haven’t found a place in New Jersey that I liked their tofu, my favorites being in Philadelphia. I’ve been going nuts for some of the baked cauliflower dishes. I thought I might try making a tofu and cauliflower mix.

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Of coarse to make this dish gluten free you have to make some alterations. First is that you need a gluten-free soy sauce or something similar. Coconut aminos, braggs, or tamari should work wonderfully in this dish. You also need to be careful about which hoisin sauce you buy. Most have wheat in it, but Joyce Chen has a gluten-free and kosher hoisin sauce. These are pretty much the only major problems to tackle with this recipe.

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tofutillos0

I am a little sad that I didn’t post this recipe during Vegan Mofo. But I am glad I participated, because it was tons of fun. We hit 20 posts this month (whooo group effort!) and we will be back next year, with hopefully a better theme. Maybe we will make a month of just ingredient pages! That was something I wanted to make a big focus on the blog and just haven’t gotten around to.

I am thinking I should be making pages for Tomatillos and Gochujang since there are a few recipes that use it on the site. They aren’t fully normal ingredients. And try and find a recipe for tomatillos that aren’t salsa verde related? Forget about it! This year my CSA has some great tomatillos and I’ve been unsure what to do with them. It is quite possibly the most frustrating thing. I have made Tomatillo and Chickpea Curry, which was pretty tasty. Now I take tomatillos in a totally different direction- sweet and savory.

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I think the reason why I didn’t post this recipe during Vegan Mofo was that the photos kind-of sucked. I made it at night, so the lighting blew. And I was originally going to make the recipe for burritos, but it was a little oozy. And I was so hungry I couldn’t be bothered to take a bad photo. So I just decided to post the tofu, since I’ve eaten it with tacos, burritos, and it would easily taste great in sandwiches or as is.

The major downside is that the recipe takes a LOT of baking. It takes about 15 minutes of your time overall, but will take at least an hour or more of baking time. Then you add on another hour for pressing the tofu. But like I said, it leaves plenty of downtime so you can make whatever sides that you need, do the dishes, or read a book.

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I feel as though you may all be getting the sense that Jenny is WAY more put-together than I am. I don’t always have the time to put delicious meals together (well, not AS delicious as Jen’s…but not bad!) and when I do I feel as if they just aren’t as grandiose or full of fresh farm ingredients. Not to say I don’t like eating healthy! I am also still living with my parents – so that sometimes makes the refrigerator situation a bit hectic. What I do know is that I enjoy cooking, but right now it’s just on a lower scale. As I was making my dinner (or “Din-Din” as the title would suggest) tonight I noticed that 99% of it came from Trader Joe’s, which just happens to be my favorite grocery store! They have great frozen food options, low prices, and I’m not worried about where the food is coming from. Their meats have a guarantee that they were free range and cruelty free throughout their lives (even though I am not buying meat anymore it is definitely something that I took note of) and they have a ton of vegan and vegetarian options around the store. I figured now would be as good a time as ever to start reviewing some of the food/products that I purchase from TJ’s all the time and spread the word of the great grocery deity.

Dinner: Trader Joe’s Tofu Nuggets with a Spring Mix salad (including mushrooms, english cucumber, shredded carrots and yellow papper).

Sauces: Trader Joe’s Chipotle Mango Ginger sauce, Trader Joe’s Balsamic Vinaigrette, Sriracha

Living the childhood dream of eating nothing but nuggets.

Living the childhood dream of eating nothing but nuggets.

The Nuggets: I picked these up on a whim one day as I was going through the frozen food section. I figured it was worth a shot and it looked as if they were easy to prepare and would be good to bring to work. Turns out – they’re pretty delicious! Even Mr. Ian likes them! I put them into my toaster oven for about 10 minutes and they get a nice crispy outer layer but are still soft on the inside, which includes tofu, carrots and edamame. These tofu nuggets are also great because they are really reasonably priced, I think the bag only cost me $3 or $4? I checked the bag for ingredients and noticed that it was certified vegetarian, not vegan though. As much as I wanted this to be a super simple vegan meal for MOFO … I failed. I tried guys I promise!

You may not believe it... but there is DEFINITELY some lettuce under there!

You may not believe it… but there is DEFINITELY some lettuce under there!

The Salad: I want to start this off by saying that I wish I had a CSA near me or was able to go to more farmer’s markets. I love the idea of buying local produce and being able to use it all in my meals…but unfortunately I have to settle for now. When I go to TJ’s I usually end up getting a few different bagged lettuces (I know..it’s never really something I thought I would do!!) and they tend to be pretty solid for what they are. I like to get some darker and leafier greens because of their health value and mix it up with just a little bit of butter lettuce to make it a little crispier. This salad only contains mixed greens though! I also LOVE cucumber – so I accidentally cut up more than I originally planned on…woops!
Note: While I normally don’t buy much produce from Trader Joe’s (I find that it’s just not that great in quality and not very extensive so I go to the supermarket closer to my house for all of that) I will say that their cucumbers, yellow/red/green peppers, mushrooms and carrots are all good and delicious. I have never had any weird problems with them in the past and can feel comfortable that it won’t go bad in a day or so (I haven’t had great luck with their apples…).

Sweet & Spicy...the perfect combo!

Sweet & Spicy…the perfect combo!

The Sauces: I love sriracha. I am surprised that this bottle has lasted me this long. I’m pretty sure that I use it for almost everything, and tonight was no exception! The mango ginger chutney sauce seems to be a fairly new product at Trader Joe’s, they has it EVERYWHERE the first time I picked it up. I love all of those flavors so I figured they would be 1) delicious together and 2) delicious on other things. It’s already a little bit spicy on its own, but I wanted more so I added the sriracha for that extra kick. Turns out it was a good choice! 

dressing

When I was younger I was never really a fan of any other dressing besides ranch…or any other creamy dressing. I think the flavors may have just been slightly too strong for me? Not too sure…but I haven’t had ranch in years because I found out that putting it on a salad is defeating the purpose of a salad! Trader Joe’s (Giotto’s??) balsamic is perfectly tart and savory, and it doesn’t have random floaty bits in it like some other balsamic dressings. Whenever I run out of it I go into panic mode because all of the other salad dressings in the house are mediocre at best.

So I guess it seems that it’s pretty obvious that I enjoy Trader Joe’s…if anyone else who reads loves it too let me know in the comments! If you have a favorite item I might go pick it up and review it here :). Life is too short to not try new things.


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I have been plagued by this question- would Sailor Moon be a vegan? I feel like she would. So far I’ve only seen her eat mochi and toast, and that is in fact vegan. Actually, that’s not true. She is always eating generic bento boxes, which probably has some meats or fish packed in there. But I blame Usagi’s Mom, she is the one making the meals. I just picture Usagi sitting in her room eating lots of mochi and Earth Balance Mac and Cheese.

Realistically Sailor Mars would be the vegan since she is a shrine maiden. Shintoism has deep respect for animals, so Rei probably does as well (and her favorite food is vegetarian pizza, whatever that means). Or maybe Sailor Jupitar would be vegan? She is such a good cook that she looks for a challenge by cooking vegan food. She would save so much money! Although Sailor Neptune could be vegan since she is so smart.

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jajangmyeon1 So the other day I was making Jajangmyeon and went into my blog archives for the recipe that I posted almost a year ago. To my horror, the instructions were TERRIBLE! I mean so bad that I was embarrassed to keep the recipe up. The image was broken, and the original photo was terrible. I wouldn’t think so much improvement with my posts would happen in such a short amount of time. But Jajangmyeon is one of my favorite dishes, and I just had to keep the world in the loop of this yummy dish. I originally grew up eating this because of my Aunt Hannah. She is Korean immigrant who married into my family. She would bring packages that looked like ramen that she called “Black Spaghetti.” She taught me her special way of cooking them. If I was in an Asian food market I would snatch up as many as I could. When I went to college in Philadelphia I had access to Korean restaurants. I became obsessed with finding one that would serve these black bean noodles. When I finally found one, I became sold on fresh jajangmyeon. They were pricey, so I learned how to make the noodles myself. Since I had it fresh, I found out those dinky ramen packets were pretty terrible. Continue reading


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Summer is in full swing and that means it is the season for frozen treats. The bad thing about not having dairy is that it really limits your options. Most store bought snacks have milk or full of dyes and chemicals. And the ones that are better for you have a high price tag. I would make my own ice cream, except it makes a lot of dishes to wash at the end of the night. So I’ve been trying to make popsicles as much as I can. It is an easy clean, and I only need two things: a blender and popsicle molds.

So I’ve been making a bunch of different pops, experimenting and learning in the process. I have even posted a recipe from awhile ago on Mexican Chocolate Pops. I recently made a new favorite- Matcha and Avocado Pops. It might sound weird, but hear me out. They are REALLY yummy.

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I don’t mind recipes that require a lot of time, but have little work. I find it nice to prepare a meal, and have an hour or so to clean up, or prepare upcoming lunches (and still have time to sit around and check emails). So from time to time I try and dabble in casseroles. I picked this dish for our withdrawal diet. At the time we introduced soy, but still couldn’t have any wheat.

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This recipe was adapted by a curry cauliflower-fennel toss, but most of those spices were removed. The flavor is most emphasized by balsamic vinegar. Gourmet balsamic vinegars are becoming very popular, and I have two locals stores that make their very own. I HIGHLY recommend using a higher end vinegar. I used a white orange balsamic vinegar for the one featured in the photo. Continue reading