Between the finches visiting our bird feeders and the trees starting to blossom, spring is certainly in the air here in northeastern Georgia. We’ve even managed to eat a couple of dinners outside on the deck, though we had to wear light jackets and sweaters. Even though it’s warming up, there’s never a bad time for a hot bowl of chili, especially on Meatless Mondays when you can substitute healthy tofu and beans for ground turkey or beef.
This vegan chili recipe from the folks at House Foods is high in protein and low in fat. With the extra vitamin C from the chili pods and the capsaicin revving up your metabolism, House Foods’ Tofu Chili is packed with both flavor and health benefits. House Foods Premium Tofu is non-GMO verified, made from certified organic soybeans grown in the US, kosher-verified and gluten free.
While great on its own, try serving the tofu chili on brown rice or quinoa.
Recipe by House Foods
- 1 package House Foods Tofu Extra Firm, drained and cubed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (1 large clove)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 16-ounce can kidney beans
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 can low sodium tomato sauce
- dash paprika
- Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender.
- Add vegetable broth, bell pepper, jalapeno, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and kidney beans, stirring to combine.
- Add tomato sauce and simmer for about 30 minutes or until kidney beans and peppers are cooked through.
- Add cubed tofu and cook additional minute or two. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe and photo provided by House Foods and used with permission.
This week’s Meatless Monday post comes to you courtesy of San-J and Carol Kicinski, renowned chef, food writer and gluten free blogger at Simply…Gluten Free. Carol created a quick and easy weeknight dish that only uses six nutritious ingredients, which you can use as either a main or a side dish.
I always have a bottle of San-J Gluten-Free Tamari in my cupboard, which I substitute for regular soy sauce. San-J also sells an organic version, which I like even better. Both versions have a low sodium variety as well – love how San-J gives us lots of choices!
Tofu and Green Bean Stir Fry
- 1/4 cup San-J Gluten-Free Tamari
- 2 tablespoons gluten free sweet chili garlic sauce
- 1 pound extra firm tofu
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons oil, use divided
- 1 pound green beans, cleaned trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- Combine the San-J Gluten-Free Tamari with the chili garlic sauce, set aside.
- Cut tofu into 1/2 inch cubes, pat dry with paper towels and put into a mixing bowl with the cornstarch, toss to coat.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat until it starts to shimmer, add half the tofu in an even layer in the pan. Cook the tofu undisturbed for 2 minutes. Gently flip and stir the tofu. Continue to cook and stir until the tofu is lightly golden brown on all sides, 3 - 4 minutes. Remove the tofu to a plate and set aside. Heat 1 more tablespoon of oil in the pan and cook the remaining tofu the same way. Remove from pan.
- Reduce heat to medium; add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the green beans. Cook the green beans, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup of water and continue to cook the beans for 3 minutes or until they are bright green and crisp tender. Increase the heat back up to high, add the reserved sauce mixture and boil for 1 minute or until it reduces slightly.
- Add the tofu and cook for 1 minute. Serve immediately.
- Serving size: 1/r4 to 1/6 of recipe
Recipe and photo used with permission.
Disclosure: San-J recently sent me samples of their gluten free products to try out. All experiences and opinions are my own.
It’s always a challenge to cook up healthy desserts for the holidays. That’s why I’m sharing this recipe for Chocolate Ginger Mousse from Chef Anthony Stewart, Executive Chef of the Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa. Regular chocolate mousse can tally up 8 grams of artery-clogging saturated fat, which is more saturated fat than many cheeseburgers! There’s zero saturated fat in Pritikin’s Chocolate Ginger Mousse.
Chef Anthony has worked with thousands of guests to create healthier versions of their favorite, tasty foods. He’s won accolades worldwide, including five gold medals in top culinary competitions, for his masterful use of foodstuffs like fresh seafood and tropical fruit from his native Jamaica. When not in the kitchen, he’s in the classroom, and has inspired thousands of Pritikin guests “to have some fun!”
For more information about Pritikin, please visit pritikin.com.
Chocolate Ginger Mousse
- 4 ounces Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons Splenda
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 12 ounces firm or extra firm silken tofu
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger juice (Slice off skin of ginger root, then grate the root and squeeze to extract juice.)
- Optional garnish: 4 fresh raspberries
- In a small stainless steel bowl, combine cocoa powder, Splenda and hot water. Stir till mixture has a smooth, thick, fudge-like consistency, adding more water as you stir, if needed.
- In a food processor, blend tofu till completely smooth, about 10 seconds. Then add fudge, vanilla extract, and ginger juice, and blend until smooth.
- Place mixture in parfait glasses. If desired, garnish each glass with a raspberry, and serve cold.
This Mama’s tips
- Party serving idea: place the mousse in a mini dessert glass and garnish with a single raspberry and mint leaf.
- For variation, add mint leaves or mint extract, or sugar-free orange marmalade.
- You can also garnish with a few shavings of dark or white chocolate.
Recipe and photograph courtesy of Pritikin.
As an Udi’s Gluten Free Community Leader, I know that the Thanksgiving holiday is especially hard for anyone who’s gluten free, has food sensitivities or allergies, or are just trying to eat healthy since everything seems to have wheat flour, cream, sugar, butter and nuts. That’s why we’ll be having a chat at Udi’s Gluten Free Community next week on Wednesday, November 7 at 8 pm EST to discuss the challenges Thanksgiving brings. You can find the chat here. Hope you can join us!
It’s also why I’d like to share a recipe I got from Simply Soy, a wonderful cookbook put together by the Soyfoods Council. It was given to me earlier this year when they invited me to Iowa to learn about soybean production and the benefits of soy in your diet.
Planning a Southern Thanksgiving
I’m making a southern-style Thanksgiving this year as it’s our first year living in Georgia. To me, nothing is more southern than cornbread dressing with the turkey, so I’ll be making Bon Appetit’s Cornbread, Sausage, and Pecan Dressing, but using pine nuts instead of pecans since my daughter’s allergic to nuts.
Unfortunately, most cornbread mixes contain wheat flour or “from scratch recipes” contain milk or eggs. Instead, this recipe from Didi Emmons, author of Entertaining for a Veggie Planet, uses tofu to make a dense, moist bread, and I’ve substituted an all-purpose gluten free baking mix for the flour. You can make it in any size pan, including an 8-inch square or round cake pan. It’s also a great cornbread for vegans as it contains no butter, dairy or eggs.
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 3/4 cup all-purpose gluten free baking mix
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (gluten free)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh or dried rosemary, optional
- 8 ounces firm water-packed tofu, drained
- 5 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or oil a 9×5–inch loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, all-purpose gluten free baking mix, baking powder, salt, and rosemary. Mix well.
- In another bowl, squeeze the tofu through your hands until it is the consistency of scrambled eggs. Stir in the oil and 1 cup water. Add this to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. (The batter will be very dry.)
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, and bake until a knife inserted comes out clean, about 45 – 50 minutes.
- Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then rap the pan sharply to remove the bread, and cool the bread on a rack for at least another 20 minutes before slicing.
- Serving size: 1 slice
Disclosure: As a Udi's Gluten Free Community Leader I'm compensated for my time and efforts on their behalf. In addition, I was invited to an all expenses paid editor’s trip by the Soyfoods Council. All experiences and opinions are my own.
As promised in my Healthier Lemon Pasta post for this month’s Secret Recipe Club, here’s my version of Tofu Sour Cream is based on a recipe from the Vegan Epicurean. I made the following changes to her recipe:
Vinegar: I used NAKANO Natural Rice Vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar. I find that NAKANO’s rice vinegars have a milder flavor and are less acidic, which I like. You could have a little fun with this recipe and use some of NAKANO’s flavored vinegars, too, like Roasted Garlic or Red Pepper, for a fun flavor twist.
Tofu: I was confused over the type of tofu the Vegan Epicurean used, since I’m not familiar with Mori Nu lite silken tofu (firm). Is it firm or silken? After doing a little research, I found out that all of Mori Nu’s tofus are silken and come in soft, firm or extra firm. However, other brands’ silken tofus are actually soft tofus, which are good for soups, dips and smoothies.
I ended up using Nasoya’s Silken Tofu, so the consistency of my sour cream was very runny. This was fine for my Healthier Lemon Pasta, but next time I want to make something the consistency of sour cream, I’ll use a firm tofu. I also changed the amount of tofu used since I like using the full tub. Having a few ounces left over of tofu means I have to remember it’s in the refrigerator and use it in a recipe before it goes bad. Usually, I forget and find a science experiment waiting for me in the far reaches of the fridge. Hate that!
Lemon zest and lemon juice: I cut back on both ingredients and still could taste the lemon. That was fine since I was using it in a lemon flavored dish. However, next time I may cut back even further. I love lemon, but it doesn’t go with everything.
- 1 (14-16 ounce) package firm tofu, preferably organic
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons NAKANO Natural Rice Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon agave, stevia or other sugar substitute
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process several minutes, until very creamy and smooth.
- Firms up when chilled. Refrigerate sour cream until it is ready to be used.
- Serving size: varies
Connect with NAKANO
Sign up for Mizkan’s “Splash Recipe Club!” When you join the club you get exclusive recipes, access to special features and more! Each month one new member could win a $150 leading up to a grand prize of $600 in March 2013. You can also connect with NAKANO on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.
Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of NAKANO, provided compensation for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own.
It’s not often that I try a new recipe and have my husband, Paul, tell me, “Hun, this is one of my favorite things you make.” So needless to stay, this month’s Secret Recipe Club dish from Jen at Jen’s Journey will be a dinner time staple at our house from now on. He loved. I loved it. The kids thought it was OK, but it disappeared off their plates. So I bet they loved it, too.
Making Lemon Pasta dairy free and gluten free
Jen’s recipe for Lemon Pasta is based on a Baked Lemon Pasta recipe from the Pioneer Woman. I’ve further modified it by substituting a tofu sour cream for the regular sour cream since I can’t eat dairy products, with the exception of cheese, because of my whey food sensitivity. (My recipe Tofu Sour Cream is based on this recipe from the Vegan Epicurean. Here's my version of the Tofu Sour Cream recipe.) If you need to avoid cheese, you can use vegan Parmesan sprinkles or skip the Parmesan altogether.
If you can have dairy, you can health up the Lemon Pasta by using a low fat sour cream or non-fat Greek yogurt. I also cooked this with a buttery spread to further lower the saturated fat. I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light, but Earth’s Balance spreads are very good and vegan to boot. I like both brands and go back and forth depending on where I’m shopping and what’s on sale. (Note: ICBINB is not vegan as it contains a little bit of milk.)
As for pasta, I used whole wheat, but gluten free brown rice pasta would work well, too. Variation wise, I’m wondering if capers would be good in this, since capers and lemon work well together in dishes like Chicken Piccata. Or maybe some sliced black olives. Hmmmm, maybe next time!
Healthier Lemon Pasta
- 1 box spaghetti
- 4 tablespoons buttery spread
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 2 cups sour cream, vegan sour cream or non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- Flat-leaf parsley, chopped – to taste for garnish, plus extra for serving
- Cook spaghetti al dente in salted water. Drain, rinse, and place spaghetti back in pot. Place lid on pot to keep spaghetti warm and set aside.
- Juice one lemon into a bowl. Strain to remove pulp and seeds.
- In a skillet, melt butter with olive oil over medium low heat. When butter is melted, add minced garlic and lemon juice. Turn off heat.
- Add your sour cream (or sour cream substitute) to the butter and oil mixture. Add lemon zest and salt. Stir everything together and taste. Add more salt if necessary.
- Pour sour cream mixture over drained spaghetti and toss. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of water or milk.
- Place spaghetti in a large serving bowl and then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley.
- Serve with extra grated cheese and parsley on the side.
- Serving size: 1/4 of recipe
More from the Secret Recipe Club!
Whey and pressed tofu
Pressing the tofu
Making tofu is very much like making cheese, except you put soybeans and water in a blender and make milk instead of getting it from a cow, goat or sheep. To learn more about making tofu at home, read “How to make tofu—no fancy equipment required.” from La Fuji Mama.
Also, even though Carol’s directions are to serve it hot, I bet it would make a terrific summer time cold pasta salad dish, too.
Gluten Free Spicy Ginger Tofu Noodle Salad
- 1/3 cup San-J Gluten Free Tamari Ginger Dressing
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you want it spicier)
- 1 pound gluten free brown rice fettuccini style pasta
- Gluten free non-stick cooking spray
- 1 pound firm tofu
- 4 ounces shitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
- 1 English (hothouse) cucumber
- 1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into small dice
- Salt & pepper
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Whisk together the San-J Gluten Free Tamari Ginger Dressing with the garlic powder and red pepper flakes.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with hot water. Add the dressing and toss to coat.
- While the pasta is cooking pat the tofu dry with paper towels and cut into 1 inch pieces. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray the pay heavily with non-stick cooking spray and add the tofu pieces.
- Let cook for 1 – 2 minutes undisturbed or until they are golden brown. Flip the pieces over and continue cooking until browned on all sides. When the tofu is done, remove from the skillet, add to the pasta and add the mushroom slices to the hot skillet and cook until browned, stirring often, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the pasta.
- Peel the cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, scrap out the seeds with a spoon, cut into thin slices and add to the pasta. Reserve some of the chopped cilantro for garnish and add the rest to the pasta along with the green onions and bell pepper. Toss everything together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the reserved cilantro leaves and the sesame seeds.
- Serving size: 1/4 to 1/6 of recipe
Recipe and photo used with permission. © 2012 San-J International. All rights reserved.
It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Meatless Monday post. Frankly, they’re a bit of a challenge since I usually cook around some sort of animal protein I can find in my freezer like venison or fish. Even so, it’s not much of a challenge for anyone to substitute slices of firm tofu instead of chicken, especially since tofu’s perfect for soaking up the flavors of anything you cook it in like Sun-Bird’s Bourbon Chicken Seasoning Mix.
Add some baby bok choy and you have a quick, Asian inspired Meatless Monday dish. You can serve this alone or add some brown rice or quinoa for a heartier dish!
Please note that Sun-Bird’s Boubon Chicken Seasoning Mix does contain wheat, so isn’t gluten free. It also contains soy and milk. Sun-Bird has many seasonings that may work better for your food sensitivities or allergies. Check the ingredient label to make sure!
Baby Bok Choy and Tofu in Bourbon Sauce
- 1 19-20 ounce block extra firm or firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch thick squares.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 6 baby bok choy
- 1 packet Sun-Bird Bourbon Chicken Seasoning Mix
- 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 1/2 tablespoons powdered stevia, like Stevia in the Raw
- 1 cup water
- Prepare the baby bok choy by filling your clean sink with cold water.
- Slice the baby bok choy lengthwise in half keeping the leaves attached.
- Soak the cut bok choy in the cold water to remove any trapped dirt.
- Combine seasoning from the Sun-Bird packet, soy sauce, stevia and water in a bowl and set aside.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil.
- Lift the bok choy out of the soaking water and lay it, still wet, into the frying pan in an even layer. Cook each side until the leaves have wilted, but the core and stems remain slightly firm.
- Remove from pan and place in an oven safe dish. Keep cooked bok choy in a warm oven.
- Heat frying pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil.
- Add tofu squares and gently saute until slightly golden brown.
- Stir in seasoning mixture and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes until sauce has thickened.
- Add in cooked baby bok choy and gently stir to combine. Serve.
- Calories: 353
- Calories from Fat: 136
- Total Fat: 15.1g
- Saturated fat: 2.0g
- Unsaturated fat: 13.1g
- Sodium: 1353mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 37.2g
- Sugar: 15.8g
- Fiber: 13.9g
- Protein: 30.3g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Disclosure: Guenther, the parent company of Sun-Bird, provided compensation for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own