Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Vegetarian: Ginger Baked Tofu with Agave Peanut Sauce Recipe

March 10th, 2008 yum Posted in Peanut, Vegan, Vegetarian, low-sugar, tofu 9 Comments »

tofuinsauce.jpgtofuanquinoa.jpgLast week I planned to make a recipe for grilled sesame tofu skewers with ginger nut-butter sauce adapted from a March Vegetarian times recipe. But when the night arrived to make the recipe, somehow I didn’t feel like making it as written, or even loosely based on the recipe. It had a fair amount of sugar, and sesame oil. While both are yummy, I’m not sure either is all that good for me, so I decided to take a different approach. I had a craving for deep fried, crispy tofu- but I didn’t want to use all that oil. So, I took a page from an online recipe for baked french fries and crisped the tofu in the oven at high temperature, using minimal oil and seasoning another small portion of oil with garlic and ginger for maximum flavor. The result was delicious, and the accompanying peanut sauce beautifully complemented the salty, mild tofu. The first night we had the tofu with quinoa and roasted cauliflower sprinkled with torn, fresh basil. (I’m now a cauliflower FIEND, thanks to this incredible cauliflower recipe). Later I enjoyed leftovers with buckwheat cereal, and it was a surprisingly tasty breakfast. I’ve made many peanut sauces, and this one was unique due to its mild flavor with agave-sweetness. Using a little soy milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk) made it extra creamy. So, if you’re bored by your usual tofu recipes, why not try tofu prepared a new way? And if you are soy intolerant, you can enjoy the peanut sauce on your favorite protein source, or even on pasta. Cauliflower also marries very well with this dish- in fact, with a little tweaking of seasoning, this peanut sauce would be awesome on some roasted cauliflower! Who needs cheese, when you can have a gorgeous, creamy nut based sauce?

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In the mood for cauliflower?
Try my recipe for Mashed Cauliflower
Want another type of peanut sauce tofu?
Try this Tofu Mushroom Peanut Sauce Recipe
Only want an awesome Peanut sauce recipe? No Problem!
Or how about Sweet Potato Peanut Soup?
You can even try a Peanut Southern Style Green Recipe

Ginger Baked Tofu with Agave Peanut Sauce
Ingredients
Tofu:
1 package firm tofu (garlic tofu is ideal)
1 tbsp or less oil of choice (I used olive oil)
1 slice fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
salt

Sauce:
1/4 cup natural peanut butter (unsalted)
dash salt (leave out if using salted peanut butter)
1/4 tsp chili garlic sauce (or less, to taste)
Lemon juice from one lemon slice (1/8 of one med. lemon)
1 sm. knob ginger, grated
1 brief tip of soy milk, coconut milk, or rice milk- one or two tbsp.
1 garlic clove, pressed or grated
1/4 tsp agave nectar
smoked paprika or chipotle pepper if you prefer more heat
water to achieve desired smooth texture

Infused oil:
1 tsp. oil of choice
1 slice fresh ginger, peeled and minced
5 cloves garlic, minced

Directions
Slice your tofu in half horizontally and press between a towel for at least 30 min. to drain. Next, cut your tofu in desired shape- either a french fry type shape or cubed. Toss into a baking dish with your oil, salt lightly and bake in a 450 degree oven for 30 minutes, turning tofu at the 20 minute mark. Sprinkle baked tofu with your grated ginger evenly and return to oven for at least another 10 minutes.

Combine all ingredients for your sauce in a small bowl and add water until the sauce is as liquid as you like. Note- you probably just want the juice from most of the ginger so you can avoid stringiness in the sauce- jut a little of the grated ginger itself. Taste as you go- this was a recipe I made up as I went along, and amounts are approximate. Vary it to suit your palate!

While tofu is baking, towards the end of the cooking period heat your oil to med-low in a small nonstick pan and add your minced garlic and ginger. Let the seasonings heat and stir them once or twice, then lowering the heat and letting the garlic brown (but not burn!!!).

When tofu is golden brown to your liking, add the tofu to the garlic and ginger in the small pan and get as much of the oil and seasoning onto the tofu as possible. Add a drizzle of salt and serve in a pretty plate, with the sauce on the side.

Additional Pictures
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Vegetarian International Recipes at Home: Corn Quesadilla Recipe with Rice and Beans and Thai Peanut Noodle Salad Recipe

January 3rd, 2008 yum Posted in Corn Tortillas, Mexican, Peanut, Salad, Thai, Vegetables, Vegetarian, tortillas 4 Comments »

salad4.jpgWhen I returned from my month long trip to India and then Austria, one of the things I was most looking forward to was being in my gluten-free kitchen again. Silly? Maybe, but being away from home, especially somewhere where you don’t speak the language, can offer all kinds of dining challenges, and I was pretty tired of the gluten-free staples I’d relied on overseas. Potatoes and cold salads can be tasty, but I was ready for some variety. The first meal I prepared when I returned home was boring, but something I always crave after a long flight- gluten-free pasta and tomato sauce from a jar with Parmesan cheese. Gourmet, no? Ok, maybe not. But to me it is the ultimate comfort dish. DH enjoyed it as well when I switched from rice pasta to Mrs. Leepers corn pasta. But that’s not a very blog-worthy meal, and I have so many things to post about from my trip. Posts on the drawing board include…

South Indian Cuisine: Dosas, Idli’s and other naturally gluten-free foods
Reformhaus or Health Food Stores in Austria and Germany: Review of Gluten-free foods by 3Pauly, Schar, etc.
Dining Gluten-Free in Restaurants in Austria: Vienna, Salzburg, and Fussen
Gluten-Free Gasthaus: My Experience at a Zoeliakie Bed and Breakfast in Austria
Decoding a Coffee Menu in German: How to order the perfect gluten-free espresso beverage

Also, now that I’ve been exposed to the cake and coffee culture in Austria, I’ve been inspired to come up with gluten-free recipes for all kinds of Austrian cakes. You can expect experiments for Apple Strudel, a Gluten-free Sacher-style torte (Chocolate Cake), and more.

I’m torn between experiences of the past and present at the moment. I definitely want to share all of my past experiences with you, but now that I’m back home I have a lot of tasty plans for new dishes. So, I think I’ll alternate posts about our trip with posts about my latest culinary creations. Our first real meal home was basmati rice with southern fried tofu and roasted chili garlic broccoli. But after that, I started playing around with some new recipes. To use up leftover basmati rice, I came up with Spanish Rice Quesadillas with Refried Bean Recipe for a tasty and healthy breakfast. DH made a special request for dinner, asking for a “main dish salad with Asian flavors.” I adapted a sauce recipe from an unpretentious cookbook called “All You Can Eat Chinese and Thai Cooking” and came up with a mixture of lettuce, carrots, jicama, apple, and rice noodles for the base of the salad- enough carbs and vegetables to make us both happy. DH proclaimed it to be exactly what he wanted, and oddly enough, it turned out to be just what I wanted, too. In fact, it was so good I wanted to share it with you all right away. My next post will probably be the conclusion of my series on our Indian culinary experience, but for now, here’s a little taste of the activity in my kitchen lately. I plan on making a batch of DFIL’s Gluten-Free Norwegian Christmas Bread today, and still intend to share Adeena’s yummy recipe for Gluten-free Teff Dinner Rolls, so you can expect to see these recipes soon, too… Enjoy!

*note: as always, you can substitute any nut butter for the peanut butter in this recipe.

Spanish Rice Quesadillas with Refried Beans
Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
2 or 3 cups cold long grained rice (white or brown)
1 whole white onion, diced
1 tbsp capers, diced
1-2 cloves garlic
2 tsp or more whole cumin seeds
sprinkling of fajita seasoning

corn tortillas
canned vegetarian refried pinto beans
1 or 2 oz. skim mozarella or other white, lowfat cheese, sliced (optional)

1/2 fresh jicama, cubed
1/2 fresh avocado, cubed
salt
lime juice

hot sauce if desired

Directions
Heat your olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat and add diced onion when hot. Sautee your diced onion and when it begins to look translucent, add your capers, garlic, and cumin seed. When seasonings are warm, add rice and sprinkle it with fajita spices and mix. If you have room, move your rice over and heat a dash of little peanut oil in a corner of the pan, adding your mashed refried beans to the oil and letting them heat. If you like, take two corn tortillas and heat them one side on the surface of the cast iron pan, moving the rice so that it is on top of the tortilla. When one side of the tortilla is lightly browned, turn over one tortilla, and layer cheese (if desired), the refried beans, some seasoned rice, and the other tortilla, with the browned side facing the filling. Let the cheese melt and turn over your quesadilla so both sides are browned.

Prepare your jicama and avocado, sprinkle them with salt and squeeze some lime juice on them. Top your quesadilla with extra seasoned, mexican rice and the seasoned jicama and avocado. Add some hot sauce to the edges of your plate and enjoy.

Notes
This was a good way to use up the basmati rice DH wasn’t especially excited about…
Cold Szechuan Sesame Noodle Salad
Ingredients
Mild Szechwan Peanut Sauce:
3 tbsp natural peanut butter
2 tbsp wheat free tamari (i prefer San-J low-sodium variety)
1 tbsp water
4 tsp. sugar
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
a few drops of hot sauce (optional)

8 oz. skinny rice noodles (thai or vietnamese variety)
a few drops of sesame oil
Mild Szechuan Peanut Sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds or pine nuts

1 package firm tofu
peanut oil
salt

1/3 head of romaine lettuce
2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1/4 jicama, diced
1/2 apple, sliced (optional)
salt, lime juice

Directions
Combine ingredients for sauce in food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Prepare rice noodles by bringing water to boil, submerging your noodles, turning off the burner and letting them soak until soft. Rinse in cold water and drain, reserve.

Cut tofu block in half and press between towel for at least 30 minutes. Slice tofu into strips, heat a small amount of oil (1 tbsp, more if desired) in a cast iron pan and fry strips, turning when golden on one side. When both sides are golden, sprinkle with salt and put on plate with paper towel to get off any excess oil. When cool, cut into thin strips slightly bigger than a matchstick.

Prepare and clean lettuce, carrots, jicama, and apple. Lightly sprinkle jicama with salt and lime juice.

Make salad by preparing a bed of dry, spun lettuce leaves and topping it with the cold noodles. You can add a few drops of sesame oil (baby droplets) to the noodles to loosen them if they’ve stuck together and distribute through your serving of noodles. mix with sesame seeds or pine nuts, and other prepared vegetables (and apple). Drizzle dressing and top with tofu strips. Enjoy!

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