Friday, February 19, 2010

Eggless Egg Salad

Just because I did an article on eggs doesn't mean I've forgotten everyone who doesn't eat them. So today I thought I'd throw together a recipe that could satisfy all of those who still crave this comforting dish, yet don't want to take a chance on the eggs they get at their local grocery.

It's really easy to make, so without any further delay...voila!

Eleggant Salad


1 block firm or extra firm tofu
onion (sweet is best)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp olive oil

splash tamari

to taste:

cumin seed, crushed
mustard seed, crushed
red chilli (cayenne) powder
black salt (kala namak)

1) Drain the water from the block of tofu and freeze it for only about 2-4 hours. When it seems a little frosty on the outside, remove it from the freezer and transfer it to the refrigerator until it has thawed. You can alternatively set it on the countertop to thaw quicker.

2) Using a food processor or a good sharp knife (be careful!) and a cutting board, mince a few stalks of celery and 1/2 to 1 whole onion, depending on your tastes. Place them in a mixing bowl.

3) Squeeze as much water as you can from the block of tofu, then cut it into cubes, adding it to the bowl.

4) Use a potato masher to mash the tofu. Don't get it too smooth -- chunky and rough is what we're looking for here, to give that eggy texture.

5) Add olive oil and spices, to taste. Keep in mind you're going to need probably at least 2 tbsp of each to add sufficient flavour, and possibly more.

6) Mix thoroughly, until a uniformity is achieved.

7) Place in covered container and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Tips and Such:

- Although black salt may take a little more effort to find, it's worth it. Its sulfurous bouquet adds a very authentic eggy element to the mix, making it an extremely true taste.

- Letting mixtures like this salad and salsa, for example, rest in the refrigerator will enhance their taste. The longer mixtures like this are allowed to sit, the more the various seasonings are able to mingle and absorb. It should be left to rest for at least one hour, but ideally the whole morning, afternoon, or overnight.

- Because of the turmeric, the colour of this dish is also very true. For an extra added touch of authenticity, garnish with paprika sprinkled along the top.

- If you want a hint of sourness, try adding a little dash of your favourite vinegar. Malt vinegar works beautifully with this, and rice vinegar is also an ideal option.

Ingredient Info

Tamari is a type of soy sauce that is typically made without the wheat-soy mixture that goes into regular soy sauce, also called shouyu. Tamari is much richer and has a more intense, fuller flavour, so a little goes a very long way.

This recipe is so easy to make. It takes only about 10 minutes at most and can be prepared quickly the night before and left to let the tastes mingle. It's fantastic comfort food, just like the original recipe, but it's much healthier overall. The ingredients all have something to contribute, and they all have health benefits that cannot be denied. Comforting and can't go wrong!

So I hope that all of you will give this a try. Even if you're a big fan of its eggy cousin, my eleggant salad is a great alternative when you're watching your diet. You can guiltlessly enjoy a whole sandwich of it without being too worried about what you're eating.

So there you have it. Options for everyone, healthy meals for all!

Until next time, happy cooking as always!

};) Dhiar <3

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Light and easy recipes are always great, especially since so many are health-conscious and diet-conscious these days. And that's great! Add 'inexpensive' to the formula and it's a guaranteed winner. This recipe is all those and more.

This is a truly simple dish to prepare beforehand and finish just when you want it. You can get everything ready in just a few minutes and then keep it refrigerated for later enjoyment, whenever you want. It's so quick and easy to fix that it even serves well for an unexpected guest!

Tofu Lettuce Wraps


1/2 block firm or extra-firm tofu, frozen and thawed
Leaf lettuce
3 flour tortillas


Sesame oil
Soy sauce
orange juice
cumin powder
chilli (cayenne) powder
black salt (optional)

1) Drain the water from the tofu package and then freeze it. Once it has frozen, thaw it.

2) Once the tofu has thawed, squeeze out excess water. After tofu is frozen and thawed, you should be able to do this easily enough with your hands as long as you apply even pressure.

3) Cut the tofu in half and save the other half for later, refrigerated. Slice the remaining half into smaller pieces, cubes or strips. Place in flat dish.

4) Mix the marinade together, mixing the dry ingredients together to taste, then adding little sesame oil, a splash of soy sauce, and the remainder with orange juice, until there is enough to pour over the tofu pieces. Mix thoroughly.

5) Let the tofu mixture soak up the marinade, spooning it over the tofu pieces every few minutes. The longer you let it soak, the more flavour it will have.

6) Cook the tofu pieces with the marinade over medium to medium-high heat until the marinade is cooked in. Serve warm on shredded lettuce rolled in flour tortillas.

Tips and Such:

- If you can't get black salt, you can always use regular salt or tamari. Black salt, however, has a unique and robust taste that adds a great deal of substance to this dish, and it contributes beautifully to the marinade.

- You can use whatever lettuce you like, but don't omit it. The lettuce adds the perfect light crunch, the perfect background for the rich, robust tofu. Fresh, cool lettuce is best for this recipe, absolutely ideal.

- If you don't want to use flour tortillas, you can use sandwich wraps. Use a flat bread of some kind that won't overpower the flavours mingling with this dish.

And there you have it! These wraps are fantastic alone, but they're superb paired up with a nice pickle, a refreshing salad, or some light crisps. They're wonderful in winter, spring, summer, or fall, and they're so simple and inexpensive, yet always fulfilling for a meal.

I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I have.

Until next time!

};) Dhiar <3