How To Make Tofu Taste Good

 

Flavorful Baked Tofu

Soy has been viewed with controversy in the US for years. The truth is, scientific evidence has shown soy to be beneficial and protective as a plant protein source for decades. Asian countries that consume soy as a normal part of their diet, have less incidence of hormonal cancers (such as breast and prostate) than countries that don’t. However, there is a caveat. Organic soy as a food, is metabolized differently than soy that is processed into protein powders or supplements. Additionally, soy that is not organic may actually increase the risk of hormonal cancers. When I suggest for my patients to try organic tofu, as a form of plant protein, many say they don’t know how to cook it so it tastes good. There are some simple ways to prepare tofu to fix that problem! Here, I offer you a basic recipe for how to make tofu that you can eat as a snack by itself, or add to stir-fries, soups or, salad topper. Again, make sure your tofu is organic. I prefer to use tofu that is “extra firm”. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

Ingredients

  • 1 package extra firm organic tofu packed in water
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or almond butter optional
  • 1/4 cup tablespoons liquid aminos or organic soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper or more to taste optional
  • 2 cloves crushed/chopped garlic let this sit for 10 min after crushing before adding it
  • 1 tsp grated ginger root
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Remove the tofu from the package and wrap it in a cotton kitchen towel. Place a heavy pan upon it (a cast iron frying pan works well). Let it sit for 1 hour or more till the water runs out and the tofu is firm.
  2. While tofu is pressing, chop and rest your garlic, add the garlic and remaining ingredients to a bowl big enough to eventually mix the tofu in to. Stir with a whisk or fork to make a smooth slurry.
  3. Once the pressing is complete, cut the tofu into cubes and add it to the slurry. Mix it carefully with your hands so the marinade is incorporated into the tofu. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
  4. If you don’t have time for the marinating step, you can skip it, but it tastes more flavorful, the longer it marinates. (if you prepare this the night before you plan to cook it, it will be easier to organize your prep time).
  5. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take a cookie sheet and line with place parchment paper, or, a silicone baking mat, and carefully place the tofu on it leaving a half-inch distance between the cubes. Brush any remaining marinade onto the tofu.
  6. Let it bake for 20 to 30 min or until the tofu has hardened and the marinade is dry.
  7. Carefully transfer using a spatula and add to stir-fries or use as a snack.
  8. If not using immediately, refrigerate and eat within 3 days.

Recipe Notes

*all ingredients should be organic

Dr. Kumar’s Anti-Oxidant Zucchini and Vegetable Stir Fry

 

Dr. Kumar’s Antioxidant Zucchini and Vegetable Stir Fry

Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 medium medium zucchini chopped in 1 inch long slices 
  • ¼ cauliflower (optional) cut into florets
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1 medium green tomato (optional) chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil 
  • ¾ tsp 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp 1/4 tsp Asafetida
  • 1 small onion or shallot sliced
  • 4 cloves 4 garlic cloves chopped and rested for 10 min 
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes  
  • ½ tsp gray salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder 
  • 1 grind fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp coriander powder 

Instructions

  1. Chop the garlic and let it rest while you are chopping other vegetables. Cut the zucchini into half inch long pieces, cut the cauliflower into florets, chop the tomatoes and onion or shallot.

  2. Heat the oil and add cumin seeds and asafetida.  Fry till cumin seeds are dark brown or roasted.  (If you are on an oil free diet, you can roast these dry).  Add the onions and garlic and let the onion sweat for 2 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. 

  3. Add the onions and garlic and let the onion sweat for 2 minutes, stirring to prevent burning.  Add turmeric powder and let it roast for 1 minute.  Add a grind of pepper on the turmeric as it is heating.

  4. Stir the vegetables with spices together and cover with a lid for 5 to 6 minutes till zucchini is slightly soft and the peel is a vibrant green. 

  5. Garnish with chopped cilantro. 

Recipe Notes

You may add or substitute any other vegetable of your choice.  

This is a fast and easy side dish to prepare and tastes wonderful with lentil soup or Dal.

The Life Changing Loaf of Bread with Olives and Caraway

 

The Life Changing Loaf of Bread with Olives and Caraway

One of my favorite recipe books and websites is Sarah Britton’s My New Roots I am excited to share this with you and am featuring and nourishing and nutritious vegan and gluten free recipe that is comforting in any season.

Course Side Dish
Servings 6 people
Author Sarah Britton

Ingredients

  • 1 c sunflower seeds
  • ½ c flax seeds
  • ½ c hazelnuts or almonds
  • c glute free rolled oats
  • 2 t Chia seeds
  • 4 T psyllium seed husks (3 if using powder)
  • 1 t fine sea salt
  • 1 T caraway seed
  • 1 T pure maple syrup
  • 3 T coconut oil or ghee melted½
  • ½ c kalamata olives pitted and chopped

Instructions

  1. In a flexible silicone loaf pan (or parchment lined loaf pan), combine sunflower and flax seeds, nuts, oats, chia seeds psyllium husks, sea salt, and caraway seeds, stirring well. 

  2. Whisk the maple syrup, oil and 1 1/2 cups water together in a measuring cup.  Add this mixture plus the chopped olives to the dry ingredients and mix until everything is completely soaked and the dough becomes very thick ( if the dough is too thick to stir, add 1 or 2 tsp of water until it is manageable).  Smooth out the top with the back of the spoon.  Let sit out on the counter covered for at least 3 hours or overnight.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F

  4. Bake the loaf on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes (it may take longer till the top is bit dry.  Check it periodically).  Remove the bread from the loaf pan, turn it upside down directly onto the oven rack and bake for another 40 min to an hour.  The bread is done when it sounds hollow when it is tapped.  Let the bread cool completely before slicing; to slice it easily, use a very sharp, smooth knife instead of a serrated bread knife.

  5. Store the bread in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  (It also freezes well so slice before freezing for quick and easy toast.)

Dr. Kumar’s Golden Milk

 

Dr. Kumar’s Golden Milk

Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of hemp or almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon of grated organic turmeric root
  • A pinch of saffron
  • 1 grind of black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of crushed cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of grated ginger
  • 1 tsp of honey or maple syrup
  • a pinch of cinnamon optional

Instructions

  1. Boil all ingredients on low heat for 10 min until incorporated and the milk is fragrant with a deep yellow color.
  2. Strain and transfer to a mug and add honey or maple syrup. Add a pinch of cinnamon if you desire.

Recipe Notes

I use grated fresh turmeric root as it is less bitter when used in Golden milk and less likely to have contaminants than turmeric powder.
* The piperine (active ingredient) in black pepper increases curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) absorption by up to 2,000% in the human body as curcumin by itself is not well-absorbed by the body on its own.

Antioxidant Rich Blueberry Smoothie

 

ANTIOXIDANT RICH BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE

Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen organic blueberries
  • 1 cup hemp milk
  • ½ overripe banana
  • ½ tsp cardamom seed
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • ¼ c hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 tsp mesquite powder

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in the blender and blend till smooth - add milk until desired thickness is achieved.

Immune Boosting Ice Cream

 

Immune Boosting Ice Cream

Vegan, immune boosting and delicious on a hot summer day!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Author Rose Kumar M.D.

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ t cardamom

Instructions

  1. Peel and slice ripe bananas into 1/2 inch rounds, and arrange on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place in your freezer for 2 to 3 hours.  When frozen solid, place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend on medium high till pulverized.  Use a spatula to scrape off the sides.  You may need to add a splash of non-dairy milk or water to help the fruit incorporate.  It will begin to come together with a creamy texture.  Scoop into ice cream dishes and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

The combination of blueberries and cardamom has been shown to significantly increase the number and activity of Natural Killer cells which kill viruses and cancer cells.

Overripe bananas are sweeter as the natural sugars they contain become more concentrated as they ripen reducing the need for a sweetener in the ice-cream.  They also contain a much higher percentage of antioxidants than less ripe ones.

No Knead Spelt Bread

 

No Knead Spelt Bread

Servings 12

Ingredients

  • c organic spelt flour
  • 2 ½ c warm water
  • 3 t salt
  • ½ t vinegar
  • ¾ t instant yeast

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Stir to combine with your hands. Knead the dough only till it incorporates but do not over-knead.Cover with a towel and let sit in a warm place for 6 to 8 hours (I set it on a southern facing window sill).

  2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees

  3. Once preheated, place pot with a lid in the oven

  4. Sprinkle some Spelt flour on the counter to prevent the dough from sticking. Flatten the dough a bit on the surface and fold it over itself 3 times, flattening it each time after folding.  

  5. Carefully take the preheated pot out of the oven and place on your stovetop.  It will be really hot! Drop the dough in one  motion, seam side up.  Don’t worry if it is not centered or if it is not perfectly placed.  

  6. Place the cover back on and put back in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes; then uncover the pot and let bake for another 10 min till browned.  

  7. Take out of the oven, carefully take out of the pot; place on rack let & cool completely before slicing.  

  8. This bread has a lovely crust and you will be amazed as to how much it looks like a professional loaf.

Vegan/Gluten Free Pancakes

 

Vegan/Gluten-Free Pancakes

Servings 15 pancakes

Ingredients

Dry Ingredient Mix

  • 3 cups buckwheat groats
  • 1-1/2 cups millet seeds
  • 2 tablespoons non-aluminum baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Wet Ingredient Mix

  • 2 cups of Dry Mix above
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax meal
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 T of maca powder
  • 1 T of mesquite powder
  • 2 tsp of vanilla
  • 3 cups of hemp milk or any other non-dairy milk
  • 1 Tof melted coconut oil or ghee non-vegan
  • 3 T of sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups of blueberries to add once batter is made

Instructions

  1. Grind the dry ingredient mix in a high speed blender at the highest speed till incorporated with the consistency of flour.
  2. Combine flax meal with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit in a small bowl for 10 min. Once thickened, add to the above ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Mix batter vigorously till incorporated. You may add more water to create the desired thickness of batter you wish. Once batter is made, add blueberries and fold in gently.
  4. Heat a skillet on medium heat. Spray coconut oil and drop 3/4 cup of batter in 3 dollops to make 3 pancakes on the skillet. Once the surface of the pancakes begins to bubble, flip them over and let them cook thoroughly. When you poke the surface, no uncooked batter should appear.
  5. Once they are done, stack them on a plate and add a tablespoon of Maple Syrup and 2 tablespoons of Coconut Chia Pudding. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or tea.

Khichadi

 

Khichadi (pronounced Khi-cha-ri)

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup moong dal beans soaked in 1 and 1/2 cups of water overnight
  • 1/2 cup basmati or brown rice If using brown rice, soak it in 1 cup of water for 4 to 5 hours
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seed
  • 1/3 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp gluten free asafoetida powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 inch ginger grated or finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 3 cups of water
  • juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Rinse the moong dal after it is done soaking and combine with the rice (if using soaked brown rice, drain and rinse before combining). Place this on the side. Heat a stainless steel or cast iron soup pot and melt the ghee. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for about a minute. When they start to get darker in color, add the turmeric and asafoetida and stir. Add ginger and onlon and heat till the onion becomes translucent. Then add the rice and moong dal mixture and cover with 3 cups of water and salt. Place the lid on the pot and turn the heat to medium low and let it simmer for approximately 40 min or till mushy. Add lemon juice and serve.

  2. Another option for cooking Khichadi is to make the above in a pressure cooker. After adding the water, cook it for 8 to 9 minutes once pressure valve pops up.
  3. Khichadi is served traditionally with plain yogurt and lemon pickle as this adds probiotic and prebiotic qualities to this very complete and balanced dish.
  4. If you want to add other vegetables such as chopped carrots, peas or tomatoes, the time to add these is when the onions are translucent. stir for a few minutes to incorporate the flavors, then add the rice/moong dal mixture with water.
  5. ** For a slightly spicier and flavorful treat, fry 10 curry leaves with the onion before adding the rice/moong dal mixture.

Recipe Notes

Khichadi is a dish popularized by Ayurvedic practitioners in the West but is a staple in India for anyone who is sick. It is common for this dish to be the first solid food that is fed to babies (without the spices) as it is easy to digest and balances all three doshas in the body when made with moong dal. Moong dal is packed with plant protein, a detoxifier in addition to being a dosha balancer, and is considered one of the most nutritious lentils in India. When it is soaked, if it sprouts a little, it vitality increases which increases your body’s vital energy.

Picture credit to The Minamalist Vegan

 

Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats

Mason Jar magic! Breakfast ready when you are.

Prep Time 8 hours
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 c organic* thick rolled oats
  • ¼ c chia seeds
  • 2 c hemp milk
  • 1 t vanilla
  • ¼ t salt
  • 2 T maple syrup - optional

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to the mason jar.  Shake the jar and then unscrew the cap.

  2. Make sure the hemp milk covers the top of the oats.  If it doesn’t, add water to cover.

  3. Refrigerate overnight and they will be ready by morning for breakfast.

  4. Add your choice of fruit or just enjoy them plain.

Recipe Notes

Overnight oats act as a prebiotic in the gut.  They are soothing to the intestinal walls and also add fiber to scrub the walls and wash them clean! 

 

They are a great 5 minute prep the night before for a busy morning!