Monday, September 23, 2013

What the Bean's Been Cookin' (Vegan MoFo 2013)

I have a ton of cookbooks, but I often gain inspiration from blogs.  Some people have negatively suggested that "you get what you pay for," but there are actually very many impressive gems and tips available from within the vegan blogosphere (case in point: Vegan MoFo!).

Not too long ago, I suffered an unfortunate splattery tofu incident when Andrea's Easy Vegan Cooking brought my attention to this recipe on "how to make tofu really freaking delicious" (UPDATE: I want to assure you that the splatter was IN NO WAY Andrea's fault!). It seemed so easy; I followed the recipe to a T with the highest of hopes.

What I hadn't anticipated, though, was the mess.  To my dismay, only minutes in, I realized there was considerable splatter occurring (UPDATE: Andrea tells me that my tofu must have been still wet.  I take full responsibility for not knowing what must be obvious to everyone else!).

There was no turning back since the damage was already done, so I watched in horror as my stovetop, nearby counter, and everything else within splatter distance (including me) were coated with oil droplets. 

So. Much. Splatter.

I was so overwhelmed with the need to scrub my kitchen that I managed only to eat the resulting tofu gems dipped drenched in bbq sauce with brown rice, when it really should have been showcased as "croutons" on a beauteous salad.  But all I could think of was scarfing down the food so I could turn my attention to cleaning up the mess.

even I'm ashamed

Alas, while they were admittedly tasty, it was all too much of an ordeal for me.  Whether I did something wrong (totally possible) or am just not familiar with the downside of frying, I think I'll save this preparation for the professionals (and less OCD) among us.

But THEN I redeemed myself soon after by tackling a (much neater) meal I've been thinking about for some time now: an easy, no-pressure salad loosely based on an amalgamation of pretty much every homemade bowl that I've ogled on foodfeud's blog.

Cubed tempeh marinated in Bragg's and Sriracha, sauteed with celery:

Served over fresh mixed greens with a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette (water, balsamic, sun-dried tomatoes, dijon, oil + bullet) and a sprinkle of nut/seeds/dried fruit I had leftover from oatmeal.

This was a terrific use of both minimal time and resources- to delicious result.

This idea will be added to the regular rotation for sure: yummy and minimal clean-up- exactly my style.

In other news, I'm the last person in the universe to realize that you technically don't have to cook tempeh before you eat it.  On a particularly late night I threw together this tempeh salad with celery as a test of this theory.

It was so easy that I did it again a week later and fancied it up a notch: adding chick peas, shredded carrots, red onions, and melted cheddar Daiya on a whole wheat wrap.

I still like my go-to tempeh salad recipe best, but in a pinch it's nice to know I can make a hardy and perfectly decent salad without the extra step...and dishes.  It's all about minimizing the clean-up!


  1. why is the bullet in that photo? When was this made?

  2. BYOL- the Bullet is my go-to appliance for dressings. It's much more convenient than the giant Vita.

  3. Oh no. I feel so guilty. The worst thing is I can't remember much about the tofu (never made it again) but it has to be really dry before going into the pan because water will make the oil splatter. I would have been equally horrified if that had happened to me, and would never have linked to the recipe.

    Dynise on Urban Vegan has a recipe for dry-fried tofu that uses no oil and tastes great, but you have to use either non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron. I've used it many times. Not that you'll ever listen to me again.

  4. Andrea- it wasn't an indictment! Oh dear; my apologies. I'm sure I screwed it up or was the only person in the universe who doesn't know the tofu has to be super-dry. I just bookmarked this one:, so I haven't given up yet. I'm still listening!

  5. No, no. I'm only upset that the recipe didn't work. And about the stove. I HATE it when that happens to me, and I just stew until the burners cool off enough so I can move them. I've even been known to use pot holders so I can get to the stove faster. (Your stove is much cleaner than mine, btw). Cadry has a recipe for lemon-baked tofu that sounds good. Actually, just baking it on an oiled baking sheet makes it taste great.

    Just make sure that the tempeh you're eating raw is the pre-cooked kind. Or are they all pre-cooked these days?

  6. I hate cleaning up oil. That is one of the biggest reasons I don't use it often. And why I prefer my tempeh raw. It's an acquired taste but luckily I like it.
    All meals look delicious, I just find it less stressful to make bowls and not have to follow an actual recipe.

  7. Andrea- I don't know how people have the patience to purposefully fry things. And what do they do with the leftover vat of oil? I'll have my fried things out thankyouverymuch. Yes! The tempeh said right on the package that you could eat it; I should have posted a picture of it ;-) PS GREAT idea about the potholders; that drives me nuts too.

    foodfeud- I hear ya on the bowls and I'm a convert. Also, I usually steam my tempeh, if you're interested:

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  9. Abby,


    I’m surprised BYOL didn’t have a heart attack after seeing the amount of oil you used to fry your tofu.

  10. Baking is pretty much my favorite way to make tofu. Baking is not messy and gives the tofu a great texture. You can cook it as long as you like. I don't press it, I don't use a marinade. I just toss it in olive oil and bake it at 350 and then I toss it in sea salt when it is done. And then I eat it. Couldn't be simpler. Or neater.

    This is kind of a recipe to follow

  11. I love this temepeh salad recipe- really easy and delicious. I skip the steaming and use the tempeh raw and much less mayo, i often make a double batch for lunches all week!


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