Keep It Simple With Brown Rice, Kale, and Tofu #MeatlessMonday

Over the last couple of years, I’ve seen a huge increase in the numbers of vegan blogs and vegan recipes (YAY!) but it seems that they’re getting more and more elaborate, as if it’s a sort of competition to create the most difficult-to-prepare meals.

I’m sending a more simple back-to-basics message.

If we agree that one of the reasons for not eating meat advocates for a cruelty-free life to protect animals from a hellish existence on earth, we need to also communicate that it doesn’t always have to be a herculean task to do the right thing.

I’ve been a veg since 1970 and in those 40+ years have seen a lot of people make a similar decision to go meat-free and then, for one reason or another, fall off the wagon.

One of the reasons I’ve heard time and time again is that it’s “too hard”.

I disagree.

Some of my most enjoyable and satisfying meals are the most simple.

Here’s an example of a basic, easy-to-prepare dinner.

Start with my can’t fail One Dish Brown Rice recipe.

It’s PERFECT every time.

1. Add one cup brown rice to a 9×9 glass baking dish.

2. Pour over the rice not quite two cups water plus one teaspoon olive oil.

3. Lay gently on top of the rice one-inch chunks of tofu.

4. Sprinkle pepper, chopped fresh herbs, freshly ground salt (if you must).

5. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.

6. While the rice is baking, I picked a bunch of kale from the garden, cut into bite-size pieces, and steamed it.

7. To serve, sprinkle rice with low-sodium soy sauce, slice an organic tomato and garnish with cilantro or parsley (we grow cilantro year-round in the Casa de Enchanted Seashells garden.

A chilled chardonnay will dance a tango on your palate and complement the earthy rice, tofu, and kale combo.

Simple. Delicious. 

Vegan Lentil Tofu Tempeh Loaf Recipe

loaf9

I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of protein packed vegan loaves and “burgers”.

Some are winners, some are not. My tugboat man will literally eat anything and everything — although he’s not a very discerning critic, he’s a nice and appreciative hub.

When my son and DIL visited last month, DIL and I teamed up to build a delicious and healthy loaf, but I didn’t get a chance to take pics. They’ll be back tomorrow and I’ve attempted to recreate our original recipe.

(Measurements are sort of inexact…if it looks a little dry, add veggie broth. If it’s too moist, add more bread crumbs or oats.)loaf2

If you’re not familiar with tempeh, here’s an explanation: Tempeh is fermented cooked soybeans (or grains). This fermentation binds the soybeans into a compact white cake. Tempeh has been a favorite food and staple source of protein in Indonesia for several hundred years. It’s low fat and high in protein.

How to make my Vegan Lentil Tofu Tempeh Loaf:

loaf1

1. Cook lentils, onion, carrots, celery with two cups water until tender. Check as lentils are cooking and add water as needed so they’re moist yet fully absorb water, about thirty-forty minutes.

2. Turn lentils into large bowl.

3. Crumble tempeh and mash tofu with lentils.loaf3

4. Add rolled oats, chia, and chopped nuts.(I used a mixture of almonds and cashews.)loaf45. I like to use my hands to mix everything together so I get a feel for texture and whether it’s too dry or too moist. You def don’t want it too dry or it’ll fall apart.
6. Tear whole wheat bread into small pieces, Mix.
7. Add olive oil, ketchup or tomato sauce, mustard, curry, salt, pepper, vinegar, hot pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce.
8. Mix, taste, and adjust seasonings.
9. Fill greased loaf pan, form patties with any extra.
Topping: Ketchup mixed with a little maple syrup.loaf6loaf5Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Serve with ketchup or vegan gravy. Tastes good hot or cold! Let cool in pan before slicing. Making a day ahead is even better.loaf7

YUMMY!


Recipe: Vegan Lentil Tofu Tempeh Loaf

Tempeh, one package
Tofu, one tub firm organic
Two cups cooked lentils
1/2 cup chopped nuts
One cup rolled oats
One or two slices whole wheat bread
Chia
1/2 chopped onion
Two carrots, chopped
Two stalks celery, chopped
One cup tomato sauce ( I used homemade) or ketchup
Veggie broth as needed
Two tablespoons olive oil

One or two tablespoons Dijon mustard
Curry Powder to taste
Pepper
Salt
Hot pepper flakes
One tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Worcestershire sauce

 

A Delicious Threesome of Marukan Vinegars

marukan1This beautiful box containing a variety of Marukan vinegars was waiting for me when I came home from the dentist today. (Just a routine cleaning  — no pain, yay, just fresh and shiny teeth!)
marukan2

How can you not be impressed with a company that’s been around since 1649?

Because of its super high quality, I had always used Marukan Rice Vinegar – the plain kind or seasoned — for sushi rice, but I had never tried the Yuzu Ponzu, soy dressing with yuzu citrus.sushi22014-01-05 18.19.11

Heck, I didn’t know what yuzu was…it’s  a fruit similar in size to a grapefruit; Its juice is tart like that of a lemon, but has a tangy undertone.

I made a delicious Vinaigrette with the Yuzu Ponzu and extra virgin olive oil, little freshly ground pink Himalayan salt, pepper, and a pinch of ground chili powder. (optional)

The Yuzu Ponzu is a delicious marinade for tofu, too.

I combined all three vinegars in this Daikon Radish Salad.

daikonradish1Shred about two cups of daikon radish and rinse several times with cold water and squeeze dry. Shred a couple of carrots and add.

In another bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of plain rice vinegar, seasoned rice vinegar, and the yuzu ponzu.
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 3/4 teaspoons white sesame seeds (toasted)

Whisk all the ingredients, pour over daikon and carrots. Gently toss, cover, and refrigerate.

Check out more recipes at http://www.marukan-usa.com

#marukan