Tofu Feta

Tofeta is an essential in our dairy free home. If you don’t eat dairy and find shop bought vegan cheeses a bit disappointing (not to mention full of processed junk) then this tangy feta cheese is the answer to your prayers. It’s made from extra firm tofu (a really healthy, whole food ingredient) and coconut oil to give it that creamy texture and to firm it up into sliceable, crumbly, melty feta. Flavoured simply with salt, lemon, garlic and vinegar, you’ll be amazed at how close to feta this cheese tastes! Crumble over pasta or salads, cube up into a classic Greek salad with sliced tomato, cucumber, red onion, basil and olives, spread into sandwiches or on toast/crackers… however you would normally use feta, this substitute will work!

TOP TIP – find some unscented/flavourless coconut oil or your feta will taste a bit coconutty.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 400g extra firm tofu
  • 9 tbsp coconut oil (flavourless is best here)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (apple cider or white wine vinegars work best here)
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp salt

Method

  1. Start by pressing as much water as you can out of the tofu. This will ensure a nice crumbly, sliceable feta. If you can’t be bothered to do this step, not to worry, you’ll end up with a spreadable feta which is so delicious and useful too! To press the tofu, chop it into chunks and put it in a sieve over a bowl. Then place another bowl, which fits inside the sieve, on top and then place something heavy in the bowl like a big jar of pickles. Leave this set up to drain for an hour or so in the fridge. Then squeeze each chunk by hand before placing it in the food processor.
  2. Add all the other ingredients to the food processor and blend until silky smooth. You will need to stop the machine and scrape don the sides half way through.
  3. Line a plastic tub with baking parchment and smooth the tofeta mixture into it. Put the lid on and set in the fridge until solid.
  4. Then carefully tip the feta onto a clean board and slice or crumble as you like. This tofeta will stay fresh in the fridge for 4 days. Enjoy!

The Best Crispy Tofu

Tofu is an amazing, versatile and healthy ingredient. We love using silken tofu to make scramble for breakfast or to place in wobbly cubes in a miso soup, it’s also great scored and dressed with soy sauce and sesame oil. We stock a delicious range of ready to eat tofus which are brilliant in sandwiches and salads or warmed up to go with your supper (our favourite is the wild garlic one and we also really rate the smoked one). But extra firm tofu is a brilliant blank canvas with a meaty texture. We love it thinly scored at an angle and cooked like a firm piece of fish with lemon, butter, salt and pepper. Our kids favourite way is like this, coated in well seasoned cornflour and fried until crisp. It’s just the thing to top noodle or rice bowls. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 x 200g block extra firm, natural tofu
  • 6 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 3 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp seaweed flakes
  • vegetable oil for frying

Method

  1. Drain the tofu and cut it into cubes.
  2. In a wide bowl, mix the cornflour, salt, chilli flakes, sesame seeds and seaweed flakes (if you don’t have seaweed flakes you can leave them out or snip up a sheet of sushi nori).
  3. Tumble the cubed tofu into the seasoned cornflour and mix it well ensuring each piece is coated.
  4. Coat the base of a wide frying pan with a generous layer of vegetable oil, then heat to medium high.
  5. Add the tofu but space it out so that the pieces are not touching each other (you may need to cook in batches). Turn the pieces regularly so that they cook on all sides. They should be golden brown and beautifully crispy.
  6. Serve as you like. We topped a rice bowl and vegetable stir fry and added a drizzle of soy sauce and some kimchi.

Teriyaki Aubergine Rice bowl

We have some new organic, Asian sauces on our list now to make your meals even easier (and more delicious!) We are currently obsessed with teriyaki. It is sweet and salty and so full of flavour. Use it to marinade veggies or tofu and bake or stir fry. Here’s how I made this delicious week-night supper.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 2)

Method

  1. Turn your oven to 200C and find a small baking dish.
  2. Get your brown rice on to cook (brown rice takes longer than white so if you are using white rice, start it after the aubergine is in the oven). Rinse the cup of rice through a fine sieve then add it to a small pot. Add 2 small cups of water, put the lid on the pot and turn it onto the highest setting. As soon as it comes to a boil, turn it to the lowest setting and leave the lid on. Let the rice simmer, it should absorb all the water in around 30 minutes or so and be perfectly cooked through. Keep an eye on it.
  3. Cut the aubergine in half, lengthways, then score the flat surface deeply with a small, sharp knife. Cut diagonal lines into the white, spongey flesh and then criss-cross the other direction. Careful not to cut too deeply.
  4. Spoon over the teriyaki sauce and, using the back of the spoon, rub it into the cuts to effectively marinade the aubergine. Place the aubergine, cut sides up, into the baking dish then bake until soft – this usually takes around 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your aubergine.
  5. Meanwhile stir-fry the broccoli and tofu together with the sesame oil and soy sauce/tamari.
  6. Then plate up, divide the rice, stir fry and baked aubergine between two bowls. Top with sesame seeds, chilli flakes and kimchi as you like. I also added shredded nori seaweed and an extra drizzle of soy sauce to my bowl. Enjoy!

Spinach & Tofu Curry

This plant based take on a saag paneer is so quick and easy, not to mention delicious and nutritious! Serve with rice and chutney for a midweek curry in a hurry or as a side with other curries. You can switch the spinach for our rainbow chard, just remove the stems, finely chop them and cook them along with the onion paste.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4 – or 8 as a side)

  • 2 blocks extra firm tofu (400g)
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt (+ more if needed)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (heaped)
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 thumb ginger
  • 2 tsp garam masala (or your favourite curry powder)
  • 200g spinach
  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • fresh chilli to taste

Method

  1. Cut your tofu into cubes and season it with the salt, pepper & ground turmeric. Then fry it in 1 tbsp coconut oil until golden. Remove from the pan and keep to one side.
  2. Blend the garlic, onion and ginger into a paste, then fry until browned in the other tbsp of coconut oil. Add an extra pinch of salt during frying. Then add the garam masala (or whichever curry spice blend you prefer) and stir to toast and wake up the spices.
  3. Pour just-boiled water over the spinach in a colander to wilt it. Cool it with cold water then squeeze into a ball. Chop the wilted spinach and add it to the pan with a splash of water. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release all the flavourful spices and fried onion/garlic/ginger into the sauce.
  4. Return the tofu to the pan and warm through with the lemon juice. Perhaps add another splash of water if the pan is drying out too much. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or pepper.
  5. Serve with fresh chilli slices as a side to other curries or as a meal in it’s own right with just rice and chutney.

Beetroot & Tofu-Ricotta Ravioli

Wouldn’t this pretty pasta be perfect for Mother’s Day? It takes a little more effort than our usual recipes but the ingredients are few, simple and affordable (using our ingredients at the time of writing this blog, this cost €5.64 to make 30 pieces).

Liz x

Ingredients (makes around 30)


~ pasta
• 300g fine flour
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tsp salt
• 150ml water
• parsley leaves

~ beetroot tofu-ricotta
• 200g extra firm tofu
• 1 small cooked beetroot
• 1 clove of garlic
• the juice of 1/2 a lemon
• 1 tsp salt
• 5 tbsp olive oil

~ 1/2 jar of pesto to serve

Method

  1. Mix the pasta ingredients (except the parsley) into a shaggy, quite dry dough then knead it very well into a firm, smooth dough. This should take around 10 minutes of kneading. If your dough is too dry, wet your hands occasionally whilst kneading to incorporate just a little extra water. Rest the ball of dough in a bowl covered tightly with a damp tea towel.
  2. Blend all the beetroot ricotta ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or lemon.
  3. Roll your pasta dough out on a lightly floured surface. Once you have a large oval/rectangle, arrange some parsley leaves on one half and fold the pasta over. Now roll again into a very long strip, just over double the width of the size you want your ravioli. Get it as thin as you can – you should be able to read a paper through it.
  4. Space teaspoons of the pink ricotta along one side, wet the other side to help it stick, then carefully fold the pasta over the ricotta blobs and use your fingers to seal around each one. Use a knife or pasta wheel to cut the ravioli and save any off-cuts, they are just as delicious!
  5. Drop the fresh ravioli and off-cuts into boiling water, cook until soft but still with bite (around 3 minutes or so – test an off-cut) then scoop out with a slotted spoon, dress with pesto and serve!

Balance Broth

This soothing broth is what I make when we have a nasty cold going around. It’s a light, warm and comforting dinner any day of the week though. We call it ‘balance broth’ because it’s an attempt to perfectly balance the tastes sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami. And because it makes an imbalanced day seem instantly more level. It’s funny how food can do so much more than fuel our bodies.

Do you have a go-to recipe which makes you feel good? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 litres of water
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tbsp dried seasweed, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp dried mushrooms, crumbled
  • 2 green tea bags
  • 1 fat clove of garlic, finely grated
  • 1 thumb of fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 4 tbsp miso
  • scallions, fresh chilli, sesame seeds, fresh coriander, rice or noodles, silken tofu and stir fried vegetables to serve

Method

  1. Prepare what you will serve your broth with first. Our favourite is nutty brown rice, stir fried seasonal vegetables and some simply chopped silken tofu.
  2. In a large pot, simmer all the broth ingredients except the miso and toasted sesame oil for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the tea bags and turn off the heat. Allow the broth to cool a little then add the sesame oil and miso and stir. The slightly-cooler-than-boiling broth will ensure the beneficial bacteria in the miso will stay alive.
  4. Taste the broth and balance it as you need with more salty soy sauce or more sour lime juice.
  5. Then ladle the broth over bowls of rice, vegetables and tofu, sprinkle with sesame seeds, coriander, chopped scallions and chilli. Enjoy!

Sweet & Sour Tofu & Cauliflower

It’s Chinese New Year today and we will be celebrating with this homemade sweet and sour dish, a favourite from the takeaway. Delicious sweet and sour sauce is usually packed full of sugar and food colouring, this version uses maple syrup, still sugary but in a less refined-sugar way. The sourness is from vinegar and there is lots of delicious umami in the tomato puree and soy sauce. Crispy roasted tofu and cauliflower bring welcome texture and meatiness to the dish. Simple and delicious, enjoy!

Liz x

PS – get all the organic ingredients delivered to your door here.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 a small cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
  • 3 tbsp vinegar (rice wine or apple cider)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 pineapple, peeled, cored & chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded & chopped into a chunky dice
  • 1 red onion, peeled and chopped into a chunky dice
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • sesame seeds
  • cooked rice or noodles to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Find a large roasting dish and line it with baking parchment.
  2. Put the chopped cauliflower and firm tofu in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of veg oil, sprinkle over the salt and 5 spice. Use a wooden spoon to mix well. Then sprinkle over the cornstarch and mix again ensuring all the pieces are coated in the floury seasoning. Tumble onto the lined tray, spread out evenly then pop it into the oven to bake and get crispy while you cook the sauce, stir fry and rice/noodles.
  3. The cauliflower and tofu should take no more than 20-30 minutes so time cooking you rice or noodles accordingly.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the sweet and sour sauce ingredients – the maple syrup, soy sauce, vinegar, tomato puree and ground ginger. Taste and tweak if you like with more of any of the ingredients.
  5. Heat the tbsp of veg oil in a large frying pan/wok. When it’s nice and hot, add the chopped pineapple, pepper and red onion and stir fry until hot and starting to caramelise. Add the sauce and heat through.
  6. Then remove the cooked cauliflower and tofu from the oven and stir them through the stir fry and sauce. Add a generous sprinkle of sesame seeds just before serving over rice or noodles and enjoy!

Butter Tofu – Curry

This is one of our favourite twists on an Indian takeaway. The traditional North Indian dish is ‘butter chicken’ and it’s all about that rich, creamy and buttery tomato gravy. It’s mildly spicy and savoury, popular with the whole family. This is the perfect store-cupboard supper too, just the thing for those days when you’re running low on fresh ingredients.

We have replaced the dairy in the traditional recipe with Naturli butter and creamy coconut milk. And in place of chicken, our extra firm blocks of organic tofu. We also love this recipe with cauliflower, chickpeas or chunks of aubergine or mushrooms in place of the tofu. Whatever you decide to cook and fold through this mouthwatering sauce, you are guaranteed to lick your plate clean. It’s that good!

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

Sauce

Tofu

  • 6 heaped tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 600g extra firm tofu, drained and cubed (or sub with cooked chickpeas, cauliflower florets or cubed aubergine or mushrooms)
  • 50g butter

Method

  1. Start with the sauce. Put the onion, garlic, spices and seasoning into a blender and blend into a thick paste. Fry the paste in a heavy bottomed, deep saucepan with the butter for 10 minutes or until dark brown and very fragrant.
  2. Empty the two tins of tomatoes into the blender and blend them until smooth too. Add to the curry paste and simmer and stir for a further 10 minutes until the sauce is rich and slightly reduced.
  3. Add the tin of coconut milk, stir and taste for seasoning. Keep the sauce warm while you cook the rice and tofu.
  4. Drain your blocks of extra firm tofu and cut into bite sized cubes. If you are subbing with vegetables, cut into bite sized pieces and dunk in milk. In a wide bowl, mix the cornstarch, turmeric, salt and pepper. Tumble the tofu into the bowl and use your hands to mix well and ensure each piece is coated in the seasoning. (If you are using vegetables, dunk the veg in the milk first then roll in the seasoned cornstarch).
  5. Heat up a large frying pan (or two) and add the butter. When it starts to melt, add the coated tofu (or vegetables) and cook on a medium-high heat until crispy and golden on the bottom. Then carefully turn the pieces to cook on the other side. Keep turning and cooking until the tofu (or vegetables) is golden brown, hot and crispy.
  6. Fold the cooked tofu (or vegetables) through the warm curry sauce and serve with basmati rice and chopped coriander.

Pot Sticker Dumplings

These dumplings are simpler to make than they look. Honestly! A basic dough made from flour, salt and water, an easy filling of sautéed pak choi and firm tofu and then a lot of fun rolling, filling and crimping. Put this recipe on your list of meditative kitchen moments.

I like them pot sticker style, where you fry the dumplings with a little veg oil until they have crisp, golden bottoms, then add some water and a lid and steam-fry them until they are juicy and tender. But you can pop them into a broth to simmer or even just steam them if you like. This kind of firm tofu filling is our favourite. If I have a jar of kimchi on the go, I just mix chopped kimchi, tofu, soy sauce and white pepper for an even easier filling with no need to pre-cook. Of course you can fill them with whatever you like. Just make sure the mix isn’t too wet.

Liz x

Ingredients (makes about 40 dumplings)

  • 2 mugs of plain flour (strong flour works well too)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 mug of freshly boiled water
  • 1 pak choi
  • 4 cloves of garlic – chopped
  • 1 thumb of ginger – grated or finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • chilli flakes to taste
  • 2 packs of extra firm tofu (400g total)
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • dipping sauces to serve – sweet chilli or a simple soy-sesame oil-lime juice mix?

Method

  1. Start by making the dough as it needs time to rest before you start rolling.
  2. Put the flour and salt into a bowl and stir in the boiling water.
  3. Squish together into a firm dough with your hands, then move onto a clean work surface and knead well until the dough is smooth and stretchy. It should be quite firm too, not sticky.
  4. Form the dough into a neat ball and put it back into the bowl. Then cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes while you make the filling.
  5. Dice the stems of the pak choi and sauté in a frying pan with the sesame oil until softened.
  6. Add the tofu to the pan. Scrunch it up with your hands into a small crumble. Then add the soy sauce, white pepper, garlic, ginger and chilli flakes. Stir and cook until well combined.
  7. Shred the green leaves of the pak choi and add them to the pan. Stir fry for just a few more minutes until the leaves are wilted.
  8. Transfer the filling to a bowl to cool down.
  9. Cut the ball of dough into quarters, put 3 of the pieces back into the bowl and cover again with the damp tea towel so that they don’t dry out.
  10. Roll the quarter of the dough you have out into a 2cm thick snake then chop it into 10 or so pieces.
  11. Roll each piece into a ball the squash it down flat with the palm of your hand.
  12. Then roll each piece into a thin circle, it needs to be just a couple of mm thick and as even and round a circle as possible.
  13. Then place a tbsp of filling in each circle and form the dumplings. There are loads of different techniques around. Have a watch of some youtube videos for inspiration.
  14. I like to place the circe and filling in the palm of my left hand, then using my right hand, fold the circle of dough over and pinch it at the top in the middle. Then pull and fold and crimp the right side towards the middle like in the photo below. Then transfer the dumpling to your right hand and do the same on the left side with your left hand.
  15. Once the dumpling is crimped and sealed, pinch firmly all along the seal to ensure it is secure. Then place it on a large tray that has been lightly floured (or lined with baking parchment).
  16. Repeat with all the dough and filling. Ensure the dumplings are not touching each other as they will start to stick together if they do.
  17. Then heat up a frying pan (one that has a lid) with a little vegetable oil to medium-high. Place as many dumplings, flat side down, into the pan that will fit. Allow them to cook until golden brown and crispy underneath.
  18. Then quickly pour in a small glass of water – enough so that there is a cm of water in the pan – and pop the lid on so that the dumplings can steam and absorb most of the water.
  19. Steam them with the lid on for 3 minutes then remove the lid and allow any excess water to evaporate. Then move the dumplings onto a plate to keep warm while you cook the rest in batches like this.
  20. Serve with dipping sauces alongside steamed greens and other veggies, or with a stir fry, noodles, rice, miso soup, kimchi… anything like that. Enjoy!

Scramble, Kale Pesto & Miso Mushroom Toast

Weekends are for brunching and here is one of our favourites. The combination of fresh, vibrant green pesto, soft, wobbly scrambled tofu and juicy, umami mushrooms is just perfect!

You can make your own pesto very easily if you have a food processor or blender – I used my kale and pumpkin seed pesto that I’m making on repeat this time – or you can of course use a ready made one for ease. We sell a few organic jars of pesto in the grocery section of our shop. The scramble is simply a gently sautéed pack of organic silken tofu seasoned with salt, pepper and some chopped sun-dried tomatoes. And those gorgeous, meaty mushrooms are marinated with our new packs of umami paste then grilled.

What’s your favourite brunch? Are you a sweet or savoury person? Let us know in the comments.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

Method

  1. Cut bread and pop it in the toaster ready to go. Heat up a griddle pan (or fire up the grill in your oven).
  2. Slice the mushrooms in half and mix them with the umami paste and a drizzle of olive oil in a bowl. Then push them onto skewers and place them in a hot griddle pan (or on a tray under your grill) to cook whilst you get on with the scramble.
  3. Heat up a knob of butter (or tbsp of olive oil) in a medium-high heated frying pan. Open your pack of silken tofu, drain off any excess liquid and then pop it in the pan. Break it up gently with a wooden spoon or a spatular.
  4. Season the scrambling tofu with salt and pepper and then add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Keep the scramble moving and cook it for 5 minutes or so until it’s warmed through, but don’t break it up too much. It’s nice when there are still some larger pieces.
  5. Meanwhile turn the mushrooms in the grill to cook the other side and then toast the bread.
  6. Spread the toast with a thick layer of pesto, then divide the scramble and mushrooms between the plates.
  7. Enjoy whilst hot!