Sweet, Sticky, Sesame Tofu with Stir Fried Greens

The best way to get a whole lot of greens into my family is with a simple stir fry. No one can resist them simply seasoned with a splash of salty soy sauce and piled into a bowl with rice or noodles. And for protein? We are really into tofu right now, its a beautiful blank canvas and we are trying to up our soy consumption as latest studies show how healthy is it (cancer and fibroid prevention, also anti-inflamatory and great for heart health – high in calcium, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese and zinc). Beans as crops are also a brilliant, Earth-efficient source of protein. We love extra firm tofu with our stir-fries, simmered with a sweet and sticky honey-ginger-sesame sauce.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

For the stir fried greens:

  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 small courgette, julienned
  • 1/2 a cabbage, shredded
  • a few large kale leaves, shredded
  • a small head of romanesco or broccoli, chopped
  • a few large handfuls of green beans
  • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce (to taste)

For the sticky tofu:

  • 2 packs of extra firm, natural tofu – drained and cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • a splash of soy sauce
  • 50ml honey or maple syrup
  • the zest and juice of half a lime
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes, or to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • a thumb of fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds
  • rice or noodles and chopped scallion to serve

Method

  1. Start by mixing the sticky dressing. Gather the ingredients and mix together in a bowl or jug. Taste and adjust the salt level with a bit more soy sauce if needed. Want it tangier? add the other half of the lime.
  2. Cook your rice or noodles and heat up two pans, a large one for the greens and a smaller one for the tofu. Stir fry the greens with the oil until starting to wilt, then add the soy sauce and stir for a couple more minutes.
  3. In the other pan, fry the tofu with the oil until starting to warm through. Add the small splash of soy sauce and stir fry to season and brown the cubes. Then pour over the sweet, sticky sesame sauce and let it simmer and reduce for a couple of minutes.
  4. Serve with the rice or noodles and greens, top with chopped scallions and enjoy!

Tofu Fried Rice

Egg fried rice but using wobbly silken tofu in place of the egg. This is such a delicious mid week, one pan, quick meal. If you ever find yourself with leftover rice, this is the solution! Its a great way to clear out the odds and ends from the veg drawer too. We love it served with kimchi or a squeeze of hot sauce, some scallions and sesame seeds. How do you eat yours?

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tbsp neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 courgette, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced (or any combination of veg you prefer)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 block silken tofu
  • 4 portions of cooked rice
  • a big mug of frozen peas (or any tender greens you like)
  • 4 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • kimchi to serve (or any toppings you prefer eg chopped scallions, hot sauce, toasted sesame seeds)

Method

  1. Stir fry the courgette, carrots and cabbage (or any chopped veg you prefer) with the vegetable oil and a pinch of salt until just starting to soften (around 5 minutes).
  2. Add the block of silken tofu and break it up with the wooden spoon. Drizzle in the soy sauce and sprinkle in the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir fry for another minute or so.
  3. Add the rice and frozen peas (or other tender greens) and stir fry to warm through. Taste and add more soy sauce if needed. Then finish with nutty, delicious, toasted sesame oil and serve however you like. We love ours topped with tangy, spicy kimchi.

Blackened Tofu Tacos with Fresh Tomato Salsa

Tacos are perfect for summer eating, outdoor festivals and they’re great to make at home too #homemade! These tofu tacos are inspired by a recent trip to a music festival, while there, I tried some bean tacos but these tofu ones are really delicious and the salsa brings so much freshness and flavour. They work so well for a super tasty lunch or add some spiced rice to have for dinner.

A bag of mixed Irish leaves that I picked up from the Green Earth Organics Saturday Farm Shop serves as the perfect paring along side the spicy tofu and zingy salsa. And I have to say, the salsa sings with the flavour packed organic tomatoes, local cucumbers and red onions!! 

Give these finger licking tacos a go this summer.

Lou 🙂

Ingredients – Serves 2 (makes 6 tacos)

For the tofu: 

For the blackening spice mix: 

  • 1 tablespoon cornflour (this helps to keep tofu crispy)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the tomato salsa: 

  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • ¼ cucumber
  • 1 red onion
  • Zest and juice of half a lime
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • Pinch of salt and pepper 

To serve the tacos: 

Method

  1. Open the packet of tofu, discard the liquid and it pat dry with kitchen paper. 
  2. Carefully slice into 1cm cubes and place in a bowl or container. 
  3. Pour the soy sauce or tamari on top and set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes. 
  4. Next make the blackened spice mix, simply measure all the ingredients into a wide dish and mix well with a fork. 
  5. To make the salsa, with a sharp knife, cut the tomato into quarters and carefully cut out the seeds, reserve the seeds for a sauce or soup. Finely dice the flesh and place in a bowl. Repeat with the cucumber and red onion. 
  6. To the same bowl add the zest and juice of half a lime, olive oil, sprinkle in a pinch of salt and pepper and gently fold the ingredients together to complete the salsa. 
  7. To cook the tofu. Add the tofu to the container with the blackened spice mix and toss to coat. 
  8. Heat a non-stick frying pan on a medium to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil. 
  9. When the oil is hot add half of the tofu. They should sizzle and not burn on the pan, carefully turn the tofu with tongs or a fork to cook on all sides. Lift onto a plate lined with kitchen paper. Repeat with the rest of the tofu. 
  10. To serve: Line up the tortilla wraps (you can warm them first if you wish) add some organic leaves, top with salsa, blackened tofu, sour cream and fresh coriander.

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!