Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lightly Seasoned Spinach, Mushroom & Tofu Scramble

Most tofu scramble recipes require a handful of spices, both to give the tofu flavor and to make it yellow. Some people, myself included, may prefer a more natural-tasting tofu scramble. I was inspired by the "Vegan Popeye" tofu scramble from the Rutherford Pancake House in Rutherford, NJ, whose vegan menu items are worth checking out if you're in the area.

• 1 (14 oz.) package of firm tofu, crumbled
• 1 cup of cooked, chopped spinach
• 3-5 button mushrooms, roughly chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
• 1 tablespoon of canola oil
• Pinch nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, and pepper, if desired

HINT: Make sure everything is chopped and ready before you begin cooking! I have made the mistake of chopping as I go, which will cause mayhem unless you are some kind of pan-frying superhero.

1.) Heat up the oil in a pan, then add the garlic. Cook 1-2 minutes or until brown. Do not overcook; it will make your dish bitter.

2.) Add the chopped mushrooms and cook a minute or two longer or until browned, giving it a few good stirs to make sure each piece cooks equally.

3.) Add the crumbled tofu and stir well. Cook 2-3 minutes. If the spinach is stuck together, use a fork to separate it before adding it to the pan.

4.) Add the spinach, and make sure it is divided evenly throughout the tofu. Sprinkle in the nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste. If you want your dish to look yellow and you like nutritional yeast, add more gradually, stirring each time until it reaches your desired color.

5.) Cook until the tofu is lightly browned or reaches your desired consistency. Make sure to keep stirring and scraping from the sides so that it cooks evenly.

I find this very tasty, and it is also healthy and fully customizable. If you do make it, send me the photos. I love drooling over good vegan food photos!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Amanda's Easy, Delicious Soup & Salad Pasta!

This is an easy pasta dish I discovered yesterday, perfect for a pantry sweep. I made up the clever title "Soup & Salad Pasta" because the sauce is made up of greens and soup. This is more of a guide than a recipe, so use your own judgment and experiment with different kinds!

• 1/2 package (or 1/2 lb.) pasta [I used white Rigatoni]
• 1/2 cup greens, or as desired, torn into small pieces [I used kale]
• 1/2 cup cream soup or flavorful broth, or as desired [I used Imagine brand Creamy Butternut Squash Soup]
• Toppings or seasonings, as desired

1.) Cook the pasta al-dente, as instructed on the box. Rinse with cold water when finished, then return it to the pot.

2.) Pour the soup on first, then the greens, then any other seasonings you wish to use. Mix very well.

3.) Turn the stove back on medium, stirring frequently. The soup should thicken into more of a sauce. If it doesn't thicken within 5 minutes, add a SMALL amount of thickener such as flour or cornstarch. Cook until heated up, and serve.

I am hoping to start eating and living healthier this summer. (My break is going to start in a week, after I complete my final exams.) Stay tuned for more adventures!