I had a craving for this dish which I used to love as a child when we would very occasionally go to a Chinese restaurant. Of course it wasn’t tofu back then, was probably chicken or pork but it was the way that sweet tangy sauce soaked into the rice that I loved so this satisfies that completely! After trying a few recipes I found on the net, I combined the best of them plus a few variations to make this version. We usually enjoy it with some steamed bok choi or broccoli on the side. You can also add other vegetables such as snow peas or bamboo shoots / beansprouts at the end if you like.
Sweet & Sour Tofu
Recipe type: Dinner
- 1 300g pack of firm tofu (we like to use smoked but plain is fine)
- 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Juice from 1 400g can pineapple pieces
- ½ cup water
- Pineapple pieces from the can
- 2 tablespoons brown unrefined sugar
- 2 heaped teaspoons corn flour
- 2 cloves garlic, minced / microplaned
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 large red capsicum cut into strips
- 1 large green or yellow capsicum, cut into strips
- 1 large red onion, sliced into strips
- 1 small can water chestnuts, drained - optional
- 4 tablespoons roasted cashews - optional
- Put your brown ride on to cook
- Mix together the pineapple juice, vinegar, tomato ketchup, soy sauce and lime juice in a small bowl, whisk in the corn flour and water and mix thoroughly until smooth with no lumps. Put the tofu in to a shallow dish and pour the sauce over and leave to marinade.
- When then rice is almost ready heat a large non stick frying pan over a medium heat and saute the onion and peppers until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and stir around for 5 minutes, adding a tiny splash of water if any sticking is occurring. Put on the lid and allow to cook on a low heat for a further few minutes until peppers are tender.
- Add the tofu and sauce to the pan, along with the pineapple, water chestnuts and cashews. Stir consistently until the sauce thickens and becomes transparent. Add a splash more water as needed to create as much sauce as you'd like.
- Serve with the rice and accompanying vegetables as desired.
This is based on a thing I’d kind of throw together for myself for lunch when I was a stay-at-home-mum and one day when I was marvelling at the deliciousness of it I realised I was being selfish to keep it to myself so I made it into a proper family meal and everyone loved it. Better still this is a quick and easy weeknight dinner, whilst not skimping on plenty of veg. It’s kind of like a risotto so should be soupy and not a dry pilaf-type thing. If you like it hot spicy feel free to add chopped chillies or chilli powder at the start. Otherwise this is totally kid friendly. 🙂
Spicy Spinach & Mushroom Rice Bowl
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 red capsicum, diced
- 4 field mushrooms, diced or a bag ready sliced
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp coriander
- 2 tablespoons salt reduced soy sauce
- 2 tsp smoked (or regular if you're' not a fan) paprika
- 1 bag baby spinach, 2-300g, chopped
- 1 cup frozen sweetcorn and / or peas
- 3 cups ready cooked medium grain brown rice
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2-3 tablespoons tahini (or ½ cup fat free hummus)
- 1.5 cups tomato pasta sauce
- Juice of a (juicy) lime
- Freshly chopped parsley
- Prep all your vegetables.
- Heat a large, deep non stick pan (which has a lid preferably)
- Saute the onion, capsicum and mushrooms with the spices and cook for 5 minutes until the capsicums are softened a little then add handfuls at a time of the chopped spinach, stirring until it wilts in to the mixture - should take around 5 minutes.
- Add in the cooked rice, frozen corn / peas, the stock, the tahini (or hummus) and pasta sauce and stir well. Once it starts to bubble put on the lid and turn down to gentle simmer. After 5 minutes check the vegetables are all done to your liking. Stir in the lime juice, scatter with the parsley and serve!
This was inspired by Fatfreevegan’s recipe for Dal Tadka, I wanted to include more veggies and tweaked the method and spices a little.
Cauliflower & Kale Dhal (pressure cooker)
- 2 brown onions, chopped
- 1 inch piece ginger, grated
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced, grated for finely chopped
- 1 cup split red lentils
- 3 cups water,
- 1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder (optional)
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 3 cups small cauliflower florets
- ½ bunch kale, de-stemmed & finely chopped
- 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp chilli powder / to taste (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala / dhal spice mix / curry powder
- Put rice on to cook if you are serving with rice.
- Heat the pressure cooker on brown function, add one of the onions, all the ginger and garlic and stir around for a minute, add a splash of water or stock if starts to stick.
- Add the lentils, water, stock powder if using, tomato, cauliflower, kale, cumin seeds, turmeric & salt and stir thoroughly.
- Lock down the lid and set to high pressure for 10 minutes.
- Whilst the dhal is cooking, heat a large frying pan and dry fry the onion with remaining spices for 5-10 minutes, over a medium heat. Use a lid to catch the steam and prevent them from sticking.
- Once the dhal is finished, release the steam and add the cooked onions and spices; stir well and serve.
- Great with mango chutney, freshly chopped coriander and a sprinkle of coconut if you wish.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a pressure cooker (though I seriously recommend you get one!) as you can do this in a regular casserole / large saucepan with a good fitting lid, it will just take longer. I have this one if you’re interested, which combines slow cooker, pressure cooker, steamer, rice cooker, soup maker etc functions, but I use the pressure option most often. We actually got ours with Flybuys points!
This cooks for 13 minutes, the same time as my rice cooker took to do the rice so it really does save time! You can also cook dried beans without even soaking if you are running short on time, which also saves money as well, as bags of dried beans are way cheaper than the canned variety and also avoids the BPA issue. It’s a big win win!
You can use whatever vegetables you have around, maybe follow mine the first time so you get an idea of the volume required. Also we often use this tofu in curries as it’s got such a great texture. Not in this picture though, I just used regular plain tofu, cubed.
This makes a huge amount (I can never make a small amount of curry for some reason…!), enough for us for 2 meals.
If you’re not using a pressure cooker this will probably need to simmer for around 30-40 minutes.
Pressure Cooker Vegetable Curry
Recipe type: Curry
- The vegetables you choose are completely up to you, I've made this twice recently with 2 different combinations. To give you an idea of volume, this is what I used yesterday:
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 4 small potatoes
- 1 large carrot
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 leek
- 1 large handful green beans
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Then the other ingredients:
- 250 g plain firm tofu, cubed, or a packet of marinated tofu pieces
- 1 can chickpeas, or home-made - 1.5 cups.
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1.5 cups passata / canned tomatoes - blended
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 heaped tablespoon vegetable stock powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon (mild or to your taste) curry powder
- ¼ cup raw cashews
- ½ cup soy /almond milk
- 1 teaspoon coconut essence
- To serve:
- Chopped coriander
- Low fat plain soy yogurt
- Mango chutney
- Dessicated coconut
- If you have soaked cashews all the better but if not, place them in a small pan and cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer.
- Chop the potatoes and carrot into large pieces. Slice the leek and zucchini into 1cm slices, top and tail the beans and cut them in half. Measure out the peas.
- Heat your pressure cooker on the brown function if it has one (mine is electronic, if yours is the old type you can just heat it up!) and throw in the leek, stir it around for a minute or two then add all the other vegetables.
- Put on your rice to cook.
- Add all the other ingredients, stir thoroughly, close the lid, set the cooker to High Pressure and set for 13 minutes, and Start.
- Drain your cashews, place in a high speed blender, add the soy /almond milk and coconut essence. Blend until very smooth.
- Once the curry has finished cooking, reduce the pressure, then stir through the cashew cream and the peas. Serve with the rice and necessary accompaniments!
I’m quite happy it’s a bit rainy at the moment. Apart from the farmers who of course need this all day drizzle so desperately, it means it’s comfort food season and being originally from England, I have a special place in my heart for hearty steamy stews and casseroles. So here is one! I’ve sneaked kale into it again, and it’s packed full of other veggies in a lovely rich tomato sauce. You can throw others in it too, I often add frozen corn and peas as well (you can easily increase the quantities, you might just need to add a bit of extra stock and / or tomatoes), which bulks it out if you suddenly find you have extra mouths to feed and adds a splash of extra colour. We used regular tofu this time, but often make it with smoked tofu which accentuates the smokiness in the paprika. We love this brand, it never lasts long in our house…
I’m lucky enough to have a 5-1 cooker which is a pressure cooker / steamer / slow cooker / soup maker etc. and I’ve used the pressure cooker and soup function in this recipe which really speeds things up. If you don’t have a pressure cooker you can still make this, the speed also comes from the all in one method, so it won’t take ages anyway.
We served this with Rice Plus which is brown rice with added grains and seeds and is totally delicious.
Quick Creamy Tomato Tofu Casserole
Recipe type: Stew / Casserole
- 400g tofu, cubed (smoked tofu works well too)
- 1 stick celery, diced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 small red, 1 small green capsicum, diced
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup passata (sieved tomatoes)
- 1 T tomato paste
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 T maple syrup
- 3 medium potatoes – about 450g – large cubes
- ¼ - ½ cup frozen corn (optional)
- ¼ - ½ cup frozen peas (optional)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 4 cups chopped kale
- 1 cup soy milk mixed with 3 tsp cornflour til smooth
- Lime juice - to serve - optional
- Chilli sauce - ditto
- Place all ingredients apart from soy milk & cornflour mixture and lime juice in a pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes then on soup setting / simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir in the soy milk with cornflour and simmer until flour cooked out and sauce is thickened.
- If not using a super-duper appliance, put all ingredients apart from soy milk and cornflour mixture and lime juice in your pot and bring to the boil, and simmer for around 20-25 minutes or until your potatoes are cooked. Then add your soy milk and cornflour, and stir until the flour is cooked out and the stew is thickened.
- Serve with rice or other grain or mashed potatoes.
- Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top if liked, it adds a lovely piqancy. This also lends itself very easily to being pepped up with chilli sauce for those who like it...