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.
Cooking time may be extended depending on how long it takes to cook your rice. I use a rice cooker and ours takes around 30 minutes.
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.
Brown rice with chopped fresh raw veggies and an Indian inspired creamy dressing For a speedy week night dinner, cook the rice the previous day. This can easily be stretched to feel more mouths, depending on how much rice you add to the chopped veggies.
Recipe type: Salad
1 large stick of celery
1 large carrot
1 medium capsicum
½ cup baby frozen peas
½ cup frozen corn
12 green beans, steamed and sliced
2 fat spring onions, sliced
½ cup raisins or sultanas (optional)
4-6 cups cooked brown rice, chilled or at room temperature
Soften leeks with a splash of water in covered small saucepan until softened.
On a very low heat, add the miso, hummus and lemon juice, mix well then add the milk and potato starch. Whisk to mix thoroughly then once it has thickened use a stick blender to make completely smooth then cook over a gentle heat for 5 minutes.
South American deliciousness in Incan Salad: Quinoa, Sweet Potato, Rice, Corn and Beans with an avocado, lime and chilli sauce. Sprinkled with some spring onion greens, chopped coriander leaves and hemp seeds. This one will keep you full for hours!
1 tsp semi dried chopped chillies (Gourmet Garden brand) - or to taste
1 heaping teaspoon rice malt syrup or other liquid sweetener
zest of a lime
To make this salad really easy to throw together, peel, dice and roast your sweet potato the night before or earlier in the day, then refrigerate.
You could also cook your grains too and refrigerate so you don't need to wait for your grains to chill before assembling the salad. You can also leave out the rice altogether and double the quinoa but as it's quite an expensive ingredient this does help to cut the cost!
You can cook brown rice and quinoa together in a rice cooker, just combine the ½ cup quinoa and ¾ cup dried grains with 2 cups water.
Make the dressing by blitzing all ingredients apart from the lime zest in a blender, or jug and a stick blender, or a fork and some elbow grease will do the same job. Stir in the lime zest, taste and adjust the salt / lime juice etc to your taste. It should be quite tart to contrast with the sweetness from the potato.
In a very large bowl, combine the rice, quinoa, sweet potato, beans, corn and cubes of potato and combine well. Stir through the onions and coriander - or leave in bowls if you have sensitive taste buds around the table so everyone can add their own.
Serve with the sauce and hemp seeds to sprinkle if liked.
This is a game changer. I’ve tried making many many pestos without oil over the years and been mainly disappointed. The essential oil in basil it seems has to blend with some other kind of oil to be drawn effectively from the leaves and the pine nuts / cashews didn’t seem to be enough. The liquid which comes from red peppers (capsicums for the Aussies reading) is a funny oily kind of substance which I thought might work. So happy I was right. You have to try this. 🙂
4 small / 3 medium / 2 large red peppers / capsicums
1 large bunch basil (or use 2 if they're smaller like supermarket bunches)
2-3 tablespoons raw pine nuts or cashew pieces
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 garlic clove
½ - 1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
Wash your peppers well, then place stalk-up on a baking tray lined with baking paper (bring the paper up over the sides as you want to catch any escaping juices).
Wash your basil, then pluck off all the good leaves (not blackened / bruised) and tender stalk tips and put them in your food processor
Add the nooch, garlic - sliced, and salt
After about 20 minutes check your peppers and rotate them carefully, turning blackened spots underneath and be careful not to pierce them so the juices escape.
Check again after 15 minutes and rotate once more. After 45-60 minutes they should be ready depending on your oven. They should be and collapsing but not flat yet!
Place them in a bowl, and cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge for 15 minutes or until just cool enough to handle, but still warm / hot. Wearing disposable gloves can help here!
Holding them over the bowl, split them open, remove the stalk as many seeds as you can and peel off as much as the skin as you can. Let the juices drip into the bowl. Place pieces of flesh into another bowl as you go along. Once you're finished, place a fine sieve over the bowl of prepared peppers, and tip your bowl containing the seeds, stalks and skin over it, adding all that lovely syrup / juice to your peppers. Discard the other bowl contents.
Add your peppers and juice to the food processor with your basil etc., and process on high until it is the texture you like. It helps if the peppers are still a little warm.
Adjust the seasoning and serve.
This makes an excellent dip also if you add a can of chickpeas /cannellini beans.
Sometimes you really fancy that creamy, fragrant, hot curry from the local take away. But then you think about all that coconut milk and oil and how it goes solid in the fridge overnight (only saturated fat does that..) and it makes you feel kind of queasy? Well now you can have your curry AND eat it! There’s a sneaky alternative to coconut milk (even the low fat varieties are actually high in fat) and you can’t tell the difference! This uses shop-bought curry paste (I used Ayam Thai Panang) so you can make it as hot as you like – or add a spoon or two of hot chilli sauce to just your portion if you’re catering for little ones too. Mine (11 and 16) handled the amount in this just fine – it’s warming and spicy but not hot.
2-3 teaspoons coconut essence (like you'd use for baking)
2-3 Tablespoons Thai curry paste (there are lots now without fish sauce or shrimp paste)
4 teaspoons coconut sugar
4 teaspoons tamari
Juice of a large lime
4 kafir lime leaves, cut through from centre to edge to release extra flavour
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Cut the vegetables into smallish pieces so they will all cook evenly.
Steam them in a large steamer, in batches if necessary. Once just tender, tip them into a large casserole dish.
Meanwhile put your rice on to cook.
In a large bowl whisk together all the ingredients. Check your sauce for heat/ salt / sour / sweet balance and adjust to suit your tastebuds (or those of your guests) and pour over all the vegetables, bring to a heat gently until hot.
Serve over rice with lime wedges and a sprinkle of freshly chopped coriander.
This was concocted in the far north of Scotland in 1998, whilst 5 months pregnant with my 1st child. My husband still teases me that we could have gone to the Maldives for our final holiday as just a couple, but I wanted a cosy wintery holiday in Scotland! It was very cold and snowy and we were staying in a beautiful old stone cottage. I wanted something warming and comforting, and the only vegetables we had in were cabbage and potatoes, so I came up with this. 16 years later we’re still making it (albeit with a different cheezy sauce now)!
½ date paste / other sweetener e.g maple syrup, rice syrup.
Heat a medium saucepan on a gentle heat with a spray of oil, add cabbage and herbs. Place on lid and allow the cabbage to steam in its own juices.
Put lentils in a medium saucepan, cover by an inch with water, add the onion, garlic, tomato paste, passata, stock powder and optional tabasco; bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until cooked down to a thickish soup.
Finely slice the potatoes (use a mandolin or processor, or with a knife, about ½cm thick) and steam for 10 or so minutes or until just tender.
Make the white / cheezy sauce by putting all ingredients into a blender, blend til smooth, pour into a small sauce pan and stir constantly until thickened.
Grease a deep baking dish or casserole dish which has a close fitting lid e.g. Pyrex or Le Creuset)
Layer in the dish as follows:
- ⅓ of the potatoes
- ⅓ of the cabbage
- ½ of the lentil mixture
- ⅓ of the white sauce
- Half of remaining potatoes
- Half of remaining cabbage
- Rest of lentils
- Half of remaining white sauce
- Remaining potatoes
- Remaining cabbage
- Remaining white sauce
A quick spray of oil on top
Bake for 40 minutes, in a moderate oven, placing on the lid for last 15 minutes to prevent top burning. Test is cooked through by piercing with a knife. Should be very soft, top crisp and sauce bubbling. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
2-3 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed (start with 2, add another after tasting)
¼ teaspoon paprika
Pulse the onion, potatoes, carrots, spring onion and cashews in a food processor, then put in a medium saucepan with 2 cups water, bring to boil, turn down to simmer, cover and leave for 20 mins or until vegetables all very soft.
Add the rest of the ingredients, and use stick blender (or pour into blender) and blend til very smooth.
Google “Buddha Bowl” and you will be inundated with versions of this. Basically it’s a bowl of steamed veggies with brown rice or another grain like quinoa, with a sauce over the top.
I’ve already posted my son’s favourite dish, well this is my teenage daughter’s! It’s the sauce that makes it of course, and this is such an easy weeknight dish you will be tempted to have it several times, just changing the veggies or grains, and adding tofu or tempeh etc.
The sauce makes enough for 3-4 servings, I haven't given quantities for the rice or veggies so just prepare as much as you need.
1 T cashew butter
1 T tahini,
2 T vegetarian oyster sauce or other Asian stir fry sauce
1 T sweet chilli sauce
3 T lemon and/or lime juice - either or both, mixed together (orange is also good!)
2 T tamari
½ cup soy milk
1 T sweet soy sauce
Put your rice on to cook, or even easier, use packets of ready cooked brown rice which just need warming through! (you can put itin the steamer along with the veggies if you like)
Whilst your rice is cooking, prepare and steam your desired vegetables – broccoli, carrot, capsicum, celery, mushrooms, baby corn etc, and top with a packet of ready marinated and cooked tofu cubes to heat through (if desired - this is optional) – sweet chilli / garlic variety.
Blend all the sauce ingredients in a blender (we use the Magic Bullet for this) or a jug with an immersion/stick blender until very smooth and creamy. Taste the sauce and adjust a little if necessary - different people like it more salty / more sour / more sweet etc. Pour it into a saucepan and heat gently for a few minutes when your rice and veggies are almost ready.
Divide the rice, veggies and tofu between your bowls and pour the sauce over the top. Also nice scattered with fresh chopped coriander / toasted sesame seeds / etc.