Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pi Day Post: Black Cherry Almond Pie with Vegan Olive Oil Pie Crust


If you’ve never heard of it before, Pi day is a pun-tastic holiday in which math nerds around the internet make pies and decorate them with mathematic symbols and numbers in honor of Pi--the circumference-to-diameter ratio of a circle that makes appearances in geometry classes everywhere--and post pictures for other enthusiasts to admire. It’s celebrated on March 14, because the date 3-14 matches up with pi’s first three digits.

It’s always fun to see what people come up with. You get some very creative and non-traditional offerings.

Here I’ve posted my latest vegan pie crust recipe, which comes out fairly flaky and tender despite using olive oil instead of butter or shortening. I often just use crumb crusts for pies, but for Pi Day you need a dough you can sculpt and decorate with.

The filling is Black Cherry, which tastes great and has good color contrast against the crust decorations (these things matter : ). The almond crumb topping may seem a little redundant, and does obscure the lattice a little, but it tastes so good I couldn’t resist. Cherry and almond are best friends, you know.


Pi Day!

Vegan Olive Oil Pie Crust:


This makes enough for one lattice/cutout topped pie with a bottom crust. 

Dry ingredients:
1 ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp sugar or sweetener

1/3 cup olive oil

¼ cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp almond extract

Directions:
Mix together dry ingredients. Take 1 ¼ cups of the resulting mixture (reserve the rest) and combine it with the oil. It should look like peanut butter. Put the oil mixture in the freezer for 1-2 hours.

Flour and frozen lumps
When the time is up, take it out of the freezer. Pinch or cut it into pinto bean sized lumps. Add the lumps to the reserved flour mixture and stir to coat. Combine water, lemon juice, vanilla and almond extract. Pour into the bowl with the flour and lumps. Stir with a spatula until combined into a shaggy ball. Chill the dough for 20 minutes.




olive oil pastry dough
When the 20 minutes are up, take your dough ball and divide it into 2 pieces, one about 2/3 of the dough and the other 1/3. The dough will appear somewhat swirly and marbled; this is normal and contributes to a flaky texture.

Using flour as needed, roll out the 2/3 piece into a roughly 12-inch circle 1/8 inch thick. I used a silicon pastry mat, which made the process much easier. Transfer circle of dough to your pie plate and gently press it into place. Do NOT stretch the dough.


Pressed into the pie plate

Roll out the other piece of dough and cut into strips for a lattice, and/or make cutouts to top pie with.

Next, prepare filling and assemble.


A slice of Black Cherry-Almond Pi(e)
 

Black Cherry Pie

Ingredients:

Vegan olive oil pie crust (above)

Filling:
2 lbs frozen black or sweet cherries, thawed and drained
½ cup sugar or sweetener
1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup flour
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp almond extract

Almond Crumb Topping:
3 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbsp almond meal (packed)
½ Tbsp sliced almonds
dash salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp sugar/sweetener
2 tsp oil
1 tsp water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Thaw and drain your cherries; if it is convenient you can cut some or all of them in half—this helps with the final texture and is also an opportunity to check for stray pits. It’s not mandatory though. Mix the cherries with the rest of the filling ingredients.

Stir together all crumb topping ingredients except for oil and water. Pour in the oil and water while tossing the dry ingredients with a fork. Crumble with your fingers until it looks like wet sand. Set aside.

Cherry filling in pie shell


To assemble: Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell, arrange lattice and cutouts on top and sprinkle with topping. I chose to place the lattice in a geometric ring pattern, put a pi cutout in the middle (for Pi Day!) and sprinkle the topping around the edges. 

Pi Cutout + lattice ring




With almond crumb topping














Bake for 45 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly. Let cool for half an hour before cutting.












Happy Pi Day, everybody! Math is fun! (And delicious. : )
 
Partially decimated

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tofu Salad Sandwich Filling (Mock Egg)


The basic idea of using tofu to make a mock egg salad is a vegan classic. If you hang around vegans long enough, you will definitely be served a version of this. This is my take on it.

I’m a little picky about texture when it comes to the tofu in this recipe—I want it firm enough to not be super mushy but not so much that it’s hard or crunchy. That’s why I have the employed slightly unusual microwave-pressing technique. It drives out just enough moisture without browning or crisping the way other cooking methods would. The tofu also absorbs more flavor when it’s warm. If this technique doesn’t appeal to you, you can try one of the alternative methods listed in the variations.

The other unusual thing about this recipe is the use of the bean-based sauce. Most recipes of this type use vegan mayonnaise, which is fine. I think that the texture of the pureed beans better approximates that of egg yolks, however. And nutritionally, there’s more protein and less fat in the bean sauce. Actually, there’s no added fat in this recipe at all. (There is a little bit of natural fat in the tofu.)


 

Tofu Salad Sandwich Filling (Mock Egg)


Sauce:
1 15 oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice (more or less to taste)
¼ cup unsweetened soymilk (other nondairy milks okay too)
¼ cup nutritional yeast
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp lemon pepper
¼ tsp mustard powder
¼ tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp dill weed
1/8 tsp dried tarragon
dash of paprika

1 lb extra-firm tofu
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
¼ of a medium onion, diced finely
salt and pepper to taste

Direction:

Puree all sauce ingredients until smooth in a blender or food processor; set aside.

Dice the tofu into ¼ inch cubes. Spread the cubes onto a microwave-safe plate and cook on high for 2 minutes. Being careful not to burn yourself, place a second plate on top of the tofu and lightly press the two plates together as you tilt them over a sink and pour off excess liquid. Repeat the microwaving, pressing and draining process 1 or 2 times if you wish for extra firmness. Let cool for a couple minutes while you chop your veggies.
 

 Place chopped celery, onion, and tofu in a mixing bowl and stir in the sauce. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Serve either chilled or at room temperature on nice hearty whole grain bread. Good on crackers or bagels, too.

 









Variations:

If you’d like a softer-texured (and faster) version of this recipe, you could skip the microwaving and pressing process altogether and merely dice firm tofu and add it directly to the sauce and veggies.
If you prefer a very firm and chewy tofu salad, you could dice baked tofu (such as this recipe) and stir it in with the celery, onion, and sauce instead of the microwave-pressed tofu.

If you don’t want to whip out your blender to make the sauce, a potato masher would work okay in a pinch. Just thoroughly mash the beans alone before adding the rest of the sauce ingredients. You might end up needing a little extra liquid.

You could jazz up your sandwich with various mix-ins, including: pickle relish, scallions, green or black olives, red onions, bell peppers, fresh tomatoes, shredded carrot, cucumbers, fresh herbs such as parsley, chives or cilantro, diced avocado, radishes, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, pimentos or roasted red peppers, horseradish, or even diced cooked potato.

The seasonings can be varied as well—curry powder is a pretty common addition. Cayenne can be added for heat.
The herbs and spices can also be simplified by just using 1-1 ½ tsp of your favorite seasoning mix instead of the long-ish list in this recipe.

You could also change the assembly and stuff this filling into little croustade shells or similar so that you could eat it finger-food style, like deviled eggs. It could could also be served in hollowed out fresh tomatoes.







Looking for sandwich spreads? Try my Mashed Garbanzo and Artichoke Spread or Cheaper Hummus.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Vegan Zucchini Bread

This holiday season I chose to attend several local holiday craft fairs. They're fun and festive, get you in the holiday mood and are a good source of inspiration for gifts and treats. I say inspiration because I usually browse rather than buy at them--price inflation can be fairly significant and there's rarely anything vegan among the edible offerings.

At any rate I usually leave with a couple of unique but inexpensive ornaments and a craving for the traditional treats I've been seeing and smelling all day, in particular the little loafs of various holiday breads lined up in a row.

So I decided to make my own vegan version of my favorite, zucchini bread.

Vegan Zucchini Bread


Vegan Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread


Dry ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
¼-1/2 cup oat bran
¾-1 cup sugar or sweetener
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
dash cardamom
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼-1/2 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:

½ cup applesauce
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp almond extract
2/3 cup soy milk

2 cups shredded zucchini

Chopped pecans (optional)

Directions:

Shred your zucchini using either the top disk of a food processor or a box grater.

Mix the dry ingredients together. (Use the higher amount of bran if making the sugar free version to improve the texture)
Stir together the wet ingredients.

Mixing the batter


Combine dry and wet mixes together and stir in the zucchini, taking care not to over-mix. 




In the loaf pan




Pour batter into two parchment lined 7 by 3 inch loaf pans.







Pecan-topped version


Sprinkle the top with the pecans if using. 
 






Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F, rotating halfway through.



In the oven


Variations:
Dried fruits such as raisins or dried cranberries can be mixed in with the batter. So can nuts, shredded coconut or chocolate chips

Other dessert-friendly shredded vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, or beets, can be substituted for the zucchini. So can shredded apples or pears.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Vegan Pumpkin Peanut Butter Mini-Cheesecakes

Pumpkin and Peanut Butter may sound like an odd combination but it's actually quite compatible--somewhat reminiscent of the more popular peanut butter and banana pairing, just a little subtler.

I liked these cheesecakes. They're fun, nontraditional, and not very difficult. Including the optional lemon juice gives you a more authentic cheesecake tang, but I like them better without (That tang was actually part of the reason I never liked real cheesecake). Use as much or as little as you like.

These mini cheesecakes were an opportunity to try out my new silicon cupcake liners. They worked very well.  Paper liners don't do all that well with crumbs crusts; they tend to get greasy (or stick).
The silicon liners released the cheesecakes easily, and their floppiness allowed me to peel down the sides while pushing up the bottom, almost like a spring-form pan. I was quite pleased with them.


Cross-section view ; )

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Mini-Cheesecakes


Crust:
1 ¼ cups vegan ginger snaps (about 23 1½ inch cookies)
3 Tbsp oil
1 ½ Tbsp sugar or sweetener

Filling:
½ cup peanut butter (the thick no-stir kind)
¾ cup pumpkin puree
1 12 oz package silken tofu
¾ cup sugar or sweetener
1 ½ Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp dried orange or lemon zest
dash each cardamom and nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
optional: up to 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice (only add if you prefer a distinctly tangy cheesecake; I leave it out)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Making the ginger snap crust
Pulse ginger snaps in food processor until they are fairly finely ground. Add oil and sugar/sweetener pulse until mixture looks like wet sand. Press crumbs into the bottom and up to ½ an inch up the sides of 12 silicon muffin liners. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Let cool five minutes.

Blending the filling




Place all filling ingredients into the food processor (no need to rinse it between crust and filling) and puree until completely smooth. Spoon filling into your cups and smooth the tops. Don’t worry about leaving room; these don’t rise.

Ready to bake

Bake for 20-22 minutes more. They should look firm and not at all wobbly. Let cool completely before you try to get peel them out of the cups

Then enjoy! This isn’t one of those cheesecake recipes where you have to chill forever before eating (although leftovers should definitely be stored in the fridge).




Happy Thanksgiving! Have a fun, stress-free holiday. Or failing that, just have some cheesecake!



Cheesecake: Therapy for Foodies

Friday, November 15, 2013

Savory Whole Wheat Herb Bread (and the really good stuffing you can make with it)


http://virtualveganpotluck.com/november-2013/

This post is part of the Virtual Vegan  Potluck, a blog ring in which vegan bloggers around the world post at the same time and link to each other. I participated this last May in the dessert category with this Cinnamon Snickerdoodle Sticky Bun Cake. My category is bread this time, and I have chosen to make a savory whole grain herb bread.



Whole Wheat Herb Bread

The classic approach to whole wheat bread is usually on the sweet side. In fact, in many cookbooks that have both a classic white bread recipe and a whole wheat recipe, the latter contains up to four or five times as much added sugar as the latter. Which somewhat counteracts the potential low-glycemic benefits of whole grains and can also be incompatible in recipes designed for less-sweet white bread.

But this is not the only possible option. A savory take on wheat bread can be quite refreshing and delicious. Such breads also work much better as ingredients in savory recipes such as stuffing or croutons. Here is my favorite “ingredient” bread—it’s flavorful, and has an absorbent but sturdy texture that toasts well and doesn’t get soggy with mixed with liquids.

It’s also a very easy and relatively quick recipe. Bread making can be both intimidating and time consuming. An average bread recipe typically takes at least three hours of rising, kneading and baking. And some extend the process over days. This one takes only an hour and a half total (quite short for a yeast bread) and requires no kneading or proofing. This makes baking a whole loaf of bread just to be hacked up and put into a recipe more feasible than with a more difficult bread recipe. The only problem is keeping people away from the bread long to make the stuffing. :)

 
Mmmm, fresh homemade bread....

 

Savory Whole Wheat Herb Bread


Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour
2 1/4 tsp rapid rise yeast
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 2/3 cups warm water (about 115 degrees F)

Herbs and Seasonings:
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dill weed

Directions:

Mix together all dry ingredients, including herbs and seasonings, in a large mixing bowl. Warm your water, being careful not to let it get more than a few degrees above your target of 115 degrees. Warm water helps yeast work efficiently; excessively hot water can damage or even destroy yeast. This a a step that's worth being precise with--I use a candy thermometer to check my water temperature.

Note: If you don't have a candy thermometer or are opposed to using one for a basic bread recipe, you can try bringing 2/3 cup of water to a boil in a kettle or microwave and then mixing it with 1 cup of cool tap water. Then you should have 1 2/3 cups of water that is (roughly) 110 to 115 degrees. This is not quite as reliable as the thermometer but should be good enough.
The rising dough

Mix your warmed water into your dry ingredients, stirring and scraping the sides and bottom until there are no dry patches. Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray on the bottom. Place in a warm, draft-free place (I use a turned-off oven or microwave with the door closed) for 30 minutes. The dough should have doubled in size; give it another 5-10 minutes if it has not.

Before second rise

Stir the dough briefly to punch down and then scrape it into a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Using an oiled or sprayed spatula will make this process easier, as it will be a rather sticky dough.





After second rise and ready to bake

Cover the loaf pan with sprayed plastic wrap (you can use the same piece as before) and let rise again in your draft-free spot for another 20-30 minutes. The dough should rise up to the top of the loaf pan or a little over.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F five to ten minutes before the end of the second rising time.



Remove the plastic wrap from the loaf pan and bake the bread 25-30 minutes, until nicely browned.
in the oven
cooling on rack











Flip the loaf out of the pan to cool on a rack. Let cool about 45 minutes before slicing.




Savory Herb Bread, Sliced and ready to eat

 

 



Full-Flavored Whole Wheat Vegan Stuffing Recipe—Made with Homemade Herb Bread



So what can you do now that you have a nice savory loaf of wheat bread? Make stuffing!
Bread with herbs and seasonings baked right in makes an excellent stuffing or dressing. Using homemade herb bread is a very effective way to get great flavor deep into bread, rather than just mixing the herbs in at the end and hoping they soak in. This technique of using pre-flavored bread is actually used by major brands of store-bought dressing mixes, too.

 (Did you know, using the term dressing for stuffing comes from the Victorian era, when the word stuffing was considered “vulgar.” Probably because it put people in mind of where it was going to be shoved.)

Anyway, this dressing was the best I have made from scratch so far. There are a lot of different ways to vary it—add-ins that can be sautéed with the onions and celery, mix-ins that are stirred in right before baking. The leek version (which is pictured) was very good.


Whole Wheat Leek Stuffing

 

Savory Vegan Stuffing

 

Ingredients:
¾ of a loaf of Savory Whole Wheat Herb Bread, above (one recipe minus 3-4 slices)
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp garlic
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery

1 ½ cups thinly sliced leeks OR other sauté-able add-ins such as mushrooms, shallots, bell peppers, diced apples/pears, fennel, zucchini, squash or mock meats/sausage

½ tsp salt (more to taste)
2 ¾ cup low sodium vegetable broth

Seasonings:
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp lemon pepper
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp dill weed
½ tsp parsley
¼ tsp ground sage
1 tsp Italian seasoning

Optional Mix-ins to stir in at the end (choose 1 or 2, use up to ½ cup): dried cranberries, cherries, apricots or other dried fruit, nuts such as pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, chestnuts, etc., olives, capers, artichoke hearts, fresh greens such as spinach or chopped fresh herbs (decrease dried to compensate)

Directions:
Cut the bread into ¾ inch cubes. Spread the cubes out on two baking sheets and toast them in the oven for 50 minutes at 325 degrees F, stirring halfway through. Let cool.

Toasting the bread cubes

Sauteing the veggies

Meanwhile, sauté garlic, onion, celery, and leeks or other sauté-able add-ins in 1-2 Tbsp of the oil. Add the salt and cook until veggies are softened and somewhat browned. Add the rest of the seasonings and cook a minute more. Add the broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Cook for a minute or two, then pull off heat.



Stirring in the bread

Stir in the toasted bread cubes and cover the pot. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then stir and let it sit 5 minutes more. Taste and adjust salt and other seasonings. Stir in any last minute mix-ins such as nuts or dried fruit.

Transfer the stuffing to a baking dish and brush the top with 1 tablespoon more oil. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 and bake for 15 minutes more. Watch carefully—the stuffing should be quite toasty and crunchy on top but not at all burnt. You may need to adjust the temp and time if your oven runs hot. Let cool ten to fifteen minutes before serving. Enjoy!




Fresh out of the oven
 



Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in the potluck:

http://wp.me/p3IY62-ka
To the previous blog in the VVP
http://wp.me/p3h9cZ-ke
To the next blog in the VVP


By the way, if you're looking for other Thanksgiving ideas to go with your stuffing, you can check out the Thanksgiving, holiday, pie, and pumpkin tags. You might get inspired to try something new this year!
I particularly recommend the Pumpkin Sweet Potato Pecan Streusel Pie and the Seitan Pot Pie with Mushrooms and Pearl Onions.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Wafer Cookies & Icebox Cake

There are quite a few uses for wafer cookies in baking: they can be ground into crumbs for use in pie crusts, layered into retro desserts or even used as a candy base. Unfortunately, most store-bought versions are not vegan. When you make your own version you can customize them even further for special diets. I’ve made a sugar free variation, for example, which worked quite well.

Chocolate wafer cookies

 

Vegan Chocolate Wafer Cookies


¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
6 Tbsp cocoa or carob powder
½ cup sugar or sweetener
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp instant coffee or caffeine-free coffee substitute
¼ cup oil
¼ cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together all dry ingredients. Stir together wet ingredients, and then pour over dry ingredients. Combine until homogenous, trying not to overmix.

Form into 1 or more logs of 1 to 1 ½ inches in diameter. Wrap with wax paper or plastic wrap and freeze for about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment or silpat. Unwrap each log and slice into ¼ inch discs. Arrange cookies on cookie sheets. Press and shape each cookie with your fingers a little to help it hold together.

Bake for about 11 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Let cool completely before assembling into icebox cake or other dessert.

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Icebox Cake

 


And here’s one of those retro desserts I was talking about. An icebox cake is a dessert made of cookies (usually store-bought) layered with either whipped cream or pudding and then chilled overnight. When it is sliced the next day it resembles a layer cake in miniature. Icebox cakes come in many shapes and flavors, most of them not vegan, but some with promise for modification : ).
Here I’ve used a tofu-hazelnut mousse in place of the whipped cream and these homemade wafer cookies in place of storebought ones.

Chocolate Hazelnut Icebox Cake

 

Vegan Icebox Cake


Vegan Hazelnut Mousse (whipped topping substitute):
1 12 oz pkg firm silken tofu
½ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
1/3 cup sugar or sweetener
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 Tbsp soymilk (optional)
dash of cinnamon

One recipe Vegan Chocolate Wafer cookies (above), cooked and cooled completely

Directions:
For Hazelnut Mousse: Puree all mousse ingredients in a blender or food processor until completely smooth, adding the soymilk if necessary to help out the blender.

To assemble:
Spreading the lined pan with mousse
Line one large loaf pan or 4 mini loaf pans with plastic wrap. Smear the bottom of the lined pan with a thin layer of the hazelnut mousse.

Take one cookie and smear it with mousse. Press it against one inner edge of the plastic-lined loaf pan. Take another cookie, smear it with mousse, and press it against the first cookie.

Arranging the cookies in layers


Keep smearing cookies and pressing them against each other until the row reaches the other side of the pan. Make sure the last cookie in the row is smeared on both sides.
If you’re using the large loaf pan, start another row and keep going until you fill up the entire pan. If you are using the small loaf pans you will probably only need the one row per pan.

Covered and chilled

Smear more hazelnut mousse over the top and into the corners and edges.
Cover the top of the pan with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight.
The next day, peel back the plastic wrap, and then slice and serve.

 

 

Variations

If you don’t want to use wafer cookies, you can use thicker cookies (such as chocolate chip) as long as you briefly dunk each one in soy milk before you put the cake together.

Icebox cakes can be made in different shapes. You could try a round one, or a tall tower.

The sugar-free version of this icebox cake (with both the wafer cookies and the hazelnut mousse made with stevia or splenda in place of sugar) was one the best-received sugar free desserts I have made. It’s definitely worth a try.

If you have access to a commercial version of vegan whipped topping, you could certainly use that in place of the hazelnut mousse.

Icebox cake made with store-bought vegan whipped topping



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Scrambled Tofu Rancheros


A vegan riff on Huevos Rancheros, this was a pretty satisfying meal. It’s a bit of a fancier take on a Mexican meal without being overly difficult or time consuming. If you’re a talented enough multitasker, you can have all three components going at once and finish fairly quickly.

The tostada-like crispy tortilla adds a nice textural component and doesn’t get soggy like a fresh tortilla would. If you’d rather skip it you could use a bed of tortilla chips instead but it wouldn’t be quite the same.

The ranchero sauce is hearty but fairly mild; you can spice it up with some red pepper flakes or ground cayenne if you want to, or just use a spicier salsa.


Scrambled Tofu Rancheros on a Crispy Baked Tortilla

 

Scrambled Tofu Rancheros


Scrambled Tofu with mushrooms:

1 Tbsp oil
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 14 oz package firm or extra firm tofu, crumbled
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp mustard powder
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp onion powder
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
salt and pepper to taste

Ranchero Sauce:

1 Tbsp oil
½ cup diced onions
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup salsa (mild or spicy according to your taste)
½ cup canned hominy
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp curry powder
½ tsp oregano
1 tsp veggie broth powder
¼ tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Crispy tortillas:

4 6-8 inch tortillas (flour or corn)
approx. 1 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
a few dashes of garlic salt

Directions:

Mushroom Scrambled Tofu
First, make the scrambled tofu: sauté the garlic in the oil until fragrant and very lightly browned. Add the mushrooms. Keep cooking until the mushrooms release their liquid, the liquid evaporates, and the mushrooms begin to brown. Pull about half the mushrooms out of the pan and set aside to add to the sauce.
Add the tofu to the pan with the remaining mushrooms. Add spices and remaining scramble ingredients. Saute until the tofu is fairly dry and somewhat browned.

Ranchero Sauce
Meanwhile, make the ranchero sauce: In a separate pan, saute the onions in the oil until transparent. Add the tomatoes and their liquid, then the beans and the rest of the sauce ingredients, including the reserved sautéed mushrooms. Let the sauce simmer until it’s thick and everything else is ready, at least 10 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.

To make the crispy tortillas: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray two cookie sheets with cooking spray. Place 4 tortillas on the cookie sheets with as little overlap as possible. Brush the tops lightly with lime or lemon juice then sprinkle evenly with garlic salt. Bake for 8-10 minutes until crispy (watch out for burning!).
Sauce on crispy tortilla




To assemble: Take a crispy tortilla and spoon sauce around the edge in a thick ring. Pile scrambled tofu in the middle. Top with guacamole or vegan sour cream if you wish, and serve immediately.

 

Tofu in the middle

 

 

Variations:

The sauce can be simplified down to just salsa if you wish, or fancied up further with extra sauteed veggies (bell pepper might be nice) and/or a vegan ground meat substitute.

The scrambled tofu and ranchero sauce could be assembled breakfast burrito style as well.