Vegan Thai Red Curry

Vegan Thai Red Curry

One of my favorite dishes is Thai Red Curry with tofu. The complex flavors of the curry are warm and satisfying like no other dish I have ever eaten. My son, Andrew, first introduced me to Thai food after his travels to Thailand. He has traveled there a few times for both pleasure and school, and has become very fond of the culture and the food of the country.

I am not vegan, but I do like to eat healthy and I am always looking for easy vegan recipes to add to my collection. Therefore, I decided to make a vegan version of my favorite Thai dish, which was simple to do–just remove the fish sauce and use tofu for the protein. It is easy to make and I think you are going to love it.

This Thai inspired dish, is very easy to make. Most of the ingredients can be found at a regular grocery store, but I was not able to find the Thai chili so I used a jalapeño to add some heat.

Let’s get started!

Marinade for Tofu:

1 – garlic clove minced
3 – tbls. soy sauce
1 – tbls. honey (or brown sugar)
3 – tbls. rice vinegar
1/2 – tsp. red pepper flake
1 – 10 oz. extra firm tofu, cubed

Directions:

First, drain the tofu and wrap it in paper towels to absorb the extra water. You can also place a heavy pan on top of it to help squeeze out some of the water. Let is sit about 15 minutes to get out as much water as possible.

Next, place all the ingredients into a container with an air tight lid and stir to blend all the ingredients. Once the tofu is ready, cut it into one inch cubes. Place the cubed tofu into the marinade and seal tight. The tofu is delicate, so instead of mixing with a spoon, turn the container upside down a few times to cover all the pieces with the marinade. Let it marinate about 30 minutes, rotating the container periodically to make sure all the tofu marinates evenly.

Once the tofu has marinated long enough, heat a little canola oil in a large non-stick skillet. Cook until browned on all sides. Be careful not to break up the pieces when turning them. When they are ready, set aside until the curry is ready.

Ingredients for the Curry:

1/2 – cup thinly sliced red onion
1 – thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 – cup sliced crimini mushrooms
1/2 – cup carrots
2 – cloves garlic minced
1/2 – small jalapeño pepper, sliced into rings (or Thai Chili if you can find it)
1/2 – cup vegetable stock
3 – tbls. red Thai curry paste
14 – oz. light coconut milk
1 – lime and zest
1 – tsp. grated ginger
2 – tsp. honey (or brown sugar)
1 – tsp. salt
cilantro

Directions:

Cut the red onion, red bell pepper, and crimini mushrooms into thin slices. Mince the garlic and grate the ginger using a microplane. Next, slice half of a jalapeño pepper into thin rings, and the carrot into thin rounds.

In a large heavy pot or dutch oven, add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and simmer about 5 minutes until they become translucent.

Next add the red curry paste and stir well until it dissolves into the liquid, then add the red bell peppers, mushrooms, jalapeño, and carrots to the pot.

Now add the coconut milk, lime juice, and lime zest.

Mix well and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

Once the curry is ready, add the salt and honey. Stir well, then add the tofu, and about two tablespoons of chopped cilantro.

Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.




Tofu Reuben Sandwich with Broccoli Slaw

Tofu Reuben, Broccoli, Slaw

A classic Reuben sandwich is made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing. It is one of my all time favorites; however, I avoid eating it because I try to eat healthier. One day I was having lunch in a local cafe and noticed on the menu a Tofu Reuben sandwich. I had to try it. I am always looking for new ways to make tofu, so I was delighted to find that this sandwich was very satisfying. Just substituting the corned beef with the tofu turned a very decadent sandwich into a healthy, delicious one.

So I am making for you today my own version of a Tofu Reuben Sandwich. This is a great vegetarian sandwich that is hearty and satisfying. I enhanced the tofu with the warm spices of cumin and paprika, then grilled it lightly before adding it to the sandwich. Then I elevated the flavors with a homemade thousand island dressing.

Let’s start with the dressing. . .

Thousand Island Dressing

You can buy a bottled dressing, but I prefer to make my own. The recipe for homemade Thousand Island Dressing is very easy to make, and the flavor is fresh and delicious.

Ingredients:
1/2 – cup low fat mayonnaise
2 – tbls. sweet relish
2 – tbls. ketchup
2 tsp. finely diced red onion
1/2 – clove garlic finely minced
1 – tsp. white vinegar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
1/4 – tsp. Sriracha hot sauce ( or more if you desire)

Directions:
Finely dice the red onion, and mince one-half clove of garlic.  Add all the ingredients to a medium sized bowl and mix well.  Store in refrigerator until ready to use .

Broccoli Slaw

I also served the sandwich with a broccoli slaw salad.  You can find the broccoli slaw in most grocery stores.  Broccoli is a nice variation to coleslaw.  I add a little extra red cabbage and red onion to the store bought mix to enhance the flavors.  Instead of a mayonnaise based dressing, I made a honey mustard vinaigrette. It is the perfect balance of sweet and sour.

Ingredients:
12 oz – pkg. broccoli slaw
1 cup – thinly sliced red cabbage
2 tbls. – olive oil
2 tbls. – apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp. – cayenne pepper
1 tsp. – Dijon mustard
Dash ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. – salt
1 tbls. – honey
1/2 clove – finely minced garlic
1/3 cup – diced red onion

Directions:
Thinly slice the red cabbage, and dice the onion.  Add the broccoli slaw, red cabbage and onion in a large bowl, and set aside while you make the dressing.

In a small bowl, add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.  Whisk until it emulsifies.  Pour over the slaw mixture and mix well.  Place in refrigerator for one hour before serving.

Now for the star of the meal . . .

Tofu Reuben Sandwich

Ingredients:
16 oz. – Extra Firm Tofu
16 oz. – bag of Sauerkraut, drained
1/2 – lb. Swiss cheese
1 – loaf sour dough bread
Salt
Ground black pepper
Cumin
paprika

Directions:
Drain the tofu and use paper towel to soak up the excess water. Slice the tofu into 1/2 inch thick pieces. Sprinkle both sides with salt and black pepper to taste. Moderately sprinkle both sides with cumin and paprika.

Heat a little canola on a cast iron grill or pan. Cook until lightly browned on each side, about 3 minutes.

Assemble the sandwich. . .

Spread thousand island dressing on both slices of bread; top each slice with Swiss cheese. Place two slices of the grilled tofu on one slice and top off with sauerkraut.

Top off with sauerkraut

Add a little butter to the grill pan. Once it is melted add the sandwich and grill on both sides until golden brown. Add more butter as needed.

Serve immediately and Enjoy!

Makes 4 sandwiches.




Tofu Scramble with Potatoes, Peppers, and Spinach

 

Tofu scramble, spinach, potatoes, peppers

Tofu scramble is one of my favorite vegan dishes.  It’s easy, delicious, and versatile.  This recipe uses spinach, potatoes, and green bell peppers, but you can use any vegetables you prefer.  Kale, zucchini, and mushrooms are just a few tasty options.

You can make this for breakfast or brunch, but I like to make it for a light, healthy dinner.  I’m not vegan, as you can see from my recipes, but I do like to eat healthy and prefer not to eat meat every day. Tofu is a good protein source for those days when I want to go meatless.  I find the tofu scramble to be a full-proof vegan dish.  It doesn’t take any special skill to make it taste delicious.

Let’s get started. . .

Ingredients:
2 – tbls. olive oil
2 – cloves garlic minced
1 – large red potato
1 – large green or red bell pepper
1 – small onion
5 – oz. baby spinach
10 – oz. extra firm tofu
1/2 – tsp. cumin
1/2 – tsp. Adobo seasoning
3/4 – tsp. turmeric
1/2 – tsp. oregano
3/4 – tsp. salt
Ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
Drain the tofu and wrap it in paper towel to soak up some of the liquid. Cut the potato into thin bite sized pieces, with the skin on. Heat 2 tbls. Olive oil in a large skillet, add the potatoes, minced garlic and sprinkle with a little salt and ground black pepper.

Cook until the potatoes start to brown. Flip over to brown both sides. Be careful not to burn the garlic.

While the potatoes are cooking, dice the onion into small pieces and the green pepper into bite sided pieces. You can use any bell pepper you like.  I happened to have green peppers available, but I prefer red bell peppers.  They are sweeter and they add a nice color contrast to the dish.

Once the potatoes are browned, push them aside and add the peppers and onions.

Cook until the peppers begin to soften then mix together with the potatoes. This will take about 4 minutes.

Add the spinach and mix all together. Cover the pan with a lid until the spinach begins to reduce, which will take about 3 minutes.

Cut the tofu into cubes, then push the potato and vegetables to one side of the pan and add the tofu, leaving a space to put the spices.

Add the cumin, Adobo, turmeric, oregano and salt.

Pour about 1/2 cup water into the spices and mix until completely dissolved, then mix through the tofu, potatoes, and vegetables.

Cook about 5-6 minutes mixing occasionally.

 

Serve immediately with pita bread or any bread of your choice.

This recipe should make 4 servings, but for my family it only makes 3 servings.

Enjoy!