Enchilada Casserole

All the great enchilada flavor but without the work required to roll everything into little enchiladas. This recipe calls for 2 cups baked or grilled vegetables, so I usually plan to have this the day after one of those other meals as a creative way to use the leftovers without feeling like I’m eating leftovers! Makes 6 servings.

Casserole Ingredients

1 14 ounce can rinsed and drained hominy
1 14 ounce can rinsed and drained pinto beans
1 14 ounce can enchilada sauce
2 cups chopped Baked Vegetables or Grilled Vegetables
1 chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup minced onions
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (divided)
1 recipe Mexican Marinated Tofu

Topping Ingredients

tortilla chips
avocado slices
vegan sour cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the tofu into 1-inch squares.

Lightly oil a large casserole dish. Spread a couple of spoonfuls of enchilada sauce across the bottom of the dish. Add remaining casserole ingredients, except for half of the cilantro, and stir to combine. Bake uncovered in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro over the top.

Serve in a bowl with tortilla chips, avocado slices and vegan sour cream.

Variations

  • Add a couple layers of corn tortillas, which makes it kind of like an enchilada lasagna.
  • Serve with corn tortillas and use the enchilada casserole as filling to wrap like burritos.
  • Top with vegan cheese before baking.
  • Add fresh or sun dried tomatoes.
  • Experiment with other kinds of beans or vegetables.

More information for Enchilada Casserole recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 40 min
  • Total time: 55 min

Baked Mexican Marinated Tofu

Mexican Marinade

Warning! This Mexican marinade is spicy, but it has a delicious chipotle, lime and cilantro flavor. See the Mexican Marinated tofu recipe below for details about using the marinade.

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1 orange
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
3 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried minced onions
1 teaspoon cumin
3 chopped chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon adobo sauce

Combine all ingredients and stir or whisk to combine.

Variations

  • Dial back on the chipotle peppers if you want something a little less spicy.
  • You could also substitute your favorite spicy chipotle hot sauce to taste in place of the chili peppers and adobo.
  • Use this marinade to brush on vegetables before you grill them for a Mexican grilled vegetable meal.
  • Can easily be made gluten-free and low-sodium.

More information for Mexican Marinade recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Total time: 15 min

Baked Mexican Marinated Tofu

I use this tofu in tacos, burritos, nacho salads or any other Mexican meal. The Enchilada Casserole is one of my recipes that uses this Baked Mexican Marinated Tofu. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

1 14 ounce package of firm or extra firm tofu
1 batch Mexican Marinade recipe (see above)
vegetable oil

Slice the tofu into 4 or 5 even pieces. Press the tofu to reduce excess moisture by placing a towel on the counter and wrapping the tofu in the towel*. Place a cutting board on top of the tofu and place something heavy on top (cast iron skillet, a couple of cans of tomatoes, etc.) Let sit for 5 minutes. Rearrange the tofu to a dry part of the towel or on a new towel, and press again for about 5 minutes.

Place the tofu in a plastic zipper bag or shallow container. Pour the Mexican Marinade over the tofu and make sure all of the tofu is covered. Marinade for 1 to 3 hours turning the tofu a few times to make sure that all sides are evenly marinated.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray or brush a little oil on a cookie sheet. Place the tofu on the oiled cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes turning once after the first 10 minutes.

Variations

  • Experiment with other marinades.
  • If you like your tofu less soft in the middle, bake it at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, again turning them over at the halfway mark.
  • This is also excellent when cooked on the grill.
  • Pan Fried Tofu: spray or brush a large, heavy skillet with a small amount of oil. Over medium heat, add the tofu and cook for 5 to 10 minutes on each side.
  • Can be easily made low-sodium and gluten-free.

More information for Baked Mexican Marinated Tofu recipe:

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 20 min
  • Total time: 30 min

* Note: If you have fuzzy kitchen towels, you’ll probably want to wrap it in a paper towel first to avoid getting fuzzy lint on your tofu.

Baked Veggies with Tahini Sauce

This is one of my favorite ways to use a few handfuls of veggies languishing and almost forgotten in the produce drawer of the refrigerator. This can even be a quick meal if you buy one of those pre-cut bags of broccoli and cauliflower and use baby carrots. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

4 cups chopped broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots (combined)
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt, pepper, and freshly ground coriander seed to taste.
1 recipe Tahini Sauce

Place oven rack in top position. Preheat oven to 450.

Toss veggies with 2 teaspoons olive oil and place on large cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and ground coriander. Bake on top rack for 15 minutes for crisp vegetables.

Serve topped with tahini sauce.

Variations

  • Main Meal: Serve over your favorite whole grain for a main meal version.
  • Great with any other vegetables or add a little onion and garlic for variety.
  • The tahini sauce is particularly good with cauliflower, especially if you turn it after 15 minutes and cook for an extra 10 minutes until it starts to brown.
  • Omit the salt and use a reduced sodium tahini sauce for a low-sodium version.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Baked Veggies with Tahini Sauce recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 15 min
  • Total time: 30 min

Tahini Sauce

This is great on just about any type of vegetable, but it is absolutely awesome with baked cauliflower. Makes 4 servings.

2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup tahini (more or less to taste)
1/4 cup water
1 freshly squeezed lemon
1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
chopped parsley (optional)

In a cold saucepan, add all ingredients, except the parsley, and whisk together. Over low heat, gently warm the sauce to just above room temperature, and be careful not to simmer or boil. Tahini stays creamier and maintains a much better consistency at lower temperatures. Add additional water as needed if it seems a little too thick.

Top with parsley and serve with Baked Veggies or Grilled Vegetables and Tofu.

Variations

  • Omit the salt and use a reduced sodium tahini sauce for a low-sodium version.
  • Naturally gluten-free.

More information for Tahini Sauce recipe:

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Cook time: 5 min
  • Total time: 10 min

Tempeh Salad

This is my standard summer salad when I want a light, quick lunch with vegetables and some protein. I usually make a batch of Italian Marinated Tempeh in advance and then have it available for a few salads throughout the week. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

4 cups of lettuce or spinach
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 sliced tomato or cherry tomatoes
1/2 sliced avocado
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup Italian Marinated Tempeh
Annie’s Naturals Goddess Dressing to taste.

Toss the lettuce, carrots, tomato, pumpkin seeds and tempeh together. Top with sliced avocado and serve with Goddess Dressing.

Variations

  • Use packaged tempeh bacon if you don’t want to make marinated tempeh.
  • Avocado and tomatoes are great in the summer, but during the winter, you’ll want to experiment with other vegetables.
  • Top with balsamic vinegar and olive oil or another favorite salad dressing, instead of Goddess Dressing.
  • For a low-sodium version, use the low-sodium variation of the Italian Marinade and serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to replace the Goddess Dressing.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free by choosing an appropriate salad dressing and brand of tempeh.

More information for Tempeh Salad recipe:

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Total time: 5 min

Italian Marinated Tempeh

Italian Marinade

This is my favorite marinade for tempeh, but it’s also great with tofu or brushed onto vegetables before you throw them on the grill.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup tamari
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed between fingers
1 teaspoon minced onions
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and stir or whisk to combine.

Variations

  • Experiment with some different spices.
  • This marinade can be a little strong for some people. If so, you can add 1/4 cup of water or vegetable broth to tone it down a bit.
  • Omit the tamari for a low-sodium version. Add a little extra balsamic vinegar or water if you need more liquid.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Italian Marinade recipe:

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Total time: 5 min

Italian Marinated Tempeh

This is great as a side dish, but my favorite way to use it is as part of the Tempeh Salad. Makes 4 servings.

1 8 ounce package tempeh
1 batch Italian Marinade recipe (see above)

Cut tempeh into 1 to 1/2 inch wide cubes. Combine marinade and tempeh in a sealed bowl. Cover and shake well until all pieces are coated.

Place in the refrigerator for one hour or overnight shaking the container every now and again (when you think of it) to coat all pieces. The tempeh will begin to absorb all the marinade.

When ready to cook, heat a non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Add tempeh and any liquid and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring to turn the pieces until all of the liquid has evaporated or been absorbed. Serve immediately or keep in a covered container in fridge.

Variations

  • Slice the tempeh into larger strips and grill them instead of cooking them on the stove.
  • Omit the tamari in the marinade for a low-sodium version. Add a little extra balsamic vinegar or water if you need more liquid.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Italian Marinated Tempeh recipe:

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Cook time: 10 min
  • Total time: 15 min

Pictured: Italian Marinated Tempeh used on a Tempeh Salad.

Tofu Veggie Pad Thai

For when you just want a big plate of Thai noodles. Vegan Black Metal Chef techniques are optional, but encouraged. 🙂 Makes 4 servings.

1 ounce tamarind paste
3/4 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
4 ounces rice stick noodles (may be called Pad Thai noodles)
2 cups chopped veggies (broccoli, carrots, etc.)
1 recipe Baked Soy Marinated Tofu
1 to 2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 chopped shallot
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped and divided
1 teaspoon chili paste
1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Place the tamarind paste in the boiling water and set aside while preparing the other ingredients.

Combine the tamari, palm sugar, chili paste and rice vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.

Place the rice stick noodles in a mixing bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Once the other ingredients are measured out into separate bowls, drain the water from the noodles and set them aside. The noodles should be soft and ready to eat. If not, cover with more hot water or boil on top of the stove for a minute or two like you would any other pasta. Drizzle the noodles with an extra tablespoon of tamari if you want to give the noodles a little more flavor.

Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch wide strips, similar to French fries.

Press the tamarind paste and hot water through a fine mesh strainer, pushing as much of the pulp through the strainer as possible and add to the sauce. Discard any remaining pulp or bits that were too big to strain.

Add peanut oil to the pan and heat over high. Add shallots and cook for about a minute. Add the garlic and cook for 10 to 15 seconds.

Add veggies and stir-fry with 1/4 of the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes or until almost done. Add the noodles and stir-fry for another 2 to 3 minutes until the noodles taste done.

Add the tofu and half the peanuts. Add the sauce slowly as needed (you might not want all of the sauce). Toss everything until heated through, but no longer than 1 to 2 minutes total.

Sprinkle with the cilantro and remaining peanuts. Toss to coat. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

Variations

  • Replace rice noodles with 2 zucchinis (spiral sliced) for a slightly healthier veggie noodle version. Dunk the zucchini strings in hot water for a minute or until warmed.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Tofu Veggie Pad Thai recipe:

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 5 min
  • Total time: 25 min

Barley Stuffed Acorn Squash

Served in half a squash, this makes a really nice main dish or side for any fall holiday dinner. While it has quite a few ingredients, most of them are fairly common so this dish comes together more quickly than you might expect. Makes 2 servings.

1 large acorn squash*
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 stalk chopped celery
1 medium chopped carrot
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons port or red wine (preferably out of the glass you’re drinking while making dinner)
1 cup cooked barley
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (reconstituted in water and retain the water)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut squash in half, remove seeds, and bake cut side down for 30 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, sauté the onions in oil for about 5 minutes or until they start to turn translucent. Add celery and carrot and sauté until they are tender, but still firm. Add mushrooms, and continue cooking until they are soft and start to release their juice. Add garlic and stir to combine. Add port or wine and simmer for about a minute.

Add barley, raisins, pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes and walnuts. Stir to combine. Add sage, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. If it gets too dry, add some water from the sun dried tomatoes and add a drizzle of olive oil.

Continue to cook over low until everything is combined and hot. You can remove from the heat and cover to keep warm if it starts getting too done or drying out before the squash is ready.

After the squash has finished cooking cut side down for 30 minutes, flip them over to fill with stuffing. Add stuffing to interior of squash, mounding as needed, and bake covered another 20 to 30 minutes. For a crunchier top, remove cover for the last 10 minutes.

Variations

  • Try this with quinoa, brown rice or other grains in place of or in combination with the barley for something a little different.
  • Experiment with different dried fruit to replace the raisins – dried cherries or cranberries are good.
  • If you are using a small acorn squash, you can probably cut the recipe in half. You could also reduce the stuffing recipe and not heap them as full.
  • Easily made low-sodium.
  • Replace the barley with quinoa or rice for a gluten-free version.

More information for Barley Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 60 min
  • Total time: 75 min

* Note: This recipe is for a large acorn squash. If you are using a smaller squash, you’ll want to reduce the amount of filling made. If you end up with extra filling, it makes a great side dish or snack for later in the week or to eat while you are waiting for the squash to come out of the oven.

Pad Phet – Thai Eggplant

A delicious way to use an Asian eggplant, and it’s a nice change from the various Thai curries that we usually make for dinner. Makes 4 servings.

Sauce Ingredients

1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons agave nectar
1-2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste

Other Ingredients

4 cups cooked brown rice
1 tablespoon oil
4 Kaffir lime leaves – thinly sliced into threads
3 cloves garlic
1 shallot
1 large or 2 small sliced Asian eggplants (long and thin)
1 recipe Baked Soy Marinated Tofu
1 sliced red bell pepper
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup baby corn
10 sprigs of Thai basil with stems on (tear any very large sprigs in a couple pieces)

Combine sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat oil in a wok or large pan over medium heat. Sauté shallots for 2 to 4 minutes or until they turn translucent.

Increase heat to high and add veggies, garlic and kaffir lime leaves. Stir-fry veggies for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add basil, tofu and sauce. Stir-fry another 2 to 4 minutes until done.

Serve with cooked brown rice.

Variations

  • If you can’t find Thai Basil, use 10 sprigs of regular basil, but remove the stems and use the whole leaves.
  • Experiment with some other vegetables, like cauliflower and zucchini.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Pad Phet – Thai Eggplant recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 30 min
  • Total time: 45 min

Indian Spiced Cauliflower

This is a lighter, less saucy, baked version of something similar to Aloo Gobi, but without the potatoes. I think it’s a nice compliment to the Chana Masala and Creamy Red Lentil Dal when served together in a big Indian meal with rice or naan. Makes 4 servings.

1 medium head cauliflower
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
1 tablespoon freshly ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
red pepper flakes to taste
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the cauliflower into medium sized florets and place in a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together olive oil and all of the spices except for the cilantro. Drizzle the oil and spice mixture over the cauliflower. Add the cilantro and stir to combine. Add a little more oil if it seems too dry for your taste.

Transfer spiced cauliflower mixture to a glass baking dish. Cook covered for about 30 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Stir once or twice during baking.

Variations

  • For the saucy version, add some chopped or pureed tomatoes.
  • Substitute potatoes for some of the cauliflower. You might need to cut the potatoes into smaller chunks or plan to cook it a little longer with the potatoes.
  • Can be easily made low-sodium and gluten-free.

More information for Indian Spiced Cauliflower recipe:

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 30 min
  • Total time: 50 min