Tofu Jambalaya (4-6 servings)
*1 lb extra-firm tofu, frozen and defrosted
*1 lg. onion, chopped
*1 bell pepper, chopped (green and/or red)
*2 ribs celery, chopped
*3 cloves garlic, chopped
*1 cup white rice
*1 lg. can diced tomatoes (28 ounces)
*1/2 cup tomato juice or water
*2 1/2 tsp chili powder (may use part chipotle chili powder)
*1 tsp salt
*1 tsp thyme
*1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke seasoning (optional)
*red (cayenne) and black pepper to taste
Prepare the tofu by gently squeezing out the excess water and cutting it into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.
Oil or spray a large, non-stick pot with a light coating of olive oil. Over medium-high heat, sauté onion, bell pepper, and celery until soft. Add rice and garlic and cook, stirring, until it browns slightly. Add tomatoes, water, chili powder and other seasonings, and stir. (It’s the cayenne pepper that makes this spicy, so be sure to add plenty!) Gently stir in tofu, cover tightly and put on low heat. Cook for 30 minutes or until rice is done and liquid is absorbed.
This makes about 4-6 servings. Once you’ve had this recipe, you’ll do like I do and keep a package of tofu in the freezer at all times!
Note: You can do this with brown rice, but it takes about twice as long to cook and requires at least a cup more liquid. And, to tell you the truth, it doesn’t taste as good. But feel free to try it that way.
Plantain Salad (serves 4) – we substituted raw bananas for cooked plantains
Prep Time: 20 mins
- Peel the plantains by cutting through the peel lengthwise and sliding your fingers under the skin to pull it off.
- Place the whole plantains in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover; bring to a boil and simmer for about ten minutes or until plantains are soft enough to pierce with a fork (If you use ripe ones which have gone yellow and are developing black spots, 10 minutes will be fine–the green ones will take longer and won’t taste as good).
- Drain the plantains and set aside to cool.
- While the plantains are cooking, peel and seed the green pepper and slice it into long thin slices.
- Seed and chop the red pepper.
- Peel, seed and dice the cucumber and place in a bowl with the peppers.
- Whisk the oil, lime juice, salt and pepper, and garlic (if you are using it–I like it) together until creamy; this will take a couple of minutes.
- Slice the cooled plantains on the diagonal into 1/2″ pieces and add to the vegetables in the bowl.
- Pour the marinade over and mix well.
- Serve at room temperature.
- Note: This salad is best if made an hour or so in advance so the flavors can ‘marry’ — I find it needs more salt and pepper at the table–a matter of taste.
Gingerbread Cookies (Makes about 16 cookies)
*1/3 cup canola oil
*3/4 cup sugar
*1/4 cup molasses
*1/4 cup plain soymilk
*2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour (or a mix of both)
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon each ground nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon
*1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
In a large bowl whisk together oil and sugar for about 3 minutes. Add molasses and soymilk. The molasses and soymilk won’t really blend with the oil but that’s ok.
Sift in all of the other dry ingredients, mixing about half way through. When all of the dry ingredients are added, mix until a stiff dough is formed. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour or up to 3 days in advance. If you chill longer than an hour you may want to let it sit for 10 minutes to warm up a bit before proceeding.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease your cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to a little less than 1/4 inch thick. Cut out your shapes with your cookie cutters and use a thin spatula to gently place on cookie sheets. If you are using them to decorate a tree or something, remember to punch a hole in their heads (!) before baking. Bake for 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and let them cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet then move to a cooling rack. Wait until they are completely cool before icing