Un-Lobster Rolls

lobster rolls

Every single time summer rolls around, I start to crave super summery foods. To the point where nothing else will do. If it’s not bright and fresh or full of summery flavors, I really don’t want to eat it.

So I’ve taken things into my own hands here.

I present, vegan lobster rolls!

…served on hamburger buns because that was all we had and I was, honestly, way too lazy to go to the store.

You’ll need:

  • 1 package firm tofu, pressed.
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/3 c vegan mayo (I used Just Mayo. Pick your favorite)
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard (or whatever mustard you like)
  • garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste
  • Bread of your choice- preference given to hot dog buns or actual nice rolls. Don’t be lazy like me.

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Steps:

  1. Chop up your block of tofu. Think about how pieces of lobster look on the rolls and try to mimic that the best you can.
  2. Sautee up the tofu in some oil with 2 tsp Old Bay and some salt and pepper. Get some good color on the tofu.
  3. Let the tofu to cool a bit and chop up your onion.
  4. Add all ingredients except bread into a mixing bowl. Combine.
  5. Serve on toasted bread vessel, top with some chopped chives, and serve alongside potato chips.

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Taco Night!

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Tacos are the actual easiest and most delicious food ever.

If you do them right.

None of that cheese and tomato and lettuce stuff.

These tacos, not counting marinade time, took approximately 10 minutes to put together. They’re vegan, they’re healthy, they’re fresh, and they’re delicious.

I really don’t know what else to say about them. Tacos are one of my favorite week night meals because of how insanely easy they are to make. This recipe works for two at home looking for a quick bite or can be doubled into some real easy entertaining.

You’ll need:

  • 1 small can chipotle sauce
  • 1 can black beans NOT drained or rinsed
  • 1/2 block firm or extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 small handful cilantro
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Chili powder
  • 4 soft tortillas (2 tacos per person)
  • 1 avocado, sliced (optional but delicious)
  • 1 6 pack of your favorite summer beer

Steps:

  1. Combine 3 tablespoons of the chipotle sauce in a container with the spices, mix.
  2. Add tofu to the marinade, cover, and put into the fridge for anywhere from 30 minutes-2 hours.
  3. Mince onion and cilantro, mix together. Add the juice of half a lime.
  4. Pop open your black beans, dump into a pot with 1 tablespoon chipotle sauce and the juice of half a lime. Cook these on low until hot, 15-20 minutes.
  5. While the beans are cooking, heat an oiled fry pan over medium heat. When hot, add marinated tofu.
  6. Cook tofu for 5-7 minutes, stirring.
  7. This is the fun part! But only really works with a gas oven. Turn a front burner on low (like, 2) and toss the tortillas onto the grate. Periodically flip until you have some color and the tortilla is warm. Hands down the best way to heat tortillas.
  8. Add tofu, onions, and cilantro to the tortillas.
  9. Serve alongside black beans topped with more onions and cilantro and the slices of avocado.

Pair with your favorite beer and enjoy!

marinating tofu

minced onions and cilantro

minced onions and cilantro

cooking blackbeans

cooking tofu

fire the tortillas

cooked tortilla

assembling tacos

Bog wave by Kona Brewing Company

 

Big Wave by Kona Brewing Co. is my sumer favorite!

taco dinner is served

Baked Tofu Steaks and Roasted Asparagus

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Farmers Market season has begun in Chicago! To celebrate, we immediately bought the best looking asparagus bunch we could find and took it home for roasting.

But asparagus is definitely more of a side, even in vegetarian land. I suppose I COULD try to make it a main dish. Or I could serve it alongside this bomb-ass tofu and be much happier.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 block firm tofu, sliced into 4 pieces and pressed.
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 1/4 c dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • rosemary (either fresh or dried)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 big bunch of asparagus
  • olive oil

First and foremost, preheat your oven to 400*F

Combine the syrup, mustard, vinegar, rosemary, and some salt & pepper into a flat-bottomed dish for marinading. Insert tofu and leave for an hour or so.

I know, the sauce sounds weird but I promise it’s the most delicious savory sauce you will ever eat. Pulled it from a chicken recipe that involves roasting chicken thighs in it. If meat’s your thing, I say go for it.

tofu marinade

While your tofu is marinading and getting delicious, tend to your asparagus. Trim the bases as much as you need/want for the super woody stuff. I usually trim around an inch depending on how it looks. Use your own judgement.

Lay the asparagus out on a foil covered baking sheet and get ready to make them wonderful.

drizzle some olive oil over the stalks, add the salt & pepper and any other flavor-enhancing devices you would like. I have a spice mix that I put on almost everything but I have no idea what it contains. I think there’s some dried minced onion, garlic, black pepper? No idea but it tastes like heaven.

Roll the asparagus around in the oil and spices and let them get solidly coated.

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Back to your tofu. You should have let it hang out for 15-20 minutes. Go ahead and transfer the steaks into a lightly greased baking dish and drizzle some extra of the marinade on top. You know, for added levels of delicious in the oven.

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Put both the asparagus and the tofu in that 400*F oven for approximately 20 minutes, give or take.

Then sit back, pour yourself some wine, enjoy the sunset, and get ready for a delicious dinner.

Aforementioned sunset to enjoy.

Aforementioned sunset to enjoy.

After 20 or so minutes, your asparagus tops should look crunchy. The tofu should have firmed up, dried out, and taken on some toasty good color.

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For plating, include a salad of spinach greens and drizzle everything once more with the leftover marinade, which is now a sauce. [[please note this is not something you can do with raw meats as the marinade will be contaminated]]

Serve with a side of wine, candles, and romance!

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