Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February Recipe: The Garden of Vegan

Continuing down the list alphabetically, February's new recipe from existing cookbook was from the Garden of Vegan. 

The sequel to How it All Vegan, I've had both of these cookbooks for a really long time, and I'm not sure why I've so rarely made things from them!

The recipes are mostly things that are fairly simple and straightforward (there's even a chapter on getting by in a dorm room - I just relied on the cereal station and ice cream bar to eat vegetarian on the meal plan in college myself, but these ideas probably would have been a bit healthier). From flipping through it, there does seem to be a slight abundance of tofu-based recipes, but otherwise a variety of types of dishes, genres, etc.

I picked the fried tofu sandwich and nutty pasta toss to try. I'm very much a carbitarian, but these seemed like a nice balance of a carb with protein (tofu, obviously, in the one, and a nut-based sauce for the pasta).

Fried tofu sandwich 

Difficulty: 3 of 5 - The fairly brief instructions (plus my lack of existing knowledge and common sense) for sauteing the tofu resulted in a splatter of Braggs when it hit already hot oil. Otherwise, a fairly easy method of preparing tofu.

Enjoyment: 4 of 5 - I cut the tofu really thin - about 1/8" - and loved how it resulted in basically crispy all the way through. 

Likelihood to make again: 4 of 5 

Per my preferences and what we had on hand, I used Earth Balance margarine instead of mayo (cause mayo is gross), and used spinach and pepper slices for the veggies. We kept it open faced since we had plenty of carbs for the meal with the pasta going along with it. 

The instructions with the tofu simply say to saute the tofu in oil and Braggs. So... I took that to mean heat up the pan, add both oil and Braggs, then add the tofu. Don't do that. Since the oil was hot, adding Braggs to it just splattered all over the place. Per Abe's advice, after removing the pan for the heat to cool back down, I heated it  back up, put in oil. Then put in the tofu, which brings down the temperature, then poured Braggs over the tofu while in the pan. Flipped after a few minutes, then just a minute or two on the second side.

Nutty pasta toss

Difficulty: 2 of 5 - Fortunately had Abe's supervision by this point (after the Braggs-in-hot-oil incident) so he helped me with the food processor that I haven't used before, but that was really the hardest part. 

Enjoyment: 4 of 5 - I love anything pasta-based, and this was no exception. I was a bit worried that the parsley or lemon in the sauce might stand out and overpower the dish, but everything blended together nicely for an almost creamy sauce.

Likelihood to make again: 5 of 5 - Pretty easy to make, and a great way to use up whatever veggies are around before they go bad.

Again subbed in the veggies we had on hand rather than those specified, but followed more precisely for the sauce. We used almonds for the "nuts, your choice". I was actually really disappointed that Abe ate up the remaining servings and I didn't have any left for lunch this week!


  1. Lol at your last sentence. That is a little disappointing. :p Crispy tofu sounds really good!! I have never sliced tofu that thin before, but am interested in trying that now. And that pasta sauce sounds really good! I usually do walnuts, but tried cashews recently. Now you are making me want to attempt almonds.

    1. Almonds was the first container I saw in the cabinet so I just used that, but I think walnuts or cashews would work really well too - maybe better, I would think they might tend to be creamier?

      I've always just done cubes, like 1/2" or so around, for tofu, I don't know why it's never occurred to me to slice like this before but I'd definitely recommend it.


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