Food Babies

No, not you…. you, the bowlegged one

Archive for the ‘Tofu’ Category

Vegetarian Summer Rolls

Posted by Hilary on September 3, 2010

I’ve been wanting to try these for a while. I’ve made a lot of spring rolls in my time, but I find that the taste of the fried spring rolls wrappers overwhelm the taste of the filling. Summer rolls are traditionally made with rice paper wrappers and served room temperature. I found an endless number of recipes for summer rolls, and in the end followed none of them, instead making my own. I really loved the final product. Fair warning: they took me 2 hours to make!


Rice paper wrappers

1/2 block of firm or extra-firm tofu

romaine lettuce

2 carrots

5-8 radishes

bean sprouts



1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

2 TBSP sugar


1. Shred the carrots and chop up the radishes. Soak for at least 30 minutes in a mixture of the rice wine vinegar and sugar.

2. Press the tofu for 30 minutes. Cut it into small strips and pan fry in sesame oil.

3. To assemble a roll, first soak an individual sheet of rice paper in warm water for about 20 seconds. Remove it from water and set on a wet tea towel. You should roll all of your, um, rolls, on the wet tea towel.

4. At the center and towards the bottom of the wrapper, first lay a small piece of romaine. On top of the romaine put some of the carrots & radishes, than a few tofu strips, followed by a few bean sprouts, and finally a few cilantro leaves.

5. Start to roll forward, the way you might roll up a burrito. After you’ve rolled forward once, lay a basil leaf, pretty side down, on the wrapper. Fold the sides in and finish the roll.

**Why this whole bit with the basil leaf placement you ask? Well, because since the wrappers are see-through, it’s just plain prettier that way. **

6. There you have your rolls! I cut mine all in half on a diagonal (again, because it’s pretty and fun to see the cross section).

7. Get yourself a dipping sauce. I made mine with a peanut butter base, then doctored it up with sweet chili sauce, rice wine vinegar, and a little bit of soy sauce.


Posted in HilHil, Tofu, Vegan-friendly, veggies | 1 Comment »

Sesame Broccoli Stir-Fry

Posted by Hilary on June 12, 2010

This is an adapted version of the sesame broccoli stir-fry in the Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson. Really it’s pretty much the same recipe, just doubled and with lots of tofu added 🙂


1-2 large heads of broccoli

6 tablespoons sesame oil

6 tablespoons soy sauce

4 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds

1-1.5 red bell peppers, cut into matchsticks

4-6 garlic cloves, chopped

Ingredient Considerations:

I’ve started buying organic tofu from our local co-op, as I was scared off of GMO soy with the rest of y’all after seeing Food Inc. I love this brand (Wild Wood). It’s honestly super firm. This is the only tofu I’ve ever bought that I saw no need to press. Also, this is a large package of tofu, which is why I decided to up the whole recipe around it.

As for the sesame seeds, you can buy them toasted, but they’re so much cheaper to buy in bulk untoasted. To toast them yourself just put them in a skillet on medium heat until lightly browned. This should only take a few minutes.


1. Chop up the broccoli and steam it briefly, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.

2. Prepare the sauce by mixing the sesame oil, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and sesame seeds. Optional: if you like, before you add the sesame seeds, pour a little bit of the sauce onto the tofu (after you’ve cubed the tofu) and stir to coat. This will just give more flavor to the tofu.

3. Brown the tofu in a skillet and then set it aside.

4. Stir-fry the garlic and peppers for a minute or two until softened. Add in the broccoli, tofu and sauce and stir-fry for about 3-5 minutes.

5. Serve over brown rice. Enjoy!

Posted in cookbook, HilHil, superfoods, Tofu, Vegan-friendly, veggies | 2 Comments »

On fake meat and hexane

Posted by kathleenerindavis on April 15, 2010

If you read Food Babies, you probably also read other food-related things, or the news. And boy oh boy has the whole “veggie burgers are filled with toxic chemicals” story been all over the news in the last couple of days. It’s great ammo for meat eaters to tell vegetarians to get off their health-conscious high horses. But I don’t think everyone should be so quick to panic, and I especially don’t think it should be reason to call it quits with soy all together. Yes, fake meat isn’t the best for you food in the world (it is after all still a processed food with lots of preservatives, and processed foods are a little removed from being real food even when they aren’t pretending to be a “beef” burger or a “pork” hot dog.

First, the soy that’s in these veggie burgers is isolated soy, which processed in a different way than the soy that’s in soy milk or tofu which is whole soy. Whole soy, btw can actually be very good for you. Also, it’s unclear if hexane cooks off, or if the amounts in the products are large enough to be harmful or not. I think there needs to be a whole mess of change and regulations in how our food (of the meat and non-meat variety) is produced. But I don’t know that raising the flag of panic around fake meat is necessarily a good way to go. For a lot of people just starting out with vegetarianism, or life-long meat eaters who need to cut their cholesterol after a heart attack or other life-threatening illness (like many in my family), fake meat can be an easy and tasty alternative. Not that we should tolerate anything hazardous in our food, but I’ll still take trace amounts of hexane over life-threatening amounts of e coli any day.

Mother Jones on the topic

Gothamist on the topic

(cross posted on Full of Wit)

Posted in KK, Tofu | Leave a Comment »

Grilled Tofu with Vegetables

Posted by Hilary on March 20, 2010

In celebration of impending spring, and in the spirit of Katie’s tofu article, here’s how Kelly and I grill out tasty vegan fare.

1. You must use extra firm tofu. I recommend buying organic in this case, as GMO soybeans have taken over zee world (i.e. “roundup ready soybeans”), but this works well with any extra firm tofu.

2. Drain the block of tofu and slice it into about 6 slices. Lay a clean dishtowel on the counter or on a cutting board, then put the slices in a single layer on the towel, and cover them with another clean dishtowel. On top of all of this put a baking sheet or large cutting board, and on top of that put some weight (we’ve used hand weights, a couple gallons of water, jars/cans of food, heavy books, etc.) The idea is to press as much water out of the tofu as possible. Leave the tofu to be pressed for 30 minutes.

2. The next thing you need is a marinade. There are a ton of store bought marinades available, although making your own is laudable as well. We tend to buy the LaChoy Garlic Ginger marinade and add a small can of pineapple juice to it.

3. Once your tofu is pressed, submerge it in the marinade. Getting all that water out of the tofu will allow it to soak up the marinade more readily. Allow it to marinate for about 30 minutes.

4. Along with the tofu we usually grill a red onion (sliced), red/orange/yellow peppers, and pineapple. Pineapple is conspicuously absent here, since getting good pineapple this time of the year in Idaho is not easy or cheap. Generally, in the summer, we buy a whole pineapple and grill about half of it (in big slices).

5. Grill! Use the marinade to brush on the veggies and tofu throughout grilling. Serve with rice (jasmine rice, white or brown).

Posted in Grilling, HilHil, Tofu, Vegan-friendly | 2 Comments »