Fried Tofu Strips

Fried chicken is a southern staple in the US. It’s also an extremely popular food in the Black community. So, I’ve had my fair share of fried chicken over the years, pre-vegan. When I went vegan, it was crazy to experience fried « chicken ». I couldn’t believe (and still can’t believe) that I was having something that I couldn’t ever imagine being able to enjoy as a vegan. I know I haven’t had even a modicum of the fried « chicken » that so many brilliant vegan chefs and minds have created, but I wanted to contribute in some small way by making my own version of something that could easily be made at home. It absolutely mimics the flavor of fried meat… is it as good as the fried chick’n I’ve tried so far? That’s debatable. Is it healthier that any fried chick’n I’ve tried so far? Also debatable. Did I make several test batches and eat most of them in one sitting, by myself? Abso-frickin-lutely.

ATTENTION: This recipe requires 24 hours of prep time! Please plan accordingly!

What You’ll Need:

For the Dry Batter:

  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour (gluten-free flour can also be used)
  • 3 tbsp seasoning salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp parsley

Wet Ingredients:

  • 4 flax eggs: about 3 tbsp water + 1 tbsp flax seeds = 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Other Ingredients:

1 package of extra firm, organic tofu

What to Do:

Step six, slice the tofu once down the middle horizontally while it is laying flat.
  1. Freeze the entire pack of extra firm tofu overnight, or for at least 24 hours until fully frozen.
  2. Take the tofu out of the freezer and let it thaw fully– you can speed up the thawing process by placing the package of tofu in a bowl of hot water. Most of the time, I took it out before leaving in the morning, letting it thaw until I returned home for the day.
  3. Once tofu has fully thawed, open package and drain of water completely.
  4. Wrap the block of tofu in a thin cloth or with a few paper towels and press the tofu of any additional water for about 3-5 minutes. While the tofu is wrapped up, use a tofu press or something with weight to help drain the excess water.
  5. After pressing, let the tofu sit for an additional 15-20 minutes to air dry (I know, this recipe requires a lot of prep time, but it’s worth it! :-)). The tofu should be as dry as possible– this is very important, otherwise the water will seep out and change the flavor of the fried strips.
  6. Slice the tofu once down the middle horizontally while it is laying flat. Keep the two pieces together and slice the tofu vertically 4-5 times. You should have 8-10 evenly sliced tofu strips.
  7. Set tofu strips aside and prepare the flax eggs. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the ratio of water with flax seeds (3 tbsp:1 tbsp) x4 to create 4 flax eggs. Whisk together with a fork. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes to thicken. You may need to add an additional 1/2 to one tbsp of water if the mixture becomes too thick (you want it to be slightly slimy).
  8. While the flax egg is thickening, prepare the dry ingredients to create the fry batter. In a large bowl, combine the flour, paprika, garlic powder, dried parsley and seasoning salt. Whisk together thoroughly until well mixed.
  9. Placed the entire amount of the vegetable oil in a medium-sized frying pan (a large pan can be used, but may cause the oil to be too shallow– add about 1/8 cup more oil if using a large pan).
  10. Heat the oil over medium heat (about 3-5 minutes; test by dropping a very tiny water droplet in the oil to see if it sizzles– DO NOT stand over the oil when testing if it’s hot); while oil is heating, check the flax eggs. Remember, they should be only slightly gelatinous and a little slimy– not too thick.
  11. Create an assembly line of flax egg then the dry batter mixture, then the frying pan.
  12. Gently place one tofu strip into the flax eggs and turn to lightly fully coat. I used one hand for the flax eggs and one for the dry batter so that the dry batter didn’t become too clumpy in the bowl and on my hand as I continued to dip strips.
  13. Gently bring the coated strip over to the dry batter and fully coat.
  14. Gently bring the strip over to the frying pan and place it on one side of the pan.
  15. Place about 3-5 strips of coated tofu into the frying pan, about 1/2 inch apart.
  16. Fry each piece for approximately 4-5 minutes on one side, turn the strip over and fry that side for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  17. Use tongs to gently remove each strip, and place it on a dish or in a container that has been lined with thin clothes or paper towels to drain the strips of excess oil.
  18. Let cool for several minutes, then, transfer to a serving dish.
  19. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, serve and enjoy! These strips taste amazing with my tangy aioli– you can find that recipe here.

Date Posted on Instagram: 8/1/2019

Lazy Scalloped Potatoes

My recipes are meant to be simple and quick, so when I thought to myself: how can I make scalloped potatoes easier and vegan? this lil’ recipe came to mind. No baking, quick prep and process, and best of all, it tasted extremely decadent. I’ve raved about potatoes many times. They’re a really versatile food and they can be transformed into practically anything. I mean, you start out with a big, round and hard potato, and end up with golden, crisp and soft fries. What kind of magical sorcery is that? And fries are just one of the foods these babies can transform into… tater tots, pancakes, hash browns, I could go on and on, but I won’t because I’m getting hungry. Also, this recipes incorporates my super easy thick and cheezy sauce recipe, which I also use to make mac ‘n’ cheeze.

What You’ll Need:

For the Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (x3) plain, unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)

For the Potato Dish:

  • 1 large potato
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp essential seasoning blend*
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
Seasoned potato slices all lined up and ready to go.

What to Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Slice the potato into thin slices ( I was able to yield about 20 slices from my potato –not potato chip thin, but thin).
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine potatoes, olive oil and essential seasoning blend and toss until well mixed.
  4. Place potato slices evenly about 1/2 an inch apart on a large sheet tray lined with aluminum foil.
  5. Place tray of potatoes in oven for approximately 10-13 minutes, making sure not to burn them.
  6. While potatoes are cooking in the oven, start the cheeze sauce.
  7. Heat a medium to large sized skillet over low heat.
  8. Add butter and melt over low heat.
  9. Very slowly, begin to add the flour, about 1/3 of the whole 1/4 cup at a time; Use a flat utensil (preferably wooden or silicone) to stir flour into the butter as you add it to the skillet. Stir continuously until all flour has been thoroughly mixed into butter and the entire 1/4 cup has been added.
  10. Reduce heat to a very low simmer– almost as low as you can get the flame without turning it off.
  11. Add the first 1/4 of almond milk and stir slowly into the roux until completely mixed-in to the mixture.
  12. Add the second 1/4 cup of almond milk and repeat the above step, stirring slowly until the milk is completely mixed-in to the mixture.
  13. Add the third 1/4 cup of almond milk and repeat the above step.
  14. The sauce will start to form now and should be nice and thick.
  15. Return the heat to low.
  16. Add the nutritional yeast and salt and stir into the cheeze sauce until fully blended. Continue stirring sauce for approximately 1 minute, then, remove from heat but keep the sauce in the skillet and on the stove burner.
  17. Remove potato slices from oven and let cool on the side while you finish prepping the sauce. Remove the aluminum foil with the potato slices from the sheet tray to cool faster or place the potato slices on a wire rack.
  18. You have two options here: 1) you can remove half the sauce from the skillet now and store it for later use**, or 2) you can follow the next step with all the cheeze sauce still inside the skillet, although this basic recipe yields more sauce than you will need for the amount of potatoes used***
  19. Add the spinach to the skillet and stir into the cheeze sauce until thoroughly mixed.
  20. Place the potato slices into the cheeze sauce and fold the potatoes into the sauce carefully so you don’t break the slices.
  21. Transfer cheezy potatoes to a serving dish and enjoy. Have fun with the toppings! I added jalapeño and a side of ketchup to mine 🙂

Date Posted on Instagram: 5/1/2019

* essential seasoning blend can be found here.

** transfer the excess sauce to an airtight container (preferably glass) and store it in the refrigerator; it will keep for several days but I don’t recommend saving it for more than 5 to 6 days. To reheat: place sauce in a skillet on low heat. Once heat start to melt the sauce, add about 1 to 3 tbsp. of plain, unsweetened almond milk (add the milk one tbsp at a time) to the skillet and stir the sauce with a flat utensil (preferably wooden or silicone) continuously and slowly until sauce becomes “saucy” again. This should return the sauce to it’s thick consistency, but you can add more milk if you want to thin it out even more.
*** so really, you have 3 options. You can also bake more potato slices using another large potato if you want to use all the cheeze sauce in one sitting.

Peppered Seitan with Beans and Maduros

I mentioned in a previous recipe post that I had Jamaican heritage. I also have Puerto Rican heritage, and am a big fan of Latin cuisine as well. It occurred to me that I hadn’t made any dishes truly inspired by this cuisine, and all of a sudden I kind of went on a bit of a Latin Food kick because I was craving it. I bought a family size pack of sazon seasoning packets and started making dish after dish of delicious, flavorful Spanish food. The Caribbean is full of vegan cuisine — of course there are tons of fresh fruits and vegetables that grow in abundance in the tropical climates, but many dishes are rice based and often have other elements such as beans and plantains that accompany them, all of which are vegan and delicious. This particular dish has elements that you would find in all Caribbean islands, but as mentioned previously, is slightly inspired more so by the Spanish-speaking islands. The best part has to be the maduros, or fried sweet plantains. Plantains go through different stages. When they are green (not ripe) and fried, they are called tostones. Once they are yellow (ripe or over-ripe) they become sweet and when fried, they are called maduros. They are at their sweetest when they’re black and that’s a great time to use them for desserts. A fruit that can go from unsweet to sweet and be used in both savory and sweet dishes? Mother nature really put her foot into this one.

Seitan and Plantains



What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 block of  one 12 oz. package of organic seitan (I used Pacific foods brand), sliced
  • 1 16 oz. can of pinto beans, water drained with about 1/4 can of liquid*
  • 1 yellow plantain
  • A couple of jarred roasted red peppers
  • About 1 1/2 teaspoons Himalayan Pink sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 packet of Goya sazon seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


What to Do:

  1. Slice the whole yellow plantain on the diagonal into about 1/2 inch pieces.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  3. Once oil is hot, place plantain slices in skillet (be careful of oil splatter!).
  4. Fry slices on each side for approximately 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Make sure to watch them and turn accordingly so that they do not burn. You want the pieces to be golden brown as in the picture, not very dark or burnt (unless that is what you’re trying to achieve).
  5. Once they are golden brown, remove the plantains from the oil and place on a dish covered with paper towels to drain the excess oil. Sprinkle them with about 1/2 teaspoon of the Himalayan pink sea salt.
  6. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once oil is hot, add seitan slices to skillet and sprinkle with Himalayan sea salt and black pepper on either side. Pan-fry slices on either side until golden brown, approximately 3-5 minutes. Remove seitan slices from skillet and set aside.
  7. Wipe the skillet clean and return to stove-top burner, this time over low heat. Add water drained pinto beans to skillet along with sazon seasoning. Mix seasoning into beans well and allow beans to heat up. Once they are warmed, remove from heat and transfer to a serving dish.
  8. Place seitan slices over beans and surround beans with plantain slices.
  9. Garnish with roasted red peppers. Serve as is or with rice to make the dish heartier.


* I often use a “water draining” technique with canned beans that involves draining them of the thick, viscose liquid that is already in the can, but not entirely. I open the can and use my hand to cover the top (so the beans don’t fall out) while I run water in and out of the can. you can used another method to cover the top but I find that using your hand works best. As the liquid already in the can is drained and you replace it with water, you create a thinner liquid that still has some of the “bean juice” flavor. I rinse then this way about 2-3 times, filling the can with as much water as I can until the beans start to overflow. Finally, I empty the water that is in the can but leave about an inch or two of water still in the can so that when I add them to a pan, there is some liquid available that is now a mixture of the thicker liquid originally in the can along with regular water — to help with the cooking process.


Date Posted on Instagram: 9/10/18


Dinosaur Kale Fiesta Rice Wraps

This is the first time I’ve purchased a food solely based on the name. Once I discovered that the nickname for cremini mushrooms was “baby bellas”, I refused to call them anything else. But at that point, I had already used them in a ton of recipes. Curly kale is my right hand veggie. I’ve sauteed it from here to the moon. But never dinosaur kale*. I found dino kale at the farmer’s market. As soon as I saw it I understood the name — it has chunky leaves with bumps and ripples, reminiscent of some ancient, pre-historic plant. That made me even more excited to make something with it. I picked some up immediately. This recipe just came to me. I was originally going to make something else (which I will still make down the road), but then I thought, “why not make dino kale wraps??” I wasn’t sure where I was going with it, but it all came together so beautifully — in fact, personally speaking, this is one of my favorite dishes aesthetic-wise. Thanks to dino kale; nature kills it again.

Dino Kale wraps closeup



What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of cooked white rice
  • 3 full leaves of dinosaur kale
  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 orange pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 yellow onion
  • 1/8 cup pickled jalapenos, some whole and some diced** (set aside diced jalapenos)
  • 1 medium avocado, cut into slices
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves (removed from stems)
  • 1 packet of Goya sazon seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil



What to Do:

  1. Wash dino kale leaves and set aside to dry.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Prepare rice (boil water, add rice, stir and bring to a boil again, turn heat to a low simmer, cover and let simmer for approximately 20 minutes or so– use approximately 1 3/4 cup of water for every one cup of rice). Set aside.
  4. Heat a skillet on low to medium heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  5. Once hot, add carrots and saute for approximately 2 minutes, stirring once.
  6. Add peppers and onion and continue to saute until carrots and pepper are slightly tender and onions are translucent. Remove from heat.
  7. Once dry, place dino kale leaves flat out on a large cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper under them.
  8. Brush leaves evenly with 1 tablespoon of olive oil (I used a basting brush).
  9. Place dino kale leaves in oven and bake for approximately 5 minutes, until they are very lightly firm and look just a little crisped but not too much (they should still have some stretch to them and not be hardened).
  10. While leaves are in the oven, mix 1/2 of sazon packet into rice (use full packet for richer flavor).
  11. Add sauteed peppers, onions and carrots along with diced jalapeno slices to rice and mix well.
  12. Remove dino kale leaves and set aside to cool, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  13. You can serve the wraps open faced (not wrapped up), in which case transfer the leaves to a serving dish, spoon about 1/2 cup of rice into each leaf, and garnish with cilantro, whole jalapeno slices and avocado slices.

    dino kale wraps wrapped up
    Dino kale fiesta rice wraps
  14. If you want to serve them wrapped up, while the leaves are still on the parchment, carefully slice a portion of the stem running up the middle out of the leaf, but not too much or the rice will fall out (the leaves on dino kale are hearty and so are the stems. I left the stem in and just tortured myself eating the wraps.). After you do everything in step 12, removing the stem will make it easier to eat the wraps once they are rolled up. Bon appetit!





* Also known as Tuscan kale or Lacinto kale.

** Try pickling your own jalapenos! I made my own by slicing fresh jalapenos and placing them in a glass jar (it was a small jar, about 1/2 cup in size since this was just an experimental batch) with about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. I covered them to the top in white vinegar and put the lid on. I left them in the fridge for approximately 3 months before using them for the first time in this recipe!



Date Posted on Instagram: 6/22/18


Red Curry Tofu and Sautéed Bok Choy

This was a really fun dish to make because it was my first time using bok choy. That may (or may not?) come as a surprise to some, but as I have mentioned many times before, eating super healthy is new to me — and I really only started eating a variety of veggies after going vegan. I knew that for my first time using bok choy, I wanted to keep the whole stem fully intact, simply because the bunch I got at the farmer’s market was so beautiful and I didn’t want to cut it up. This dish is what I came up with. It allowed me to still keep up my obsession with sauteed veggies, and also to display the bok choy with awesome plating, in all its glory.

Red Curry Tofu and Sauteed Bok Choy


ATTENTION: This recipe requires 2-9 hours of prep time! Please plan accordingly!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of cooked white rice
  • 1/3 block of organic, firm tofu
  • 1 small to medium stalk organic bok choy
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons salt (additional salt to taste for bok choy)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • cast iron skillet (to cook tofu)
  • Glass dish with lid (to marinate tofu)


What to Do:

  1. Slice tofu into even-sized cubes and place them into glass dish.
  2. Add red curry paste, salt, and curry powder to dish; mix seasoning and paste into tofu pieces well but be careful not to break the tofu.
  3. Cover with lid and place in fridge to marinate.*
  4. Remove tofu from fridge and set aside to become room temperature.
  5. Prepare rice (boil water, add rice, stir and bring to a boil again, turn heat to a low simmer, cover and let simmer for approximately 20 minutes or so– use approximately 1 3/4 cup of water for every one cup of rice). Set aside.
  6. Slice stalk of bok choy directly down the center (see insert).**
  7. Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  8. Once hot, add tofu pieces to skillet (be careful of oil splatter!) and fry for approximately 5 minutes, turning pieces intermittenly.
  9. Continue to fry for another 3-4 minutes while continuing to turn pieces to fry evenly until pieces have browned and seasoning is stuck to tofu.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  10. Heat a large skillet on low to medium heat with 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  11. Once hot, place both pieces of bok choy in skillet, with the inside part down into oil (see insert).

    Sliced Bok Choy example
    Slice bok choy down the center as pictured. The piece on the left is the inside.
  12. Saute bok choy for approximately 3-5 minutes on each side, until each side acquires a light browning.
  13. Transfer rice to center of serving dish.
  14. Place red curry tofu around rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  15. Place bok choy around red curry tofu. Bon appetit!


PRO TIP: I plated this dish with the full stalks for aesthetic purposes because the bok choy was so beautiful! When you’re ready to dig in, it will be helpful to slice the bok choy width wise a couple of inches from the stalk to break up the pieces!


* I suggest marinating for at least 2 hours, however, I made this marinade before I left the house that day and then made the recipe when I got back. Total marinade time for my tofu was 9 hours. As you know, the longer the tofu marinates, the better!

** Rinse pieces thoroughly with water, especially in the crevices near the stalk; if you bought the bok choy organic, there is probably dirt there! Set aside to dry.



Date posted on Instagram: 6/19/18

Seared Steak. Green Beans with Fried Onions and Thyme. Medley of Potatoes. Mushroom Thyme Gravy.

This is my third creation in the #veganclocktowerchallenge. I went vegan after I started working there, and practically everyone in the kitchen knows I’m vegan– so after starting this blog, I thought it would be fun to recreate some of the dishes they serve in a fine-dining restaurant. The steaks there are served with triple-cooked chips and a side salad. I made my own sides but I tried to plate the steak the way we plate it at the restaurant. I was pleasantly surprised at the final result — not to mention my folks loved it also (I made extra for them to try). Follow me on Instagram to see everything I make from the menu!

Clocktower Steak dish

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 vegan steak — I used a pre-marinated seitan steak (see pictured below!)*
  • 2 cups fresh green beans
  • 2/3 cup crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 bag of baby potatoes (I used the organic mini medley of potatoes from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 1/4 cup fried onions
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon steak seasoning (I used Grill Mates Montreal steak seasoning)
  • 1 tablespoon essential seasoning mix**
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons steak sauce (make sure it’s vegan! I used a generic store brand of steak sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon browning sauce (I used Gravy Master seasoning and browning sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons prepared cornstarch***
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or 4 tablespoons avocado oil and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • cast iron skillet for steak (optional)

** I wrote this recipe so that all items can be prepared and served together as opposed to writing out the directions for each component. If you follow the recipe as is, the entire dish should be finished around the same time so you don’t have to wait!**

What to Do:

  1. Sprinkle steak seasoning on either side of steak and set aside until ready to sear.*
  2. In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add baby potatoes and continue to boil.
  3. While potatoes boil, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet on low heat.
  4. Once hot, add green beans and stir to mix with olive oil. Saute green beans for approximately 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add fried onions, about 3-4 sprigs of thyme (remove the herbs from the stems) and approximately 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir.
  6. Saute for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally– fried onions should become slightly browned but be careful not to brown or burn the green beans. Remove green beans from heat and set aside, but leave in skillet.
  7. Check potatoes — boil for approximately 3-4 more minutes, or until fork-tender. Remove from heat and drain.
  8. Place prepared green beans on serving dish or in a separate container and set aside. Leave any remnants  of oil in the skillet.
  9. Return the skillet to low-medium heat and add mushrooms.
  10. Saute mushrooms for approximately 4 minutes, until slightly browned.
  11. Turn to high heat and add 1 cup of vegetable broth. Bring broth to a boil.
  12. Once broth is boiling, reduce heat to a simmer.
  13. Add steak sauce, browning sauce and essential seasoning blend. Stir vigorously until steak sauce has completely dissolved into broth.
  14. Let sauce continue to simmer for 6-7 minutes. Add 4-5 sprigs of thyme to sauce (remove herbs from stems) and stir.
  15. Continue to simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  16. Add prepared cornstarch to sauce one tablespoon at a time, stirring vigorously after tablespoon and waiting approximately 1-2 minutes between tablespoons.**
  17. Let sauce fully thicken, about 4-5 minutes.
  18. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat.****
  19. Once hot, add steak to skillet (be careful of oil splatter!)
  20. Sear steak for about 3 minutes on one side. Steak should move freely in skillet after 3 minutes.
  21. Turn steak and sear on the other side for 3 minutes. If necessary, add about 1 tablespoon of additional oil before searing on the other side if most of the oil has been absorbed by the steak from the first sear.
  22. Turn steak again and sear for another 3 minutes.
  23. Turn steak once more and sear for another 3 minutes. Steak should be browned on each side– be careful not to burn steak unless you prefer it to be darker or “crisper” (remember this is seitan, not beef!)
  24. Remove steak from heat.
  25. Repeat steps 18-23 if you have another steak to sear.
  26. Transfer steak to a serving dish.
  27. Transfer green beans to serving dish.
  28. Transfer potatoes to serving dish.
  29. Drizzle potatoes with remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  30. Serve mushroom and thyme gravy on the side or drizzle on top of steak. Bon appetit!



* Here is the steak I used, in the packaging. You can make your own steaks of course — I wanted to try these that were being sold at a vegan cheese shop I went to. As you can see, they were pre-marinated in the packaging. If your steaks are pre-marinated, you can ditch the dry steak seasoning all-together. I added it to the recipe for extra flavor. If your steak aren’t pre-marinated, up the amount to 1 teaspoon of seasoning for each side instead of 1 teaspoon for both sides.

vegan steak package

** Essential seasoning blend can be found on the recipes page.

*** To make the prepared cornstarch, add approximately 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water (so equal parts of each ingredient). You can not add cornstarch directly to hot sauces to thicken them– the cornstarch will become clumpy. When this recipe calls for adding prepared cornstarch, it’s this mixture of cornstarch mixed with water. Remember, the ratios are equal!

**** Avocado oil has a higher heat tolerance than olive oil. For searing in a cast iron skillet it is recommended to use an oil with a higher heat tolerance– however, those are the rules when searing a beef steak. I used olive oil, but it might still be helpful to sear a seitan steak using an oil with a higher heat tolerance. The next time, I’m going to use avocado oil — I’m an amateur cook, so you guys can learn from my mistakes with me! But these steaks turned out pretty well using the olive oil, however, they might be even better using avocado oil.



Date posted on Instagram: 6/7/18

Chili-lime Tofu with a Roasted Corn and Fava Bean Salad

One thing I wanted to try my hand at as an amateur chef was cooking with seasonal ingredients — not only is it cheaper, but it’s also a great way to expand your palette and try new foods because you’re forced to try new things at least 4 times a year. With this recipe, I tried to think outside of the box — I started tracking the seasonality of more unique foods and then thought about what I could make with them. The result? This ridiculous and amazingly tasty tofu and chilled salad dish. I included a coconut herb cheese in the salad to add even more of a warm-weather flavor to it. No lie, the tofu legit tasted like fried mozzarella, so if that’s something anyone misses from their dairy-eating days, then try this recipe ASAP!

chili lime tofu with fava bean and corn salad

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/3 block of medium-firm organic tofu
  • 1 can of fava beans, drained
  • 1 pack of Field Roast Chao vegan slices – coconut herb with black pepper flavor
  • 1 full stalk of fresh corn
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons Trader Joe’s chili-lime seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • airtight container with lid (to marinate the tofu in)

What to Do:

Marinate the Tofu

  1. Press the tofu with a paper towel or cloth to remove a decent amount of water (the tofu doesn’t have to be fully “dry”).
  2. Cut the tofu block into 4 even slices.
  3. Place the slices in the container and put all 3 tablespoons of the chili-lime seasoning in the container a little at a time, covering the tofu pieces entirely on each side.
  4. Cover container with lid and place in fridge to marinate for at least an hour.

For the Salad

  1. Peel stalk of corn and clean.
  2. Turn a stove burner on medium heat and use a pair of metal tongs to hold corn stalk over heat to roast. Be careful not to leave the stalk in one position for too long; turn often, or when you hear a popping sound start– similar to fresh seeds that are turning into popcorn when cooked on a stove top.*
  3. Once entire stalk has darkened from roasting, on a cutting board hold stalk upright and slice all of the corn from the cob.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, place roasted corn and entire can of drained fava beans and cilantro.
  5. Slice lemon and lime in half and squeeze the juice from each into the bowl.
  6. Add rice vinegar.
  7. open entire pack of chao vegan slices**, and use a vegetable peeler to slice small slivers of the cheese block directly into the bowl. Add as much as you like but I added about 1/2 to 3/4 cup worth of cheese slivers.
  8. Mix the salad together, cover,  and place in the fridge to chill.

Chili-lime Tofu

  1. Remove marinated tofu from fridge and leave out to become room temperature.
  2. Heat a skillet on medium heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  3. Once oil is hot, add tofu pieces (careful of oil splatter!) and pan-fry for approximately 5-7 minutes on each side of each piece of tofu until a slightly hard and crispy crust forms on the outside (the tofu will still be soft inside).
  4. If desired, place tofu pieces on a dry cloth to release excess oil.
  5. Transfer tofu slices to serving dish.
  6. Transfer some of the salad to serving dish. Bon appetit!

* You can also roast the corn on the grill or on a grill plate that goes on the stove if you have one, but I found it quicker and easier to just do it directly over the stove top flame– just be careful!

** this method will likely ruin the pack from being used “by the slice” but you can use the rest of the cheese for something that doesn’t require slices!

Date posted on Instagram: 5/21/18