Parsley crumbed tofu in tarragon broth with spring vegetables

Parsley crumbed tofu in a tarragon broth with spring vegetables

1 onion, diced
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 tarragon sprigs
6 peppercorns
Almond or olive oil
1Tb sea salt
2 Lt water
1 block firm tofu, drain water and cut into blocks
½ bunch Dutch carrots, trimmed and peeled
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed
1 C peas

½ C blanched almonds
½ bunch continental parsley, add stems to broth
1 garlic clove
1Tb almond or olive oil
1tsp sea salt

In a large pot heat 2Tb oil add onion, celery, carrot (not Dutch)and garlic; sweat for a few minutes until softened. Add tarragon, peppercorns, parsley stems, salt and water. Simmer for 40 minutes, liquid will reduce by half.

For the crumb, Blitz together all ingredients.

Pre heat oven to 160°
Heat 1Tb oil in fry pan and fry tofu on all sides. Press crumb together firmly and place on top of tofu. Bake in oven for 15mins or until crumb is golden.

Strain broth into a bowl, discard solids. Return liquid to pot over a medium heat and season to taste. Simmer Dutch carrots in broth for 5mins. Add asparagus and peas cooking for a further 5mins.

To serve, gently place crumbed tofu in bowl, pour broth and vegetables around.
Serves 4

Tarragon has the flavor of sweet aniseed and mild vanilla. This recipe is also great with the fish replacing the tofu.

Spiced vegetable curry with mint yogurt

Spiced vegetable curry

300gm firm tofu, cubed
1 onion, diced
1 sweet potato, diced
½ cauliflower, cut into florets
200gm green beans, ends trimmed
1 Tb garam masala
1 Tb ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp chilli powder or 1 red chilli
10 curry leaves (recipe remains flavoursome if leaves or one of spices is unavailable)
1 inch ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 C vegetable broth
Coconut oil (or olive oil)
Sea salt
1 C natural yogurt
4 Tb mint (or coriander), chopped
2 tomatoes, diced – optional

Heat 1 Tb oil and fry tofu until golden, remove and set aside on paper towel.
In a large pot with a lid, saute onions in 1Tb of oil. Add spices, curry leaves, ginger and garlic and fry for 2 min.
Stir in sweet potato and fry for further 1 min.
Add broth and pinch of salt. Simmer with lid on for ½ hour.
Add cauliflower, cook for 5 min with lid on, then add beans cook for a further 2 min.
Sweet potato will mash down and thicken sauce.
In a small bowl mix mint with yogurt.
To serve, top curry with yogurt and fresh tomato.
Serves 4

‘Garam masala’ means warm spices (warming for the body). A typical Indian mix has cumin, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and cardamom.

Betel leaves topped with Thai tofu

Betel leaves topped with Thai tofu

18 betel leaves, remove stems, wash and dry (available from Asian grocers)
300 gm firm tofu, place on paper towel to absorb excess water
1 Tb coconut oil
1 carrot, grated
2 inch ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 spring onion, white end finely sliced
2 red chillies, slice, remove seeds unless you like it hot!
8 coriander sprigs, finely chop stems, pick leaves
1 tsp sea salt
¼ C mint leaves, chopped – optional
1 lime, cut into wedges
¼ C coconut chips or flakes, available preservative free from health food store

Heat coconut oil in a wok; add ginger, garlic, spring onion, chilli, coriander stems and salt. Stir fry for 1 min. Add carrot and tofu; break up tofu with a fork. Fry for 3 min. Remove from heat and stir in coriander and mint leaves.

Lay betel leaves on a platter shiny side up and place a small pile of tofu mix in the centre. Top with a squeeze of lime and coconut.

Betel leaves have a peppery fresh flavor. They can be eaten raw or cooked. In Ayurvedic medicine they are used as an aphrodisiac.

Pumpkin & tofu skewers with tamarind dressed snow pea salad

Pumpkin & tofu skewers with tamarind dressed snow pea salad

300g firm tofu, cut into triangles
300g pumpkin cut into triangles
2inch fresh ginger, grated
1Tb coconut or olive oil
Sea salt & white pepper
2Tb tamarind pulp
6 dates, chopped
¼ C boiling water
200gm snow peas, ends trimmed & sliced thinly
Handful coriander, washed & roughly chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded & sliced
2Tb sesame seeds, toasted

In a medium bowl mix ginger, pinch of salt, white pepper, and oil.
Add tofu pieces and coat. Allow to marinate while pumpkin cooks.
Boil pumpkin triangles for 15 min, until soft, drain.
Thread Tofu and pumpkin onto skewers.
Fry on griddle or BBQ.

To make the dressing, blitz together tamarind pulp, dates, boiling water and a good pinch of salt in a food processor (hold lid firmly because hot water can spurt). Taste for balance of salt, sweet and sour.

For the salad, mix snow peas, coriander and chilli. Dress with tamarind dressing and serve immediately.
Garnish tofu skewers with sesame seeds.
Serves 4

Tamarind is a spice that comes from the pod of a tamarind tree. It’s a sticky pulp with a sweet and sour taste, being rather tart.

Cabbage rolls in lemongrass & 5 spice broth

Cabbage rolls in 5 spice broth

8 large chinese or savoy cabbage leaves, 2 small ones can overlap as 1
Pot of boiling water
300 gm firm tofu, place block on paper towel to absorb excess water
1 medium carrot, grated
½ onion, finely diced
1 inch piece ginger, grated
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 Tb ground flaxseed, this is an egg substitute to bind mix. Also see note.
1 Litre vegetable broth
1 Tb coconut or sesame oil
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
1 red chilli, remove seeds and slice
1 stalk lemongrass, discard top, end and outer leaves, cut in half and half again lengthwise
chives for garnish

Trim cabbage stems and plunge leaves into boiling water for 2 min or until pliable, remove run under cold water and lay on a clean t-towel.
For the broth
Heat oil in a large pot with lid, stir in 5 spice. Add broth, lemongrass and chilli. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer with lid on for 15min.

Mash tofu with a fork in a medium bowl. Stir in carrot, onion, garlic, ginger, flaxseed and pinch of salt. Mix well so that flaxseed can bind mix.
Lay cabbage leaves out and place 2 Tb of tofu mix into centre, roll and fold in edges. Repeat with remaining leaves and mixture. Hold together with toothpick if necessary.

Place cabbages rolls fold side down into broth. Cover and simmer gently for 10 min.
Serve rolls with broth and top with chives.
Makes approx. 8

Note- Flaxseed can be bought whole or ground. If you buy ground, store in the freezer because the oil oxidizes quickly and will go rancid. Whole seeds can be ground in a pestle & mortar or coffee grinder.

Chinese 5 spice powder is blend of cloves, fennel, cinnamon, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. This combination delivers sweet, sour, spicy, bitter and salty!

Tofu wraps with coriander pesto

Tofu wraps with coriander pesto

300gm firm tofu, cut into long blocks & place on paper towel to absorb water
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp smoked paprika (pimenton)
2 Tb olive oil
1 baby cos lettuce, washed and separated into cups
½ bunch coriander, washed, roots trimmed and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, remove skin
½ lemon, zest and juice
2 tomatoes, diced
½ red onion, diced
sea salt & pepper
½ avocado, diced

Mix 1 Tb oil and spices together, add tofu and coat.
For pesto, blitz together coriander leaves and stalks, remaining oil, garlic, pinch salt, lemon zest and ½ juice. Set aside in small bowl.
Mix together tomato and onion to make a simple salsa, season with salt and pepper.
Squeeze remaining lemon juice over diced avocado.
Fry tofu on a medium heat until golden brown.
To serve, place tofu piece into lettuce cup and top with salsa, avocado and pesto.

Firm tofu will take on more flavour than soft because the water content is lower. Tofu is high in protein, calcium and iron.