Baked BBQ Tofu

Baked Tofu
Baked BBQ Tofu | veganblondes.com

Fabulously easy and versatile, this baked BBQ tofu recipe will give you so much pleasure. It requires only seven ingredients, including the tofu, and the salt and pepper, and can be used in a multitude of ways. Depending on how you slice your tofu, you can use strips for sandwiches, planks for bowls, or cubes for soups.

  • 1 brick extra firm tofu, pressed (click here to see how to press tofu and get it ready for use)
  • 4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 4 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 7-8 drops liquid smoke
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°. Whisk together the sesame oil, tamari, smoked paprika, liquid smoke, minced garlic, and sea salt and pepper.

Place tofu in a shallow container and pour the BBQ sauce on top. Using your hands, turn the tofu around so that all surfaces are covered.

To bake, remove the tofu cubes from the sauce and arrange the pieces on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Try to avoid pieces touching one another. I like to scrape some of the sauce into a small bowl and keep it handy to baste the tofu a few times during cooking. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the tofu is golden and the pieces look puffed up, about 25-30 minutes. Remember that the baking time will vary depending on the size of your cubes. Bon appétit!

Karine

Rustic White Bean and Sun-Sweetened Tomato Spread

Bean Spread
Rustic White Bean and Sun-Sweetened Tomato Spread | veganblondes.com

This spread is slightly reminiscent of the confits I used to eat as an omnivore. It has a “fatty” consistency and a robust taste. This spread is perfect as a snack or as an amuse-gueule at a dinner party. I also brought it for a potluck lunch, everybody loves it and it’s über simple to make. I used Fruit Bliss® Turkish Tomato Halves, because I think they are the best and juiciest out there, but any sun-dried tomato could do.

  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced rosemary, packed
  • Olive oil, to taste
  • 1/3 cup Fruit Bliss® Tomato Halves, minced
  • Juice from ½ lemon, or to taste
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

In a large mortar and pestle, purée the garlic with a little bit of salt. Add the beans and the rosemary and continue puréeing until you get the desired consistency. We like some beans to be whole, so we purée for about 30 seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients. Give the mixture a nice stir and serve with toasted crusty bread and/or greens. Bon appétit!

Karine

Sun-Dried Tomato Purée

Sun-Dried Tomato
Sun-Dried Tomato Purée | veganblondes.com

This purée was also first presented with our burger, but now, we use it on wraps, sandwiches, and salads! It’s very easy to make and so delicious. Try it on a vegetable soup too, it’s addictive!

  • 8-10 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 clove of garlic
  • 2-3 leaves fresh basil
  • Olive oil (about 3 tbsp)
  • Salt, to taste

You literally just blend all the ingredients with the Mini MagicBullet or another small bender. I usually make a large batch and keep it in a jar in the fridge.

Yes, Poutine!

Poutine
Poutine | veganblondes.com

Being from Montréal, Canada, I always considered poutine as a fast food item or a 3AM pick-me-up! But when you dig deeper, poutine is really the most famous québécois dish on a national (and international) level. I remember seeing poutine on menus in San Diego and in Mexico, for example. It originated in rural Québec in the late 1950s. Many small communities claim to be the birthplace of the famed poutine, but nobody really knows exactly where it originated. And I don’t want to take a side, because the discussion could get heated. We, French Canadians, get very emotional when it comes to our food and our national identity. I’m sending a big wink to people from Drummondville, Warwick, and Victoriaville!

Either way, poutine was always the first thing I would eat off the plane every time I visited. But because of the cheese curds, plus the sauce is usually made with beef broth, I had to realign my strategy. Thankfully, many restaurants in Montréal, vegan and non vegan, now offer vegan poutine (Lola Rosa, Copper Branch, La Banquise, Poutineville, and many more). That’s when you see that we, French Canadians, can’t live without our poutine! So here is the version I use at home. This time I tried tofu as the cheese, but I think the very best option remains the Follow Your Heart Provolone.

For the Fries

  • 5-6 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/4″ wide sticks
  • Any high-heat oil (I used safflower, but peanut oil would work just great)

For the Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce (the Heinz kind)
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

For the Cheese (if you want to use tofu)

  • 1/2 pack firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt

For the fries, I’ve always used the method from rvgoddess.com. It’s basically putting your potato sticks into room temperature oil in a large Dutch oven. Bring the oil to a rolling boil without disturbing the potatoes. Once you achieve the rolling boil, keep cooking the potatoes without disturbing anything for an additional 15 minutes. Once the potatoes are floating loose, you can start to stir them. Carefully! You will need to keep frying them until they are golden and crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Season with sea salt and use right away. This method is mess-free and stress-free!

For the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes, until translucent. Add the maple syrup, chili sauce, tamari, red wine vinegar, smoked paprika, chili powder, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. Cook while stirring for two minutes. Dilute the corn starch into the vegetable broth. Add to the saucepan. Bring to a boil stirring constantly, lower the heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring often. Taste and adjust seasonings.

For the cheese, if you are using tofu, cut the half brick into small cubes. Soak in the lemon juice and sea salt for about 30 minutes. If you are using the provolone, just cut into small cubes.

To assemble, place the fries in a plate, top with the cheese, and finally with some sauce. Enjoy your vegan poutine, friends! Bon appétit!

Karine

Chickpea Guggillu

Chickpea
Chickpea Guggillu | veganblondes.com
Our whole family is in Santa Barbara now with my husband’s family. We are having some great rest and relaxation time before everybody has to deal with winter. We rented a house, as is usually customary for the four of us, as we like to eat at home even on vacation. Plus, with kids, renting a home instead of being cooped up in a hotel room is much, much better for everyone’s sanity. This also makes for more time spent together enjoying real food and conversations.

This quick and tasty chickpea dish will leave you wanting for more. My mother-in-law whipped up this wonderful dish and I took all the notes in order to share the steps with you. She obviously cooks without recipes, so please go with your taste. If you prefer less spice, go easy on the chili powder. This dish is somewhat considered as a tempering, which is the frying of spices in oil. Then the chickpeas are added, to provide you with a nice, complete dish. You can also eat this as a snack, or serve it over rice and curries.

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, minced (optional)
  • Squeeze of fresh lime juice

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and sauté until they start popping. Add the cumin seeds and sauté for a few seconds. Add the curry leaves, if using. Add the chickpeas and sauté for about two minutes. Add the turmeric, salt, and chili powder. Mix well and take off the heat. Place in a serving bowl, top with cilantro, onion, and a big nice squeeze of fresh lime juice. Bon appétit!

Karine