Friday, May 05, 2006

Tofu Sandwich & Pineapple Lemon Bars

Two recipes today from Dreena Burton's Vive le Vegan!First, I followed her suggestion and mashed leftover Lemon-Herb Tofu with Vegenaise for a tangy sandwich filling. Next to the sandwich a Pineapple Lemon Bar is waiting for dessert. I also packed some Brussels sprouts and a bag of popcorn sprinkled with cheesy nutritional yeast flakes (I'm liking these snack-sized baggies!).
Verdict: Shmoo wasn't too crazy for the other two tofu sandwich spreads we've tried, both made from mashed raw tofu. These were much, much better. The tofu had a firmer texture and extra flavor from being baked with lemon juice and herbs. I'll be using mashed baked tofu for sandwich spreads from now on. The Pineapple Lemon Bars weren't as sickly-sweet as traditional lemon bars, and we liked the oat & coconut crust. Thanks, Dreena! 4 stars.


Dreena said...

Well, thank *you*, Jennifer, for trying out some more of my recipes! ...and I'm thrilled that Shmoo (and you!) both liked them. Thanks for posting the pics, and happy eats. :)

Jane M said...

Another great lunch! I have to agree about those snack size baggies. Bought them by mistake once and they were just the right size for lots of things. I even wound up using them to store buttons and little things like that in!

Addy N. said...

Well, I just got Dreena's book recently and will have to try those recipes! I have made the delicious chocolate chip cookies from the blog- it's good that they make small batches! I always find lunch inspirations from your blog, Jennifer! Thanks.

fanoveggies said...

Another great looking lunch!

Have ever tried making chickpea salad sandwiches? Mash a can of chickpeas with a fork, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and then add in the typical fixings. For us it is vegan mayo, Dijon, relish, celery, onion and lots of pepper.

Sarah Goblot said...

Hey, as a vegan mom to two little vegans, I am thrilled that my friend Aye Yu just pointed me to your site!

Abby said...

Hi Jennifer,
I've noticed that you send cut up Asian pear in Shmoo's lunch. Does it turn brown, or do you have a tip for them not turning brown?
Thanks again for all your inspiration.

Unknown said...

Oooo, Lemon Bars are my favorite! I bet that is delicious. And I love snack size baggies too. When I had to take soccer snack, I ended up making trail mix and packed it in those.

BTW, your banana-pineapple-walnut salad has become my favorite breakfast. I eat it at least 3 times a week, while the bananas are at their prime. Thanks!

Carrie™ said...

Great way to round out the week. I'm not sure which lunch I would choose first, yesterday's or today's. Both are awesome.
Have a great weekend. Can't wait for Monday. (did I really just say that??)

Sheryle said...

Jennifer, you're a rare person that I've heard of putting nutritional yeast on popcorn. Here's our family favorite popcorn recipe (I didn't use quantities because I just throw it together -- just use lots of the yeast):

nutritional yeast
vegan "chicken" seasoning
garlic powder
onion powder

dump each ingredient into a baggie and shake to blend. Drizzle popcorn with olive oil and sprinkle on the yeast blend. Stir, repeat. Chow down.

sarchan said...

I love Dreena Burton's recipes. In fact, I made the Double Chocolate Pecan Chipper cookies from The Everyday Vegan last night. And I can attest to the goodness of the mashed tofu filling. I think it is my favorite method for using up leftover baked tofu. Another delicious-looking lunch :).

Tere said...

Hi Jennifer :)
I really REALLY love your blog! I don't have a child to pack lunches for but I do often eat on the run, and you've inspired me to be more creative with what I take with me.

I have a question regarding your Carmelized Tofu. I tried it this evening, and it didn't turn out. I'm wondering why; this was my second try at tofu, and both times it turned out hard on the outside and rubbery on the inside. I wonder if i fried it too long (I fried it then dipped in in the mixture and fried it again). It tasted really good, my only problem was with the texture.
Thanks so much!
Halifax, Canada

veggiehipmama said...

I believe there is a small danger of ingesting bad bacteria with raw tofu. Cook it for a few minutes first (steaming preserves the "raw" flavor best, if that's what you want).

Koby said...

Abby-- I've never found cut Asian pear to turn brown. If it's browning, I guess dipping it in lemon or orange juice or salt water would keep it from browning.

Nutritional yeast popcorn! That stuff is so tasty. =)

Suzanne MacNeil said...

to Tere from Halifax,
hello from Cape Breton, neighbor! hehe.
Regarding your question about Tofu:
I haven't yet tried Caramelized tofu specifically, but since you mentioned that it's only your second time at tofu, I'll mention this vital yet oft-unmentioned tip (it took me several tries of bad tofu results before I found it written somewhere)
**make sure to squeeze excess water out of you firm or extra firm tofu before cooking with it**

there are two methods that I've tried: either I freeze the tofu and then thaw it completely before I use it: the thawing gets rid of the excess water before it melts. Without the hassle of freezing, another method is to wrap the tofu in a lint-free towel, sandwich it between two plates with the bottoms facing the inside, place the sandwiched tofu&plates in the sink with something resting on the top plate as a weight.
There are probably some less-contrived methods out there, but both of those worked just fine for me. :)

Suzanne MacNeil said...

oh..sorry I forgot to mention. the latter method of squeezing out the water necessitates leaving the tofu that way for at least a half hour.

tanvi said...

That tofu sandwich sounds and looks like the most amazing thing! Going to have to try that immediately. I love the snack sized baggies, too- they're very handy for baby carrots and trail mix for lunches.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>both times it turned out hard on the outside and rubbery on the inside. I wonder if i fried it too long

Hi, Tere! Yes, it sounds like you fried it too long. It will get hard and rubbery if overcooked. Try frying it over medium heat just until it's golden on the surface but with a few small spots of white still showing through; it should still be soft on the inside. Give that a try and see if the texture is more to your liking.

Although I do occasionally press my tofu as Suzanne suggests above when making marinated tofu dishes, I must disagree. I don't consider it essential or vital, or an unspoken rule of tofu cookery. It changes the texture a bit and may be something you like, but if a recipe doesn't call for it I just give my tofu a quick rinse and I'm ready to go.

Hi, Abby! No, we haven't had any problems with the Asian Pear turning unappetizingly brown in the same way an apple does. I do keep it covered and use an ice pack; perhaps that helps?

Tere said...

Thanks guys! I won't give up on tofu yet :)

raising_kahne said...

Hi Jennifer. Im new on here, but Ive been reading your blogs and stuff for awhile, but just recently got a blog myself. Im 14, and Im a vegetarian. I LOVE your site soooo much! It's given me soo many ideas for recipes! I wish my mom was vegan or vegetarian also!((Im the only health nut in my family. my mom and dad and family would live off steak, pork, bacon, hamburgers, and stuff like that)) But thanks, you really inspire me! I look forward to the week just so I can see what you packed schmoo for lunch! lol Well thanks again! And if you have any sites with awesome vegan and vegetarian recipes, feel free to share them with me!

High Power Rocketry said...

Cool popcorn.

Adv. Blogger said...

Oh! Tofu is really good! You can try to taste tofu scramble

Anonymous said...

im taking note to this lunches so when i send my litle girl to school, she will have good lunches. thansk so much for this blog.
Johanna from P.R.

foodiechickie said...


Casual” Vegan Zucchini Pancakes

Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

If the idea of five-grain flapjacks sounds like a five-pound rock in your stomach, give these a try. They are hearty but not heavy. You won’t taste the zucchini, just like you don’t taste carrots in carrot cake. Try these with grated carrots or apples, too!

Whisk together in a large bowl:

1 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal, preferably stone ground
1/4 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking rolled oats
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
pinch of freshly grated or ground nutmeg

Whisk together in another bowl:

1 3/4 cups + 1 Tbsp plain soy milk
3 Tbsp oil
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup ground flax seeds

Add to the wet ingredients:

1 cup (about 1 large) grated zucchini

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently whisk them together, mixing just until combined. Spoon 1/4 cup batter onto a heated (medium heat or 350 F), greased griddle for each pancake, nudging the batter into rounds. Cook until the top of each bancake is speckled with bubbles and some bubbles have popped, then turn and cook until the underside is lightly browned. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 F oven while you finish cooking the rest. Serve with pure maple syrup or honey.

Makes about 24 4-inch pancakes.

The batter is thick, so it will puff up but not spread.

Soy and flax seed brown quickly, so turn down the heat if the insides are taking a relatively long time to cook.

To unveganize the recipe, use 1 1/4 cup milk, 3 Tbsp melted unsalted butter, and 3 large eggs (instead of the flax seed).

To completely veganize the recipe, substitute the honey with an equal amount of agave nectar or golden syrup. Or, use a scant 1/3 cup of vegan granulated sugar and reduce the soy milk by 3/4 Tbsp.

Pancakes freeze beautifully. Wrap cooled pancakes in plastic and re-heat (no need to defrost) in a toaster. The edges will re-crisp, giving you a fresh-off-the-griddle sensation.

foodiechickie said...

Just realized it had honey has to be a substitute but I think it would work without it.

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