This baked tofu and cauliflower florets entree is sure to become your next weeknight go-to. It’s simple, quick, and satisfying, requiring only 5 ingredients and 1 sheet pan. It’s vegan, gluten-free and has an oil-free option.
There’s not really a whole lot to say about this dish other than that it’s way more delicious than you probably would think considering the scant ingredients required to prepare it. In fact, I’ll bet you’ve got almost everything you need to prepare it. The only thing you might not have in your pantry is sumac. But I’m going to tell you why you should considering adding sumac to your spice rack.
Sumac is a spice gathered from a flowering plant that grows in temperate regions throughout the world. Although it has quite a few health benefits it’s best known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. If you don’t have sumac, you can use lemon zest and salt as a substitute. Although your meal will have a similar flavor, it will not have the health benefits associated with sumac. Sumac has a very strong smell before it’s cooked but don’t let that deter you. It’s actually sweet when cooked and has a mild lemony flavor. I look forward to using it more often. And don’t worry, I’ll be sharing more recipes for it here in the near future.
Now is the time to use cauliflower! It’s in season in the United States September through November so stock up on it now. This vegetable is just begging to be used in holiday recipes (did I mention this dish would make an insanely easy and quick Thanksgiving side- just remove the tofu). It’s the star of the show in this baked tofu and cauliflower dish so make sure you get a really firm, perfectly white head of cauliflower. Or get creative and use purple or yellow cauliflower too. I’ve even seen (and love) baby cauliflower. Better yet, go crazy and use a mix of all those listed above.
I hope that you give this insanely simple entree a try. If you do, be sure to tell me what you think down in the comments.
Throw it all in the slow cooker and forget about it! That’s all you have to do with this slow cooker lasagna stew topped with pumpkin ricotta. Vegan, oil-free, nut-free, and easily gluten-free with only 10 minutes of prep required. Take your next weekday dinner up a notch with this fall twist on a classic comfort dish.
I love lasagna! On busy weeknights though…I don’t love the layering work required. Enter this slow cooker lasagna strew with pumpkin ricotta. It’s seriously just like de-constructed lasagna. And this version has an autumn twist! So grab your slow cooker and food processor. Get ready for a delicious meal that requires only 10 minutes of preparation.
Slow Cooker Lasagna Stew
This recipe is really great for those short on time or beginners who don’t have much kitchen practice yet. Simply dice you onion and toss it into the slow cooker with the drained and rinsed lentils, canned tomatoes, vegetable broth, and herbs. Set your slow cooker to high and let it do the work for you. Test your lentils after 5 hours to make sure that they’re pretty well cooked. Next, break up your lasagna noodles, stir them into the stew, and make sure they’re covered with liquid. Cook for an additional hour until the noodles are al dente and the lentils are soft.
Lasagna Stew Tips
Be sure to use regular lasagna noodles. By that I mean, noodles that require boiling. If all you have are no-boil lasagna noodles I suggest adding them about 30 minutes before the stew is finished. If you cook them for 60 minutes they will be mush.
Also, when you add the noodles you may need to add more vegetable broth. I would start by adding 1/2 a cup. Then determine if the consistency is to your liking. Adding extra liquid will also ensure that there is enough to cook the noodles.
Vegan Pumpkin Ricotta
If you’ve never made vegan ricotta don’t be intimidated. It’s amazingly simple, satisfying, and delicious. I have amped up the flavor of this slow cooker lasagna stew by adding a fall flavored pumpkin ricotta topping. And it’s creamy and savory without the use of nuts or oil. Let’s dive in, shall we?
First, make sure that your tofu is extra firm and is thoroughly pressed to remove excess liquid. Real ricotta cheese has very low moisture. So, in order to achieve that texture with our vegan version, we need to get as much of the liquid out of the tofu as possible. I have found that pressing my tofu for about 30 minutes achieves the best vegan ricotta texture and low moisture level. The tofu can be pressed ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Secondly, this is a savory pumpkin ricotta. You can definitely make this a sweet version by adding more pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup, while reducing 0r eliminating the use of sage and fresh basil. This sweet type of ricotta would work better in a dessert recipe though seeing as how this recipe is meant to be a savory dish.
Finally, once you have pressed your tofu and determined your spice preferences, throw all the ricotta ingredients into your food processor. Pulse the mixture and be sure to stop occasionally to scrape down the sides. Make sure that the ricotta is evenly seasoned and that all the tofu clumps have been worked out.
I hope that you will enjoy this fall twist on a classic comfort food. And if you give this recipe a try please rate it and leave me comments below. I’d love to hear from you.
5lasagna noodles**, broken into large chunksgluten-free if necessary
8ozextra firm tofu, pressed
¼cupvegan parmesansee notes***
⅓cuppumpkin pureenot pumpkin pie filling
1tsppumpkin pie spice
4-5fresh basil leaves
water to thinsee notes****
Slow Cooker Lasagna Stew
In a large, 8 quart slow cooker place all lasagna stew ingredients except lasagna noodles. Stir to combine and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 until lentils are soft but not soggy.
In the last 60 minutes of cooking, add broken lasagna noodles to stew, cover and continue to cook until lasagna noodles are al dente. If adding spinach, shut off the slow cooker and add to lasanga stew. Stir to combine and cover allowing spinach to wilt for 10-15 minutes. Top with vegan pumpkin ricotta, vegan parmesan cheese, and fresh basil.
Vegan Pumpkin Ricotta
Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy but not runny. If the mixture is too dry add water 1 tsp at a time until desired texture is reached. Serve over slow cooker lasagna stew. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
*Adding 3 cups of vegetable broth with result in a stew-like consistency. For a thinner stew or soup add an extra 1-2 cups of broth.**Do not use no boil lasagna noodles. ***I use this recipe from Choosing Chia.****Only add in water after all other ricotta ingredients have been added and processed. If the ricotta looks too thick, add water 1 tsp at a time until ricotta is thick and creamy but not runny.
This vegan buckwheat noodle and tofu stir-fry is spicy, satisfying, and ready in just 30 minutes. Made with extra firm tofu, buckwheat soba noodles, baby bok choy, and stir-fried vegetables, this meal is sure to replace your favorite take-out restaurant. Grab your chopsticks and get ready for a delicious, home cooked, Asian-influenced dinner.
Although my chopstick skills are poor, I still love a good Asian-inspired meal. This dish is one of my favorite go-to dinner options because it’s ready in just 30 minutes and is customizable so everyone in the family can enjoy it.
Spicy Tofu Sauce
Made with a range of flavors from garlic and ginger to peanut butter and maple syrup, this sauce is amazing. You can use it to marinade not only tofu but tempeh and beans as well. Use less oil and more peanut butter to thicken it up for a spread on sandwiches. Use it as a sauce on vegetables.
Aside from being versatile, another thing to note about this marinade is it’s spice level. When prepared according to the recipe, this sauce is fairly spicy. That being said, it’s very easy to alter the level of heat in this dish. Simply decrease or eliminate the use of garlic chili sauce. Another note: I wouldn’t recommend marinating the tofu in this sauce if you’re going to be giving some to little tofu-lovers. My kids are totally cool with eating pain baked tofu.
I love the vegetables in this dish! They’re sturdy and maintain a good amount of crunch even after being cooked (I’m not a fan of soggy vegetables). I would highly recommend using mung bean sprouts and shredded carrots as the base. After that you can use whatever you might have on hand: sugar snap peas (what is used here), bell peppers, mushrooms, water chestnuts…the possibilities are endless.
So how does this meal sound to you? Fantastic! Pretty straightforward right? Of course. Simple enough to throw together on a weeknight? Definitely. Perfect for meal prepping? Absolutely. What are you waiting for? Dust off those chopsticks and let’s make this spicy buckwheat noodle and tofu stir-fry. It’s a fantastic meal that you and the whole family will love.
Ingredient Health Benefits
Buckwheat-fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, manganese, rutin, ligans, vitamin E, selenium
Carrot-vitamin A; fiber; manganese; B vitamins; potassium; vitamin C
Peanuts-high in antioxidants (especially when roasted)
Sesame seeds-lignans, phytosterols
Tofu- calcium, copper, magnesium, B vitamins, isoflavones
Made with extra firm tofu, buckwheat soba noodles, baby bok choy, and stir-fried vegetables, this meal is sure to replace your favorite take-out restaurant. Grab your chopsticks, set your kitchen timer for 30 mintues and get ready for a delicious, home cooked, Asian-influenced dinner.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese, Vegan
Keyword: asian, bok choy, buckwheat, buckwheat soba noodles, carrots, green onions, mung bean sprouts, noodles, sesame seeds, soba noodles, spicy, stir fry, sugar snap peas, tofu
14ozextra firm tofu, pressed & cut into cubes
3-4largebaby bok choy, quartered
10ozsugar snap peas
10ozshredded carrotsabout 4 cups
9ozmung bean sproutsabout 2 cups
ozvegan soba noodles
sesame seeds and green onions for garnish
1tbspgarlic chili sauceor to taste
1tbspcreamy peanut butter
Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a shallow dish, whisk together Tofu Marinade ingredients. Place pressed, cubed tofu into marinade and toss to coat. Let rest for 10 minutes. Bake tofu for 18 minutes then flip and bake for additonal 5 minutes. Reserve additonal marinade.
While tofu is baking, heat seseame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place baby bok choy cut side down and cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn and cook additional 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add another tsp of sesame oil and saute sugar snap peas, shredded carrots, and mung bean sprouts until tender and not overcooked, about 5 minutes.
Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and toss with reserved tofu marinade.
Assemble bowls with noodles and top with sauteed vegetables and baked tofu. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
This walnut and tofu “meat” bolognese sauce will be your new go-to family dinner during the cold weather months. Vegan and refined-sugar free with gluten-free and oil-free versions, this recipe will surely satisfy everyone at the table. Made with loads of fresh vegetables and simple, pantry-staple ingredients this meal will become your family’s new favorite dish.
There aren’t many dishes I miss since going vegan over a year ago. But a good, hearty bolognese sauce is one of them. Well….was one of them. Since this recipe has been in my life, I definitely don’t miss my old version. This walnut and tofu “meat” bolognese sauce has it all going on. It’s got plenty of protein just like the original but it’s made even better by including all the veggies. And, let’s be honest, any excuse to eat pasta is a good one. Let’s explore this vegan bolognese sauce a little more shall we?
Baked Tofu “Meat”
So this bolognese sauce is made up of three parts: the sauce, the walnut “meat”, and the tofu “meat”. I have found that including both tofu and walnuts in this recipe really enhances the texture and assists in recreating a “traditional” bolognese sauce. The baked tofu is simply crumbled, marinated in spices and oil (or water for an oil-free version), and baked in the oven. Super, super simple right? So while that’s baking in the oven we can move on to the rest of the “meat” sauce.
To complete the texture of the vegan bolognese sauce we need to make the walnut “meat” sauce. This is just as easy as the baked tofu portion of the recipe mentioned above. Simply place the walnuts into a food processor and pulse until the texture resembles that of, you guessed it, ground beef. Once the vegetables are soft, the walnuts and baked tofu will be added along with the sauce and a few spices.
In this section of the recipe I like to keep things as close to the original meat version as possible. That being said I always use: onions, carrots, celery, and zucchini. Some people like to include mushrooms. Personally, I love mushrooms, just not in my bolognese sauce. But if you’re one of those mushroom bolognese folk then by all means, throw them in! This recipe is very forgiving so you can use whichever vegetables you have or, to save money, vegetables currently in season. Some other vegetable ideas include: eggplant, leeks, and winter or summer squash.
There you have it my friends! My super simple walnut and tofu “meat” bolognese sauce. Throw this sauce on your favorite whole-wheat or gluten-free pasta. You could even up the veggie intake more if you’d like and spiralize yourself some zucchini, sweet, potato or carrot noodles. The possibilities are endless and that’s part of the appeal of this recipe. Make it your own and customize it to your family’s preferences.
Enjoy and be sure to let me know what you think down in the comments below.
Ingredient Health Benefits
Basil- phenolic compounds
Carrot- vitamin A; fiber; manganese; B vitamins; potassium; vitamin C
Vegan and refined-sugar free with gluten-free and oil-free versions, this recipe will surely satisfy everyone at the table. Made with loads of fresh vegetables and simple, pantry-staple ingredients this meal is sure to become your family's new favorite dish.
This savory breakfast tofu scramble is filled with vegetables and served with roasted potatoes. Loaded with protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats it’s sure to keep you satisfied until lunch.
Nothing says good morning like a hearty breakfast, am I right? Well, say hello to your new go-to morning meal! This colorful little beauty is chock-full of all the good stuff my friends. If you need some serious energy to power you through your day look no further than this tofu and vegetable scramble with herb-roasted potatoes.
The Herb-Roasted Potatoes
I don’t know about you, but I love using a potato melody whenever I get the chance. I feel like naturally purple food is hard to find! These potatoes only get more vibrant as they cook.
Roasted potatoes are pretty basic but so flavorful and easy to customize. They’re a great little side dish to have in your back pocket for any occasion.
And this scramble…it’s loaded with plant-based protein, colorful vegetables, healthy fats and carbohydrates, as well as herbs and spices. Seriously, how can any other breakfast even compete right?
I used bell peppers, mushrooms, mini tomatoes, fresh spinach, and riced cauliflower this time but the possibilities here are endless. In the past I’ve added zucchini, yellow squash, kale, broccoli, asparagus…to name just a few. Use what’s in season or whatever you have hanging around your fridge.
Also, make as many or as few vegetables as you’d like. See how easy the veggie portion of this meal is to customize? The more vegetables you prepare the further into the week this meal with get you. Hint, hint: this makes a great meal prep option! I can usually get 3-4 meals out of it (at least)!
So put on some music, tune in to your favorite podcast, get your kids involved…Cut up some veggies, prepare this healthy tofu and vegetable scramble with herb-roasted potatoes, and enjoy.
Ingredient Health Benefits
Potatoes: Vitamin C, potassium (found in the skin), antioxidants in red- & purple-skinned
Soy: Protein, calcium, copper, magnesium, certain B vitamins, phytochemicals
6cupsvegetables of choice(I love bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, asparagus, cauliflower rice, broccoli, kale, spinach)
1poundred or melody potatoes, quartered
1tbspherbs de provence(a mix of thyme, marjoram, savory, rosemary, basil, sage, lavender)
avocado, hot sauce, vegan parmesan or feta cheese, hemp hearts, additional nutritional yeast
Preheat oven to 400°F and spray an 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or coat with olive oil.
Quarter potatoes, add to prepared baking dish and top with olive oil, herbs de provence, garlic, and salt and pepper (if desired).
Roast for 40 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Stir half way through cooking.
Meanwhile, begin by pressing tofu for at least 10 minutes to remove any excess moisture.
Combine spices in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Once tofu is pressed, crumble into bite-sized pieces (resembling the size of scrambled eggs) into the blended spices.
Toss to coat and allow to marinate for 10-15 minutes.
Wash, trim and otherwise prepare the vegetables of your choosing for sautéing.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil if desired.
Once hot add prepared vegetables (except any greens such as kale or spinach) and sauté, stiring frequently to prevent sticking. Allow to soften for 5-10 minutes depending on type of vegetables used and until desired texture is almost reached.
In the last 5 minutes of cooking add marinated tofu as well as any greens to the vegetables. Stir, cover and continue to cook until tofu is warmed through and greens have wilted.
Serve tofu and vegetable scramble hot with herb-roasted potatoes on the side. See ingredients above for additional topping suggestions.