VeganMoFo: Vegetarian Stuffed Eggplant


There’s a farmer’s market in front of my office twice a week – on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I get so excited with anticipation as to what veggies will show up on any given day. I love being surprised as the seasons change. I especially love the colors that await me as I climb out of the subway station and over to the booths.

I recently came upon this beautiful pink eggplant. If you haven’t tried this variety, I highly recommend you do. It is more tender and has a softer eggplant flavor than other varieties. It lends itself to more recipes and doesn’t need to be treated prior to cooking to remove bitterness.

And the colors of the eggplant…love it!


Vegetarian Stuffed Eggplant

4 small pink eggplants
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 package of extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled
1 red pepper, diced
5 oz. cremini mushrooms, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 cups quinoa, cooked (I used the tri-color blend)
3 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce.
3 tsp. salt
3 tsp. ground pepper flakes
3 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
3/4 cup Daiya Vegan Cheese (mozzarella or cheddar would work in this)


Preheat oven to 375.

Wash the eggplants. Slice them down the middle lengthwise.

Scoop out the eggplant leaving a 1/2 inch skin all around. Chop up the scooped out eggplant.


Heat up a large saute pan. Add the olive oil.

Add in the onions and cook for a few minutes. Add in the chopped garlic and crumbled tofu.  Cook for a couple of minutes.

Add chopped eggplant to the pan and the other chopped veggies. Cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in the quinoa, spices and Daiya cheese. Make sure everything is incorporated well together.

Taste the mixture to see if it needs additional salt or other spices.

Place the eggplant shells in a large baking pan.

Place a heaping amount of the eggplant/veggie/quinoa mixture back in to the eggplant shells.

Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Bake in oven for about 30-40 minutes.



Mushroom and Tofu Stir Fry in Black Bean Sauce

What do you do when everyone is hungry and it’s 7:30 pm? We had been grazing throughout the day, so hunger and the whole dinner concept dawned on us much later than a typical day. The big kid was begging for Chinese food. Of course, she was hoping for the take-out variety. The hubster suggested a stir fry. I kindly suggested he pick and chop the veggies – to which he turned down. Harumph.

Dinner still had to be made. I tossed some rice and water in a pot and peeked in the fridge. We had just been to the Korean market, so were flush with tofu and veggies. I had some chopped scallions and ginger left over from the scallion pancakes. Stir fry would work. I always have a variety of asian sauces around. I hoard them when I find them acceptable to eat. I picked up some yummy looking five-spice tofu when at HMart. I love when I find random kosher things there. I get giddy.  This five spice tofu comes already pressed and ready to serve. 
Dinner was ready in around 10 minutes. Ten points for me!

Mushroom and Tofu Stir Fry in Black Bean Sauce
1 tbsp. vegetable oiil
1 tsp. sesame oil
3 scallions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1.4 tbsp. ginger, chopped
1/2 pound of pressed tofu (five spice, or other marinated tofu) cubed
1 container cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup sugar snap peas
1.5-2 tbsp. black bean sauce
3 tsp. black soy sauce
1/2 cup vegetable broth mixed with 2 tsp. corn starch
Heat up the vegetable oil in a wok or large deep saute pan.
Add in the sesame oil when hot. Stir in the garlic and ginger. Let it get a bit fragrant and toss in half of the scallions.
Stir in the tofu, snap peas and the mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes. Maybe five.
Add in the last three ingredients. If you can’t find a kosher black bean sauce, you could substitute with some miso paste. As I mentioned before, I tend to hoard obscure kosher products when I find them – or I figure out how to make  them myself.

Add in the remaining chopped scallions and plate it up with some white rice.
On a side note, anyone want to go in with me on a large quantity of  kosher fermented black beans? Big plans, folks, big plans….


Vegetable & Tofu Lo Mein

After a 3-day holiday run, I’m all about easy meals this week. Here’s a meal idea that is always on the back-burner in our house.

Every so often, I crave lo mein. Not the cheap “chinese” restaurant lo mein you get for $4 on any random NYC street corner. I crave a good, flavorful but simple lo mein. With really good noodles. Good veggies. A bit of tofu. There’s an Asian marketing near me that carries a good variety of kosher and authentic noodles. While there, I stock up on rice noodles, egg noodles, rice vermicelli, and lo mein of course.  The fresh lo mein noodles last indefinitely in the freezer. They are good to have on hand for a rush dinner.

We always have veggies lying around. So this is a perfect way to use up those odds and ends sitting in your fridge. The dish is also flexible enough that you could throw in some frozen veggies as well.

Vegetable & Tofu Lo Mein

1/2 onion, chopped
1 package of fresh lo mein noodles
5 cloves garlic, chopped
small nub of ginger, chopped
1 tbsp. veg oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 container tofu, drained and cubed
assorted veggies, cut up  – some ideas: mushrooms, peas, broccoli, pepper, baby corn, zucchinni
2 tbsp. dark soy sauce (I used a mushroom flavored variety)
1 tbsp. sriracha – or less, to taste
1/4 cup of vegetable broth
chopped scallions
salt (to taste)
red pepper flakes (to taste)

Cook the noodles in water for a minute or two. If you don’t have fresh lo mein noodles, you can substitute a spaghetti noodle. Drain the noodles and set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil in a large wok.

Add in the onions, garlic and ginger.

Add in the drained tofu and cook for a few minutes on high.

Stir in the cut up vegetables. Whatever veggies you’d like.

When the vegetables have softened a little, but still crisp, add in the soy sauce, broth. and sriracha. Taste a bit and see if it needs more chili flakes or salt, etc.

Stir in the lo mein noodles. Let the noodles mix with the sauce and veggies.  Make sure all noodles are coated.

Garnish with raw scallions.




Meatless Monday: Vegan Tofu Balls!

My ten-year-old daughter couldn’t stop laughing when I told her we were eating “vegan tofu balls” for dinner.

“You said balls, Mom! You said BALLS!”

Oy vey! I am sure I was like that when I was ten. She doesn’t even know what BALLS are, but she knows that they’re something to talk about. Lucky me.

I feel like I get all my meal ideas from Pinterest lately. It’s all house and food porn on that site and I keep getting sucked in. While perusing Pinterest, I came across Post Punk Kitchen’s recipe for tofu balls.  Looked pretty easy. I recently made a big batch of spinach and walnut pesto. I decided to try to adapt the recipe a bit and make them gluten free to serve with the pesto and and some pasta.  Lo and behold, it was a hit! So happy I found the recipe!

Tofu Balls
slightly adapted from Post Punk Kitchen

1 lb. extra firm tofu, mushed up

1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 mushrooms, chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 cup gluten free “bread crumbs” or corn flake crumbs
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. thyme
red pepper flakes (optional)
Rice flour for rolling balls in
Vegetable oil for frying or baking spray

In a large mixing bowl, mix everything up except for the flour and the oil. I used my cuisinart to chop the veggies up.

Roll mixture in to 1-inch balls. It’s best to use your hands for this.

Roll the tofu balls in the rice flour and pan fry until light brown on all sides.

You can also choose to bake in the oven on a sprayed baking sheet at 400 until done. You will want to flip them to ensure even browning.

Serve the tofu balls however you’d like. We had them over a pasta with spinach & walnut pesto sauce with some roasted cauliflower on the side. Delightful!


Teriyaki Tofu and Veggie Rice Bowl

So the other night around dinner time, J suggested we go out and get Chinese take-out. Of course he said this after dinner was already prepared. He also knows that the kosher Chinese place in the neighborhood pretty much sucks and I always get food poisoning when I eat there. Of course I looked at him like he had two heads when he suggested it.

Don’t get me wrong – I like take-out as much as the next gal; but a: it’s not in our budget and b: I refuse to pay for crappy food.

I do still try to consider what J wants when making the meal plan. He mentioned being in the mood for a greasy bowl of teriyaki chicken or beef – similar to what you could hypothetically get from a crappy Chinese take-out joint.

I hemmed and hawed about this. I even considered  being a nice wifey and getting him some $5 dollar special. Gasp!

We do have all the ingredients though and I had a package of tofu sitting in the fridge. I decided to make some teriyaki tofu. I figured that I could make it better, cheaper, and definitely healthier than any neighborhood joint. And none of us will get sick after eating it! Yay!

Teriyaki Tofu & Veggie Rice Bowl

1 package of extra firm tofu
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. ginger, minced
2 shallots
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 small zuchini, chopped
1 cup of mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red pepper, chopped
3/4 cup green peas
scallions, chopped (garnish at the end)
red pepper flakes

Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients:
4 tbsp. tamari (you can also use soy sauce or Braggs Amino Acids)
2.5 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. mirin
2.5 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. ginger, minced
1/2 tbsp. sriracha (or more)
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. corn starch
2 tbsp. warm water

Cube up the tofu and press it down to remove all the water.

In a wok, stir fry the tofu in a small amount of vegetable oil mixed wth a small amount of sesame oil. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Add in the ginger, garlic, and the shallots. Cook for 2-3 more minutes.

Add in the other veggies. Cook for a few minutes. Let the zuchini soften a little.

Mix up the teriyaki sauce ingredients.

Add to the stir fry. Cook for a couple more minutes. Add in the scallions and some red pepper flakes.

Serve over some white or brown rice. Enjoy!

Mushroom and Tofu Curry

Everything tastes good as a curry. Almost everything.

On any given night, I know that if I can’t figure out a thing to make – I can always put together a curry. Just a few veggies, some ginger, garlic, and spices – is all it takes. Curries are very forgiving and adaptable. It doesn’t have to be too complicated. Cook it all up and throw over some yummy basmati rice and you’re good to go. It’s that easy.

Tonight’s dinner was mushroom and tofu curry over basmati rice. Yum!

Mushroom Tofu Curry

2 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. ginger – paste or minced
1 green chili chopped
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. garam masala
10 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 package of firm tofu, drained and chopped up
1/2 cup of vegetable broth
1/2 package frozen, chopped spinach (optional – I added it because I needed to use it up)
1 large tomato, chopped
handful of toasted and sliced cashews

In a large saute pan or wok, heat the pan on medium-high. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil and toast the mustard and cumin seeds for 3o seconds.

Add in the other teaspoon of oil and add the onions, garlic, ginger, and chili pepper. Saute for a few ,more minutes, until the onions are soft. Add in the spices.

Add in the tofu and mushrooms. Sautee for about 5-7 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked through. Add in the tomatoes and spinach. Add in the broth. Taste and see if it needs anything. Here is where I will add more chili powder or extra spices and salt. Toss in the cashews and stir.

Serve over some steamed Basmati rice. Enjoy!

Herbed Lemon Tofu

I have made my life easier by subscribing to RSS Feeds. Google makes it even simpler with their Google Reader. It puts all my favorite blogs in one place. No drawbacks, but some days, I can just sit and drool at the screen as I page through some of the food blogs that are sprinkled in. For most of my weekday recipes, I stalk many of the vegan and vegetarian blogs for ideas. I recently came across this tasty looking Herbed Lemon Tofu on the VegCooking Blog. It looked perfect for a simple Monday night dinner. It came out tasty. Even J loved it, and J is often pretty skeptical when it comes to tofu dinners. I served the tofu with some steamed asparagus with a lemon mustard sauce along with some basmati rice. Everything tastes better with a bit of basmati.

Herbed Lemon Tofu – (from VegCooking Blog)


1 package extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tsp. chopped thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
I also added a couple teaspoons or garlic paste

Preheat the oven to 475°F.

Wrap the block of tofu in paper towels and press for 10 minutes by adding weight on top. Remove the paper towels and cut the tofu into 1/2-inch-thick pieces.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.

Add the tofu to a casserole or baking dish in a single layer, then cover with the liquid mixture, turning once to coat.

Bake the tofu for 30 to 40 minutes, or until browned, and turn once halfway through baking.


Vegetarian Jucy Lucy Hamburger

Growing up in Minnesota, I always heard about this amazing barfood called the Jucy Lucy. I was curious about this delicacy. During my treife (non-kosher) days, I was a vegetarian, so I didn’t have so much interest. Now that I keep kosher, the Jucy Lucy’s at Matt’s Bar in Minneapolis are off limits. They still look tempting. Click here for the wikipedia on the infamous Jucy Lucy.

I decided to try to kosherize it. I knew I didn’t want to use soy cheese, since that stuff is pretty crappy. I decided to replace the meat. I was a bit concerned, as soy meat is a completely different consistence than real meat, and it comes very differently. It came out pretty good, I will make some fixes next time. I need to make the patties a bit thinner, and I need to slice the cheese thinner. Otherwise, it was pretty tasty.

Below is my recipe for these tasty treats.

Jucy Lucy – Vegetarian and KosherRecipe made 5 patties

1 package of “ground” veggie meat (I use the Lightlife)
1/2 package of veggie ground sausage (Also used Lightlife)
1 onion, chopped fine
salt and pepper

2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons bread crumbs

2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 slice of cheese for each patty – American Cheese is the most authentic

Have some toothpicks handy.

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients except for the cheese.

Form into 10 thin patties.

Place the cheese on top of the patties, fold up the cheese so that there is “meat” space around the cheese. Place another patty on top of the cheese up patty. Crimp the edges.

In a cast iron skillet, on medium heat, put your patties in. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Flip the burgers over, poke a toothpick through to allow for steam to escape, and ensure that the cheese doesn’t make the burger explode before eating. Cook another 6-7 minutes.

Serve on a bun, dress the burger as you like it. Enjoy!

Back in my college days, I remember some Jucy Lucy eating contests. I remember people boasting about how many they could eat. So…how many did you eat? Hope you enjoyed!

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