Sunday, April 15, 2018

Smoky Tofu BLT Sandwiches


Tofu, quickly seared and seasoned, is the “meat” of this hearty, comforting sandwich. Of course, actual bacon can be subbed in for the meat-eaters in the house!



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (14-ounce) block extra-firm tofu, cut in 1/4-inch slices (no need to drain)
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Tamari or low-sodium soy sauce* (for gluten-free choose a GF Tamari)
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika


  • 8 slices of your favorite crusty artisan bread, toasted (for gluten-free use your favorite GF sandwich bread)
  • Smoky Seared Tofu
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 8 green leaf lettuce leaves, washed and dried (butter lettuce is another fabulous choice)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (vegans use a mayo alternative such as Vegenaise) - mix with chopped chipotles in ancho
  • sliced avocado
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Set a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the olive oil. When the olive oil is hot, add the tofu along with a pinch of salt. The tofu will hiss and jump around a bit, so watch out! Cook, flipping occasionally, until golden brown on both sides, 8-10 minutes. While the tofu cooks, mix the Tamari, pure maple syrup, and smoked paprika in a small bowl. When the tofu is done, reduce the heat to low and pour the Tamari mix over the top. Cook, flipping occasionally, until the sauce has reduced and thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer the smoky seared tofu to a plate.
  2. Toast the bread then smear each piece with mayonnaise, as little or as much as you like – 2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons or so. Top four pieces of bread with tomatoes; sprinkle with a touch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the tofu, then pile with the lettuce. Top with remaining slices of bread. Cut in half and serve.

Pan-Fried Sesame Tofu with Broccoli

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce $0.20
  • 2 Tbsp water $0.00
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil $0.33
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar $0.22
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger $0.10
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds $0.15
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch $0.04
  • 14 oz block extra-firm tofu $1.99
  • Pinch of salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp neutral oil (vegetable, canola, peanut) $0.04
  • 1/2 lb frozen broccoli florets $1.00
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced $0.23
  • 4 cups cooked rice $0.88
  1. Place a few folded paper towels or a clean, lint-free dish cloth on a large plate. Remove the tofu from the package and place it on the towels. Place more towels on top, cover with a second plate, and then weigh the top plate down with a few canned goods or a pot filled with water. Press the tofu for at least 30 minutes to extract excess water (refrigerate if pressing for longer).
  2. While the tofu is pressing, prepare the sauce so that the flavors have time to blend. In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, water, sesame oil, brown sugar, rice vinegar, grated ginger, minced garlic, sesame seeds, and cornstarch. Stir until the brown sugar and cornstarch are dissolved, then set the sauce aside.
  3. Cut the pressed tofu into 1-inch cubes, then season with a pinch of salt. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp cornstarch over the cubes, then toss to coat. Repeat with the second tablespoon of cornstarch, or until the tofu cubes have a nice even coating of cornstarch.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium flame. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp oil and tilt the skillet until the bottom is coated in a thick layer of oil. Add the dusted tofu cubes and let cook until golden brown on the bottom. Use a spatula to turn the cubes to an uncooked side, and cook until golden brown again. Continue this process until brown and crispy on all sides, then remove the crispy tofu to a clean plate.
  5. Add the frozen broccoli to the hot skillet and briefly stir fry until slightly browned on the edges. Don't worry if it's not thawed through yet, it will warm through after adding the sauce. Lower the heat to medium-low.
  6. Give the bowl of sauce a good stir, then pour it into the skillet with the broccoli. Stir and cook until the sauce begins to bubble and thicken (this should happen very quickly). Once thickened, turn off the heat and stir in the cooked tofu cubes.
  7. Serve the tofu and broccoli over a bed of cooked rice, topped with sliced green onions.

Crispy Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Arugula

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
    12 oz. sliced mixed mushrooms
    2 shallots, sliced
    2 tsp. each chopped fresh rosemary and fresh sage
    3 tbsp. butter
    16 oz. refrigerated gnocchi, cooked and drained
    1 1/2 cups baby arugula
    Shredded Parmesan 
  • In large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium-high. Add mushrooms, shallots, and herbs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 10 to 12 minutes; season. Transfer to plate. Wipe skillet clean. Add butter; melt over medium-high. Add gnocchi. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy, about 8 minutes; season. Stir in arugula and mushroom mixture; season. Garnish with Parmesan; drizzle with oil.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Meatballs Stroganoff

6 oz uncooked egg noodles
4 tsp canola oil, divided
1 1/4 c diced yellow onion
12 ounces ground sirloin
1/3 c chopped parsley
3 Tbsp panko breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
12 oz sliced cremini mushrooms
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 c dry white wine
1 tbsp flour
1 cup low-sodium beef stock
1/3 c sour cream
1 tsp dijon mustard
dash of nutmeg
Place a foil-lined jelly-roll pan in oven on the middle rack. Preheat oven to 450° (keep pan in oven). Cook noodles according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; keep warm.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Place onion in a small bowl. Combine beef, 3 tablespoons parsley, panko, milk, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl; stir in 1/3 cup cooked onion. Shape beef mixture into 16 (1 1/2-inch) meatballs. Place meatballs on preheated pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until done, turning after 6 minutes.
Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms, garlic, and paprika to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until mushrooms are lightly browned. Add wine to pan; cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates. Sprinkle flour over mushroom mixture; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add stock; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until sauce slightly thickens. Stir in remaining cooked onion; remove pan from heat. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, sour cream, mustard, and nutmeg. Add meatballs to sauce; toss to coat. Spoon sauce and meatballs over cooked noodles. Sprinkle evenly with remaining parsley.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Pasta and Garlic-Lemon Tuna Sauce with Capers and Parsley

3 T olive oil
3 T capers, rinsed
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 c dry white wine
12 oz canned tuna in water, drained
1 lb penne or fusili
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp lemon zest
3 T unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions. When draining, reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Heat oil, capers, half the garlic, and the red pepper in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat until garlic turns golden but not brown (about 3 minutes), stirring often. Stir in wine, bring to simmer, and cook about 1 minute. Stir in tuna and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring often, until tuna is heated through, about 1 minute.

Combine sauce, parsley, remaining garlic, lemon zest, and butter with the pasta. Add the reserved cooking water to achieve desired consistency.

From Cooks Illustrated

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Roasted Vegetable Pizza

Makes 2 pizzas

Partially baking the pizza before freezing helps draw moisture out of the vegetables and set the crust so it stays nice and crisp. Use any hearty vegetables you like, but skip more delicate items like fresh tomatoes, as they won't hold up as well in the freezer.

1 1/2 lbs refrigerated fresh pizza dough
2 lbs cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 small red onions, each cut into 12 wedges
1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds
2 Tbsp cornmeal, divided
2/3 c lower-sodium marinara sauce, divided
5 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into small pieces (about 1 1/4 cups)
3 oz fontina cheese, shredded and divided (about 3/4 cup)
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 c fresh basil leaves
1/4 tsp salt

Divide dough in half. Let stand at room temperature, covered, for 30 minutes.

Place 2 heavy baking sheets in oven. Preheat oven to 500° (keep pans in oven as it preheats).

Combine mushrooms and onions on a jelly-roll pan; coat with cooking spray. Bake at 500° for 15 minutes. Add asparagus to pan; bake at 500° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven; cool.

Roll each piece of dough to a 15 x 9-inch rectangle on a lightly floured work surface. Carefully remove baking sheets from oven; sprinkle with cornmeal. Arrange dough on baking sheets; coat with cooking spray. Bake at 500° for 8 minutes. Spread 1/3 cup sauce over each crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top evenly with vegetable mixture and cheeses. Bake at 500° for 5 minutes. Continue baking at 500° for 5 to 6 minutes, or follow freezing instructions.

Combine oil, vinegar, and pepper in a small bowl; drizzle over pizzas. Sprinkle with basil and salt. Cut each pizza into 8 pieces.

FREEZE: Cool partially baked pizza completely; wrap tightly in heavy-duty foil. Freeze up to 2 months.

REHEAT: Unwrap pizza; bake directly on oven rack at 450° for 20 minutes or until crust is browned and crisp. Top with oil mixture, basil, and salt.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Blue Apron's Mexican Spice Blend

Equal parts:
Smoked Paprika
Ground Cumin
Garlic Powder
Ancho Chile Powder
Dried Mexican Oregano