Meatless Monday- Battered & Baked Tofu: Revisited [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Yields: 48 pieces
Serves: 8
Prep: 30 mins + 6-12hrs (marination)
Tofu Assembly: 20-25mins
Cooking Time: 30-35mins
Cooling: 5 mins
Type: Main meal, snack
Tools: Heavy plates, kitchen paper, chopping board, sharp knife, small measuring jug, casserole dish, 2* bowls, 2* baking trays, silicone mat or parchment paper, cooling rack

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, Vitamin E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc and per serving is low in added sugar, salt and saturated fats!

Well, as you might have guessed… tofu is always on the menu in our house, at least once a week! If you haven’t been keeping up with what we have been getting up to with this lovely plant-based food over the last year, then you should check out our recipe index here! We have been trying to inspire and improve the overall opinion of tofu; it’s not just a rubbery mass, it’s nutritious, awesome and its cooking possibilities are endless!  

So you might remember when we introduced our first batch of battered tofu to you in the form of a stir-fry last year (also known as our Battered tofu & Vegetable Stir-fry) or when we used this battered tofu in a tasty, healthy and oriental version of Sweet And Sour Battered Tofu w/Rice? Well if not, we decided to try and upgrade it with a marination step…as all tofu can benefit from this! It doesn’t necessary add that much time on to your overall prep either; once the tofu is drained and pressed, just marinade it whilst you sleep and you’re good to go!

The result: it has added some extra flavour and inspired us to use them in more than just stir-fries! A crispy, light and tasty batter makes this tofu easily enjoyed in a wrap with a tasty sauce or spread, for yourself or your little one as a snack (as you can always pretend it’s a new kind of ‘chicken nugget’!), used as some tasty finger foods in your upcoming picnics (just don’t forget your dips!), or as we have incorporated them previously, as part of a main meal in a sauce. A sauce or dip is the key, especially with reheating leftovers; the batter (although tasty) can go a bit dry, so the use of a sauce or a dip transforms these battered lovelies into a tasty meal or snack. 

Some other good things to note include

  • Any type of DF milk or starch should be fine. We used some unsweetened almond milk and potato starch for their neutral taste, low cost and seemingly effortless and versatile use and availability in our kitchen.
  • Adjust and adapt the dry seasoning (or tofu marinade) to taste or use your preferred ‘tried and true’ recipes.
  • Need a completely GF option? Use some tamari sauce instead of our recommended soya sauce.
  • The tofu marinade we used is actually one from a previous recipe: Marinated Tofu & Veggie Skewers w/ A Peanut Satay
  • If you’re halving the amount of tofu, you’ll save yourself 10mins!
  • There is enough marinade and batters for two firm blocks of tofu. 
  • Allow them to cool on the baking trays for at least 5 mins before serving and allow them to cool completely before storing in the fridge.
  • When reheating, use the oven where possible, as the batter can go a little soggy after it’s been in the fridge for a few days.

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients
800g Firm Tofu (= 2 tetrapaks)
Low-fat cooking oil
Tofu Marinade
3 tbsp     Sesame oil
3 tbsp     Walnut oil
2 tbsp     Rice vinegar
3 tbsp     Soya sauce (*reduced salt)
1½ tbsp   Maple syrup
1 tsp        Ground ginger
1/8 tsp    Asafoetida
Dry Batter
100g    Plain GF flour
20g      Corn flour
2-3g     Garlic salt
2g         Onion Powder
2g         Sweet Paprika
1/8 tsp  Salt & ground black pepper
Wet Batter
90g       Potato starch
120ml    Unsweetened DF Milk (8 tbsp)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂


Directions

1. Drain and press the tofu between two heavy and/or weighted plates (or chopping boards) to express any excess water. Leave for 30 mins. Tip: Try sandwiching the tofu between a few sheets of kitchen paper to help absorb some of the excess liquid. 

2. In the meantime, make the tofu marinade. Place 3 tbsp sesame oil, 3 tbsp walnut oil, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 3 tbsp soya sauce, 1½ tbsp maple syrup, 1 tsp ground ginger and 1/8 tsp asafoetida into a large measuring jug. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

3. When the tofu is ready, drain away any excess water. Place the tofu onto a chopping board and chop into ½ cm rectangular pieces. Tip: We made six cuts (width wise) and four cuts (lengthwise). Layer the tofu into the base of a large casserole dish. Pour over the marinade. Tip: To help evenly distribute the marinade, pour a little into the casserole dish first before layering the tofu. Cover with some kitchen film. Refrigerate for 6-12 hrs. Tip: If possible, turn the tofu over at least once whilst it’s marinating.

4. Prepare your dry batter. Place 100g GF flour, 20g corn starch, 2-3g garlic salt, 2g onion powder and 2g sweet paprika into a small bowl. Season with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Stir and whisk until combined. Prepare the wet batter. Place 90g potato starch and 120ml DF milk into a separate bowl. Whisk until combined.

5. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line two baking trays with silicone mats or a sheet of parchment paper. Spray each tray with some low-fat cooking oil. Dip a piece of marinated tofu into the wet batter, thoroughly coating it in the mixture. Tip: It’s just a quick dip; you do not need to soak it. Next, dip and gently press the tofu into the dry batter until all of its sides are covered. Tip: The faster you can complete these steps, the less ‘coagulated’ batter will form on your fingers!  Place the battered tofu onto the baking tray. Repeat until all tofu is battered.

6. Place the trays onto the middle and lower oven shelves. Bake for 15mins. Remove. Turn the tofu over. Place the trays back into the oven (switching the shelf positions of the trays). Bake for a further 15-20 mins or until cooked and the lightly golden. Remove. If possible, allow the tofu to cool on the tray for 5mins before serving.

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 5 days. 

 

Do you love tofu as much as we do?! What’s your favourite way to cook it? Do you make your own tofu? We’d love to hear all about it! 🙂

Healthy Nibbles: 4 Protein & Fibre-licious-Based Snacks [Vegan, No Added Sugars & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

With an early Easter looming around the next corner, we are probably all considering not only what sort of ‘treat’ we ‘might’ be giving as gifts when we make our holiday visits or are looking at buying or preparing for ourselves.

Well…with our permanent and healthy lifestyle changes now in full swing, we should all know that planning is everything, particularly when trying to eat healthily on more days than none. Meal prepping and planning healthy meals and snacks ahead of time can help us avoid temptations and overdoing it on sweet/salty/high calorie options.

Healthy snacks, especially ones that contain a good source of lean protein and/or fibre are great for filling us up and giving us that lovely dose of satiety; breeding the confidence that we need to fight off sugar cravings and reach our goals.

So as we love you all so much and always want to help assist you in living a healthy, happy and nutritious lifestyle, we’ve prepared four lovely snacks that you and your family and enjoy over this long weekend and even beyond Easter! We only hope that you enjoy them as much as we did.

Happy cooking (and snacking) everyone! 😀

 

4 Healthy Protein & Fibre-licious Based Snacks!

 

Roasted Chickpeas

Serves: 3-4
Prep: 10 mins-2 hrs (*Depends upon how long you want to marinate your legumes.)
Cooking: 30-40 mins

Now there are lots of roasted chickpea recipes floating about, so is not a new recipe, or even very original, but it’s definitely one that is effortless (really anyone can make it); it’s a tasty, filling, versatile and cheap snack! The types of things you can use to flavour chickpeas are endless but some ideas include: curry paste (or your favourite type of ethnic paste) or other condiments (tahini, horseradish, vinegar or tamari would work well!), ground spices mixed with oil, a little oil with some plain old salt and pepper or even fresh herbs. For this batch one of our key ingredients was some delicious harrisa paste (which is why the chickpeas look so dark!). If you have the time, marinate some chickpeas overnight for an extra flavour boost!

Keep them in a nut dish for family and friends to nibble on, swap them for your typical high calorie movie snacks, or even keep them in your purse (in an air-tight bag) for when you (or your family) get the munchies on the go. For the extra keen, try roasting a variety of cooked beans (or even nuts) for a tasty Easter ‘pick-a-mix’ that won’t cause cavities or fuel sugar cravings (well, we can hope)! 

 

Silken Tofu Caprese Salad

Serves: 4-8
Prep & Assembly:≤ 10-15 mins

So when some people may think of what constitutes a high protein snack, they may think about cheese, particularly those that do not exclusively follow a plant-based meal plan. Well, many, many, many years ago I used to enjoy the occasional bit of salad tomato with buffalo mozzarella. I think it was the way the combination of the fresh and juicy tomato (and basil) tasted with the ‘texture’ of the cheese; I can’t really remember but my tastes and preferences have moved on since then.

We had the idea of using silken tofu, because it’s kind of soft, delicate and squishy like cheese…. and then our silken tofu caprese salad recipe came to fruition! We‘ve seen recipes that salt ‘firm’ tofu to create a similar dish, but no one needs lots of added salt in their lives. This is an extremely simple salad recipe that requires no cooking, takes minutes to prepare and can be served as a snack option. It’s best when made using ripe and ready tomatoes, which unfortunately are not available on our doorsteps this time of year (so many apologies for increasing your carbon footprint!)… but you might have to make one exception in this case! Serve this alongside a plate of multi-grain crackers, oat or brown rice cakes or crisp breads for a light, tasty and filling snack.  

 

Carrot and Houmous Pots 

Serves: 4
Prep & Assembly: ≤10 mins

Ok so this recipe idea is actually courtesy of ASDA (thanks guys)! Everyone (well probably almost everyone!) has eaten houmous and crudities at some point in their lives… and why not?! Fresh vegetables are ace and when served with freshly made houmous, you couldn’t ask for very much more from a snack!

It’s a wonderful, quick and healthful convenience food that is packed with carbohydrates, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals; just perfect. The theme of this carrot and houmous pot is based around Easter and a cute little vegetable patch! If you’ve never tried houmous, it’s never too late and/or if you are looking for a recipe that requires no cooking… or need a darling idea to help your little ones to eat their veggies, this might do the trick. 😉

 

Protein Packed Blinis w/ Horseradish Sauce, Roasted Red Pepper and Dill

Yields: 66-68 Blinis
Serves: 16
Prep & Resting Time: 30-60 mins
Cooking: 20-25 mins

Some of you may know that we are not really pancake lovers, particularly sweet ones, but when it comes to blinis (aka little, savoury and bite-sized pancakes), well THAT is another story! This is not a traditional recipe, but it is delicious, full of protein (from soya milk, garam flour and flaxseed, just to name a few!) and ideal for those following alternative diets! 

These are perfect if you want to serve a variety of ‘tastes’ with something other than crackers to your guests and/or family. Our lightly ‘crisped on the outside and fluffy on the inside’ blinis have the right balance of seasoning, durability and flexibility. Make these bite-sized morsels in advance (because they freeze really well!) and serve with an endless amount of toppings. We used a delicious combination of spicy horseradish sauce, roasted red pepper and a tiny sprig of dill; the taste is wonderful and the colours are so inviting, don’t you think?! So get as creative as you like, the world is your oyster (although we wouldn’t personally recommend that as a topping!)

protein packed blinis_garnished_combined_wm_rs

 

Delicious! If you are looking for some further recipe inspiration to help get your snack on, check out these other ideas from our recipe index:

 

If you fancy any of the new (or old recipes), just contact us for an easy-print PDF! 🙂

Homemade & FreeFrom Energy ‘Flapjacks’ (or ‘Bites’!) [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8-16
Prep & Cooking Time: 35-40mins
Cooling Time: 20mins

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, Vitamin E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, omega 3 & 6, phosphorus, zinc and per serving is low in salt and has a moderate quantity of added, sugar and fat!

We simply love oats! From a simple and tasty bowl of porridge to some delicious muffins or slightly more indulgent crumbles or flapjacks! With all of this cooler weather that has suddenly rolled in, we are definitely craving fuel, an oaty-based snack…which got us thinking; a while ago we tried a leading plant-based bar which had ‘peanut flour’- gorgeous to say the least but at 90p a bar you can forget it!

So last week we decided to prepare an ‘almost’ flapjack with two great food loves of ours (peanut butter and oats!). So, ‘almost’ because the texture is slightly spongy and not crispy and/or oily, simply because it does not contain a tonne of typical golden syrup and butter, in addition to the fact that ground peanuts and peanut butter do not make it very authentic either! 

As the bars are energy packed, we’d advise to halve them into ‘bites’ and enjoy them as a healthy snack on the go, for those colder winter days to come; whether you’re out Christmas shopping or enjoying a long wintery walk in the snow! However, enjoy them as an occasional bar and save yourself a few pennies!

Overall we were happy with the result! There is certainly a huge margin for adapting these lovelies- let the sky be your limit! In terms of alterations, there isn’t many. We have advised using a little more milk, a little less flax and that the dried cranberries are optional, but you could reduce the quantity and just keep a few for added texture! If you want to help reduce the fat, try using less peanut butter or adapting the recipe with almonds instead. We definitely recommend toasting the peanuts, or any nuts that you use before grinding them (we forgot to!); it’ll really help bring out their lovely nuttiness! 

We think that these bars were just sweet enough, but it you have a ‘sweeter tooth’ than us you could perhaps try:

  • using a sweetened protein powder or DF milk. 
  • adding some ripe and mashed banana (or your favourite fruit!). 
  • omitting some of the cranberries and/or dates for more fruit syrup or try using some fresh fruit juices (apple, pineapple etc.) instead! Of course you could always try omitting the syrup altogether and just use ripe bananas- they always make everything really (naturally) sweet!

Happy GF, DF and refined sugar free baking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients:

++++++++7                Pitted Dates (60g)
++++++++55g            Unsalted Peanuts (toasted)
++++++++2 tsp          Virgin Coconut Oil (20g)
++++++++¼ Cup       Natural Peanut Butter (80g)
++++++++30g           Soya Isolate Powder (unsweetened)
++++++++1¼ cup      Almond Milk (unsweetened & fortified)
++++++++2 cups       Porridge Oats (GF if required) (180g)
++++++++1½ Tbsp    Ground Flax Seed (30g)
++++++++1-2             Pinches Table Salt
++++++++1 tsp          Ground Cinnamon (3g)
++++++++¼ Cup       Fruit Sweetener (Your favourite: agave, carob, date, etc!) (55g)
++++++++1/3 cup     Dried Cranberries (Naturally sweetened)*Optional (50g)

 

Nutrition:

 

Directions:

1. Place the dates into a bowl. Pour in some freshly boiled water, enough to cover them. Cover the bowl with a large plate. Allow to soak for 8-10 mins.

 

2. In the meantime, heat a small, non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the peanuts. Dry-fry until lightly toasted. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool slightly. Transfer into a food processor. Pulse until a ‘fine-ish’ flour is achieved. Transfer the ground peanuts into a large mixing bowl. Tip: Fancy some added texture? Save some of the nuts, roughly chop and then add them into the raw flapjack mixture later on!

 

3. Remove the dates from the water with a slotted spoon. Transfer them into the food processor with 6-8 tbsp of its ‘soaking’ water. Pulse until mostly smooth. Add the coconut oil and peanut butter. Pulse until smooth and combined.

 

4. Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease (or line with a liner) an 8X8″ baking tin.

 

5. Place the protein powder into a shaker bottle (or just use a large bowl if you do not own one). Add the milk. Shake (or whisk if applicable) until all of the powder has dissolved.

 

6.  …Time to work those biceps! 🙂

NB: Add the milk and the date mixture into the ‘well’ at the same time and mix together. Do not mix the milk and the date mixture separately (as we have shown here); it’s easier to do it all in one simultaneous step…but the choice is yours! 🙂

  • Place the oats, ground flaxseed, salt and cinnamon into the same bowl as the ground peanuts. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Make a well in the centre of the oaty mixture.
  • Pour the milk and date mixture into the ‘well’.
  • Using a silicone spatula or large spoon mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Add the dried cranberries and/or chopped pieces of peanuts (if applicable). Stir through. Tip: The mixture will be a bit ‘tacky’, but this is OK!

 

7. Place the mixture into the greased tin. Use the back of your spatula or a piece of parchment paper to help press it evenly down into the tin, making it as flat and as even as possible.

 

8. Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for about 16-19 mins or until just lightly browned and firm to touch. Remove and allow the mixture to cool in the tin for 20 mins before slicing (that’s just enough time to make and have a perfectly cooled cup of tea!).

Tip: Loosen the sides of the baked mixture with a dinner or palate knife before slicing. Also slice the mixture into rectangles/’bars’ and then remove and allow them to cool on a cooling rack before slicing into smaller ‘bites/squares’.

We baked ours for 18 mins in a fan-assisted oven.

Our ‘bites’ ready for the freezer!

Enjoy!