Foodie (Photo) Friday! I made a lot! Especially from the cookbook Isa Does It!

This week was a big week for my cooking. Not only did I create my own original recipe for a favorite, typically very non vegan appetizer, but I also tested tons of other people’s recipes.

I mostly tried a bunch of recipes from the Isa Does It cookbook though, which I have not found a single recipe that wasn’t amazing or really yummy yet. My only complaint is that the recipe names are not easy to remember because they are usually named after the ingredients and not that creative/specific so I feel like I sometimes write about them and name them different than what is in the cookbook. So apologies if I am not using the actual recipe names to a T, I am currently too tired and somewhat lazy to go get the book and double check! Woops. How unprofessional of me…

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi w/ Brussels Sprouts and Tarragon Cashew Cream Sauce

The most impressive recipe  I have tried  so far was definitely the Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Tarragon Cashew Cream and Brussels Sprouts. I have made my own gnocchi from recipes before, but it seemed so difficult and was such a long process. Maybe my cooking skills have drastically improved over time and I just do things faster and in a more organized time saving manner, but I still think this recipe is by far an easier and simple way of making you own vegan gnocchi from scratch than the previous recipe I tried. It only really takes awhile because you have to bake the sweet potato (or potatoes…but I found a 1 lb sweet potato that worked out very well). The sauce is also simplistic yet has a very fancy flavor/touch to it with the tarragon. And a cashew based sauce makes almost any pasta recipe rich and luxurious. The Brussels Sprouts were the perfect finishing touch, and add to the dish to make it a complete healthful meal.

I love the bowls so far in this cookbook. I think I forgot to post about the cucumber ranch tofu bowl I made New Year’s Eve? Well that was pretty good. Even better was the pizza bowl, though.

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Not the prettiest looking pizza bowls

I used tofurky italian sausages (Which, to my delight, do not contain soy protein isolate in them which I am really trying to avoid as much as possible now.  My nutritionist said she believes that it is that form of soy that causes the most problems for our hormone balance, and it is very highly processed (and typically g.m.o I think?) so it is good to avoid or eat irregularly. Tofu is fine unless you have digestive/other sensitivities to it, whIch I do not.

Anyways, this was absolutely delicious and comforting. The sauce is really, really good. It reminds me of pink (or vodka cream) sauce, which was one of my favorite sauces before I went vegan and I have found difficult to replicate as a vegan despite trying . Actually now this gives me an idea to try and make an even more authentic version of it! Yay!

Paired with the kale (which I actually seemed to cook right for the first time ever…I typically only eat it raw), rice, sausage, garlic, red onions, olives, etc it is just so wonderfully filling and tasty!

My pictures of it are not the prettiest, but believe me, it is so yummy!

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edamame hummus tofu wraps…before I wrapped them 🙂

I also made the tofu wraps with edamame hummus. It somehow tastes kind of like a Japanese-inspired egg salad wrap to me which I thought was pretty cool. I will definitely be making the edamame based (instead of chickpea) hummus on it’s own again multiple times. The tofu was really good too though! I love anything with sesame oil in it, and it crisps the tofu perfectly. Isa Chandra Moscowitz doesa really good job through writing her recipes teaching people the proper methods of cooking her dishes without having them fail horribly. Hopefully I can get there myself too!

I did not use sprouts because when I buy them they seem to go bad too fast, instead I used greens. When I use up the leftovers tomorrow though, I am probably going to use baby arugula. Yum!

Aside from cooking from Isa Does It, I found this recipe on a facebook group I belong to and was intrigued so I gave it a try. Behold, Green Pancakes!

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not the prettiest again but behold green pancakes!

They look kinda gross, but I felt really good about eating them for my breakfast and do not taste too different from unhealthy versions of pancakes…especially when you add some maple syrup, ha, ha. I kept thinking of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham and thinking this would make a good vegan story like that, especially for kids while eating these. So it was fun, healthy, and fed my belly all at once.

Finally, I made a really delicious salad today.

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my delicious salad with chickpea “bacon”

The centerpiece of the salad was the Chickpea Bacon recipe from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! Gosh do I love that book!

I put 2 cups chopped romaine, 1/2 cup baby arugula, 1/3 cup sliced cucumber, 1/3 cup chopped hearts of palm, 1/4 of the chickpea recipe, a slice of red onion that I chopped into smaller bits, 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast, and 2 tbsp Organicville Non Dairy Ranch! I made a similar version for my dad and he really liked it too! He was trying to refuse eating it because of the non-dairy ranch, but now he says I have to make him a salad every day! (Though fat chance…but I will make an extra for him when I have one from now on!)

Ta da! And now you know what I cooked up this week!

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can follow me on these social media outlets where I post related (and unrelated) things to my blog.

Banana Curl, Vegan Girl’s Facebook Page

Follow me on Pinterest (the blog has it’s own board if you just want to follow that)

Twitter

And I think that’s everything for now! I will be adding these to the end of my blog every so often for new people to click on and explore. Also, I love comments and feedback and love it when people spread and share my work I am doing here, so do not be shy about that!

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World Peas Wasabi Crusted Tofu with Avocado Ginger Cream Sauce

Okay, so I was eating some Wasabi peas I got from Trader Joe’s and was thinking “hmm, this would make an awesome type of bread crumb!” So after I continued to eat them, I started to become obsessed with the idea of making tofu recipe with them.

I wasn’t sure if I actually liked it at first…the heat of the wasabi wanes considerably when cooked this way. I also didn’t get a chance to try it until it was cool. However, after seeing my adult brother devour the rest of the batch, and tell me he loved it, I figured it was worth sharing.

For the Avocado Ginger cream sauce,  I was inspired by sushi. Avocado sushi is my favorite, and I guess I’m weird but I love to eat the ginger slices along with it in the same mouthful. I also got the idea of using vegan cream cheese because non-vegan sushi uses cream cheese sometimes, and thought it’d be good veganized. The added vegan mayo was mostly to make it a better consistency, but I was also thinking of the spicy mayo I’ve seen on sushi before as well.

I ate it with cooked brown rice, but it might be cool to form into onigiri and place the tofu on top, or put it in a hand roll (the rice, tofu, avocado sauce wrapped in a nori sheet).

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Wasabi Crusted Tofu with Avocado Ginger Cream Sauce

Recipe

Ingredients:

For the tofu:

1/2 cup wasabi peas

2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot

1 cup water

1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour (more as needed)

1 1 lb container of extra firm tofu (I used firm black tofu plus by nasoya and it didn’t hold together all that great, so I think extra firm tofu would work MUCH better) sliced into 8 equally sized slices width wise

canola oil, enough to cover a large frying pan/skillet and a little extra

For the Avocado Ginger Cream Sauce

1/2 an avocado

2 1/2 tbsp vegan cream cheese (I used Trader Joe’s brand)

2 tbsp vegan mayo (I used Nasoya Nayonaise but Vegenaise would be better)

1 tsp lime juice

1 tsp grated fresh ginger root

1/2 tsp vegan sugar

Directions:

To make the tofu:

  1. In a food processor or blender, crush wasabi peas until mostly into a powder but with some pieces of peas still partially in tact.
  2. Place wasabi pea powder in a bowl and mix with 2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot.
  3. Place water in a separate bowl, and flour in another.
  4. Drain the the tofu and lightly pat dry. Cut width wise into 8 evenly sized (as close as you can) pieces.
  5. Heat oil in pan at medium heat. You’ll know when it’s ready to put the tofu in it when you place a smidge of the pea mixture in the oil and it sizzles and fries up instantly.
  6. In the meantime, begin to prepare the tofu. Dip each slice in the flour on both sides, then place in water, and then coat into the pea-cornstarch mixture. Place on a plate until oil is ready.
  7. Prepare a plate with a paper towel next to the frying pan to absorb the oil of the tofu once they’re done cooking.
  8. When the oil is heated enough, place each tofu slice in the oil. Cook on each side until golden brown and crispy.
  9. Take out carefully with a spatula or tongs and place on prepared paper towel plate.
  10. Let cool until an edible temperature, and then eat along with the Avocado Ginger Cream Sauce and rice or whatever you like.

To make the Avocado Ginger Cream Sauce:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy but not too thin.

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My results! If you make it, lemme know what you think, yeah?

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