Veggies on the counter

Herbed Tofu Cakes with Curried Apple

Posted in main courses by veggies on the counter on February 17, 2011


Lately, I’ve been eating lots of roasted vegetables and bakes, mostly because they are comfort food at their best and have that sort of magical effect of keeping me warm. Also, these are usually dishes that are made in one single pan, meaning there’s minimal work involved in dish washing after dinner, which is also a great advantage. I tell you what I do: often, I make a lentil/vegetable pie and make sure there are enough leftovers for me to enjoy for a couple more meals. Not having that much time to cook lately, this is a method that allows me to have homemade food at hand almost everyday. Anyway, there are also times when I manage to prepare dishes that are done in less than twenty minutes, require minimal effort, are packed with proteins, and taste good. These Herbed Tofu Cakes are one of those no-recipes that I tend to prepare when I don’t feel that much like cooking.

I grab the herbs I have on the refrigerator – this time around, lemon thyme, rosemary and chives were what I had on hand, but you could use any others of your liking -, some tofu and a couple other ingredients, and the cakes are done in no time. The curried apples are a great topping for these protein-packed patties, but you could replace it for some chutney or a simple salsa made with fresh vegetables – they’d be equally good options. To finish things off, serve the dish along with some cooked grains (I can’t get enough of basmati rice cooked with a couple spices such as cinnamon, cloves and cardamom), and there you go.

Herbed Tofu Cakes with Curried Apple

(makes 5 cakes)

for the tofu cakes:

370 grams firm tofu, drained, pat dry and crumbled

1 ½ tablespoons shoyu

1 tablespoon vegan mayo

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

1 ½ tablespoons lemon thyme, finely chopped

1 ½ tablespoons chives, finely chopped

2 teaspoons rosemary, finely chopped

zest of one lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

for the curried apple:

1 large apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

½ teaspoon curry powder

¼ teaspoon sugar

a pinch of salt

a good squeeze of lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

chopped coriander, for garnishing

1. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the tofu cakes, except the olive oil. Mix well until thoroughly combined.

2. Divide the mixture into 4 to 5 equal portions. With your hands, shape each portion into patties.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan, over medium-heat. Shallow-fry the patties for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

4. Once the tofu cakes are done, transfer them to a plate and keep them warm in the oven. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the same frying pan you used for cooking the cakes and, once hot - but not smoking - add the apple slices, sugar, salt and curry powder.

5. Cook for 5 minutes or until the apple slices are tender and slightly caramelized. Turn off the heat and add a good squeeze of lemon juice to the pan.

6. Serve the tofu cakes with the curried apple slices on top, and garnish each serving with plenty chopped coriander. Serve with basmati rice or any other grain of your liking.

Corn and Cauliflower

Posted in side dishes by veggies on the counter on July 16, 2010

The idea for this recipe comes from Heidi’s Simple Cauliflower . I love the simplicity of it and how it works so wonderfully. In my version, I added some corn kernels I had sitting on the fridge (I’ve bought some pre-cooked corn and then cut the kernels off the cob), some chopped corianders, and there you have it. I think the key in here is to cut the cauliflower into small florets about the same size (mine were no larger than 2 centimeters), so that they cook thoroughly in the same amount of time. On the other hand, the addition of lemon juice and its zest is really important to balance the sweeteness of the corn and the addition of salt. As I was eating this tonight for dinner, I had a lot of ideas popping into my head on how it could be easily improved in order to make a more substancial meal: for instance, adding rice vermicelli as well as grilled smoked tofu would make a perfect main course. And if you’re not into vermicelli noodles, I bet some cooked grains such as quinoa or brown rice would not only work well, but also make it heartier. And what about substituing the corn kernels and using chickpeas instead? Or maybe adding some toasted cumin seeds? Or even substituing the lemon zest for orange zest? I mean, take this recipe as a general idea that could (and should) be adapted and taken in whatever direction you’d like. Just do not forget to shout out in the comments on how you have approached it.


(serves 2, as a side)

1 small cauliflower head, cut into tiny florets

1 pre-cooked ear of corn on the cob

1 tablespoon olive oil

a bit of sea salt

a squeeze of lemon juice

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon chopped coriander

1. With a sharp knife, cut the corn kernels off the cob.

1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-heat. Add the corn kernels, cauliflower florets and salt, and cook for about 7 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. It’s important to stir the ingredients occasionally, to prevent them from getting too brown.

2. When the cauliflower and corn are cooked, remove from heat and add the lemon zest, chopped corianders, a squeeze of lemon juice.

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