• I received a lovely email from a loyal reader of my blog. She gently reminded me that I haven’t blogged in awhile. This is true. But I’m back! I have every intention of adding a Gluten free Holiday blogging post for New Year’s recipes. But first, I need to get back on the horse…….

    Lots to tell you about.

    This morning I made Scrambled Tofu for breakfast. I started with a recipe from one of my new cookbooks, Vegan Vittles by Jo Stepaniak. And then I tweaked it and added my own twist to it. My added ingredients included red pepper, ground cumin, and five very thin slices of pre-cooked tempeh bacon. It was so filling and so delicious. By crumbling the tofu and then adding turmeric to it, it looks EXACTLY like scrambled eggs.

    Scrambled Tofu
    recipe by Ellen Allard
    (Printable Recipe)

    1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    ¼ cup grated carrots
    ¼ cup minced red pepper
    ¼ cup minced green onions
    1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    ½ pound firm tofu, crumbled (I pressed it to release some of the liquid – see note below)
    5 thin slices tempeh bacon, crumbled (optional)
    1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes (I LOVE THESE!)
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 – 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (optional but would highly recommend)

    Pour the oil into a medium skillet, and place over medium-high heat. When hot, add the carrots, red pepper, green onions, turmeric, and cumin and cook and stir for two minutes. Add the tofu, tempeh bacon, nutritional yeast flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, and continue to cook and stir over medium heat for five minutes, or until hot. Stir in the parsley, if using, and mix well. Serve hot.

    NOTE ABOUT TOFU: see below

    Last night for dinner we made Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce for dipping and Curried Vegetarian Noodles. Heavenly. Now, I’ll bet many of my readers have had these Summer Rolls at restaurants or at parties – and I’ll bet you never thought you could make these at home. Think again! They’re easy. You just need the right ingredients, most if not all are available at your plain old regular supermarket. Although it’s WAY fun to go to an Asian market if you have access to one.

    Regarding the peanut sauce, Peter has been known to say that he would bathe in the stuff if he could. It wasn’t potato chips and French onion dip – he requested this for a snack during the Patriots football game. I was going to make it, but by the time we finished the dinner we made, there was no room for snacking! Warning: the curried vegetarian noodles are spicy – I like them that way, but buyer beware!



    Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce
    Recipe by Ellen Allard
    (Printable Recipe)

    Carrots, slivered
    Red pepper, slivered
    Bean sprouts
    Sprigs of fresh mint, fresh basil, fresh cilantro
    Uncooked Tofu (see note below)
    Rice paper wrappers (round or square – the little round ones will not work as well)
    Very hot water

    For the tofu:
    Drain by placing on large dinner-sized plate, cover with same size dinner-sized plate. Put something heavy on the top plate to weigh down the plate. After about an hour, some of the water in the tofu will have drained out onto the plate on which it is sitting. Spill the water out. Cut the tofu into preferred shape. For the summer roll, long logs work well. You don’t need to cook it.

    To assemble roll:
    Place rice paper wrapper in a pie plate (for round paper wrappers) or oblong baking dish (for square paper wrappers) that you’ve already filled with very hot water (it really needs to be very hot – we boil it and then pour that into the pie plate or oblong baker). After about 30 seconds, remove rice paper wrapper and place on a clean surface or plate. It actually works really well to put it on a dampened tea or cotton towel. Into the middle of the wrapper, place a few pieces of tofu (no more than 2), a few pieces of carrot and red pepper, a few bean sprouts, a few pieces of mint, basil, cilantro. If you put too much into the wrapper, you won’t be able to wrap it. Pour a little peanut sauce (see below) over everything. Take the bottom side of the wrapper and wrap it over the fillings, fold the sides in, roll the rest of the wrapper up towards the top to close it. Place the finished rolls on a damp paper towel or cotton dish towel, and cover with another damp paper towel or cotton dish towel until you’re ready to serve them. This will keep them from sticking to the surface of the plate and to the other rolls.

    Dip in additional peanut sauce.

    Peanut Sauce(thanks to my sister over at Gluten Free For Me)

    ½ cup smooth peanut butter
    ¼ cup wheat-free tamari
    1/3 cup warm water
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I used white balsamic vinegar)
    1 ½ tablespoons toasted sesame oil
    2 teaspoons honey (I used agave syrup)
    2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes (you can eliminate this if it’s too spicy)

    Combine all ingredients and mix well. I added extra agave syrup, as I like the sauce a bit sweeter than the original recipe.



    Curried Vegetarian Noodles
    adapted from Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds
    6 servings
    (Printable Recipe)

    1 ½ tablespoons safflower or corn oil

    Curry Seasonings:
    1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
    1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
    1 ½ tablespoon curry powder, preferably Madras

    Vegetables:
    2 ½ cups very thinly sliced red onions
    2 cups thinly sliced red bell peppers
    4 cups thinly sliced bok choy

    Basic Chinese Sauce:
    ¼ cup vegetable broth
    3 tablespoons wheat-free tamari sauce
    ½ teaspoon sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    ½ pound thin rice stick noodles (vermicelli), softened in hot water and drained (or prepared according to package directions)

    Mix the curry seasonings together. Mix the basic Chinese sauce together. Prepare the noodles.

    Heat a wok or a heavy skillet over high heat. Add the oil and heat until very hot, about 30 seconds. Add the curry seasonings and stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the red onions and stir-fry for about 1 minute, then add the bokchoy and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until all are crisp-tender.

    Add the basic Chinese sauce and the noodles, and carefully toss to mix. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot or at room temperature.

    Yum. So, there you have it. I’m back! Happy New Year to all!

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