Tofu & Avocado Korean Bibimbap

I love Korean bibimbap. I became inspired to cook it at home after having a delicious vegetarian bibimbap at my favorite New York vegetarian Korean restaurant, Hangawi. My husband who is the furthest away of a vegetarian that one can be loves the home cooked dish too! We love it so much that this is currently my most frequently cooked meal at home when I have sufficient time to spend in the kitchen.

What’s great about this dish is that you can cater it to your liking with the vegetables that you want to use and how much of each vegetable (hence, I only provide rough measurements of certain ingredients)

bibimbap bibimbap3

(Recipe adapted from AllRecipes)

2 servings

  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons xylitol (or erythritol)
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 handful chopped green onion (optional)
  • Sprinkles of toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 package of firm tofu
  • Brown rice
  • 2 cups and 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 handfuls your choice of mushrooms
  • 4 handfuls of spinach
  • 1/2 cucumber, small sliced pieces
  • 2 handfuls shredded carrots
  • 1 avocado, halved and then cubed
  • Sesame oil
  • 2 handfuls bean sprouts
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 sheets nori, crumbled
  • Kochujang sauce
  1. Make the marinade for the tofu. Combine the tamari, xylitol, brown sugar, garlic, green onions in a large bowl; add the cut tofu to the marinade and mix.
  2. Cook the rice
  3. Combine cucumber and carrots in a  bowl, and season with sea salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat wok over medium-high heat with a small amount of sesame oil. Add spinach until it is just wilted. Remove and set aside.
  5. Use the wok with small amount of sesame oil and cook the carrots and cucumbers until softened. Remove and set aside.
  6. Repeat cooking with the wok with small amount of sesame oil with the bean sprouts and mushrooms separately. Remove and set aside.
  7. Add the tofu and marinade to the wok and cook for a few minutes.
  8. Season sliced avocado with sea salt.
  9. Prepare the bowls by adding rice. Arrange the avocado, cucumbers and carrots, bean sprouts, spinach, mushroom, and tofu mixture over each section of the bowl over the rice.
  10. Cook 1 egg at a time for each bowl in an over easy style, then place it in the middle of the bowl.
  11. Top the bowl with nori and sesame seeds. Serve with Kochujang sauce as a condiment.
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Veggie Burgers to Boot

We made these veggie burgers as part of our pre-Thanksgiving feast. These were great. Even my meat-loving husband enjoyed them and wanted seconds.

(from Oh She Glows)

Makes 6-8 patties

1/2 cup onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
Flax eggs: 2.5 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup warm water, mixed in bowl
1 cup oats, processed into flour
1.5 cups bread crumbs (I processed 3 pieces of Ezekiel bread until fine crumb)*
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and roughly pureed or mashed
Heaping 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (or fresh herb of choice)
1/3 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp Tamari
1.5 tsp chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large skillet, sauté onions and garlic in 1/2 tbsp oil. Mix your flax egg together in a small bowl and set aside for at least 10 mins while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. Place all ingredients (except spices and salt) into a large mixing bowl and stir very well. Now, add seasonings and salt to taste.
3. With slightly wet hands, shape dough into patties. Pack dough tightly as this will help it stick together. I made 8 medium patties.
4. bake for 25-30 mins (15-17 minutes on each side) at 350F, until golden and crisp.

 

I froze the rest of the patties, and plan to just stick it in the oven when I want to eat another one for a meal. For putting together the veggie burger dish, I used organic wheat bun. I tried Ozery Bakery Bun. I liked that it was thin since I don’t like things super bready:

Ozery Bakery Wheat Bun

I topped off the veggie burger with some organic BBQ sauce that is made with agave (from Organicville). Yummerz!

Organicville BBQ sauce

 

Tofu Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich)

I didn’t know what to expect since it was my first time making banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich) and I was actually a little nervous before I took my first bite. Ultimately, it was good! Tasted like a banh mi.

I omitted the jalapeno pepper since I can’t do spicy (but my hubby would have loved that). Next time, I’ll double the amount of the tofu marinade to bring that flavor out more. For the bread, I ended up using Whole Foods’ organic ciabaguette (made from organic whole wheat flour). Beforehand, I had no idea what “ciabaguette” was, but it’s apparently a hybrid between Italian bread and French bread, which basically the difference between those two to begin with is shape.

(Recipe adapted from My Recipes)

1 (14-ounce) package organic sprouted firm tofu, drained
2 tbs tamari
2 tsp finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 cup Premade pickled carrot/daikon with pickled juice OR 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup agave, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 cups matchstick-cut carrot/daikon mix
1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 julienne-cut green onion
1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (12-ounce) loaf organic French baguette
1/2 cup fresh organic cilantro sprigs
2 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced (optional)

1. Cut tofu crosswise into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices. Arrange tofu on several layers of paper towels. Top with several more layers of paper towels; top with a cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan. Let stand 30 minutes. Remove tofu from paper towels.

2. Combine tamari and ginger in a 13 x 9–inch baking dish. Arrange tofu slices in a single layer in mixture. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight, turning once.

3. Either use the pickled carrot/daikon juice (adding agave to taste) or if none premade, combine vinegar, agave, and salt in a medium bowl. Add carrot, green onion, mushroom, and cucumber; toss well. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain carrot mixture through a sieve; drain thoroughly.

4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove tofu from marinade; discard marinade. Add tofu slices to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden.

5. Preheat broiler.

6. Cut bread in half lengthwise. Open halves, laying bread cut side up on a baking sheet. Broil 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Place tofu slices on bottom half of bread; top with carrot mixture, cilantro, and jalapeño slices. Top with top half of bread. Cut loaf crosswise into 6 equal pieces.

Baked Chinese Vegetarian Egg Rolls

Lately, I’ve been on a huge bun (vietnamese vermicelli noodles) kick. Every week, I either order it from my favorite vietnamese vegan restaurant or have my mum make me some  =) So little by little, I’ve been making my own bun ingredient parts to prepare for my own first bun making experience! I decided to do this so I can ensure it has all the healthy ingredients that I like AND I can make it whenever I want at my discretion and save some moola at that.

I already made the pickled carrots and daikon, so my next bun part was eggrolls. I made a huge batch, like 30+ eggrolls so I froze majority of it so I can just whip them out for future bun use!

This was the first time that I made eggrolls myself. I grew up eating my mom’s all the time and hers are da bomb diggity. However, I do yearn for healthy stuff so I tried my own. If you haven’t made eggrolls before, Steamy Kitchen provides helpful “egg roll making rules” on creating a good egg roll. Also, I adapted their recipe:

 

50 Spring/Egg Roll Wrappers (about 2 packages), defrosted unopened at room temperature for 45 minutes or in the refrigerator overnight
organic extra-virgin olive oil

THE GROUND TOFU
1 package organic firm sprouted tofu
1 tablespoon organic tamari
1/4 teaspoon organiv agave nectar
ground black pepper

FOR THE VEGETABLES
2 to 3 cloves garlic, very finely minced
½ head of organic cabbage (about 11 ounces)
3 organic carrots, shredded
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
10 fresh maitake mushrooms (or other mushroom type to your liking)
1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon organic tamari
1/4 teaspoon organic agave
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
ground black pepper

1. Break apart the tofu as to make it similar to grounded meat consistency. To make the filling, combine the ingredients for the ground tofu together. Marinate at least 10 minutes. In the meantime, shred the cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms using your food processor.

2. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the tofu and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Turn heat to medium-low, push the tofu to one side of the pan. Add the garlic, cabbage, carrots, ginger and the mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute, until the vegetables are softened. Add the vinegar, tamari, agave, sesame oil and black pepper. Continue to stir-fry for another minute. Scoop out the filling to a baking sheet and spread out to cool. Prop up one end of the baking sheet so that it tilts and will allow all the moisture to drain to one end. Let cool for 15 minutes.

3. Discard all of the accumulated juices. Use paper towels to blot the filling to rid of extra oil or juice. Now, you’re ready to wrap

4. To bake the egg rolls, brush olive oil on all sides of the eggrolls. Bake at 425 for 8 minutes, take out to flip over the eggrolls and bake for another 8 minutes.

Why I keep these ingredients around in my life:
Maitake mushrooms: I like using maitake type in particular because it is one of the healthier mushrooms that has an effect on the immune system and shown to possibly limit tumor growth.
Sprouted tofu: If you eat tofu, sprouted tofu is the way to go. Sprouting makes it more digestible and increases its nutritional value.
Extra-virgin olive oil: Whenever a recipe calls for any type of cooking oil (vegetable, canola, virgin, etc), I always use extra-virgin olive oil. Reason is extra-virgin in particular is excellent in being antiinflammatory, more so than just virgin olive oil. Also, the polyphenols found in olive oil act as antioxidants, in addition to its antiinflammatory properties.