Spicy Barbecue Tofu

Tofu tends to get a bad rap. If it's not prepared properly it can feel like eating an old sponge and taste of absolutely nothing. On the other hand, when treated well, tofu can be a scrumptious treat for the senses as well as powerful nourishment for the body.

I first fell in love with tofu through my local Chinese takeout. They have deep fried tofu with sauteed vegetables. Deep fried tofu has the perfect chewy exterior and pillowy soft center. It tastes of all the vegetables, oil and soy sauce from the wok.

I've experimented with cooking tofu at home. I don't really deep fry. But there are other great ways to prepare tofu as a main protein. I like to broil it. I use a classic meat eaters method to give it flavor. I brush it with a glaze before and mid cooking. It works brilliantly both in terms of flavor and texture.

It's totally vegan.

1 package extra firm tofu
4 tbls olive oil
2 tbls hot sauce
2 tbls sriracha
1 tbl apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp…

Easy Cheap Rich and Hearty Vegan Chili

I often cook with hormel vegetarian chili. Because even though the label says vegetarian, it's actually vegan. It's also packed with hearty beans and soy protein. It's good straight out of the can, but if you really want to take it to another level try this simple enhancement that will turn your ordinary store bought chili into something that tastes as though you spent all day on it. For 15-20 minutes of your time and just a few dollars worth of ingredients you can have a vegan chili even a texan would love.

1 can hormel vegetarian chili with beans
3 tbls smart balance light buttery spread with olive oil
1/4 cup frozen spinach
6 cloves sliced garlic
2 tsps cumin seeds
1/4 box cooked pasta

Cook your pasta according to package directions. Cook it only to al dente or a minute or two more. Set aside.

Add chili, cumin and spinach to a large pot and heat covered on medium for 5 minutes.

Add garlic and smart balance. Stir to combine and simmer 2 more minutes.

Add pasta to pot, stirring to coat all pasta in the chili sauce. Heat about 3 minutes longer. Until pasta is warmed through and sauce has thickened and turned a deep rich red/brown.

The vegan margarine adds a rich and luscious texture and flavor to the chili sauce. It also adds a big dose of the very important B12 and B6 vitamins among many other good for you things. The cumin and garlic kick the spice up just a notch or two.

for more heat add louisiana hot sauce to individual servings.

smart balance light products are vegan. regular are vegetarian. different styles have different amounts and kinds of nutrients. smart balance may go by another brand name if you live somewhere other than the northeast. I believe it's called earth balance on the west coast. many margarine are vegan. just avoid those with whey as an ingredient.