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…

Hummus Mac and Cheese

As I was eating my salad with hummus dressing this afternoon I accidentally discovered yet another awesome way to use hummus. My hummus and salad and some macaroni got all mixed up together with some nutri yeast and vinegar. It was an amazing accident. Hummus is a culinary chameleon! It is a vegan dream. It does so much. Fills so many voids. Mayonnaise, butter, salad dressing, and now mac and cheese.

I know it sounds crazy, but it works. I wasn't trying to make this happen. It was just serendipity.

There are numerous ideas already out there about making 'vegan mac and cheese', many of which are quite good. But I've yet to find any that incorporate hummus into the mix. And let me tell you, it's the perfect addition. It adds that rich, creamy texture that is expected of the classic comfort food. I'd even venture to say, that while it wouldn't fool people into thinking it is actual mac and cheese, it would please anyone enough that they'd be quite content to eat it instead.

To make the hummus mac and cheese sauce is easy. Combine 1/2 cup hummus, 1 tsp spicy mustard, 1 tsp white vinegar and about 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (adding more as needed to get your preferred flavor). Add almond or soy milk slowly to achieve a medium thickness sauce consistency.

I prefer mine augmented with some sliced, sauteed garlic and jalapeno in the mix as well.

You can also start with home made hummus instead of store bought. I really like the faux hummus I created that uses great northern beans instead of chick peas. They have a smoother texture which really works well in this application.

Fold cooked elbow macaroni or your favorite pasta shape into the sauce. Eat as is. Or top with crushed garlic croutons and bake for 15 minutes at 350 F.

I also prefer to mix some lightly cooked, chopped broccoli into my mac and cheese. It's pretty and it tastes good too.