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…

Vegan Mushroom Risotto Recipe

Classic mushroom risotto, but vegan. I stuck with mostly traditional Italian ingredients.

I was really focused on making sure this had the same depth of flavor that is found in typical risotto made with chicken stock and Parmesan cheese.

This particular recipe is unique in that it doesn't use vegetable stock. I've always found that creates a very salty end product. Instead I used a some liquid from a can of garbanzos for salinity and depth. Fresh vegetables, tomatoes and flat leaf parsley round out the profile.

I don't, however, believe risotto needs to be fussy. It needn't be constantly stirred or tended. Just make sure to stir it often to release those starches.

The original concept was without tomatoes, but upon tasting the partially cooked dish, it was obvious that some acid was required. The tomatoes also add a pop of texture.

Vegan Mushroom Risotto Recipe

1 cup arborio rice
1 pint baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can garbanzo bean liquid
1/2 cup white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
water as needed

3 tsps salt
2 tsps black pepper
2 tsps thyme
2 tsps nutritional yeast
1 tsp crushed pepper flakes
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, stems discarded

Cook the mushrooms and onions in 2 tbsls of the olive oil and 1 tsps of the salt. When mushrooms are softened add 1/3 of the wine. Allow to cook down until mostly dried up. Add rice, 1 tbl oil. Toast the rice for several minutes. Stirring often. Deglaze with another third of the wine. Also add the garlic, garbanzo can liquid. Simmer until mostly dry.

Add 1 cup water, remaining salt, thyme, pepper flakes, black pepper. Simmer again until mostly absorbed.

Add remaining wine, oil., another cup of water, tomatoes, yeast, parsley.. Stir thoroughly. Simmer until liquid has become a thin sauce. Taste to test doneness on rice. It should be tender by now. Add more water if needed and simmer longer if required to finish rice.

Allow risotto to rest a few minutes to thicken the sauce.