Bread Protein Balls Recipe

I love a good bread. It's absolutely one of my favorite things. Bread can deliver amazing flavor when done correctly. It can also provide exciting texture and plenty of protein.

The more you knead bread, the more gluten you create. Those already familiar with seitan know that wheat gluten is total protein.

When you add nutritional yeast, flax or other nuts/seeds,  now you have a bread that is also a complete protein.

In the interest of doing things a little differently, I decided to do little bread balls because I figured they would offer a unique textural experience to other forms of bread. I also figured they'd make a nice little snack size bite. They're easier to shape than a flat bread, can bake in the oven, and take much less time to cook than rolls or loaves. They're great for dipping into hummus too.

As you can see, they're very cute as well.

Bread Balls Dough Recipe
2 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
3 tbls nutritional yeast
2 tbls ground flax seed

Creamy Tofu Sauce Vegan Pasta

I decided to try a new idea. For extra protein I buzzed up in a blender some silken firm tofu with the liquid from a can of chick peas. I then added that to a sauce I was creating in a large saute pan. It's an easy way to bump up your protein intake, even if you don't care for the texture of tofu. We're turning it into a liquid element in our pasta sauce.

What it's going to do is combine with the starch of the pasta and beans to create a creamy mouth feel that mimics the addition of cheese and milk. It's incredibly satisfying to get that rich texture on a vegan pasta dish.

You do have to be careful when using tofu in this way. Because like water, it has no flavor of its own, It can actually dilute the flavors when you mix it with other ingredients. The trick is to use strong accompanying ingredients and a generous amount of fat and salt to make sure that the tofu adds viscosity without detracting from the other elements. This is just a skill you gain as you learn to cook vegan. The more you cook with it, the more you begin to understand how this tricky ingredient can be harnessed to make your food better. This recipe is an excellent example of just how to accomplish that.

1/2 pint cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 large tomatoes, chunked
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 poblano, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces elbow pasta
1 can garbanzos

1/2 cup white wine
3 tbls olive oil
1 tbl garlic chili suace

2 tsps thyme
2 tpss basil
2 tsps nutritional yeast
2 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp crushed pepper flakes

1/2 block silken firm tofu
all liquid from 1 can garbanzos

Cook and drain pasta. Coat with a thin layer of olive oil and set aside. This will keep the noodles from sticking together and clumping.

Add all veg to a large saute pan. Season with salt and pepper. Saute in olive oil until barely tender.

Add wine and cook down for 10 minutes .

In a blender puree together tofu and chick pea can liquid.

Add tofu puree to veg mixture. Also add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 7 minutes. Or until reduced by 1/4.

Pour hot veg sauce over set aside pasta. Stir to combine. Cover. Let rest 5 minutes.