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 Recipe: Ultimate Creamy Mushroom Risotto

When you think vegan, you don't typically think of creamy. Nevertheless, there are tricks we use to recreate that texture and sensation because it is a great one. Just because we forgo dairy doesn't mean we should miss out on the pleasures it has to offer. We just have to get creative.

Vegan mayo is the secret in this case. I purchased some to see what it's like. I'd never had it before. I was really amazed at the flavor and texture. Spot on in both respects.

Normally, you'd add cheese to risotto to finish it and give it that rich, creamy texture. In our case, vegan mayo offers the same results without the dairy.

3/4 cup arborrio rice
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 pint white mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 can black beans and the can brine
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup brandy
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 a poblano pepper, diced
2 heaping tbls vegan mayo
2 tsps salt
2 tsps black pepper
1 tsp dry basil
1 tsp crushed pepper flakes
2 handfuls fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tbls olive oil
room temp water as needed

Saute the onion, mushroom garlic, jalapeno, salt and black pepper in the oil on medium. Cook until mushrooms are nicely darkened. Deglaze with the wine. Cook down until wine is evaporated. Add brandy. Cook 2 more minutes. Add rice. Toast rice for 3 minutes. Add beans/brine and a1/2 cup water.

Simmer on high. Stir often. Continue adding water in 1 cup increments as needed. Stirring often.

When rice is only slightly crunchy, about 3 cups water later, add bell pepper, poblano, basil, pepper flakes. Continue simmering. Adding water in 1/2 cup increments now, until rice is tender and creamy.

Turn off heat. Stir in parsley and vegan mayo. Let rest for 5 minutes.