Saturday, January 12, 2013

Vegetarian Favorites!

Since I moved to Iowa, I rarely see people eating vegetarian (the meat is quality, I get it!). Having worked at a vegetarian catering company before taking this job, I still have an appreciation for eating meatless meals now and then. I'm a veggie freak so it's not too difficult for me to throw a meal together that I consider substantial (black bean burger, edamame and hummus...). But for those "normal" folk, I would like to share two vegetarian recipes that really stand out. When I made the maple glazed tofu, Josh came downstairs and asked if I was cooking buffalo wings (sorry love, not quite haha!). And the pudding recipe is so rich and chocolatey, it almost takes on the taste of brownie batter. Healthy doesn't have to be tasteless - fool your friends at your next gathering and see if they can taste the difference.


Maple-Glazed Tofu with Caramelized Mushrooms and Spinach

Serves 8

All you need:
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 (18 oz each) packages extra firm tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 oz portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
10 oz baby spinach

All you do:
1.    Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

2.    Coat a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray and turn heat to medium-high. Working in batches, brown tofu on all sides (spray tops of tofu with cooking spray as well so they are completely coated). Transfer tofu to a bowl.

3.    In the same skillet, add olive oil and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are well caramelized, about 15 minutes. Transfer to same bowl as the tofu. Pour marinade over.

4.    Add spinach to the skillet and cook 1-2 minutes, until wilted. Add the marinated tofu and mushrooms to the spinach and cook 3-5 minutes longer, until heated through.

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories: 110, Fat:  4g, Saturated fat: 0.5g, Trans fats: 0g, Carbohydrate: 9g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Protein: 10g, Sodium: 370mg

Dark Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Serves 8

All you need:
2 ripe avocadoes
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1/4 cup light agave nectar or honey
1/2 cup milk, any variety
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

All you do:
1.    Quarter, peel and remove the pit from the avocadoes.

2.    Place avocado in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth (no chunks).

3.    Add the remaining ingredients and process until combined.

4.    Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories: 120, Fat: 8g, Saturated fat: 1g, Trans fats: 0g, Carbohydrate: 15g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Protein: 2g, Sodium: 80mg

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