Saturday, 25 August 2012

Cheezy Chive Cornmeal Waffles with a Baby Spinach and Tofu Scramble and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Chive Cornmeal Waffles with Tofu Scramble and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
So, it should probably be proof to the fact that I wanted this blog to show that there is so much more to vegan food than perceived that it's taken me 4 years to even post a tofu scramble! Not that this is the first time I've made one, I have before and always like them but what I've been wanting to do for awhile now is make a tofu scramble that actually does NOT taste of curry!! It seems that so many recipes out there call for cumin and turmeric, cumin and turmeric....Now, don't get me wrong, I love curry and cumin and turmeric but those are flavours that just would not complement this dish in any way.

Chive Cornmeal Waffles with Tofu Scramble and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

I was inspired here by a recipe in a Canadian Living magazine I have and it was originally a bacon and cornmeal waffle with scrambled eggs and roasted cherry tomatoes. I opted to remove the bacon altogether, even though there are good vegan versions out there I wanted this to be "faux free" if you know what I mean ;-) I then based the waffle on my basic waffle recipe but omitted the sugar, upped the salt, added some nutritional yeast for a cheezy savoury angle, a little garlic powder then through in some chives. They turned out so good I actually like eating them plain, freshly toasted and slathered with vegan butter!

Next was to make a tofu scramble that does not taste of curry and turmeric and the answer has been in my cupboard for years: Marigold's Swiss Vegetable Organic Vegan Bouillon Powder. It is my favourite vegetable stock powder that I use all the time and it just happens to be a brilliant shade of yellow from the addition of turmeric but crucially doesn't taste of turmeric due to all the other flavours in it. Perfect. I realise this makes this dish "product specific" but you could always use your favourite stock powder here and add some turmeric for colour or just use your current favourite tofu scramble recipe as I'm sure you already have one!

The flavours in this dish complement each other so well though. A forkful of that savoury crispy waffle with some of the soft flavourful tofu and juicy roasted tomato is altogether beautiful! Recipe here serves 2 (with leftover waffles).

Cheezy Chive Cornmeal Waffles with a Baby Spinach and Tofu Scramble and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes


100g plain flour
40g cornmeal (polenta)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
150ml unsweetened soy milk
60ml sparkling water
1 Tbsp vegan butter, melted
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives

First, this recipe will make 2 round waffles which will serve 4. The tofu recipe serves 2 but I like to make more waffles as they reheat so easily in the toaster. In fact, I prefer them reheated in the toaster as they get even crisper on the outside, which I love :-)

Get your waffle iron heated up then mix together all the dry ingredients into a large bowl. I like to grind up the nutritional yeast flakes in a mortar and pestle until fine before adding so it mixes in better. In another small bowl or jug mix together the soy milk, sparkling water and melted vegan butter. Pour this into the dry ingredients and whisk just until smooth then stir in the chopped chives. Grease the waffle iron, I use a spray here, and scoop over some of the batter. Cook according to your waffle iron's instructions, remove and repeat with the last of the batter. You can make these earlier in the day you want this or even the day before as the waffles reheat perfectly in a toaster.

Recipe note: I use an extra firm tofu here that needs very little pressing, so it's pretty much the same weight before and after pressing. If you are using a firm or more 'wet' tofu the you'll want 100g AFTER pressing - it's surprising how much weight there is in the liquid in tofu. I recommend pressing 150g firm tofu and weighing out the 100g afterwards.

Baby Spinach and Tofu Scramble:

1/2 Tbsp vegan butter
100g extra firm tofu, drained and pressed. - see note above.
1/2 cup roughly chopped baby spinach
2 shallots, chopped fine
2 large cloves garlic, halved (they will be removed later)
1/2 tsp marigold vegan bouillon powder, plus more to marinade.
freshly ground black pepper

Measure out 2 teaspoons of the vegetable stock powder in a glass measuring jug then add a splash of hot water, stir to dissolve then fill up to 1/4 litre with cold water and mix well.  Crumble the tofu into a shallow bowl and pour over the stock, refrigerate for at least 1 hour to marinade.

Drain the tofu but save the stock liquid, make sure you use a fine mesh sieve here so you don't lose any tofu! Melt the butter in a large frying pan then add the shallots, 4 garlic halves, drained tofu and a few grinds of black pepper. Fry on a gentle heat until the onions are soft and the tofu starts to dry. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of stock powder and give it a good stir. Add a splash of the stock liquid and the chopped spinach and fry until the spinach wilts and the scramble dries a bit more and you start to get some golden bits on the tofu. The whole process here should take about 10 minutes. If you don't like it too dry add another little bit of stock liquid just before serving. Taste and adjust seasoning as you like and remove the garlic before serving.

*2014 Edit - As I love this scramble so much and have been wanting it much quicker than this recipe can provide I have come up with a much faster way of making this and it is JUST as good! I've also swapped my brand of tofu and now use Cauldron's tofu which is quite soft.

Easier Tofu Scramble:

2 tsp vegan butter
125g soft tofu (1/4 of a pack of Cauldron’s tofu)
2 small shallots, diced fine
1 large clove of garlic, chopped fine
1 tsp marigold vegan bouillon powder (the orange tin)
½ tsp dried chives
Freshly ground black pepper

Crumble the tofu in a sieve over the sink and let drain a few minutes. Tip into a hot dry frying pan and gently fry until the tofu is dry-ish. Add the butter and stir to melt then add everything else. Fry on low heat until well mixed, of even colour and the shallots are soft. Serve immediately! Quick and easy :-)
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes:

about 6 cherry tomatoes per person
extra virgin olive oil
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C and toss the cherry tomatoes with a bit of oil in a roasting tin. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 15 minutes.


If you made the waffles earlier, simply separate them, I use 2 quarters per person and pop in the toaster, start low as they don't take long but will burn fast. You just want them hot with lightly golden crispy edges. Immediately slather them with vegan butter then spoon over the tofu scramble and top with the cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with some chopped fresh chives if you like, or some fresh basil would go lovely, a sprinkle of smoked sea salt and some more freshly ground black pepper to taste and serve.

Chive Cornmeal Waffles with Tofu Scramble and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Nutritional Information: based on 1 serving as seen.

Calories: 324
Protein: 11.1g
Fat: 14.1g
Sat Fat: 2.5g
Fibre: 2.2g
Carbs: 38.2g
Sugar: 0.9g
Sodium: 890mg

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Thursday, 23 August 2012

Peach Crisp

Vegan Peach Crisp

Another summery peach recipe for you! This is one of my all time favourites and is in fact the recipe my mom used all the time when I was growing up. It comes from the Canadian classic Purity Foods Cookbook from 1967, one she would have used a lot and one I still do use! It was so popular it has been reissued but as you can see here, I have an original :-)

Peach Crisp

I also inherited the earlier Purity Foods Cookbook from 1945 from my grandmother.....I really love antique cookbooks!

We had this a lot when I was younger as we had a peach tree in our back yard and every late summer when there would be a glut of beautiful ripe peaches mom would make this crisp. In the cookbook it's the recipe for apple crisp (something else we had a lot of) but you can swap the fruit for whatever you like and peaches work so well here. It's a ridiculously easy and very adaptable recipe, works equally well with apples or peaches or even plums as I have blogged before ;-) 

However you make it just make sure to serve it warm and with your favourite vegan vanilla ice cream. Heavenly!
Vegan Peach Crisp

Peach Crisp

1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup vegan butter (100g)
4 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches

Preheat the oven to 350C / 180F and "butter" a baking dish and set aside. Mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add the butter and cut it in with a pastry cutter, or just use your hands to crumble it in. Take about 1/4 of this mixture and toss it with the peaches then tip the peaches into the baking dish. Cover with the remaining mixture, spreading it out and press down lightly making sure it is all even. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until the edges of the crisp are lightly golden and the peaches are tender.

Serves about 6 - 8, depending on the size of your bowls (or stomach!)

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Summer Peach and Amaretto Cake

Vegan Peach and Amaretto Cake

I almost didn't blog this cake, as you can probably see what with most of it gone there before I even took some photos! It's absolutely delicious and one I would make again with no changes at all but you can't really taste the peach in this. So, I thought, as divine as this cake is I can't really blog a peach cake that doesn't taste of peach can I? Well, I am because it's that good and even without a strong peachy taste I'm sure the 4 peaches (or nectarines as I used) are still adding a lot to the wonderful flavour in this.

The Amaretto on the other hand you can definitely taste and it's fantastic! I really wanted to keep this a simple cake flavour wise, nice and delicate in keeping with a summer cake so opted against adding cinnamon or nutmeg, flavours that would go really well here, and finished it off with a simple dusting of icing sugar. Texturally speaking it's lovely and moist without being gummy - an all round winner! A slice of this cake with some vegan vanilla ice cream and slices of fresh peaches would be heavenly (and up the peach flavour ;-))

Vegan Peach and Amaretto Cake

Summer Peach and Amaretto Cake:

100g vegan butter (1/2 cup)
200g golden caster sugar (1 cup) *or granulated
100g pureed firm silken tofu (1/2 cup)
250g peach or nectarine puree (1 cup) you will need 4 large peaches.
1 tsp vanilla
60ml Amaretto (1/4 cup)

280g flour (2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. Grease a pan and set aside. I used a ring cake pan, not quite like a bundt as it's a little smaller. Mine is 8" wide and 2 1/4" deep, you could also use an 8" square cake pan or one 8" round cake pan.
This is the pan I used for reference.
Mix together the dry ingredients and set aside. To prepare the tofu simply blend firm silken tofu in a blender or food processor until smooth then measure from that the required amount.

To prepare the peaches or nectarines, I brought a large pot of water to the boil and added the nectarines and boiled for 3 minutes. Remove with tongs and plunge into a large bowl of ice water. When you can handle them slice around them and twist to remove the stone then peel off the skins which should just fall off. My nectarines were very ripe but the stones wouldn't remove so I just cut around it getting as most of the fruit off as I could.

Place the peeled fruit into a food processor and process until you have a puree then measure out the required amount (it should be all of it).

Place the vegan butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat well until lighter in colour and almost fluffy either by hand or with a mixer. Add the tofu, vanilla and puree and mix until it's a gross bowl of curdled mess. No joke.

Now add some of the flour mixture and beat well, the curdled look should be gone now, then add some of the Amaretto and beat well. Repeat until all the flour and Amaretto is added, ending with flour and you have a smooth yet thick batter. Scrape it all into your prepared pan, level the top and pop into the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, which is how long mine took but all ovens are different. It should be lightly golden on top, pulling away slightly from the sides, bounce back on top when pressed and a toothpick should come out clean or with only dry looking crumbs. It will most likely take longer if you are not using a ring pan.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges, including the centre bit if using a bundt or ring pan and invert onto the wire rack to fully cool. Dust generously with icing sugar and we found this cake best fresh on the day when still slightly warm. As mentioned above it would also be beautiful with some vegan vanilla ice cream and sliced fresh peaches. Enjoy!

Vegan Peach and Amaretto Cake

Nutritional Information: based on 1 slice out of 9.

Calories: 292
Fat: 6.9g
Sat Fat: 1.4g
Protein: 6g
Carbs: 51.9g
Sugar: 24.7g
Fibre: 1.3g
Sodium: 296mg

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