Saturday 30 May 2015

Grilled Hawaiian Tofu with Baked Macadamia Nut & Coconut Brown Rice

Grilled Hawaiian Tofu with Baked Macadamia Nut & Coconut Brown Rice. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.

Well, I figured it was about time I took a break from the cookies and finally posted a savoury dish - and a whole meal this time! I've been absolutely loving this lately, in fact it's been my lunch most of the past week :-) The tofu is marinated in a gorgeous mixture of tamari, pineapple juice, coconut milk and seasoning then grilled until nicely singed. The rice is short grain brown rice baked in a mixture of water and coconut milk with spring onions and toasted macadamia nuts stirred in at the end....and for the record I'm always going to make my rice this way from now just turns out effortlessly perfect. Lastly I also threw some pineapple on the grill as a side dish and served it all with some of the leftover marinade as a sauce. I also served mine with a virgin pina colada (as it was lunch and I'm not that bad!) A real one would be perfect with this for dinner :-)

Grilled Hawaiian Tofu with Baked Macadamia Nut & Coconut Brown Rice. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.

First, the tofu: I was inspired here by the "Hawaiian Grilled Chicken" recipe by The Girl Who Ate Everything. Most of the time when I am looking for a new tofu marinade I search meat marinades as they work wonderfully and this one is gorgeous! I did make a few changes however, I swapped the water with pineapple juice for more Hawaiian flavour, reduced the brown sugar to make up for that, added some smoked paprika, increased the sesame oil a tad (as I love it) and left the spring onions for the rice. 

Grilled Hawaiian Tofu with Baked Macadamia Nut & Coconut Brown Rice. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.

This is seriously amazing tofu!! I left it to marinade about an hour, grilled with some coconut oil and brushed more marinade on while grilling and served with more marinade to drizzle (or spoon) over while eating because it is that good. (I even drizzled it over my rice and yes....dipped the pineapple into it. No shame!

Grilled Hawaiian Tofu with Baked Macadamia Nut & Coconut Brown Rice. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.

Second, the rice: here I also took advice from Christy at The Girl Who Ate Everything as she recommended serving the chicken with coconut rice and she suggested just swapping half the water you cook the rice in with coconut milk. However, I got to thinking this would be nice baked as it would accentuate the creaminess of the coconut milk in there AND it means while you are busy grilling the tofu the rice can just get on with baking in the oven - so much easier! So, I've based this recipe on Alton Brown's recipe for Baked Brown Rice but swapped the butter with coconut oil, replaced some of the water with coconut milk and used short grain brown rice.

It turns out perfect every time and tastes absolutely amazing! I further added some sliced spring onions and chopped toasted macadamia nuts to keep the Hawaiian theme going. The crunch and flavour of the nuts in there is wonderful :-) 

Grilled Hawaiian Tofu with Baked Macadamia Nut & Coconut Brown Rice. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.

Grilled Hawaiian Tofu:

Yields 2 servings

200g tofu, medium firm 
¼ cup / 60ml tamari for gluten-free or soy sauce
¼ cup / 60ml pineapple juice
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
¼ tsp smoked paprika
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp toasted sesame oil 
100ml full fat coconut milk (6 Tbsp + 2 tsp)
2 tsp coconut oil to fry

Slice the tofu into 4 thin rectangles, about 1cm then press between paper towels to remove as much water as possible. Repeat with more paper towels if necessary. When they are fairly dry, pierce all over with a fork to help them absorb the marinade and place them in a dish and pour over the marinade. 

Please note that all the following photos are from me making just 1 serving of the tofu and rice...

Leave this to marinade for at least 1 hour, flipping them once or twice. I didn't refrigerate mine as the coconut milk thickens up too much in the fridge.

Preheat a grill pan until very hot and add the coconut oil, brush it all over as it melts then remove the tofu from the marinade and place on the grill pan. While the tofu is cooking also slice a pineapple into wedges (leave the skin on) and pop them on the grill as well. Don't try to flip the tofu until it is well grilled as they will stick if they are not ready to flip. 

Once flipped, brush with a little more marinade and if you want criss cross marks like I did flip again the other way on both sides. Turn over the pineapple when ready as well. Transfer any remaining marinade into 2 little serving bowls to serve with the dish. 

Baked Macadamia Nut Coconut Rice:

¾ cup / 150g short grain brown rice, rinsed
1¼ cup / 300ml water
½ cup / 125ml full fat coconut milk
2 tsp coconut oil or macadamia nut oil, I used coconut
½ tsp salt
2 spring onions, finely chopped
30g macadamia nuts, chopped and toasted (about 3 Tbsp)
Chive flowers, optional but recommended

Preparing the macadamia nuts: (you can do this while the rice is baking)....

Chop some unsalted macadamia nuts, not too fine - it's nice to have the crunch in there!
Place in a dry frying pan and toast until lightly golden brown. Inevitably the smaller bits will get golden before the big pieces. That's fine - just don't let them burn. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

For the rice: preheat oven to 190C/375ºF. Rinse the rice well and place in a suitably sized baking dish. Bring the water, coconut milk, oil and salt to the boil in a small saucepan. Pour this over the rice, give it a stir and cover tightly with foil.

Pop this into the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. Now, mine is always spot on 1 hour but for your first time making this, as all ovens are a bit different, I suggest giving it a look at 50 minutes just to make sure it hasn't baked dry. If it has simply add a splash more hot water and give it a stir, recover with foil and bake until the rice is tender and the liquid absorbed.

Add the sliced spring onions and toasted macadamia nuts and give it a stir. I also highly recommend adding some chive flowers if you have them here - they are just so pretty and taste great in the rice :-)

To plate up: divide the rice, tofu and pineapple among 2 plates with the serving bowl of sauce and scatter over some more chive flowers. Enjoy!

Grilled Hawaiian Tofu with Baked Macadamia Nut & Coconut Brown Rice. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.

Nutritional Information: for 1 serving of rice, tofu and grilled pineapple. 

Calories: 442
Protein: 13.4g
Fat: 16.4g
Sat Fat: 5.5g
Carbs: 46.6g
Sugar: 12.2g
Fibre: 5.2g
Calcium: 362mg
Sodium: 1221mg

Note: these figures include all of the marinade which you are unlikely to use (no, even I didn't!). 920mg of the sodium figures there are coming from the tamari/soy sauce so don't worry about the high number as you will actually be using much less :-)

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Monday 18 May 2015

Vegan & Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan and Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now you'll have to forgive me for posting almost the same recipe as my last post but I've developed a gluten-free version of the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and these are SO good I had to get this recipe up right away :-) Recently my husband has been suspecting gluten, or at least wheat, is possibly causing him some problems. I've been having fun adapting recipes and making gluten-free meals at dinner but I also knew I had to make those cookies gluten-free for him. I mean they JUST came into our lives!!

Vegan and Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am so happy with how these turned out, I suspect no one would guess these are vegan let alone gluten-free. Now I don't have a lot, or any, experience with gluten-free baking but hey - these worked! I've simply swapped the flour with a mixture of gluten-free oat flour and cornstarch here and that's all they needed. The oats give a great oatmeal cookie kind of flavour which goes wonderfully with the peanut butter and chocolate. As you can see, I've also crammed these cookies with the highest possible amount of chocolate chips that could fit in there! Of course, you can always reduce them but I'm not sure why you would want to do that - ha! ;-)

~ Recipe Notes ~

• It's essential you use certified gluten-free oats or oat flour here, regular oats are not gluten-free. 
• For the oat flour I simply made my own by blending gluten-free oats in my fab Optimum 9400 Blender. It took seconds. You can buy gluten-free oat flour but I would assume my way is a lot cheaper.
• I used regular smooth peanut butter - the type with added sugar and salt here.
• As mentioned above - there are a LOT of chocolate chips in these, if you prefer less simply halve the amount. They'll still taste great :-)
• My vegan butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips were all naturally gluten-free but of course, do check your labels.

Vegan and Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Yields 12 cookies

3 Tbsp vegan butter (45g)
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter (80g)
1½ Tbsp light brown sugar
1½ Tbsp white sugar
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup gluten-free oat flour (60g)
2 Tbsp cornstarch (cornflour in UK/IRE)
1/8 tsp salt
¼ tsp gluten-free baking powder
1 Tbsp water
½ cup vegan dark chocolate chips (100g)

Preheat the oven to 190C / 375F and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

In a small bowl whisk together the oat flour, cornstarch, salt and baking powder.

In a larger bowl beat the butter and peanut butter together until really smooth. Add the sugars and beat until light and well mixed, beat in the vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture with the water and mix until it all comes together. Add the chocolate chips and mix well.

Take about a heaped tablespoon of the dough and using your hands squeeze and roll into a smooth ball then place it on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough is used, you should get  12 cookies. 

Using your hand, gently press down on each ball just to flatten slightly then use a potato masher to gently press down again so you get a design on top and they go a little more flat but don't over press!

Pop them into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are just turning lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let them cool on the tray for 10 minutes to firm up. Now transfer them to a wire rack to cool (or eat them while nice and warm!)

Vegan and Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nutritional Information: per cookie (with the full amount of chocolate chips)

Calories: 139
Protein: 2.5g
Fat: 8.3g
Sat Fat: 1.3g
Fibre: 1.2g
Carbs: 8.9g
Sugar: 8.9g
Sodium: 67.7mg