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11  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Re: Tofu Marinades help on: August 27, 2009 08:28:33 PM
After I drain my tofu I freeze it. It makes the tofu more porous. When I defrost it I squeeze it out again and it becomes a lovely soy sponge. I also tend to cut my tofu into smaller pieces and that helps as well, but I think if you use a large cut the marinade will soak in if you drain, freeze, and drain.
12  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Re: Simple recipes? on: August 24, 2009 08:55:56 AM
Soups and stews are wonderful options and if you are pressed on time, you can always invest in a used slow cooker (I always find them at thrift stores) so you can dump your ingredients in the morning and leave them until dinner. I make a minestrone with veggie stock, diced tomatoes, cannelloni beans, and whatever fresh/canned veggies I have on hand and sound good. Add some smashed garlic and a few spices and you have a great vegan meal.

Canned black beans are also WONDERFUL. I love making black bean quesodillas and fajitas using a can of pre-seasoned beans, tortillas and veggies.

Eggplant parm is another easy and cheap recipe which can also be made with zucchini if needed. I skin and cut the eggplant into desired thickness, I try to aim for about 1/2 an inch. I then dip it in an eggwash followed by seasoned breadcrumbs. Lightly fry in olive oil at med-med high heat until golden on each side. Place it in a baking dish with sauce, and soy or regular cheese and bake until bubbly at 375 F. You can also alternatively grill a portabello mushroom cap until tender, spoon sauce in the cap, sprinkle with cheese and bake. Much less fat and calories, and super decadent.

I hope these recipes and ideas help. They are all fairly inexpensive and approved by my carnivore husband. I've also found that making things from scratch (i.e., bread, stock, pizza dough) helps me save money although it does take more time. I also stock up on good canned beans and frozen veggies when they go on sale so I always have ingredients on hand.

Good luck!
13  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Help! Advice on Cooking Tofu on: August 24, 2009 08:37:14 AM
I LOVE tofu and currently in an attempt to reduce my meat consumption I've bought a big beautiful package of extra firm to stir fry with. I watched an online video on how to saute it before stir frying it, but when I try it I get spattered with oil every time. I've tried varying the heat and the amount of oil, but I still end up having to wear protective gear while at the stove.

Is there a better way to get my tofu the same consistency like at restaurants? Can I bake it/broil it and have it turn out right?  I've got a beautiful bunch of peppers and all the ingredients for a good red Thai curry, so any advice would  be greatly appreciated!
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