Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Baked Tofu and Vegetables

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1 pkt of Extra Firm Tofu pressed for 20-30 mins
2 Cup of Green Beans (10.6 Ounces)
11/2 Cup of Baby Bella Mushrooms (5.1 Ounces)
1/2 Cup of Bell Peppers (2.6 Ounces)
6-8 Garlic Cloves
Red Chili Flakes and Salt to Taste

For the Sauce:
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Tsp of Chili Paste
1 Tsp of Garlic Chili Paste
2 Pkts of Splenda
3 Tbsp of Low Sodium Soy Sauce

1. Press the tofu in a Tofu Press for at least 20-30 mins. Pat it with a paper towel and cut into 1 inch cubes.
2. Wash and cut the vegetables roughly. They need not be too fine. I did chop the big garlic cloves into a few smaller pieces.
3. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl. You can taste it at this point and add more chili paste if need be.
4. Once sauce is to taste, mix the sauce with the tofu and vegetables, add salt and crushed red pepper flakes per your taste.
5. Heat the Oven to 400 Deg F.
6. Spray a glass baking dish with Olive Oil Spray.
7.Add the tofu and vegetable mixture into the glass tray and bake in the oven for 20-25 mins.
8. Baking time varies on the oven and also on how cooked you want the vegetables to be. You might see some water in the tray, that is from the vegetables, as you cook more, the water will get evaporated.
This recipe creates two servings of Ideal Protein Meal - about 7 ounces of Protein and 2 cups of vegetable for each serving. The Tofu weighed about 14 ounces after I pressed and chopped it into cubes.

1. For this to be 100% Ideal Protein protocol, you can omit the Toasted Sesame Seed Oil.
2. You can replace the Splenda with brown sugar or agave nectar or sugar.
3. You can add any combination of Vegetables that you want.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Crispy Baked Tofu on Cauliflower Rice

(From Banu's Cookbook)


Cauliflower Rice:
1/2 Head of Cauliflower - Riced in food processor about 2 cups.
3 Garlic Cloves Minced
1 inch Ginger Minced
2 Baby Bokchoy Chopped roughly
1/8 tsp of Sea Salt
2 Tbsp of Water or Low Sodium Vegetable Broth

1 package of Extra Firm Organic Tofu

1.5 Tbsp of Olive Oil
1/4 cup of Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 tsp of Garlic chilli paste
2 Tbsp of Walden Farms Maple Syrup
1 tsp of Lemon Juice
2 tsp of Splenda Granular

1. Mix all the sauce ingredients together and keep it aside.
2. Press the tofu to remove all the water using a Tofu Press. If you do not have one, you can put it in between paper towels and put some heavy weight on it like canned beans, to remove the excess water. You need to press it for at least 30 mins to remove all the water.
3. Pat the tofu dry, cut it into 1 inch pieces and then bake it in the oven at 400 deg F for about 25 mins.
3. Let the tofu cool for about 10 mins. Marinade it in the sauce for another 10 mins at least.
4. While the tofu is baking and cooling. You can rice the cauliflower.
5. In a pan add 1 tsp of Olive oil, add the minced ginger and garlic, saute for a few mins. Add the riced cauliflower and mix well. Add a 2 tbsps of water or vegetable broth and reduce the flame to medium low. Cook the pan and let the cauliflower rice steam well. It takes about 10 mins. Then increase the flame, add 2 tsp of the sauce and the chopped bok choy and stir well. Cook for a few more minutes.
6. Remove the rice into a bowl. Now, in the same pan add the marinated tofu and saute for a few minutes until browned. You do not need any oil for this. The marinade will help brown the Tofu.
7. Add the tofu on top of the fried rice, garnish with some chopped green onions and serve hot.

1. You can add toasted sesame oil to the sauce for extra taste. I was trying to keep this Ideal protein friendly, so I did not add it.
2. You can also add Egg to the fried rice if you want. Since, I had tofu as my main protein, I did not add egg.
3. You can also add other vegetables like Bell Peppers, Spinach etc
4. It feels like this recipe requires a lot of time, but lot of this can be done before hand and then tossed together.
5. You can increase the "hot" factor of the sauce by adding more chilli paste per your taste.
6. Soy Sauce adds quite a bit of saltiness to the sauce, so I did not add extra salt to tofu.
7. You can substitute Honey or Agave Nectar instead of Walden Farms Maple Syrup.
8. You can serve the Tofu on white fried rice as well.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Basil Pesto without Cheese or nuts

(From Banu's Cookbook)

I love Pesto, but could not find any in store without cheese. So I did my own version at home.
2 Cups Basil Leaves Washed
2 Cups of Baby Spinach Leaves Washed
2-3 Garlic Cloves
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
Lemon Juice from 1 Whole Lemon
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
Sea Salt to Taste

1. In a food processor (with the chopper blade attached), blend the basil, spinach, garlic well.
2. Then add lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Mix well again.
3. With the food processor on, slowly add the Olive oil until it is all mixed well.
4. You can use this as sauce on Zucchini Noodles or use it on Cauliflower Crust Pizza.

1. I added Spinach because it gives a bit more body to the pesto as we are not adding any cheese or nuts.
2. Basil normally turns dark green after pulsing. Spinach keeps it more green looking.
3. You can reduce or increase olive oil based on how liquid you want your pesto to be.

Cauliflower Pizza Base

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1 1/2 Cups of Cauliflower Rice
1/3 Cup Egg White
1/4 Tsp Onion Salt
1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 Tsp of Italian Seasoning
1 Tsp of Olive Oil
Additional Sea Salt to Taste

1. Cauliflower Rice is regular cauliflower florets pulsed to rice form in a food processor or blender. I measure two cups after ricing the cauliflower in raw state.
2. Put this in a microwave cup, sprinkle some water and microwave for 5 mins. You do not need to add a lot of water as Cauliflower will leave water as it gets cooked.
3. After the Cauliflower has cooled down a bit, put it in a cheese cloth and squeeze out as much water as you can. This is a very important step to get a good crust. Since, we are not using any flour or cheese as binders, the crust will not hold well together if there is too much water.
4. After you have squeezed as much water as you can, put it in a bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients including egg white. Mix well.
5. I used a non stick Aluminium foil spread on a baking tray. Put the mixture on it and pat it together into a circle (or whichever shape you want). You do not want it to be too thick or thin. Mine infact was a bit too thin this time. Maybe about 1/8 inch thickness should be good.
6. Bake it at 350 deg F for about 12-15 mins, until you see the edges browning. Now Flip it gently and bake the other side for about 3-5 mins.
7. Let is rest for a bit outside and then you can use it.

1. I wanted to keep to 2 cups of vegetable per my Ideal Protein diet, so I used 1 1/2 cups of Raw Cauliflower Rice and the other half cup was my toppings. But if you are not following that, you can increase the quantity and make more than one or more thicker crust.

Egg Salad stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

(From Banu's Cook Book)

1 cup of Mini Sweet Peppers (It came to around 5 for me - depends on the size)
1/4 cup of finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup of Dill Relish (Recipe for my Homemade Dill Relish is here)
3 Hard boiled Eggs
WF Mayo Garlic Chilli Sauce
Cilantro for Garnishing

1. Hard Boil the eggs. Peel them and chop them fine.
2. In a bowl, combine the chopped hard boiled eggs, chopped onion and the relish. Mix well. The salt in the relish was good enough for me and I did not add any extra salt.
3. Cut the top of the mini peppers and then cut them lengthwise in half. Remove the seeds. Fill them with the Egg salad.
4. Drizzle the WF Mayo Garlic Chilli Sauce and sprinkle some cilantro.
5. The sweet crunchiness of the mini peppers are a good background for this egg salad.

WF Mayo Garlic Chilli Sauce

1 Tbsp of Walden Farms Mayo
1 - 2 Tbsp of Pickle Juice (This is the water from the pickle jar)
1/4 Tsp of Garlic Chilli Sauce
A bit of Lemon Juice

Mix all the ingredients together well and the sauce is ready.

1. Walden Farms Mayo is very sweet for my taste. So the garlic chilli and pickle juice cuts through the sweetness and makes it tastier. You can even add just regular chilli paste or hot sauce or even Red curry paste.
2. This is the brand of Garlic Chilli Paste that I used. You can get it in most grocery stores.

3. You can pulse the eggs in food processor if you like a more smooth egg salad.

Homemade Relish from Dill Pickles

(From Banu's Cookbook)

I was looking for some Relish in stores, but they all had added sugar in them. So, I decided to do my own version at home.

3-4 Mini Dill Pickles (No salt added Variety)
1/4 cup of Roasted Red Peppers
1/4 tsp of Yellow Mustard (Optional)

Put all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until they are well blended. It will not be a smooth mixture, but a bit coarse.

This stores well in the fridge for about a week.

1. You can roast your own red bell pepper at home, I used the bottled ones that you get in store.
2. You can skip Yellow Mustard or add Honey Mustard instead if you want a more sweeter taste.
3. The sweetness was perfect for me due to the roasted red pepper, but you can add some Splenda or sugar, if you prefer more sweet relish.
4. I have not tried freezing this.
5. If you use regular size pickles, then adjust the other ingredients accordingly.