Not just for kids! (Crispy Tofu Sticks and Macaroni & Cheese)

Greetings!

As some of you may already know, in addition to this blog, I also write a blog in Hebrew about motherhood and parenting, www.agirlnamedlennon.wordpress.com, it has quiet some traffic and a wonderful group of mainly moms, mainly from Berlin, that reads it and writes me feedback which is always appreciated! 

Recently, I have published a few recipes for vegan toddlers’ food and was asked to post more toddlers’ friendly recipes, so why not here as well? After the success of the Playdate Cookies I give you two more in one post!

The fact that non vegan moms find my recipes attractive is more than flattering for me, it feels like a mission. I want to show those moms that it is easy, healthy and very normal to cook cruelty free. 

Some future plans of mine include a Vegan Toddlers Food cooking workshop (hopefully in Kurkuma, the vegan cooking school here in Hamburg where I have a monthly workshop), and there is even an idea to create a free e-book with vegan recipes for toddlers from all over the world – a project I hope to create with vegan Instagram parents/friends.  

First let’s start with the Crispy Tofu Sticks:

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Tofu is a funny thing. I am not a huge fan, I like the fact I can have it here in there, mainly in Asian dishes when eating outside, but then again, I don’t like it that much. However, I like the fact it is a pure protein and calcium bomb – hence my attempts to make more of it:

“…Tofu is a good source of protein and contains all eight essential amino acids. It is also an excellent source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese, selenium and phosphorous. In addition, tofu is a good source of magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1.
Tofu is an excellent food from a nutritional and health perspective. It is thought to provide the same sort of protection against cancer and heart disease as soya beans.”

Not bad I would say.

I really like tofu (my funny dad calls it Topo 🙂 ) in General Tso – a dish that is totally NYC for me – with steamed broccoli and white rice:

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So here is my quick recipe for crispy tofu sticks – regardless of my profound hatred of frying – I lightly fry these sticks. They are a perfect match with everything: pasta, mashed potatoes, rice, steamed veggies, fries, salads, dips.

  • I use firm Tofu that I press in order to dry out the water. I do not own a Tofu Presser (my husband really wants to get me one but I am against kitchen tools that are good only for one activity) so I simply slice the tofu and put it on paper towels between two cutting boards or trays, and then I put something heavy on top.
  • Stop laughing, those are my chia and hemp seeds jars. 

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After an hour or so the paper towels will be soaking in the tofu water, the tofu will be almost completely dry, which will allow it to absorb other sauce/marinade/flavors:

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  • Slice the tofu to sticks:

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  • Prepare the wet coating mix – 2-3 spoonfuls of cornstarch and 1-2 spoons of water – mix well, this would be our breading glue:

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  • Prepare the dry breading mix. I make my own by adding spices and dry herbs to store bought breadcrumbs – a spoon or two of turmeric, paprika, dry basil, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, sesame – anything that you like actually. 

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And now what?

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  • Simply dip the tofu sticks in the cornstarch mix and then roll it in the breadcrumbs mix. Put them on a tray with a paper towel, where they can wait for dinner in case you prepared them in advance:

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  • Fry the sticks in a bit of oil on a medium heat. I make sure to always turn them to the right side when frying, 4 times, so no side will be left out:

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Happy kid and happy Ima? Yes!

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And now to the second recipe, Vegan Mach & Cheese:

First, all credit is goes to the lovely Charis from Floral Frosting. An Instagram friend who have the most brilliant ideas and, apparently, the best Aquafaba Macarons in the world. I based this recipe on a recipe that she once posted on Instagram.

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This recipe is a favorite of Lennon, and I don’t blame her, after all, it is pasta!

Delicious, easy to make, cruelty free pasta. What else do we need?! 

  • You can of course use gluten free pasta but also sub the pasta with rice or bulgur, or couscous, or Ptitim (kids need variety!)
  • Because Lennon eats independently, I use pasta that will be easy for her to load on her spoon or fork, or even eat with her hands: short and small.
  • The sauce is based on potatoes and carrots, but the wonderful thing about it is that you can add many other veggies, like cauliflower, broccoli, peas, sweet potatoes – everything that can be mashed into a thick sauce. 
  • Nutritional yeast is VERY important – it gives the somehow cheesy flavor to the sauce 

Now what?

  • Cook two carrots and two medium potatoes, cut into cubes – till they are soft. As I wrote, you can add other veggies, sweet potato and cauliflower, for example:

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  • Once soft, keep one cup from the cooking water and transfer to a blender or a bowl where you can puree it with a stick:

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Add (feel free to play with the quantities): 

  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric 
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (smoked is also good but not all kids are going to like it)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic and onion powders 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1/2 -1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper 

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  • Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of the cooking water gradually and puree, the sauce should be creamy and silky and not too thick: 

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  • Taste, and balance flavors, maybe more lemon juice? Garlic powder? Salt?
  • Cook your pasta of choice according to the instructions (ha ha, who am I kidding, who cooks pasta according to instructions?!)
  • Mix pasta with sauce, let cool a bit and serve to the happy vegan toddler!

 

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And before goodbye, here are a few of Lennon’s meals lately, you can also see them under #WhatVeganLennonEats on IG:

Enjoy!

 

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2 Responses to “Not just for kids! (Crispy Tofu Sticks and Macaroni & Cheese)”

  1. Diana Elle says:

    those recipes look pretty simple, I might give the mac n cheese one a try, as I’ve never eaten (or tried cooking) tofu before,

    • Dorian Gray says:

      Haas a a a a you must try it then! It has no actual flavor and will take the flavors around it. It’s healthy and a very good source of protein! Maybe next time you eat Asian, take the tofu one! 🙂 I would love hearing how you liked it!

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