Chocolate Orange Tofu Mousse


Success, I wasn’t tempted or distracted to buy anything from the supermarket that wasn’t necessary or overly indulgent.   I also remembered to pick up some oranges for this particular post.

So here we have it, the Chocolate Orange Mousse I’ve been meaning to make!

I have to admit, the other mousse I have made in the past, in particular the strawberry one, there was a hint of tofu taste I wasn’t overly happy about.  The taste doesn’t bother me, but I guess it may put some people off and sway them away from the power and versatility of the wonderful stuff.

But here, however, no one will be able to guess the full ingredients.

After making deserts, I can’t resist testing the batter or in this case, completely cleaning the entire blender of any trace of chocolate orange mousse with my spoon.  This one is a pleaser.  I’m never so confident about my food until I have had at least one other person try it, but this one is an absolute exception.

My pouring/presentation skills have a little to be desired, but I am a learner after all.

What really matters is the pure deliciousness of the content.

I assure you it’s a good one and extremely easy to make.

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 100g 70% Coco Chocolate
  • A knob of butter
  • The juice and zest of 1 small orange or 1/2 Med/Large Orange
  • 150g Firm tofu
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger Powder
  • 1 tbsp Pure Natural honey or Brown Sugar

Directions:

  1. 1st melt the chocolate in a double boiler, when it is melting nicely add the nob of butter and honey/sugar
  2. In a blender add all the other ingredients and blend until smooth
  3. When the chocolate has melted fold in the tofu slowly mixing until the colour is even
  4. There with be remains of tofu mixture on the blender, so transfer the chocolate tofu to the blender and blend together scraping the white from the sides to create an even colour.
  5. Pour into small serving dishes, cover and chill until you are ready to serve, one hour + is best.
  6. Garnish with a slice of orange and serve.
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Five Spice Kabocha, Brown rice and Tofu Salad


Can you see a wee theme going here. This one is definitely a take on a post from yesterday. Yup, I loved that mushroom salad so much I wanted to make a variation. Grilled and roasted veggies are soooo goood.

This one is similar but different, if that makes any sense

The main component is Kabocha. The five spice seasoning adds that extra dimension to the flavourful vegetable. All of the other flavours in the dish compliment it without over powering it. The varitey of beautiful textures from the soft tofu to the brown rice with bite are utterly satisfying and extremely healthy and wholesome.

My image, again, doesn’t do the dish any justice, but it gives you an idea at least. Just ignore the flash of light to the left.

Here you go…delish!!

Ingredients;

  • 1/4 kabocha cut into thin slices (be careful, using a very sharp knife makes this easier, but also pretty dangerous)
  • 1 medium aubergine
  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice
  • 150g firm tofu (drained)
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sprinkle of cracked salt and pepper
  • A bunch of spinach roughly cut
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 umeboshi

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl add the sliced kabocha
  2. Splash a little of the olive oil and add the five spice then mix evenly (with your hands, I find is best)
  3. Add to the grill pan – the rack.
  4. Perform the same method to the aubergine using the rest of the olive oil, then add to the grill tray along with the kabocha
  5. Grill on a medium heat turning frequently
  6. In the mean time, wash and chop your spinach. Drain and dress with the lemon juice and sesame seeds
  7. Cut the tofu into cubes and add to the spinach.
  8. Allow your rice to cool a little before adding to the spinach and tofu.
  9. Mix through with a little salt and pepper
  10. Dress your plates with the salad
  11. When your veggies have cooked through, place on top of the salad
  12. Serve with umeboshi or a pickle of your choice.
  13. Enjoy 🙂

Blueberry Smoothie for breaky anyone?


Here is a modification of my earlier smoothie.  The tofu macha one.

This one is now my new favourite.  It’s stunning, delicious, wholesome, filling, satisfying, healthy, wonderful.  WOW!!

It was a hot morning, so porridge was not even considered.  This one fits the weekend breakfast perfectly followed by a small leftover toasted slice of my carrot cake.  Ok, so the intention to cut down on the sugar is there, but it is the weekend after all 🙂 Well… I did go swimming, so that may have burnt of the unnecessary calories, ehe?

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of frozen blueberries
  • 300g silken or firm tofu
  • 1 cup of spring water
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 ripe frozen banana
  • 4 ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients (not the ice) into the blender and pulse until smooth
  2. fill 2 glasses with the ice, pour the purple deliciousness into the glasses, sit back and enjoy.
  3. There is more for seconds too 🙂
  4. If you like it thinner, just add water until you reach your desired consistency

Summery Strawberry Mousse


I had this one for breaky as it’s not over sweet and the fresh sweetness of  the strawberries is so inviting and comforting.  It tastes rich, but completely healthy and low in calories, what more can you ask for?

If not for breakfast, I also think this would be a great spread for scones or sandwiched in a sponge cake.

I initially wanted to make a chocolate orange tofu mousse, but forgot to buy the chocolates and orange…doh!  The strawberries were calling out for me to buy them.  They looked too vibrant and juicy to resist…aaand they were a bargain!  Bonus!

So here you have it, a baby of tofu, ginger and strawberries was born and devoured almost immediately.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tub of firm tofu
  • 1/2 a punnet of strawberries (10 – 12 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon of pure natural honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth and creamy
  2. transfer into small ramekins then chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve

Aloe Energiser


The count down has started before my working life commences after a wonderfully relaxing and occasionally not so relaxing break.

Every hour is precious today, so an early start with an energising booster smoothie has set me on my way.

Recipe (serves 2)

  • 1/2 tub tofu
  • 8 tbsp fresh aloe gel
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup spring water
  • a few cubes of ice in each glass
  • 1 cup strawberries (chopped)

Directions

  1. Simply put all ingredients into the blender and mix until smooth
  2. If you want to make the mixture a little more creamy add a little soy milk to the mixture and blend together.
  3. Divide between 2 cold ice filled glassed and serve

Hanami 花見 Cherry Blossom Festival


The cherry blossoms are beginning to do what they do best.    I love this time of year so much, especially when you go for a drive and unexpectedly find a beautiful park filled with the dreamy blossoms.

Locals set out picnics and BBQs with delicious smells wafting in your direction.    You then decide to park to then find stalls set out with festival food displayed in all it naughty glory tempting you to join in.

The Japanese definately know how to festival (they are so frequent here ‘festival’ should be made a verb).

I wish this season would last year round, not only for the sakura or the weather but also for the food.

Sakura Sushi

Salmon Wrap Pancake with bean paste

Spring Food

This weekend we hope the sun keeps shining as we very much intend to throw our own picnic under the cheery cherry trees.

Right, time to get the thinking cap on…what am I going to make?

Well I have a few days to gather ideas until then here are a couple of noodle dishes I made this week.

Keeping on my theme of Japanese ingredients, strange and not so strange I decided to use Soba in one dish and Udon in another.  Both were very healthy, different, yet absolutely satisfying.

Sesame Soba

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 8 oz dried soba
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2.5 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 inch chopped ginger
  • 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup edamame beans
Directions:
  1. toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan until they  are a rich brown colour around the edges.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil.  Add the noodles and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until they are just tender.  Drain them well with cold water then drain them again.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and green onions.   Add the noodles, and the toasted sesame seeds.  Toss well, then stir in the remanding ingredients.
  4. Let the dish sit for 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the flavours combine before serving.

Creamy Mushroom and Asparagus Udon

Tofu and Blueberry Scones



Toasted Scone Variation 2


Wow it’s almost March and it has taken me till now to write my first post of the year. Oh dear! However, my lack of posting hasn’t meant lack of cooking. Quite the opposite actually, although I do seem to return to the same dishes over and again. I can’t seem to part with tofu. This ingredient is my partner in crime. I’m just so excited by its versatility and lack of naughtiness. There’s no looking back it’s here to stay and I’m gonna make you love it as much as I do.
From looking back at recipes I have been using, I really need to start pushing the boat a bit more in terms of experimenting with different flavours, methods and styles. That doesn’t mean that I am going to try or even think of attempting more complex recipes or gourmet style. Convenience and nutrition is always going to be key in my collection of recipes. The recipes here will always be easy, always delicious and always healthy. If you are into that too, then perfect!
Just the other day Andy was telling me how much he is bored of his usual egg in the mornings. One a day for almost 2 years straight I’m surprised he hasn’t become allergic to them.
After browsing the Internet for ideas I stumbled upon yogurt scones. They are easy to make and freezable, they are the perfect choice for convenience. But, would they work in the rice cooker? Only one way to find out.
At that time I didn’t have any yogurt in my fridge, Only half a block of tofu a dribble of soy milk and about 60 g cooking marg. Hmmm…blended tofu it is then.
I made one big scone in the cooker, which rose beautifully. The taste test was next and OMG… ridiculous!! Maaaaan this stuff is amazing! Stays moist and fresh in the fridge for a whole week.
We toasted it under the grill to eat plain with green tea, beautiful, not too sweet, just a hint. Sooooo moist and melt in the mouth that you wouldn’t want to ruin it by smothering it with jam or butter. In saying that it would probably taste amazing with a runny poached egg!! 🙂

Toasted Scone Variation 2


Right, here’s the recipe.    I made them twice changing the recipe the second time around.   Both recipes are equally as delicious.
Scone variation 1:(apologies for lack of image for this variation)

  • 1/2 a block of blended firm/silken tofu 150 g (3/4 cup)
  • 2 cups of plain or whole grain sieved flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 60 g marg. /butter at room temp.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup blueberries

Directions:

  1. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together with the sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Add the margarine in pieces then rub into the flour with your fingertips making bread crumbs.
  3. Make a weld in the centre of the bread crumbs and pour in the blended tofu (if you are blending firm tofu, you’ll need to add a little water or soy milk to thin it).
  4. Fold in the tofu with a knife forming a dough.
  5. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface and form into a round.
  6. Pierce a few holes in the dough with your knife and insert the blueberries.
  7. Grease the rice cooker pan and drop in the dough and close the lid.
  8. Set the cooker to 60 min and let the magic happen.
  9. When cooking time is over, cool on a wire rack before cutting and storing in the fridge or freezer.

When your ready to eat it, for best results toast it under the grill to crisp it up a bit. nomnomnom…

Tofu and Blueberry Scones Variation 2:


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 60g butter/margarine at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup blended silken/firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • handful of raisins
  • Use the same methods as in variation 1 except with the oat meal, break it down in the blender to more of a powder then mix into the flour.

    This one is my healthier option.  You’ll find it’s a little heavier and dense in comparison to the variation 1 and perhaps a little less bready and more cakey.  Still, it is still worth trying out.   This one will definitely be the one I return to.  Enjoy!

    If you have any other suggestions to improve these, please leave a comment.

    I understand that not everyone owns a rice cooker, but all of my rice cookers can easily be adapted for the more traditional methods.

    For this recipe simply preheat your oven to 250 degrees.  Dust a baking sheet with flour and lay out your scone(s).  Cook for 20 – 30 mins




    Tofu & pumpkin burgers


    Photo to follow….in too much of a rush to get them on the table hot.  Got all excited and we gobbled them up too quickly before taking a photo for you all to be tempted by the beautifulness!!   I’m obviously going to make them again.
    It was my first attempt at tofu burgers and oh my…too delicious for words!!  I was on the search of a good recipe off the internet, but no such luck.  I was also short on some ingredients and some looked too eggy or too plain.  I also wanted to use my ingredient of the month – PUMPKIN!!
    I made 6 burgers, 3 for me and 3 for Andy 🙂
    I served them up with a nice mixed salad of spinach, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, shaved carrot, umeboshi (pickled plums) rasins, soy nuts and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

    Ingredients

    (makes 6 burgers)

    0.5 cup soy beans
    1 cup pumpkin finely copped
    1 cup onion minced
    1 300g tub firm tofu (drained)
    1 small bell pepper
    2 cloves garlic
    1 tbsp mirin
    1tbsp soy sauce
    2 tsp kombu dashi granules (bullion powder would also work)
    0.5 cup oats
    1 oat cake
    1 egg
    1 tblsp crushed sesame seads
    Dusting of corn flour

    [next time I’ll probably add a little fresh herbs]

    Directions
    1) To drain the tofu cut it into four even pieces wrapping each peace in doubled over kitchen roll. Set aside for 30 mins.

    2) Finely chop the onion, pumpkin, garlic, pepper and mix together with the soysauce, mirin and kombu dashi granules.  Mash the soy beans then add to the mixture

    3) Heat up a pan with a little olive oil then cook this mixture until all the ingredients come together and the onions begin to brown and the liquid has dissolved.
    When satisfied transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and mix through the oats, scrunched up oat cake and sesame seeds.

    4) Mix the tofu in the food processer or blender then scrape into the oaty mixture and mix through.
    Lightly beat the egg then mix together with everything else.

    5) lightly dust a plate with corn flour spoon a little of the mixture onto the flour turning and forming into a small or medium sized pates.

    The flour gives the burgers a delicious crunchiness so don’t miss it
    out : )

    Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
    This mixture may feel a little unstable but it really comes together when you cook them in the pan.

    6) Heat a little olive oil in the pan and cook through.   Roughly a couple of minutes on each side should do.
    Serve with your favourite salad and enjoy!!

    Yummy Sake Risotto with Tofu



    [oops I ate it before taking the picture :)]

    This recipe is one I have adapted from one I found on the Internet. It was the first time I had attempted a risotto and it turned out a dream. I reckon you really can’t go wrong with this one. Super healthy and super yummy and will work for either an appetiser or a main dish. (This dish also tastes great day 2, just heat up in a pan for 3 – 4 mins… mmmm… yum)


    Serves 6
    INGREDIENTS:

    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 cloves – garlic chopped
    • 1/2 – onion sliced and diced
    • 1/4 cup – sweet sake/ white wine
    • 2 cups – rice (short grain/risotto rice)washed
    • 3 cups – vegetables – cut into small cubes
    • [I used asparagus, mixed peppers, tomatoes]
    • 6 cups – stock (vegetable stock or medium miso paste)
    • 1 cup – spinach/water cress/mixed fresh herbs
    • 1 tub – firm tofu drained and diced
    • sprinkle – cracked salt and pepper


    HOW TO:
    1. Finally spoon the mixture into medium/small bowls then top with the diced tofu. sprinkle a little salt and pepper to taste.
    2. Stir through the spinach/watercress/mixed fresh herbs and allow to wilt.
    3. This should still be a little soupy in texture. If you like your risottos that little aldente, just stop the cooking process a little earlier.
    4. Check the mixture after 10mins cooking and stir, close the lid and allow to cook until setting has timed out.
    5. Add the stock. Mix the contents together, close the lid of the rice cooker then set the cooker to porridge setting (if you don’t have this setting set it to regular cook and check back every 10 mins to check the consistency and stir the contents through.
    6. Before adding the stock mix through all of the vegetables except for the spinach/water cress/fresh herbs. Allow the vegetables to saute mixing frequently. Vegetables such as asparagus need a little longer to cook than other vegetables therefore spend a little time here to allow them to soften a little.
    7. Add the rice and mix through, allowing all the rice to be coated in the onions and sake mixture. The rice should become a little translucent around the edges with white in the center before adding the stock. 4 -5 mins
    8. Add the 1/4 cup of sake/wine and heat up until some of the alcohol has evaporated. This should take 2 mins.
    9. Add the onion and cook until it becomes translucent then mix in the garlic. This should take around 4-5 mins.
    10. Switch on the rice cooker to the regular rice cooking setting or ‘quick cook’ if you have that setting. Wait 3 mins for it to heat up.
    11. pour in the olive oil and wait for it to heat up. Spread the oil with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula covering the bottom of the pan.

    Take 2

    I decided to make this meal a second time (see photo above) because it was such a success the first time. I followed the same instructions as before, however for my vegetables this time I used asparagus, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Then just before the dish was cooked through I mixed in a tub of pureed silken tofu (an amazing healthy substitute for cream, low in fat and full of goodness) chopped spring onions and avocado, keeping some avocado aside for garnish.
    to add a little extra colour and taste I garnished with pickled ginger. The end result was a creamy mushroom and avocado risotto which tasted naughty, but minus the guilt. Truly scrumptious!! 🙂
    The textures and flavours worked so well together I could possibly say this is my number one risotto!! Try it! I promise you, it won’t fail!!