Crispy Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce
14 oz extra-firm tofu
3 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp chili garlic sauce (reduce or omit for less heat)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil (plus more for cooking)
2 tsp maple syrup
5 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (or almond butter or sunflower butter)
1-2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce (or sub coconut aminos* but add slightly more as it’s less salty)
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
1-2 tsp chili garlic sauce (or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes)
2-3 Tbsp lime juice
3-4 Tbsp water
1 cup thinly sliced shredded vegetables (e.g. carrots, radish, onion, and/or bean sprouts)
1 small head green lettuce or cabbage
Options: Fresh cilantro or Thai basil
Begin by pressing tofu to remove some of the moisture: Either wrap in a clean towel and set something heavy on top or use a tofu press. Press for a total of ~30 minutes.
In the meantime, make the peanut sauce. Add all sauce ingredients, except water, to a small mixing bowl (starting with the lesser quantity of each ingredient). Whisk to combine then add a little water at a time and whisk until creamy, smooth, and pourable. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more tamari or coconut aminos for saltiness, maple syrup for sweetness, chili garlic for heat, or lime for acidity. Set aside.
Once the tofu is pressed, slice tofu into ~3/4 inch cubes and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the tamari, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, and maple syrup. Toss gently to combine and let marinate for 15 minutes.
Heat your oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
After 15 minutes, add cornstarch to the tofu and toss gently. The cornstarch should evenly coat each tofu piece.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add sesame oil. Then add only as much tofu as will fit comfortably in the pan. Cook until golden brown on all sides — ~2-3 minutes per side — flipping with a fork or small spatula. Then transfer to your prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until crispy and firm. We find this step really elevates the tofu’s texture and gives the coating more crispiness.
In the meantime, prepare veggies and herbs for serving. We recommend finely shredded carrots, thinly sliced radish and onion, and fresh cilantro and/or Thai basil. Set aside.
Prepare lettuce or cabbage by washing and drying and gently separating ~10 cup-size lettuce or cabbage leaves. They should be slightly larger than the palm of your hand.
Arrange cups/leaves on a platter and top each with ~5 cubes tofu. Top with veggies, herbs, and serve with peanut sauce on the side.
Best when fresh. Ingredients keep separately in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (peanut sauce = 1 week; tofu = 3-4 days, veggies = 1 week, herbs = 1-2 days). Reheat tofu on the stovetop over medium heat or in a 350 degree F oven until hot.
Picture and recipe adapted from: https://minimalistbaker.com/crispy-tofu-lettuce-wraps-with-peanut-sauce
Cucumbers With Ajo Blanco Sauce
3 tsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, divided
¾ cup almonds, divided
1 garlic clove, chopped
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky Sea salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut cucumbers about 1" thick on a steep diagonal and place in a medium bowl. Add a large pinch of kosher salt and 2 tsp vinegar and toss to combine; let marinate 10 minutes. Pour off any liquid that is released.
Toast ¼ cup almonds on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden, about 5 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop. Set aside.
Blend garlic, oil, remaining 1 tsp vinegar, remaining ½ cup almonds, and ½ cup ice water in a blender until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes; season generously with salt.
Divide sauce among plates and top with cucumber salad and chopped almonds. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
Do Ahead: Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Recipe adapted from: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/cucumbers-with-ajo-blanco-sauce
Chickpea Shawarma Salad
1 15-oz can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 heaping tsp cumin
1/2 tsp each: smoked paprika, turmeric, sea salt, and ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 pinch each: black pepper, ground coriander, and cardamom
5 oz spring mix lettuce
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup onion
3/4 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup hummus
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried dill (or sub 2 tsp fresh dill per 1 tsp dried)
1 medium lemon, juiced
Water (to thin)
20 pita chips
Preheat oven to 400°F and position a rack in the middle of the oven.
Add chickpeas to a mixing bowl. Add olive oil and all seasonings and toss to combine. To help them cook faster and disperse the seasonings more easily, lightly mash just half the chickpeas with a fork.
Sample a chickpea and adjust seasonings as needed. Arrange in a single layer on a bare baking sheet and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Set aside.
In the meantime, chop salad ingredients (lettuce, tomatoes, onion) and add to a bowl. Set aside.
To prepare dressing, add hummus, garlic, dill, and lemon juice to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Then add warm water and whisk until pourable.
To serve, add baked chickpeas and pita chips to the salad, along with half of the dressing. Toss to combine.
Divide between serving dishes and serve with remaining dressing.
For best results, store leftovers separately (chickpeas in a container at room temperature, salad ingredients in refrigerator, dressing in a container in refrigerator, pita chips in a container at room temperature). Keeps for 2-3 days, though best when fresh.
Recipe adapted from: https://minimalistbaker.com/chickpea-shawarma-salad
Almond, Spinach, and Banana Smoothie
½ orange, peeled
2 Medjool dates, pit removed
¼ cup almonds
1 banana, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups spinach leaves
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut water
Blend orange, dates, almonds, and 3 Tbsp. water in a blender on low speed until almonds are finely ground.
Increase speed to high and blend until mixture is no longer grainy, about 1 minute. Add banana, spinach, almond milk, and ½ cup ice; blend until drink is smooth and thick.
Recipe adapted from: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/almond-kale-and-banana-smoothie