How would you change these recipes? I need your help!
This week has been full of interesting experiments in vegetarian cooking! I can feel my southern roots going bananas as I've been trying to use tofu, soy cheese, and using full grains other than white rice, white potatoes, pastas, etc... The additional challenge of this week is to eat foods that are: dairy free, meat free, gluten free (of course), and use whole grains only.
I should have been smart and just headed over to Sea's or Mary Frances' websites to find tried and true vegetarian recipes for this week... but being a little too independant, I wanted to do it all myself... and we've ended up with so-so results.
Here are two of the recipes we've made this week! They are not bad recipes, but they DO need your help!
The first recipe is for Quinoa Stuffed Peppers. We really liked how these peppers turned out. The texture of the quinoa with the crumbled sauteed tofu really had a "meaty" texture and worked well stuffing the peppers. What we need help with is the flavoring... I used garlic granules, oregano, basil, etc... but it just didn't seem to have enough flavor. We need something additional added to this recipe to really make it shine! How would you change this recipe with the requirements we are using?? If you are brave enough to make it and it turns out scrumptious, tell me what you did differently!
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- 2-3 large green bell peppers
- 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup cheddar soy cheese, shredded
- 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
- 1/2 tsp. garlic granules
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1 lb. extra firm tofu, crumbled
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
Saute crumbled tofu in olive oil with garlic granules, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cut bell peppers in half lenghwise. Remove seeds and membrane. Combine 3/4 cup tomato sauce with cooked quinoa (I cooked the quinoa in my rice cooker, while I was sauteing the tofu), half of the shredded soy cheese, and any additional spices to taste. Add sauteed tofu to quinoa mixture. Stuff bell pepper halves with the quinoa/tofu mixture and place in a large greased casserole dish. Pour remaining tomato sauce over the stuffed peppers and into the bottom of the casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining soy cheese on top of the stuffed peppers. Cover the casserole dish with lid or aluminum foil and cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil or lid and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle parsley on top of stuffed peppers right before serving.
The 2nd recipe is for a Vegetarian Shepard's Pie.
We didn't like how this dish turned out nearly as much as we liked the stuffed peppers. Michael helped me wade through ideas on what we could have done to change the dish, and we decided that the tomato sauce really overpowers the other wonderful flavors of the onions, garlic, and fresh mushrooms.
What I DID like about this recipe was the mashed cauliflower topping instead of starchy mashed potatoes! I thought it was delicious! The nutritional yeast adds a wonderfully cheesy flavor to the mashed cauliflower, making it very similar to cheesy mashed potatoes. I will definitely be making the mashed cauliflower again soon!
What other changes would make with the requirements listed above?? Would you add additional spices? Would you use less tomato sauce? Would you change the tomato base altogether? I really want to hear your thoughts on how we change this dish and really enjoy it! I'd really be honored if someone would make the dish and tell me how you would make it and what you would do differently!
Vegetarian Shepard's Pie
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 1/2 cup rice milk
- 2 Tbsp. dairy free margarine
- 1 tsp. garlic granules
- 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 lb. tofu, cut into 1" cubes and marinated overnight in sugar free barbecue sauce
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 sweet onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup carrots and peas (I used defrosted frozen)
- 1-2 tsp. garlic granules
- 12 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch or sweet rice flour
- 1/2 cup cheddar soy cheese, shredded (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place marinated tofu cubes on a baking sheet and bake for around 25 minutes until cubes are firm and crisp. While baking tofu, cut stems and florets of cauliflower into small pieces. Steam (I used a rice cooker) cauliflower until fork tender. In a medium sized bowl, mash cauliflower with a potato ricer and add remaining topping ingredients. Mix thoroughly and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add chopped onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are tender. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix tomato sauce and cornstarch together until incorporated. Add carrots and peas, sauted vegetables, baked tofu cubes. Pour into greased casserole dish. Top with mashed cauliflower. If desired, sprinkle with shredded soy cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until cheese has melted and the dish is heated through. Serve immediately.
Now for your thoughts!
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