Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce

I loved this meal.  It’s super flavorful, comes together quickly and works great as either a main dish or would be a lovely appetizer (just omit the rice).  These were a bit messy and I ended up eating them more as a salad than a wrap, but that made them no less delicious.  This is the first time that I’ve crumbled and sautéed firm tofu, and I won’t lie and say it tastes like chicken, but it is really good.  I liked the texture and it absorbs a lot of flavor.  The hoisin-peanut sauce adds another great layer of flavor and creaminess.  I was a little reluctant to buy hoisin sauce since I hate having tons of open condiments and no idea how to use them up.  However, this recipe and the Grilled Ginger-Sesame Chicken Salad will definitely be made again, so I’m glad I invested in it!

Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut SauceTofu Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 6-10 (10 as an appetizers)

Adapted from Cooking Light


  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 lime, juiced

In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add shallot and sauté  for a few minutes, until golden.  Add water, peanut butter, hoisin sauce, and red pepper.  Whisk until smooth, let simmer for about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and whisk in the lime juice.


  • 2 (14oz) pkgs extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed (at least 30 min)Tofu Lettuce Wrap with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce (A Seat at the Table)
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 5 scallions, thinly sliced (more for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (more for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cups hot brown rice
  • Bibb lettuce

In a large skillet, heat sesame oil over medium-high heat.  Add scallions and saute for a minute.  Crumble in the pressed tofu, and saute for an additional few minutes, until tofu starts to brown.  Stir in cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, and sriracha, cook for an additional minute, until liquid has been absorbed.  Remove from heat and stir in the cucumber and carrot matchsticks.

To assemble, place Bibb lettuce leaves on a plate, scoop a little brown rice (about 1/4 cup) onto each leaf, then top with tofu mixture, a little sauce and then garnish with scallions and cilantro.

Ginger-Scallion Cold Tofu

With summer approaching and the temperatures rising, you can bet I will be eating a lot more of this tofu.  This is super simple to prepare, it’s refreshing and cold and light.  This goes great with a salad (I’d recommend an Asian cabbage salad like this or this or this) for a quick, light summer meal.  Tofu is also a great vegetarian (vegan too!) source of protein, iron and calcium.  And while the biggest complaint with tofu is that it’s bland, this dish adds spicy fresh ginger, scallions and soy sauce…I think it’s anything but bland with all those flavors going on.  Try it and let me know what you think.Ginger tube

I like Silken brand soft tofu for this, it has a really smooth texture.  If I’m really lazy I even cheat on using fresh ginger and use some from a squeeze tube.  But using fresh ginger does taste a bit better and is pretty easy to use with a proper sharp knife.

Silken soft tofuI like to store gingerroot in the freezer and break off a knob when I need to use it.  I use a pairing knife to carefully peel the outer layer (you can run some warm water over the root for a little so it’s not quite so cold to hold).  Once it’s peeled I use a sharp knife and slice, then mince the still mostly frozen ginger.  This works great for getting a good mince.  Ginger can get a bit stringy, so I’ve found this to be the best way.  You can also try using a microplane to grate the ginger, but that takes longer in my opinion.

Ginger-Scallion Cold TofuGinger-Scallion Cold Tofu (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 2-4

  • 1 block Silken soft tofu, preferably chilled
  • 1-2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced (about 1/2 inch knob)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ponzu (optional, this adds a hint of citrus…you could try a squeeze of lime juice too)

Carefully open the box of tofu and squeeze tofu out onto your serving dish (something with a bit of an edge to hold soy sauce).  Sprinkle with scallions, place ginger on top of the tofu block, then drizzle with soy sauce and ponzu.  Serve and enjoy!

Miso Glazed Tofu and Bok Choy

This is based off of a recipe I saw in a magazine, I thought it sounded delicious, and went to the grocery store intending to make it later in the week.  And yet some how I forgot to get half of the ingredients.  So when trying to eat up all the produce before leaving for a weekend trip, I decided to use the miso-glaze from the recipe for the tofu, and just add some bok choy and serve it over rice.  It turned out fabulous.  Tofu can be rather bland, but this miso-glaze is super flavorful, full of salty umami flavors.  The best part is that you don’t even need to marinate the tofu!  If you have the forethought, press the tofu during the day, but at least press it for about 30 minutes.

Miso Glazed Tofu and Bok ChoyMiso Glazed Tofu and Bok Choy (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 4-6

Adapted from Cooking Light (May 2013)

  • 6 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white (shiro) miso
  • 2 Tbsp minced peeled ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 2 pkgs extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • about 2 lbs baby bok choy, quartered and washed
  • 2 Tbsp water

In a bowl, whisk together the first 7 ingredients.  Cut the tofu into large cubes.  Heat 1 Tbsp canola oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  Add 1/2 the tofu in a single layer, pour 1/3 of the glaze over the top.  Let cook for about 3 minutes, until tofu has browned on one side.  Flip the tofu and cook for a few more minutes until browned.  Remove tofu from the pan and then repeat with the remaining tofu.  Once the tofu has finished cooking, add the bok choy to the pan and add the remaining glaze and water, cover and let cook for a few minutes, or until the bok choy is tender.  Add the tofu back into the pan and give a stir.  Serve over rice.

Raw Kale and Tofu Salad with Citrus Dressing

This salad was super delicious.  There’s lots of delicious stuff going on in this salad.  Tofu and edamame add protein, the vegetables add a variety of color, texture and nutrients, and the dressing adds a punch of delicious citrusy flavor with salty-sweet flavors from the soy sauce and honey.  The ground flaxseed adds a really interesting texture and adds healthy omega-3s to this vitamin rich meal.  This is definitely not a boring salad.  It’s great all on its own or would be awesome paired with some fish (salmon would be my preference) or grilled shrimp.

If you have the time/forethought, I’d recommend pressing the tofu and making the dressing the day before serving, and then letting the tofu marinate overnight before you make the rest of the salad.  Or if you’d like to make it all ahead of time just keep the rest of the veggies separate from the dressed kale so they don’t get soggy.

Raw Kale and Tofu Salad with Citrusy DressingRaw Kale and Tofu Salad with Citrus Dressing

Serves 4-6

Adapted from Clean Eating

  • 2 (14oz) packages firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 2 bunches kale, deveined and chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup shelled frozen edamame, thawed

Preheat oven to 500°F.  Grease a 9×13″ pan with cooking spray and add pressed and cut tofu in a single layer.Tofu and Kale Salad with Citrusy Dressing

In a blender or food processor, blend garlic, vinegar, orange juice, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, ginger, and sesame oil until smooth.  Pour half of the mixture over the tofu and toss until coated.  Bake for about 30-40 minutes, toss several times to ensure even browning.

Meanwhile, add flaxseeds to the remaining dressing and blend.  In a large bowl, add chopped kale.  Pour 1/3 of the dressing over the kale and then use your clean hands to massage the dressing into the kale.  You want each leaf to turn dark green, glossy and tender.  Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine.  When the tofu is ready, top the salad with tofu and additional dressing as needed.

Lemon Creme with Sweet Thyme & Oat Granola

So last night was the start of the new School of Christian Living classes.  This term one of the classes is focused on animal rights, so I’m rising to the challenge to make 6 weeks of vegan meals.  I’m going to try to stick to cooking with regular ingredients and limit the use of any vegan replacement products.  I’m hoping these recipes will just be a tasty, easy addition that you can incorporate in your meal planning regardless of your carnivore, omnivore, herbivore status.

Let’s start with dessert first.  This was very popular and I had several people double check that I’d be posting it on here.  This is a great combination of smooth creme with crunchy topping.  The lemon is tart and bright, cleansing the palate.  It’s refreshing and light.  I was a little skeptical, but the combination of lemon and thyme is delicious and works great as a sophisticated dessert.  I kept the lemon creme on the tart side, but the topping is very sweet (I’ll decrease the sugar by a 1/4 cup as reflected below) so the combination works well.  If you like it sweeter feel free to add more agave (or honey if you’re not keeping vegan).  This is also dairy-free, so great for all sorts of dietary restrictions!

I wasn’t aware there was such a thing as extra-firm silken tofu, but I happened to find it at my local Asian market (it was not in the chilled section though, so look on the shelves).

Lemon Creme with Sweet Thyme and Oat Granola

Serves 10-15

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Lemon Creme:

  • 2 (12.3oz) pkgs extra-firm silken tofu
  • 4 Tbsp finely ground cornmeal
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup agave
  • 2 lemons zested and juiced

Wrap tofu in paper towels and press with a skillet (or something moderately heavy) for about 10 minutes.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor (or whisk really vigorously–arm workout for the day!), blend until smooth, about 1 minute.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.  Can be made ahead of time.  If separation occurs just stir.

Sweet Thyme and Oat Granola:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 9×13″ pan with cooking spray.

Combine oats, sugar, salt, coconut, and thyme.  Stir together melted coconut oil and vanilla extract.  Mix together wet and dry ingredients until everything’s well mixed.  Place in oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Creamy Green Pea Dip

In addition to the Asian Cabbage Salad, Homemade Pita, and Edamame Dip I made this Creamy Green Pea Dip.

I loved the smooth, slightly sweet taste of this dip.  It gets a little kick from the jalapeno, but isn’t spicy.  This would also make an excellent cold pasta sauce.  With the addition of silken tofu it adds some extra protein to your meal.  And as my mother always told me growing up, the peas will make your eyelashes curly!

Creamy Green Pea Dip

Serves 20-22, makes about 4 cups

Adapted from The Kitchn

  • 1 container (20 oz) silken tofu, drained
  • 1 bag (16oz) frozen peas, defrosted
  • 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 2 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Refrigerate for at least one hour.


So last night’s SCL dinner was my 12th week.  It was also the last class of the second term (don’t worry, a 3rd term starts next week!).  After all this time I figured it was about time I made the ultimate scary vegetarian food:  tofu!

I’m a big fan of tofu, but don’t make it very often because it takes a bit of planning.  I think I changed some opinions on tofu, this was a VERY popular salad!  I served this with the Mango and Mint Salad with Cashews, and the best cupcakes I’ve ever made!

Tofu, Mushroom, Green Bean and Grain Salad

Serves 20

Adapted from Cooking Light (September 2010)


  • 4 (12oz) packages extra-firm tofu, drained and rinsed
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated


  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 4 cups uncooked bulgur wheat
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 lbs green beans, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 package dried shiitake mushrooms,
  • 2 cups very hot water
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup green onions, thinly sliced


  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 8 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 8 Tbsp honey
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

The day before serving, press your tofu.  Drain and rinse the tofu in cold water, then wrap tofu in a clean dish towel (or paper towels) and put something heavy on top (like a pan with your olive oil bottle on top).  Let sit for several hours or overnight.  Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, and garlic into a large ziploc bag.  Once the tofu has been pressed, cut into bite sized pieces and add to the marinade bag.  Allow the tofu to marinate for several hours.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Bake for 35 minutes, turning halfway through.  Allow tofu to cool.

Toast the bulgur wheat in the 2 tsp sesame oil for a few minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the water and salt and bring to a boil.  Let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.  (Alternatively, you can use the leftover water after soaking the dried mushrooms for extra flavor.)

Cook the green beans in boiling water for about 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender.  Drain and plunge into an ice bath.  Drain well and pat dry.  Add the beans to the cooked bulgur.

Soak the dried shiitake in very hot water for about 2 minutes.  Drain, and place mushrooms in a skillet, saute with the baby bella and about 1 Tbsp of the dressing.

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a large measuring cup, and whisk until well mixed.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and pour dressing on just before serving.  Serve room temperature or cold.