Tag Archives: vegan dinner ideas

Tofu Sofritas Lettuce Wraps

 

For those of you who don’t know, or don’t eat at Chipotle, the fast-casual Mexican chain, they have a new vegetarian/vegan option: the sofritas.

This option is shredded pressed tofu, marinaded in sofrito sauce and braised on the grill like their meats. There is debate as to whether it is worth the added cost (if you put guac on it too) over a plain no-meat burrito or bowl, but that choice is yours to make.

Sofrito, or refogado, is traditionally a sauce made from aromatics like garlic, onion, peppers, tomato, and paprika cooked in olive oil. Used in Brazilian, Spanish, and Portuguese cooking, the preparation varies as each cook makes theirs unique based on seasonal cuisine and local taste preferences.

Rather than shell out $8.50 + tax (or whatever a burrito runs in your neck of the woods) how about you make your very own at home for a larger batch at a much lower price? It’s super easy, even if you’ve never cooked tofu before. You don’t even have to press it first, as you usually do with tofu, because you will shred and fry it.

The other ingredients are the things I like in my bowl/taco. Feel free to improvise with whatever toppings you like and have. Try: coleslaw, salsa, tomatillos, hot sauce, jalapenos, beans of all kinds, onions, cilantro, sour cream, avocado, shredded cheese…

Ingredients:

Wrap Toppings:

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 cup cooked pinto beans
  • 2 tbsp hummus
  • Fresh diced tomato
  • 1 fresh avocado
  • 1 head romaine, outer leaves removed
  • Optional: use tortillas (or make your own)

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Step 1: Drain the tofu, and heat the oil in a pan. Using a fork or your hands, smash the tofu into crumbles.

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Step 2: Dice or crush the garlic, add to the oil until fragrant, then add the tofu. Pour on your hot sauce and spices.

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Because the meat-eater was joining me, I mixed tofu and ground turkey together. Keep it veg/vegan by not adding turkey, or slowly introduce tofu to someone this way.

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Step 3: Keep mixing until tofu develops a nice deep red/brown color, about 10-12 minutes.

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Step 4: Sprinkle the yeast into the tofu, and squeeze the lime juice over top. Take a large romaine leaf, and top with a heaping tbsp or two of sofritas.

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Add the other toppings you like, and wrap it all up.

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This makes a hearty and filling wrap, you can eat two or three and still have a very low total calorie count. If opposed to the lettuce, feel free to make it a bowl or use tortillas.

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Three Bean Vegan Chili

 

Chili is one of my absolute favorite comfort foods. It couldn’t be easier to put together, just throw all the ingredients in a crock pot and let it do the heavy lifting while you go to work, school, travel, write, hike, shop, whatever you do all day. Then come home to a hot, delicious, healthy meal that makes the whole house smell divine.

This is seriously the most perfect cold-weather dinner of all time.

White Bean Chicken Chili is definitely on my top ten for Crock Pot meals, but since I’ve been on a bit of a vegan kick lately, I wanted to make a chili with no meat or animal products that was equally delicious and satisfying. And that’s exactly what I did, and you can too!

Don’t tell those you serve that it’s vegan, and they likely won’t even know.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can diced tomatoes (with green chilis if you want kick)
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can white cannellini beans
  • 4 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp cumin powder

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Step 1: Open all the cans, and pour directly into the crock pot. Leave the tomato juice, but if you want to drain and rinse the beans to cut down on extra sodium, you totally can.

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Step 2: Cook in crock pot on low 6-8 hours, or high 2-4 hours. That’s it! Other addition you could make: chickpeas, really any other type of bean, crushed garlic, diced onion, carrots, celery, bell peppers, hot peppers, tomato juice, tomato sauce, hot sauce…   IMG_7587

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I made a batch of corn bread using Jiffy mix and a can of corn to serve with the chili. Yes, the carnivore had to add a handful of cheese, but progress is progress. Baby steps.

Since this makes a crap-ton of chili, some ideas to use up the remainder include chili cheese dogs, chili mac n cheese, and topping baked potatoes with a scoop for a filling meal or snack.

 

Bean & Couscous Stuffed Peppers

 

So you might know I’ve been on a bit of a bean kick lately. I love how affordable (read: cheap!) dried beans are and so I’ve been trying to incorporate them more into my daily cooking.

I’ve already found that I can indeed can my own beans. For mere cents per jar this is a great savings over buying them at the store for 60-90 cents per can.

I had already made Red Beans & Rice, and I totally love beef & rice stuffed peppers, and couscous stuffed peppers. I figured beans are a natural option for stuffing, since they are high in fiber and protein, and are good at binding together other ingredients. This is another recipe that turned out accidentally vegan. I’m on a roll and I like it!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 bell peppers any color
  • 1 cup cooked couscous
  • 2/3 cup cooked beans, mashed
  • 1 can tomato sauce, or 1/2 cup pizza/pasta sauce
  • Handful torn kale
  • Garlic salt or other seasonings to taste

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Step 1: If you haven’t already, cook the couscous by covering with boiling water, then waiting 5-10 minutes to absorb. Fluff with a fork. I cooked the beans overnight in a crock pot, then mashed them.

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Step 2: Cut the tops off the peppers and discard seeds. In a bowl, mix the couscous, beans, sauce, seasonings, and kale. Stuff 1/3 of the mixture into each pepper. If you reserve a little sauce you can pour that on top.

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Step 3: Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until the outside of the peppers becomes soft to the touch and easily pierced with a fork.

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These are amazing hot out of the oven or reheated the next day. Recipe can easily be doubled for a big family or to make meals for the whole week.