Homemade Crispy Shake and Bake Tofu Tenders

crispy-tofu-tenders

Crispy Tofu Tenders with Homemade Honey Mustard

I have begun to experiment with tofu.

I don’t know why it took me so long to research safe tofu companies. I got in touch with Nasoya and was told their facility is free of dairy, eggs and beef. SCORE!

Let the tofu love begin!

I have made tofu at home three times in a little over a week. I have made a tofu and veggie stir fry twice. Yum!

Last night, I decided to try an old chicken recipe with the tofu.

The result?

Mmmmmm… even the 5 year old liked it! (covered in ketchup, of course, but hey- she ate it happily!)

This recipe comes from allrecipes.com.

I have modified the spices a bit. Feel free to change the spices to ones you and your family enjoy.

I also use homemade bread crumbs, but store bought breadcrumbs or panko would work well, too.

This breadcrumb mixture made more than enough for half a container of tofu. I think I could have used this recipe for the entire package, but I was hesitant to use all the tofu in case this didn’t turn out. But it did and my little family loved it!

So tonight, we are having the other half of the tofu and I’m making these crispy shake and bake tofu tenders again! Along with some garlic mashed potatoes and maybe some stewed fresh green beans. And some homemade vegan gravy for the taters and beans… Mmmm, mmm! I better hurry this post up so I can cook- it’s almost dinner time already!

Ingredients:

2 cups breadcrumbs
3 Tbs canola oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
pinch (or a peench as we say) of basil, dried parsley & dried oregano
***********************************************************************
2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp of ground flax and 6 Tbsp of water mixed together)

1 package of extra firm tofu, pressed between two plates for about 20-30 minutes (do this in advance and cut the tofu into strips like chicken tender sized)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare your flax eggs in a medium sized bowl and whisk with a fork. When the flax eggs are gelled and gooey, they are ready.
  3. Take everything above the starred line and mix it together in a gallon plastic baggie- adding the oil last. I like to shake the dry ingredients together first and then add the oil.
  4. Dip one tofu strip into the flax egg and then put it into the seasoned breadcrumb mixture and shake. Place the tofu strip onto a parchment lined cookie sheet (foil works, too, but parchment gives you no stick to the pan-ness! 😉 )
  5. Repeat with each tofu strip. If you run out of flax eggs, you will need to make another one (1Tbsp of ground flax & 3 Tbsp of water)
  6. Bake for 5 minutes. Gently flip the tenders. Bake for 5 more minutes. Flip tenders. Bake for another 3-4 minutes, or until tenders are crispy.

Notes:
Serve as you would serve chicken tenders, with a sauce or ketchup. (SG loves it this way.)
The Huzz and I prefer these crispy tenders cut up and served in a bowl along with other food. (Like in a salad or with a pasta dish with the tofu standing in for the chicken.)

It totally looks like chicken- but it doesn’t taste like it. The flavor is all in the crispy coating, so don’t be afraid to spice it up in the bag!

I hope y’all enjoy these crispy shake and bake tofu tenders.   (I’m still working on getting my Southern back, y’all! I kind of lost it from living in Ohio and Iowa for so long!)

 

A Ray of Hope

I have to say, I have some hope for the first time in a long time for my daughter’s contact reactions.  We moved and have a new allergist who gave us a plan to start to try to reduce and hopefully eliminate her constant contact reactions when we are out in public.  I felt so emotional at the chance to finally be free of contact reactions, I almost cried.  My hope was stuffed down and crushed, but still, I always pray for a cure.  I’ve always said that if her contact reactions would go away, it’d be so much easier to manage.  Not easy, but easier.  Having a ray of hope is nice.  It’s refreshing.

It’s a good reminder that my hope is in the Lord and perhaps I need to readjust my heart and remember where my hope comes from.

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.”

Psalm 62:5 (NIV)

Christmas Meal Prep Plan

 

For Christmas this year, I’m pretty much making exactly what I made this past Thanksgiving, with a few changes to the dessert menu.

Here’s my menu and the breakdown of what I make ahead. I make as much in advance as I can to make it a little easier on the big day.

I’m breaking it down between four days. You can do it in two days if you’re pressed for time. I’m spreading it out slowly because I’m not rushed for time this year.

Day 1:

Make a double batch of Buckeyes and freeze them.  Use dairy free subs and coconut oil instead of shortening.

Day 2:

Make Homemade Bread (I use this to make the breadcrumbs I need for Day 3’s Cutlets recipe.)

Make Fudge and refrigerate.

Make Sugar Cookies and decorate.

Day 3:

Make Pumpkin Pie and refrigerate.

Make Cornbread.

Make Double Batch of Chickpea Cutlets and refrigerate.

Peel Potatoes in the evening and completely cover potatoes with water in a bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Keep in fridge until it’s time to make the mashed potatoes the next day. (Optional step. Can omit and do this on day 4.)

Day 4:

Start Dough for Homemade Dinner Rolls early. When dough is ready, prepare rolls and bake.

Boil and season fresh green beans (I use vegetable broth and season with Adobo, garlic powder and onion powder.) Transfer to a crockpot and cook on high for approximately 4 hours.

Make Gravy. A triple batch. Use the suggested variation of adding poultry seasoning and sage to the gravy.

Make Cornbread Dressing.

Make Holiday Mashed Potatoes.

I hope this breakdown helps. If you need any last minute recipes for Christmas, these recipes will not disappoint!

I hope you have a wonderful week leading up to Christmas.

Merry Christmas, y’all!

Pinterest Win: I Made My Own Magnetic Menu Board!

I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m a pinning fool. I also LOVE to menu plan.

I’ve menu planned a week at a time and used this to keep me on track:

Weekly Menu Board

And maybe a year later I tried menu planning this way:

Menu Planning My Way

Then I menu planned around meats I stockpiled in my freezer and typed up my menus and shared my menus on this blog:

Menu Planning Around Meats in the Freezer

Menu Planning Around Meats in the Freezer

16 Dairy & Egg Free Dinners  Typed on Cardstock and Held up with a Magnet

16 Dairy & Egg Free Dinners Typed on Cardstock and Held up with a Magnet

Then sometime early this year I came across this on Pinterest. It is from I Heart Organizing. She was highlighting a project from the blog The Homes I Have Made. A magnetic menu board!

Seriously, y’all, I think I might have drooled when I clinked on the link and saw the menu board. Obviously, I’ve tried LOTS of ways to organize my menu planning. All have been good, but I kept trying new ways. But this… this was a thing of beauty!

Luckily, I had some budgeted spending money and went straight to Staples and Target. Here’s what I needed for my board:

Magnetic Calendar

Magnetic Printing Paper

Menu Board Supplies

Menu Board Supplies

I couldn’t believe the magnetic board was on clearance at Target. That was a major score!

I think it cost around $22 for both the board and paper.

You can visit any of the above linked blogs to see how they made their magnetic menu planning boards.

The first step was compiling all of our favorite recipes.  See the pic below of the clipboard to see my list of our favorite recipes.

I used “Pages” with my MacBook and played around with rectangular shapes. I printed rectangles, cut them out, held them in a menu board square, adjusted the rectangle size and tried again until I had the right size.

I picked colors that I liked. I typed in our favorite recipes in white letters. Then I printed that bad boy and held my breath. My cheap little ink jet printer did awesome! It took the sheet through completely one time before printing it. It did that both times. But then it printed it beautifully the second go round.

I have to admit… when the magnetic sheet came out I was as giddy as a child. I think I even danced my way to our bedroom to show the Huzz. Even he loved the magnets. Our little printer made us proud.

Anyway, the Huzz cut out the magnets for me. (I have tendonitis that flares with excessive scissor use. For real!)

Then, I lovingly placed each one according to my written menu plan.

And then I just stared at it in awe. I can’t believe I made this, y’all! I. am. not. crafty.

I do sit down and write out our menu plan. I photocopy our big calendar and then with a pencil, plan our meals. I plan a month at a time. I do it slowly- not all at once. When I have time, I sit down and grab my clipboard. I keep the photocopied next month’s calendar on my clipboard with a pencil attached. I grab my iPad, my list of favorite recipes, get on Pinterest for new recipes and plan away.

My Favorite Recipes List.  I add new favorites & use this to help me menu plan.

My Favorite Recipes List. I add new favorites & use this to help me menu plan.

My photocopied calendar.  I write in recipes on here when I have time.  Blurred out for my own privacy.  :)

My photocopied calendar. I write in recipes on here when I have time. Blurred out for my own privacy. 🙂

Yesterday, I had almost the entire month of June planned on paper. However, I was just stumped for a few dinners. I took the magnets down from May, organized them according to color, and placed what was planned on the board. The best part? The blanks in my menu plan were easily filled with the remaining magnets. Y’all… I just picked up magnets and finished my menu planning that way. Easy peasy!

Here’s some pics of the printed magnetic sheets:

I printed 2 sheets.  I added some blanks to handwrite new favorite recipes.

I printed 2 sheets. I added some blanks to handwrite new favorite recipes.

Close Up

Close Up

Another Close Up

Another Close Up

Close Up

Close Up

Last Close Up

Last Close Up

I found this in the Dollar Spot at Target.  It's perfect storage for my extra magnets.

I found this in the Dollar Spot at Target. It’s perfect storage for my extra magnets.

My magnets not in use live in this container.

My magnets not in use live in this container.

Menu Board Display

Our Menu for June.

Our Menu for June.

Do you think you’ll make a magnetic menu board? I’m so glad I tried and succeeded!

Pinspiration Sources:
I Heart Organizing
The Homes I Have Made

Vegan Pizza Quesadillas

Vegan Pizza Quesadillas

Mondays are our grocery shopping days. As a matter of fact, I’m sitting here delaying our grocery trip and writing this instead.

We started at 10:30 am and ran a few errands. Plenty of time to be back for lunch.  An impulsive *quick* stop at Hobby Lobby derailed our entire morning and we had to *run* home for lunch before our grocery shopping. Two hours later and we’re still here procrastinating.

Anyway, this recipe just came to be today. I wanted SG to have something different than her vegan grilled cheese and fruit for lunch today.

It’s grocery day, and my fridge is BARE. I found my last pack of frozen cooked black beans in the freezer and decided to make my pizza beans mixture. We always use that for pizza nachos. But I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to carefully put the pizza beans, cheese & olives on each tortilla chip. (Crazy, right? Or maybe I just made complete sense to you and made you smile?)

So I decided to throw it all in a soft shell tortilla and call it a quesadilla.

Here’s how I made Vegan Pizza Quesadillas.

Ingredients:

    • 1 recipe of homemade pizza sauce (I add a generous sprinkle of nutritional yeast to my pizza sauce now)
    • 1-2 cups of black beans (rinsed if from a can or jar, defrosted if cooked and frozen)
    • Soft Flour Tortillas
    • Daiya Mozzarella Cheese Shreds
    • Nutritional Yeast
    • Sliced Green Olives

Directions:

  1. In a medium pot add beans and 5-8 big spoonfuls of pizza sauce. If you use 1 cup of beans, use 5 spoonfuls. If you use a can or jar of beans, you need more pizza sauce. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  2. I pour the hot beans into a measuring cup and use my immersion blender to puree the beans. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a blender or food processor. Be careful please. The beans are hot!
  3. Heat a skillet on medium.  Spread out a few tortillas and top half of the tortilla with the bean mixture, vegan cheese, nutritional yeast, and olives.  Fold the tortilla in half.
  4. Put the quesadilla on the hot skillet and heat until browned.  Flip and brown the other side.
  5. Slice and serve with extra homemade pizza sauce, if desired.

I didn’t have any green onions but I think they would also be great in these quesadillas.

Enjoy from my cocina (kitchen) to yours!

Load up half the tortilla only.

Load up half the tortilla only.

Close Up of the Yumminess!

Close Up of the Yumminess!

Pizza Quesadilla with Homemade Pizza Sauce for Dipping.

Pizza Quesadilla with Homemade Pizza Sauce for Dipping.

Tomato Basil Pizza: Dairy Free

Dairy Free Tomato Basil Pizza

Dairy Free Tomato Basil Pizza

I love Pinterest. I recently found this pin and was inspired. I knew I could make a dairy free version.

Add to the fact that my local Hy-Vee recently added an entire non GMO line of tomatoes of all shapes and sizes, and I knew that I could rock this pizza!

I used my regular pizza dough recipe, pizza sauce recipe and just added sliced tomatoes, Daiya mozzarella shreds & some fresh basil. Easy peasy!

Tomato Basil Pizza:
(adapted from this recipe from The Prudent Homemaker)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 recipe of this pizza dough (I throw it in the bread maker and press dough.)
  • 1 recipe of homemade pizza sauce (I add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast)
  • Daiya Mozzarella Shreds to Taste
  • 4-5 Sliced Roma Tomatoes
  • 5-6 Sliced Yellow Tomatoes (mine were smaller than the Romas- Sunset brand)
  • 2 Handfuls of Fresh Basil, torn

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces for thin crust pizza. Divide dough into 2 equal pizzas for a thicker crust.
  3. Use a floured rolling pin to roll out the dough into circles. Prick with a fork and bake each crust for 5 minutes.
  4. On partially baked crust, add sauce to your liking.
  5. Add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (optional.)
  6. Add Daiya cheese.
  7. Add tomato slices, making an AB pattern with the tomatoes. (Former 1st grade teacher here!) 🙂 Fill the pizza with tomatoes.
  8. Top with torn basil.
  9. Bake for 14-15 minutes.
  10. This recipe yields 2 pizzas.  (If you make 4 crusts you need to double the toppings and sauce.  I always freeze the extra 2 crusts for pizza night the following week.)

SG helped me make the entire pizza.  This is great for little hands.  She made the pizza sauce, added the vegan cheese, placed the tomatoes & tore the fresh basil and placed it on the pizza.  She has never been so excited for dinner to be ready.

And the Huzz declared this my best pizza ever!

Hurray for yummy new recipes!

Valentine’s Day Treat Ideas: Food Allergy Friendly

Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it!

The Huzz and I have never been huge Valentine’s Day people. It’s nice- don’t get me wrong. But I’ve never been a flowers and chocolates kind of gal. Now, a professional massage… that would be wonderful… HINT, HINT, HUZZ!

Add food allergies to the mix, and we now kind of, sort of celebrate Valentine’s Day.

I want to make Valentine’s Day special for SG.

Last year I pinned lots of links to food allergy friendly Valentine ideas.  I thought I’d share what I found.

Some of these are non-food ideas. Some have safe foods and some need a little tweaking. But they are all great ideas!

1. Glow Stick Valentines

2. Applesauce Pouch Valentine’s: “Valentine, You’re my Main Squeeze”

3. A Maze Valentine

4. Starburst Candy Valentine

5. Valentine’s Basket of God’s Love: Some of these will need adapting- like using an Enjoy Life candy bar.

6. Pencil Valentines

7. Heart Clothespins & Melted Crayons: I think it’d be super cute to add a magnet to the back of the clothespins.

8. The Cheese Thief has lots of cute ideas: Cuties, Pencils, Rulers, Play Dough & Toy Animals!

9. 25 No Candy Valentine Ideas

Valentine’s Party Ideas:
If you’re having a Valentine’s Day party, click here for my favorite Wacky Cake recipe. I tell how to make it chocolate or vanilla. Add some safe red, pink, and/or white frosting, and you’ll have fun, festive and SAFE cupcakes (or make it into a cake.)  We always serve safe juice boxes at our gatherings.

For a craft table:  Crayons, markers, themed stickers, construction paper, white paper, pipe cleaners and some red, white & pink beads.  If you’re really brave- kid scissors & glue.  🙂  Let the kids make what they make.  🙂  Or have them work on a Valentine’s Day idea listed above.

A few years ago, we had a Valentine’s Day party.  At the dollar store, I bought a pack of heart paper doilies and taped them close together on a wall.  This was our photo wall.  We took photos of our guests there.  It cost a $1!!

I’m more of a simple party person, ya know?  Less is more.

I hope these ideas help!