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!)

 

BBQ Bean Sammies & Dairy & Egg Free Coleslaw

Y’all!  The Local Vegan has an amazing recipe!  It has become one of our family favorites.  I’m not gonna write out Bailey Rae’s recipe but instead tell you the changes I made for our family.

BBQ Sammie

Back in Iowa we had safe store bought buns.  I miss those buns.

BBQ Sammie 2

On Toasted Homemade Bread

Here is the original recipe, which I follow almost to a T.  I don’t make the green beans and I omit the poppyseeds in the slaw.  I usually serve roasted carrots or OreIda french fries because SG loves them.  And hey, it’s safe.  What can I say?

I use Randall’s white northern beans, but feel free to use pinto beans as the original recipe does.  I make my own BBQ sauce because I have to.  Lately, all store bought BBQ sauce makes MY tongue tingle and as a food allergy mom I know that is not good.

Here is the homemade BBQ sauce recipe I make from Once a Month Meals.  I omit the Worcestershire sauce and add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid aminos (just like soy sauce) instead.

I have not found safe store bought bread in SC so I make my own.  We have used this homemade regular white bread (toast first in the toaster or else the bread gets soggy) and I’ve also served this on these amazing homemade dinner rolls.  My fave is on the dinner rolls, but more often we use the homemade white bread because it’s a lot easier to make.

Homemade Rolls

Homemade Dinner Rolls

Homemade Bread

Homemade Dairy & Egg Free Bread 

Let’s talk about the beans!  If I am making enough for one dinner I use a 24 oz jar (roughly 2 cans) of beans.  Today for the first time ever, I used a 48 oz jar of beans and I ended up with double. I did not even have to make double BBQ sauce because I use 1.5 cups of homemade sauce per recipe.  Woot woot!  One 8×8 dish of BBQ beans is in the freezer right now.  I cannot tell you how tickled pink I am about that.  I love my freezer meals!

Freezer BBQ Beans

I hope y’all enjoy this recipe.  We sure do.

 

 

 

 

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!

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

We just wrapped up a rockin’ Barbie birthday party yesterday for our SG. She turns five next Saturday, but since her birthday always falls around Thanksgiving, we usually celebrate it a week early. All this to say I’m behind the ball for Thanksgiving prep because I was busy preparing for her party.

This morning has been my catch up time. Here’s what is on the menu for this Thanksgiving. And y’all, I better get to getting! The fam has agreed to a dairy, egg, beef & pork gelatin free Thanksgiving but that means I make it all. I gladly do it because it means I can relax around the safe food and know that my daughter won’t react to cross contamination. Totally worth it!

Menu for Thanksgiving 2015

Cutlets

Gravy  (I omit the onion now and add 2 teaspoons of onion powder- makes the gravy smoother.)

Ranch Mashed Potatoes

Simmered Fresh Green Beans (Rinse beans.  Snap off ends.  Snap beans in half.  In a pan, cover beans with vegetable broth.  Sprinkle some garlic powder, onion powder & Adobo seasoning.  Simmer until tender.)

Arroz con Gandules (No recipe yet.  My mom is going to teach me how this week!)

Dinner Rolls (Sub non-dairy milk and vegan butter. Use the bread machine to make dough on dough setting.)

Pumpkin Pie with Coco Whip

Cherry Pie and/or Apple Pie (I hope to make both.)

Buckeyes (If I have time and energy left!)

And if I can find an easy vegan carrot cake recipe, I’d love to make that. Does anyone have a good and safe carrot cake recipe to share?

Happy (early) Thanksgiving!  I hope you have a wonderful and safe day filled with love!

Above are the cutlets and gravy, dinner rolls, and cherry and apple pie.

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 Soup

Quick, Easy & Yummy!  3 Must Haves for My Kitchen.

Quick, Easy & Yummy! 3 Must Haves for My Kitchen.

I have changed the way I menu plan. For a few months now, I’ve dedicated days of the week to certain foods. On Wednesdays I make soups. I’ve tried lots of new soup recipes lately.

I pinned this recipe and knew it needed a few substitutions. Last Wednesday afternoon, I was going to follow the recipe, found it online and said aloud, “Oops! This is a CROCKPOT recipe!” It was 4 pm, y’all. Too late for the crockpot. I decided to use the original recipe as a very loose guide. I made lots of changes.

The end result? Delish. A recipe worth repeating. And my friend Lisa had it for lunch the next day and said it was a recipe she would make… woot woot!

I didn’t even use our favorite Daiya mozzarella shreds in the soup. I used nutritional yeast to give it a slightly cheesy taste. I did use the mozz shreds on the homemade croutons. Homemade as in the bread came from my bread machine…. YUM! Feel free to use store bought bread or even store bought croutons.

This recipe is SO easy! I also think it will freeze well, although I didn’t freeze it because we ate it all!

Here’s how I made Vegan Pizza Soup.

Vegan Pizza Soup
(adapted and inspired by this recipe)

Ingredients:

Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of Homemade Pizza Sauce (I decrease the pepper. I use 1/4 tsp pepper for double batch of sauce)
  • 3 Cups Water
  • Chopped Green Olives (Quantity to your preference- I want an olive in every bite!)
  • 1/2 Green Bell Pepper, Diced (feel free to use an entire bell pepper if you want)
  • 1 Can/Jar of Red Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained, or 2 Cups of Cooked Kidney Beans (black beans would work, too)
  • 1/2 to 1 Cup of Cooked Pasta (I used penne)
  • Nutritional yeast

Homemade Croutons Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Add all the soup ingredients except for the pasta and yeast to a big pot and bring to a boil. Reduce and let simmer for flavors to meld. I think I simmered for maybe 15 minutes.
  2. While the soup simmers, prepare the croutons. Preheat the oven to broil on high.
  3. Butter the bread, generously sprinkle the garlic powder on the bread and sprinkle with Daiya Mozzarella shreds.
  4. Broil until nicely browned. Keep an eye on it because it can go from brown to burned very quickly. 🙂 Take out of the oven and let cool just slightly. Slice the bread into crouton sized pieces.
  5. Back to the soup.  Add cooked pasta and a generous sprinkle of nutritional yeast to the soup pot. Stir and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until the pasta is heated through.
  6. Ladle soup into a bowl and top with the homemade croutons.
Pizza Soup

Pizza Soup with Homemade Croutons

Vegan Pizza Soup with Homemade Croutons.  The perfect bite!

The perfect bite!

Here’s a random side note.  I linked to Randall Beans above in the ingredients list.  I have a nickel allergy and since nickel can be in cans, I have to avoid all canned foods.  For beans, I use dried beans and cook them myself.  It’s super budget friendly.  I recently found JARRED beans by Randall Beans and called and they are a dairy and egg free facility…WOOT WOOT!  Major score for me!  Anyway, I’m LOVING these jarred beans.  My life just got a little easier.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Do you have any soup recipes to share?

11 Quick and Easy Ideas for Leftover Chicken

I love leftovers! My little family is quite happy to eat the same exact meal two nights in a row, as am I.

However, I’ve been trying to be more creative in my menu planning.

Leftover drumsticks?  Pick the meat off and use it for a new recipe the next day.  Leftover chicken breast?  Chop it or shred it for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner.

Here’s a list of ideas of what to do with leftover chicken.

  1. Make Chicken Salad (serve on homemade rolls, sandwich bread or crackers)
  2. Make Chicken Nachos (with or without barbecue sauce)
  3. Make Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wraps
  4. Make Chicken & Daiya “Cheese” Quesadillas
  5. Make Chicken & Rice Soup
  6. Make Chicken Noodle Soup (sub vegan butter and safe noodles)
  7. Make Meat & “Cheesy Ranch” Rollup
  8. Make Ally’s 20 Minute Skillet Stir Fry
  9. Make “Cheesy” Taco Stuffed Crescent Rolls
  10. Make BBQ Chicken Pizza
  11. Make Crispy Southwestern Chicken Wraps

Numbers 7 & 10 use a homemade pizza dough.  It’s not quick, but it is easy because it uses the bread machine to make the dough.  Use a safe pre-made dough for these if you’re short on time.

I love cooking chicken once and using it for two meals.  If you menu plan, print this list and keep it handy.  It will help you plan easy meals for leftover chicken.  I know I’m excited to use this list when I menu plan.

I hope these 11 quick and easy ideas for leftovers help with stretching the budget and menu planning.

Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza

Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza