There is a word that makes people really afraid. That word is: tofu. Even before going vegan, I was a little afraid of tofu. But that's because I'd never had it cooked well! It was always mushy and had a weird texture. Tofu done the right way (it should be firm!) can be an awesome substitute for meat--in fact, Aurora prefers it to any meat she's tried!
This week's Meatless Monday recipe combines two of my absolute favorite foods: Pad Thai and Pizza. How could it not be awesome? It just so happens to contain tofu as a topping. Are you intrigued?
Q encouraged me to make a vegan dinner for him for Father's Day, and this one got rave reviews. As a bonus, this is my favorite, self-made Pad Thai peanut sauce recipe and can be easily mixed in with some rice noodles, sprouts, carrots, and scallions (or whatever other veggies you love) for a quick veg pad thai! It's like two recipes in one.
Vegan Pad Thai Pizza
2 tablespoons organic creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari to make it gluten free)
2 tablespoons sweet Thai chili sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic (or 2-3 cloves fresh garlic)
1 teaspoon agave syrup
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Your store bought favorite! I used Trader Joe's whole wheat crust. Bob's Red Mill makes a great Gluten Free mix.
5-7 oz. baked tofu, cut into small chunks (I used Trader Joe's Teriyaki version for added flavor.)
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/3 cup bean sprouts (or pea shoots, which we substituted since our TJ's awas out of bean sprouts!)
1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 small red pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (optional...we don't like cilantro all that much and I didn't have any on hand, so we didn't use it on last night's pizza)
1. Preheat oven to prepare pizza crust as necessary (you may need to pre-bake the crust before adding toppings, depending on what you're using. Read the directions first!). While waiting, chop up tofu and veggies.
2. Mix together sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Note: the sauce may seem like a small amount, but unlike tomato pizza sauce, peanut sauce is very rich, so a little goes a long way.
3. Once pizza crust is ready, cover with half the peanut sauce.
4. Toss tofu chunks with remaining peanut sauce and spread out on crust.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until crust is lightly brown (or according to directions). A pizza stone will make for the best crust, but a regular pizza pan will do.
6. Once pizza is cooked, pile veggies on top, sprinkling with peanuts and scallions last.
Voila! The pizza is so loaded that Q and I each only ate one piece. That also means we get to have leftovers tonight--SCORE.
But that's not all...I also made my favorite kale recipe as a side dish (even though the Pad Thai pizza ended up being SO filling). Kale is a food staple in the vegan world, both raw and cooked. This is my favorite quick recipe for kale--we eat it at least once a week. It's a delicious way to get those greens in! Q loves it too.
Q & A's Easy Sauteed Kale
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic (or 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped)
1 large bag kale (6-8 cups...it really cooks down)
2-3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)
2 (heaping) tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional, but makes it extra yummy.)
1. Add coconut oil to frying pan on medium heat. When it starts to bubble a bit, add garlic and brown lightly, 1-2 minutes.
2. Add kale to pan, one large bunch at a time. To help it cook down (and create a sauce), I add 1-2 tablespoons water to the first batch to heat things up.
3. Continue adding kale to pan, tossing well with garlic/oil mixture. The kale will turn a beautiful dark green and wilt.
4. Once kale is almost completely wilted, add soy sauce to pan and toss to coat the kale.
5. Add nutritional yeast and mix well. (It adds a slightly nutty, cheesy flavor, and it's so good for you!)
This was a yummy, easy, vegan Father's Day meal--I hope you'll try it and let me know what you think, if you think of any other yummy pizza toppings! And if you have a favorite kale recipe, send it my way too!