Tag Archives: summer recipe

Greek Tofu Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce

One of my favorite restaurants in the world is this little Greek place from my home town. It’s family owned, quaint, and consistently delicious. My family has been going here since I was a kid. As a teenager, my friends and I would order it for take out, and then drive our cars to the bay and chow down while we watched the waves crash on the shore. To say I love Greek food is an understatement.

It’s been pretty sad for me to give up Greek food. Sure, I have falafel and hummus, but I missed tzatziki. Today I decided to veganize one of my all time favorite Aegean-inspired meals. Chicken souvlaki –> Tofu souvlaki. It honestly turned out better than I could have imagined!

To start, I bought extra firm tofu, pressed it to squeeze out the liquid, chopped it into cubes, and seasoned it. It’s super important to really press tofu if you want it to get firm and crisp. Do not skip this part or else you will end up with mushy, bland blocks of tofu!

My trick is to take two dish towels, fold each of them in half 3x, put the tofu block between the towels, and then place between two plates. (Dish towels are better than paper towels because they will absorb more liquid- not to mention more eco friendly). Press down on the top plate and squeeze it out! Place something heavy on the top plate and return to the fridge to finish chilling and draining. Alternatively, if you are good at planning ahead, pressing and then freezing tofu 24 hours in advance (and subsequently defrosting) does wonders for the texture as well!

Greek Tofu Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A classic Greek favorite that's not falafel


I recommend pressing the tofu before you do anything else, then making the tzatziki sauce so you have time for it to drain.

Ingredients

    For the Souvlaki:
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • For the Sandwich:
  • 1 small red onion or 1/2 of a large red onion
  • 1 large or 2 small tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of spinach or lettuce
  • 1 package of pita bread
  • 1 small cucumber or 1/2 large cucumber
  • For the Tzatziki:
  • 2 cups of plain, unsweetened, plant based yogurt
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 tsp white vinegar or 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped dill or mint
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions

  1. Start with the tofu. Drain the water out of the package and press the tofu between two folded up dish towels and place between two plates to squeeze out as much water as possible. Place a heavy object on the top plate and return to the fridge to continue draining while you make the tzatziki.
  2. If using an oven to bake the tofu, begin pre-heating the oven to 400 degrees. To make the tzatziki, begin by peeling the cucumber. Either grate the cucumber over a bowl OR coarse chop the cucumber and place in a food processor and pulse until it is ground into fine pieces. Take the ground cucumber and strain through a cheese cloth, thin towel, or stack of paper towels. Squeeze the cloth to get out as much liquid as possible, then add the grated cucumber to a large mixing bowl and add the yogurt, oil, garlic salt, pepper, dill (or mint), and vinegar (or lemon). Stir to combine and place in fridge while you return to the tofu.
  3. Now that you are done with the tzatziki, the tofu should have had enough time to drain. In a small bowl, combine the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and oregano. Chop the tofu into small cubes and sprinkle on both sides with the dry seasonings. If baking the tofu, it will likely take 30 minutes to get firm and dry, depending on your oven. Check on the tofu every 10 minutes and flip each time. The tofu is done when it is golden brown and slightly crisp on all sides. If using an air fryer, set to 400 degrees as well. You will likely need only 20 minutes depending on your air fryer. Remember to turn halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  4. While the tofu is baking, chop the vegetables to combine in the pita. I actually forgot to get an extra cucumber today, but I do recommend it to balance out the sharpness of the red onion!
  5. When the tofu is complete, combine your veggies, greens, and tofu on the pita and drizzle with tzatziki. Enjoy!

I hope you love it as much as I did. Drop a comment below if you try it!

Edamame Buddha Bowl

I was inspired to make this “Buddha Bowl” after coming back from my trip to Austin! It was INSANELY challenging to eat healthy and I came back craving vegetables in a way I never thought possible! After my trip I went straight into working a long shift so I needed a decent meal prep to get me through the next few work days. Out came this! My favorite part is that you can easily enjoy it hot or cold- I love being able to have it either way on these hot summer days!

This bowl was super easy to make. It’s easily customizable and doesn’t require a fancy dressing recipe (although I do make an awesome home made Thai peanut dressing from scratch, this time I just got one pre made from Sprouts). It took me about 35 minutes including final assembly.

Edamame Buddha Bowl

  • Difficulty: easy
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A fresh, light, Asian inspired recipe for an easy weekday dinner or meal prep



For this bowl, I used a Thai peanut dressing I bought from the store, feel free to just sprinkle on some soy or teriyaki sauce, or just go for a squeeze of lime!

Ingredients

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 cups of shelled edamame
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup of chopped or shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup of uncooked brown rice
  • cilantro, lime, dressing of choice for garnishing and flavoring

Directions

  1. Begin by cooking the brown rice. In a medium saucepan, bring at least 6 cups of water to a boil and add the rice. Continue to boil for 30 minutes, then drain the water, cover, and let sit in its steam for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
  2. While the rice is boiling, cook the edamame. Try to buy edamame already shelled to save time. Then you just have to boil for 5 minutes! Pop another sauce pan full of water on the stove and boil the edamame for 5 minutes. Drain the water when finished and set aside.
  3. While the rice and edamame are cooking, chop the broccoli into bite sized pieces. Then, steam the broccoli in the stove top or microwave to desired tenderness (I like to keep mine barely cooked and on the crunchy side for this specific recipe). I just took a third pan and put about a cup of water on the bottom, threw the florets on top, covered with a lid and simmered for five minutes.
  4. While the rice and broccoli are cooking, chop up the rest of the veggies. I chopped up my cucumber and used a veggie peeler for the carrots, but cut them up any way you prefer. For the red cabbage I do recommend using a food processor for shredding, but I actually just cut up about 1/4 of the head of the cabbage and plan to use the rest to make a coleslaw this weekend.
  5. Assemble the ingredients and garnish with chopped cilantro, a wedge of lime, and your favorite asian dressing (all of which are optional of course)!

I hope you enjoy! Drop a comment and let me know what you link. What are some of your favorite bowl ideas?

Mexican Inspired Vegan Ceviche

This recipe may appear extremely simple (spoiler alert: it is), but trust me, when the flavors come together it is…unbelievably delicious. It has been tested on my vegan-suspicious-seafood-snob parents. Not only did it pass with flying colors, they’re making it tonight and bringing it to a barbecue for all their meat eating friends!

This recipe was specifically inspired by a trip I took to Cancun with my husband. I will say seafood was the last thing to go (even after cheese!) on my plant based transition. After all, what is more refreshing than a cool, limey ceviche on a hot, sunny day? I won’t lie to you, I missed it…that is until I went to a restaurant in Philly called Bar Bombón (which you absolutely MUST try if you are ever in Philadelphia). I saw vegan ceviche on their menu and knew I NEEDED to try it. Their ceviche used hearts of palm, which does in fact, have a seafood look about it, and no, is not from the same type of palm that is killing orangutans in Indonesia and Malaysia.

(PS: If you’re not up to date on the palm oil crisis, I encourage you to take a quick gander… https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/8-things-know-about-palm-oil)

After trying their ceviche, I realized it was extremely similar to a recipe I already have been making for years (but without the palm)! So I thought to myself…I can do this!

Mexican Inspired Vegan Ceviche

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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A cool, refreshing summer dish perfect for parties.


Tip: Serve in a cocktail glass and a fork like ceviche, with tortilla chips like a dip, or use it like a side for any summer dish!

Ingredients

  • 1 large( or 2 small) tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion (or 1/2 large onion)
  • 1 mango
  • 1 lime
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 can of hearts of palm, drained and rinsed (found in grocery store with canned veggies)
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro (or more if you like!)
  • Salt

Directions

  1. Drain and rinse hearts of palm and cut into small pieces (about 1/4 inch)
  2. Chop red onion, mango, tomatoes, and avocado small and combine with hearts of palm in large mixing bowl (tip: the smaller the red onion is chopped, the better for flavor distribution)
  3. Squeeze juice of one lime over bowl, get out as much juice as you can! The more lime the better.
  4. Chop or use kitchen scissors to cut the cilantro into fine pieces and add to bowl
  5. Add salt (I used about 1/2 tsp, you don’t need much) and mix!
  6. Pop the bowl in the fridge and let sit for at least 30 minutes (or longer) for the flavors to marinate. Enjoy!

Drop a comment if you make it and let me know what you think!

Pineapple Teriyaki Tofu

Pineapple Teriyaki Tofu

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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About: This recipe is a sweet and savory summer dish. It’s fully vegan, highly customizable, and best of all requires only one pan! I know it looks like a lot of steps but stay with me! The three main tasks of this meal are baking the tofu, chopping the veggies, and sautéing the teriyaki sauce.

Original recipe inspiration: Sticky Teriyaki Tofu by Vegan Travel Eats (https://vegantraveleats.com)

Additional ideas: Rather than making this a stir-fry, try grilling! You will still need to make the teriyaki glaze in a pan and bake the tofu to make sure it’s crispy, but don’t add in the solid pineapple or veggies. Instead, take a bamboo skewer and pop on the raw veggies, pineapple, and cooked tofu and brush the teriyaki glaze on. Then throw on the grill and cook until the veggies are done! You may need to add more corn starch or simmer longer to get it to thicken.

Optional shortcuts: Using canned pineapple and/or store bought sauce of choice.

Serving suggestions: Make with rice or nothing at all! Feel free to add any other veggies that make your heart sing.

Ingredients

    For the stir fry
  • 1 pineapple (chopped, with juices kept in separate bowl for teriyaki sauce)
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 package extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup corn starch (plus 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper)
  • For the teriyaki sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp ginger (about a 1 inch piece)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil (can substitute any oil if you don’t have it)
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (or coconut aminos or tamari)
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp corn starch dissolved in 2 tsp of cold water
  • -Optional: if you like it sweet, add 1 tbsp coconut sugar (or agave syrup or maple syrup). The pineapple will naturally sweeten it up, so add sweetener to taste
  • Optional: if you like a little heat, can add 1 tsp of chili garlic sauce or 1/2 tsp of red chili pepper flakes. Feel free to add much or as little heat as you like!

Directions

    For the Tofu: To get the tofu nice and crisp, I HIGHLY recommend planning ahead and squeezing out the excess moisture. This is less important if you enjoy tofu, but extremely important if you have a meat eater around that is not on team tofu yet.
  1. Drain and Press the tofu:
  2. Open the package of tofu and drain any excess water. To press, take two dish towels and fold them up into nicely packed rectangles (fold in half about 3x). Place the tofu between the dish towels and “smoosh” between two plates. To make sure tofu is comes out as firm as possible, place in refrigerator for two hours. If tight on time, gently press on the top plate to get out as much water as possible, then leave in the fridge as long as you can while you prep the other ingredients.
  3. Once the tofu is ready, pre heat oven or air fryer to 400 degrees.
  4. While the oven is pre heating, take the tofu out of fridge and cut into small cubes (about 1/2 inch in size).
  5. Toss the cubes in a medium sized bowl with the corn starch plus salt and pepper. Make sure the cubes are covered on all sides
  6. Spray down a baking sheet with an oil that can handle a high heat (avocado, canola, and grape seed oil all work). Place tofu cubes on sheet and spray a light coat of the same oil on top.
  7. If using an air fryer: bake for five minutes, flip, and then bake for another 5 minutes. The tofu will have a light golden brown appearance when finished. If using an oven: may take 7-10 minutes per side depending on your oven. Set aside on a plate when done.

While the tofu bakes, make your teriyaki sauce
1. Before you do anything else: cut your pineapple into 1 inch chunks, making sure to preserve the juices for your teriyaki sauce later.
(I found it easiest to take a chef’s knife and cut the entire pineapple in half vertically, then score hashmarks into the flesh of the pineapple vertically and horizontally, then spoon out the pieces into a bowl. This not only preserves the pineapple itself as a bowl for a beautiful presentation later, but it also helps to preserve the pineapple juices)
2. After you are done cutting the pineapple, strain out the bowl of pineapple into a second empty bowl so that you can collect the juices for your sauce. I ended up having about 1/3 cup of pineapple juice.
3. Mince the garlic and ginger before you start the sauce.
(If the ginger is fresh, I like to use a vegetable peeler to get the skin off, then use a grater for speed and also enhancing the disbursement of flavor throughout the dish)
3. Take a sauce pan, add the sesame oil, and turn to a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and ginger, stirring for about 2 minutes until it becomes fragrant.
4. Add all other ingredients including soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, sugar, chili garlic sauce (or chili pepper flakes), pineapple juice, and dissolved corn starch. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down low to simmer with the lid off for about 10 min, stirring frequently.
5. While the sauce is simmering, chop the onion and bell pepper.
6. After the sauce simmers for about 10 minutes, add the red onion, bell pepper, and half of the pineapple to the pan (save the rest for a snack later), stir frequently until the onion and pepper begin to soften (approx 5 min). If your sauce is too thick, cover the pan with lid. If too thin, take the lid off!
7. By now the tofu is most certainly done! Toss the crispy tofu into the pan and cover it with that teriyaki juicy goodness. Feel free to turn the heat off, you’re done!