Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie with Cacao Nibs

yummy smoothie

Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie with Cacao Nibs

Do you have one of those people at your house? You know the kind. The kind of people, that if the banana has a spot or two (or twenty) on it, it suddenly becomes inedible. Yeah, those people. Poor banana, it didn’t do anything to deserve such disrespect.

spotty banana

Unloved and unwanted

I say we respect the spotty banana! It’s just now coming into it’s full flavor! It’s just perfect for banana breads and muffins. It’s even better to just slice up and freeze. Use those frozen chunks of yummy banana for a fast, healthy, ice cream substitute after a quick trip in the food processor, or better yet, use them for this smoothie! We love you , spotty banana! So, take that banana and peel it.

peel the nana

peel the nana

Slice it up, put it on a plate and freeze it.

frozen banana

frozen banana

Now, we’re ready to make this awesome, decadent, smoothie.

cacao nib smnoothie

Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie with Cacao Nibs

Cacao nibs. Let’s talk about them, ok? You heard on some Doctor’s show, that these are a super food! A power house of nutrition! Rush right out and buy some! I know I did. Then, I popped a handful into my mouth and discovered that these suckers are quite bitter. I guess you could get used to eating them, but I’d rather add them to some that already tastes good, so I can make it taste awesome! That, right there, is this, oh so, good smoothie. This is what I have almost every day for breakfast. It fills me up, and keeps me going until lunch, or later. It fills me up without making me feel full. You know what I mean? You get none of that bloat, that you get from whatever breakfast sandwich you gobble down. And, if you already have frozen bananas in the freezer, tucked away in a zip top baggie, this smoothie takes scant minutes to make. Take it on the road. The ultimate fast food!

smoothie stuff

The fixings

You’ll need half a frozen banana, some silken tofu, unsweetened vanilla almond milk – or milk of your choice – cacao nibs, almond butter and a couple of ice cubes.

Measure out 1/2 cup of vanilla almond milk, 1/4 cup of silken tofu, 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs, and 1 1/2  tablespoons of almond butter.

measure out the ingredients

measure out the ingredients

Get out your blender. Drop 5 ice cubes and 4 to 6 one inch slices of frozen banana into it.

add the ice and bananas in

add the ice and bananas in

Then, add in the rest of the ingredients.

add the rest into the blender

add the rest into the blender

Then, cap that blender up and flip the switch!

Blenderization!

Blenderization!

Blend it until it’s as smooth as you like it. I wait until I no longer hear the ice cubes banging around. If it’s too thick, thin it out with a bit of water. Then pour it into a glass and enjoy. Easy-peasy!

Chocolate, nutty, banana awesomeness!

Chocolate, nutty, banana awesomeness!

Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie with Cacao Nibs
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16 ounces
 
A decadent, protein filled smoothie to start your day. Or, for anytime!
Ingredients
  • 5 ice cubes, or as much as needed
  • ½ peeled banana, sliced and frozen
  • ¼ cup silken tofu
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or equivalent milk substitute.
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Almond butter
  • 2 Tablespoons cacao nibs
  • Water, as needed to thin smoothie
Instructions
  1. Place 5 ice cubes in the bottom of your blender, along with the frozen banana slices.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Serve immediately. Garnish with additional cacao nibs and a sprig of fresh mint, if desired.

This tastes like, like – a nutty, chocolaty, nana milkshake. Like something that you shouldn’t have because it’s sooo good! Except! There’s nothing bad in here. Nope, nada. It’s all good for you. So, be good to yourself and have this. Trust me, you’ll love it! You don’t even have to have it for breakfast. This is an excellent, energizer for lunch.

Tofu Salsa Cocktail

tofu cocktail

Tofu Salsa Cocktail

I’m always looking for cool, delicious new salads to try. I like to experiment with things I’ve eaten or seen on restaurant menus. That’s what happened here. I picked this off a menu. We were in North Little Rock, visiting our son. He said that a local restaurant, the Casa Mexicana, had some good vegetarian options. So, we went there. On the menu was something called Mexican Cocktail. It was boiled shrimp served in a mixture of spicy tomato sauce, cilantro, avocado and pico de gallo. By the time we left, I was already thinking of a way to make it better. That’s how this recipe came about. Mix some up and have it for your July 4th celebrations. It’s cool and refreshing. And yummy. Oh so, yummy.

The ingredients –

ingredients

the ingredients

You’ll need firm tofu, an onion, 2 tomatoes, 2 avocados, a jalapeno, lime, cilantro, tamari sauce and ketchup. Yes, ketchup. The secret to a great salsa!

Open the tofu and drain out the water. Sandwich the tofu between 2, paper towel lined plates and put a weight on top. Press it for at least 30 minutes. You gotta get that excess water out.

press tofu

tofu press

Get out a big bowl. This makes 8 cups of cocktail, so go large. Core and chop the tomatoes.

chop tomatoes

chop tomatoes

You want at least 2 cups. 3 cups is better. If you love tomatoes, that is. We love tomatoes!

tomatoes

3 cups!

Dump them into the bowl. Dice up 1/2 cup of onion and add it to the bowl.

diced onion

half an onion

Chop up 1/4 cup of cilantro and dump it into the bowl.

cilantro

1/4 cup of cilantro

Now, about the jalapeno, if you like it hot, just dice up the whole thing. If you like flavor without the burning tongue, seed and devein the jalapeno. Dice it up and add to the bowl.

jalapeno dice

diced jalapeno

Measure out a tablespoon of tamari sauce (or Bragg’s liquid aminos, or soy sauce) and dump it in, too.

tamari sauce

tablespoon of tamari

Squeeze out 1 cup of ketchup and, guess what? Right, dump it in the bowl. We’re all about the excitement here.

ketchup

1 cup of ketchup

This is where we’re at so far.

salsa mix

Almost done

Now, because avocados are tricky – they like to turn brown on you – we waited to add them. So, dice up that avocado!

diced avocado

it’s avocado time!

And toss it in the bowl!

cocktail mix

add the avocado

Add in some salt and pepper, too. We haven’t stirred the mess up yet, because now, were going to squeeze the lime juice over the avocado, to keep it from browning. It’s lime time.

lime juice

Squeeze the juice over the avocado

Now, now, you can mix it up.

salsa cocktail

Mix it up!

Time for the block of tofu.

tofu

block of tofu

I know, I know, it doesn’t look like much, does it. But you just wait! It’s going to be amazing. OK, cut it in half, width-wise.

tofu halves

2 halves

Then, cut each half into 1 inch cubes.

tofu cubes

cube the tofu

And, add it to the bowl.

tofu cocktail

Here’s the tofu!

Mix it up, so that all the tofu is coated with the salsa cocktail mixture.

tofu salsa cocktail

fold in the tofu

Cover it up and chill it in the fridge for at least an hour. Longer is just fine. Remember, you squeezed that lime juice over the avocado, so it won’t turn brown. When you’re ready to serve, put 1 1/2 cups into a pretty glass, top with a cilantro leaf and eat! I used these margarita glasses. So cute! And there you have it. Tofu Salsa Cocktail. Created from a listing in a restaurant menu. Inspiration comes from everywhere. Enjoy!

Tofu Salsa Cocktail

Tofu Salsa Cocktails

Tofu Salsa Cocktail
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A refreshing blend of spicy salsa and tofu for a perfect appetizer.
Ingredients
  • 1 – 16 ounce package of firm tofu
  • 2 – tomatoes
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 – jalapeno, seeded, diced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon tamari sauce
  • 2 – avocado, pitted, then cubed
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Drain the tofu and press between two plates for 30 minutes to remove excess moisture.
  2. Core the tomatoes and chop them. You want at least two cups. Place in a large bowl.
  3. To the bowl, add the diced onion, chopped cilantro, diced jalapeno, ketchup, tamari sauce, cubed avocado, and lime juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, combine well.
  4. Cut the tofu block into 1 inch cubes. Add to the bowl. Fold the tofu into the tomato mixture until all the tofu is coated and it is well blended. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Makes 8 cups.
  5. Spoon cocktail mixture into pretty glasses, garnish with additional cilantro and serve.
Tofu Salsa Cocktail

Tofu Salsa Cocktail

Avocado and Tofu Salad Wraps

Avocado and Tofu Salad Wraps

Avocado and Tofu Salad Wraps

This recipe is for a quick and easy lunch. These wraps pack so easy, that you’ll be able to take one anywhere. We just took ours on a road trip from Florida to Arkansas. They travel well and are far better for you than standard roadside fare.

Since I live in a sub-tropical climate, we have access to avocados year round. I take full advantage of that fact and eat them all up, as often as possible! They are a good source of potassium, vitamin C and fiber! Get your avocados out and let’s get started.

The ingredients.

avocado wrap ingred

Oh look, tofu!

Hmm, did I forget to mention that the wrap also has tofu in it? Well, it does. Did you know that tofu is an excellent source of calcium and iron? Now you do! The tofu ups the protein of the avocado salad mix. More protein means you stay fuller, longer. I chose the sun dried tomato wraps this time, but any tortilla will do.

Step one – open and drain the tofu. Pat it dry with paper towels and set it aside.

tofu

dry the tofu

Step two – cut 2 avocados in half and remove the pits.

half avocados

halve the avocados

Step 3 – Scoop out the innards and dump them into a medium sized bowl.

avocados

the green stuff

Step 493 – Cut your lime in half.

limes

limes

Using one half of the lime, (save the other half for a margarita) squeeze the juice over the avocados and mash lightly.

mashed avocado

mash it up

Grab that tofu. You only need 8 ounces, so cut it in half and save the other half for something else.

tofu

8 ounces

Slice it into about 6 slices.

tofu slices

tofu slices

Then, crumble the slices over the avocado in the bowl.

crumbled tofu

Crumbled tofu

Mash it all up, again.

tofu avocado mash

mash it again

Now, get out the red onion and cut off a chunk. Then, dice up about 1/4 cups worth.

diced red onion

diced red onion

Add the onion, 1/4 cup of mayo, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt & 1/4 teaspoon of pepper into the bowl.

add remaining ingredients

dump in the rest

Mix all the ingredients together until they are well combined. Nobody wants a big wad of onions in the middle of their wrap.

mixed up

mix it all up

Take out 6 tortillas and heat them according to the package instructions. Lay one flat and spread 1/2 cup of salad mix along the bottom edge.

wrap 1

Keep the sides empty

Fold the edges in, like this –

wrap 2

fold in the sides

then, roll it up.

wrap 3

roll it up

All done! Plate it up with a nice, kosher, dill pickle and some yummy, veggie chips and ring the dinner bell. Lunch is served.

Avocado and Tofu Salad Wraps

Lunch Time!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Avocado and Tofu Salad Wraps
Author: 
Recipe type: Sandwich
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A tasty, wrap sandwich full of nutrient-dense avocado and tofu salad.
Ingredients
  • 8 oz of firm tofu
  • 2 avocados
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package of tortillas
Instructions
  1. Open and drain the tofu. Pat dry. Cut into 6 slices. Set aside.
  2. Cut avocados in half and remove pit. Scoop out middle into a medium size bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over and smash lightly. Take each tofu slice and crumble into the bowl with the avocado. Smash lightly.
  3. Add in the diced red onion, mayonnaise, curry powder, salt & pepper. Combine well.
  4. Remove 6 tortillas and warm according to package instructions. Place a ½ cup of avocado salad along one edge, tuck sides in and fold over, envelope style.
  5. Serve with a hearty pickle and some chips. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Tofu Bacon Strips

vegetarian bacon

Tofu bacon strips

This, while not the most attractive strip in the world, is a mighty tasty strip. We have it with breakfast a lot. It gives you a *bacon* you can have with your eggs. It gives you something to put on bread with slices of tomato, lettuce and mayo. Not a BLT, but a TLT. A tofu, lettuce & tomato sandwich. It’s a multi-tasker! A crispy, sweet, with a hint of smoky, multi-tasker. I’m pretty sure that if you give this a try, you’ll be hooked, too.

The set up –

tofu bacon ingredients

tofu bacon ingredients

You’ll need tofu, of course. I get Wildwood brand from my coop. According to their website, they are a non-gmo food. Some nutritional yeast, to give it the savory flavors, either Bragg liquid aminos, or a low sodium soy sauce, some liquid smoke and maple syrup. If Coombs Family Farms maple syrup is available to you, use it. So good, and organic, even.

drain the tofu

Drain the excess water.

First off, open the pack of tofu and drain it. Let it drip for a while, then place it on a couple of paper towels and pat it dry.

patting tofu dry

Give it a light squish

Tofu is a sponge. You want to remove the excess water, so it can soak up the new flavors. Now, here’s a tip from me. It’s just for you, so don’t spread it around. It’ll be our secret. Use a cheese slicer to cut the tofu into strips! Amazing! Now, shush, remember., it’s our secret. Stand the tofu up on it’s narrow end, like a little tofu tower, and run the cheese slicer down the length.

slicing tofu

This is a super secret technique!

Depending on your brand of tofu, you should get a dozen slices.

tofu slices

12 planks of tofu.

Now, for the marinade. Measure out a cup of the Braggs, 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke. This Colgin Liquid Smoke is gluten free & vegan, so you can use it to flavor so many things. Dips, sauces, vegetables – ohhh, how about a smoky, stuffed mushroom!

marinade

marinade mix

Pour all the marinade mixings into a container that is big enough to hold the marinade, the tofu and will give you some room to shake it around a bit.

marinade mix

Mix it all up.

Add the tofu slices.

tofu

Add the slices.

Secure the lid and give it a gentle shake to distribute the slices and marinade.

tofu bacon

Shake it up, baby.

Now, put it in the fridge and let it marinate for at least a day. I’ve gone as much at 3 days before, but, I had far less tofu bacon to use. Seems that this marinated tofu is just dandy over a salad or scrambled into some eggs. If you can refrain from gobbling it up, give it a gentle shake whenever you open the fridge. We want everybody in the pool to get equal marinating time.

For cooking day, get out a heavy fry pan, cast iron or a large non-stick pan will work. Heat over medium heat. Give the pan a light coating of oil.

hot pan

A hot fry pan.

When the oil is shimmery, add the tofu slices – after you have shaken off the excess marinade – to the pan. It’s going to crackle and spit oil all over. Fry as many as can fit easily in the pan. You have to flip these over, so no crowding the pan. After about 2 to 3 minutes, flip them over.

fake bacon

fake bacony goodness

You want a nice browness to it. If you want it darker, it’s ok to flip it more than once. Darker is crispier. After another 3 minutes or when you want it, remove the slices to a rack and keep in a warmed oven.

tofu bacon

Fakin’  Bacon!

Add more oil, and do the next batch. Continue until all tofu bacon is cooked. Serve with your favorite breakfast staple. This time, we had ours with polenta topped with spinach sauteed with onions, and a couple of fried eggs. Adapted from a recipe by thekitchn.com that my son shared with me. Heavenly. Delicious. Slightly naughty. This should be your next breakfast!

Tofu bacon strips

Tofu bacon & eggs

Recipe!

Tofu Bacon Strips
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A smoky, sweet, strip of fried tofu to add to your breakfasts or sandwiches.
Ingredients
  • 1 14 oz package of extra firm tofu or similar size
  • 1 cup Bragg liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid smoke
  • vegetable oil as necessary
Instructions
  1. Open and drain the tofu. Pat off extra moisture with paper towels and transfer to cutting board. Stand the tofu up length wise. Using a cheese slicer or a steady knife hand, slice the tofu in to strips along the narrow edge. You'll get about 12 strips.
  2. Measure out the rest of the ingredients and pour into a lidded container. Use one that will hold all the tofu. Then, add the tofu slices, seal and give a gentle shake to distribute the marinade.
  3. Allow the tofu to marinate in the fridge for at least one day. Give it an occasional shake to keep all the slices covered.
  4. Heat a nonstick or cast iron fry pan over medium heat. Coat lightly with oil and add tofu slices. Fry the slices until they are browned and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a rack and keep warm. Repeat with remaining slices, adding more oil to the pan as necessary.
  5. Note: Taste the marinade before adding the tofu. If it's too salty, add a ¼ cup of water.

Tofu bacon

Good grub!

Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

Or – Yes, you too, can eat tofu!

tofu and veg

Crispy tofu and vegetables

Tofu. A simple word that can strike terror in the hearts of mortal men. And women, and kids, too.

It was that mystery block of white stuff that I had to buy for my vegetarian son. I never knew what to do with it. I just cut off slabs, marinated it or glazed it and gave it a grill. Right next to my pork chops. I ain’t eatin’ that mystery white block of stuff!

What a difference a few years make. Now, I always have a couple of pounds of tofu in the fridge and in the freezer! No more pork chops. Family meals are built around tofu. No longer is it an after thought. No longer just  an easy thing to shove at the non-meat eater. It’s a star! I’m going to share an easy recipe to get you headed in the tofu direction. It’s fried, because everything tastes better fried, right? Lets get started.

crispy tofu ingred

A great use for squash. You know, the stuff that shows up on your door step.

You’ll need 3 yellow squash, a red (or any other color) bell pepper, baby bella mushrooms, an onion, tomato sauce and cheese. Oh yeah, you’ll need a block of firm tofu. I use the sprouted kind. It’s easier to digest (read that as – no gas) and has less plant estrogen.

sproutofu

Sprouted tofu

To start everything off, you’ll need to drain and press the tofu to remove the excess water. We really don’t like throwing wet foods into hot oil. Open the pack, pour off the water and set the block onto a paper towel lined plate of board.

tofu

Naked tofu

Next, cover it with folded paper towels and a plate, then weight it all down with a cup of water.

pressing tofu

pressing tofu

Set this aside to drain while you chop up your vegetables. Get out a large bowl to pile all the chopped vegetables in. Slice the squash lengthwise and then into slices.

slicing squash

Slice squash

Cut the mushrooms into quarters.

mushrooms

quarter the mushrooms

Chop up the onion.

chopped onion

chop onion

After you’ve dried away your onion tears, chop the bell pepper. This one was extra juicy! And add it to the pile in the bowl.

chopped bell pepper

chop the bell pepper

Now! Let’s get at that tofu! Slice to tofu into 1 inch slabs.

sliced tofu

Tofu slabs

Then, slice the slabs into 1 inch cubes.

tofu cubed

tofu cubes

Everyone in this house loves tofu. Want proof? Look ever there. A little further. See that?

Katie kitty

Katie, the tofu kitty

That is Kitchen kitty’s mom, Katie. Katie the tofu kitty. No relation to Grumpy cat.©.

Ok, everything is ready to cook. Get out a large, non-stick fry pan. Trust my experience on this part. Scraping stuck on, crispy fried tofu is no picnic. Make a few dirty dishes and use a non-stick pan. Crank up the burner to medium high and give the pan a swirl of olive oil. When hot, add the tofu cubes.

fry tofu

pan fried

Let it fry for a couple of minutes, then flip them around to get the other sides.

browning the tofu

browning the tofu

Flip them every couple of minutes to try and get all sides browned. It will take roughly 10 minutes. Remove the tofu to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Not every side has to be golden brown. Unless you want it that way, then go fo it.

fried tofu

Drain the tofu

Grab your grater and grate up a cup of Monterey jack cheese. Use any cheese you want, just try to keep it a milder, white cheese.

grated cheese

grate cheese!

Now, if your non-stick pan is big enough, go ahead and use it. If you are like me, you’ll need to bust out another pan. A BIG pan. Put it on the  stove, over a medium high heat, add some more oil.

oil in pan

a really big pan

Then, dump in the vegetables.

sauted vegetables

saute the vegetables

Stir fry the vegetables for about 10 minutes. You want them to be crisp-tender. I love peppers and onions cooking. The smell always reminds me of the county fairs. All those food booths with the grilled peppers and onions! Memories. Almost done, now. Grab that plate of tofu and stir it back in.

tofu foods

dump in the tofu

Open and add in the little can of tomato sauce. Throw in some salt & pepper. If you like it spicy, toss in some crushed red pepper flakes, too. Yummm.

add sauce

add a little red sauce

Cook it for about 2 minutes or until a little bubbly around the edges.

Sprinkle on the grated cheese.

add cheese

almost done

Turn off the stove and cover the pan. Let it rest for about 2 or 3 minutes for the cheese to melt, then serve! We have this over brown rice. It’s such  nice easy recipe to get into the tofu groove. Give it a try.

Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

supper time

Crispy Tofu and Vegetables
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Crispy fried tofu and sautéed vegetables graced by a light tomato sauce and cheese top.
Ingredients
  • 1 block of extra firm tofu - 12 to 16 ounces, drained, pressed and cubed.
  • 3 summer squash, halved and sliced
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can tomato sauce, 8 oz.
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. DO AHEAD:
  2. Open the tofu package, drain and remove tofu. Place on a paper towel lined saucer. Cover with paper towels, top with another saucer and weigh down with a water filled cup.
  3. Let it press, at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Once the extra moisture has been pressed out of the tofu, cut it into 1-inch cubes. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick fry pan, over medium–high heat. Add the tofu and stir-fry until crispy browned on most sides, about 10 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  5. If needed, add remaining tablespoon of oil to skillet and add the chopped vegetables.
  6. Sauté until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.
  7. Return the tofu to the pan along with the tomato sauce. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Top with the grated cheese, cover and turn off heat. Let rest for another 2 minutes for the cheese to melt.
  8. Serve over rice or pasta, if desired.

Recipe…