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Tofu Eggless Salad

My days as a college student are quickly dwindling. (Yay!) (Yikes!) Which means the number of Mondays where I actually have afternoons free to make lunch in my own kitchen are soon to run out too. (Let’s hope!) (Employ me please?!)

I don’t have afternoons free everyday, but on the Mondays that I do, I’m typically in the kitchen recipe testing, photo-shooting, and as of lately, job searching. These are the afternoons where I can make food, in broad daylight, that will last me for the remainder of the week when my lunchtime hours aren’t so freed up. And they’re the days where I can try out recipes like these, that I can pack in future lunches, for even when I’m not a college student anymore. Because one day I know my Monday lunchtime hours won’t be filled with Feist blasting from my computer speakers or Anthony Bourdain from living room TV or Tofu Eggless Salad coming from my kitchen. But who’s to say part of this equation can’t still come from my lunchbox?

The primary way I utilize tofu is as a sandwich filler. Whether it’s sliced and fried, or crumbled in a salad like this, tofu is more often than not seen on my plate during lunch as opposed to dinner. It holds up well in recipes like this, and provides a vegan, protein-filled lunch that will keep you satisfied into the early hours of the evening. I saw this particular rendition of tofu salad on another fellow food blog and was immediately hooked in by the photos. It’s a flavorful spread that holds up to hearty whole wheat bread and would also do well in pita. It would fare well too made the night before and then packed on bread the next morning before heading out the door. Whether you’re running across campus or off to work, this lunchbox item just may be for you.

Click here for recipe…

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Spiced Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

“Have you made anything gluten-free and egg-free before? I’m always prepared for a disaster,” said my friend. My response: “Just this weird chocolate cake once.” That pretty much sums of my experience with gluten-free baking. Weird. Somewhat off. Maybe a little chalky or overly mushy?

I rarely ever play around with this particular method of cooking. At least on purpose. I’ve had a lot of half-decent gluten-free fare, when I really want it to be 100%-decent. So, considering I’m not gluten intolerant, I generally steer clear from labels that tout what seems to be the latest self-proclaimed health fad. If you’re one of those who hopped on this bandwagon and don’t really have an intolerance to gluten (the protein in wheat), well, in my opinion, you’re a tad crazy. But don’t worry. I won’t go all Anthony Bourdain-style on you and will leave it at that. To each his own.

Sure, I’ve made a ton of naturally gluten-free food over the years that is 100% delicious. That’s in no way hard to accomplish. (Beans and Rice, please.) But little of this fare is ever coming from the oven, a feat that seems a tad more daunting.

However, when I recently found out that one of my friends had a gluten (and egg) allergy but was also into baking, I said, “Heck yeah I want to mess around with some gluten-free baking!” It was a good incentive to explore some uncharted kitchen territory and prove yet again, homemade often triumphs over store-bought.

It all started with this recipe my friend chose, which might I add was a kick-butt choice seeing as though sweet potatoes were in the equation. Our expectations, both low at the start, increasingly grew ever more skeptical when we realized we’d have to tackle the icing without an electric beater. Thank god for that versatile thing called a potato masher, which in my apartment, rarely ever gets used on actual potatoes.

After popping these out of the oven and adding a generous smear of icing on top, we held our breathes and went in for a taste. After the first bite, it was declared an immediate victory. In fact, these by far topped a lot of other pumpkin-spiced-esque traditional cupcakes and muffins I’ve eaten in the past. They were perfectly sweetened with a slight contrast from the icing, and were super moist. (I’m sorry. I hate that word too.) So heck yeah gluten-free baking. I might be seeing you more often.

Click here for recipe…

Scrambled Tofu

People always ask me what they should do with their blank canvas block of tofu. Here’s the the thing. Since tofu is pretty much a white canvas ingredient, it lends itself to so many different usages. Like with other mildly flavored starting points, it’s all about the ingredients with which you marry it. You can add a crust of spices and turn it into a pan-fried, protein-centered meal that resembles a moist filet of fish. Or you can transform tofu into a creamy, hearty gratin, so heavenly it will undoubtedly impress your meat-lovin’ friends. Or go for a sweet creation and convert it into a decadent, eggless chocolate¬†mousse.

As long as you don’t gnaw a bite off straight from the package, there’s a great probability that you’ll be able to find a way to enjoy the white stuff.¬†With tofu, you can pretty much cover all the bases. From dinner to dessert, from brunch to lunch, tofu is a transformative ingredient. Today’s tofu-focused recipe is breakfast-oriented, perfect as a hearty protein replacement for eggs, bacon, and all that jazz.

Scrambled tofu is a staple in many veg. diets. Because of it’s consistency, it’s perfect for the forgone eggs that some vegans find themselves craving. While scrambled tofu won’t taste like eggs, it does have an oddly similar texture to the standard scrambled. The key to this dish is to infuse the tofu with tons of flavor. Bland scrambled tofu = no good. But well-seasoned scrambled tofu = superior to ordinary scrambled eggs. Be gentle when stirring in order to keep some of the tofu coarsely crumbled. And feel free to serve with a side of salsa or ketchup if that’s what you associate with scrambled eggs.

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