Recipe Difficulty: Easy
What is Cajun Spice?
Cajun spice blends are used in the Cajun and Creole cuisines of Louisiana. These cuisines are influenced by a combination of French, African, and Native American culinary traditions. The spicy, flavorful blends of herbs and spices that are characteristic of Cajun and Creole cooking were developed as a way to add flavor to the abundant seafood and game that was available in the region. Cajun spice blends became popular beyond the Louisiana region and are now widely used in many different types of dishes around the world. I love using it to flavour my tofu, and I imagine I will come up with many other ways of using it in the future. How about sprinkling some on your potatoes before roasting?
Cajun spice blends are typically made with a combination of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and other herbs and spices. The exact blend of spices can vary, and some variations may include herbs like thyme, oregano, and basil, as well as other spices like black pepper, white pepper, and mustard powder. You will find Cajun spice being used in traditional recipes like gumbo, jambalaya, and blackened chicken or fish. Cajun spice blends can definitely be purchased pre-made (I haven't tried any store bought ones but I would imagine they would be decent) or you can make your own blend by mixing together the desired spices in the desired proportions.
About my Cajun Tofu
This Cajun Tofu recipe is a staple in my home kitchen. It's really simple, tasty and versatile. I really need to have healthy meal ideas that are quick and also taste great, especially when life feels busy. I love Cajun Tofu in tacos, Buddha bowls, or on a chopped salad. These definitely have a bit of a kick to them from the cayenne pepper, but once I'm eating them with other bites it mellows.
Tofu gets such a bad reputation, but it's not really logical. It's literally a blank slate, waiting for you to add your favourite flavours. The texture can vary depending how you cook it. Also, not all tofu is created equal flavour wise. I would suggest trying different brands. I've never had any that I thought were bad, but some do just taste better to me. Where I currently live I can even get locally made tofu that is super fresh and delicious.
Is Tofu Healthy?
I think there is a ton of misconceptions surrounding the effects of tofu on your health. I'm not an expert but I have listened and read a lot on this topic. There's always more research that can be done in the realm of nutrition science, but my understanding is that the worst case scenario is only that adding tofu to your diet has a neutral effect on your health, and best case scenario is has many health benefits. If you want to hear a great conversation about the topic of soy, I recommend checking out The Proof Podcast, hosted by Simon Hill. Episode #198 is the most recent one I listened to on this topic. It is a podcast dedicated to debunking the BS you find all over the internet and other social platforms, focuses on science and helping people live their best life.
Ideas for serving Cajun Tofu
What is in my Cajun Tofu Tacos? (pictured above)
Buddha Bowl with Cajun Tofu (pictured below)
Cajun Spice Mix
Many recipes include salt in their spice mix. I choose not to, and instead add salt later. In this recipe the marinade is seasoned with salt. I like to be able to control the salt separately depending on what I'm cooking.
I don't always press my tofu before cooking with it, especially if I'm trying to be quick, but I do for this recipe, even if for a short amount of time. Just wrap the tofu block in paper towel, then in a kitchen towel. I pop it in the fridge with something weighted on top of it for at least an hour or overnight.
I use flaked kosher salt in my recipes. It's what I (and many chefs) prefer to cook with. Not too fine, not too coarse that it requires grinding. I buy it at bulk barn. If using fine salt the amount may need reducing.
When I have leftovers I find it easiest just to reheat the pieces in the microwave instead of turning on my oven for a small amount of food, but I'm sure reheating in the oven would work too.
Green Goddess Soup
Recipe Difficulty: Medium. Attention to Detail is required to not overcook the veggies in this recipe. If you have no problem doing that, then really the rest is easy!
What even is "Green Goddess"??
Green Goddess typically refers to a salad dressing or sauce. Often with mayo, sour cream and typically fresh herbs including tarragon, chives, and parsley. It gets its name from the bright green colour of the dressing. Some versions include anchovy, lemon juice, vinegar & Dijon mustard. Green Goddess dressing is believed to have originated in the 1920s at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It was created by the hotel's head chef, Philip Roemer, to honor actor George Arliss, who was staying at the hotel while performing in a play called "The Green Goddess." The dressing was served at the restaurant for years and was eventually popularized.
About my Green Goddess Soup Recipe
I love this soup. It is literally Goddess worthy. There's a ton of fresh green goodness with all the veggies and fresh herbs. For veggies in my recipe I use French Green Beans, Zucchini, Edamame, Green Peas, Tarragon, Chives and Mint.
The base is a lovely creamy broth made from an easy home made veg stock with Greek Style Fresh Start Fauxmage melted in. A bit of miso paste in the broth too, just for a bit of umami. (a bit of miso paste or a splash of soy sauce can go a long way in creating deeper & more complex flavours in vegan cooking)
The fauxmage is an almond based baked feta style vegan cheese. It's rich and has a bit of brightness. A delicious & simple way to add creaminess without using dairy products. If you can't get your hands on some (though they do offer worldwide shipping and are available in stores all over Canada), I would use cashew cream as an alternative.
Seasoned properly with salt and fresh lemon juice, the flavours in this soup come alive. A bit of chili is nice too. Not too much, just a bit for warmth.
Green Goddess Soup
Serves 4 - 6
Creamy Pesto Risotto
Creamy Pesto Risotto with Asparagus, Peas and Lemon. I teamed up with my friends at Fresh Start Fauxmage to create this tasty recipe. I have wanted to make a risotto with this particular vegan cheese product for quite some time now. Their "Creamy Pesto" variety was a perfect choice for this dish. It's delicious. Think basil, garlic, lemon, & super creamy. This product allows you to add incredible flavour to a dish effortlessly. Right now I'm really digging it in this recipe, or melted into hot pasta with whatever veg for a quick meal. They provide world wide shipping and are available in locations across Canada.
I think a lot of people might be a bit intimidated to make a risotto at home. Maybe you've never had it, or only have had it in a restaurant. I'm happy to report, it's actually incredibly simple. Yes you have to stir the rice fairly continuously while adding hot stock to the pan for about 30 minutes, but it's not hard. If you have a good recipe to follow, the main thing to keep in mind is the texture of the rice. Try not to over cook it. It shouldn't be completely soft. There should still be a bit of bite to the rice. Then pay attention to the consistency of the final dish. It should be creamy and a bit fluid, not stiff and dried out.
If I was making this in a restaurant, I would cook the risotto 3/4 of the way through, then dump it onto a large sheet pan to cool completely. Then when you want to prepare a portion, just add desired amount of risotto to a pan over medium - medium high heat, and stir in stock until the rice has absorbed enough liquid. Just taste a couple of times.
Hey! I'm Trisha