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Sarah Lawrence

Gluten Free Coconut Crusted Tofu with Apricot Salsa

Coconut crusted tofu with apricot salsaReminiscent of coconut crusted shrimp, these tofu pieces are warm and creamy on the inside while nicely crusted on the outside.  Paired with the sweet-hot bite of the apricot salsa, this one is a nicely balanced forkful of colorful, healthy yum.  Coconut crusted tofu with Apricot Salsa ¾ block firm tofu, drained and sliced into 4 pieces 1/3 cup arrowroot powder 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes ¼ cup rice flour ¼ cup almond meal (optional, but adds nice nutty flavor and enhances color) salt and pepper ¼ block firm tofu, drained ½ cup almond milk 4 Tbsp lime juice Salsa 1 apricot, diced 1 red pepper, diced 1 small sweet onion, diced 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tsp Thai red chili paste 1 tsp lime juice
  1. Prep the salsa so the flavors have time to combine.  Toss everything with the chili paste and lime juice until well combined.  Taste.  If you need to adjust the seasoning, do it.  Add a bit of honey, maple syrup or agave if you need a bit of sweet to cut the heat.
  2. For the tofu, drain the block and wrap it in a clean kitchen towel.  Set a heavy pan on top of the wrapped tofu for 10-15 minutes to encourage the moisture to drain.
  3. In the meantime, combine the coconut flakes, rice flour and salt and pepper in a shallow dish.  Set aside.
  4. Pull out your Vitamix or blender and whiz the ¼ block of tofu, almond milk and lime juice until smooth.  Pour into a bowl.
  5. Heat a skillet and a few tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil.
  6. Slice the pressed tofu into 6-8 pieces.  Dust each piece in arrowroot, then dip into the blended tofu/almond milk/lime mix until coated.  Finally dredge in the coconut/rice flour mixture before placing in the skillet.  Repeat with remaining pieces.  Cook on each side for about 4 minutes or until golden.
  7. Serve a slice or two of tofu topped with apricot salsa and a beautiful mix of greens for a tasty lunch or light dinner.
  Note:  I am not a huge fan of tofu.  My preference is to use soy in a occasional way and mostly as edamame (because it is the whole, fresh bean) or miso (because it is fermented and easier on the digestive system).  On occasion, a bit of tofu will make it to our plates.  It is definitely not the staple in my kitchen that it was when I was transitioning off of chicken. The long and short of the soy story is that it is both good and bad...  On the plus side, soy foods contain isoflavones that have antioxidant activity and are protective against cancer.  Sticking to whole soy foods like edamame, minimally processed soy food like tofu and fermented soy foods like tempeh, miso and tamari is the way to go. Once we look at commercially popular fractionated foods like processed soymilk, isolated soy protein powders and imitation meats made with soy isolate we start to see big problems.  The solvents used to make these products are nasty and simply not something you want to be injesting.  Aside from the processed aspect, soy can be very difficult to digest, so the closer to the whole bean the better... and the more fermented, the easier on the digestive system.  Soy beans are also one of the most highly genetically modified crops in the US.  When eating a soy product, choose ORGANIC to avoid the horror of the GMO.  For those of you using infant formula that is soy based, please, please, choose organic for this reason.

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Sarah Lawrence

Gluten Free Veg Pot Pie

Boy, have things gotten busy around here!  There are so many things I've intended to post... I'm just going to add a few recent kitchen bits and ease back into the fray. This pot pie comes together pretty quickly.  Reheats well.  Easily adapted to accomodate a bit of meat if you feed a variety of eaters.  Vary the veg to what you have on hand.  This version was heavy on cauliflower because organic cauliflower was looking good at the market!  Big salad on the plate with a slice of hearty pot pie is a lovely meal.   [caption id="attachment_522" align="alignright" width="300" caption="GFV Pot Pie + mesculin greens"]GFV Pot Pie[/caption] Pot Pie Filling:| 3 cloves garlic, crushed 4 carrots, sliced into coins 1 cup mushrooms, sliced 1 cup onion, diced 1 cup green peas 1 cup corn 2 cups cauliflower florets 1 small sweet potato, diced Sauce: ½ - 1 cup vegetable stock or water 1 Tbsp brown rice flour ½  tsp salt ½ tsp pepper 1 tsp dried lemon peel 1 tsp dried onion 1 tsp dried dill or thyme or sage 1 cup cauliflower or potato ¼ cup dried mushrooms (optional) Crust: ¾  cup brown rice flour ¾  cup garbanzo bean flour ½  tsp xanthan gum ½  tsp baking powder ½  tsp salt 1 Tbsp Earth Balance, softened or Olive Oil ½ - ¾ cup water, as needed to form non sticky dough   Optional Add-Ins: 1 cup chopped/shredded cooked chicken 1 cup white beans or garbanzo beans, cooked 1 cup tofu, cubed
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Prep a 9x9 or 10x12 baking dish by lightly rubbing with oil.  Set aside.
  2. Start filling by putting veg into a large skillet with a bit of water (2 Tbsp).  Get things going over medium heat and let the veggies sweat while you prep the sauce.
  3. In Vitamix or blender, combine the sauce ingredients and blitz until smooth.  Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.  Pour into skillet with the veg.  Stir to combine.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the crust.  Give those a nice stir to combine, then add the Earth Balance or Oil and about ½ cup of water.  Use a spoon to combine, then use your hands to make a ball of dough.  Add more water as needed to create a dough that is not sticky, but holds together enough to roll out.
  5. Lightly flour a work surface with rice flour.  Tip the crust dough onto the floured surface and roll it out to the size of your baking dish.
  6. Veg filling should be nicely cooked, so tip it into the prepared baking dish, then top with the rolled out dough.
  7. Place pot pie into pre-heated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is lightly golden and fragrant.

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