Main Dishes


Tofu Loaf

Makes 9 inch loaf


2 (14 ounce) packages firm tofu
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of sea salt
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 tablespoon tamari
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 ½ cups crumbled brown rice cakes, divided and more if needed


  1. Press tofu for 30 minutes to remove excess water. Set aside
  2. Place skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, onion, garlic, and a pinch of sea salt, and sauté until onion turns translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add celery and carrot, continue to sauté until vegetables become tender, about 3 more minutes. Place in mixing bowl, and set aside.
  4. Turn oven to 350 F. Line 9 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  5. In food processor, place crumbled tofu, tamari, tomato paste, sage, thyme, rosemary, sea salt, smoked paprika, and 1 cup rice cakes. Puree until smooth. Add ½ cup rice cakes and puree again until smooth. Check the texture. It should not be watery; it should have a whipped cream cheese like consistency. If still soft, add more rice cake crumbles.
  6. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and stir in vegetable mixture.
  7. Spoon tofu mixture into the loaf pan and smooth top.
  8. Bake covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 20 – 25 more minutes until golden.
  9. Remove from oven and cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Chef’s Notes: Serve alone, with mushroom gravy, or with cranberry sauce. For the brown rice cakes, choose plain unsalted ones, if not available, pick a lightly salted, plain variety.

Mushroom Gravy
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ medium onion, finely chopped (½ cup)
2 pinches of sea salt
4 ounces brown mushrooms, chopped
1 cup vegetable broth or water
1 tablespoon tamari
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder, diluted in ¼ cup water
1 teaspoon ginger juice (optional)
parsley for garnish

  1. Over medium heat, add oil, onion and a pinch of sea salt in a saucepan. Sauté onions for a couple of minutes until translucent.
  2. Add mushrooms with a pinch of sea salt and continue to sauté until mushrooms shine.
  3. Add broth or water, bring to a boil. Lower heat, add tamari, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Little by little, pour in arrowroot powder mixture. Stir until mixture turns clear and the sauce thickens. Add ginger juice if using and stir to mix. Serve with garnish.

Sweet Potato Curry

Serves 4 – 5


5 tablespoons safflower oil

2 medium onions, diced

3 – 4 garlic cloves, minced

3 teaspoons sea salt, divided

1 medium carrot, diced   

2 medium Japanese sweet potatoes (1 pound), peeled and diced into small pieces

2 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into large chunks

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon curry powder

2 small bay leaves

2 cups vegetable broth or water

parsley for garnish


  1. Heat oil in heavy pot over medium heat, add onions, garlic, and 1 teaspoon sea salt, sauté for about 5 minutes until onions become translucent.
  2. Add mushrooms, carrot, sweet potato, tomatoes and 1 teaspoon sea salt, sauté for a couple of minutes.
  3. Lower heat to medium low, add spices and stir for 1 minute.
  4. Add broth, bay leaf and 1 teaspoon sea salt, bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. At this point, if preferred, take out tomato peels for smoother texture. Peels will fall easily off of the tomatoes.
  6. Continue to simmer for about 10 more minutes until sweet potatoes become tender.
  7. Turn off heat, mush chunks of sweet potatoes using wood spatula until stew thickens.
  8. Serve with parsley for garnish.

Chef’s tip: If you can’t find Japanese sweet potatoes, you can substitute any sweet potatoes with white, creamy flesh, such as Hannah sweet potatoes.


Gluten Free Vegan Pancakes

Serves 2 – 3


1 cup gluten free oat flour

½ tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon cinnamon powder

a pinch sea salt

1 cup non dairy milk

2 tablespoons apple sauce

1 teaspoon vanila extract

½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

oil for pan frying such as safflower oil

toppings such as maple syrup and strawberries


  1. In large mixing bowl, place all the dry ingredients: oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder, and sea salt; stir well with whisk.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, place all the wet ingredients: non dairy milk, apple sauce, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar; stir well to combine.
  3. Pour the wet ingredient mixture into the dry ingredient mixture, whisk through until well combined.
  4. Let batter sit for a couple of minutes while preparing pan. Lightly oil frying pan, heat over medium high heat for a few minutes until hot, then reduce to medium/ medium low heat.
  5. Using a ladle, scoop batter about ¼ cup into pan. Cook for a few minutes until small bubbles form on the edge, then on the center of the pancake. Pan fry until the top starts to look dry. Flip pan cake to light cook other side for about a minute. Repeat this process until all the batter is used.
  6. Serve immediately with any toppings you like, such as maple syrup or fruit.

Ganmodoki – Fried Tofu Dumplings

Makes 16 dumplings


1- 14 ounce package firm tofu, drained and pressed about 30 minutes 

1 medium carrot, grated

⅓ cup green onions, thinly sliced 

1 tablespoon toasted black sesame seeds

3 tablespoons arrowroot powder

½ teaspoon sea salt

deep frying oil such as safflower oil


  1. Press tofu for 30 minutes. Drain pressed tofu and mash well with hands in mixing bowl.
  2. Sprinkle a couple pinches of sea salt on carrots, set aside for 5 minutes. Drain and squeeze out the water. 
  3. Add carrots to the tofu in mixing bowl, along with green onions, black sesame seeds, arrowroot powder, and sea salt. Use hands to mix well to combine. Make sure the dumpling mixture is not watery. It should be easy to mold into patties. If still a little watery, add a little more arrowroot powder.
  4. Using small ice cream scoop or measuring spoon, make round or oval shaped  dumplings. Each dumpling is about 1 heaping tablespoon.
  5. Heat high heat oil to 350 °F, fry dumplings until golden.
Main Dishes

Pasta Primavera with Braised Brussels Sprouts

Serves 4


Braised Brussels Sprouts:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
¼ cup vegetable broth or water
few pinches sea salt
black pepper to taste

Pasta Primavera:
8 ounces pasta such as angel hair or spaghetti
3 tablespoons olive oil, and a little more for a finishing touch
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
2 stalks celery, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium size brown mushrooms, sliced
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup chopped asparagus
1 cup chopped zucchini
black pepper to taste (optional)
celery leaves or parsley for garnish


To make Braised Brussels Sprouts:
1. Heat skillet over medium heat, add oil and Brussels sprouts. Pan fry Brussels sprouts until golden for about 1-2 minutes. Flip them and do the same on the other side.

2. Pour broth or water over the Brussels sprouts, cover and steam cook them for 1 minute over medium low heat until tender.

3. Remove cover, season with sea salt and black pepper.

4. Let the remaining liquid evaporate in the skillet. Place the Brussel sprouts in bowl and set aside.

To make Pasta Primavera:
1. Prepare to cook pasta by boiling water in large pot.

2. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat, add onion, sea salt, and garlic, sauté until onion becomes translucent, for about 5 minutes. Add celery and mushroom and sauté for about 3 minutes. Pour white wine and cook until wine cooks down, about 2-3 minutes.

3. In the meantime, cook pasta according to the package. Save ¼ cup pasta cooking water. Drain pasta with colander but do not rinse. Add asparagus, and zucchini to the skillet, sauté for one minute. Pour ¼ cup pasta cooking water, continue to stir for another minute until vegetables become bright and tender. Add cooked pasta and the Braised Brussels Sprouts. Using tongs, gently stir to combine. Adjust flavor by adding sea salt and black pepper if using. You can also add some more olive oil if desired.

4. Serve with garnish.

Chef’s note:

If you want a more aromatic garlic pasta, sauté onions with garlic for a long time until they become nice and caramelized. But be sure to lower heat if they become dry in the skillet to avoid burning.

Feel free to use your own favorite spring vegetables for this dish, such as broccoli, carrots, or baby spinach.

A bowl of vegan chili with sliced avocado

Vegan Chili

Serves 6–7


2 tablespoons safflower oil
2 medium size onions, diced (2 cups)
3 stalks celery, diced (1 ½ cups)
1 medium carrot, diced (1 cup)
1 medium bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
4 – 5 cloves garlic, minced (2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
½ tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground chili powder
3 cups cooked kidney beans or 2 (15 ounce each) cans kidney beans, drained
2 cups crushed tomatoes (from canned tomato: ⅔ of 28 ounce can)
1 ½ cups vegetable stock or water
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon shoyu or tamari (for gluten free) or to taste

For tempeh crumbles (optional):

2 tablespoons safflower oil
8 ounce package tempeh, diced into ½ inch squares
¼ cup apple juice
1 tablespoon shoyu or tamari (for gluten free)


To prep tempeh crumbles:

  1. Heat oil in medium skillet, pan fry tempeh cubes until light brown. Mix apple juice and shoyu to make seasoning, add to the tempeh. Simmer for 15 minutes until liquid is almost all absorbed but a little bit remains on the bottom.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes, then mash into crumbles with wood pestle or wood spatula. Set aside.

To make Vegan Chili:

  1. Heat oil in large heavy pot such as cast iron pot over medium heat, sauté onions and celery with a few pinches of sea salt until translucent, for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add carrot, bell pepper, garlic and spices and continue sautéing for 5 more minutes.
  3. Add beans, tempeh crumbles if using, tomatoes, vegetable stock and bay leaf and bring to a boil.  Add ½ teaspoon sea salt and shoyu, cover and lower the heat. Simmer for about 40 – 45 minutes, until the stew has a nice thick consistency. If still too thin, take off top and continue cooking until liquid is reduced and chili has desired consistency.
  4. Check flavor and adjust by adding sea salt or shoyu, if necessary. Take out the bay leaf.
  5. Remove from heat and rest chili for 10 minutes before serving.
  6. Serve with toppings and garnishes.

Chef’s note:

Children will love this stew. To make their portions without the heat, reserve chili powder and take out children’s servings at the end of stewing. Add the chili powder, simmer for 5 more minutes, and it’s ready to serve adults.

It’s even better on the next day, so feel free to make this a day ahead of time.

Main Dishes

Asian Noodle Salad

Serves 4


8 oz thin pasta such as capellini or spaghetti
1 cup packed small broccoli florets or other leafy green vegetable of your choice
1 medium red onion, sliced into thin half moons (1cup)
2 teaspoons umeboshi vinegar
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced (1 cup)
1 medium carrot, sliced into thin matchsticks (1 cup)
1 medium cucumber, sliced into thin matchsticks (1 cup) *
2-3 radishes, sliced into thin matchsticks (½ cup)
1 small red bell pepper, sliced into thin slices or matchsticks (½ cup)

* If you are using American cucumber, scoop out the seeds by using spoon before slicing.

Asian Salad Dressing:

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons shoyu, or tamari as gluten free option
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon umeboshi vinegar
1 tablespoon agave syrup
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, grated or crushed in garlic press
1 tablespoon juice from freshly grated ginger

Thinly sliced scallions for garnish


  1. Boil water in a pot, blanch broccoli or leafy greens of your choice until tender, drain well, and set aside.
  2. Using the same water, make noodles as directed on the package. Rinse noodles well under cold water and drain. Set aside.
  3. Place red onions in small mixing bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of umeboshi vinegar, massage with hands until onions release water, for about 30 seconds. Set aside.
  4. Place celery, carrot, cucumber, radish, and red bell pepper in separate bowls, massage with a few pinches of sea salt until vegetables start to release a little water. Set aside.
  5. Make Asian Salad Dressing by mixing ingredients well in jar.
  6. Drain excess water released from each vegetable.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, place noodles and prepped vegetables. Add Salad Dressing to taste and gently mix to combine.
  8. Serve with garnish.

Chef’s note:

Raw onions can be pretty sharp, so make sure to marinate them with umeboshi vinegar for at least at least 10 minutes, preferably 20 minutes. Marinating each vegetable with sea salt releases some of the vegetable water, so it won’t dilute the dressing. It also helps the texture to remain nice and crunchy, and helps digestion.

Main Dishes

Cauliflower Alfredo

Serves 4


½ large head of cauliflower, sliced into 3 inch length florets (1 pound)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced (1 ½ cup)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder
½ cup vegetable broth
1 ½ tablespoon white miso
Black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons almond milk or other non-dairy milk (optional)
8 ounces linguini or your favorite pasta
Parsley, finely chopped


  1. Steam cauliflower florets until fork tender and set aside to cool.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heated skillet, then sauté onions with sea salt until soft.
  3. Add garlic and nutmeg powder. Continue to sauté for a couple of minutes. Add vegetable broth, remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. In a food processor, add steamed cauliflower and vegetable mixture. Process until completely smooth.
  5. Add white miso and black pepper, and blend well.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and almond milk, if using, and process until everything is well combined.
  7. Place the sauce back in the skillet.
  8. Boil linguine per package instructions and drain.
  9. Meanwhile heat the sauce.
  10. Add the linguini to the Alfredo Sauce in the skillet, mix to combine. Adjust the flavor by adding sea salt if necessary.
  11. Serve the Linguini Alfredo topped with chopped parsley for garnish.

The sauce keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Just warm gently in a skillet when you reheat it, and add vegetable broth or water to thin it out if needed.

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