Vegan Watermelon Feta Balsamic Salad With Tofu Feta + Mint

Watermelon goes surprisingly well in salads. I still remember the first time I had watermelon in a lettuce salad. It was at LPQ right when I moved to NYC to start at NYU. It was served with arugula + feta + mint and seriously good balsamic.

watermelon_feta_arugula_salad_vegan_kbaked

My mom and I adored this meal. To us, the flavor combo was new. Now, you see this stuff all over. But at the time, it seemed like a fun, wild treat to us. Something I totally would have Insta’d. But that was an age where people didn’t Insta their food. Strange to think about, I know.

Vegan_arugula_salad_watermelon_feta

Anyways, when watermelon is in season, I have thrown it into salads ever since that day. I love it.

Now I’m plant-based mostly, and rarely have feta around. Even when I wasn’t plant-based, I rarely bought cheese because it was rare I’d use cheese for more than just a garnish. I was never a huge cheese eater.

arugula

But it adds such a nice a lovely saltiness and a bit of staying power to the salad. So here we are. I used this homemade tofu feta, but you can totally use conventional feta or purchase a plant-based feta at the store.

Arugula provides a nice peppery green, but you can also use baby kale or whatever green you want.go together surprisingly well together. I also often add avocado to this salad. Because avocado. Duh.

watermelon salad ingredients

Also, it’s essential to use a good balsamic. I mean, really you don’t have to, but it will truly kick it up a notch. And if you haven’t experienced a really good balsamic yet in your life, you should. They are sweet and sticky and wonderful.

I used this one from Trader Joe’s, which I’d highly reccomend.

balsamic_arugula_salad_watermelon_vegan

Speaking of Trader Joe’s, I need to hit it up tomorrow. This week has been crazy busy. I started 2 new jobs, did a lot of freelance, and took a day trip to Chicago, which I’ll be sharing soon.

Stay tuned!

Tofu Feta

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Servings: 1 as entree or 2 as side, easily doubled or tripled

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups arugula, baby kale, or spinach
  • 1 cup watermelon, cubed
  • 3/4 cup tofu feta or conventional feta, or plant-based store-bought feta
  • 1/2 large avocado, sliced (optional)
  • roughly 1/4th cup fresh mint
  • 4 tablespoons high quality balsamic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Assemble greens, avocado, watermelon, mint and tofu feta in a bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of balsamic and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy.

 

 

Herby Tofu Feta

Feta: a cheese I never really purchased, but enjoyed when it was used as a seasoning. Tofu: something I have always adored plain and/or manipulated. Tofu feta: a fun experiment I simply had to try one day and have loved ever since.

Tofu_Chopped_Kbaked

So here we are: Herby marinated tofu feta. Are you ready for this? I hope you’re ready for this.

Tofu_Feta_Katherine_Baker_Kbaked

Simply to prepare, and full of flavor, this stuff is good on salads, pasta, pizza, sandwiches, avo toast — you pretty much can’t go wrong.

Tofu Feta Kbaked

Does it taste like authentic feta? No. And I’m not going to lie to you about that. This isn’t really a good substitute if you’re craving hardXcore cheese. For that I’d reccomend buying an aged plant-based cheese or actual feta.

Tofu_Feta_Kbaked_vegan

This IS a delicious, protein-packed, flavorful way to eat tofu and something I am going to be making regularly from now on.

I used Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute as a shortcut. If you’ve never had it, it is delicious. I add it to so.many.things: like vinaigrettes and roasted veggies. SO GOOD. If you don’t have it, I listed easy swaps.

Feta_herbed_tofu_kbaked

 

Make this and add it to your next salad or Greek salad. Then HMU on Insta and let me know what ya thought!

Herbed_Tofu_Feta_Kbaked

Tofu Feta

Prep Time:  minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes, but at least 2-4 hours for chilling
Servings: about 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 12-16 ounce package tofu
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute (or, 1/4 tablespoon) garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, and 1/2 tablespoon dried basil)
  • pinch sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Drain and press tofu with a paper towel. You want to remove excess moisture.
  2. Cut tofu into small cubes.
  3. Combine lemon juice, water, vinegar, nutritional yeast, olive oil, oregano, sugar and sea salt.
  4. Place tofu into marinade and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, or longer if desired.
  5. Serve on top of salads or with pasta. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Peanut Butter & Sriracha Veggie Sandwich

Hello and welcome to a recipe post that probably sounds very strange at first. But bare with me. Let me walk you through my logic.

Vegan Peanut Butter and Sriracha Veggie Sandwich

Behold the PB&S. PB&S? Can we make that a thing? Okay great. Because it’s surprisingly delicious. Sure, the combination sounds weird and perhaps even a bit icky at first, but think about it: do you like pad thai? Of course you do. Pad Thai is delicious. Pad Thai also has a peanut butter-based sauce. And is spicy and has veggies in it and is paired with carby noodles.

So why not pair peanut butter and Sriracha (or not if you don’t care for spicy) with some crunchy veggies on bread, add some cilantro, and call it lunch?

So here we are. A savory veggie-packed peanut butter sandwich. This is a highly satisfying combination, and makes for a fun way to switch up your lunch time game. I suggest pairing it with a nice crunchy apple with additional peanut butter for dipping.

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And then eat something sweet for dessert. Maybe a cookie. Or maybe a marshmallow fondant covered spotted dick. Have you been watching Great British Bake Off on Netflix?

I can’t stop. I binged the entire three seasons available on Netflix in 4 days. And now I’m rewatching it. If you haven’t seen it yet, you simply must. It makes every other food show feel inferior. I don’t think I’ll ever look at the Food Network again.

Vegan Peanut Butter and Sriracha Veggie Sandwich

There’s just something about how compassionate the contestants are towards one another that is simply beautiful. Also, the hosts are hilarious.

Would anyone reading this be interested in me diversifying my content? Because that’s what it’s about to happen. I realized I like blogs that share things like daily life info and eats so I’m going to try and experiment with that soon, instead of just recipe post after recipe post.

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Also, I apolotize that pictures look blurry on WordPress lately. All of them look crystal clear on my computer, but WordPress keeps distorting them. So I’m working on figuring out how to fix that since it’s been stopping me from uploading content. So for now just deal with my blurry pics plz.

Anywho, happy spring. And on your mark, get set, MAKE (a sandwich) !

Peanut Butter Sriracha Sandwich

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: ~5 minutes
Servings: 1 sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • Sriracha (as much or as little as you please)
  • 3/4 cup chopped vegetables of choice  (I used carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, and lettuce, because that’s what I had in my fridge, but any of your favorite crunchy veggies would do)
  • small handful of cilantro (optional)

Method:

  1. Toast bread.
  2. Spread peanut butter on both pieces of bread.
  3. Chop vegetables and cilantro and add to bread.
  4. Drizzle with Sriracha.
  5. Assemble sandwich and enjoy.

Sweet Potato Hummus Vegan Grilled “Cheese” Panini

Do you ever just want a big crusty sandwich with good toasty crunchy edges? I do.

Sweet Potato Hummus Grilled Cheese Sweet Potato Vegan

Do you ever want something that’s warm and filling that gives you energy instead of making you feel icky? Then we have something in common.

Sweet Potato Hummus Grilled Cheese  Sweet Potato Vegan

And have you ever had hummus warmed up and realized it’s the best thing ever? I have. And if you have not, it would be my great honor to share with you this simple pleasure.

Sweet  Potato Hummus Vegan   Grilled Cheese

If a sandwich isn’t for you today, you could also try warm hummus in this Hummus Barley Bowl with Sweet Potatoes & Kale. Yes I did just try to subtly self-promote another post of mine within this post. Why not, right? It’s my blog and I #dowhatiwant. Like make sandwiches out of plants and call it grilled cheese. Can I get a kale yeah?

Sweet Potato Hummus Grilled Cheese Sweet   Potato Vegan

*crickets* Anyways terrible puns aside, this sandwich is dank monies. It’s creamy, warm, filling, crusty, crunchy, and oh so luscious. Kind of like Aaron Paul. Except better because it’s a sandwich.

Sweet Potato Hummus Grilled Cheese Sweet Potato Vegan

I grilled mine in a panini press. I really enjoyed this life choice. I forgot about my panini press. But hot damn I’m happy I rediscovered it. Time to rekindle my love for pressed sammies. All dem crispy edges <3.

Vegan Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese Panini

If you don’t have a panini press, feel free to use your stovetop and a shallow skillet or frying pan.

Sweet  Potato Hummus Vegan   Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices bread of choice (I used Multigrain Sourdough from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, baked or microwaved (about 1/2 cup mashed)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon almond (or other non-dairy) milk
  • 1/4 cup hummus (I used Trader Joe’s Horseradish Hummus; this Miso Hummus works great, as well)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional (recommended) add-ins:
    • sun dried tomatoes
    • fresh tomatoes
    • roasted red peppers
    • roasted onions

Directions:

1. Cook sweet potato until tender, either in the oven at 425 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or in the microwave for 6-10 minutes.

2. Scrape the insides of the sweet potato into a bowl. Add nutritional yeast, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and salt and pepper into a small bowl and mash together. Add almond milk to thin, if desired, and mix well again.

Sweet  Potato Hummus   Vegan Grilled Cheese

3. Spread a layer of sweet potato mash over one slice of bread, and a layer of hummus over the other. Add additional toppings, if desired. I recommend sun dried tomatoes.

4. If using a panini press, bring to medium-high heat and toast until insides have melted and warmed and bread is toasted, about 4-5 minutes. If you are toasting in a skillet on the stove-top, warm and melt about a teaspoon of non-dairy spread or coconut oil over medium heat. Gently place sandwich and allow to toast until browned, about 2-3 minutes, then flip to the other side and repeat on other side of sandwich until both slices of bread are browned, crispy, and delicious. Enjoy. 🙂

More Hummus:

Miso Hummus

Dude I love hummus. It’s been a lifelong infatuation that started at a young age. I have distinct memories of being a kindergardener and bringing hummus to school on a bagel with tomato slices on it and having two kids at my lunch table be all like “Ewwww what is that?” while peering over their basic ham & cheese sandwiches and ho-hos. And I’d be like, “Back off bitches, it’s hummus.” Vegan Miso Hummus Well, not really. But I did stand up for hummus since I was a wee one. And now everyone likes hummus. Hummus is cool. Always has been, always will be. Those lil homies just hadn’t experienced its magical wonders yet.

Vegan Miso Hummus

Another thing I’m into lately is Miso paste. I bought it at work one day (PSA: an 8oz container of White Miso Paste is $1.69 at Trader Joe’s) with no idea what to do with it but I was intrigued.

Miso Hummus

I’ve found things to do with it since! Like make this Ginger Miso Baked Tofu. Man that was good. I’ve also been adding it to rice, vegetable, and noodle dishes for a lil festive umami flair.

Homemade Miso Hummus Dip

Homemade Miso Hummus !

Before I knew it, I was hooked. I’d crave miso. I was eating it straight out of the container with carrots, as if it were actually hummus. And then, it hit me: Miso Hummus. And ever since that epiphany hit, I knew I had to make it. I believe during this epiphany I was texting with my friend/food styling idol, Becky (hi, BH!) and mentioned it to her and she sounded as excited as I felt. And since then I’ve been on a Miso Hummus mission.

Miso Hummus - Vegan

Well, after a little experimenting, I must say, mission accomplished. This miso hummus is boss. It’s all the legume-y umami creamy dreamy luscious yummus hummus foodstuff I dream about. Yes, I dream in hummus. Be jealous.

Vegan Miso Hummus. Easy & Delicious !

I ate this hummus in the morning. Did you know that’s actually traditional in parts of the world? With pickles. Seriously. Pickles + hummus = best breakfast (or snack) combo ever. Anyways, you can make it and eat it however and whenever you’d like. Or not. You do you.

Vegan Miso Hummus

Happy hummus, friends 🙂 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 0 minutes Level: easy makes about 1.5 cups hummus Ingredients:

  • 1 15 or 16 ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed with water from chickpea can reserved and set aside
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 clove garlic depending on how garlick-y you like hummus (totally optional, can be omitted)
  • 3 tablespoons miso paste (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons liquid reserved from chickpea can
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Drain liquid out of chickpea can and set liquid aside. Do not throw it away. This liquid is a very helpful component in achieving good hummus texture. Trust me.I learned it in food science. They taught us important stuff at NYU.

2. Rinse chickpeas and place in a food processor or blender. Juice 1/2 a lemon and add to food processor. Mince garlic and add. Add olive oil and 2 tablespoons liquid from chickpeas.

3. Grind chickpea mixture in food processor until desired consistency is achieved. You may have to mix it a few times with a spatula or spoon. Personally I like my hummus a little chunky, but if you like it super smooth, blend away!

4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with vegetables, pita bread, pita chips, crackers, or add to sandwiches.

More Hummus-y Goodness:

Ginger Miso Baked Tofu

I have been on a several-year-long quest to make drop-dead delicious tofu. You know, tofu that has that perfect texture with the crispier outside and chewy inside, and that’s full of flavor that would even leave even a vegetarian-hating-carnivore begging for more.

Miso Ginger   Tofu Vegan

Over the 15 years of my vegetarianism, I have had myself quite a bit of tofu. Baked, fried, made into pudding, in salads, stirfrys, noodle dishes, etc etc etc. I like tofu. Heck, I’d even say I love the stuff. I even eat it plain and cold and straight from the fridge from time to time. Some people turn their nose up to it without ever giving it a shot. Major bummer/loss for them, because as many vegetarains, vegans, and meat-eaters know, the stuff can be crazy delicious.

Ginger Miso  Baked Tofu Vegan

I’ve read all sorts of things about how to make to-die-for tofu happen. After years of experimenting, I think I finally a method that makes me sing. This is a multi-step process, but if you’re crunched for time or lazy, you can easily skip parts and your tofu will still turn out okay. Honestly, I think one of the most critical steps is freezing the tofu before reheating. It sounds strange, but the tofu seems to adapt a new texture and chewiness as a result. It’s nom-tastic.

Ginger Miso Baked Tofu Vegan

The whole freezing/reheating thing was actually something I discovered by accident while in college. I used to buy myself a block of tofu, and would often eat only half. As I’m a paranoid freak about food safety, I felt uneasy leaving it the fridge for a few days, so I’d pop it in the freezer. After a while, I came to the conclusion that I actually liked it better reheated out of the freezer. Googling lead me to find that this wasn’t just in my head, but an uncommonly known method that people sometimes use to achieve chewy-texture-tofu.

Ginger Miso Tofu Vegan

One of the great things about tofu is that not only can you manipulate the texture to suit your palate, it’s also a blank canvas for flavor. When presented with the Recipe Redux April challenge – “Spring Cleaning” – to go through your pantries and use something you haven’t used in a while, I saw a perfect opportunity to make use of the White Miso Paste I bought at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago, but haven’t yet played around with.

Miso Ginger Tofu Vegan

I’ve also been on a super sushi-and-Asian-flavored-kick lately, which has resulted in me dragging my mom to half-price sushi on a weekly basis. We even went for Easter dinner b/c we’re so #fancy. No matter what night of the week it is, I always order a couple rolls and a house salad. The house salad comes with this amazing Carrot Ginger Miso dressing stuff dumped all over it, and it has been infatuation from the first bite. I always lick up every last drop. I hoard the freakin’ bowl when the waitress tries to politely collect it when all the lettuce is gone, so I can use it as a dipping sauce for my sushi. I’m insane. Go ahead and judge.

Ginger Miso Baked Tofu Vegan

Anyways, such a flavor inspired me to glaze my tofu in a miso-ginger marinade of sorts. Ginger Miso Baked Tofu resulted. I was extremely pleased with the results. A lovely umami and subtly spicy flavor and a to-die-for hearty chewy texture, this recipe is a keeper for me, and I hope you’ll give it a whirl and find it to be the same. You can cut the tofu into whatever sized pieces you fancy; I made little nuggets and found them perfect for topping salads, stir-fries, and dipping straight into Sriracha as a snack. No matter how you slice it, it’s gonna be delish. Happy tofu-eating!

Miso Ginger Tofu  Vegan

 

Prep Time: 1-8 hours (depending on how long you let the tofu drain and/or marinate)
Bake Time: 30-40 minutes
Level: easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 14-ounce package Extra Firm Tofu
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey ??
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice or water

Directions:

1. Drain excess water out of tofu by removing from package, and wrapping in a paper towel, and pressing gently on block of tofu to squeeze out liquid. For best results, place a weight (like a book or block) on top of covered tofu and allow to press out liquid for a few hours or overnight.

2. Meanwhile, prepare marinade by combining miso paste, soy sauce, brownu sugar/honey, freshly grated ginger, garlic and OJ or water in a small dish and whisk with a fork to combine.

3. Slice tofu into cubes or large rectangles, depending on your preference. Lay flat in a baking dish. Pour marinade over tofu, cover, and allow to marinade for 1-3 hours.

4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper. Transfer tofu from the baking dish to parchment paper. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Flip tofu halfway through cook time if desired. Allow to cool and enjoy! 🙂

Ginger Miso Baked Tofu Vegan

For more recipes inspired by the April Spring Cleaning Recipe Redux Challenge, click around below: 🙂

Black Rice Black Bean Beet Burgers

[Disclosure:  “I received a gift card to purchase the rice used in the development of the recipe in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by USA Rice Federation and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”]

Black Bean Black Rice Beet Burger 1

Lately I’ve been HUNGRY. Long days make a girl want to eat eat eat until the cows come home. Actually what keeps happening is I won’t think I’m hungry until I actually sit down and start eating. Then once I’ve finished a normal amount of food my body goes, “omg. i’m starving. keep feeding me plz.” and so I oblige and munch the night away.

Black Rice Black Bean Beet Burgers Vegan kbaked

So on nights like those nights – after a long work day or maybe a day I went on a run (which hasn’t been in a while but whatevs), I want something to fill me up for more than 10 minutes, which isn’t always an easy task. I tend to be a nibbler and grazer as apposed to what biology refers to as a “bulk eater” but every so often I just need a burger, ya feel me? And since I don’t eat meat and/or dairy, the word “burger” has a slightly different meaning than it may to another human being.

BLACK BEAN BLACK RICE BURGERS BEETs

To me, burger means a (meatless) hearty, spicy, nourishing and satisfying tasty savory thing that tastes good with hot sauce and ketchup. Those are my only requirements. Other than that I’m pretty open to many different types of veggie burgers. I grew up eating lots of frozen veggie burgers and always loved them for taste and convenience reasons, and recently, I’ve been more and more curious about experimenting with making my own.

BLACK BEAN BLACK RICE BURGERS BEETs 3

I think one of the keys to a good veggie burger is the addition of some grains of goodness. And y’all know by now that black rice is one of my FAVORITE grains of all times. I love Black Rice Salads, like the Rainbow Black Rice Salad and this Autumn Black Rice Salad, as well as in pudding, so today, I decided to put it in a burger.

Black Bean Black Rice Beet Burger 9

Black rice is not only full of protein and fiber, it is naturally gluten free, convenient, and has been shown to lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease when part of a healthy diet. It’s no secret that I adore healthy carbohydrate sources, and black rice is such a powerhouse I can fully endorse others to Think Rice when looking for a nourishing grain option. I especially love black rice for it’s unique nutty taste and al dente texture, and gorgeous purply hue. In fact, this huge inspired me to pair it with beets to make a 50 shades-of-purple-type burger, and rounded out the root veggies and rice with some hearty black beans for an added boost of protein, fiber, and flavor. I used U.S. grown rice for this recipe.

BLACK BEAN BLACK RICE BURGERS BEETs 2

The result? A delicious, hearty, healthy veggie burger that is sweet, spicy, and satisfying. The recipe makes about 6 veggie patties, making it the perfect meal to make for dinner one night and have leftover lunches ready to go for the next few days. That is, if you can prevent yourself from eating all 6 at once.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour (includes cooking rice and baking burgers)
Level: easy

makes about 6 burgers, serving 3-6 depending on hunger level 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup cooked US-grown black rice (approximately 3/4 cup uncooked)
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked beets
  • 1/2 onion or 1 scallion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, almonds, or pecans (or other nut, I used walnut)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (reduce or omit if you don’t like spice!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (reduce or omit if you don’t like spice!)
  • 1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon Sriracha or other hot sauce based on personal spice level preference

Directions:

1. Cook black rice according to package. I usually use a 2:1 ratio of water:rice and cook for about 30 minutes until al dente. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F.

2. Chop onion or scallion and rinse and drain beans. Cook beets if needed as desires (can be cubed and roasted at 425 for about 25-35 minutes and/or boiled whole for 45-60 minutes). Peel beets. Personally I just used a steamed peeled package from Trader Joe’s. Canned would also work). Once beets are cooked, process in a food processor or blender into fine pieces.

3. In a food processor or blender pulse walnuts into a crumbly meal. Stop before it becomes the consistency of a nut butter.

3. In a large bowl combine cooked rice, beet shreds, beans, onion, flax, walnut meal, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper and Sriracha. Mash slightly (I like my beans a little chunky in the burgers still, but it’s up to you!) with a potato masher and/or whisk and mix together until well combine.

Black Rice Black Bean Beet Burgers Vegan kbaked 3

4. Using your hands, take about 1/4th to 1/3rd cup mixture at a time and shape into a patty, about 1/4th inch thick. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with rest of mixture.

5. Bake on a middle rack for 30-40 minutes until crisped lightly on edges. Remove from oven and enjoy on a delicious bun with toppings of your choice, or as is.

 Black Bean Black Rice Beet Burger  3

For more Recipes to Inspire you to Think Rice, click around below: