It’s been a while since I’ve posted any vegan recipes. Considering I was a vegan for 2 years of my life, that’s pretty shameful. Truth be told, I finally learned how to cook when I became vegan, in 2008. That’s right, I truly started cooking only five years ago….. luckily, I grew up reading food magazines, helping out here and there when my mom cooked, watching my grandparents master everything Italian, and admiring Martha Stewart’s briskets and DIY doilies on TV. Needless to say, I had a solid repertoire built up before I put spatula to skillet. Is that even an expression?
Being vegan was such a refreshing experience. I recommend everyone to try veganism for at least 3 weeks – preferably 3 months! You’ll never feel better. If you’ve ever done a juice cleanse or a detox and felt rejuvenated afterwards, this is basically like that – except without the starvation. You simply feel rejuvenated every day. I had endless amounts of energy, ate interesting things, and was very svelte. In order to adhere to the strict dietary rules of veganism, I learned how to properly cook vegetables, make healthy sauces, identify effective protein to veggie ratios, and discover new flavor profiles.
Plus, I Googled the heck out of every cooking technique possible. My sweet mother loves to remind me that I once had to Google “how to use a can opener.” It’s true.
Many people ask “Why did you stop being vegan?” It’s a hard question to answer, because there were many reasons, but the one I always come back to is that I just love food too much. Living near NYC, it was heart-breaking to be surrounded by so many great restaurants and have to order a salad, side of broccoli and a baked potato. I still eat a very vegetable-heavy diet, but I now enjoy creamy cheese plates and buttery halibuts. I’m living life on the dark side now, just in moderation.
Long story short, put down your Blue Print Cleanse juice you’re convincing yourself tastes good and enjoy this refreshing vegan recipe, packed with heart-healthy veggies and superfoods.
Instructions with Pictures
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Place all of your spiralized vegetables and julienned carrots into a bowl and toss together to combine.
Place your tofu block on a few sheets of paper towels. Place a few more paper towels over the tofu and place a heavy book or can on top, to squeeze out the water.
After a few minutes, cut the tofu into chunks and toss in a bowl with soy sauce and white sesame seeds. If you have the time, let sit for 15 minutes to absorb the flavor. If not, that’s okay.
Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and lay down the tofu chunks, season with salt and pepper and bake for 20-35 minutes, depending on your preference. I like my tofu a bit tough, so I bake it for 30 minutes. Make sure to flip the tofu halfway through. Once done, set aside.
While the tofu is cooking, place all of the dressing ingredients into a food processor and pulse until creamy. Pour over the bowl of vegetables and mix thoroughly to combine. Top with black sesame seeds.
Top with avocado, scallions and cooked tofu. Eat with chopsticks!