Friday, May 27, 2011

Tofu, Vegetable, and Walnut Sandwich Stuffer

Busy Evolving!

From the silence on this space it is probably obvious that I have been too busy with other things to post anything here. It wasn't my choice to ignore my blog completely, but with a new job, much longer commute than before, and more traveling that ever before, it was hard to get a lot of things done, and blogging naturally started to fall lower in the priority list.

One thing that now cuts into my available time even more is that I have to pack my lunch, because food options near the workplace are very limited. When I add my parameters of vegetarian, healthy, low-fat, nutritious, fresh, filling, and preferably organic, the options are practically non-existent. So it means I have to pack a good lunch for myself and it has to be built into the routine.

Sandwich with Tofu and Vegetable spread

My first choice is usually a good salad with add-ins, dressing on the side, and some seasonal fruit. I can happily eat that on a regular basis. but then, every now and then I need a change. So my next favorite packable lunch is a sandwich that uses a tofu based stuffing. The idea originated from Madhur Jaffrey's 'World Vegetarian'. She calls it 'bean curd salad or spread' in the book, but what I make now has morphed so much that one wouldn't know that that was where it started.

The vegetable combination is all different too. I generally use carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, and spinach, but you can use bell peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, greens, or any of your favorite vegetables, or use it as an opportunity to use up odds and ends. This is a very versatile recipe, but what I usually don't change is the use of walnuts, soy sauce, black pepper, and the bit of sugar. That seems to do the flavor magic.

Sandwich with Tofu and Vegetable spread

I use the same recipe two ways. Depending on the type of bread I have, I either chop all ingredients into medium chunks and then quickly pulse the cooked mixture a few times in the food processor, or I finely chop all ingredients to begin with. The roughly processed spread is good to use between slices of hearty bread because it sticks to the bread well and the filling does not fall out while eating. The bhurji-like chunky textured mix is great for filling plump whole wheat pita halves, with the added advantages that you do not have to wash any food processor bowls. Either of the sandwiches are also immensely packable for travel as they don't have any distinctive 'smell'. I have taken them on domestic flights because options at airports or in flight never seem appealing.

Tofu and vegetable spread

Tofu, Vegetable, and Walnut Stuffing for Sandwiches

Makes enough for about 4 sandwiches


Note: All Quantities are approximate

About 8 oz of firm tofu (or enough to yield about 2 cups)
1/2 medium onion (or use scallions)
1-2 small carrots
1-2 cups of broccoli
2-4 mushrooms
a big handful of spinach leaves
handful of walnuts
2 Tablespoons oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame seeds or sesame oil (optional)
black pepper to taste (about 50 turns of the pepper mill)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4-5 Tablespoons chopped cilantro


Press the tofu gently between clean tea towels or paper towels to remove any excess water, and grate it or chop it finely. Chop the onion, and grate the carrots. Chop the other veggies and walnuts small if you want a bhurji, you can keep them large if you are going to whirl it in the food processor at the end.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil. Add the onion, and other veggies, and saute them for a few minutes on medium heat until they start to soften. Add the walnuts and spinach and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the tofu, cilantro, and rest of the ingredients, and stir everything together until the tofu is heated through.

If you want to use it like a spread, wait for the mixture to cool down and then pulse it a few times in a food processor.


Anjali Koli said...

That's a nutritious stuffing. Good you posted even after a long time it's always welcome.

Mints! said...

Good to see you back in action!! This looks tasty. I shall make it soon!

Saee Koranne-Khandekar said...

Welcome back, ET! The sandwiches look superb!

evolvingtastes said...

Anjali, Mints, Saee, thanks so much for stopping by and being regular "commenters" here! I truly appreciate it.

TheCooker said...

...and she is back.
question: how is the the next-day eatability?

evolvingtastes said...

TC, the 'spread' stays well for a few days in the fridge. In fact, I usually pack these sandwiches the night before for lunch or travel, so I know that they are quite fine the day after. If the mixture is fairly dry and the bread is hearty, the sandwiches do not get soggy either.

Aarthi said...

This looks have a lovely blog...I am having a giveaway in my blog..Y dont you check and join that

evolvingtastes said...

Thanks Aarthi

Shammi said...

Now talk about a really different recipe..! I've never even considered making a sandwich stuffing with tofu. :) Guess it has got to be tried!

evolvingtastes said...

Shammi, let me know if you do!

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