janet @ the taste space

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl + Keep It Vegan Review+GIVEAWAY

In Book Review, Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on February 3, 2015 at 7:01 AM

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl

Full disclosure: In the fall, I had a full-blown case of cooking ennui. It probably evolved from a combination of immobility from my fracture, beginning my new job and the stress of starting to plan for our wedding.

I ended up buying a lot more prepared foods than ever before. At the farmer’s market close to our house, they would sell flavoured tofu and would easily at least 2 packets per week. My favourite was the miso-flavoured tofu. They also have a sweet and sour one, but miso was the best. When I tried this recipe for “sweet and sour marinaded tofu” is was a close approximation to the miso tofu (and not sweet and sour). Go figure. A bit more salty but you only notice it if you eat it cold from the fridge. Added to a bowl of vegetables and some quinoa, you have a seriously delicious and balanced meal.

Sweet-and-Sour Marinaded Tofu Veggie Bowl + Keep It Vegan Review+GIVEAWAY

This recipe is courtesy of Aine Carlin’s new cookbook Keep It Vegan. Another blogger that I have been following for a while, it is my pleasure to share her recipes with you. She blogs at Pea Soup Eats and her British influence is obvious throughout her book of comfort vegan foods: Morning Oat Jacks, Shepherdess Pie with Sweet Potato Topping, Chana Masala, Mexican-Style Lasagna, Red Lentil and Spinach Lasagna, Braised Red Cabbage with Apple, Chocolate Chestnut Pie, Summer (Bread) Pudding, and Banana Peanut Butter and Chocolate Sauce Sundae. Her recipes are approachable without too many esoteric ingredients (beyond what is normally found in a vegan pantry) but she also includes unusual and creative ideas like Bloody Mary Bruschetta, Breakfast Brownie with a Strawberry Bottom, Rosemary-and-Pear-Stuffed-French Toast and even Sweet Potato and Kiwi Soup.

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl

Rob made the Hole Mole Black Bean Chili which was excellent, although we skipped the chocolate part. And we snuck in some leftover tamarind chickpea curry from Vegan Without Borders. But is was still excellent.

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl

But these tofu bites were spectacular. A strong-flavoured miso-based marinade infused the tofu for a few hours and then they were lightly pan-fried for a delicious crispy crust. It reminded me of old-school vegan eats (aka this classic tofu dish dubbed Sweet and Sour, Hot and Spicy Tofu) and I added it to a bowl of almost roasted red peppers, sliced avocado, quinoa, arugula/spinach and hemp seeds. Basically, another version of a Dragon Bowl with the vegetable remnants from my fridge. Astute readers might realize a lot of the ingredients were leftovers from the Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Hemp and Orange. 🙂 If you have extra marinade, it could be used to drizzle overtop but I let mine soak into the leftover tofu.

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl

The photo below is the one from the cookbook. Feel free to cut the tofu into bigger slabs and serve with the green bean salad, as suggested.

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl + Keep It Vegan Review+GIVEAWAY


Recipes from Keep It Vegan spotted elsewhere:

Baked Eggplant with Lemon-Infused Couscous

Bloody Mary Bruschetta

Carrot Cake Bites

Crusty No-Knead Carrot and Courgette Bread

Fudgy Brownies

Hole Mole Black Bean Chilli

Indian Spiced Tacos with Mango Salsa

Macaro-no Cheese with Crispy Kale

No Bake Strawberry Vanilla Cheesecake

Pea and Lemon Risotto with a Mint Oil Drizzle

Rosemary and Pear Stuffed French Toast

Stuffed mushroom burgers and dijon-coated potato wedges

Super Green Smoothie

Winter Squash and Couscous Salad

Sweet-and-Sour Marinaded Tofu Veggie Bowl

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the United States. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me about your favourite vegan comfort food. The winner will be selected at random on February 12, 2015. Good luck!

Sweet and Sour Marinated Tofu
Recipe reprinted courtesy of Keep It Vegan

Aine’s note: Forget everything you think you know about tofu because this unctuous marinated version is deliciously tasty proof that this much-maligned ingredient can be anything but flavorless and boring. The key here is to drain as much liquid from the block of tofu as possible—after that, it’s a case of allowing the marinade to do its thing. The crispy caramelized outer and firm texture gives this dish real impact and I doubt anyone will be complaining when you serve it as the main event for dinner. The time to make peace with tofu has officially arrived.

14 oz firm tofu
1/4 cup miso paste
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
1/4 cup groundnut, sunflower, or rapeseed oil

1. Drain the tofu and place it in a shallow bowl with a plate on top. Now put two 14 oz food cans (or similar) on top of the plate to weight it down, and set aside for 15 minutes.

2. Drain the excess liquid, pat dry, and cut lengthwise to form two equal halves. Then slice each half into two triangles, to give you four triangles in total. Return the tofu to the shallow bowl.

3. In a bowl, whisk together the miso paste, lime juice, tamari, sesame oil, and agave or maple syrup. Pour the marinade over the tofu and turn the tofu several times to ensure it is completely coated. Set aside for at least 1 hour— the longer you leave it, the better.

4. Heat the oil in a medium, non-stick, heavy-bottomed frying pan and add the tofu. Fry over medium heat until dark and caramelized on one side (about 10 minutes) before turning over and doing the same on the other side.

5. Serve the tofu hot or cold with a Green Bean Salad with Lemon, Garlic, and Chilli.


If you’re really short of time, 15 minutes’ marinating will suffice – just!

Serves 4.

  1. this sounds delicious, will be giving it a try. I will add it to my favorite vegan comfort food, which is similar to this, as I have a bit of grain, legume/tofu, whatever veggies are on hand, throw it in a bowl, steam it up, a splash of lemon tahini dressing, good to go!

  2. Thanks for doing this giveaway; the cookbook sounds intriguing.

    Favorite comfort food? That would depend on my mood, the time of year, and how elaborately I want to cook. At purest simplicity, I love to bake sweet potatoes until the caramel starts to seep…then eat hot or chilled, depending on time of year.

  3. Yes, the tofu bites were great! The Hole Mole was great even without the chocolate (and who’d want to waste high quality dark chocolate from Ghiradelli in chili?)

    Also: Janet is awesome!!!!! Yay Janet!!!! 😀

  4. My favourite Ying Ying tofu is the tomato flavour and yes it gets expensive. You have inspired me to try making my own!

  5. This does sound delicious! I make my own seitan Italian sausages in big batches and freeze them. Lately I can’t get enough of sausage and peppers old school Italian/American Boston style. Yum!!!!

  6. My favorite comfort food is sweet potato black bean wraps from one of the Moosewood collection..It is filling and perfect for the cold winter days that we have been having.

  7. My favorite comfort food is soup, especially vegan ribolita.

  8. My favorite is anything with avocado!

  9. Peanut butter…right out of the jar!

  10. Mac and Cheese, a vegan version!

  11. A big bowl of cocoa quinoa flakes!

  12. Vegan jambalaya with homemade seitan sausage. yummy!

  13. You sound like you needed a break from cooking with everything else going on – this tofu sounds wonderful – have not heard of that blog – curious to know what sort of miso you used – I would assume a light one

  14. My favorite vegan comfort food is quesadillas. I add black beans, kale, nutritional yeast, adobo seasoning (and a little bit of Daiya – I know…it is processed eeek!) on a Food For Life GF wrap.

    Yes it is good to take a little breather every now and then. Between my consulting, blogging, cookbook creating, helping my 6-year old at school (as well as working on our third children’s book), things are a bit crazy. Hence the quesadillas.

  15. vegan bean chili with butternut squash

  16. This tofu sounds so good! I have a serious craving now. I haven’t seen this blog before — have I been under a rock? — but you bet I will be poking around. 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway opportunity! My fave vegan comfort food is mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and olive oil. So good.

  17. My favorite healthy comfort food is a nice hearty veggie soup!

  18. I really need to get on this miso band wagon. I keep not buying it as I don’t think I’ll use it enough, but then I keep seeing recipe after recipe calling for it. I love the sound of these tofu bites! So scrumptious =)
    I have recently been enjoying flavoured tofu from my farmer’s market – my current addiction is teriyaki. So good.
    I think my favourite comfort food is chili =)

    • Miso is an umami powerhouse. It has an incredible depth of flavour and brings a moreish quality to vegan food. I love it.
      It also keeps for a long time, as long as you don’t double dip.

    • ps. This is being featured on Healthy Vegan Fridays today =) Thanks for contributing! Have a wonderful weekend.

  19. A big bowl of vegan beany spicy chili

  20. I absolutely adore to snack on a garden veggie sandwich. Cucumbers with roasted red peppers, sprouts, pesto, and cream cheese?? Count me in!! (god, now my mouth is watering…)

  21. I’ve been there before- when I cut my hand and couldn’t work or cook, I bought SO MUCH yam chops food while feeling very sorry for myself. I was so happy when my cooking funk ended!

  22. That tofu looks scrumptious. Must make it soon.
    My favourite comfort food is pasta, creamy cauliflower alfredo or mac and cheese.

  23. My favorite comfort food is definitely pancakes!! I love all kinds from chocolate, to banana, to peanut butter, to beet, to spinach. Go vegan pancakes! 🙂

  24. My favorite vegan comfort food is vegetable stew with dumplings. This sounds like a great book. Thanks for the review & giveaway!

  25. I think the biggest comfort food for me would have to be a hearty stew.

  26. […] I have been lucky to be able to cook from so many fabulous cookbooks. I always try to share my favourite recipe for you to try as well, but sometimes there are so many good recipes. This dish was simplified, slightly from the Buddha Parcels in Keep It Vegan (as reviewed originally here). […]

  27. […] 2. Sweet and Sour Tofu Veggie Bowl […]

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