What is The Vegan(ish) Experiment?

Our family (me, my husband D, and our four-year-old Molly) started 2009 with a mostly-vegan, macrobiotic-inspired diet (although I have to admit, the strict macro rules have pretty much gone out the window). I have seen a marked improvement in my chronic migraines, and I'm enjoying proving that we can make amazing, mouth-watering, memorable food without animal products. For a more in-depth intro, click here.

I stopped updating this blog quite awhile back, when life got in the way. I'm still keeping a mostly vegan kitchen, though, and loving it. Have fun browsing my recipes!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day 20: Baked Tofu & Tempeh

Happy Inauguration Day to you all! Whatever your political beliefs, I hope everyone is inspired to see the barriers that were broken down today. Here's my favorite post so far about history being made. Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, whatever - be prepared to get choked up if you read it.

I've been making baked tofu and baked tempeh every Sunday, so that we have a tasty sandwich fillings for our weekday lunches. This week, I made them on Monday instead - we had the day off in honor of Martin Luther King.

In an attempt to make our lunches not too boring, I make a different marinade every weekend. I've tried Szechuan-style, lemon-tahini, and (before our experiment officially started) peanut. All were very good; I think we liked the Szechuan the best.

Wondering what to try this week, I rememberd that my sister, C.Beth, had posted our mom's garlic lime chicken recipe (a family favorite growing up) a few weeks ago. I decided to adapt it to make it vegan (the original recipe had Worcestershire sauce, which contains anchovies), and see if it would work as a tofu/tempeh marinade. Yay! It was the best we've made so far. Molly loved it - and the only tofu we've ever gotten her to eat is the little pieces in miso soup. Tempeh is something she had, until she had this recipe, refused to try.

Baked tofu and tempeh are not particularly pretty, so I didn't bother to take a picture. But here are the recipes:

Vegan Garlic Lime Marinade:

2 T. tamari, or 3T. regular soy sauce
2 T. lime juice
1 clove (or 1 t.) minced garlic
1/4 t. dry mustard
fresh-ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients - my favorite way is to throw them all in a Ziploc and shake. The Ziploc will come in handy if you are using this for tofu.

Marinated Baked Tofu:

1 lb. extra firm tofu, pressed*
1/4 cup of the marinade of your choice, or one recipe of the Garlic Lime marinade, above.

After pressing the tofu,
cut it into 3/4-inch cubes** - some people prefer to do slices instead. Marinate in a Ziploc bag for at least one hour in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 300° F.

Place marinated tofu, in a single layer, on a cookie sheet. (To ease clean-up, line the cookie sheet with aluminum foil.) Bake for 45 minutes and turn tofu. Bake for another 30 min - 1 1/2 hours, until it is brown and crispy all over. Baking time will depend upon how much moisture you have pressed out of the tofu and how thick the pieces are. (If you don't have a lot of time, you can use a 350
° or even 400° oven and bake until browned - but it will not be as crispy.)

*To press tofu, put a few layers of paper towl on a cutting board. Place the tofu on the cutting board and, using something like a can of soup to wedge under it, place the cutting board in the sink at a shallow angle. Place a plate on top of the tofu and a heavy can on top of the plate. Leave at least one hour. This gets the moisture out of the tofu so that it can bake up nice and crispy.
**I prefer to cut it myself rather than buying the pre-cubed. The pre-cubed tofu, at least the brand I have tried (Nasoya), is smaller than I like.

Marinated Baked Tempeh


1 package tempeh, cut into 1/4-inch slices (slice the short way, not the long way - your slices will be about 1" x 3" x 1/4".)
1/4 cup of the marinade of your choice, or one recipe of the Garlic Lime marinade, above.

Place tempeh in one layer in a baking dish (line with aluminum foil for easy clean-up). Pour marinade over tempeh and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300° F.

Bake tempeh for 30 minutes. Turn slices and bake for 30 more minutes, or until browned on both sides.

Tofu and/or Tempeh Sandwich
Spread hummus or tahini on both inside surfaces of a split pita pocket. Add baked tofu and/or tempeh and any or all of the above: shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, bean or alfalfa sprouts, spinach or other greens, sliced bell pepper, etc.... Pack for lunch with a piece of fruit. This is really really good!!!


  1. Yum! It was almost as good as a cheese and french fry sandwich! Almost. But a very close substitute and a LOT healthier. Thanks baby!

  2. Wow! I'll try it. If I'd looked at your post before I fixed our big meal today, I'd have done that instead of the way I did the tofu! Never thought of using that recipe for tofu. Thanks for the idea! -Mom

  3. Just wanted to pop in and say I'm so glad your migraines are lessening--that's great news! Also, I tried your chick pea curry tonight and Jeff and I both really enjoyed it (the kids were not so enthusiastic, but that was no big surprise). One of my favorite things to make is Chicken Tikka Masala, and now I think I might try it with chick peas or tofu instead of the chicken.

    I'm totally with you on feeling the significance of today's inauguration. Jeff went to work late so he could stay home and watch the coverage. It was especially poignant for me when Sadie, who doesn't often sit still, sat in my lap for a good portion of it and watched. Like the blogger you linked to said of her daughter, she has no idea that today is important, or why. But to me, it means that she will grow up taking for granted that she really can aspire to be anything that she wants to; that she lives in a nation that doesn't limit her, or anyone else, based on the color of their skin.

  4. d - Thanks for commenting! I'm glad you're enjoying the daily sandwiches. :)

    Mom - Glad to give you some ideas! I know you and I both have recipes coming out of our ears, but it's good to get one that's already been tested by your daughter (who has similar food tastes to you).

    Janell - I LOVE chicken tikka masala, but have never made it at home. I like the idea of making it with some sort of non-meat protein. Your story about watching with Sadie made me get choked up. :)

  5. This sound so yummy...I will have to try this!


I love it when people come back and tell me how the recipes turned out - please consider doing so! Thanks!


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