One of the stapes in my house growing up was a family take on spaghetti Bolognese. We honestly ate that stuff at least once a week, sometimes more like 3 times, because mum didn't enjoy cooking, and dad often didn't have time. Their genius answer to this was dad cooking up a giant pot of beef Bolognese mince and freezing it in portions. When we eventually started getting bored of pasta we would make a sort of shepherds pie, or a lasagne, or stuffed potatoes with the same mix, and I just loved the rich simplicity of it.
Since I stopped buying meat I've found that I miss the heartiness of a mince based dinner. Tonight we had some lovely colleagues around for dinner and did wraps (the go-to sharing meal in our house group), and I decided to try tofu mince for the first time. Thankfully it turned out really well using a very similar recipe to the one my dad uses with meat. Phew, because we had some hungry people to feed!
1 meduim onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
2tsp cumin powder
2tsp coriander powder
2 blocks of firm tofu, defrosted* (about 200g drained)
1cup chopped tomato (fresh, canned or any kind of tomato based sauce from a jar)
1/2tbsp soy sauce
1 carrot, grated
1 cup packed chopped green leafy vegetables (I used bok choy)
Up to a cup of random veggies, finely chopped, I had some leftover broccoli stalks and a bit of a green pepper
1tsp mixed herbs
Fry your onion on meduim heat until it's tarts turning translucent, add onions and spices, fry until you start smelling the spices nice and strongly.
While this is happening, squeeze the majority of the water from your tofu so it's nice and dry. Get in there with your hands and crumble it up into mince like pieces, or chunky breadcrumbs. Add the tofu to the pan and fry until it starts sticking.
Throw in your tomato and cook for 10 minutes. Mix through all your other ingredients, and cook for a further 10 minutes.
That is pretty much it! If it gets dry throw in water to get it to the consistency you like, or if it's a bit moist try to boil off some of the extra water. I added a tablespoon of nutritional yeast right at the end to mine for some extra vitamin B12, and that was quite nice too. Fresh herbs would be lovely.
I have been informed that the recipe would be great with a tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce, but have yet to try it.
*Top tip! If you freeze your tofu in just enough water to cover it it will get a 'meatier' and slightly tougher texture, rather than the somewhat squelchy feeling it can have otherwise. This is also great when roasting or frying your tofu!
I have also made a very similar recipe with diced chickpeas instead of tofu, and have heard of this with puy lentils as well. If you have any recipes for those I'd love to see them! Leave me a comment or send me a message!
Keep being awesome!
Labels: cruelty free, recipe, vegan, vegetarianism