Lately I’ve tried to avoid soy products entirely. However, sometimes faux-cheese cravings are hard to avoid– especially when wheat and other forms of gluten, corn, oil, and nuts are out of the question (I’m trying an elimination diet, and soy has always been the lesser of dietary evils throughout my life). Next week I will experiment with eliminating seeds if soy proves to be a problem. Whatever your situation in terms of dietary preferences or allergies, I want to share this recipe for a low fat, low carb, oil-free vegan alternative for ricotta cheese… because it is so close to the “real thing” it made me pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.
I used Westsoy Organic Tofu because it was on sale for $.59 at Grocery Outlet. I usually use Surata brand because it’s more local (made in Eugene OR), though apparently the on-sale impulse buy was a score because I found Westsoy to be the superior choice for this recipe.
This recipe makes an excellent “fauxtmeal”. Whether you enjoy it at home or pack it in a thermos, this grain-free oatmeal alternative is just as comforting as the real thing. Packed with potassium from the banana and Omega-3’s from the flax, this breakfast is the perfect morning fuel. Warming and slightly sweet with a hint of tartness, it is a sure-fire winner in terms of taste. Keep away the winter blues with this hearty first meal–providing your apple a’ day and cayenne pepper to boot!
Quick and easy to prepare, this fauxtmeal can be made with or without a food processor.
Apple Banana Fauxtmeal with Flax
1 ripe banana
1 organic pink lady apple (or similar variety), coarsely chopped
1/2 cup silken tofu
1/4 cup soy milk or almond milk
2 Tbsp ground flax seeds / flax meal
1 Tbsp whole flax seeds
1 Tbsp almond butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp raisins or chopped dates (optional)
A sprinkling of cayenne pepper to taste
In a food processor or with a fork, mash the banana with the ground flax seeds/flax meal, cinnamon, silken tofu, and soy/almond milk. Warm on the stove or microwave and top with chopped apple, flax seeds, raisins/dates and cayenne pepper.
Hint: Try it as a snack, or a healthy dessert recipe!
I’m a huge fan of granola but most store-bought brands send me into sugar overdrive (followed by a very inconvenient “comedown” and crash around 3pm). Despite the fact that oats are a whole grain, complex carbohydrate and not the “instant release” type, I need something with a bit more protein [and a lot less sugar] to make it through the day. Enter the high-protein breakfast parfait. Made with silken tofu and sweetened with banana, it contains no added sugar (apart from the granola garnish). The rest is pure protein (nuts and seeds)…and chocolate–which contains theobromine, a natural mood booster! (just thought I’d point that out, to justify eating chocolate for breakfast). The optional soy yogurt adds a dose of healthy probiotics to aid in digestion and boost immune function. And now, the recipe:
High Protein Breakfast Parfait
(makes 2-3 servings)
1 package silken tofu
1 cup plain soy yogurt (optional)
1/3 cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa or raw cacao powder
1/4 cup vanilla-almond granola (or your favorite flavor)
1/3 cup raw, shelled pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds
1/3 cup raw cashew pieces or crushed whole cashews
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
In a blender or food processor, add the tofu, soy yogurt (optional), and banana. Blend for a minute, or until mixture is churning and smooth. Add the cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend on a low setting or pulse (if using a food processor) until smooth.
In a parfait glass, create layers with nuts and seeds (and a sprinkling of granola, to taste).