October 28, 2013 17 Comments
This recipe consists of a sweet and sour sauce that is free of the questionable ingredients that the store-bought and restaurant versions contain. No bright pink sauce here!
I should warn you, lest you curse me afterwards. You will need to do some washing up after preparing this dish – a wok, a saucepan (two, if you cook rice), a fry pan or skillet, and an immersion blender.
But it will be worth it, I promise! The meal is scrumptious and moreish, and the food preparation stage is simple. Maybe you could offer to cook, if your partner washes up. 😉
(Inspired by a recipe in The Vegan Health Plan by Amanda Sweet*)
250 g firm organic tofu, cubed
1 1/2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 medium-sized red capsicum (bell pepper), chopped (equates to 1 1/4 cup chopped)
3/4 cup pineapple pieces, fresh or tinned
1 1/2 cups carrot slices
1 tomato, chopped into 8 wedges
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tin/400g of crushed tomatoes
200ml low-sodium vegetable stock
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp raw sugar
2 Tbsp organic cornflour
1/4 cup raw cashews
Make the sweet and sour sauce first:
1. Use an immersion blender, blender or small food processor to liquidise the tinned tomatoes, until smooth. Set aside.
2. To a medium saucepan (on a low heat), add the cornflour. Add the stock slowly, and stir with a whisk to avoid lumps forming.
3. Once the cornflour is incorporated, add the liquidised tomatoes, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then simmer gently for a few minutes. Taste the sauce – if you prefer it sweeter, add additional sugar. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and set aside.
Prepare the tofu:
4. Cut the tofu into cubes and cook it in a fry pan, until lightly browned on all sides (I use my cafe-style sandwich press to brown the tofu). Set aside.
Prepare the vegetables:
5. Heat 2 Tbsp of water in a wok. Add the onions, and cook until softened.
2. Add the garlic and ginger, stir well. Cook for about 60 seconds, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the capsicum. Cook for 60 seconds.
5. Add the mushroom and pineapple. Cook for 2 mins.
6. Add the tofu and tomatoes, and the sweet and sour sauce. Mix well. Bring the sauce to the boil, then allow it to simmer gently for 2-3 minutes.
7. Add the cashews to the wok just prior to serving. Stir through.
8. Garnish with coriander or additional cashews. Serve with brown basmati or jasmine rice.
* This book is out of print.
The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts
My daughter enjoyed this meal, as I expected. One of 7-year-old Tiny Vegan’s favourite restaurant dishes is sweet and sour ‘not-pork’. At the very least, I knew that the sauce would be well-received by him.
And it was. In fact, he happily ate the contents of his plate.
I merely refrained from including mushroom and capsicum in his serving. Which, in turn, inspired 4-year-old Tiny Vegan to request his meal minus the mushroom and capsicum.
The disdain expressed for mushrooms by some of the tiny vegans is really quite disheartening for a mushroom admirer like myself. Cooked capsicum isn’t popular either. At least they’ll eat it raw.
The Virtual Vegan Potluck will be upon us soon. I will be participating again. This time, in the salad section. I am incorporating the featured ingredient into my recipe – beetroot (beets). Sign up at this page by 9 November (US time).
Every Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe that is enjoyed by my own family. I hope your family enjoys it too (with or without the mushrooms!).