Cooking for my vegan daughter is always a challenge, so I was happy to see that Sun Basket offered several vegan meal kits. Unfortunately, I have a picky vegan who doesn’t like felafel or chili – the two other vegan meals available this week. She thus was left with salt-and-pepper tofu stir-fry with glass noodles as her only choice. She makes a lot of stir fries for herself using tofu, so she wasn’t super excited about this recipe, but food is food and food that mommy makes is better than food that you have to make yourself.
All in all, she was “OK” with this meal kit. She liked the noodles and the stir fry sauce, though she wished there had been a greater variety of vegetables. To be fair, I omitted the red pepper that came with the kit because she doesn’t like red peppers. She wasn’t too happy with the tofu itself – mostly because she’s sick of eating tofu. Tofu, she says, always tastes like tofu, no matter what you do to it. She’d like it if some of these kits came with other fake meats.
All the ingredients for this kit arrived fresh and were still usable a couple of days later when I actually made the meal – but I don’t think they’d have lasted much longer.
They were good quality ingredients, and the meal was rightly portioned. She was full after eating half of the meal-for-two and is happy to have leftovers for today.
I paid a discounted price of $11 for this meal, and it might be worth that – but I don’t think it was worth the $24 regular price for the kit. Of course, time is money so your millage may vary.
Meal Kit Hacks: HelloFresh Sesame-Crusted Tofu with Spicy Peanut Butter Sauce & Garlic Bok Choy + PB Sauce RecipePosted: October 22, 2018 | Author: marga | Filed under: Meal Kits, Recipes | Tags: Hello Fresh, meal kit hacks, rice, sauces, tofu, vegan | Leave a comment »
HelloFresh does not have many vegan meals, so I was happy to find this recipe for Sesame-Crusted Tofu with Spicy Peanut Butter Sauce & Garlic Bok Choy that I could hack for my vegan daughter. While it wasn’t a complete dinner – we have yet to find a way to make tofu taste like anything but tofu, outside of deep frying it -, my daughter loved the peanut sauce and enjoyed the coconut rice, I’ll be making both of those again (see recipes below). She hadn’t had bok choy before, and she won’t again – she found this vegetable utterly tasteless, even with the peanut sauce. Fortunately, there was extra broccoli from our meal for her to eat. Most importantly, she totally appreciated that I made her food. Given that she’s the only vegan in the family, she often is on her own as far as cooking goes, so any time I cook for her it’s a treat.
Making this meal at home was rather cheap, as most of the ingredients are those you are likely to have in your pantry (peanut butter, rice, soy and hot sauce, sesame seeds), and those you don’t are cheap to buy. In all, I spent under $6.50 in this meal for two people. HelloFresh charges $20-$24 for the same food.
|HelloFresh Ingredients||My Ingredients||Cost|
|1 block tofu||1 lb tofu||$2|
|2 baby bok choy||2 baby bok choy||$2.60|
|1 Tbsp sesame seeds||1 Tbsp sesame seeds||pantry|
|2 Tbsp peanut butter||2 Tbsp peanut butter||pantry|
|1 can Lite Coconut Milk||1 can Lite Coconut Milk||$1.25|
|1 cup basmati rice||1 1/2 cups Jasmine rice||pantry|
|2 cloves garlic||2 cloves garlic||pantry|
|1 lime||1 lime||$0.50|
|1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs||1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs||$1 (for 8-cup ox)|
|1 tsp hot sauce||1 dash siracha||pantry|
|2 Tbsp soy sauce||2 Tbsp soy sauce||pantry|
If you’d like to subscribe to HelloFresh use this link to save $40 off your first box, and I’ll get a $30 credit – which I probably won’t use as I’ll be unsubscribing form HelloFresh shortly to try a different company.
Coconut Jasmine Rice
- 1 1/2 cups Jasmine rice
- 1 1/4 cup light coconut milk
- 1 1/4 cup water
- dash of salt
Rinse rice. Put coconut milk, water and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add rice, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.
Peanut Butter Sauce
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp sugar
- squeeze of lime juice
- a dash of hot sauce
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
I was making Soy-braised Chicken and Mushrooms for my family, as part of my exploration of Hakka cuisine, and decided to try making it with tofu for my vegetarian daughter. She liked it well enough, though did mention that the tofu didn’t quite absorb the broth and she didn’t think it was as flavorful as she’d liked. Perhaps seitan would be a better bet for this dish.
I made Ropa Vieja for dinner tonight, one of my old-time favorites, and decided to serve the same thing to my vegetarian daughter. She was quite happy with the results. Really, all I did was make the sauce, reserve some of it before I added the beef, add some vegetable base and tofu. She was happy and I was happy I was able to feed her. I’m sure you can substitute another meat substitute for tofu, but that’s what I had at home. I always serve this with fresh sourdough bread.
Tofu Ropa Vieja
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cups tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp vegetable base
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 lb extra-firm tofu, cubed
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium sauce pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook until they start to caramelize. Add the bell pepper and cook until soft. Add the tomato sauce, wine, bay leaf and vegetable base. Season with salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover, and the tofu cubes and cook for another 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve.
Tonight I made chicken Marsala for Mike and I and adapted the recipe so that Mika, my vegetarian daughter, could have it with tofu. Really, all it took to adapt it was to use a separate pan to cook the chicken and substitute tofu for the chicken. But here it is in case she ever wants to make it herself. It was truly delicious.
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp Marsala wine
- 1 1/2 tsp vegetable base
- 3/4 cup water
- 2/3 cup whipping cream
- 1 lb extra firm tofu, sliced
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- dash of dried or chopped sage
- salt & pepper to taste
Melt butter over medium heat in a frying pan. Add the shallot and cook for one minute. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates. Set aside.
Bring Marsala wine to a boil in a medium size sauce pan. Boil for 30 seconds and then add vegetable base, water, whipping cream and reserved mushrooms. Comine and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, pan-fry tofu slices.
When sauce is ready, add the remaining 2 Tbsp Marsala wine, the lemon juice and the sage. Stir and taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve the pan-friend tofu with the sauce.