Fresh Broccoli and Vegetable Teriyaki Stir-Fry with Cashews (vegan and gluten-free)

As a culture, we are always excited and fascinated by what’s new.  As a vegan chef, I love to push out of my cooking comfort zones to try new techniques, new ingredients, and of course to create new recipes for all of YOU!  And yet, we have thousands of cookbooks available to use (vegan or otherwise), and millions more recipes online.  But… we still wait for what’s “new”.

Yet, sometimes the gems are already created.  Sometimes the ‘oldies’ truly are the ‘goodies’.  Like last week I posted my “Apple-Hemp Muffins” and they have been getting rave reviews and shared on facebook and twitter and elsewhere.  Ditto for my “Maple Banana Bread‘, which after a twitter flurry (started by vegan sassafras Erin Red), popped up in the most emailed recipes on RECIpage over the weekend!  Those recipes both came from my first two cookbooks.  And, this one today, “Broccoli Cashew Teriyaki Tofu Stir-Fry” was a very popular recipe from eat, drink & be vegan.

I made this recipe again last week and decided I had to get this recipe with all its beauteous veg posted for you!  While I was taking the photo, my husband walked in and said “man, it smells good in here, is that what I think it is?  I cannot wait to eat!”… Yes, my tater-veggie-burger-loving hubby absolutely LOVES this meal, and has no issue scarfing down all the mix of vegetables (kiddos, hmmm, that’s another story… one likes the zukes and broccoli, the other the zukes and carrots, etc).  I often switch up some of the veg I use in this recipe, so I give some tips to do the same in the notes below.

Broccoli Cashew Teriyaki Tofu Stir-Fry gluten-free, oil-free (RECIpage to print/share)

The veggies in this stir-fry are vibrant and cooked until just a little tender but still fresh and with some crunch.  And the sauce… it’s brimming with lots of fresh garlic and ginger and has that salty/sweet teriyaki appeal.  Add some tofu and cashews and serve over noodles or rice and you have one outstanding, pleasing meal!

Tofu: (optional, see note)

1 350-g pkg (12-oz) firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into cubes about 1⁄2″ – ¾” thick

1 tbsp tamari (or coconut aminos)

1½ tbsp rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar

For the Sauce:

1/3 cup tamari (or coconut aminos)

¼ – 1/3 cup water

3 – 3 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup or agave nectar

1 – 1½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil (optional, omit for oil-free)

1 tsp blackstrap molasses

5-6 medium-large cloves garlic, minced (reduce for kiddo palates)

2 – 2½ tsp freshly grated ginger

1 tbsp arrowroot powder 

Stir-Fry Mix

½ – 1 tbsp oil or splash of water for oil-free (to saute tofu; see directions for oven-baking)

4 ½ -5 cups broccoli, cut into flowerets and stalks peeled, trimmed, and sliced in rounds (just over ½ lb of broccoli)

couple pinches of sea salt

couple teaspoons of water

1½ cups red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, sliced (about 1 medium-large)

½ – ¾ cup raw cashews

1/2 cup sliced green onions 

First marinate the tofu.  Place the tofu cubes in a shallow dish and then pour the tamari and vinegar over the pieces.  Flip the tofu to try and coat and distribute the marinade to both sides of the tofu.  Next, combine the ingredients for the sauce, whisking together in a large bowl until fully incorporating the arrowroot powder (you can also use a handblender to whiz the ingredients together if you prefer).  In a large non-stick skillet over high heat, first saute the tofu for 7-9 minutes, turning the sides to lightly brown each side.  Once golden brown, remove the tofu from your skillet. (Alternatively, you can bake the tofu with the marinade in a shallow baking dish (roughly 8” x 12”) at about 400 degrees for 15-25 minutes, turning once or twice until all the marinade is absorbed – it won’t get as crispy through oven baking).  Next, add the broccoli and a pinch or two of sea salt and a teaspoon or two of water (the water will help to steam and soften the broccoli once covered).  Toss the broccoli through, cover and let cook for just 2-3 minutes.  As it is starting to turn to a brighter green color, remove the cover to your skillet, add the bell peppers, and saute through for another minute.  Next, add the teriyaki sauce, and increase heat to high.  Toss the sauce through the vegetables, and let the sauce come up to a slow boil.  Once the sauce is at a slow boil and has thickened, add the tofu, cashews, and green onions, toss through the sauce and remove your pan from the heat.  Serve immediately over rice noodles, soba noodles, or a whole grain of choice such as brown rice or quinoa.

Tofu note:  Marinating the tofu is optional.  If you want to speed the cooking process you can eliminate this step.  Marinating will add extra flavor to the tofu, but you can skip the step if you are in a hurry.

Vegetables Switch-Ups:  If you’d like to use other veggies in this stir-fry, go for it!  I love to add in carrots, green beans, snow peas, and zucchini.  Keep in mind that harder veggies like carrots and cauliflower need a little more time, so add those earlier in the cooking process.  Veg like zukes, bell peppers, green beans, and especially snow peas need just a few minutes to gently heat through and not overcook.

Sauce Note: Sometimes I like to ‘extend’ the sauce a little more, using about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of water.  When I do, I round the tbsp of arrowroot slightly so that the sauce will still nicely thicken.  Don’t add too much water as it will dilute the flavors.

What are some of YOUR “oldie but goodie” recipes? Please share your cherished favorites, and also any feedback you have about this recipe.  Much !


Apple Hemp Muffins (vegan, wheat-free, and oil-free)

If you eat vegan or raw, you know that hemp is hot!  I’ve been using hemp seeds in my recipes for years (before it was um, ‘hip to eat hemp’).  When I started using hemp seeds and talking about them in my recipes, I got that “ohhhh, you are hippity dippity!” sort of reaction. People didn’t know that hemp seeds were a highly nutritious food – a ‘superfood’ if you will. No, instead they thought they’d get high from my brownies. Of course they wouldn’t! Because I saved it all for muffins. 😉

Jokes aside, it took a few years for the worth of hemp – high in protein, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants – to be recognized in the world of healthy eating.  Thank goodness it has, because it has made these virtuous bitty seeds widely available (and accepted)!

These Apple-Hemp Muffins I first created for my second cookbook, Vive le Vegan!.  That book came out in ’04… told you I’ve been a hempster for a while!  They are tender, moist, just-sweet-enough, and fragrant.

Recently I switched up the recipe to make them wheat-free and also oil-free.  These are recipe requests I am receiving so frequently that I want to oblige.  Wheat-free modifications are usually pretty easy, adjusting with spelt and oat flour (and usually needing slightly more).  Oil-free can be a little more challenging, because we want to keep those muffins MOIST and tender.  These muffins are still beautifully moist and tender – not to worry!  The other tricky thing with oil-free muffins is not having them stick to the muffin liners.  You can do a couple of things.  First, you can use silicone muffin pans.  I do not use them myself, but know they are particularly useful for oil-free baking.  If, like me, you don’t have silicone bakeware, the best thing to do is to let the muffin cool.  Completely.  If it is still somewhat warm, the liner is harder to peel away from the muffin.  And, if you are okay with using just a smidgen of oil – I mean just a little – you can add say 2 teaspoons to this batter.  That amount is pretty insignificant overall for 12 large muffins, and will help with that ‘sticky’ situation!

I make these muffins often for school lunches, because they are substantial, healthy, and of course nut-free.  If you want to perk them up for the kiddos, try adding… what else?… sprinkle of mini chocolate chips.  (Do I add this to every recipe?  Well, not to hummus – yet.)  😀

Enough of my rambling, right?  Here are the muffins!

Apple Hemp Muffins wheat-free, oil-free, soy-free

RECIpage link to print/share

Moist, lightly spiced muffins with the added nutrition of hemp seed nuts. These are easy and quick, and sure to please both kids and adults!

1 1⁄2 cups whole-grain spelt flour

1 cup oat flour

2/3 – 3/4 cup hemp seeds

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1⁄4 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 – 1 3/4 tsp cinnamon

1⁄4 tsp ground cardamom (can substitute freshly grated nutmeg)

1 cup unsweetened organic applesauce

1⁄2 cup pure maple syrup

3⁄4 cup plain or vanilla non-dairy milk

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup raisins or chopped raw banana spears (use kitchen shears or knife to cut in small pieces about size of raisins)

Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, sifting in the baking powder and baking soda. Stir through until well combined. In another bowl, combine applesauce, maple syrup, non-dairy milk, and vanilla, and mix together. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and gently fold and mix through, until just combined (do not overmix). Spoon the mixture into a muffin pan lined with cupcake liners (this will fill 12 muffins quite full).  Bake for 21-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.   (See notes above about cooling to help remove from liner.) Makes 12 large muffins.  Hemp, Hemp, Hooray!  Enjoy, friends! 😀

Are hemp seeds new to you, or do you use them often?  What is your favorite way to eat them?

Creamy Breakfast Rice Pudding (vegan and gluten-free)

I am delighted that we are in January, because though seasonally it is cold and dark, for me it is uplifting with less fall ‘overwhelm’ and the start to a new year!  January usually brings many intentions to start eating healthier.  I support these resolutions and intentions, in the framework of a healthier eating lifestyle, not a diet.  A whole foods plant-powered diet is just that – a healthier dietary lifestyle that has longevity… not a temporary quick-fix diet.

I want to offer a new recipe to you today that supports your healthier eating in the new year, and that will also bring you nourishment and warming comfort food in these cold winter days.

This is my Creamy Breakfast Rice Pudding.  “Dreena and Daughters” is back!  After many months, I have another cooking video for you (forewarning: one kiddo is eating cereal in the background and clinking her spoon on the bowl… and the videographer got a LITTLE adjustment-happy with the tripod).  Real-life videos, folks! 😉

The key to this recipe is cooking rice in batches so you have leftovers to quickly prep this pudding.  You can make the version with the pureed banana for natural sweetness, or add some other healthier sweetener options to taste.  And, you can indulge your chocolate-loving soul with the cocoa-infused version.

Creamy Breakfast Rice Pudding by Dreena Burton #vegan #glutenfree #oilfree

photo credit: Nicole Axworthy

Creamy Breakfast Rice Pudding

RECIpage link to print/share

2 cups precooked brown rice, loosely packed (reserve 1/2 cup)

3/4 – 1 cup non-dairy milk (your choice, see note)

1 ripe banana (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup, sliced) (optional, see note) OR 1-2 tbsp pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, or chopped dried fruits

1/4 – 1/2  tsp cinnamon

few pinches nutmeg

1/8 tsp sea salt

grated orange or lemon zest (optional)

optional: 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder (see note)

In a small saucepan, add 1 1/2 cups of the cooked rice (rough measure), and the remaining ingredients starting with 3/4 cup of milk (omit banana if you prefer, see note – and except the zest).  Puree the mixture using a handblender (alternatively, you can puree in a blender before adding to the saucepan, but I find the handblender is quicker and easier for clean-up)!  Add the remaining 1/2 cup of rice, and turn heat to medium-low.  Let the mixture thicken and warm for several minutes.  Add the remaining milk if desired to thin.  Taste, and adjust with sweetener and orange/lemon zest if desired, and stirring through add-in’s if you like!   Serve.

Banana and Sweetener Note:  The banana adds natural sweetness, and so if using it, you may not need the maple syrup or coconut sugar- it’s up to you.  However, also note that if adding the banana, the mixture will turn a darker color with the banana oxidizing and being cooked – so it’s best to eat straight away rather than save leftovers.  If you don’t use the banana, try adding a touch of pure maple syrup or coconut sugar.  Or, you can add chopped dates or other dried fruits to sweeten.

Milk note: If using a vanilla non-dairy milk, you may not need any additional sweetener.  If using an unsweetened variety, you will probably want to bump up the sweetness with the pureed banana or other options.


Chocolate version:  Make this pudding chocolate-y with the addition of 1-2 tbsp of cocoa powder.  You will need extra sweetener to balance the bitterness of the cocoa, so adjust to taste.

Add-in’s:  To add some variety and extra nutrition to this pudding, try adding in a few tablespoons of hemp seeds, a tablespoon of ground chia, 1-2 tablespoons of nut or seed butter (ex: cashew, almond, pistachio, sunflower), 2-3 tablespoons almond meal, a sprinkle of dried fruit (ex: chopped dates, goji berries, raisins, dried blueberries, etc), or some fresh fruit (ex: chopped apples/pears in the winter, fresh berries in spring/summer).

Before I sign off, I thank you for your support and kindness through the last year.  It is meaningful to receive your lovely comments through my posts, email, facebook, and twitter.  Thank you all, I feel blessed to be able to share my work and creativity with you. I hope to bring you much healthy deliciousness in 2013, and I wish you all a year filled with abundant health, love and joy!  

Do you make rice pudding?  Have you made it for breakfast before?