Tag Archives: broccoli

Tofu Mushroom Poke

15 May

Poke is not something you used to do on Facebook…  it’s a salad served raw in Hawaii.  From the looks of it, it’s the Hawaiian ceviche and the correct pronunciation is Poke /poʊˈkeɪ/.

When I traveled to Peru, I had delicious tofu ceviche and white mushroom ceviche.  Both vegan, and both tasted as authentic as ceviche made with fish.  So I decided our Hawaiian ceviche, or poke, would include both tofu and mushrooms. To add more interest, color and crunch, I thought I would include some broccoli florets into the mix.

This is a simple dish with many components coming together.  Feel free to make some parts the night before you’re serving this and finish it off the day of with the broccoli and tossing it all together in the marinade.  This way the tofu marinates overnight and the broccoli is served fresh – the best of both worlds.


Typical Hawaiian Dish from KarmaFree Cooking


2 blocks of extra-firm tofu

1 pint of cremini mushrooms, quartered

1 bunch of broccoli, florets only cut in half or thirds

2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded

2 shallots, finely minced

4-6 scallions, thinly sliced

About ¼ cup Garlic and Herb Seasonings

3 garlic cloves, grated

2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup tamari

2 tbs toasted sesame oil

The juice of 2 limes

Salt to taste


  1. Slice each tofu block in 4 slices.  Place slices in a baking sheet lined with 2-3 paper towels.  Cover with 2-3 additional paper towels, top with an additional baking sheet and weigh with something heavy.  Drain weighed tofu slices for about 30-60 minutes.
  2. After tofu slices are drained, season liberally with Garlic and Herbs seasoning.   Cook tofu slices in a dry non-stick skillet.  After you’ve placed them on the skillet, leave them for a while without touching them.  The crust they will develop will prevent them from sticking to the skillet and make it easier to turn them.  Sear them on both sides.  Set aside to cool off.
  3. Cut each slice of tofu in 12 pieces – cut into 3 pieces on the long side.  Cut those 3 strips in half and then those halves in half again.   Set aside.
  4. Mix the marinate in a container with a lid that you can cover and marinate tofu for a while – tamari, olive oil, sesame oil, shallots, scallions, grated garlic, grated ginger, lime juice.  Add tofu slices to marinate.  Add shredded carrots.  Marinate for about 4 hours or even overnight in the fridge.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Blanch broccoli florets for about 1 minute, until they turn bright green.  Scoop them out of the boiling water and shock them in a bowl filled with salted ice water.  This will stop the cooking and set the bright green color.  Working in batches will help you control the blanching process and avoid any over cooking.   When broccoli is cooled, transfer to a colander for the florets to drain well and dry.
  6. About 2 hours before serving, combine marinated tofu/carrots mix with quartered mushrooms, cooked broccoli florets and sliced scallions.  Toss well to combine and allow marinate all together.  Toss every 20 minutes to make sure all components are marinated.

Serve at room temperature.


If you enjoyed this recipe…  you can check out the other dishes we served at the Hawaiian Vegetarian Festival here in a previous post serving as anchor for all the recipes.

Recipe from KarmaFree Cooking

Broccoli Mashed Potatoes

17 Sep

Broccoli is not something I grew up with. I learned to eat broccoli in my adulthood, and probably something I started to appreciate more once I decided to try more and more vegetarian recipes. My first memories of broccoli are not fun and were associated with dieting at an early age because I was in Ballet Camp… you know the days when I barely weighed 85lbs, but my ballet teacher told us all we could lose 10 more pounds. Oh, how we long TODAY to be as “fat” as we were then…

The truth is… broccoli is delicious, but it’s even better when you add some cheese to it. This recipe… has two cheeses, but you can indulge and add any or as many cheeses as you want.

This is a great recipe to use broccoli that’s a little past its prime… and to use the whole vegetable, florets and stalk too. It’s also awesome for times when you’re super busy. The potatoes and broccoli boil/steam on their own with little tending to. Check it out…



3-4 medium Yukon Gold or red-skinned potatoes
½ a head of broccoli, florets and stem or you can use just florets if you prefer
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tbs of butter
2 ounces of cream cheese
2 tbs of plain greek yogurt
1 handful of shredded 6-cheese blend
Drizzle of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste



  1. Boil the potatoes by placing them in a medium pot with water almost covering the potatoes. Salt liberally. Place over medium-high heat. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. When the water is boiling and steam is starting to escape the lid, turn the heat to medium low and boil/steam until the potatoes are tender for about 10-15 minutes.
  2. While the potatoes cook, prepare the broccoli… By cutting the florets away from the stem. Peel the stem to reveal the tender inside. Cut the stem into small pieces and put them to boil together with the potatoes. Dump in the garlic cloves too. Reserve the florets.
  3. When the potatoes are about to be done, place the florets inside the pot over the potatoes and cover the pot again. Count until 10 and turn the stove off. The broccoli florets will cook with the steam inside the pot already. Wait about 10 minutes until you uncover the pot again.
  4. After the 10 minutes have elapsed, drain most of the water and return the potatoes and broccoli to the same pot you cooked it all in. Add the butter, drizzle of olive oil, cream cheese and yogurt. Mash them well. When all is mashed, add the shredded cheese and season with freshly cracked black pepper. Mix in well.
  5. You can certainly serve at this point… but if you want a crunchy top, transfer to a bake safe dish, add a little more shredded cheese on top and bake in a 400F over until the top turns golden brown. This is also the way I reheat any left-overs of this mash.


This is more a method than a recipe… because you can add any cheese you prefer to this recipe. I sometimes use the little bits and pieces of cheese I have laying around my cheese drawer for this. Any will work and will still taste delicious…

Millionaire Rice

27 Jul

Once in a while I come up with these clean-your –fridge recipes, especially when I am about to go on a trip. I have an obsession to leave the fridge as clean as possible from all the fresh ingredients that most likely will spoil by the time I return. This is how most of my stuffed peppers and stuffed mushrooms recipes come about…

So lately, I’ve been trying to eat less cheese… I go in phases trying to do this because I know that I can abuse cheese if I am not careful. And cooking rice for me is a way to come up with dishes that do not rely on cheese as a garnish or flavoring agent. Although this dish can very well be enhanced by some cheese too… 😉

The “millionaire” term was coined by Carmen at the Yoga Center because in her version, she needs to buy lots of ingredients to make a very luscious rice. But in my case, I work with what I have in my fridge and/or pantry of what’s left-over from other recipes.

This is more a method than a recipe per sé… I will show you what I have added to my most recent version of “millionaire rice” but feel free to create your very own combination the next time you feel the need to clean-out-your-fridge, for a trip or just before a big trip to the market…



2 cups of cooked brown rice
Broccoli, cut into small pieces
Carrots, chopped finely
Onions, diced
Red or Yellow Bell Peppers, diced
Mushrooms, diced
Almonds , sliced almonds work best
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

I do not include amounts of ingredients, because this is about what you have available in your fridge…

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle a small amount of olive oil and the diced onions, peppers and carrots. Cook them for a few minutes until they begin to soften.
  2. Add the mushrooms and broccoli pieces … Mix well so the flavors mix. Season with salt and pepper, or the garlic salt if you prefer. If you have a lid, cover the skillet and let the mushrooms and broccoli cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the cooked rice to the skillet. Mix well and cover again. The steam in the skillet will soften the rice again if it’s hardened from being in the fridge. Allow cooking for a couple of minutes and add the almonds last. Tturn the stove off and leave it there for the residual heat to finish heating the rice, making it fluffy again.

This rice is a great side dish or even makes a great filling for stuffed peppers or stuffed tomatoes.

Broccoli Pesto

28 Jun

So I wanted to see if I could find a way to eat a whole head of broccoli before it turns yellow, like it usually does in my fridge. How can I eat large quantities of broccoli just by myself??? I have seen how Food Network chefs can make a pesto out of anything… pestos are just “pastes”, right? So let’s make it out of broccoli…

This recipe rocks… it is simple and you do not need to pre-cook the broccoli. I do cook a few florets separately to give it a nice touch and for people to see what’s in the dish. But it certainly does not need it. You can do without the extra broccoli pieces, particularly if you’re giving these to proclaimed non-lovers of broccoli.

Go ahead… convert them with this dish. I dare them to say they do not like broccoli!!!











½ head of broccoli, florets separated
2 oz of cream cheese
¼ cup almonds
½ tbs horseradish
¼ cup of shredded cheese mix
¼ cup pecorino romano cheese
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup heavy cream
About ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ bag of whole wheat or brown rice pasta
  1. In a large pot bring water to a boil to cook the pasta. Salt the water liberally and cook pasta according to package instructions, until al dente.
  2. Reserve a few broccoli florets for the final dish.
  3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor mix together the remainder raw broccoli, the cream cheese, almonds, horseradish, shredded cheeses, pecorino romano, garlic and heavy cream. Pulse a few times to combine. Add a drizzle of olive oil thru the shoot of the food processor until the mixture is creamy and loose.
  4. Take the reserved broccoli florets and add them to a hot skillet with a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. When the pasta is done, drain all water reserving about a cup and return the pasta to the same hot pot where it cooked. Add the creamy broccoli mixture to the pasta… add a few tablespoons of pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce if needed. Add the sautéed/cooked pieces of broccoli to the mix to add flavor and another layer of texture.

Broccoli Rice Burrito

15 Oct

I am telling you… broccoli is everywhere and cheap.  So I need to cook off all this broccoli before it goes bad on me.

As the official caterer to my mom and aunt while my grandma was in the hospital, I decided to make something they would both enjoy, knowing how picky and particular my aunt is about vegetarian food.  She says she likes it… but then she has certain rules like she only eats avocados with rice…  go figure!!!

These burritos are super easy to make… their portable and can be eaten warm or at room temperature.  But warm are better in my opinion.  Perfect for a picnic, brown-bag lunch and even to bring to someone in the hospital…



½ broccoli head, florets only
½ cup cooked whole grain rice
2 ounces of cream cheese
1/3 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
¼ cup of toasted walnuts
2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach leaves
8 slices of tomato
4 tbs of Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 whole grain flour tortillas or flatbreads


  1. In a medium covered skillet with about ¼ cup of water, add the cooked rice and the broccoli florets.  Cover the skillet and over medium heat that bit of water will steam both the rice and the broccoli.   After about 10 minutes, just turn off the stove and the rice and broccoli will be done.
  2. Drain any excess water, but there usually isn’t any every time I make it this way.   In that same skillet add a drizzle of olive oil, the cream cheese, parmesan, walnuts.  Season with salt and pepper and mix well to combine.
  3. You can warm up the tortillas or the flatbreads if you’d like… I do it on the oven or in a skillet, depending on which ones I’ll use.  Sometimes, the flatbreads are just perfect as is.
  4. Place about ¼ cup of rice on each tortilla/flatbread.  Spread 1tbs of tomatillo salsa over it.  Top with the baby spinach and tomato slices.  Roll up the tortilla/flatbread and wrap in parchment paper before you put any aluminum foil over it.   This way you’ll be able to stick them in the oven to warm up and they’ll stay warm for a while.


 Both my mom and aunt loved these burritos…  My mom had hers with a slice of avocado on the side, as she is in my camp that we will eat an avocado any time, any place without any restrictions whatsoever.  But you can certainly add the avocado inside the burrito if you’d like.

Hope you like them too…

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