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HEARTh and HOME – The Tao of Cooking -Gluten-Free “Stay-In”


September is such a busy time of year for many of us. Summer vacation season is done, and it’s time to go back to school. Even those of us who aren’t in school or don’t have students in our homes are getting ready for the cooler fall days. As we retreat back indoors, it’s tempting to sit back, curl up with a book or laptop and order delivery for dinner. But, our favorite take-out dishes are often full of empty calories or ingredients that do not agree with a gluten-free or plant-based diet. This month, we have two quick recipes that take inspiration from North American Chinese take-out and let us get the pleasure of ordering in while cooking at home. It’s not take-out for dinner, it’s “stay-in.”

Gluten-Free General’s Tofu

This recipe gets a spicy kick from chili garlic sauce. However, if you do not care for spicy food, feel free to substitute another sauce for the chili garlic. Try Meyer lemon marmalade, grape jelly or plum sauce. Or, leave it out entirely. It’s up to you. Be creative! Imagine how the flavors and scents mix together. Let the dish “tell” you what it needs. That is the tao (or way) of cooking.


¼ cup vegetable stock

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon cornstarch

½ teaspoon powdered ginger

1 tablespoon tamari

1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce or other sauce (optional)


1 lb. tofu (drained and pressed) cut
into one-inch pieces

1 egg, beaten or ¼ cup vegan mayo

¼ cup cornstarch

½ cup white cornmeal

1 cup coconut flour

2 green onion, chopped into
one-inch lengths

1 cup of chopped broccoli florets

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the sauce ingredients until the sugar dissolves, then set aside.

Take your protein (tofu pieces) and dip in vegan mayo. Mix together cornstarch, cornmeal and coconut flour. Dredge and completely cover the vegan mayo protein with the starch blend. Heat about one-quarter inch of peanut or high-heat coconut oil in a wok or frying pan. Carefully add the protein to the wok, cooking and turning until well-cooked and all sides are golden brown. then add garlic, and chopped broccoli and toss together. Once the broccoli is moderately tender, stir in the sauce and toss together to coat the vegetables and protein well. Stir in chopped green onion. Serve hot. Makes about four servings. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to five days.

Fried Cauliflower “Rice”

4 cups riced cauliflower

1 tablespoon sesame oil

½ cup tofu scramble

½ teaspoon salt

½ white onion, chopped

½ cup frozen peas, carrots and
green beans

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 chopped green onions

¼ cup tamari

Beat tofu and add salt. In a small frying pan, scramble tofu and set aside. Heat lightly oiled frying pan or wok over medium. Add sesame oil and sauté white onion, garlic and frozen vegetable blend. Then turn heat to medium-high and stir in riced cauliflower and tamari. Cook until heated through and golden brown. This should be about five minutes. Toss in scrambled tofu. Remove from heat and stir in chopped green onion and serve. Makes about four servings. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to five days.


Janae Jean serves as editor, social media manager and podcast co-host for Conscious Community Magazine. She enjoys improvising in the kitchen and creating recipes with her loved ones and is very grateful for their suggestions, feedback and assistance. Visit and for updates, article and more.

Photo: Spencer C. Schluter

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