Discover the magic of leeks with this vegan leek and tofu saute recipe! An easy weeknight dinner packed with flavor and nutritious. This vegan leek recipe is naturally gluten-free and meat-free. With fresh flavors and savory ingredients for a nutritious main dish or easy side dish.
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- 👪Why You Will Love This Tofu Leek Recipe
- 🧠 Leeks: A Powerhouse of Health and Brain Benefits
- ⏲️ Time-Saving Tip
- 🥦Simple Ingredients
- 🍴Leek Preparation
- 💡Recipe Tips For Making Leeks
- 👩🏽🍳 Cooking Instructions
- 🥘Variations and Leftover Leek Ideas
- 🧅Leek substitute
- 🥣Related Recipe
- 📖 Recipe
- Easy Vegan Leek and Tofu Saute Recipe
My love for leeks began when I first tried leek soup while working as a waitress. The chef used to make the BEST potato leek soup, and I couldn't resist devouring two bowls before my shift even started!
While I adore soup, I wanted to find a different way to prepare leeks. And to take advantage of this delicious and nutritious ingredient, I set out to make it less of a side dish and more of a main meal! (If you want a hearty and easy soup, check out this one-pot veggie and tofu soup). And that's how this easy leek recipe was born!
Side Note: Let me tell you, I learned the hard way that washing leeks thoroughly is essential – I once ended up with a mouthful of soil after a not-so-successful leek sautée. So make sure to wash well!
So, without further ado, let's dive into this tasty tofu leek dish!
👪Why You Will Love This Tofu Leek Recipe
As a busy mom, I am always on the go and seem to always forget to prep dinner! That is why I love this easy tofu and leek recipe:
- Quick and Easy
- One-Pan Wonder
- Nutritious and Delicious: this easy tofu and leek sautee is packed with nutrients, including protein, vitamins, and minerals. It's a great way to sneak in some veggies and encourage healthy eating habits without sacrificing taste.
- Versatile: Leeks (and Tofu) pair well with so many ingredients. Experiment with different flavors to keep things interesting and cater to your family's preferences.
- Budget-Friendly: Tofu and leeks are both affordable ingredients, making this dish an economical choice for feeding your family. Plus, it's a great way to use up any leftover veggies in the fridge, reducing food waste and saving you money.
🧠 Leeks: A Powerhouse of Health and Brain Benefits
Who knew that the humble leek could pack such a punch? Not only does this plant-based diet staple add a burst of flavor to our tofu sauté, but it also brings a host of health and brain benefits to your dinner table.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Alliums the family that includes leeks, onions, garlic, and more, are renowned for their cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties (1). They're like little green firefighters, dousing the flames of inflammation in your body and brain, leading to less brain fog and more clarity for your busy day(3).
- Antioxidant support: But the magic doesn't stop there. Leeks are brimming with antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, and flavonoids that keep your brain sharp and help you remember where you left those pesky keys (2).
- Folate for cognitive function: They're also loaded with folate, a brain-boosting multivitamin that supports brain development and function (4).
- Vitamin K for neuronal health: Plus, they're an excellent source of vitamin K, essential for proper neuronal function and brain health (5).
And let's not forget about the experience of cooking with alliums. Remember when my middle son discovered that cutting onions can make you cry? He was so amused that he convinced me to cut onions with a dull knife just so we could all share in the tearful fun!
So, busy moms, embrace the power of leeks in your plant-based diet. Not only will you be serving up a tasty dish, but you'll also be boosting your family's health and brain function. Just remember, while leeks offer plenty of benefits, it's important to maintain a balanced diet and lifestyle for overall well-being. So, go ahead and treat yourself to that extra helping of leek and tofu sauté—you might just end up with a happier brain!
⚠️ Friendly Reminder: Always consult with a healthcare provider before making any major changes to your diet or health routine.
⏲️ Time-Saving Tip
- One pot meal: One bonus to this easy leek recipe is that it can be made in one pot! This recipe is made all in one pan, making clean-up a breeze and giving you more time to spend with your family.
- Prep Ahead: Chop your leeks and onions ahead of time and store them in the fridge. This way, when you're ready to cook, you can just grab and go!
- Tofu Tricks: Press your tofu in advance and store it in the fridge. This will help it absorb the marinade faster when you're ready to cook.
- Leftover Love: This vegan leek recipe is perfect for using up leftover grains or noodles. Keep some on hand for a quick and easy meal base.
While this easy-leek recipe has a long ingredient list, it does come together fairly quickly, so don't fret and let's get cooking!
- Leeks- When selecting leeks, I always look for leeks with a long white stem, with a small amount of green at the top. The white part is where all the flavor is so you want to maximize that portion of the leek. In addition, choose leeks that are thick and sturdy, not wilted, and free from brown spots. Check the roots and make sure they look fresh.
- Tofu - Use extra firm or firm tofu for best results. The firmer the tofu the more it will hold up its shape when you sautee it. Drain and press your tofu for a few minutes with a tea towel to remove excess liquid.
- Onions- I love mixing white and red onions into this dish to really maximize the flavor. Since onions tend to get slightly sweet when cooked this is a great way to introduce your kiddos to an onion-heavy recipe!
- Cassava (Tapioca) flour- I use this to coat the tofu which helps to make it crispy when you sautee them.
- Lemon- I like to use fresh lemon for this recipe, the juice will help to create a balanced marinade for this recipe.
- Seasoning and spice - The beauty of this recipe is its versatility. You can use or adapt this recipe to your preference or what you have. But I used soy sauce, vegetable broth, sesame oil, maple syrup, and spices. I find this creates a very well-balanced sauce that is kid-friendly yet still packed with flavor.
Prepping this easy leek recipe for cooking can be a breeze with these simple steps:
- First, give those lovely leeks a good rinse under cold water to remove any lingering dirt or debris. Trust me, I learned the hard way that you should not half a** this step. There is nothing worse than a mouth full of dirt after cooking for 20 minutes!
- Next, chop off the dark green end and the root end, leaving only the tender white and light green parts. You can save the greens in a freezer bag to make veggie broth. Check out this tutorial if you are interested in free veggie broth!
- Now, slice the leeks lengthwise and fan out the layers, making sure to give them another quick rinse to dislodge any sneaky dirt hiding between the layers.
- Finally, pat them dry with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel, and they're ready for slicing, dicing, or whatever culinary adventure awaits them.
With these easy steps, even the busiest of moms can conquer leek preparation like a pro!
💡Recipe Tips For Making Leeks
Our vegan leek recipe is not only delicious but also easy to prepare. Here are a few tips to make it even better:
- Leek Selection: Choose leeks with a long white stem and a small amount of green at the top. The white part is where all the flavor is!
- Tofu Type: Use extra firm or firm tofu for best results. The firmer the tofu, the better it will hold its shape when you sauté it.
- Flour Power: Coating the tofu in cassava flour before sautéing helps to create a crispy exterior. It's a good idea not to skip this step!
- Marinade Matters: Let your tofu marinate for at least 5-10 minutes to absorb the flavors. If you have more time, letting it marinate for 2 hours will maximize the flavor.
- Sauté Secrets: Cook your tofu until it's browned on all sides, then add your leeks, onions, and leftover marinade. This will ensure your tofu is crispy and your veggies are tender.
Pro Tip: Add a splash of white wine (or a little water) to deglaze to pan before adding in the marinade. This will give you a rich depth of flavour.
👩🏽🍳 Cooking Instructions
Step 1: Prep your tofu and leeks
First things first, drain your tofu and wrap it in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Because tofu is a sponge you want to remove any excess moisture so it can be replaced with seasoning. Let it sit and relax for 5-15 minutes while you prep the leeks.
To prep the leeks, read the above section with directions and a link to a tutorial. After they are prepped, slice them thinly.
Step 2: Make your marinate
Next, in a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, veggie broth, and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl. This marinade is where the real flavor magic happens!
Cube your tofu and let place it into the marinade bowl. Let it soak up all that deliciousness for 5-10 minutes. If you've got time to spare, let it bathe for 2 hours to maximize flavor. (But, who are we kidding, we're busy moms, right? 😉)
Step 3: Drain, Toss, and Flour Power
Gently remove your tofu from the marinade using a slotted spoon. Transfer them to a large bowl. Save that leftover marinade for later. Onto the tofu, sprinkle in the cassava flour, and toss until the tofu is evenly coated.
Step 3: Sizzle
Over medium heat, add a splash of olive oil to a frying pan (or cast iron). Then, add in your tofu and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. You want to brown the sides.
Next, add in the leeks, onions, leftover marinade, and the remaining spices. Cook until the leeks are soft and the tofu is cooked through. Your kitchen's about to smell ah-mazing!
Step 4: Serve
Serve it up with your favorite grains, or try it on top of leftover noodles or rice! (Because, let's be real, we all have some leftovers lurking in our fridge.) Bon appétit, and here's to easy weeknight dinners that make the whole family happy!
🥘Variations and Leftover Leek Ideas
Sautéed leeks are versatile and can be added to many dishes, that is one thing I love most about easy vegan leek recipes.
- Vegan quiche: I love adding leeks to quiche and it is a great way to use up any leftovers. You can slice, wash and then add them to the tops of your vegan quiche before you bake it. Check out this recipe for an easy gluten-free vegan quiche.
- Creamy leek soup: Leeks make for a perfect vegan soup recipe, it's like the ultimate comfort food! Our favorite is creamy potato leek soup. We love this vegan potato leek soup recipe by Simply Veganista. It is perfect for those winter months!
- Leek Pie: Leek pie is super delicious and a great recipe for meal prep! We love this leek and mushroom pie recipe by Minimalist Baker.
- Vegan Stir fry: Leeks pair very well with garlic, vegan butter, and white wine. For a perfect dish add in mushrooms, baby spinach, vegan sausage, vegan bacon, or chickpeas. Use up what you have and don't forget to leave a comment on what you used! We love the feedback.
- Vegan Mushroom Pasta: Leeks pair so well with mushrooms vegan mushroom pasta and a creamy sauce. Incorporating sautéed leeks into this vegan mushroom pasta recipe (or your favorite) much like you would use onion.
- Pizza Topping: Slice them up and add them as a pizza topping
Leeks might bring so much flavor to the table, but don't worry if you don't have any on hand; there are plenty of scrumptious substitutions for your veggie sautée. Here are a few tasty alternatives:
- Fennel: For an interesting twist, thinly slice fennel bulbs and sauté with the onions and tofu. This is by far my favorite leek substitute because fennel is so flavourful. If you do use this option you may need to reduce the sweet component of this recipe.
- Scallions (green onions or spring onion): Milder in taste, scallions still offer that oniony kick similar to what you get from leeks. Chop and use both the green and white parts. Add the whites of the scallion at the same time you add in the onions and the green parts in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Shallots: Mild, sweet, and slightly garlicky, diced shallots make a perfect swap. If you use this option simply add them in at the same time as the onions for this recipe.
- Celery: Chop celery for a slightly bitter flavor and added crunch.
- Asparagus: Ideal for springtime, chopped asparagus adds unique flavor and texture.
Feel free to mix and match these options to create your own flavor masterpiece! Leek recipes are great to make for a special occasion.
Look for firm leeks with bright green leaves and a white or pale green base.
Yes, but keep in mind that leeks have a milder flavor, so adjust the amount accordingly.
Yes! Cool the cooked leeks, place them in a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 3 months.
I hope you enjoyed this easy vegan leek recipe, don't forget to leave a star rating if you made this! If you are looking for more easy vegan recipes or pairings be sure to check out these:
Easy Vegan Leek and Tofu Saute Recipe
- 1 extra firm tofu
- 1 white onion sliced
- 1 red onion sliced
- 1 leek diced and cleaned
- 4 tbs soy sauce
- 2 tbs sesame oil
- 2 tbs maple syrup
- 3 tbs vegetable broth
- 1 lemon juice
- 1 cup cassava flour (you can also use chickpea flour)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper to tast
- Give your tofu some TLC: Drain and then press out any extra moisture using your hands or by wrapping it in a tea towel. Let it rest for 5-15 minutes while you prep your veggies like a pro.
- Meanwhile, wash your leeks very well, then chop off the dark tops and the root ends. Slice the leek lengthwise and fan out the layers. Make sure to re-wash the leeks and then slice them into thin slices.
- Next peel your onions and cut them in half lengthwise. Then slice them into thin slices.
- Whip up that magic marinade: In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, veggie broth, and lemon juice.
- Cube up your tofu and place them into the marinade. Mix to coat. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes, but if you've got time, marinate for 2 hours or overnight for a flavor fiesta!
- Remove the tofu from the marinade and reserve the sauce for later. Time for a flour shower! Toss your tofu with the cassava flour, shaking off any excess.
- Sizzle time: Heat a medium non-stick pan (or a well-seasoned cast iron) and dry fry your tofu, letting it brown on each side. If the tofu starts playing hard-to-get, add a bit of oil to encourage it.
- Veggie party: Toss in the leeks, onions, and all the spices, cooking for another 2-3 minutes to bring everyone together.
- Sauce it up: Add the reserved sauce and cook until the leeks have softened. Remove from heat and get ready to serve.
- Serve your masterpiece over rice, noodles, potatoes, or even a creamy soup. Most importantly, enjoy every delicious bite!
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