Monday, October 15, 2012

ToFaux Mayonnaise: Light, Vegan & Tasty

In my last lifetime, a just few members of my household were vegetarian. The rest were firmly entrenched in the carnivore camp. Generally it worked out fine, as there are a lot vegetarian dishes that the carnivores were happy to eat --like vegetarian chili, spinach lasagna, or felafel. And luckily for me, the chief cook and bottle-washer, there were no vegans --not that I couldn't have accommodated them, but omitting dairy, eggs and cheese would have made it so much harder to please the whole family. Back in the 1990's, there weren't so many vegan or  even vegetarian choices in the market. No overhead signs pointing to a plethora of frozen vegetarian choices in the freezer case. Because there weren't any, except for a few sad veggie burgers.

Every now and again, though, a couple of American friends, Dale and Sue, who lived most of the year in an ashram would come home to visit family and friends. Vegans. One year they came at the height of garden tomato season, and we were wallowing in tomato sandwiches... some of us with bacon, some with cheese, all slathered in homemade mayonnaise. Rich with eggs and olive oil. Hoo boy.  Since I had already been pureeing tofu into things to sub for cream to save a few calories, I figured, why not try pureeing it, and seasoning it the way I would my homemade mayo? It worked, and beautifully. Tomato sandwiches with grilled onions and Tofaux mayonnaise with basil. A hit!

It's a wonderful vegan substitute for traditional mayonnaise, except where you need the egg to thicken, because while tofu does emulsify a bit, it's not the same as a regular old chicken egg. Also grain free and gluten free, and if you cut the oil back to a couple of teaspoons, very low in calories. Great if you are allergic to eggs. Otherwise, its good in egg salad, chicken salad, tuna salad and in dressings, too. It's also MUCH cheaper than the vegetarian/vegan mayonnaises in the store.

Note: This is really delicious with fresh herbs, like basil, chives or tarragon added, or a smidge of crushed garlic. Just be aware that adding any fresh, raw ingredients will greatly shorten the time it will keep in the fridge. My solution is to add the herbs to just what I'm using for each meal. My prefernce is for safflower oil, olive oil has an assertive flavor, which depending on how you want to use it, may be great or not so wonderful. If you choose canola oil, please only buy organic. Regular canola is made from genetically modified seed.
Tofaux Mayonnaise.
Vegan, egg free, dairy free, gluten free, delish.

ToFaux Mayonnaise
Approx. 12 servings 

1 (12.3 oz) block extra firm or firm silken lite tofu 
1 T. Dijon mustard 
1 T. lemon juice 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. Sugar or sweetener of choice  
2 T.- 4T.  Safflower, organic Canola or extra virgin olive oil 

1. Place tofu, mustard, lemon juice and salt in a food processor or blender. 

2. Blend or process until smooth. 

3. Drizzle in oil with motor running. 

Keeps about 2 weeks refrigerated. 

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