Low-Amine Teriyaki Tofu Cabbage Wraps

Low-Amine Teriyaki Tofu Cabbage Wraps (low-amine, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, tomato-free, vegetarian, vegan) photo

Low-Amine Teriyaki Tofu Cabbage Wraps (low-amine, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, tomato-free, vegetarian, vegan), plated with sauce and ginger.

These cabbage wraps are both light and filling. The flavors are refreshing and hearty at the same time. For a more pliable cabbage wrap, you can blanch or steam the low-amine cabbage, but I prefer mine raw. I was starving, but after eating three low-amine cabbage wraps, was completely stuffed.

1 head cabbage (first 6-10 outside leaves only)

2 blocks firm, organic tofu

1 C soy sauce substitute

1/4 C shallot oil

  • Heat 1 C safflower oil and add 1 shallot, thinly sliced.
  • Cook over medium low until shallot is crisp and golden brown.
  • Reserve shallot as topper for dishes.
  • Oil will keep in the fridge for a couple months.

1 C cilantro, chopped

1/2 Walla Walla / Vidalia sweet onion, sliced into half-rings

2″ ginger, grated

4 green onions, sliced thinly

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp cornstarch

  • Cut tofu into 8 pieces each. Lay them flat in a Pyrex dish and pour soy sauce substitute and shallot oil over the top.
Tofu, marinated in low-amine, gluten-free soy sauce substitute and shallot oil (photo).

Tofu, marinated in low-amine, gluten-free soy sauce substitute and shallot oil.

  • Marinate for at least two hours. Halfway through, flip tofu pieces over in the marinade.
  • Peel outside layers of cabbage off carefully to use as cabbage wraps.
  • Prepare cilantro, onion, ginger, and green onion.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a cookie sheet with foil and oil down. Place tofu pieces on foil, and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Pour marinade into a pan, and add garlic powder, salt, and cornstarch. Mix well and turn heat to medium low.
  • Stir constantly until thickened, then remove from heat.
  • When tofu is starting to crisp around the edges, remove from oven and cut into small pieces.
  • Serve all ingredients pre-wrapped in cabbage and held together with toothpicks, or serve as “build your own” at the table.
Low-Amine Teriyaki Tofu Cabbage Wraps (photo)

Low-Amine Teriyaki Tofu Cabbage Wraps

AMINE BREAKDOWN:

Very Low Amine: cabbage, cilantro, sweet onion, ginger, green onions, garlic powder, salt, cornstarch 

Low Amine: soy sauce substitute, shallot oil

Moderate Amine: firm tofu

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Marinated Tofu Ties with Ginger Balsamic Sauce (low-amine, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, fish-free, low-fat, low-carb)

Marinated Tofu Ties with Balsamic Ginger Sauce (photo)

Marinated Tofu Ties with Balsamic Ginger Sauce

This low-amine dish is so tasty, and presents beautifully. It even looks a bit like a present, with the green onion tied around it. It can be served as an appetizer, or a few per plate for a light entree. It is easier if you have the balsamic vinegar substitute and soy sauce substitute already made. Since the tofu has to marinate overnight, you have plenty of time to make the low-amine balsamic vinegar substitute.

Balsamic Vinegar Substitute

4 Tbsp blueberry juice, reduced over high heat to 2 Tbsp
1/2 tsp ascorbic acid
1/4 tsp molasses
1 tsp vodka
1/4 tsp lime juice

  • Reduce blueberry juice to 2 Tbsp.
  • Mix in all other ingredients.

Soy Sauce Substitute

3 tsp molasses

3/4 C blueberry juice, reduced over high heat to 1/2 C

1 tsp ascorbic acid

2 tsp vodka

1/2 tsp lime juice

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

just shy of 1/4 tsp liquid smoke

1 pinch white pepper

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 small clove garlic, pressed

1 1/2 cups organic beef broth or chicken broth

  • Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer until reduced to a 2/3 to 1/2 cup of soy sauce substitute is left (about 20 minutes).
  • Keeps for up to a week in the fridge.
  • Shake before using.

Marinated Tofu Recipe

1 block soft tofu

2 Tbsp sugar

1/2 C soy sauce substitute

4 tsp garlic, minced

1 1/2 tsp ginger, grated + 1 tsp ginger, grated for garnish

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/2 lime, juiced

6 shiso leaves, rolled and chiffonade

8 green onions

1 large shallot

1/4 C safflower oil

Marinated Tofu Sauce Recipe

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar substitute

1 tsp ginger, grated

1 tsp safflower oil

  • Cut tofu block into 8 pieces.
Cut tofu block into 8 pieces (photo)

Cut tofu block into 8 pieces

  • Lay into a deep pan that gives tofu just enough room between pieces to marinate fully.
Lay tofu in a pan to marinate. This pan was a bit small, to be honest. (photo)

Lay tofu in a pan to marinate. This pan was a bit small, to be honest.

  • In a small bowl, combine low-amine soy sauce substitute, sugar, garlic, lime, and 1  1/2 tsp grated ginger. Mix until well dissolved. Pour over the tofu and let marinate overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  • Lay tofu out on cookie sheet or aluminum foil (use one with walls or you may regret it). Sift garlic out of sauce (I use a tea strainer) and cover tofu pieces. Bake for two hours.
Marinated tofu with strained sauce bits on top (photo)

Marinated tofu with strained sauce bits on top, ready to bake

  • Meanwhile, boil water in a large pan. Cut tips off green onions and add them to the boiling water. When very pliable but still bright green, drain water and allow to cool.
  • In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar substitute, ginger, and safflower oil for the low-amine balsamic ginger sauce. Set aside.
  • Using a mandoline, slice your shallot thin. In a small saucepan, heat safflower oil and fry shallots until slightly browned and crisp. Do not overcook – once they start to brown, keep a close eye on them. Burning happens quickly. Allow to dry on a paper towel. Reserve oil for other recipes (I keep mine in small mason jars in the fridge).
Frying shallots (photo)

Frying shallots

  • Remove tofu from oven and allow to cool for handling.
  • Cut the long edges of the tofu off so that the white tofu is exposed. Leave the browned ends for contrast.
  • Squeegie the green onions between your fingers to get the juices and water out of it. You want them to be as flat as possible without damaging the green onion.
  • Lay the green onion underneath the tofu slice. Put a pinch of fried shallots on top. Tie the green onion in a knot. Add a pinch of grated ginger, and a pinch of the shiso chiffonade.
  • Plate with balsamic ginger sauce beneath the marinated tofu tie.
Marinated tofu tie with shallots, ginger, and shiso. Wrapped in green onion tie and served with a ginger balsamic vinegar substitute sauce. (photo)

Marinated tofu tie with shallots, ginger, and shiso. Wrapped in green onion tie and served with a ginger balsamic vinegar substitute sauce.

AMINE BREAKDOWN:

Very Low Amine: garlic, ginger, lime, shiso leaves, green onion, shallot,  

Low Amine: tofu, sugar, soy sauce substitute, safflower oil, balsamic vinegar substitute

Very High Amine: cayenne

1/4 C safflower oil

Featured in Gluten Free Homemaker.

Vietnamese Beef Vermicelli Noodle Bowl (Bun)

Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowls (bun) (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, fish-free, shellfish-free) photo

Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowls (bun) (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, fish-free, shellfish-free)

I love bun (Vietnamese vermicelli rice noodle bowls). So totally delicious, and a good meal for summer or winter! But I know there are things in it that are no good for me, like sesame oil, fish sauce, vinegar, and more. So I took them out and made it happen without it.

In order to make Vietnamese Beef Vermicelli Bowls (Bun), including the bun sauce – nuoc cham, I had to go through several steps.

I also made two different marinades for the beef (since I was cooking for several people this time around). Both were very good, so either would work well, depending on what ingredients you have. Personally, I preferred the garlic ginger beef marinade. Feel free to substitute beef with firm tofu for a vegan or vegetarian option, or omit completely. If nut-free, simply omit nuts. There are so many flavors going on that you won’t miss it. Promise. 🙂

The day before making the vermicelli noodle bowls, I made a few things ahead of time, since they were the most time-intensive:

  1. “Pickled” carrots and daikon radishes
  2. Sesame oil substitute
  3. Soy sauce substitute

I suggest making these (at least #2 & 3) in a larger batch ahead of time so that you can freeze your leftover soy sauce substitute (in an ice cube tray works best) for future use. Store your leftover sesame oil substitute in the fridge.

Serves four hungry folks

Pickled Carrots & Daikon Radish Recipe:

2 large carrots

4″ long piece of daikon radish, about 2-3″ in diameter

1/4 C salt

3 tsp ascorbic acid

1 tsp sugar

Nuoc Cham Ingredients:

1/2 C water

2 tsp apple or blueberry juice

1/4 tsp ascorbic acid

just shy of 1/2 C lime juice

2 tsp sugar

1 Tbsp minced Serrano pepper or Thai bird chilies

5 cloves garlic, pressed

1 tsp black pepper

2 Tbsp soy sauce substitute

2 “pickled” carrot slices

2 “pickled” daikon slices

Marinade #1 – Lemongrass Beef and Marinade Ingredients:

2 lb chuck beef (Use a well-marbled cut if possible. Top or bottom round beef, skirt steak, or flank steak all work well, but feel free to use whatever you’d like. Cut against the grain… I didn’t, and it was a very “tough” mistake to learn.)

4 stalk lemongrass, outer layers removed, chopped

1/2 ripe, sweet apple, cored and chopped

3 Tbsp soy sauce substitute

1 Tbsp lime juice

1 Tbsp black pepper

4 garlic cloves

2 large shallots

4 Tbsp sesame oil substitute

Marinade #2 – Garlic Ginger Beef Marinade Ingredients:

1/2 C ginger

8 garlic cloves

2 Tbsp soy sauce substitute

2 tsp sesame oil substitute

1 tsp ascorbic acid

1/2 tsp salt

3 Tbsp safflower oil

Vermicelli Noodle Bowl Ingredients:

1 1/2 packages of vermicelli rice noodles or bean threads (it’s less authentic, but I prefer the texture of the bean thread vermicelli noodles)

1 C mint leaves

1/2 C beefsteak (perilla / shiso) leaves

1 C Thai basil leaves

1 bundle cilantro (cut off bottom 2″ of stems and discard or save for something else, perhaps a batch of cilantro chutney), washed and chopped

1 C bean sprouts

1 English cucumber, julienned

1 C lettuce, thinly chopped

1/4 C crushed cashews, toasted

2 Tbsp shallots, chopped

2 Tbsp safflower oil

Pinch sugar

Pinch salt

Pickled Daikon Radishes & Carrots Recipe:

  • Wash carrots and daikon radish.
  • Cut daikon and carrots into pieces about 1.5″ – 2″ long, and use a mandoline to slice them into flat pieces.
  • Julienne daikon and radish, and in a large bowl, rub them down with the salt.
  • Leave on the counter for at least 2 hours (4-6 hours is ideal to give them a bendy pickle-like texture), then rinse well, three times (or more, if it still tastes too salty – taste to check saltiness). Squeeze water and out of the carrots and daikon “pickles.”
  • Once the salt content has been reduced, sprinkle with ascorbic acid and sugar, and rub well.
  • Allow to chill in the fridge before use for at least 30 minutes.

Nuoc Cham Recipe:

  • Take two “pickled” carrots and two daikon “pickles” and slice them very thinly, and then down again into lengths about one inch long.
  • Mix all ingredients together in a jar and seal. Shake well until sugar is dissolved.

Marinade #1 – Lemongrass Beef & Marinade Recipe:

  • In a food processor, combine chopped lemongrass, apple, garlic cloves, and shallots. Process until finely minced.
  • Add soy sauce substitute, lime juice, black pepper, sesame oil substitute. Mix well.
  • Cut beef into 1/4″ strips.
  • Add all marinade and beef strips to a Ziplock bag and press air out. Marinate for at least 2 hours.

Marinade #2 – Lemongrass Beef & Marinade Recipe:

  • In a food processor, mince ginger.
  • Add all other ingredients and process until smooth.
  • Cut beef into 1/6″ thick strips.
  • Add all marinade and beef strips to a Ziplock bag and press air out. Marinate for at least 2 hours.
Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodle Bowl Recipe:
  • Wash and de-stem Thai basil and mint.
  • Wash, dry, and roll beefsteak leaves up into a little “cigar.” Chop thinly to create narrow slivers of beefsteak leaves.
  • Boil water, and add noodles. Cook as per instructions on package, drain, and run under cold water to cool immediately and completely.
  • Heat oil in a small sauce pan. When hot, add shallots and a pinch of salt and sugar. Cook until shallots are crisp.
  • Reserve shallots for topping vermicelli noodle bowl. Toss noodles with oil.
  • Put the noodles in bowls with the fresh ingredients arranged on top like the face of a clock (basil at 1:00, mint at 3:00, bean sprouts at 5:00, etc).
Vietnamese vermicelli noodle bowls (bun) being arranged (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, fish-free, shellfish-free) photo

Vietnamese vermicelli noodle bowls (bun) being arranged (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, fish-free, shellfish-free)

  • Leave a fair amount of space for the grilled beef. I like to put the fried shallots, toasted cashews, and thinly sliced beefsteak leaves in the center of the dish, as they present beautifully.
Cooking Beef Recipe:
  • Cook on the grill over medium high heat (use a grill basket so that they don’t fall through).
Grill Basket

Grill basket

  • The beef will cook quickly. Cook for one minute, flip, and cook one minute on the other side.
  • Remove from heat promptly.
Garlic ginger beef, about to be sliced up for Vietnamese vermicelli noodle bowls (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, fish-free, shellfish-free) photo

Garlic ginger beef, about to be sliced up for Vietnamese vermicelli noodle bowls (low-amine, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, fish-free, shellfish-free)

  • When all beef is done cooking, slice strips into bite-sized 1″ segments.
  • Serve on top of the bun (vermicelli noodle bowls) with other assorted ingredients.
  • If a grill is not available, you can also cook it in a pan or under the broiler.
AMINE BREAKDOWN:
Very Low Amine: carrot, daikon radish, salt, ascorbic acid, water, apple juice / blueberry juice (low in tyramines, high in histamines), garlic, black pepper, soy sauce substitute, lemongrass, shallot, sesame oil substitute, ginger, safflower oil, vermicelli noodles / bean threads / vermicelli rice noodles, mint, beefsteak (perilla / shiso), Thai basil leaves, cilantro, bean sprouts, 
Low Amine: sugar, beef, cashews, apple
Very High Amine: Serrano peppers / Thai bird chilies, lime juice

Basic Stir Fry (soy-free, gluten-free, low-amine)

Simple stir-fry (low-amine, soy-free, gluten-free, vegan) photo

Simple stir-fry (low-amine, soy-free, gluten-free, vegan)

For a proper simple stir-fry, you’ll need a wok, high heat, and a good sauce. Stir-fry is one of the more easy things to make, and can be done with any number of ingredients, spices, and sauces. The key to a good low-amine stir-fry is knowing what order to throw your ingredients in the wok, and slicing things uniformly.

These ingredients go in the pan together at the same time. Use any combination of them:

Add First: Gobo (burdock) root, Sweet potato, Potato

Add Second: Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Shallots, Leek, Small pieces chicken

Add Third: Carrot, Brussels sprouts (small, halved), Firm tofu (if soy OK), cabbage, Zucchini, Beef

Add Fourth: Green onion, Celery, Bok choy, Pre-cooked corn, Green beans, Summer squash, Additional Spices / Sauces

Add Fifth: Bean sprouts, Bamboo shoots, Precooked Egg, Soft Tofu (if soy OK), Cilantro, Kelp noodles, Shirataki noodles, Pre-cooked rice noodles

 

  • Heat your pan to medium-high and add a couple tablespoons oil.
Burdock root (gobo root) just added to pan. I also add a little water to soften them because gobo root is so tough. This was covered and cooked for 5 minutes before any other ingredients were added to the low-amine stir-fry. (photo)

Burdock root (gobo root) just added to pan. I also add a little water to soften them because gobo root is so tough. This was covered and cooked for 5 minutes before any other ingredients were added to the low-amine stir-fry.

  • Add all ingredients in each “timed section” at a time, stirring/tossing ingredients in pan frequently. I wait till each added ingredient is about half-cooked before moving on to the next “batch” of ingredients. This timing gets closer and closer together as you move toward the end.
Burdock root (gobo root) and leek have been cooking, and carrot has just been added to the low-amine stir-fry. (photo)

Burdock root (gobo root) and leek have been cooking, and carrot has just been added to the low-amine stir-fry.

Notes:

  • If things are sticking, reduce heat to medium, add a tiny bit of water (1 or 2 Tbsp), and cover.
  • If your vegetables need more moisture to cook them throughout, add a little water and cover.
  • If your stir-fry is producing too much liquid, leave uncovered on a higher heat.
  • Make sure you keep the ingredients moving in the pan (especially on a high heat) so that they don’t burn.
  • Enjoy your low-amine stir-fry served with rice or on its own.

 

My low-amine stir-fry included: napa cabbage, gobo root (burdock root), leek, carrot, jalapeno, kelp noodles, and a sauce made up of 1/2 C soy sauce substitute, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp corn starch. (photo)

My low-amine stir-fry included: napa cabbage, gobo root (burdock root), leek, carrot, jalapeno, kelp noodles, and a sauce made up of 1/2 C soy sauce substitute, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp corn starch.

 

AMINE BREAKDOWN:

Amine content in food depends on ingredients used. Please see Low Amine Grocery List to find out about each ingredient used.

Baby Bok Choy with Garlic & Ginger

Baby bok choy

Baby Bok Choy with Garlic & Ginger

Bok Choy is a simple green with a lovely texture. Even when cooked through, it has a crispness to it that plays very well with other textures in a meal. I find that simplicity is good with bok choy, so I prefer to use distinct flavors.

30 baby bok choy, well washed

2 Tbsp safflower oil

2 Tbsp minced garlic

2 Tbsp minced ginger

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp white pepper

1 tsp cornstarch

1/2 C stock / broth (homemade stock is best for a low amine diet)

2 Tbsp soy sauce substitute (optional)

2 Tbsp green onions, sliced thin

Crack of fresh black pepper on top

  • To help get rid of pesticides, I soak mine and give them a vigorous dunking in a big bowl of water with a couple teaspoons of ascorbic acid. Shake dry before cooking.
  • Heat oil in large pan to medium high. Wok is preferred.
  • Cook garlic and ginger until just fragrant.
  • Turn heat to high and add bok choy, salt, and pepper. Mix together well.
  • Stir fry for three minutes, or until bok choy starts to soften.
  • Dissolve cornstarch into the chosen stock.
  • Add stock and (optional) soy sauce substitute to pan and mix well.
  • Cook for 7-10 minutes, uncovered.
  • Sprinkle green onions over the top and serve (I forgot mine for the photo).

AMINE BREAKDOWN:

Very Low Amine: baby bok choy, garlic, ginger, salt, white pepper, cornstarch, green onions, black pepper

Low Amine: safflower oil, homemade stocksoy sauce substitute

Soy Sauce Substitute (Soy-Free, Gluten-Free, and Low-Amine)

Soy sauce is sorely missed in my home. I’m low amine, so shouldn’t use it, and my roommate is soy-free. Between the two of us, we miss Asian cooking something wicked. With a lot of recipe combining and a lot of substitutions, I was able to come up with this gluten-free, soy-free, low-amine, dairy-free, nut-free, low-fat, nightshade-free, tomato-free soy sauce substitute.

It will keep in the fridge for about a week in a tightly closed Tupperware or jar. This low amine soy sauce substitute can also be frozen in ice cube trays for later use, though I found that freezing tended to dull the flavors a bit – more garlic, ginger, and white pepper should be added if you’re planning on freezing the soy sauce. Also, the soy sauce substitute was stubborn and would not freeze completely though, so it is best left in the cube tray, or freezing in small jars or tupperwares that can be thawed all at once.

Update: Tried using this with my baby bok choy recipe and no one at the table could tell it was a soy sauce substitute, including myself.

Soy sauce substitute

Soy sauce substitute (gluten-free, soy-free, and low-amine)

1 1/2 C blueberry juice, reduced over high heat to 1 C

3 C organic beef broth or chicken broth

2 T molasses

2 tsp ascorbic acid

2 tsp grated ginger

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

1/2 tsp white pepper

1 T salt

4 large garlic cloves, pressed

2 T vodka

  • Reduce blueberry juice.
  • Combine all ingredients except vodka in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer until reduced to a 1 1/2 to 1 cup of soy sauce substitute is left (about 25 minutes).
  • Add vodka.
  • Strain.
  • Keeps for up to a week in the fridge.
  • Shake before using.
Can also be used as a Worcestershire substitute.
AMINE BREAKDOWN:
Very Low Amine: ascorbic acid, ginger, liquid smoke, white pepper, salt, garlic
Low Amine: organic beef broth or chicken broth, molasses, vodka
High Amine: blueberry juice (high in histamines, low in tyramines)