Vegetarian Tofu Tikka Masala

This saucy dish is inspired by the Indian dish, chicken tikka masala. It’s great as a hearty dinner any day of the week and works perfectly as leftovers for lunch! This tikka masala only has a hint of warm heat, making it enjoyable for everyone, as it isn’t very spicy. The tofu in this dish incorporates into the sauce very well and the texture reminds me of paneer, another ingredient common in Indian cuisine. You can serve this tofu tikka masala over a bed of rice or with naan bread for dipping to make a tasty and filling meal.

This dish is vegetarian, but you can easily make it suitable for vegans or those who are dairy-free. Substituting with vegan butter, coconut or soy yogurt, and full-fat coconut milk in place of heavy cream will make the dish taste just as delicious as the original recipe.


Ingredients for the marinade:

14 oz block of firm or extra-firm tofu
½ cup greek yogurt
1 T minced garlic
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala


Ingredients for the sauce:

1 T oil
1 T butter
1 small onion
1 T minced garlic
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
8 oz canned tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
½ cup heavy cream
½ tsp brown sugar



Cut your tofu into 1 inch cubes and set it aside.

In a large bowl, create the marinade by adding your spices, greek yogurt and salt. Stir until combined.

Add your tofu to the large bowl and stir it until it is fully covered in the marinade. Set it aside and allow it to marinade for 10 minutes.

To begin making the sauce, finely dice your onion.

In a large pan on medium heat, add your onion and butter, cooking until the onion has softened and become clear.

Add your spices and stir them to incorporate them, allowing them to toast for 1 minute.

Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and stir, allowing the spices to incorporate.

Slowly pour your heavy cream and stir, creating the sauce as you mix the ingredients in the pan.

Add your marinated tofu, along with the marinade into the pan. Stir to incorporate the marinade and the sauce.

Cover the tofu tikka masala with a lid and allow it to simmer on medium to low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool before serving. Serve over rice or with naan bread and enjoy!


Sharon’s Apple Pie 

There’s something nostalgic and heartwarming about an apple pie. To commemorate Black History Month this February, we’d like to share this recipe, sent to us by Sharon Barber and Robin Lyttle from the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project. You can learn more about the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project by visiting their website.

Sharon Barber is a founding member of the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project and has been their Secretary since 2016. She was born in Rockingham County and graduated from Lucy F. Simms School in Harrisonburg, before it became the Simms Center. Sharon’s family has been living in the Shenandoah Valley for generations. Her grandmother, Clara Wallace, was born in Mt. Solon in 1890 and lived in Harrisonburg. Her home was located across from the Friendly City Food Co-op, where the 7-Eleven stands now. Sharon’s mother, St. Clair Roxetta Tams, was born in Harrisonburg and lived here until her passing in 1987. Her family can trace their lineage back to a man named Benjamin Curtis, born in 1756, in addition to the Curtis and Wallace families. These families were born free and worked as blacksmiths, farmers and peddlers in the area. In the 1860’s, several members of these families migrated to Ohio, but many families remained in the Shenandoah Valley and have descendants in the area to this day. In the 1900’s, there were many members of these families cooking professionally in and around Harrisonburg.

This recipe for apple pie was passed down in Sharon’s family from her grandmother, Clara Wallace Tams. Her mother wrote it down for her after many years of enjoying it with her family. Sharon warmly remembers her mother’s and grandmother’s cooking. After speaking with her friend and President of the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project, Robin Lyttle, Sharon recalled their baking fondly.

“We loved everything our mother cooked. She made pies, cakes, rolls, eclairs. We loved it all. I know my mother learned from her mother. When I got married, my mother wrote down the recipes for me and I learned from following her recipes. My grandmother lived where the 7-Eleven is now (across from the Friendly City Food Co-op). I remember going there and watching her cook on her stove that was a coal cook stove. They would get the coal and that is what they used. My family didn’t go to the store much. My father hunted and fished, and they would go to the gardens in the neighborhood. My mother canned everything; peaches, pickles, apples. Grandma taught my mom and they would work for days, canning. We just loved it all. I miss those days.”

We’d like to thank Sharon for sharing this recipe with us and honor the memory of her mother and grandmother. Recipes passed down through a family are very special and Sharon’s recipe makes a simply wonderful pie that everyone will love. It has all the warm spice and sweetness you could desire in an apple pie, thinly sliced apples for the perfect apple filling and an incredibly tasty golden crust. We hope you’ll enjoy Sharon’s pie as much as we did and will want to thank her, too!

For this pie recipe, it’s recommended that you use Stayman apples or Winesap apples. The Co-op regularly carries Stayman apples on the 99 cent table outside, and they are delicious in this pie. If these varieties are unavailable or out of season, any sweet and red apple with a softer texture will work wonderfully in this pie. The pie’s crust calls for Crisco®. Any vegetable shortening you have on hand should work in this recipe, including the Spectrum™ vegetable shortening you can find at the Co-op.



For the Crust:

2 ⅔ cup sifted all-purpose flour

½ cup Crisco® or vegetable shortening

½ tsp salt

⅛ tsp baking powder

8 – 10 T whole milk


For the Filling:

5-6 apples (Stayman apples work the best)

1 ½ cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp nutmeg

½ cup water

1 T white vinegar

1 T butter



Preheat your oven to 350°.

Prepare two large sheets of wax paper and set aside.

For your pie crust, add your vegetable shortening, four, salt and baking powder to a large bowl. Mix the ingredients together by hand or with a fork. The mixture will feel similar to corn meal and slightly stick to itself when it is ready. This may take 5 to 10 minutes.

Add 8 tablespoons of whole milk and mix the dough together with a fork. The dough is ready when it is crumbling but is sticking to itself. If your dough has not come together at all after adding the milk, add another 1 to 2 tablespoons until it comes together.

When your dough is ready, cut it in half. Set one half aside.

Transfer one half of your pie dough to your prepared sheet of wax paper. Place the second sheet on top.

With a rolling pin, roll your pie crust out to about 1/8th of an inch thick. This is about the height of 2 quarters stacked on top of each other.

Lay your pie crust into your pie pan and lightly press it into the pan to shape it. Trim any excess crust around the sides and set them aside.

Roll out your second pie crust using the same method as the first crust. Once it is rolled out, leave the crust between the sheets of wax paper to prevent sticking. Set both crusts in the refrigerator, placing the second crust on top of the pie pan.

In a large bowl, add your sugar and spices. Mix them together until combined. Set aside.

Wash and dry your apples. Do not peel them. Cut the apples in half and remove the core and seeds carefully.

Place the apples face-down on a cutting board and slice them thinly, between 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch thick. Place your chopped apples in your large bowl as you slice them.

When you have sliced all your apples, pour your water and vinegar overtop of them. Stir the mixture until combined. There will be liquid left at the bottom of your large bowl due to the water. This is a reminder to discard this liquid and not to pour it into your pie.

Remove your pie crusts from the freezer. Add your apple filling to the pie crust in your pie pan. Do not add the liquid at the bottom of the bowl to your pie. Spread the apple filling evenly across the pie.

Chop up your tablespoon of butter and place it across your apple filling, spreading it evenly.

Remove your second pie crust from the wax paper and drape it on top of the pie. Crimp the edges with a fork or with your fingers to seal the pie. Trim off any extra dough on the sides of the pie.

Cut several thin vents around the pie’s surface, about 6 to 8 vents. This is where you can get creative with the design of your pie. You may also use the trimmings from your earlier pie crusts to create designs or cut out shape to put on top of your pie crust.

When your pie is sealed, vented and decorated, place it in the oven. Bake it for 1 hour and 15 minutes. It should be golden brown on top and around the edges.

Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool, about 2 hours. If you enjoy your pie warm, cool for about 1 hour before serving. Serve by itself or with a side of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!


Angel Food Cake

This fluffy and delightfully sweet cake is a classic favorite. Angel food cake is wonderful all on its own or served with fruit and whipped cream, and this recipe makes plenty to go around for everyone. This cake has a reputation of being an intimidating bake, but we’ve made it easy to whip up at home with some tips and tricks. I hope you enjoy this scrumptious cake!

Make sure your egg whites are room temperature to get the best rise in your cake. Room temperature egg whites will whip up better than cold ones, which is important. There are no other leaveners, or ingredients to make this cake rise, besides the egg whites.

It is very important not to grease the pan you’re using for this cake. The batter must stick to the walls of the pan to help it rise and keep it from falling out of the pan in it’s cooling phase. You are also asked to turn the cake upside down while cooling. This will keep the cake from collapsing on itself and help it keep it’s rise while cooling.

This recipe will fill a tube pan, which is traditional for making angel food cake. It will also fill 2 loaf pans. Any pan you use must have tall walls to ensure that the cake can cool upside down. You can halve this recipe to fill one 1 loaf pan.


1 Cup cake flour (see instructions below if you do not have cake flour)
1 ¼ Cup of sugar
¼ tsp salt
12 large egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cream of tarter


Preheat your oven to 350°

Separate your egg yolks from your egg whites, placing the egg whites and a large bowl. Set the egg whites aside to reach room temperature.

If you do not have cake flour, read these instructions to make your own. Take 1 Cup of all purpose flour and remove 2 T from the flour. Add 2 T cornstarch. Sift the flour and cornstarch together three times. This will serve as your cake flour for this recipe.

Sift your cake flour together with your sugar and salt into a medium sized bowl. Sift the dry mixture one more time to ensure it is fluffy and fine.

Using a hand mixer or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat your egg whites until they are foamy, about 1 minute.

Add your cream of tarter and beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. If your egg whites are not forming soft peaks after 2 minutes, add another 1/8 tsp cream of tarter to help the peaks form.

Add your vanilla extract and beat until combined.

In 3 separate batches, slowly sift in your dry ingredients. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites carefully to avoid losing volume. Fold the mixture until you no longer see large streaks or patches of the dry ingredients in the egg whites.

Pour your batter into an ungreased pan and immediately place it in the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Flip your cake upside down on a cooling rack and allow it to cool at room temperature for 1 hour.

To remove your cake from it’s pan, run along the sides of the pan with a butterknife. For pans without a removable bottom, lay the pan on its side and insert the butterknife into the side of the pan. Gently pull it towards you using the cake on the bottom of the pan with the knife. Alternate sides until the cake pulls away from the bottom and out of the pan.
Serve plain or with a side of fruit and whipped cream. Enjoy!

Southern Style Corn Muffins

The chill of winter has gotten many of us whipping up more soups and stews. Our Deli at the Co-op has even caught soup-fever! These corn muffins pair perfectly with any chili or chowder you make and are perfect for dipping or serving on the side while they’re still warm. This recipe makes a southern-style corn muffin and is savory compared to other sweeter corn muffins. You can make these muffins to pair with your soups rather than a slice of bread or a roll and really let their flavor shine. I hope you enjoy these on a chilly winter’s night.

This recipe makes 12 corn muffins. If you would like to make them vegan, you can substitute the milk for your choice of plant milk and use vegan butter or oil. If you’d like to make these muffins gluten free, you can substitute the flour for your favorite gluten free flour.



1 ¼ Cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ Cups yellow cornmeal
1 Cup milk
5 T melted butter (or ⅓ Cups of oil)
2 T granulated sugar
1 T baking powder
1 tsp. salt



Preheat your oven to 400℉.

Grease your muffin tin or tins or line them with muffin liners. Set the muffin tin aside.

In a large bowl, add your flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir to combine.

Add your milk and melted butter or oil. Stir for about 3-4 minutes until it is combined.

Using a spoon, pour the batter into your prepared muffin tins, putting equal amounts in each tin.

Place the muffins in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a fork inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the oven. Wait 10-15 minutes for them to cool before serving. Enjoy!

Eggnog Pancakes

This eggnog pancake recipe dresses up a well-loved dish for the holiday season. The spices and sweetness from the eggnog infuse the pancakes and make them absolutely delicious and wonderfully fluffy. Serve them at breakfast or even as a festive breakfast-for-dinner along with your favorite breakfast sides. Top them with your favorite pancake dressings like maple syrup and honey or enjoy them plain. These pancakes are sure to please and I hope you enjoy!

For this recipe, we used local dairy eggnog. If you’d like to make these pancakes dairy free, you can use whatever eggnog you prefer for an exact substitute. If you’re vegan, you can substitute the eggs in this recipe with your favorite egg replacement. 



1 Cup all purpose flour
2 Tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp salt
1 Cup eggnog
2 T water
1 Egg
¼ Tsp vanilla extract



In a large mixing bowl, add your flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix to combine.

Add your eggnog, water, egg, and vanilla extract to the bowl and mix to combine. Be careful not to over mix, but make sure that few lumps are visible in the batter. 

If the batter is still very thick and not pourable, add another tablespoon of water.

In a large pan on medium heat, pour the batter to make your pancakes. You can make them whatever size you would like. We recommend using about ¼ cup for each pancake to make about 8 servings of 4×4 inch pancakes. 

Wait until air bubbles have formed at the top of each pancake and the edges appear set before flipping for the first time. Cook the pancakes to your desired crispiness on each side. Repeat until no batter is left.

Serve with your favorite toppings such as honey, maple syrup, butter and whipped cream or alongside your favorite breakfast sides. Enjoy!


Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese

A grilled cheese is the perfect fall heartwarming food for lunch or dinner. This grilled cheese is inspired by another famous comfort food, garlic bread! With just a few pantry staples you can turn your grilled cheese into a savory flavor bomb in a flash. It’s great served alongside a hearty tomato soup or a fresh Italian-style salad.

For our grilled cheeses, we opted for whole-wheat bread, but you can use whatever bread you’d like. You can also make these grilled cheeses vegan or dairy free by substituting ingredients. We have some great options for vegan butter, mozzarella and parmesan in stock at the Co-Op. I hope you enjoy this inventive recipe!



1 T unsalted room temperature butter
1 T minced garlic
2 slices bread
¼ Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T parmesan cheese


1 Tsp oregano



Spread your butter on one side of each bread slice.

Rub a pinch of parmesan cheese onto each buttered side of the bread, reserving the rest for later.

On the unbuttered sides of the bread, rub in your minced garlic.

Put a small pan on medium-low heat. Place one slice of bread in the pan on its buttered side and add your mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle your remaining parmesan on top.

Place the second slice of bread on top, buttered side up.

Cover the pan and allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the cover and flip. Repeat this process until the bread reaches your desired crispness and the cheese has melted.

Remove the grilled cheese and sprinkle with oregano before serving if desired. Enjoy!


Halloween Peanut Butter Cups

These peanut butter cups are the perfect Halloween candy to make at home! We use a combination of milk and white chocolate to make these adorably spooky bats and ghosts. They’re perfect as a fun activity for the whole family to make and enjoy once the chocolate has set, along with their gooey peanut butter filling.

To make this recipe vegan, you can change out the milk chocolate for dark, or use your favorite dairy-free milk chocolate brand. White chocolate may contain milk products as well, so feel free to substitute for dairy-free substitutes such as Pascha™ White Baking Chips, which the co-op carries in the baking aisle. If you’d prefer to use natural sugars in your peanut butter cups, you can substitute 3-4 soaked dates for the powdered sugar and blend the dates and peanut butter together. If you or someone you’re serving has a peanut allergy, any nut butter would be a perfect replacement in this recipe.

Additionally, a 12 ounce bag of chocolate chips contains about 2 cups. If you’d like to make the exact amount the recipe states, two 12 ounce bags of chocolate will do the trick. This recipe also recommends that you use miniature muffin liners and tin to assemble your peanut butter cups in. You may use a miniature muffin tin without the liners, so long as you grease your tin very well to ensure the cups will not stick to the tin. We recommend using butter, coconut oil or nonstick cooking spray. You will also need 2 bags that you can cut to create a piping bag for the chocolate. This could be a pastry bag or plastic bag with a small cut in the corner, although you may use a spoon and the tines of a fork if you trust that your hand is steady.



2 cups milk chocolate chips
2 cups white chocolate chips
½ cup peanut butter
3 T powdered sugar



Line 2 miniature muffin tins with miniature muffin lines. Set it aside.

Line a small plate with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, add your peanut butter and powdered sugar. Stir until combined and set it aside.

In a medium bowl, melt all of your white chocolate chips. If you are using a microwave, set the microwave for ½ power and set the timer for 1 minute. Remove the chocolate from the microwave and stir. Microwaving it again at ½ power for one minute.

Transfer your melted chocolate into a piping bag.

Pipe a layer of chocolate to cover the bottom of each liner in one mini muffin tin.

Add about a tablespoon of peanut butter filling into each liner.

Pipe a second layer of chocolate into each liner to cover the peanut butter, filling it to the top. Place the tin in the refrigerator to begin setting.

In a second medium bowl melt 1 ½ cups of your milk chocolate chips. If you are using a microwave, set the microwave for ½ power and set the timer for 1 minute. Remove the chocolate from the microwave and stir. Microwaving it again at ½ power for one minute.

Transfer your melted chocolate into a piping bag.

Pipe a layer of chocolate to cover the bottom of each liner in one mini muffin tin.

Add about a tablespoon of peanut butter filling into each liner.

Pipe a second layer of chocolate into each liner to cover the peanut butter, filling it to the top. Place the tin in the refrigerator to begin setting.

Using the same bowl as your milk chocolate, melt the remainder of your milk chocolate for 1 minute on ½ power in your microwave. Add the melted chocolate to your piping bag.

Remove the white chocolate peanut butter cups from the refrigerator and pipe small dots on them to create a spooky face, like shown in the photo. When complete, put them back into the refrigerator to set.

Using the remaining milk chocolate, pipe wing shapes onto your parchment lined plate. Put them in the refrigerator to set.

Allow all of the chocolates to set in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

To serve, remove the peanut butter cups from the mini muffin tins. Carefully remove the bat wings from the parchment paper. If there are exposed spots of peanut butter filling, you may stick the bat wings into the sides of the cup. If not, place them underneath the cup to give the illusion of wings.

Enjoy these spooky treats!


Kabocha Squash (Japanese Pumpkin) Bread

This sweet bread is a great treat as the weather gets colder, with warm and comforting spices that are perfect for a fall day. Instead of using a regular American pumpkin, this loaf uses kabocha squash to make it moist and flavorful. Kabocha squash is also known as Japanese pumpkin, its flavor is somewhere between a pumpkin and a butternut squash and it’s texture is wonderful for baking. Enjoy this bread fresh out of the oven or toasted with some butter the next morning.

If kabocha isn’t in season when you make this recipe, you can substitute with pumpkin puree for a similar flavor. This recipe can also be made vegan very easily by using vegan butter and “flax eggs.” To make a flax egg, grind 1 T of flax seed with 3 T of water and set it in your refrigerator for 15 minutes before adding it in the place of eggs. I made a vegan version of this sweet bread for our Front End team meeting and it was a hit!



2 Cups all purpose flour
½ Tsp salt
1 Tsp baking soda
½ Tsp baking powder
1 Tsp ground cloves
1 Tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tsp ground nutmeg
2 Cups brown sugar
2 eggs
⅔  Cup unsalted butter
2 Cups kabocha puree


To make kabocha puree:

Peel a small kabocha squash.
Cut the kabocha in half and scoop out it’s seeds, then chop it into large cubes.
In a large pot, add the kabocha cubes to boiling water. Boil for 20 minutes.
Remove the pot from heat. Using a colander, strain the kabocha from the boiling water.
Transfer the kabocha to a food processor or blender until it is smooth to form the puree.
Drain any excess water from the puree using a cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer.
Set the puree aside until you are ready to bake.


To bake the bread:

Preheat your oven to 375℉
In a large bowl, combine your flour, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk them together and set it aside.
In a separate smaller bowl, add your butter and sugar. Cream them together by beating them with a whisk until combined.
Add your eggs to the sugar and butter mixture, beating until the mixture becomes fluffy.
Pour your kabocha puree into the mixture and beat it until the mixture is combined.
Add your dry ingredients and fold the wet and dry mixtures together until a thick batter is formed.
Transfer the batter to a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
Bake for one hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Serve it warm and fresh out of the oven or the next morning toasted with a little bit of butter. Enjoy!


No-Bake Granola Bar Treats

These granola treats are my favorite snack to enjoy on a Saturday afternoon. With protein from peanut butter and sweetness from chocolate and honey, they’re filling and sure to satisfy.

This recipe calls for peanut butter, but any nut butter works perfectly in this recipe. Don’t hesitate to use whatever nut butter you have on hand, or what you like best. For those using chocolate in this recipe, make sure to add your chocolate after the granola has cooled slightly so it won’t melt. However, if you’d like the batch to be extra chocolaty, feel free to mix it in while the granola is still warm.

The base of this recipe serves as a blank canvas for all kinds of granola bar creations. I have a pretty persistent sweet tooth, so I enjoy making these with sweet additions like chocolate. You can add any kind of nuts, seeds or dried fruits you have on hand and omit the chocolate to make these bars even more nutritious.


¾ cup peanut butter
½ cup honey
2 T sunflower oil (or any neutral-flavored oil)
1 Tsp vanilla extract
½ Tsp sea salt
2 ¼ cups old fashioned oats
¼ cup milk chocolate chips
¼ cup white chocolate chips

½ cup chopped nuts
½ cup dried fruit
½ cup dried shaved coconut
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup chia seeds


Line an 8x8inch pan baking pan with parchment paper. Set it aside.
In a saucepan over medium heat, add your peanut butter, oil and honey. Simmer it until it begins to bubble slightly, stirring occasionally. This may take 7 to 10 minutes.
Add your vanilla extract and salt. Stir the mixture to incorporate it and allow it to simmer for one more minute.
Add your oats and stir until combined, allowing the oats to fully absorb the mixture.
Place your granola to the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes, allowing it to cool slightly. Remove it and stir in the chocolate chips until fully incorporated.
Transfer the granola to your baking pan and press it into the pan. Packing the granola down firmly and evenly will help it keep its shape once prepared.
Allow the granola to chill in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
Once cooled, lift the granola out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut them into your desired shape and enjoy!

Banana Yogurt Smoothie Bowl

This smoothie bowl is great for any breakfast, or even as a midnight snack. With added protein from greek yogurt and peanut butter, it’s sure to keep you full all morning while satisfying your sweet tooth.

This recipe serves as a base for a smoothie bowl. You can add your favorite toppings and come up with all kinds of great flavor combinations. If you have a peanut allergy, any type of nut butter works great in this smoothie bowl. For vegans or those with milk allergies, any type of thick vegan yogurt can be substituted in this recipe as well. Almond milk is added to ensure that the smoothie has enough liquid to blend properly, but you can substitute with any milk of your choice.

This recipe also makes great “nice cream,” a popular name for ice cream made with bananas. To make this recipe into nice cream, you can double or triple the ingredients and pour it into a loaf pan to place in your freezer to enjoy later.



½ cup unsweetened greek yogurt
1 frozen banana
2 T peanut butter
¼ cup almond milk

Chopped nuts
Sliced fruit
Chopped coconut
Nut butter


Add your almond milk, frozen banana, greek yogurt and peanut butter to a blender or food processor.

Blend until the mixture is smooth and fully incorporated.

Spoon into a bowl and top with your desired toppings. Enjoy!