This veggie ground is made with just a few simple ingredients that make for a chewy, juicy, meaty, totally vegan bite. Flavourful, but only lightly seasoned so you can use it anywhere where you would have used ground beef. Lasagna, pasta, burritos, tacos, sloppy joes, nachos, soups, shepherds pie... the options are endless! Make ahead of time, and store in the fridge or freezer for later so you have it on hand.
Preheat your oven to 350F (180C). Line with parchment paper or lightly grease a large baking sheet.
Mix the nutritional yeast, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and smoked paprika together in a large bowl. It will make a brown paste.
Crumble the block of tofu with your fingers into the bowl along with the seasoning. You can alternatively use a potato masher in the bowl to mash up the tofu. Add the chopped beet along with the tofu crumbles, and mix with the seasoning making sure all of the tofu is evenly coated. Spread the crumbles evenly over the pan. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes, stopping to stir the tofu every now and then. Keep a close eye on it towards the end so that it doesn't burn. You want the tofu to be nice and browned. The smaller crumbles will be darker than the larger crumbles, and that's ok because it will provide a variety of texture.
To finish the recipe:
In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the vegetable broth and cornstarch together. Set aside
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet or non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot add the onions and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until the onions turn translucent and begin to brown. Add the tofu beet crumbles to the pan and pour over the vegetable broth slurry. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the tofu has softened and most of the liquid has been absorbed. If desired, add more soy sauce to taste. Enjoy hot or let cool and store to use later.
Chopping the Beet: To chop the beet, I just use a knife and cutting board. I don't even bother removing the skin, I just scrub it clean and then chop.Canned or Cooked Beets: If you want to use canned or cooked beets, there is no need to roast them with the tofu. Just chop and add to the pan with the cooked tofu and the broth slurry. Make ahead: this recipe tastes even better the next day! To make ahead prepare the recipe as written, let cool, then store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Oil-free: to make oil-free, replace the oil in the tofu marinade with 1 tablespoon vegetable broth. When sautéing the onions, omit the oil and instead do a water or broth sauté.