:: Slice of Emma ::


July 22nd, 2015
Healthy, Whole Food, Plant Based Recipes by Emma

Recipe #3 :: Tamarind Cardamom Glazed Tofu with Summer Squash Cakes and Butternut Squash Salad

The spices in this dish all come from the Middle East and Asian Indian culture.  In January I went to the Kerala region of India where I visited spice plantations and experienced the transformation of the body through food.  Since my trip I incorporate Ayurvedic medicine and these spices in the foods that I create.  Each has impact on the body from warming to improved digestion. 

Health Note: Cardamom is native to the evergreen forests of India. This spice is commonly used in Indian cuisine, but it has also made its way into Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for mouth ulcers, digestive problems, and even depression. Some of the health benefits of this peppery, citrusy spice are now making their way into modern studies.


Butternut Squash Salad

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ cups butternut squash cubed
  • Juice 2 lemons
  • ¾ cup tahini
  • 2 tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Tamarind-Cardamom Glaze

  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ cup tamarind puree
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 jalapeno chile
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds toasted
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 block sprouted organic tofu

Summer Squash Cakes

  •  1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 2 ½ cups grated summer squash, squeeze moisture out
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil


Butternut Squash Salad: Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Transfer to mixing bowl and let cool.  Blanche squash for 3 minutes until al dente. Let cool air temperature.

Whisk the lemon juice and tahini into the garlic mixture. Add the onion, tomatoes, squash, coriander, parsley, mint, salt and pepper. Toss in tahini dressing. Add salt and pepper.

Cardamom Glazed Tofu: In a skillet toast paprika, cumin, coriander, and cardamom for 2 minutes. Let cool. Place in a blender with the tamarind, orange juice, lemon juice, garlic, onion, chile, sugar, sesame seeds, vegetable oil, and salt.  Blend until smooth. Season to taste.  Saute strips of tofu and glaze.

Summer Squash Cakes: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the onion, squash, parsley, cumin seeds, and salt in mixing bowl. With hands, mix in chickpea flour until the mixture holds together. Shape the mixture into 6 ½ inch patties.

Place large skillet on medium heat. Add enough oil to coat. When oil is very hot, sear cakes for 2 minutes, until brown and crisp. Transfer to a plate, and keep warm until ready to serve.

To Serve: Place squash cake in center of each plate. Circle the squash with about 2/3 cup of butternut squash salad. Place a skewer over the cake and top with ginger chutney (optional can be bought store). Drizzle the skewer with more glaze. 


Hi, I am Emma Wilkiemeyer. Welcome to Slice of Emma recipe blog featuring healthy recipes that are vegan and based on whole foods.  For the past seven years I have shared recipes with friends and family and past two years through my blogging.  I completed a certification at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Arizona in Holistic Nutrition.  I take pride in that my recipes are not only delicious, but the science behind them makes for ingredients that nurture and balance the body.  My recipes are all gluten free and vegan.

My full time career is working in the oncology bio-tech space. Working around patients who are very sick has taught me the value of living a healthy lifestyle each and every day in order to lower the risk of disease later in life.  My whole foods diet keeps me energized to work hard and fuel my fitness routine.  Slice of Emma will also feature not only my voracious appetite in the kitchen but also my travel adventures including mountain hikes sometimes shared with Jes the CCC and international travel.  Please reach out to me anytime you have a question whether it be about travel or my recipes.  

I am excited to share my passion and creativity with you.  Whether you are an experienced cook, or just getting started with a plant based diet I hope to have something that excites and helps you love healthy and compassionate cooking.

My life  recipe is simple- Nourish the body with clean food and exercise, and feed the soul with life’s rich experiences whether it be through getting out in nature or positive relationships with the people in my life.


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                                                                                                                                              Emma on a recent hike at Corte Madera in San Diego County.


Emma on a recent hike at Corte Madera in San Diego County