Crispy BBQ Tofu (GF) (V)

tofuCrispy BBQ Tofu (GF)(V)

the ingredients:

  • 1 package super-firm tofu, drained and cut into triangles
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil (or any high heat oil)
  • Smoked sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup of prepared BBQ sauce or your favorite bottled brand

the method:

  1. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of oil to the skillet and then carefully add the tofu. I recommend busting out that apron you never use… this oil WILL splatter.
  3. Spread tofu out into a single layer, season with salt, pepper, and fry for about 5 minutes on each side or until it turns golden and crispy. Be cautious when flipping the tofu triangles over – if you have tongs, use them.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the BBQ sauce to coat the tofu. Serve piping hot!

Enjoy!

 

Grilled Veggie & Tofu Rice Bowl (GF)

 

tofu veggie bowlGrilled Veggie & Tofu Rice Bowl (GF)
1 1/2 cups jasmine or basmati rice
3 cups water
1 block extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed (I made Nick’s with grilled chicken)
1/4 cup hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
3 bell peppers, cut into fourths
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 avocados, mashed very well
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
salt + pepper, to taste
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled

the method:

  1. *At least 30 minutes before grilling, soak your skewers (if they are bamboo) in water for 30 minutes to prevent them from charring.
  2. In a large bowl combine the olive oil, garlic and hot sauce. Add the tofu and toss well. Cover and place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the meal.
  3. Make the rice. Add the water to a medium size pot. Bring to a low boil and then add the rice. Stir to combine and then place the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible. Allow the rice to cook ten minutes on low and then turn the heat off completely and let the rice sit on the stove, covered for another 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Note that rice can cook differently for everyone, this is just what works for me.
  4. Pre heat the grill to medium high heat.
  5. Add the bell peppers to a gallon size ziplock bag. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Seal the bag and shake well so the veggies are coated with olive oil.
  6. Remove the tofu from the fridge and skewer it.
  7. Grill the tofu for 3-4 minutes per side, gently flipping 2-3 times until cooked through and has light char marks. While the tofu is grilling grill the bell peppers for about 5 minutes flipping once or twice during cooking.
  8. Remove everything from the grill and let cool 5 minutes. Once cool slice the red peppers into strips.
  9. Add the mashed avocados to a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice, parsley, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
  10. To assemble the bowls, divide the rice evenly. Top each bowl of rice with equal amounts of tofu and grilled peppers. Add a large dollop of the avocados and then add the fresh tomatoes. Sprinkle with blue cheese if desired. Serve warm.

Mongolian Tofu and Mushrooms

Excuse me for my absence… got a lot going on in FBV land :). I didn’t really do much cooking over the weekend – Nick was busy working and I got a glorious weekend all to myself. I literally got nothing done – NOTHING. But some weekends are made for doing nothing, right?? In the spirit of not lifting a finger at all this weekend, I decided to order in on Friday AND Saturday… I never do that!

Any who, I was feeling a bit inspired yesterday – not too inspired since this dish only took about 20 minutes to make haha. I was inspired by my favorite dish at Pei Wei (judge me if you want, but some of their dishes are irresistible) known as Mongolian Tofu. My version didn’t turn out exactly like you get in the restaurant, but was still yummy. With Nick’s we just pan-fried some chicken in place of the the tofu… and mushrooms – Nick hates mushrooms.

We served our proteins over a bed of Farmer’s Market Fried Rice – you know, just like that recipe I made a couple of weeks ago… except I added some broccoli and carrots to this one. 🙂

Happy Monday everyone!

Mongolian Tofu and Mushrooms:

The Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons chili sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large green onions, sliced on the diagonal into one-inch lengths
  • 1 block of extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 1/2 cup sliced button mushrooms

 

The Method:

  1. Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat.
  2. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches.
  3. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  4. Remove it from the heat and dip the tofu pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides..
  5. Let the tofu sit for about 2 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
  6. Heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil) over medium heat and add tofu and mushrooms. Saute for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, then add all the green onions.
  8. Cook for one more minute, then remove the tofu, mushrooms and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate. Serve over rice.

 

Teriyaki Tofu and Broccoli

Why is it that Mondays are always such an alarming experience? Nothing terrible happened yesterday… just sheer MADNESS all day. Needless to say, I immediately went into “lazy girl” mode the second I got home – well, actually after I poured myself a very big glass of red wine.

In the spirit of staying lazy and saving money (duh) I decided to raid my fridge and fire up some things that were on the verge of going bad in the next day or two. I settled on Teriyaki Tofu and Broccoli.

Yes. Nick ate tofu!

Okay, that wasn’t such a surprise to me… I’ve seen him eat it before, but I’ve never seen him enjoy it this much. I will admit, this isn’t your typical teriyaki bowl. I recently discovered that I make a fabulous egg pancake… so I doctored one of those up in my wok and added it to the tangy and saucy mixture.

This is a really great meal if you don’t want a lot of clean up and if you don’t feel like spending more than 30 minutes making dinner.

Teriyaki Tofu and Broccoli: 

The Ingredients:

  • 14 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seed oil (I used Chili Sesame Oil. Sooooo good!)
  • 1 cup broccoli floret
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce (yes, I cheated…)

The Method:

  1. Take tofu out of the package and drain it and cube it.
  2. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 2 teaspoons oil, coating the bottom completely. Add beaten eggs and cook, tilting to cover the surface as thinly as possible to make an egg pancake. When the pancake is just set, 30 seconds to 1 minute, flip using a metal spatula and allow it to set for about 5 seconds. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut into bite-size pieces.
  3. Using the same wok, heat the rest of the oil over medium-high heat. Add tofu and toss occasionally.
  4. After 4 minutes put broccoli into wok and toss.
  5. When tofu is light brown on all sides (about 10 minutes more) add teriyaki sauce and egg and lower heat to medium. Toss gently for 2 minutes. Serve over jasmine rice. 🙂

Mustard Crusted Tofu

I do enjoy a lazy Sunday- make that lazy weekend. It’s true, this morning’s alarm clock brutally awoke me from a weekend of sheer nothing-ness only to catapult me back to the typical 9 to 5 (I actually work 8 to 5, but let’s not be that specific) lifestyle. Now on to the fun stuff: the food.

Nick was in Tucson all weekend visiting some friends and playing golf – so I had the weekend all to myself. I spent the weekend lunching with the family (I’ll be posting about my favorite veggie burger later this week), going to the gym like an all-star and finally – cooking! Well to be honest, the only time I went all out in the kitchen was after Nick got back. What can I say?  I rule at being a girlfriend.

I had been waiting to try this Mustard Crusted Tofu recipe for quite some time – something about the crunch and that lovely Dijon flavor just sounded fabulous. I had also stumbled upon the same exact recipe for salmon, so I figured it was worth a shot for the two of us. Nick loves salmon… which makes sense since he is a hungry bear boyfriend.

Any who, whether you make the tofu or the salmon, it’s a very simple and versatile dish – I don’t think there is side dish out there that would pair with this nicely. I just made my usual sautéed greens and some Lemon-Herb Rice (check back later in the week for this recipe). Bon appetit!

Mustard Crusted Tofu:

The Ingredients:

  • 1 14-ounce package extra firm tofu
  • 5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  •  panko bread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

The Method:

  1. Wrap the block of tofu in a clean towel, place the tofu in a colander and place the colander in the sink. Place a plate, heavy can or other weight over the towel-covered tofu and leave the weight to press the tofu for 30 minutes. Refer to my Tofu tutorial if needed.
  2. Remove the tofu from the towel. Cut the tofu crosswise into 4 slices and then cut each slice diagonally so you have 8 triangles. Set aside.
  3. Put the broiler on. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Place the Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar and honey into a food processor. Process until smooth. Pour the Dijon mixture into a shallow plate or baking dish.
  5. Place the bread crumbs, panko, salt and pepper together on a separate plate.
  6. Dip each pressed tofu slice (or salmon) into the mustard mixture, coating well on both sides. Then place the tofu in the bread crumbs, taking care to make sure the tofu is well coated. Place on the baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes per side, or until the tofu is crispy and golden on both sides.*

*It just so happened that the salmon and the tofu needed to cook for the same amount of time. Gotta love that!

Grilled Buffalo Tofu Steaks

Well, it’s been summer for quite some time now – especially in Arizona – we’ve been hitting over 100 since May! The sweltering heat gets us in the mood for grilling on the patio. I had some tofu steaks on hand and Nick had just picked up his meat selection from some Groupon deal he bought awhile ago. Even though I don’t eat meat, I must say his steak choices were gorgeous and had perfect marbling. So perfect, that he didn’t even mess with it before putting it on the grill – just a dash of salt and pepper and he was good to go.

I had a hankering for something spicy and tangy – I think you see where I’m heading. Frank’s Red Hot “Buffalo” style sauce. The great thing about tofu is that it can pick up marinade flavors really well and in a very short amount of time. I just marinated the tofu for about 20 minutes, tossed it on the grill with Nick’s steak and let the grill do it’s thing. I served my tofu with a quick Garlicky-Lime Aioli; it was a nice cooling element with the spiciness.

Here’s a a picture of Nick with his prized steak:

Here is my recipe:

Buffalo Tofu Steaks

Ingredients:

  • 1 16-ounce block of extra-firm tofu
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
  • 1/8 cup Earth Balance Soy-Free Butter, melted

The Method:

  1. In a bowl, combine the oil, salt,  paprika, hot sauce and melted butter.
  2. Cut the tofu into steaks and gently toss to coat with the mixture. Let the steaks sit in the mixture for 20 minutes before grilling.
  3. Place each tofu steak in a single layer on the grill. Grill for 5 minutes on each side. (Nick’s steak needed to be cooked for 6 minutes on each side, so we timed it accordingly)

Garlicky-Lime Aioli:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • pinch of paprika
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper

The Method:

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix and serve.

It was so yummy that even my well-mannered pit bull, Eleanor was begging for table scraps:

Quinoa “Mac n’ Cheese”

image

I LOVE quinoa. Nick hates it. Well – hate is a strong word, so let’s just say it’s not his “favorite.” My cooking mantra is: If it doesn’t taste good, put cheese on it.  Most of the time, this mantra works… especially in this case. If you love mac n’ cheese but want to make it a little healthier by adding protein and cutting carbs, then this recipe is for you. I paired it with some savory grilled tofu (Nick made chicken with the same marinade) and my Crispy Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts. TDF.

Quinoa “Mac n’ Cheese” Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • good pinch of salt
  • a few grinds of seasoning salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup soy milk or non-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling
  • 4 oz smoked mozzarella, cubed
  • Optional- Crushed Red Pepper, Panko Bread crumbs for topping
  • Toppings (optional)- salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, scallions

The Method:

  1. Lightly saute garlic and shallot over medium heat.
  2. Cook quinoa to packaged instructions until fully cooked. (About 15 minutes)
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 13×9 inch dish( or 8 individual ramekins) with cooking spray.Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese. Stir very well and let some of the cheese melt. Transfer to prepared baking dish and if using Panko Crumbs or Bread crumbs add now and bake 30-35 mins, until bread crumbs are browned.

Grilled Tofu Ingredients:

  • Extra-firm tofu, sliced 3/4 inch thick
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil

The Method:

  1. Remove tofu from package and drain. Meanwhile, mix all the other ingredients together in a shallow bowl.
  2. After the tofu is done draining, slice into 3/4 inch thick strips.
  3. Place slices in the marinade and allow to site for at least 10 minutes.
  4. While the tofu is marinading, heat an indoor grill pan (or outdoor grill) to medium heat.
  5. Grill tofu for 3 minutes on each side.

ENJOY!