30 May 2011

Almost Vegan Supper AND Spicy Peanut Tofu Marinade Recipe!

Our Memorial Day consisted of light, healthy, and delicious side dishes that make the meat lovers and the vegans put aside their differences to break bread together. The weather is perfect for healthy fresh fruits and vegetables as well as Asian inspired flavors.
Dishes for the Vegans
Cilantro Lime Chicken with Lemon Sauce

My mother's beautiful Red Clay platter set from Morelia, Mexico

Lightly Wilted Spinach Salad 

Steamed Broccoli over Spicy Peanut Tofu and Spanich 
Sweet and Simple Cantelope and Banana Fruit Salad

On to Tofu....

Tofu and I have had an interesting relationship over the years. With each and every bout of vegetarianism and veganism I've gone through in my years, I've learned to appreciate and enjoy the flavor of tofu. Trust me, I've gone through many trial and errors gone wrong; being bland or falling apart. However, after many Youtube searches and various gifted vegetarian cookbooks later, I finally learned to cook tofu.

Easy definition of tofu = bean curd made of soybeans. Some people will say it doesn't taste like anything. Yet, it has a light and delicate nutty flavor. It will absorb any flavor you dress it with.  Tofu is a great source of protein and calcium. It's lucrative and can be very bland if not done correctly. The next step is essential to ensuring your tofu is well seasoned and comes out delicious!

How to Drain Tofu: One secret to cooking perfect tofu is draining the water it is packaged in before you mess with it. Simply wrap tofu blocks in kitchen towels (cotton terry cloth wins over paper here), set in a shallow dish, and place something heavy on top (filled tea kettle or bricks). Doing this over night will ensure that your tofu is dry and ready to absorb any flavors you add to it!

Spicy Peanut Tofu Marinade 

1/2 C. Sesame Oil 
1/2 Tbls. Ground Cumin
1/4 C. Finely chopped Parsley
1 1/2 Tbsp. A Good Chili Paste (I like it hot!)
1 Tbps. Crunchy Peanut Butter (Try something organic with little or no sugar.)
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice   
Freshly cracked Pepper and Salt to taste  

Mix ingredients until well combined. Pour marinade over firm block tofu (it'll be a little thick, that's pefect!) and put away for at least 2 hours or longer. The longer you marinade the tofu, the better and more intense the flavor will develop. 

Note: If you enjoy tofu's natural taste, marinade less. If you're cooking for a crowd whom eat tofu infrequently, marinade over night for best results.   

Heat wok with a small amount of oil. When wok smokes, saute tofu until brown on all sides. Add in a hand full of chopped fresh Spinach in the last 2-3 minutes to wilt.


Comment with any questions! 

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