Happy Meatless Monday, y’all, holla! Sorry, we’re on vacation and I tend to get a little crazier :).
Jimmy’s post today is all about tofu. At one time I thought I hated tofu, but after Jimmy fixed this recipe for me I am convert. Say Hallelujah and sing the praises of tofu!
Put a little Tofu in your life, it will brighten up your whole day, and gosh darn it people will like you more.
You can go through the trouble of getting the tofu that is packed in water, draining, seasoning, and baking the tofu, and if it is all done correctly, it will most likely taste pretty good (or it could taste horrible, which is often the case). Better yet, you can do what I do, buy tofu that is prepared and ready to eat. My favorite tofu is sold at Trader Joe’s, which is also my favorite store.
Trader Joe’s sells two flavors of baked tofu that come in ready to eat squares, teriyaki and savory. Using this ready-made tofu, you can make an elaborate weekend meal, like Spicy Asian Noodle Bowls, or a quick, but healthy week night meal, and when I say fast I mean fast like five minutes.
I always keep some tofu and jasmine or organic brown rice (microwaveable for 3 minutes) in the freezer. Trader Joe’s sells the best rice I have ever had, whether organic brown or jasmine rice . It can be found in the frozen section (it’s in a box with four separate pouches and it is very inexpensive).
For a fast meal that serves two, I take two packages of the savory or the teriyaki flavored tofu, cut them into large chunks, and heat them in a pan with a little (drizzle about a teaspoon) hot chili oil for about five minutes; if you have some extra vegetables around you can also throw those in the pan. While the tofu is heating put one of the pouches of rice in the microwave for three minutes. Once the rice is done, put the cooked tofu over it. You can eat it plain, or you can put a little sweet chili sauce on it, and I always add some sambal oelek (hot chili sauce), and sometimes I put a little low sodium soy sauce on it.
When I want to make something that is a little more “fancy”, I make Spicy Asian Noodle Bowls.
Spicy Asian Noodle Bowls
1 package Udon Noodles
Baked teriyaki tofu from Trader Joe’s (cut into cubes – see picture 2)*
beansprouts (~2 cups)
2 cups carrots (we buy carrots already shredded (matchsticks) from Trader Joe’s)
4 green onions
4 tsp. sesame oil mixed with 1 tsp vegetable oil
3 tsp. soy sauce
red pepper flakes (to taste – we like it hot so we add at least a 1/2 tablespoon)
salt and pepper (to taste; we use about a pinch of salt, and a little extra pepper)
Mix all ingredients for sauce together, set aside.
Sambal Oelek (ground fresh chili paste) or Thai garlic chili sauce; Mae Ploy (sweet chili sauce) (Darla’s favorite)
(You should be able to find some version of these condiments at major grocery stores. World Market and Whole Foods are excellent resources.)
Step by step directions
1. Make sauce – set aside.
2. Cut up vegetables.
3. Cook Udon Noodles according to package directions; do not overcook.
4. Drizzle hot oil in skillet (see picture). Heat tofu about 5 minutes or until warm.
5. Drain noodles in colander. Return noodles to skillet with tofu (turn stove off). Add vegetables and sauce. Mix well.
Garnish with cilantro, peanuts, sambal oelek, sweet chili sauce, or whatever makes you happy.
*I use three packages of tofu (or as Darla’s dad calls it, tufu) because I like to have some left over.
I hope you are ready to try something new for Meatless Mondays. You will make a cow, chicken, pig, or one of the other farm animals of the world a little happier, and who doesn’t like happy farm animals.