Tag Archive | tofu

General Tso’s Tofu

There is a little hole in the wall in town that makes the absolute best General Tso’s tofu.  They serve it with broccoli and it’s been a very long time since I’ve even made it to that side of town to get some!  It has been on my mind for weeks, nagging at me until the craving has gotten so big that I just could not ignore it any longer!  So I started searching for a recipe to make General Tso’s Tofu.

After looking at countless recipes online and remembering how the dish looked from my local restaurant, I finally found one that I could use!  I had most of the ingredients and figured tweaking it a little based on what I have on hand would be fine.  After all, if it tastes good, that’s all that matters, right?

First step: open the package of Organic, non-GMO extra firm tofu and drain.  Wrap it in a towel and place a plate on top and bottom to press out more water/liquid and let sit for a little while until it isn’t so wet.

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I cut mine into square, little cubes and put them in the pan to brown the edges a little.  While the tofu browns, dice up half of a red onion.

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Remove the browned tofu cubes from your pan and sauté the diced red onion.  I used about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil for the tofu and the onions.  I also put 3 cloves of garlic through the press and chopped some onion greens to the sauté.

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To change things up a bit, throw in some snow peas with the sautéed onions and add the browned tofu.

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Now for the sweet, tangy sauce that makes this dish so delicious.  Gather together the organic soy sauce, something a little sweet and the corn starch for thickening.  My sweet was some homemade syrup that I had leftover from a Sunday morning brunch recently.

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Add 3 tbsp sweet and 3 tbsp organic soy sauce to the pan.  In a small measuring cup, add 3 tablespoons of corn starch and 6-8 tablespoons water and mix together until smooth without lumps.  Add to the pan and quickly toss the tofu mixture so that it is evenly coated.

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As the liquid heats up, it will thicken.  Remove from the heat once it is thick and the tofu mixture is coated well.

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Below is the actual recipe courtesy of Food.com.  Someday, when all the ingredients are in my pantry, I may try this again!

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General Tso’s Sauce

3 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp rice wine

1 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp chili paste

1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

Mix all ingredients in a sauté pan.  Cook at medium temperature until thickened, stirring occasionally.

While I left out some of the ingredients in this particular recipe, it turned out really nice and if you don’t like spicy, leaving out the chili paste won’t matter!  Snow peas and all, this was probably one of my better lunches…ever.  And I thoroughly enjoyed every bite.

Until next time… Bon Appetit!

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Tofu Vegetable Lasagna

Many times I’ve gone through the frozen foods section at the grocery store and come home with a single serving of that wonderful brand that makes a vegetable lasagna.  Throw it in the microwave and zap it for a few and then enjoy every morsel until its gone. 

Unfortunately, lasagna can be a not-so-good food if you aren’t careful about what goes into it.  I’ve been messing around with my recipes for years tweaking here, substituting a little there, trying to make them healthier but keep all the taste  and textures that we all love.

This is my version of that frozen entrée! This is a fabulous way to get veggies in for your otherwise really picky eaters! The recipe follows at the end of this post.

In a food processor using the grate plate:

Grate 1 medium carrot, 1 zucchini

move to a bowl and set aside

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Take a whole pack of fresh organic baby spinach – like the packs you find in the salad and produce section of your store.  Sauté it with finely diced onion in a little extra virgin olive oil.

Take a block of tofu – I used organic extra firm tofu and pulsed it in the food processor with the “s” blade until it was smooth like ricotta cheese.  It gets really thick just like the real ricotta.

Transfer the spinach mixture and the tofu mixture to a bowl.  Add the grated carrots and zucchini, sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and parsley flakes.

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Now time to layer the noodles!  You can pre-cook your noodles, but I am far too impatient for that when it comes to lasagna!  I just put enough sauce in to cook the noodles while the dish bakes.  Works good as they come out perfectly al dente.

Spray your baking dish with non-stick spray coating the bottom and sides well.  Start with a layer of noodles, then filling, shredded skim mozzarella, pour some white sauce (recipe at end of this post). Then repeat your layer until you run out of filling.  This made two layers which is perfect for us.

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Finish off the top by pouring the white sauce over the noodles covering well.  Then top with Panko bread crumbs and a little shredded skim mozzarella.

To help with potential baking overflow, I’ve place my baking dish on a cookie tray lined with foil.  This makes for easy clean up and helps keep my oven cleaner.

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Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until bubbly and the Panko has browned.  Let set for 10 min before serving!

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Tofu Vegetable Lasagna

1 block of organic tofu, drained

1 medium carrot, peeled and grated

1 medium zucchini, grated

1 small onion, finely diced

1 package baby spinach, organic preferred

1-2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp Italian herbs, dried

1 tsp dried parsley

pinch of French Grey Sea Salt

Lasagna noodles

 

Sharp Cheddar White Sauce

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tbsp of flour

Make into a roux and once the flour is well saturated with the oil

Add about 1-2 cups un-sweet nut milk or skim/low fat milk.  Make into a thick white sauce, constantly stirring with a whisk.

Add 1 cup shredded Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar and Monterrey Jack.

Continue to whisk until the cheese is melted.

Pour over the noodles as indicated above.

 

Enjoy!

Coconut Curry Tofu with Brown Rice

It’s been a while since I last posted anything about food.  Things have just been too crazy and we’ve been super busy.  My full time job changed and while I adjusted to that, I am still keeping the part time job for a while yet. And we’ve been working on the yard little by little each season and this year we’ve been able to get the most done than we’ve done in past season’s.  It’s all very exciting to us as things are starting to take shape and our personality is starting to really show!

Here lately I have been craving some of my Mom’s cooking. Vietnamese curry is a little different than Thai curry, but I have my own version that is slightly influenced by both.  I don’t put a lot of heat in my curry, although I do love a good, flaming curry once in a great while!

Since brown rice takes longer to cook, that’s the first thing that gets put into the cooker.  On my last trip to the Asian Market, I picked up some new crop Brown Jasmine Rice.  I grew up on Jasmine white rice and love the aromas that fill the house while it’s cooking.  True to my memories best recollection, the Brown Jasmine did fill our house with aromas that made me super hungry!  I’m so excited to be able to get it in brown rice!

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My rice cooker can thoroughly cook brown rice in about 25-30 minutes depending on how much is in there.  I put enough for 3 servings and with brown rice, you add a little extra water as it is chewier. After rinsing it to get it nice and clean, I got the rice cooking.

Next I gathered all my ingredients together and chopped all my vegetables first.

Since I didn’t have any snow peas in the refrigerator, I decided to do zucchini and cauliflower with the coconut curry.  I used a extra firm tofu, good canned coconut milk, curry powder, garlic powder, onion powder, a whole medium sweet onion, green onion stalks, shallots, clove of fresh garlic, bay leaves, sea salt,, basil and a little extra virgin olive oil.

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Here’s the recipe:

Cyn’s Coconut Curry Tofu with Brown Rice & Veggies

*Keep in mind that I don’t measure when I cook. These are approximations. So you may have to adjust a little for taste.

1 medium sweet onion, half of it diced small, the other half sliced into thin wedges

1 clove garlic, minced

2 small zucchini, quartered into thick bite-size pieces

1/2 head of cauliflower, sliced thin014

1 block non-GMO tofu, sliced thick

3 tbsp Curry Powder

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Onion Powder

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

1 can Coconut Milk

4-5 Basil leaves, sliced

or if you don’t have fresh leaves, use 1 tsp dried basil

2 Bay leaves

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In a medium saucepan, add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and the onion slices.  Sauté until the slices soften and become translucent.

Add to this the sliced cauliflower, sliced green onion and cubed zucchini.

Let these cook together until the zucchini is soft. I like my cauliflower to be a little crunchy, but you can let yours cook longer before adding the zucchini to the pan. Once the cauliflower is to the desired consistency, set aside.

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Meanwhile, take the thick, sliced tofu and place it in a warmed pan with a little extra virgin olive oil and brown each side.

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While the tofu is cooking, I start the curry sauce. Sauté the diced onions and shallots in a little of the extra virgin olive oil until translucent. Add the minced garlic. Add the whole can of coconut milk, the basil leaves, the bay leaves and the sea salt.

Let this mixture come to a soft boil.

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Pour this over the vegetable mixture.  Add browned tofu that has been cubed.

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Once thoroughly heated, plate and serve.

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Enjoy!