Stir Fried Curried Tofu with Coconut Green Rice and Toasted Cashews
Garnish this vibrantly seasoned tofu dish with roasted unsalted cashews, but as alternate garnishes use unsalted roasted peanuts or lightly toasted unsweetened flaked coconut (available in bulk in most health food stores).
Make a Meal: Serve with a crisp salad of chopped Napa cabbage tossed 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple and Japanese Rice Vinaigrette, and sprinkled with black sesame seeds.
Cook time: 25 minutes
14 to 16 ounce block medium or firm tofu
1 ½ cups white jasmine or basmati rice
Cilantro and Coconut Milk Sauce:
1 cup regular or low-fat coconut milk
1 cup packed cilantro including tender stems
2 teaspoons chopped jalapeño or serrano, or more to taste
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup diced (½ inch pieces) red bell pepper
½ cup diagonal (½ inch) slices scallions
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
1 bag (5 ounces) baby spinach or leaf spinach, stemmed and torn into pieces, about 5 cups packed, rinsed and drained
½ cup unsalted coarsely chopped roasted cashews
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1. Slice the block of tofu into six ½ inch thick slices. Arrange on a folded dish towel, cover with a second folded towel and press down gently but firmly with the palm of your hand. Cut into ½ inch squares. Let stand until ready to stir fry.
2. In a large straight sided skillet heat 2 ½ cup water and a pinch of salt to a boil. Stir in the rice, cover and cook until water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes. If using brown rice increase the water to 3 cups and cook about 45 minutes.
3. While the rice is cooking make the Cilantro and Coconut Milk Sauce: In a blender puree the coconut milk, cilantro, jalapeño, 2 teaspoons ginger, 1 garlic clove, lime juice and ½ teaspoon salt until smooth. Taste and add more jalapeno, ginger, lime juice or salt, if needed. Pour into a two cup liquid measure.
4. Heat a wok, wok skillet or deep skillet over high heat until hot enough to sizzle and evaporate a drop of water. Add the oil. When the oil is hot enough to sizzle a piece of tofu add to the hot oil adjusting the heat as needed to keep the oil sizzling hot, gently turn the tofu with a spatula or tongs until golden, about 6 minutes.
5. Remove the tofu from the skillet to a side dish. To the skillet add the red bell pepper, scallion, curry powder, remaining 1 tablespoon ginger and remaining grated garlic. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add half of the cilantro and coconut milk sauce and all of the spinach to the wok and cook, stirring, until blended and spinach shows signs of wilting, about 2 minutes.
6. Add the remaining cilantro and coconut milk sauce to the rice and reheat over medium heat, tossing once or twice with a fork. Do not stir or rice may become gummy. Spoon rice into serving bowls and top with tofu mixture. Sprinkle with cashews and cilantro.
Toasted Quinoa Stirred with Spinach, Blistered Tomatoes and Walnuts
Toasting the quinoa, before cooking but after rinsing, emphasizes its irresistibly nutty taste. Quinoa cooks in about 20 minutes making it a convenient grain to serve for a quick and easy meal. It’s also excellent as a salad or served with warm milk for breakfast.
Make a Meal: Serve with Warm Green Bean Salad with Red Onion and Mint
Cook time: 35 minutes
1-½ cups quinoa
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, grated
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 pint small cherry tomatoes
1 bag (5 ounces) baby spinach, about 5 cups packed, rinsed and drained leaf spinach
½ cup broken walnuts
½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Torn basil leaves (optional)
1.Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water for at least 45 seconds. To save water swish the quinoa in a bowl of water instead of using the running water. Shake in a strainer to remove as much water as possible.
2. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to a deep straight-sided skillet or sauté pan and warm over medium low heat. Add the wet, but drained, quinoa and turn the heat to medium high. Stir the quinoa until it dries out and begins to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add 3 cups water and the salt and heat to a boil. Cook, covered, over medium low heat, until all of the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and appears to be uncoiling, 18 to 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet over medium high heat until hot enough to sizzle a cherry tomato. Add the tomatoes and cook, shaking the pan, until the tomatoes are blistered and softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
5. When the quinoa is cooked add the spinach and toss with the quinoa, over medium heat, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Top with the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the walnuts and cheese. Fluff to combine. Garnish with basil and serve.