Feelin' Chalky

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So You Think You Can...cook with tofu?

I know, let's just get it out of the way now...tofu...ewwww!  That's what I thought too, but then I started experimenting!  So far, so GOOD!  I thought I'd share one main dish with tofu and one sinfully good dessert recipe with, you guessed it, tofu!  And I will also throw in a side dish for fun...without tofu.

My method of cooking these days is what I like to refer to as the "mad scientist method."  I scour the fridge and pantry turn up the heat on a large skillet and just start throwing things in.  I have gotten to this point because I have basically thrown all of my old stand-by comfort-food favorites out the window and have had to get crazy in the kitchen.  It's kinda like Survivor only without the rats and bugs and with money and fresh produce and...OK, it's not like Survivor I guess.  Anyway, I wanted something filling and wholesome for lunch today, so here is what I came up with...

The Mad Scientist Scramble

Red, Yellow, and Orange Bell Peppers (about 1/2 c)
Diced Red Onion (about 1/2 c)
Baby Spinach (a handful or two)
Minced Garlic (1-2 teaspoons)
Crumbled Extra Firm Tofu (1/6 of a block)
Black Beans (1/4 c)
Rice (1/4 c)
BRAGG Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce or tamari) (I used about 4 T - just enough to coat everything)

Spray your pan with some olive oil and throw in the onions and peppers.  Saute until tender.  Add your spinach and wilt and then throw in the garlic (make sure as you throw these items in the pan you really get into the whole mad scientist persona...it's a lot more fun that way).  Don't let your garlic burn or it will be icky.  Throw in the BRAGG or soy and toss around with the veggies.  Crumble the tofu into small pieces with your fingers and add to the pan.  Toss around so that it absorbs the liquid and then remove from the stove.  I kind of cheated today b/c I had leftover rice and beans from Chipotle that I just threw into the mix, but you can easily throw in canned black beans and some brown rice and it would be just as good.  I did like the cilantro flavor from the rice...it meshed well with the other flavors.

This was so so yummy, and it was very hearty.  If you notice it also had more protein than a turkey sandwich (the tofu alone was 6-7 g of protein...).  Oh, and the whole shebang was only 6 points!

Now to the dessert.  Get ready to have your mind blown!

Oh My! Peanut Butter Pie!

16 ounces Soft Silken Tofu (make sure it is silken tofu and not firm or extra firm!)
1 c. Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar added - you are looking for the ingredients to say: peanuts - that's it)
3/4 c. Agave Nectar
2 T. Soy Milk (or almond or rice milk)
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 pre-made crust (I found Marie Callendar's and it was pretty good!)

Bake your pie crust according to the package directions and let cool completely.  Combine the tofu, peanut butter, agave, milk, and vanilla in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth (make sure you scrape the sides several times so that there are no chunks).  Refrain from grabbing a straw and eating the entire pitcher full of filling.  Pour filling into the cooled pie shell.  Let chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.  The recipe had a picture of the pie with chocolate dripped all over it and crushed up pretzels.  I didn't have time to assemble it all so I left all that off.  It would have been good with all the extras, but it was SO good without it.  Very rich.  Very decadent.  It was 7 points per serving (1/12 of the pie), but it was so worth every bite!!

And for the final recipe (and by far the easiest):

Haricots verts with Mushrooms and Garlic

1 pound French Green Beans aka Haricots verts (hv's are the the skinny ones)
1 pound Crimini Mushrooms (baby bellas)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 c BRAGG Liquid Aminos

This is so easy but insanely good.  Spray your skillet with a little olive oil and heat on med-high heat.  Add mushrooms and saute.  While the mushrooms saute, pop your bag o' beans into the micro and cook according to package directions.  I buy the double bag at Sam's Club and the package says to cut the corner to vent and cook for 4 minutes.  Combine garlic and BRAGGs and add to the mushrooms just until warm and then pour over the green beans.  See?  Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy.  My kids love them, my hubby loves the, and you will love them too!

Now go grab some tofu!

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