Pasta, Crispy Tofu and Green Bean Salad

by Jennifer

This pasta salad, from either Cooking Light or Eating Well (can’t remember!), is better at room temperature but can be eaten cold as well.  I’ve made a few changes to the original recipe;  it serves 4 – 6.

  • 14 oz package extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed using either paper towels, plates and something heavy, or the EZ-Tofu Press;  slice pressed tofu into cubes
  • 1 TBS neutral oil
  • 1 lb short whole wheat pasta, such as farfalle or penne
  • about 3 1/2 cups cut green beans, in about 2” pieces (roughly 13 – 14 oz)
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into four pieces, each piece halved crosswise and sliced into thin pieces
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions.

Five minutes before the pasta is ready to drain, add the green beans.  Drain when time is up and rinse pasta and green beans with cold water.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 1 TBS neutral oil in a nonstick (this is key) skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Cook tofu until crispy and golden on all sides.  Transfer tofu to paper towels to drain and cool.

In a small bowl whisk together the red wine vinegar through salt and pepper.

In a large bowl combine pasta, green beans, tomatoes, yellow pepper, basil and dressing.  Serve at room temperature or cold.

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Teriyaki Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables

by Jennifer

This was a quick weeknight spin on Stir-Fried Noodles, using a variety of vegetables from our CSA share this week, and using store-bought teriyaki sauce.  Once everything’s prepped (which you can do ahead of time, if you like), dinner comes together in minutes.  Serves 4.

  • 14 oz extra-firm tofu, pressed, cut into 1/2” cubes
  • 3 TBS neutral oil, divided
  • 8 oz brown rice noodles, soaked in hot water for 6 – 8 minutes, then drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 small – medium carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • about 10 oz bok choy (a small bunch), both leaves and stems thinly sliced
  • scant cup chopped scallions, greens and whites
  • 3/4 cup teriyaki sauce (I used Soy Vay’s Island Teriyaki)

Heat 1 TBS oil in a wok over medium-hight heat;  add tofu and cook, tossing occasionally, until tofu is golden and crispy on most-to-all sides.  Transfer tofu to a bowl.

Add another TBS oil to the wok and stir-fry garlic until fragrant;

add carrots and stir-fry for a minute or two.

Add peas and stir-fry for another minute.

Add bok choy and stif-fry until almost wilted.

Add scallions and stir-fry for another minute, then transfer vegetables to a bowl.

Heat last TBS oil in the wok and add the noodles, using two spatulas or tongs to toss for a few minutes.

Add tofu and vegetables to the wok, then add the teriyaki sauce and toss well to heat through and combine.  Serve hot.

Snow Pea, Cashew and Tofu Stir-Fry with Stir-Fried Rice with Broccoli Rabe

by Jennifer

This dinner was fantastic!  We couldn’t stop eating the snow peas, they were that good.  I will definitely make these recipes again.  Both are adaptations;  the stir-fry from Eating Well magazine, the rice from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.  I used one wok for everything, wiping it down after boiling the broccoli rabe and after making the rice (just kept the rice warm while I made the stir-fry).

Snow Pea, Cashew and Tofu Stir-Fry

While the tofu is being pressed, prep the rest of the ingredients.

  • 14 oz package extra-firm tofu
  • 3 TBS hoisin sauce
  • 2 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chili-garlic sauce
  • 2 TBS neutral high-heat oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 lbs snow peas, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup lightly salted cashew halves and pieces

Press tofu between two paper towel-lined plates, topped with something heavy (like a full tea kettle), for 30 minutes.

Slice tofu into 1/2” pieces.

Whisk together hoisin sauce, soy sauce and chili-garlic sauce in a small bowl.

Heat 1 TBS oil in a wok over moderately high heat;  add tofu and stir-fry until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes.  Transfer tofu to a plate and wipe the wok clean.

Heat remaining 1 TBS oil and add the onions and garlic and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Add snow peas and continue to stir-fry until they’re bright green, about 3 – 4 minutes.

Add the tofu, cashews and sauce to the wok,

tossing everything until it’s hot and coated with the sauce.

Stir-Fried Rice with Broccoli Rabe

Cook the rice (ideally in a rice cooker) ahead of time, even the day or two ahead;

spread it out on a baking sheet to cool, then refrigerate until you’re ready to make the dish.  This is a great non-Italian way to use that broccoli rabe from your CSA or farmer’s market!

  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, large stems removed
  • 3 TBS neutral high-heat oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 1 bunch scallions, whites and half of greens, thinly sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 cups cooked and cooled brown rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 TBS low-sodium soy sauce

Bring salted water in a wok to a boil and boil the broccoli rabe for 5 minutes.

Drain, and when cool enough to handle squeeze out any remaining water and chop.  Wipe wok dry.

Heat oil in the wok over moderately-high heat, then add scallions, garlic and cilantro, stir-frying for 1 minute.

Add rice and broccoli rabe, stir-frying for a few minutes.

Stir together the eggs and soy sauce;

make a well in the middle of the rice, pour the egg/soy mixture into the well,

then quickly stir-fry everything until the rice is all coated with egg and everything’s hot.

Herbed Tofu and Vegetable Saute

by Jennifer

This recipe, adapted from Mollie Katzen’s Still Life with Menu cookbook, is great:  fast, light, fresh, healthy and delicious.

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 – 6 garlic cloves, depending on size, chopped, divided
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 lb. broccoli, cut into florets
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, stems removed or trimmed, sliced
  • 14 oz. package firm tofu, drained, cut into about 1/2” cubes
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat.  Cook onions, half of the garlic, and salt for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add broccoli and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes,

or until the broccoli turns a deeper shade of green.

Add the tofu through pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 – 6 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender.

Add the remaining garlic and cook for another minute or so, then stir in the cheese until it melts and serve.

Tofu Steaks with Tomato-Olive Sauce over Whole Wheat Penne, Cauliflower with Capers

by Jennifer

Tofu is not just for Asian cooking!  The sauce can be made up to a day ahead.  After cooking the cauliflower in the skillet, wipe it clean and use it to pan-fry the tofu.  This dinner serves 4.

Tofu Steaks with Tomato-Olive Sauce over Whole Wheat Penne – adapted from Cooking Light

  • 13.25 oz. package whole wheat penne
  • 3 TBS olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 14 oz. package extra-firm tofu, pressed if you like, sliced into 4 equal portions and patted very dry

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.

In a large skillet, heat 1 TBS olive oil over medium heat, then add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes and let sauce simmer for 10 minutes.

Add olives and let cook for another minute or two.

Remove from heat and add parsley and black pepper.  If you’re not making the sauce ahead and would like to only use one skillet, transfer sauce to a smaller pot to keep warm and rinse out pan to use for the cauliflower and then the tofu.

Cook penne according to package directions until al dente;  drain.  Meanwhile, heat 2 TBS olive oil over medium heat in the skillet until it shimmers.

Add tofu and cook, turning once, until both sides are golden brown, about 4 minutes or so per side.  Divide penne among 4 plates, top with a slice of tofu, and top that with sauce.

Cauliflower with Capers – adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 lemon, sliced in half cross-wise
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 TBS chopped parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp capers, drained
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Fill a large pot about half-way full of water, add 1/2 lemon, and bring to a boil.

Cook cauliflower in boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain and discard lemon half.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then cook the cauliflower for 6 minutes, until crisp-tender and slightly charred in places.

Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

Transfer cauliflower and garlic to a bowl and add the juice of the remaining lemon half, parsley, capers and salt, tossing well.

Sesame-Crusted Tofu with Broccoli, Carrots and Brown Rice Drizzled with Miso-Butter

by Jennifer

The Miso-Butter is an adaptation of Mark Bittman’s recipe in the NY Times Magazine.  This dinner was quick to make, healthy, and satisfying.  Serves 4.

Sesame-Crusted Tofu (adapted from ChopChop Magazine):

  • 1 package extra-firm tofu
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 TBS peanut oil
  • 1 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 lb. broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 lb. carrots, sliced diagonally
  • Cooked brown rice (start with 2 cups uncooked rice)
  • 4 TBS unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 TBS miso of your choice
  • 1 TBS mirin (Japanese sake)
  • freshly ground black pepper

Press tofu between two paper towel-lined plates topped with something heavy (such as a full teapot) for 30 – 60 minutes.

Slice tofu into 12 equal pieces (slice lengthwise into 4 pieces, then across by 3).

Toss tofu with egg white,

then press both sides into sesame seeds.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook tofu, about 2 minutes per side, until golden.  Remove from heat and sprinkle soy sauce over tofu.  Serve immediately.

Broccoli, Carrots and Brown Rice Drizzled with Miso-Butter

Whisk or puree in a mini-chopper the melted butter, miso, mirin and freshly ground black pepper until smooth.

Steam the broccoli and carrots until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.  Divide the rice among four plates, top with broccoli and carrots, and drizzle with miso-butter.

Rice Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables

by Jennifer

This recipe, adapted from Cooking Light, has a kick, so decrease the red pepper flakes if someone in your family doesn’t like spicy food.

Serves 4.

  • 14 oz. package firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 8 oz. rice noodles, preferably brown rice noodles (found these at Whole Foods)
  • 1 leek, sliced lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 medium Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 red peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 TBS peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 TBS rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Optional:  chopped peanuts or cashews

Drain and press the tofu, between two plates lined with paper towels and something heavy on top, for 30 minutes.  While the tofu is being pressed, soak noodles in a large bowl of hot water for 6 – 8 minutes;  drain.

Slice tofu into 1” cubes.

Whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil and red pepper flakes.

Have all stir-fry ingredients ready to go.

Heat peanut oil in a wok over medium-high heat.  Add leeks, stir-fry 1 minute.

Add red pepper, stir-fry 2 minutes.

Add Napa cabbage, stir-fry 1 minute.

Add tofu and garlic, stir-fry 2 minutes.

Add noodles and sauce, and toss with two spatulas or tongs for a few minutes, until well-combined.

Serve sprinkled with scallions and cilantro, and with chopped peanuts or cashews if desired.