Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chili Lime Tofu and Quinoa

Not only was this another great recipe from Vegan Yum Yum, it was fun to make.  There are a lot of steps to the dish but after being away from my kitchen for so long, I was happy to take on the task of cooking this delicious meal (click here for the originial recipe from Vegan Yum Yum.)
As with all recipes, I tend to make minor modifications.  Here is what I did:
1 Block Tofu, Extra firm 14 oz
Chili Lime Sauce
3 Tbs reduced sodium soy sauce
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt
4 mint leaves, chiffonaded (long, thin strips)
3/4 cup dry quinoa
1/2 zest of lime
1/4 salt
1 1/3 cup water
The original recipe calls for steamed collards, but I used what was in my patio garden instead -- steamed chard.  This is just a side dish, so feel free to steam what ever vegetable you like.
I started with the quinoa.  "Combine all the ingredients for the quinoa in a pot that has a tight fitting lid.  Bring to boil, then cover and reduce heat to loaw.  Cook for 20 minutes, then turn off heat.  Do not open lid.  Let steam for 10 minutes before serving. (VYY)"
At this point I also started a pot of rice in the rice cooker and used the steamer attachement to steam the chard.  The rice was just in case quinoa was too "hippie" for The Husband; more on that later.
While the quinoa, rice and chard was all cooking/steaming away I quickly prepared the chili lime sauce before starting on the tofu.  For the sauce, just whisk everything together in a bowl and set aside.  The original recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of sugar, but I left that out.  (It turns out the lime juice made it just sweet enough to not be overpowering.)
For the tofu, I drained it and sliced it horizontally into strips.  I had about 10 rectangle tofu strips.  I then cut those strips into little triangles, but you can cut it however you wish.  I used my electric skillet because you need something the tofu won't stick to without oil.  My stainless steel pans would not have worked for this at all. 
"Spread the tofu out in one layer in the pan.  Using a spatula, press the tofu.  The liquid will squeeze out and boil away, and the tofu will behin to turn golden.  After several minutes, flip the tofu over and press the other side (VYY)."
Once the tofu was nice and golden on both sides I turned down the heat to medium-low and added the chili lime sauce.  It evaporates quickly so make sure all your tofu triangles are nice and covered with the sauce. 
The quinoa and rice and chard was done by this time so it was time to eat!  
I just have to say that W was super impressed by this gourmet meal and couldn't stop raving about how much time and effort I had put into it. I guess when I was preparing everything it looked more complicated than it really was, but I didn't argue with him.  He also claimed that the tofu was perfectly prepared and the sauce was amazing.  (Why, thank you very much!)  I assured him there was rice in case he didn't want the quinoa, "but you really should try it, it's really good."  And it was!  The lime made it very zesty and delicious.  W did indeed try the quinoa in addition to his rice and he happily ate the whole thing.  I practically scarfed everything down in one sitting, but managed to save just enough for lunch tomorrow! 

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