For a slight change of pace, I wanted to make a lightly crusted tofu (following this recipe, but with a longer bake time ‘cause that’s how I roll). To go with it, I made a simple mushroom gravy – shallots, cremini mushrooms, veggie broth, a splash of soy sauce, and a few pinches of leftover cornmeal-flour mixture to thicken and season, deglazed with a little bourbon just to see how it’s do (it’s a bit off, but not bad!) – and collard greens braised in a shallow pan with veggie broth and minced garlic. Oh, and quinoa. Because there must be a grain and the tofu crust didn’t count.
I had a bunch of random stuff to use up, and the only requests I got from the boyfriend were “not too kale-y” and “very unlike calzone” (because that’s what he had for lunch). So here’s what I made:
Baked tofu with a marinade/baking sauce composed of gochujang, soy sauce, sesame oil, minced ginger, and a little bit of mirin and coconut syrup. Baking tofu in a sauce–mixed right in the pan–is my lazy go-to. It’s easy to play up and try different combinations of things. I just throw the baking dish in my toaster oven for 20 minutes on 400 degrees, then flip and bake another 20 minutes. Besides my oven being presently out of order (I’ve got someone coming out Thursday to fix it, I hope), the timer function makes this very easy. I use the toaster oven even when my oven is working, unless I’m roasting a bunch of stuff.
Soba noodles with ginger and veggies was a bunch of things cooked separately–the noodles had to boil, of course, but I stir-fried in sesame oil shallots with thinly sliced red bell pepper, then pieces of asparagus, then some snow peas. I added a few spoonfuls of a quick sauce I made for the veggies – miniature ginger matchsticks in vegetable broth and a splash of soy sauce and a few good shakes of red pepper flakes. After the noodles were cooked, I tossed everything together with the rest of the ginger sauce and a couple chopped scallions.
Braised mixed greens were the last, simplest part. Happy Boy Farms sells a great braising greens mix that’s got a little bit of everything–kale, escarole, cabbage, and chard–that I chopped u[p a bit and stuck in a pan with vegetable broth and ginger. Cooked on low until everything is tender and wilted, annnnnd… that’s it.
Baked tofu with balsamic vinegar and green garlic, roasted rainbow carrots with thyme and asparagus, lemon parsley dressing, kale salad, and quinoa
The sauce was a riff on the creamy-cilantro lime dressing from Salad Samurai: lemon instead of lime, parsley instead of cilantro, and fresh spring onion instead of powder. The rest of the recipe includes cashews, a little light miso, garlic, and pepper, just add water and throw in the VitaMix.
Baking tofu in a mix of olive oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, green garlic, and fresh thyme sprigs is a pretty good base. The same ingredients – sub salt for the soy sauce – makes for good roasted carrots. Kept the asparagus simple with olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt.