Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ratatouille Tofu

I saw this really cute dinner idea in a recent issue of Parents Magazine.
It was called Dinner and a Movie and this was the tagline-"Rent Ratatouille, then have kids try the veggie side along with crispy tofu triangles".

Ratatouille is the title of a Disney/Pixar movie that was released in June 2007 that has a lot to do with food and cooking. It is pretty cute- I remember going to see it in the theater when it came out.

So, this idea sounded fun to me.
This take on Ratatouille is as easy as they come. The whole thing is ready in a matter of minutes.

I kind of spaced the fact that this magazine is geared towards small children and expected this meal to have more flavor. It was a little bit bland for me. If I made this version of Ratatouille again, I would definitely spice it up a little bit.

Some of my family members really like tofu and will eat it any way I make it. Others, like my husband, do better if it is in small cubes and mixed with other foods, so they can't really tell what it is. It usually takes awhile for him to say something like "This really isn't chicken, is it?"
He already knows the answer. The texture gives it away. The good thing is that the people in my family who don't love tofu will eat it and not complain too much. The crust on this tofu wasn't my favorite either, but I guess it would be good if you are trying to get a child to try tofu for the first time.

So, I guess what I am saying is that I liked the idea of this meal more than the actual flavors, but forgot that it was probably geared towards small kids who might not have too much experience with lots of herbs and spices or tofu, for that matter.

My advice would be to up the spices and herbs and if you have a favorite breadcrumb, cornflake, or panko coating- try that on the tofu instead. Also, if you are trying to get people excited about eating tofu for the first time, smaller pieces would probably be a great idea. The vegetables would also taste great if they were roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper, but that would add a bit more time to the preparation of the meal.

Ratatouille Tofu
from Parents Magazine
2 Tbls olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 eggplant, cut into small cubes
1 zucchini, chopped
2 sweet peppers, chopped
1 Tbls fresh basil
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
salt and pepper
1/2 18 oz. package firm tofu, drained
1 Tbls polenta ( I used yellow cornmeal)
1 Tbls grated Parmesan cheese

1- Chop basil. Heat 1 Tbls oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes, then add eggplant, zucchini, sweet peppers, and 3 Tbls water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper; remove from heat.

2- Meanwhile, cut tofu crosswise into 1/2-inch thick square pieces and slice into triangles. In a bowl, mix polenta and cheese and coat the tofu with it.

3- Heat 1 Tbls oil in another skillet on medium-high. Add tofu; cook for 2 minutes per side or until browned.
Serves 4

One Year Ago-Weekly Lunchbox


Joanne said...

That sounds great and looks delicious! Your lucky your husband will even taste it. If mine suspects any soy on his plate...doesn't matter's not passing his lips.

~~louise~~ said...

My grandchildren are coming for a visit in November. What a wonderful way to introduce them to tofu and Ratatouille. Thanks so much for sharing, Mary Ann...

Chocolate Shavings said...

That sounds like a great way to cook with tofu! I saw the Ratatouille movie too, it was really good!

The Blonde Duck said...

What a unique dish!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I love that image of your husband gradually realizing the truth about what's in tonight's dinner! Everybody in my family will eat tofu now, I'm the slowest to accept it!