Showing posts with label tofu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tofu. Show all posts

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Crispy Tofu with Green Vegetable Stir-fry

As soon as I saw the photo for this recipe in a recent issue of Family Fun Magazine, I ripped it out.
This looked like it could be the one. The recipe that would get certain members of my family excited about tofu. (I won't mention any names, but one of them is not a child- that pretty much gives it away, doesn't it?)
Ok, maybe excited isn't the right word to use there.
Acceptance is what I was going for.

Here you have small tofu cubes that are marinated, breaded, and deliciously crispy.
This recipe is a bit more time intensive than the one I posted last week, but it is also one that I would make again.
The stir-fry is great, the tofu is delicious and my family really loved it.

The tofu cubes are flavorful and crispy-the panko breading is perfect.
The recipe suggested serving this over rice, but we don't eat alot of rice and I had some whole wheat angel hair pasta, so I served the stir-fry over noodles instead.
The recipe also suggested using any combination of green vegetables that you like, such as: asparagus, fresh green beans, broccoli, sugar snap peas, snow peas, and/or zucchini.
I used all of the above, except for the sugar snap peas and snow peas.

My daughter (the one that loves tofu), even ate some of the leftover cubes as a snack the next day. Cold, out of the refrigerator.

I'm just saying....


Crispy Tofu with Green Veggie Stir-Fry adapted from Family Fun Magazine
Ingredients
For the tofu:
1 14 oz package extra firm tofu
2 Tbls soy sauce
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp sugar
3/4 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs found in the ethnic food aisle of supermarkets)
1/3 cup canola oil (I used 2 Tbls and cooking spray)

1- Drain the tofu, then press it with paper towels to remove excess water. Cut into cubes.
2. Combine the soy sauce, lime juice, and sugar in a 8-inch square baking dish. Add the tofu cubes and turn them to coat all sides. Set the cubes aside to marinate for 30 minutes, turning them once halfway through.
3. For dredging, make an assembly line of three small dishes: the first containing the cornstarch; the second, the egg; and the third, the panko. Toss each tofu cube lightly in each dish, in the order listed. Set the cubes aside on a plate until all are coated.
4. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and heat the oven to 200 degrees F. Heat a 10 to 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, then the tofu cubes to the pan. Fry them on one side until golden and crisp, then continue cooking until all sides are golden, using tongs to turn them, about 6 minutes total. Transfer the cubes to the paper towel-lined baking sheet and place it in the oven to keep the tofu warm.

For the stir-fry sauce
:
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 Tbls oyster sauce
1 Tbls soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1. Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

For the stir-fry
:
1 Tbls canola oil
1 small bunch scallions
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
4 cups cut up vegetables to stir-fry(I used broccoli, asparagus, zucchini and fresh green beans)
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds ( I totally forgot about these)

1. Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the oil, then the scallions and ginger. Stir-fry until they're just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the vegetables and stir-fry until they're crisp tender, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the garlic and the sauce, stir-frying the mixture until it's bubbling, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve stir-fry with rice or noodles and top with 12 cubes of tofu, per serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

One Year Ago-Red Lentil Soup-2 ways and Bundles of Joy with homemade Pear Butter

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

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Craving Ellie-Sesame Stir-Fried Chinese Greens, Quinoa Stir-Fry and Cheesecake Pops

This week's Craving Ellie recipe, Sesame Stir-Fried Chinese Greens, was chosen by Apple Crumbles. You can find the recipe there. It was a really easy recipe- your choice of napa cabbage or bok choy, which you stir-fry and then add rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Simple and quick. Just how I like it. Oh, and you top it off with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. I was fixing a stir-fry to go with it and as I was preparing the stir-fry, I realized that the sauce for the stir-fry was exactly the same as the Chinese Greens. Perfect! I decided to include that recipe too, since that is what we had for dinner. The stir-fry was served over quinoa- I used a combination of normal and red quinoa. It was delicious. I also added a yellow and orange pepper for more color and nutrition.
My hubby also made a request for his favorite treat before he left a couple days ago. He loves Cheesecake Pops. I have made them at least 5 times since I tried them for the first time with the Daring Bakers last April. He wanted to take them to work and I made the leftover cheesecake into cheesecake cups. So, you have the healthy dinner and the decadent dessert. But, luckily the decadent dessert was made for other people to enjoy. Hope you try some of these delicious dishes!



The link for the Cheesecake Pops and Cheesecake Cups
Tofu, Asparagus, and Red Pepper Stir-Fry with Quinoa from Cooking Light
Dressing:
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
Dash of crushed red pepper
Stir-fry:
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups red bell pepper strips
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups (1-inch) sliced asparagus (about 1 pound)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (12.3-ounce) package reduced-fat firm tofu, drained and cubed
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
To prepare dressing, combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Set aside.
To prepare stir-fry, bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the quinoa; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 10 minutes; fluff with a fork.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and stir-fry 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper, mushrooms, asparagus, salt, and tofu; stir-fry 3 minutes. Stir in dressing. Serve over quinoa, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Up Tomorrow- Steel-Cut Oat Risotto

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Craving Ellie-Sesame-Teriyaki Tofu

This week's Craving Ellie recipe was chosen by Jessica, over at Johnstone's Vin Blanc. She chose Sesame-Teriyaki Chicken Thighs. I had every intention of using this teriyaki marinade on chicken, but time got the best of me and I had a block of extra-firm tofu that was in the fridge, so I decided to cut up the tofu and marinate that instead. I cut the tofu into triangles and let it marinate for a couple of hours in the fridge and then I broiled it for 10-15 minutes to let it get nice and crisp.
The marinade was really delicious. I served the tofu alongside some brown rice and broccoli and I gave my kids a choice (I usually do not do this), but there was leftover pot roast, carrots and potatoes in the fridge, so I let my kids chose between the tofu, rice and broccoli and the pot roast leftovers. Much to my surprise, all three of them actually chose the tofu! It was really good. I ate the leftover tofu on top of a salad today. I will definitely make this marinade again. Go check out what the other Ellie's thought about this marinade and go to Jessica's blog for the recipe.

Come back tomorrow for Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Blackberries

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Zucchini- Cranberry Muffins and Greek Barley and Tofu Salad




Thanks for all the well wishes. I am feeling much better- I hope the flu never comes back! Now on to the food.
When Mary, The Food Librarian, left me a little note on her blog (she knew I had all the frozen cranberries) on her post about these Cranberry-Zucchini Muffins- I quickly wrote them into my schedule. They are so good! I made a couple of changes, like using half whole wheat flour and subbing unsweetened applesauce for the oil. And when I was searching in the freezer for my cranberries, I discovered another bag of them! Yeah! The recipe comes from Martha Stewart. Hopefully you have some frozen cranberries hiding in your freezer!
The Barley recipe came about when I was looking for a quick and healthy lunch that I could make with what I had on hand in the fridge and the pantry. I had never tried barley and tofu together, but I thought it sounded good, so I went ahead with my experiment.
I decided to saute the tofu with some Greek Seasoning (I love it!), to get a crunchy edge on the tofu. I took the other components and mixed the salad together and there you have it- a healthy, fast, lunch! It was really good and my little girls gobbled it up (even the tofu)!

Greek Barley and Tofu Salad by Mary Ann
1 cup instant barley
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
14 oz pkg. extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1- 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Greek Seasoning
juice of 1 lemon
Cook the barley according to pkg directions. While the barley is cooking, heat 1 Tbls canola oil in an electric skillet. Add tofu to skillet and season with Greek Seasoning. Cook tofu until golden on all sides, 5-8 minutes. Remove tofu to a separate bowl.
When barley is cooked, transfer to a large bowl. Add cooked tofu, roasted red peppers, garbanzo
beans, and cucumber. Stir to combine. Add lemon juice and stir again.
Sprinkle with feta cheese and season to taste with more greek seasoning or salt and pepper.

Zucchini-Cranberry Muffins from Martha Stewart
Dry:
1 3/4 c flour (I used half whole wheat)
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
Wet:
2 eggs
1 c sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil (I used unsweetened applesauce)
1/2 t vanilla
1 c finely shredded zucchini
Combine dry and wet then add 1/2 cup whole cranberries. (The Food Librarian quartered her cranberries)
As with all muffins, don't overmix.
Bake them at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.


Coming on Monday-Hummus

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Craving Ellie- Fried Rice with Scallions, Edamame and Tofu and Barefoot Bloggers-Sour Cream Banana Pancakes

This week's Barefoot Bloggers recipe, Banana Sour Cream Pancakes, was chosen by Karen who blogs over at the appropriately named- Something Sweet by Karen. I have to admit that after the holidays, I was very relieved to see a simple recipe, something that I threw together the next morning and that I didn't have to buy any special ingredients for. I used Greek Yogurt instead of sour cream, because I always use it in sour cream's place and also used skim milk. I used cooking spray to keep them from sticking, instead of butter, so altogether this was a healthy, quick breakfast. We really loved them. Go check out what the rest of the Barefoot Bloggers thought- HERE

This week's Craving Ellie in my Belly recipe pick- Fried Rice with Scallions, Edamame and Tofu, was chosen by Jennifer over at Running with Food. When I was looking through this cookbook earlier this summer, the Fried Rice recipe was one of the first ones I chose to try, since I love tofu and edamame. It did not disappoint. I made it again, since I already had tofu and edamame and we loved it again. This is a really tasty way to use leftover brown rice. Go see what the other Ellie's thought by checking out the Blogroll!



Banana Sour Cream Pancakes from the Barefoot Contessa makes 12 pancakes ( I got 16)
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
2 extra-large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Unsalted butter
2 ripe bananas, diced, plus extra for serving
Pure maple syrup
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan to make 3 or 4 pancakes. Distribute a rounded tablespoon of bananas on each pancake. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute until browned. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter to the pan, and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used. Serve with sliced bananas, butter and maple syrup.

Fried Rice with Scallions, Edamame, and Tofu from the Food Your Crave by Ellie Krieger
1 Tbls + 1 tsp canola oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
4 scallions,(white and green parts) thinly sliced
1 Tbls peeled and minced fresh ginger
4 cups cooked brown rice
3/4 cup seeded and finely diced red bell pepper
3/4 cup frozen, shelled edamame, cooked according to pkg directions and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
6 ounces firm tofu, cut into cubes
2 large eggs, beaten
3 Tbls low-sodium soy sauce

Heat 1 Tbls of the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the garlic, scallions and ginger, and cook, stirring, until softened and aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the rice, red pepper, edamame, corn, and tofu, and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Make a 3-inch well in the center of the rice mixture. Add the remaining 1 tsp oil, then add the eggs and cooked until nearly scrambled. Stir the eggs into the rice mixture, then add the soy sauce and incorporate thoroughly. Serve hot
Coming Tomorrow- Prosciutto, Fontina, and Spinach- all in a Chicken Roll-up!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!! Bakerella's Cake Pops, Chicken Barley Chili and Mixed Bean Chili with Tofu






I had so many Halloween treat ideas, but the one I kept coming back to is Cake Pops. Of course I saw them when Bakerella first came up with the idea and they have been popping up (sorry for the pun) everywhere. I made 2 kinds- Chocolate Cake Pops and Pumpkin/Spice Cake Pops. I don't like to use cake mix very often (I just like making cake from scratch, it is fun!), so I did these from scratch, but you can use a cake mix in a jiffy.
The link for the chocolate cake recipe and cream cheese frosting can be found HERE from Bakerella's appearance on the Martha Stewart show and the Pumpkin Cake recipe can be found HERE courtesy of The Recipe Girl. I used Orange and White Candy Melts to coat them and sprinkles.
Now on to my 2 favorite chilis. They are both super simple. The first one has chicken and barley and I found it on the back of the quick barley box. I have made it multiple times and we love it. I feel good about the whole grains in there too. The second chili has tofu. If you haven't noticed by now, I love tofu. This chili is spicy and really easy. I top both of them with greek yogurt, but you could use sour cream instead.
Happy Halloween Everybody!
Chicken Barley Chili from the back of the Quaker Quick Barley Box
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 16-oz jar salsa (I used Pace Mild)
1 14.5-oz can chicken broth
1 cup QUAKER Quick Barley
3 cups water
1 Tbls Chili powder
1 tsp cumin (I used more)
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can corn or mexicornm undrained
3 cups cooked chicken breast, cut in bite-size pieces
shredded cheese
sour cream or greek yogurt

In 6-quart saucepan, combine first 7 ingredients. Over high heat, bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, corn, and chicken; increase heat to high until chili comes to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 more minutes or until barley is tender.
Top with shredded cheese or sour cream/greek yogurt, if desired.

Mixed Bean Chili with Tofu adapted from Cooking Light
7 ounces firm tofu, drained and crumbled (about 1 cup) I cubed mine
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon minced drained canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups water
1 (15-ounce) can black beans
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup greek yogurt or sour cream

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add tofu and 3/4 teaspoon cumin; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in soy sauce; cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates. Remove tofu mixture from pan.
Heat the oil in pan; add 3/4 teaspoon cumin, chopped onion, coriander, and oregano; sauté 4 minutes. Add tofu mixture, tomato paste, and next 5 ingredients (paste through garlic); stir well. Add water, beans, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Spoon chili into bowls; top each serving with cilantro and sour cream.


Up next- Polenta Rounds with Turkey Sausage and Vegetables in Marinara

Friday, October 17, 2008

Vegetarian Pad Thai

I saw that Clara made this on I heart food 4 thought (she used shrimp) and since I have been wanting to make Pad Thai at home and also because it had tofu in it (Love tofu)- I decided to give it a go. Quick, easy, totally delicious. It was wonderful. Even the non-tofu lovers really liked this dish. The flavors were delicate and it was really simple to make. Perfect for a weeknight!

Vegetarian Pad Thai from Cooking Light
2/3 cup chili sauce (such as Heinz)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon chopped seeded serrano chile
1/2 pound wide rice stick noodles (bánh pho)
4 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
1 (12.3-ounce) package extrafirm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
3/4 cup diagonally cut green onions
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro, divided
1/3 cup coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts
6 lime wedges
Combine first 6 ingredients; set aside.
Cook noodles in boiling water 5 minutes or until done. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain well.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tofu; cook 7 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan.
Combine egg whites and egg, stirring well with a whisk.
Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, and sauté for 10 seconds. Add egg mixture, and cook for 30 seconds or until soft-scrambled, stirring constantly. Stir in chili sauce mixture and noodles; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in tofu, bean sprouts, onions, and 1/4 cup cilantro, and cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup cilantro and peanuts evenly over each serving of noodle mixture. Serve with lime wedges.
Coming Tomorrow: A Triple Threat of Treats- Chocolate Key-Lime Cupcake Pies, Gale Gand's Butterballs and Mini Phyllo Tarts, 3 Ways.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Weekly Lunchbox-Couscous with Tofu, Zucchini and Basil, Gouda Grilled Cheese,Turkey, Bacon and Bean Salad, and Banana Apple Bread

Couscous with Tofu, Zucchini and Basil
Here is our lunchbox for the week. We've got a couple of make ahead salads, my son picked the turkey and bacon one and it was delicious. Also, a loaded grilled cheese with apple to bring in fall. The banana apple bread was delicious and packed well. So, do your self a favor and spice up your lunch!
Gouda Grilled Cheese

Turkey, Bacon, and Bean Salad

Apple Banana Bread
Couscous with Tofu, Zucchini and Basil adapted from Lunch Lessons by Ann Cooper and Lisa M. Holmes
2 cups salted water
1/3 cup couscous
3 Tbls olive oil
1/2 cup firm tofu, diced
2 Tbls lemon juice
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup zucchini, diced small
1/2 cup red onion, diced small
3/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp chili powder
1. Bring two cups of water to a boil.
2. Place raw couscous in a large bowl and add enough of the salted water to just cover the couscous. Allow it to stand for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
3. Drizzle 2 Tbls olive oil into the couscous and use fork to break up any lumps.
4. In a small bowl, combine remaining oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Pour over the tofu and set aside.
5. Add the zucchini, onion, herbs, zest and chili powder to the couscous and mix well. Drain the tofu and gently toss into the couscous. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Gouda Grilled Cheese by Mary Ann
2 slices whole grain bread
gouda cheese slices
thinly sliced green bell pepper
thinly sliced tart apple (I used Jonathans)
baby spinach
thinly sliced turkey tenderloin, cooked
Place 1 slice of bread on george foreman grill. Layer cheese, apple, green pepper, turkey, spinach and a few slices cheese on top. Place other slice of bread on top. Close top of grill and cook until cheese is melted and veggies are warmed.
Turkey, Bacon, and Bean Salad adapted from kids healthy lunchbox by cara hobday
2Tbls olive oil
4 oz turkey bacon
5 oz turkey breast (I used turkey breast tenderloin)
1 Tbls red wine vinegar
1 Tbls dijon mustard
14 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli
salt and pepper

1- The evening before, cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat, then add the turkey and cook until golden and cooked through. The turkey will take at least 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels until cool and then dice.
2- In a large bowl, mix together the vinegar and mustard until well combined, then stir in the oil and set aside.
3- Combine the beans, red pepper, and broccoli and stir well. Add the bacon and turkey. Check the seasoning. Refrigerate overnight and stir in the dressing before packing.

Banana Apple Bread (Source: The Sweet Melissa Baking Book)
For the apples:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the banana bread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extrac
t1 ¼ cups very ripe mashed bananas (2 to 3)
Before you start:Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour a 1 1/2-quart loaf pan.
To make the apples:Preheat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and brown sugar and heat until bubbling. Add the apples and cinnamon and sauté until golden and tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
To make the banana bread:In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the orange juice and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the orange juice mixture, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each flour addition. Stir in the mashed bananas until combined. Then stir in the reserved apples.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before unmolding onto the rack to cool further.
*Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. The banana bread keeps well wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze well wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil for up to 3 weeks. Defrost (still wrapped) at room temperature.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What's in Your Lunchbox?Rice Cube and Tofu, Turkey-Ricotta Meatballs, Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies, Marinated Vegetables, and English Muffin Pizzas


At least I know the limit for the title up there- It is really Rice Cube and Tofu Salad, but it wouldn't fit. ha So, I decided that I am going to do a "What's in Your Lunchbox?" post every wednesday to highlight some of the tasty lunch snacks I make every week. I bought too much tofu for our Kung Pao Tofu the other night so I decided to make a yummy salad with it. Both my son and brother love tofu (yippee!).My son loves meatballs, so when he saw these Turkey-Ricotta Meatballs in the lastest issue of Cooking Light (he likes to look with me and pick out what to make)- he requested them for lunch. (I know that they look very similar to the chicken balls I made last week, but they actually had a completely different flavor). They were great- very moist and flavorful, mostly due to the ricotta and fresh basil, and tasted great cold. They also doubled as a after-school snack the next day. The Zucchini cookies I had seen on another blog and everyone wants a sweet treat in their lunch right? The spices reminded me of a pumpkin cookie and these were cakelike, but still enjoyed. The Marinated Vegetables are great as a side dish as an alternative to carrot sticks, also served cold- my son loved it. And of course, everyone loves individual pizzas!


Rice Cube and Tofu Salad slightly adapted from kids healthy lunchbox by cara hobday
2 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup basmati rice, unrinsed
1 Tbls cornstarch
2 Tbls sesame seeds, toasted
1 1/2 cups firm tofu, cut into bite-size pieces
2 scallions, sliced
3/4 cup snow peas, finely sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
salt and pepper
For the dressing:
3 Tbls canola oil
1 Tbls sesame oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 Tbls honey
1 Tbls light soy sauce

Take a plastic container measuring 6 by8 by 1-inch and line with parchment paper.
Boil the water and add the rice. Boil for 12 minutes until very soft. Drain well. Puree 5 Tbls of the rice using a food processor. Stir into the rest of the rice and spoon into prepared container. Cover and weigh down with cans. Refrigerate
Mix together the cornstarch and sesame seeds and season with salt and pepper. Coat the diced tofu in the cornstarch mix. Fry the tofu in a little bit of canola oil over medium heat. Drain on paper towels. Refrigerate the tofu cubes in airtight containers overnight.

To assemble, mix together the scallions, snow peas, and bean sprouts. Cut the rice into cubes and add these and the tofu. Mix the dressing ingredients and add. Refrigerate. Separate a portion for the lunchbox and pack.
Turkey-Ricotta Meatballs from Cooking Light Magazine
1 pd ground turkey breast
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl with hands. Shape into 18 meatballs. Heat skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Add meatballs and brown on all sides. Transfer to broiler pan coated with cooking spray and bake for 15 minutes or until done.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies From "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle"
Makes 2 dozen cookies
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c honey
1 T vanilla extract
Combine in large bowl.
1 c white flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
Combine in a separate, small bowl and blend into liquid mixture.

1 c finely shredded zucchini
12 oz chocolate chips
Stir these ingredients into other ingredients, mix well. Drop by spoonful onto greased baking sheet, and flatten with the back of a spoon. Bake at 350 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes

Marinated Fresh Vegetables
2 tomatoes
2 ribs celery
1 small unpeeled zucchini
1 carrot
1 onion
1 green pepper
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Peel tomatoes, scrape out seeds, and dice in 1/2-inch squares. Clean and dice remaining vegetables; toss together. Combine sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir into vegetables. Refrigerate several hours. Drain with slotted spoon and serve.

English Muffin Pizzas by Mary Ann
6 english muffins
pizza sauce
turkey pepperoni
1 small zucchini, very thinly sliced
shredded cheese
Preheat the broiler. Split each english muffin in half. Spread desired amount of pizza sauce on each half of muffin. Layer zucchini on top of sauce and pepperoni on top of zucchini. Sprinkle cheese on top and broil, until zucchini is tender and cheese is melted, about 5-7 minutes.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Fried Rice with Scallions, Edamame, and Tofu


This was wonderful! The picture in the book was much better than this one, but I had no complaints from any of the kids and that makes this a definite redo in my house! I used extra-firm tofu because that is what I had and it worked great. This tasted really good cold, for lunch the next day.
Fried Rice with Scallions, Edamame, and Tofu from the Food Your Crave by Ellie Krieger
1 Tbls + 1 tsp canola oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
4 scallions,(white and green parts) thinly sliced
1 Tbls peeled and minced fresh ginger
4 cups cooked brown rice
3/4 cup seeded and finely diced red bell pepper
3/4 cup frozen, shelled edamame, cooked according to pkg directions and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
6 ounces firm tofu, cut into cubes
2 large eggs, beaten
3 Tbls low-sodium soy sauce

Heat 1 Tbls of the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the garlic, scallions and ginger, and cook, stirring, until softened and aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the rice, red pepper, edamame, corn, and tofu, and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 5 minutes.
Make a 3-inch well in the center of the rice mixture. Add the remaining 1 tsp oil, then add the eggs and cooked until nearly scrambled. Stir the eggs into the rice mixture, then add the soy sauce and incorporate thoroughly. Serve hot.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ratatouille with Tofu

I have been wanting to make this recipe ever since I saw it in Cooking Light. I love tofu and ratatouille and so I thought the combination of the two, would be excellent. I was sooo right! This was absolutely delicious- one of the best dinners we have had in a while. I didn't use reduced fat tofu because I had some in the fridge that was not reduced fat, but it still was light. I served it over rice noodles as suggested and it was a hit. And it is all taken care of on the stovetop, as the oven is not fixed yet. I will definitely be making this again!
Ratatouille with Tofu from Cooking Light

Cooking spray
1 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
2 cups finely chopped reduced-fat firm tofu, drained (about 11 ounces)
2 cups diced eggplant
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup chopped plum tomato
4 teaspoons Pesto Coulis*
2 (14-ounce) cans no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add carrot to pan; sauté 6 minutes. Add onion, basil, thyme, and garlic; sauté 4 minutes. Add tofu, eggplant, and zucchini; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add chopped tomato, Pesto Coulis, and tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in cumin, salt, and pepper


*Pesto Coulis
1 cup parsley leaves (about 1 bunch)
1 cup basil leaves (about 1 bunch)
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup extravirgin olive oil

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until smooth.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I Love Tofu! Do You?

I saw a recipe for Kung Pao Tofu in a local newspaper and knew I had to try it. I love tofu because it is so versatile and will take the flavor of anything. This recipe called for extra-firm tofu, which is super easy to cut and season.

Here is the tofu, which I seasoned with ground ginger, garlic powder, salt and pepper. (the original recipe called for 5-spice powder). It sauteed quickly and had a nice golden color.
I also added an orange pepper to the recipe because I had one on hand and at the end, I stirred in a little sesame oil.

I cooked some whole wheat spaghetti noodles and served the Kung Pao Tofu over the noodles.
My 1-year old was loving the tofu. My brother said it was his favorite meal of the year and my mom noted that it was very filling.


KUNG PAO TOFU
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
18-ounce package extra-firm water-packed tofu, rinsed and patted dry
1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons oyster-flavored or oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
12 ounces broccoli crowns, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces (about 4 cups)
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 orange bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes.
In a medium bowl, combine the tofu with 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder. Set aside.
In a large, nonstock skillet over medium-high, heat the canola oil. Add the tofu and cook, stirring every 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown, about 7 to 9 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the water, oyster sauce, cornstarch and remaining five-spice powder. Set aside.
Return the skillet to the heat and add the broccoli and yellow and red bell peppers. Saute until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Reduce heat to low, add the oyster sauce mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 30 seconds. Return the tofu to the pan along with the peanuts and stir to coat with sauce. If using, stir
in the hot sesame oil.
Serve over warm, whole wheat pasta.
I also posted two of my favorite tofu recipes below!

Baked Tofu Sticks




Baked Tofu Sticks ( from Martha Stewart's Kids Magazine)

1/2 package (7 ounces) firm tofu
Olive oil, or vegetable oil, for baking sheet
Salt (optional)
Tomato sauce, for dipping
Directions
Cut tofu into 3-by-1/2-inch sticks. Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a double layer of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Top tofu with another double layer of paper towels or kitchen towel. Place another baking sheet or a baking dish on top, and press down firmly. Weigh down with heavy cans; let stand until tofu has released excess liquid, at least 20 minutes or up to1 hour. Pressed tofu sticks can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly brush a baking sheet with oil; set aside. Pat tofu dry. Lightly season tofu, if desired. Arrange tofu sticks in a single layer on prepared baking sheet, spacing at least 1/2 inch apart. Bake tofu, turning halfway through, until both sides are crisp and light golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes per side. Let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with tomato sauce
.

Mixed-Bean Chili with Tofu
(from Cooking Light)

7 ounces extra firm tofu, cut unto 1/2-inch cubes

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided

1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 1/2 tablespoons hot chili powder or regular chili powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cups water

1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans

1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans

1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup low-fat sour cream



Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add tofu and 3/4 teaspoon cumin; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in soy sauce; cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates. Remove tofu mixture from pan.
Heat the oil in pan; add 3/4 teaspoon cumin, chopped onion, coriander, and oregano; sauté 4 minutes. Add tofu mixture, tomato paste, and next 5 ingredients (paste through garlic); stir well. Add water, beans, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Spoon chili into bowls; top each serving with cilantro and sour cream.