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Chris raved about this dish from his very first bite. I was stoked about that because I really liked it also.

A few hours after his first dinner, Chris headed back to the refrigerator for seconds. As he sat in the floor (we are big time floor sitters, in fact we have a whole room geared up for optimal floor sitting) eating cold Pad Thai, he commented that it got better and better with every bite. I totally took this the wrong way.

“What do you mean by that? Do you mean that you didn’t like it the first time around, but you just said that you did to appease me?”

“No, I meant just what I said, it tastes better and better to me as I keep eating.”

“Is that some kind of backhanded compliment?”

“Relax, it’s just that usually when I make things they taste good at first and then kind of ‘meh’ by the end.”

“But you always make yourself the same foods…”

“Uh huh. This is really good though.”

The moral of this story: You should make Pad Thai because it tastes good. Even cold Pad Thai, while sitting on the floor tastes better and better with each bite.

From Cooking Light.

Ingredients:

  • Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
    • 1 to 2 tbsp hot sauce (I used Sriracha.)
    • 1 tbsp mirin (sweet rice wine)
    • 1 tbspn maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 oz extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed (see my favorite pressing technique here), and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 cup sliced green onion tops
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup dry-roasted peanuts
  • 8 oz (uncooked weight) wide rice stick noodles (Banh Pho), cooked and drained
  • 5 lime wedges

Directions:

  • To prepare sauce, whisk together first 5 ingredients.
  • Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add mushrooms, carrot, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes.
  • Add sauce and tofu; cook 1 minute.
  • Stir in coconut milk; cook 2 minutes.
  • Stir in lettuce, sprouts, green onions, cilantro, peanut, and noodles; cook 1 minute.
  • Serve with lime wedges.

Servings ~ 5
Calories ~ 385, Fat ~ 14 g, Carbohydrates ~ 54 g, Protein ~ 14 g

Warning: Do not read this immediately before making the dressing.

You’re totally going to read it now, aren’t you?

I bought my very first can of anchovies to make this dressing. I’m typically a pretty adventurous eater, but something about eating whole fish kind of skeeved me out. Whatever. I was instructed to use anchovy in the dressing. I figured that I would at least comply the first time that I made it.

As I was standing in the kitchen mixing up the ingredients, I got to the anchovy part, thought “Here goes nothin’!” and threw them in there. It smelled a bit fishy, not so much in the dressing, but just because I was standing next to an open tin of anchovies. I immediately tossed them in the trash.

I continued to mix up the dressing, with Duke by my side sniffing like a mad man when it occurred to me that those anchovies in the trash can might not smell so good in a few days. It also occurred to me that since Chris was out of town it might be quite a while before I filled the kitchen trash can enough to take it out to the garage. (Well, without wasting a trash bag anyway.)

What would a logical person do here? They would dig the anchovies out of the kitchen trash and place them in the garage trash.

What did I do? I saw Duke with his nose in the air sniffing like crazy. I dug the anchovies out of the trash and poured them in a bowl. I set the bowl in front of Duke and told him to “wait” for what probably seemed like an eternity to him.

Duke is a drooler. He waited, and waited, and as the drool began to hang in long ribbons from his cheeks I finally said “Good boy! Go on!” Duke promptly ate his anchovies. He loved the anchovies. He licked the bowl and the whole floor surrounding the bowl clean.

So why was this such a bad move?

For the rest of the night, my puppy, who trails me around the house like a shadow and sits next to my favorite chair with his head on level with mine was burping anchovy. Duke is big, he weighs in at over 200 lbs. Duke’s burps are like man burps.

That smell like anchovy.

The moral of the story is that you should have a plan for how to use the remainder of the anchovies when you open the can. A better plan than I had.

One last thing:  Although I don’t recommend feeding the anchovies to your giant dog, I did really enjoy them in the salad dressing.

Adapted from Back to Her Roots

  • 1/4 cup silken tofu
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 anchovies, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp fat free mayonnaise
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  • Whisk all ingredients together.
  • Let chill in refrigerator at least two hours for flavors to meld.

As Cassie mentions in her recipe, don’t leave out the anchovies! I was hesitant to put them in also, but they didn’t make the dressing fishy. All was well!

Servings ~ 8
Calories ~ 26, Fat ~ 1 g, Carbohydrates ~ 2 g, Protein ~ 2 g

I have had this recipe on my “to do” list for a long time. Last night, as I was looking for something to go with roasted asparagus, I decided it was time to give Sesame Maple Ginger Tofu a try.

Pressing and then baking the tofu gave it a great texture and dried it out well enough for the marinade to be fully absorbed. The marinade smelled amazing and had a sweet and spicy flavor. Next time I will make a double batch of marinade to drizzle over rice!

Adapted from Cara’s Cravings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 14-ounce block extra-firm water-packed tofu, rinsed, patted dry and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 pinch  ground ginger
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 475°F.
  • Spray a ceramic baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and add the tofu cubes; lightly spray with more nonstick cooking spray and season with salt & pepper.
  • Roast for 10-12 minutes, or until the pieces of tofu are lightly browned on the bottom.
  • Turn the pieces over, and roast for another 10 minutes.
  • Whisk tahini, soy sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, vinegar, sesame seeds, ground ginger, and crushed red pepper in a small dish until combined.
  • Remove the tofu from the oven, and toss with the tahini mixture.
  • Return to the oven and roast for another 5-10 minutes, turning once, until desired crispiness is reached.

Servings ~ 3
Calories ~ 200, Fat ~ 13 g, Carbohydrates ~ 10 g, Protein 14 g

Who says an awesome dinner can’t be based on cabbage?

First we had Okonomiyaki now, this!

This cabbage really will melt in your mouth. And I think it may even be acceptable to non-cabbage eaters. 

Its only downfall is that Meltaway Cabbage may have to be reserved for the weekends due to the long cook time. Spending just over an hour cooking a weeknight meal does not happen often at Duke’s House.

Fortunately, Chris got home late tonight, so this meal stood a chance of being eaten, but on a typical night Chris would be two frozen dinners deep before the cabbage had been cooked to meltaway goodness.

I served the cabbage with tofu that was dredged in a mixture of flour, corn starch, and paprika, then lightly browned in a skillet. The tofu complimented the cabbage well. 

When I make this again, I may try to incorporate Sweet Thai Chili Sauce. I don’t know that it needs it, but Chris and I both really like Sweet Thai Chili Sauce and I can imagine that it would be pretty good.

Adapted from The Local Cook.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp yogurt butter
  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 oz. pasta
  • pepper to taste
  • sour cream (for garnish, I used fat free)

Directions:

  • Melt the butter in a large pot with a heavy bottom.
  • Add the onion and sauté until tender.
  • Add the paprika and sauté further.
  • Stir in the cabbage and salt and cook on very low heat for one hour stirring occasionally until the cabbage is soft. (The longer the cabbage cooks, the sweeter it will be.)
  • Mix the pasta in. Add pepper to taste.
  • Serve with sour cream.

Servings ~ 3

Calories (not including sour cream or the tofu pictured) ~ 278, Fat ~ 6 g, Carbohydrates ~ 56 g, Protein ~ 11 g

Today was decidedly an “I don’t wanna cook day”, but there were plenty of vegetables that needed to be used before they went bad and was kind of digging the idea of having decent leftovers for lunch, so I went for it.

My lunch has been some form of avocado and cucumber slices on bread for the last four days. Exciting, huh? I am a huge fan of avocado sandwiches and all, but four days straight is a little much even for me.

Plus, I have a team lunch tomorrow and I would feel silly bringing an avocado sandwich. I’m sure my co-workers would give that one the side eye. Stir fry on the other hand, should be totally acceptable.

Now to snag a rubbermaid container to put it in that isn’t “yogurtwear”…

Everyone else grew up with yogurtwear, right? When I was a child, we had all different sizes of yogurtwear, Rainbow Sherbet size, cottage cheese size, yogurt size. Chris and I still do. I thought that would end when I graduated from college. Sadly, with the purchase of Duke’s House it has just intensified.

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 oz (dry) soba noodles
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and drained
  • 4 cups broccoli
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 cups mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 8 scallions, chopped finely
  • 1 chili pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil plus 1 tsp sesame oil in a large skillet or wok.
  • Slice tofu into 1″ x 1″ x 1/4″ pieces, brown on both sides in the oil.
  • Add onion and broccoli to the skillet and cook until they begin to become tender.
  • Cook and drain soba noodles.
  • Add scallions, mushrooms, garlic, and chili pepper to the skillet and cook for several more minutes.
  • When the noodles are done cooking and have been drained, add the noodles, soy sauce, black pepper, teriyaki sauce and remaining 2 tsp of sesame oil to the skillet.
  • Toss until the noodles are well coated in sauce.
  • Continue cooking until the sauce has reduced to your desired thickness.

Servings ~ 4
Calories ~ 360, Fat ~ 13 g, Carbohydrates ~ 47 g, Protein ~ 17 g

This was so good!

I generally think of dishes made with tofu in lieu of meat as being a substandard version of the food in question. I know that is wrong, unfair, and a poor assumption, but I think it is somewhat common among meat eaters. In the case of Tofu Marsala, my assumption totally missed the mark.

Tofu Marsala is far better than the ‘real’ thing. There is no point in switching back to other Marsala variations. I have been against eating veal for a long time (see crazy one-sided anti-veal article here) and I no longer see any reason to cover chicken in this rich sauce of wine, mushrooms, and onions.

Tofu is where it’s at. The texture of the tofu was awesome and it soaked up the flavor of the Marsala sauce wonderfully.

This was one of those dinners where you have to consciously pack up the leftovers before you eat so that you don’t dig in and eat them as well. I day dreamed about the leftovers all day yesterday, genuinely excited about getting to eat the same thing for dinner a second night in a row.

After the tofu sat in the Marsala sauce overnight, soaking up the sauce, the leftovers were even better than the original meal. Like chili or lasagna, this is one of those dishes that gets better with time.

Adapted from Cara’s Cravings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups canned mushrooms (fresh would be better, but we are working within the constraints of Duke’s House budget)
  • 1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning blend
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup + 1 cup reduced sodium, fat-free chicken broth

Directions:

  • Drain and press tofu ahead of time by wrapping it in paper towels, setting it on a plate, and setting heavy cans on it.
  • Preheat oven to 300F.
  • Slice the tofu crosswise into 6 even slices, and then cut each of those in half. Lay the 12 pieces out on a baking sheet or cutting board.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Combine the flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper and gently sift half of it over the tofu; turn the pieces and coat the other side with the remainder of the mix.
  • Add the tofu pieces to the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the preheated oven.
  • Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1/4 cup chicken broth to the skillet, reduce heat to medium-low and cook the onions until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and Italian seasoning and cook until tender and lightly browned, about 5 more minutes.
  • Stir in the Marsala, increase heat, and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid is evaporated, a few minutes.
  • Whisk in the tomato paste and chicken broth, and continue to cook on high, until sauce thickens.
  • Divide the tofu cutlets among plates and top with the mushroom mixture.

Servings ~ 3
Calories ~ 306, Fat ~ 18 g, Carbohydrates ~ 23 g, Protein ~ 16 g

Like many people, I only remember eating egg salad after Easter. Usually in mass quantities. I’m really not sure why.

There are obvious reasons, like my mom had allowed three kids each color a dozen or more Easter eggs and now we needed to figure out how to eat them all before they went bad. I understand why we had so much egg salad then, but what about the rest of the year?

I like egg salad, I mean except for at the end of the post-Easter egg salad marathon, and, until this weekend, I didn’t think it should be limited to one week per year. This weekend, things changed.

I have posted several times recently about my discovery and mass purchase of silken tofu. Once again, I have discovered a wonderful use for this odd soy product. Ok, it wasn’t me this time, it was Chris.

Chris found this recipe while going through our neighbor’s mom’s (The Queen of Cookies) recipe collection. Why he spent his Sunday afternoon with The Queen of Cookies pouring over recipes is another story. Who knows, maybe he was trying to score some of her delectable goodies?

Anyway, he must know me well, because he came home and immediately said ‘You need to go over there and look through that cookbook, we have to try the eggless egg salad!’ He was absolutely right. Here you have it, eggless egg salad!

It turns out that I like eggless egg salad even better than the real thing. Good thing we didn’t color Easter Eggs this year!

Picture coming soon. Faux egg salad sandwiches just don’t make for beautiful pictures.

Adapted from Mori-Nu.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package silken tofu
  • 3 tbsp fat free mayo
  • 1 tsp spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tbsp dill relish
  • 2 medium scallions, chopped finely
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 1/8 tsp celery seed
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper 

Directions:

  • Dry tofu with a paper towel.
  • Break up into chunks by hand.
  • Combine other ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  • Stir mayonnaise mixture into the tofu.

Servings ~ 4
Calories ~ 68, Fat ~ 3 g, Carbohydrates ~ 5 g, Protein ~ 6 g

My tofu alfredo experiment turned out so well that I could not wait to hit up the Asian grocery store for more silken tofu. On Saturday, I finally made it over there and I bought four boxes of silken tofu and a few other treasures, including massive amounts of cinnamon, and cha siu bao “mix”. Cha siu baos are Chinese barbecue pork buns. Chris loves them. This was the find that I am most excited about, partly because Chris will be so excited to eat them and partly because I found the steamer attachment for my rice cooker and I can’t wait to try it out.

I had been hoping to do the ‘real’ grocery shopping after the Asian Grocery Store and get pork for the cha siu baos, but Chris had been pushed beyond his shopping capacity, so we went home instead. No problem. I figured that I could try out the Lentil Taboulli and Salmon recipe that I had found in Runner’s World instead. Wrong. We were out of lentils. On the shelf where the lentils should have been, I found a bag of arborio rice. Risotto it is! But not just any risotto, silken tofu risotto. If the silken tofu could approximate the taste and texture of an alfredo sauce, why not make risotto out of it?

I was not able to find many examples on the internet, let alone any that I had the proper ingredients for, so I cobbled this together. It ended up being very good. I don’t think it could pass for a non-tofu, full-fat risotto, but it is really creamy and delicious. Another one of those dishes that tastes way more ‘bad’ than it really is. I meant to serve this with salmon, but we never got around to cooking the salmon. Oh well.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock could be used)
  • 1/4 cup white cooking wine
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 box silken tofu
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped (these can be canned or fresh, I went with canned)
  • 1 tbsp basil (or 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped finely)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • In a large pan, I used my big cast iron skillet, combine rice, wine, and chicken or vegetable stock.
  • Simmer until all water has been absorbed and rice is tender but still firm.
  • While the rice is cooking, puree the silken tofu in a food processor until it is smooth and creamy.
  • Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil until the onions are transparent. Add mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes.
  • After the rice is finished cooking, stir the pureed tofu, onion and mushroom mixture, and basil into the pot of rice.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook for several more minutes.
  • Serve warm.

Servings ~ 6
Calories ~ 272, Fat ~ 4 g, Carbohydrates ~ 49 g, Protein ~ 11 g

Last week, while on a mission to buy fenugreek seeds, I found myself at my local Asian grocery store with a carton of shelf stable silken tofu in my basket. I’m not really sure what inspired me to buy it, other than the fact that I had not ever noticed shelf stable tofu before and I was feeling adventurous. Some of my other loot included coriander seed (very difficult to find where I live), marjoram, prawn crackers, and soba noodles.

I was so excited about the prawn crackers that I opened up the package before I even left the parking lot. To my dismay, the prawn crackers were nothing but a disappointment. I am fairly open-minded when it comes to food and I had fond memories of prawn crackers from my trip to China, but these did not measure up to my expectations. In fact, the prawn cracker that I ate was the only thing that I have eaten in recent memory that tasted so bad that I had trouble chewing and swallowing it. After I got home with them and tried to feed Duke one, I decided not to feel so bad about them. Even Duke turned his nose up at these crackers.

Anyway, back to the tofu. In reality it should have seemed like an even worse idea than the prawn crackers. Consider Parmalat vs. regular milk, yes, downright unappealing. Fortunately, that logic did not win out and I ended up with a creamy pasta dish that reasonably approximates an alfredo but without the fat and calories. I anticipate stocking up on shelf stable tofu and making this dish quite often!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package firm, silken tofu
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup plain light soymilk
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 8 oz (dry) whole wheat pasta
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Directions:

  • Cook the pasta as directed on the package and drain.
  • Break the tofu into chunks and place in a blender or food processor. Add the garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, salt, and soymilk.
  • Blend everything until very smooth and creamy.
  • Pour the sauce into a medium size saucepan and keep over low heat.
  • Stir in herbs and parmesan while constantly stirring until the cheese is melts (about 2-3 minutes).
  • Stir in the peas.
  • After peas have thawed, stir in the pasta.
  • Spread the mixture into a casserole dish and sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese, parsley and basil as desired.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Servings ~ 4
Calories ~ 350, Fat ~ 8 g, Carbohydrates ~ 52 g, Protein ~ 22 g