Guest Author - Jason Hodge
It's been said that tofu can be whatever you make it. This is a statement that, thus far, I've found to be true. From stroganov to cheesecake and literally everything in between, I've seen and/or made tofu into everything but boring. Today, we're going to look at a curried tofu dish I had to throw together in a pinch to prep my family for an 18 hour road trip. I chose curry for a number of reasons; besides the flavor... it travels well as it acts as a natural preservative to the dishes it's applied to.
It was about 4am and I had to prepare a days worth of meals for my family to eat for their trip. I was exhausted and quite frankly needed to be on autopilot in the kitchen. With an array of eclectic ingredients on hand and no ideas to boot, I needed to create something flavorful and quick. I looked in the fridge/freezer and cabinets and here's what I saw: a half can of tomato paste [3oz.], yellow curry paste, a can of coconut milk [14oz.], a block of organic high-protein tofu [1lb], a handful of frozen tri-colored peppers [1 cup], a package of frozen broccoli and water chestnuts [2 1/2 cups], frozen peas [1 cup], spinach [1 1/2 cups], onions [3/4 cup], fresh mint, dried herbs and spices. With a little over half an hour to get it all together, here's what I did.
First, I chopped my onions, heated and oiled my skillet and tossed in my onions with a nice pinch of sea salt and sauteed on medium high until they became translucent. Meanwhile, I drained and squeezed my tofu and crumbled it into my skillet incorporating it into the onions. I heavily seasoned it: 1 tbsp dill weed, 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tsp cumin, 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint, 5 whole black cardamoms, 1 tbsp fennel seed, 1 tsp chipotle powder and sea salt to taste, stirred it around and moved onto my next step while the tofu was cooking [I usually let it get to the point where it slightly adheres to the pan then scrape it off for the concentration of flavor and the extra added meaty texture].
Second, I started making my curry sauce. All I did here was take the remainder of the tomato paste and an equal amount of yellow curry paste in an electric skillet with a little olive oil. I heated the oil added my tomato and curry pastes to it. Then I added the tri-color pepper mix and sauteed until the peppers softened and the paste started to adhere a little and finished off with the can of lite coconut milk and stirred until it was evenly distributed and looked smooth.
Lastly, I folded in my tofu mixture to the curry sauce and added the peas, broccoli and water chestnuts, spinach and 1 cup of water to thin out the mixture just enough to let it cook evenly without burning. It took a total of 23 minutes and the results were phenomenal!
This is what I love about having my shortcuts in place...
When you pre-prep your things the right way it gets you right out of those tight areas when you need it most. If you want to learn more about getting your process set up to give you the options of taking all the shortcuts your heart desires, read my articles on shortcuts in the archives.
If you follow these principles, you'll be sure to please the next set of hungry stomachs you send off on a cross country trip.
For more information or to have one of your questions answered, drop me a line, stop by my forum, join my Vegetarian Resource Newsletter and definitely stay tuned in as I bring you more articles to help you effortlessly achieve your best, health, well being and wholeness throughout the life of your diet.
As always... It's been my pleasure sharing with you. Until next time...