Spicy Tofu

Spicy tofu with snap peas, with roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, green beans

Spicy tofu with snap peas, with roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, green beans

Hello and happy long weekend!  I'm back today to share a tofu recipe with you.  For all the tofu haters, stay tuned as this is really delicious, and I'm not just saying that because I like tofu.  I think if you'll give it a try you will love it!  But before the recipe, just a little catching up.  The week flew by!  I had a great week filled with friends!  I had dinner Tuesday night with two new friends from church.  Although we are new friends we sat around the dinner table and talked like we have known each other for years. On Wednesday I had dinner with an old friend that I have literally not seen in 30 years!  I often look back and regret losing touch with people from high school and college.  It was much harder then, with only letters and phone calls, and long distance charges.  But now through the magic of social media and the internet, it is much easier to stay connected, and you can find old friends again. Such a coincidence to connect on Facebook and then he happened to be in little Winston-Salem for business. We had a great time catching up.   Thursday I walked with my friend Christine after several weeks of weather so cold I would not venture out.  So I had three days in a row of friends and it was amazing.  Work was busy, so it is nice to have some down time this weekend.  I did the flowers for church this morning.  I think they turned out beautiful. 

I did grocery shopping for a few recipes I am going to cook this week. Stay tuned, I'll post somewhere on line this week. I'm going to cook three or four things for the Food52 Cookbook Club, from the book The Six Seasons  A New Way with Vegetables.  I went to the local Hispanic grocery store, Super Compare.  They have the best produce and such good prices. Someone recently told me they thought it was expensive to eat healthy.  I disagree.  Today at Super Compare this is what I got: 

grovery receipts.jpg

That's a lot of produce for $23!  The cilantro and parsley are big bunches and I'll use them with the peppers to make a spicy green salsa. The two squashes  are amazing.  Kabocha squash is my favorite and this is the only place in town to find it. I have no idea what the other one is. Some sort of winter squash as well. I'm going to roast them and top with the spicy salsa and a yogurt sauce.  I got a 4 large beets to roast and also top with the green salsa. They didn't have everything I needed so I ran by Lowes food, a regional grocery chain. There I got 3 pounds of rutabagas for $3.17 (I have never eaten these - I hope I like them!), a bunch of kale for $1.29, and a big bag of Bob's Red Mill Oats for $3.49.  I'll have more than enough to eat all week, supplemented with a few things from my pantry.  I'm sure some of you are thinking this is way too many vegetables for just me. You are right, it is a lot.  But I mostly eat vegetables and I take my lunch to work every day, so I will eat a bunch of this. Also, these vegetables will keep well if I don't cook them right away.  But back to my point.  I think this a lot of healthy food for a reasonable amount of money.  Much better than eating out, although cooking will be required.   On a side note, I found this vegan half and half at Whole Foods. I intermittently limit my diary but I have not found anything good as a substitute for milk or half and half in coffee or tea.  This is the best one yet. It is thick and creamy like real half and half. It has pea protein and fat in it which make it rich and thick, not watery like most products.  I recommend it.  I have not tried their milks but I bet they are good if you are lactose intolerant or looking for a non-dairy substitute.  You can read about it here.   


So back to the tofu. This is an easy way to cook what is usually a bland food with bad texture. In this version you buy firm tofu.  Drain it and then wrap it in a dish towel. Place it under something heavy like a cutting board and let it press for about 15 minutes.  You then crumble it with a fork, and cook it in hot oil in a heavy skillet, stirring it until it gets dry and browned.  While cooking you mix coconut sugar (you can use brown sugar as well), rice vinegar, soy sauce and garlic-chili sauce.  Add it to the tofu and cook until it all thickens up. It is so good. You can put this over a salad, serve it with rice and roasted vegetables, put it in a lettuce wrap, put it in a baked sweet potato.  So many delicious options!  Try it!  It will convert even a tofu hater!  (note in the picture above I added chopped snap peas for the last 5 minutes or so of cooking and then added the sauce.) 

Spicy Tofu

by Catherine Craig

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: entree gluten-free vegan vegetarian tofu

Ingredients (2-4 servings)

  • 1 14 ounce package of extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2-3 tsp garlic-chile paste
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil


Drain the tofu and wrap well in a clean dish towel. Place under a heavy cutting board for 15 to 20 minutes to press out most all of the water.

Unwrap the tofu and place it on a plate. Using a fork, cut it into large crumbles.

Heat a medium (9 or 10 inch) cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the coconut oil.

Add the tofu and cook for 10 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the tofu is dry and lightly browned.

Add the remaining ingredients, stirring well to combine everything together.

Cook for 5 minutes until the liquid has all evaporated.

Options for serving: Make a grain bowl with rice noodles or rice, cilantro, chopped lettuce, grated carrots, peanuts, radishes, green onions.....

Serve over a bed of lettuce with vegetables like green onion, cucumber, radish, carrots to make a take off of taco salad.

Serve over a baked or roasted sweet potato.

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