Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I've been missing eggplant parmigiana for awhile now. I know I can make it without the breading and it's still pretty good, but it's just not there. Being a vegetarian, I can't just use chicken, etc. so that leaves a dilemma I have finally solved. What about using tofu? Yes, I know you're going to say that I use tofu in everything, and I probably do. But luckily, I love it! And there are so many ways to use and enjoy it. And using the very firm tofu products gives it a great "meaty" texture.
This meal was something I decided to try since I had everything in the fridge, what the heck. Daughter and I scarfed it up last night and made it again for lunch today, so you know it was a hit. We spent the afternoon on a simulated archeological dig, then came home and set to cooking a feast in 10 minutes. What fun, I love homeschooling!
It all depends on how much you want to make, but it's just so easy. I use Wild Wood High-protein, super-firm tofu that I found at WholeFoods. It has a great flavor and crisps up great in the pan.
Slice the tofu into 1/4-inch squares and dust with a mixture of sweet rice flour, garlic powder, salt and dried basil. I put just a pinch of each, but use whatever you desire for flavor. After coating both sides, drop gently into a hot pan with olive oil. Fry each side on medium heat until brown on each side. Then just spoon tomato sauce (we used leftover sauce, but any sauce will do) over the top of all the squares. Now top those with slices of fresh mozzarella and a little more basil. (I love fresh mozzarella from Trader Joe's.) Turn the heat off and cover the pan for just a moment so the cheese melts. Viola--all done. Quick and tasty.
Friday, October 10, 2008
While trying to limit carbs, I'm also trying to improve taste. That's not easy being on a gluten-free, vegetarian, mostly dairy-free diet. Making that low carb can put a crimp in what's left to eat. But I'm learning to adapt. Last night I decided to stir fry up some tofu and some beautiful baby zucchini from Trader Joe's. Yum. My daughter decided she wanted fried rice, so we combined the two for a wonderful two-way dinner.
Using a little nutritional yeast is the key. It gives flavor and crispiness to the tofu. Don't be afraid of it, I had never heard of it before last year and I was pretty nervous about trying it, but it's really great. I found it in the bulk section of Whole Foods. You only need a small handful to last a long time.
Crispy Tofu and Squash
8 oz. Extra firm tofu
1 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
7 baby zucchini
1 yellow squash, cut into small pieces
1.5 cups Jasmine rice
splash of wheat-free tamari
splash of sesame oil
Take about one cup of cubed firm tofu, drained and pressed to get out most of the liquid. Let that sit and drain while cutting the baby zucchini and yellow squash in small pieces. Stir fry squash and zucchini in a little olive oil and wheat-free tamari. Add a few tablespoons of water to steam after a few moments, then let them brown for a moment.
Take out zucchini, add olive oil to the pan and add tofu (I like to add a little butter also, it helps to brown the tofu). Sprinkle tofu with about 1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast. Stir fry until tofu gets crispy and browned on all sides. It doesn't take long, shake the pan often to loosen tofu and brown it.
When tofu is done, add zucchini to the pan. At this point, I add a little garlic and salt and I'm good to go. Daughter wanted her rice, so to the pan (after I had taken my half out) we added two scrambled egg whites (or whole eggs) cooked earlier and broken into small pieces and one and a half cups of jasmine rice, precooked (Trader Joe's). Stir fry this for a few moments, adding a little more tamari and a small splash of sesame oil.
Tofu with added rice and eggs
Either way, it's beautiful. Without the rice, this is a high-protein meal with low carbs. You can also add the eggs in with the tofu and zucchini for an even bigger protein boost. With the rice, it's a great, filling meal with lots of protein and veggies.