Marinated, Fried Tofu With Steamed Broccoli and Peanut Sauce

Sometimes, deliciousness just sneaks up on me.  I went to Whole Foods the other night and bought some tofu covered in peanut sauce and wanted to eat like five tons of it.  Peanut sauce is pretty awesome.  It’s one of my favorite additions to Asian food.  Or just to my mouth.  I had no idea how to make it, really.  I thought probably there was some soy sauce and sweet element involved, along with peanuts, of course, so I browsed various websites and came up with a recipe that is just fantastic.

So, obviously, you can’t just eat peanut sauce.  I mean, you can, but it’s not exactly a balanced meal.  So I was like, huh, well, I ate it with tofu, let’s just make it with tofu.  I know.  My creativity intimidates everyone.  Fried tofu is easy and yummy.  So, there’s that too.

And then I also noticed I had a bunch of broccoli in the fridge, which goes nicely with Asian dishes, and decided I’d steam it, which is basically the easiest and healthiest way to cook broccoli.  How did I do it all?  I’ll show you!

Ingredients

For the tofu:

16 oz. extra firm tofu (make sure it’s extra firm)

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp powdered ginger

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp olive oil

Alright,  you want to let your tofu marinate a little while, so start with that.  Whisk the soy sauce and spices in a small bowl, then add the tofu cut into 1/2 inch “steaks.”  (If your tofu is too wet, lay it between two folded paper towels and lay something heavy on top to help the water eek out.)  Make sure the marinade coats the tofu, stirring occasionally.  You can marinated it anywhere from a few minutes to an hour.  You don’t want to marinate it much longer because then it will get soggy.

When you’re tofu is sufficiently marinated, heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium-high heat in a cast-iron pan.  Fry the tofu about 4-5 minutes on each side or until it’s crispy and browned.

Moving on.

For the peanut sauce:

1/2 cup peanut butter (fresh ground if you can find it)

1/8 cup honey

1/8 cup soy sauce

2 tsp Sriracha chili sauce

2 limes, juiced

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Hot water to thin sauce (if needed)

Whisk together ingredients. Add hot water if you want to thin the sauce.  You can also used some crushed peanuts as a garnish.  Also, the sauce is way better if you use the fresh ground peanut butter that you can grind fresh yourself at the store.  It’s peanut-ier and more coarse and makes for a better sauce.  Plus, no sugar!

For the broccoli:

Broccoli

Water

Steaming broccoli, or any vegetables, is super easy and cooks them without adding any fat and without sucking out too many of the nutrients.  Get a large saucepan with a tight lid.  Add as much broccoli (cut into florets) as you want, I used around 4 cups.  Then add about a 1/4 cup of water to the pan.  Put the lid on the pan and turn up the heat.  The broccoli should steam for about 5 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want it.  Just check it every minute or so and see how it’s coming along.

And, that’s it!  When your done, plate the broccoli, then the tofu and top with the peanut sauce.  It’s a delicious, filling and healthy dish.  And, as always, sugar free!  This recipe makes 4 servings at 10 Weight Watcher’s points per serving.  Enjoy!

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Mushroom, Broccoli and Lemon Cream Sauce

So, I totally haven’t posted since Christmas and I know you have all been wringing your hands saying “Ohmigosh, what is Mel doing, she is the light of my life, I can’t go on, etc.”  And I’m like, it’s okay guys, I’m back.  Basically I got back from Chile just a couple weeks ago and so since then my life has been racked with holiday parties and job hunting.  One of those things is really fun.  Guess which one.

So, for one of my New Year’s Resolutions (apart from updating my Facebook status less and watching Top Chef more) I decided that I’m going to drastically reduce my refined sugar intake.  As in, try not to eat it at all.  This is pretty challenging if you don’t like to cook because almost every premade, prepackaged food has like 40g of pure homogenated death juice or whatever that stuff is called.  BUT, if you like to cook it’s actually pretty easy, especially for people like me who really don’t have much of a sweet tooth.  Seriously, I hardly ever eat my baked goods, I just use them for bribes.

So, my parents still eat sugar (oh, I’m living with my parents) and they don’t really want to alter their diets and lifestyles to suit me, which is fair, and just means I get to cook more.  Tonight I made myself a delicious cream sauce that I plan to ladle over roasted garlic cous-cous (coming soon).  Good, right?  I know.

The recipe:

5 large shitake mushrooms (chopped)

1 head of broccoli (chopped really teeny tiny, seriously, go to town on that broccoli’s head)

2 cloves of garlic (minced)

2 tbsp EVOO

1 tsp chili flakes (can be adjusted based on spice tolerance)

1/2 tsp white pepper

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp kosher salt

2 lemons (juiced)

8 oz heavy cream

2 tbsp flour

I took these pictures on my new iPhone.  Cool, right?  Oh, you’ve all had iPhones for like three years?  Okay, yeah I mean I was just being ironic…

Anyway.

Using a heavy saucepan, sautee the mushrooms, broccoli and garlic in the olive oil for about two minutes on medium heat.  Add chili flakes, white pepper, nutmeg, kosher salt and lemon juice.  Sautee for about five more minutes.  Then add cream and stir for about a minute.  Add flour and stir vigorously and immediately so the flour doesn’t clump.  Continuing stirring over heat for about seven more minutes.  Then you’re done!  Serve over something with a cool name, like cous-cous or…panna cotta.  No, don’t do that.  Cous-cous is good.  Or just normal pasta.  You’ll figure it out.

get it.