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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Honey Glazed Carrots

Have you ever noticed that you can’t buy a small amount of carrots?  Even baby carrots come in bags of 100 or so.  It’s annoying, because usually a recipe only calls for a single carrot, and sometimes you can buy a single carrot, but usually you can’t and so to make one small pot of chicken stock you buy a pound of carrots and then you have all these carrots and it’s carrot madness!

Some people really like carrots.  I don’t really like them very much, so when I have an excess I like to think of ways I can make them tastier or just hide them from myself in whatever I’m cooking.

A friend of mine made honey glazed carrots for Thanksgiving this past year and they were so good!  I found myself thinking…hey, maybe I do like carrots.  I don’t.  But, if I like these then you can bet that they’re good.  The recipe is simple and easy (and sugar free.)

1 lb carrots (peeled and chopped regular carrots or you can just use baby carrots)

2 tbsp butter

3 tbsp honey

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Salt and fresh ground pepper

My photos are a little funky because I’m using my new Camera+ iPhone app and don’t really know how to exercise its full potential yet.

Okay, so, first prepare a large pot of boiling water with salt.  When the water reaches a rolling boil, add in your carrots and let them boil for about 6 minutes or until they’re tender.  Then you drain the carrots and add them back to the pot with the heat still on about medium.  Mix in the butter, honey and lemon juice.  Stir and cook the carrots for another 5 minutes.  Then add fresh ground black pepper and serve.  How easy was that?  It makes about 4 servings and if you’re doing Weight Watchers each serving is 3 points.  Enjoy!  And enjoy this weird picture of what may be carrots.

Sugar-Free Coconut, Raspberry Muffins

I found these muffins in my quest for sugar-free treats and they are sooooo goooood.  I also have been looking for low/no-carb recipes for my best friend as her doctor has recently informed her that she is not to exceed 70g of carbohydrates per day.  For some perspective, a single banana has almost 40g.  Needless to say, finding yummy things, especially pastries or anything with fruit in them, is not easy.  But, huzzah!  This recipe is the best of all worlds.  Sweet baked treat, with raspberries and less than 9g of carbohydrates each.  Seriously, I did the math.

I got this recipe off another website so I’m not going to bother to repost the whole thing.  You can see the original recipe here.  I used honey for the 1/4 cup of liquid sugar substitute.  I know it doesn’t sound like a lot but but the coconut flour and the raspberries (that word is spelled so strangely) are both so naturally sweet you really don’t need much added sweetener.  So, since I’ve already given you the website for the original recipe (and just gave it to you again), I’ll just leave you with some photos of the process. OH! I almost forgot.  Resist any urge you have to add more than 1 cup of raspberries.  I added probably about 2 cups and my muffins were a little on the soggy side.  Just, fyi.

that's some sexy batter.

raaahhhspberries.

the finished product.

 Buen provecho!

Sugar-Free Sweet & Savory Granola

Granola.  It’s one of those things that’s kind of good to have around.  You can eat it in yogurt or with milk or just munch on it to curb a craving.  I tend to prefer my granola on the savory/salty side just because those are the flavors I enjoy more and they make the sweet taste even sweeter.  That’s why they put salt on caramel or in chocolate chip cookies.  Did you just learn something?  No?  Well.

I have almost never found a ready-made granola that I really like, mostly because they’re usually too sweet or come with one or two ingredients I don’t really like.  The nice think about granola is that it’s easy to customize your own.  I got a lot of ideas for this one from my friend Radford, who’s a vegan.  She made a granola for us to take on a long bus trip and we probably finished it all off in about an hour.  Fat kids always need snacks on long trips.  But, you don’t have to like the ingredients I use.  You can use my recipe or invent one but the really essential part is how you sweeten it.

as you can imagine, this involves honey.

Sweetening concoction:

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Combine these ingredients in a small saucepan and put it on the stove over low heat.  Let it heat up while you make the rest of the granola, stirring occasionally.

The rest of the ingredients:

*Disclaimer:  I pretty much eyeballed these when I made them because I bought it all in bulk so I couldn’t really measure it at the store.  I know what you’re thinking:  Why didn’t you just measure it once you got home?  Well, reader, because I am just that lazy.

evidence.

Okay, the ingredients for realz:

2-3 cups rolled oats (uncooked)

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup roasted, salted sunflower seads

1/2 cup wheat germ

1 cup dried currants

1 cup roasted almonds, crushed

1 tsp kosher salt

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.  When the sweetener has been heating for about 5 minutes, pour it over the dry mixture and mix in thoroughly.  If it looks really gloopy, add a few more oats, but you want it to be semi-gloopy.

just the right amount of gloop.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9×13 casserole dish and fill it with the mixture, spreading it out evenly.  Pop it in the oven.  You’re going to leave it in there for about 40 minutes total, until it’s nice and golden brown, but you want to stir it around every 7 minutes or so.  When it’s done, take it out and stir it again.  It might still seem a little moist but once you let it cool for a while it will crisp up.  And you’re done!  I eat it every morning with milk because I hate yogurt.  

Just kidding.  Well, but yeah I eat it with milk.

not pictured: milk.

Vegan, Sugar-free Applesauce Cake

I know what you’re thinking.  Okay, I don’t, but something you might be thinking is that the combination of vegan and sugar-free automatically means tasteless and dry.  Sometimes, that is the case, but this is not one of those times.

If you’ve been reading my blog consistently you know I’m trying to eliminate refined sugar from my diet completely.  So far, it’s been successful and pretty easy.  This bread is great because I think that substituting honey for white sugar actually adds to the flavor and helps to make it more moist and scrumptious.  I got the recipes from Allrecipes.com but adapted it a little to be sugar free.  Also I didn’t add the raisins or walnuts because I hate both those things, but feel free to ignore my choices and add them if you choose.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup margarine (the recipe calls for butter but we had margarine left over from something else and I actually find that margarine works just as well as butter in terms of baking.  Also, using margarine makes the bread vegan, which is cool if you’re a vegan or if your friends are.)

3/4 cup honey (Okay, some vegans say honey isn’t vegan because it’s produced by bees, so you could use maple syrup instead if you want to.  Trees don’t have feelings.)

1 cup chilled, sugar-free applesauce

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp allspice (this is an addition of mine, the spicier the better!)

1/4 tsp ground cloves

And that’s it.

First, preheat your oven to 350.  Then cream the honey and the margarine.

Add the applesauce and mix it in.  Then add the flour and the rest of the dry ingredients and blend.  The mixture won’t be quite as gloopy as your average bread, and you can add a little more applesauce if you want it to be thinner.  It actually turns out pretty thick and fluffy.  Grease and flour a bread pan and then bake the bread for about 40 minutes, or until you can stick a toothpick in it and it comes out clean.  That’s it!  My blog is being weird, so I can’t post any more pictures, but you get it. T his cake makes an excellent breakfast.   Buen provecho!