Finally - a few spare minutes yesterday in which to cook!
So, I'm trying this vegan thing on for size. I've done it for a day or two at a time before and I'm not making any commitments right now, but I figured I'd do the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart for however many days I can stand it and then resume eating cheese. If you've never heard of it before, check it out - they have some yummy recipes on their website as well.
Last night's dinner was a take on a jambalaya recipe I used to make that involved chicken broth, smoked sausage and whole pieces of chicken. Since I no longer consume any of those and I happened to have a block of tofu and some fresh peppers, onions and tomatoes in the fridge, I decided to try my hand at a vegan alternative.
7-8 oz. firm tofu, pressed and cut into four slices
2 tbsp olive or canola oil
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tsp paprika
2 tsp turmeric
Combine the spices and spread out across a small plate. Coat the tofu pieces in oil, then coat both sides of each slice with the spice mix. Place in the refrigerator for at least 20 min or up to 2 hours. (Further instructions below)
3 tbsp olive or canola oil
3 small green and/or red bell peppers
2 small yellow onions
3-4 cloves garlic
2 large tomatoes, peeled and diced (I peeled them using the boiling water for the broth)
2 cups jasmine rice
3 cups veggie broth
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp dried oregano
black or cayenne pepper to taste
In a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid (don't put the lid on yet), heat oil over medium heat. Add peppers, onions and garlic and saute until slightly softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes. Add rice, stir well and bring mixture to a boil. Add broth and spices, reduce heat to low, cover with tight-fitting lid and cook until rice has absorbed all liquid, about 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, turn on medium heat under a nonstick saute pan (or heat 1-2 tbsp oil in regular saute pan), add marinated tofu slices and cook on each side until slightly crisp on the surface (some of the seasoning may come off), about 5-6 minutes per side. Fluff rice and serve with tofu.
Gotta toot my own horn - this was so good I didn't even mind the absence of chicken, sausage or shrimp! I had to wing it with the spices for the tofu since I don't have a Cajun or Creole seasoning mix, but this turned out really well! The right spice mix makes a huge difference. If you have any garlic or onion powder in your pantry (I don't), they would probably work well in this mix too.
Just one thing- next time I think I'll either make half the rice or use a whole block of tofu and double the spice mix. Steve and I ate all four slices (two per plate with the rice, as shown) and there was plenty of rice left over. But then, another simple solution to the problem of lopsided leftovers would be to throw in a can or two of beans and maybe some more cayenne...? We shall see...