Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Spicy Tofu and Pasta

I tend to stick to vegetarian cookbooks -- there's no fun in hauling a heavy book home, and then realizing that you can only eat a few of the recipes in it. (Well, OK, technically no one can eat a recipe -- but you know what I mean.) I was a little disappointed to find out that 5 Spices wasn't vegetarian, but since there are so few recipes (and so many beautiful pictures) I read through the meat, poultry, and seafood sections anyways. I kept coming back to "Baked Fish in a Spice Broth" -- I (think that I) kept the basic essence of things, but I changed a lot of the ingredients. This could be an everyday meal for me -- I did all my prepping and chopping as the pasta water boiled and so this took about half an hour from start to finish. Here's my version:

8 oz chunky dry pasta (I used whole wheat penne)
2 T canola oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 bunch green onions, whites and greens chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (I used 1/2 tsp and it was pretty spicy; I think I'll use a little less next time)
3 drops ginger extract (or 1/4 to 1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated or juiced)
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 block water-packed extra-firm tofu (or 1 block firm tofu, pressed), cut into 1/2" thick slices
1/2 tomato, seeded and minced
2 T minced fresh cilantro

Begin heating water for pasta (cook the pasta according to the directions on the package). In a large frying pan with a lid, heat the oil, then add the mustard seeds and green onion. Cook 5 minutes or until onions are soft. Add garlic, cayenne, and fresh ginger if using, and cook an additional 30-60 seconds. Take 1 cup of water from pasta pot, and add to the frying pan with the ginger extract, coriander powder, and salt. Bring to a boil and add the tofu slices. Reduce heat to simmer and cover the pan. Cook for 5-8 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and the tofu is hot -- flip the tofu slices halfway through and adjust the heat if necessary. Sprinkle with tomato and coriander and serve over hot pasta.


Anonymous Nupur said...

That looks delicious! Most recipes from that 5 spices book can indeed be made vegetarian. By using tofu/paneer (Indian cheese), mushrooms, mixed vegetables or eggs in place of the meat.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 3:47:00 AM  
Blogger Cabbage said...

i need to live in your kitchen

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 5:08:00 AM  
Blogger bek said...

Yep, for me it's usually beef=mushrooms, chicken=tofu, and fish=pasta. I have a harder time substituting mixed veggies for meat, but I think next time I'll try this dish with cubed butternut squash as well.

And I do love the cookbook -- I bought it last night on Amazon so that I don't have to worry about ruining the library's copy!

Kabs -- you're welcome to come over anytime! :)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 8:03:00 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Your blog makes my stomach growl. :)

Friday, July 04, 2008 2:43:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Yum! The cilantro, tomato, and spices sound delicious with the tofu.

Friday, July 11, 2008 4:43:00 AM  

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