Seriously delicious! Give ’em a try.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, and I’d like to share this exceedingly meatless treat with you that I’ve been saving since December.
It’s absolutely, positively, delicious.
Let me begin by warning you that this dish contains tofu.
I just laughed when I typed “tofu.” It ain’t exactly…my thang.
But guess what? I used to eat tofu regularly. Go figure. I was a vegetarian for several years before I met my husband and he cooked me a steak sizzling in butter, thereby rescuing me forever from a world without meat, and even though I’m no longer a vegetarian, I still could eat tofu every day of my life. I don’t, mind you…but I could. I love the stuff.
The thing about tofu is…well, you have to get past the name. The word “tofu” just gets a bad rap and might as well be up there with wheat grass juice and mashed yeast on the list of Things Folks Want to Consume. So call it something different if you’d like. Call it what it is: Soybean curd.
Actually, never mind. Just call it tofu.
The second thing you have to realize about tofu is that straight out of the package, it’s grody. Soft and flavorless and bland. I love it panfried, with lots of color and sizzle on the surface area, and I love it with lots and lots of flavor (usually soy sauce-based) on the outside. And that is the irony of tofu: it’s high in protein and low in fat and calories…but I have to slather all sorts of good stuff on it before I want to eat it.
But that’s my own private struggle.
The Cast of Characters: Firm tofu, romaine hearts, fresh or frozen corn, chili powder, soy sauce (not pictured because I’m an airhead. UPDATE: yes it is pictured. I repeat: I’m an airhead), balsamic vinegar (optional), and avocado.
Very good things are about to happen here.
Slide the block of tofu straight into a hot nonstick skillet with a little bit of peanut or olive oil.
IMPORTANT NOTE: A nonstick skillet is really, really good here. It allows the tofu to keep cooking and bubbling up without sticking and burning.
Break it up into pieces with a spoon…
Then continue breaking it up until it’s in very small pieces.
Now, you just want to cook it over medium to medium-high heat for several minutes. The primary goal is to cook off a little of the liquid in the tofu and get a little color and texture going on the surface of the tofu.
Tofu, tofu, tofu.
Oh, and a nonstick skillet really helps.
As it starts to achieve color, you’ll notice that it begins to resemble scrambled eggs…or at least scrambled egg whites.
Okay, this took a good five minutes. The tofu isn’t as juicy and watery, and it’s got some nice color going on.
Next, I shave the kernels off of a couple of cobs of corn and throw it into the skillet.
Stir it around…
And cook the corn for a few minutes. You want it to stay nice and crunchy, though, so no need to cook the heck out of it.
If you like a little spice, sprinkle on some chili powder.
I am addicted to spicy food these days.
I think I need the endorphins or something.
Then comes the soy sauce, which is what makes all of this make sense. Just drizzle what looks right to you; I’d say 1/4 a cup should be plenty.
Then just stir and cook until the soy sauce has cooked in and the whole thing looks like chicken.
Finally, and this is entirely optional, drizzle in a teeny bit of balsamic vinegar. It’s totally delicious without it, but it just adds a nice somethin’-somethin’.
Grab a romaine heart (one of the smaller ones in the center is best) and pile on the corn/tofu mixture.
Now, listen. Let me just tell you something. This…is…DELICIOUS. Utterly crunchy, extremely flavorful…out-of-this-world delightful.
Lay on a few slices of avocado.
I love life.
This, my friends, is the perfect meal if:
a. You’ve always wanted to try tofu but have been afraid
b. You’re observing Ash Wednesday and not consuming meat
c. You want to serve your family tofu and watch them freak out when you tell them they’re about to eat tofu
d. You want to eat something delicious
e. All of the above
Here’s the handy printable:
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