Tofu, it’s Peanuts!

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This is an easy peasy one, good fresh veg, simple tofu, punchy oriental flavours and no bother noodles.  One to shove on the meal plan for a hectic night when everyone’s on the go.

20160222-184100.jpgI’ve not really addressed firm tofu in this blog before, we don’t eat much tofu, and so this is my own personal reintroduction to it.  My children both love tofu so I’ve got no excuse but to get out there and experiment more.  If you can be organised enough to press your tofu for a few hours before you cook it, it’ll have a firmer texture and will crisp up more in the oven.  Even if you only have 5 minutes, try wrapping the tofu in a clean tea towel with a few heavy books on top, it helps.   Here I’m baking the tofu in coconut oil and then adding the peanut dressing after, to keep things quick and simple, but I’m hoping to experiment more with marinading tofu for baking in future recipes… Watch this space.

Now, to pair up with the tofu I’ve chose broccoli.  Broccoli is a favourite in our house, steamed, stir fried, baked, curried, broccoli goes down well with the small ones and is a surefire way of getting fresh veg into their little active bodies.  Roasting is a quick handsfree method of cooking which helps maintain most of the nutrition of the veg, and leaves it with satisfying charred tips.

I’ve used organic egg noodles here, but rice noodles or brown basmati rice would all be equally good accompaniments.

Serves 4

  • 400g of firm tofu (£1.50)
  • 350g of broccoli – cut into small florets (£1.60)
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil (20p)
  • 4 cloves of garlic – finely sliced (20p)
  • A thumb sized piece of ginger – finely chopped (15p)
  • 1 fresh chilli (17p)
  • 180g of dried noodles (£1.12)
  • 3-4 spring onions (27p)

Dressing

  • 4 tbsp of Peanut butter – smooth or crunchy, you decide (35p)
  • 4 tbsp of soy sauce (72p)
  • 2 tbsp of hot water
  • 2 tbsp of honey (or agave syrup, or 3 tbsp of coconut palm sugar) (30p)
  • The juice of 1 lime (30p)
  • 1 tsp of sesame oil (4p)
  • ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 220 degrees c

Cut the tofu into smallish chunks, then in a large baking pan toss the tofu in the coconut oil and bake for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through.  After this time, add the broccoli florets, the sliced garlic, chilli and the grated ginger and bake for another 10-15 minutes – make sure the garlic does not burn.

20160222-184154.jpgMeanwhile,Thoroughly mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.

20160209-211647.jpgWhen the tofu and broccoli are nearly finished roasting, prepare your noodles as per the packet instructions.

Once the roasting tin comes out of the oven, toss in the cooked noodles and the dressing and coat all the ingredients, do this in the roasting pan to make sure you are getting all the flavour from the roasted garlic, chilli, ginger and oil, and the residual heat will warm the dressing through.

20160222-184138.jpgServe it up straight into four large bowls and sprinkle some sliced spring onions on top for an extra fresh crunch.  Wolf it down with chopsticks, if you’re clever like that, or with a fork if you know you’ll just end up making a mess otherwise!

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Served with some sliced spring onion, and a fork.

This meal works out at £1.73 per portion.  It took a few goes to really get it right, the tofu crispy enough, the broccoli tender and still fresh, the sauce slick enough to coat the whole lot… but finally the family has given it all the thumbs up and were actually arguing over the last piece of tofu the evening… Now there’s a result!

 

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