Spicy Barbecue Tofu

Tofu tends to get a bad rap. If it's not prepared properly it can feel like eating an old sponge and taste of absolutely nothing. On the other hand, when treated well, tofu can be a scrumptious treat for the senses as well as powerful nourishment for the body.

I first fell in love with tofu through my local Chinese takeout. They have deep fried tofu with sauteed vegetables. Deep fried tofu has the perfect chewy exterior and pillowy soft center. It tastes of all the vegetables, oil and soy sauce from the wok.

I've experimented with cooking tofu at home. I don't really deep fry. But there are other great ways to prepare tofu as a main protein. I like to broil it. I use a classic meat eaters method to give it flavor. I brush it with a glaze before and mid cooking. It works brilliantly both in terms of flavor and texture.

It's totally vegan.

1 package extra firm tofu
4 tbls olive oil
2 tbls hot sauce
2 tbls sriracha
1 tbl apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp…

Quick Cuban Vegetarian Sandwich

This is a quick, tasty and hearty sandwich perfect for breakfast, lunch or for dinner with some soup. Minimal ingredients and simple preparation make this especially convenient for those in a hurry or just lazy. It's also probably lunchbox safe in most temps.

2 slices toasted bread
1/4 cup black beans
3-4 slices raw yellow onion
4-6 slices kosher dill pickle
1 slice vegetarian american cheese (borden for example)
2 cloves diced garlic (optional, but highly recommended)

First, most american cheese slices are not vegetarian. Sad really. Borden specifically answered my query and attested that all there cheese is made with microbial enzymes. Beware other american cheese slices. Contact the company to find out before purchasing.

Second, garlic can be a pain to dice in a hurry. That skin can be stubborn. When I'm in a hurry for some fresh garlic I'll utilize one of two methods. You can use a garlic press. It's quick and easy. Smoosh the clove in the press lightly to loosen the skin. Remove from press. Take off skin. Add back to press and extrude onto or into target dish. Very convenient and simple. But sadly it requires an annoying amount of cleanup. A garlic press really requires hand scrubbing to come out clean. The sticky nature of pressed garlic is the culprit.

When I'm really super impatient I employ the brute for method. This works for a clove or two. But is not practical for more than that. Just press the clove firmly between your fingers and pinch and twist and press. If you exert sufficient force and torque you should be able to wrest the clove from its shell. You can then simply use a paring knife or odd steak knife to quickly cut it into small pieces. For large cloves slice lengthwise once or twice first, then crosswise.

Do your cutting of sandwich ingredients on the same dish you will assemble and eat your sandwich on. Don't dirty your cutting board to make a simple sandwich.

Sandwich assembly is simple. Toast your bread til hot and golden brown. Immediately remove toasted bread from toaster, add cheese slice only and close. As if you were making only a cheese sandwich. Press lightly for a 10-15 seconds.

When you are satisfied with the melt of your cheese remove the top slice of bread. Add beans first, then top with garlic, onion and pickle. Close sandwich. Slice in half and enjoy.

This hearty bean sandwich is great for breakfast as it's so simple to make and filling for morning's empty stomach. With a little cereal or potato chips on the side it keeps me full til lunchtime. And it's packed with protein and nutrients.

Besides that, the taste is amazing. I like this bean sandwich better than any meat sandwich I've eaten in the past. Try it for yourself and decide.