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…

Vegetarian Dirty Rice with Pinto Beans

The knorr dirty rice ingredients either changed or I only just noticed it contains chicken fat.

Zatarrain's dirty rice is vegan/vegetarian as of Dec 27, 2011.

dirty rice I recently tried knorr dirty rice. Interesting flavors. It's definitely vegetarian. And almost vegan. It has some milk (less than 2% of ingredients). So, not a bad choice at all. It also has some interesting flavors. I crave interesting and unique flavor since stopping meat consumption about a year ago.

The trick with rice packets is to add other stuff to them. To bulk them up and to add texture and flavor. You don't want to eat just a bowl of rice. And you don't have to.

1 packet knorr dirty rice mix
1/3 cup frozen cauliflower
1/3 cup frozen mustard greens
1/2 cup canned, rinsed pinto beans

Prepare rice packet as per package directions, adding mustard greens at the same time. When rice/green mix has come to a boil, lower heat and cook at a simmer about 4 minutes more.

Add cauliflower. Cook 3 minutes more. Add beans. Cook 2 minutes longer.

The dirty rice has a very mild cajun spice flavor. It hits the spot when you want something spicy, but not hot.

Adding the mustard greens really livens things up. It can be kale or spinach or turnip greens. But dirty rice deserves some kind of dark leafy green. They belong together.

The cauliflower provides vitamin c and a good crunch. be careful to cook cauliflower as little as possible. vitamin c is diminished with cooking.

the beans are packed with protein and a fair amount of iron. Anyway, rice and beans go together like love and marriage.

All are very inexpensive add ins. the total cost for this dish is probably around $3.00 in the most expensive location. And that $3.00 will yield around 3-5 meals.