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.

Ingredients
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…

Pasta with Lentil Soup Pesto

Here's an interesting convenience food combo which many will probably enjoy. I wanted pasta, but was not in the mood for pasta with tomato sauce. I did have a can of vegetarian lentil soup that sounded really good to me. Lentils and spinach in a salty, oniony brine. Mmmm.

So I thought to myself, why not combine them. Use the lentil soup as a pasta sauce. And so I did.

Boiled the pasta to al dente according to the package. Drain. Leave a little starchy water behind in the pasta. Add soup. Continued to simmer the pasta in the soup liquid for about 3 minutes more.

Added 1 tbl margarine and 1/4 cup nutritional yeast. The margarine helps give body and richness to the sauce. It also adds some thickening properties as the margarine is solid at lower temps. But I'm a firm adherant to the notion that a little bit of fat goes a long way in any given dish. So just 1 tbl. No more. The yeast also gives thickness and contributes a strong depth of flavor with its cheesy/nutty nuances.

Stir over a low heat to melt the oleo and blend in the yeast. Simmer 1 or 2 minutes more until the sauce is a nice consistency.

Done.

It turned out acutally better than I expected. I was really happy with the flavor and texture. The pasta turned a little green and aborbed some of the soup. Almost like a pesto of sorts. Cooking the pasta to only al dente in the water and then finishing cooking it in the soup realy allowed the flavor of the spinach broth to permeate the pasta. If I had a mind to eat a big serving of carbs I'd be more than happy to pig out on this.

It's something I will definitely be making again in the future. Easy, cheap and tastes really good.

I enjoyed my lentil soup pesto pasta on top of a big bowl of romaine lettuce mixed with lightly roasted chopped broccoli, potato matchsticks, several sprays of white vinegar, a very light drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette, a big scoop black beans, 1 tbl spicy hummus and several dashes of hot sauce.

You could definitely add some chopped roasted almonds to top it all off. That would be spectacular.