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…

Onion Skin Broth

I watch the show chopped a lot. More than any individual probably should. They once had an episode where all the baskets required the chefs to use ingredients that most of us would otherwise discard. One of those ingredients was onion skins.

Even since then I've been using my onion skins to make broth. It makes a really flavorful one.

I use it to cook lentils,barely, rice, etc. As a non-meat eater I can use all the flavor I can get. It's not that easy making really tasty dishes without the aid of dead things.

To be a vegetarian or vegan cook is quite a challange. Animal flesh offers a lot of depth of flavor that is hard to repoduce with plant life. That's not to say it can't be done or even improved upon. It just takes some finesse.

Onion broth is my personal secret flavor weapon. If oyu cook your lentils in water that's what they're going to taste like. And water isn't very tasty/ But if you cook your lentils in onion broth it's a whole new ballgame. You have this rich base upon which you can layer your other flavors.

Onion broth is very easy to make.

Save your onion skins. That's the first step.

Add then to a large pot. A few cloves of garlic. A tablespoon of butter. Salt and pepper. Some white wine. Or red if you're using red onion skins. Simmer for at least 15 minutes. Longer if you can. The longer it simmers, the more flavor is extracted.

When it's done, remove the skins and add your barley, lentils or beans. Cook as you normally would. Add more water as needed.

Flavor comes from unexpected sources.

Onion skins are not garbage. They are a powerhouse of both flavor and nutrition.