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…

Celery and Pickle Vinaigrette

I got a blender for christmas. I had been wanting one for a long time. I watch the food network show "Chopped" religiously. On Chopped the chefs are constantly utilizing the blender to make all manner of purees and sauces. I found myself very much wanting to be able to do similarly creative things.

On the inaugural run of my new blender I made a classic chimichuri. This was simply because I had leftover parsley from christmas dinner. It was good and I quickly devoured it.

It took me a while to get around to the second try. Not for lack of desire, but simply because the food store was very hectic every time I went there. There was New Year's and then there was a big, big blizzard. There was no real opportunity to browse for blender ingredients.

Finally the moment presented itself.

I had pickles, celery, garlic and jalapeno, hot sauce. I was excited to really get busy with my new blender.

I added all my ingredients to the machine, plus some pickle juice and some water and buzzed it all up.

After tasting I added some salt and pepper, a little soy sauce and some basil.

Satisfied with my concoction I relocated it to a storage container.

I thought to myself I could've used a little less pickle juice, but overall I was very pleased.

Then it dawned on me that this was a perfect opportunity to mix in some nooch as well. AKA nutrional yeast to those not in the know.

I stirred it all together and put it into the fridge to 'marry' overnight.

The next day I had a pretty awesome celery and pickle vinaigrette.

I doused my salad with it. I spooned it over my lentil/barley mixture from a few days before. I even used it to enhance some powdered garlic mashed potatoes.

It's also vegan and has a good dose of B12 for those of us non-meat eaters.

It turned out great and I'm excited to create my next blender sauce. Thanks Chopped.