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…

Curryish Barley and Lentils

I've never bought ground turmeric before, but I recently purchased some. I love the flavor. It's the magnificent backbone of all the world's great curries. And it has the awesome power to transform ordinary ingredients into something exciting and exotic.

This isn't a true curry. It's more of a indian inspired minimalist approach. It's got a little heat and a lot of flavor. But it's not quite as assertive as a true curry.

1/2 cup dry pearl barley
1/2 cup dry lentils
12 ounce package frozen broccoli and cauliflower mix
2 cups onion broth (see instructions below)
3 large garlic cloves sliced extra thin
1-2 small jalapenos minced (retain the seeds and ribs)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

To make the broth...
2 cups water
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 green tea bags
Skins, roots and tops from 2 large spanish onions
3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
Ribs and seeds from 2 jalapenos
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
5 dashes hot sauce
1 tbl butter

Bring all ingredients to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove tea bags. Simmer 5 more minutes.

This completes your broth.

To your broth add the barley and lentils and simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Check often and add more water as needed to keep cooking the barley and lentils until they are mostly tender.

When the barley and lentils are fairly tender add the sliced garlic, minced jalapeno, the rest of the spices and cook just 2 minutes more over a low flame.

Kill the heat and add the frozen veg mix. Stir to combine. Cover and let sit 3 minutes to heat the veg through.

Serve immediately for a hot dish or let cool and refridgerate for a chilled experience.