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…

Curried Chickpea Salad (Vegan)

I was inspired by a recipe I saw on Yahoo that was a chickpea based salad. It was mostly full of ingredients that I don't really like, but basing an entree around one of my favorite beans sounded great. I also had a lime in my fridge which I was hoping to utilizie.

My first thought was olives. I used to eat a Campbell's product that was basically chickpeas and olives in a tomato curry. I really like it a lot. Apparently no one else did. Because after about 4 months it was nowhere to be found.

So olives and chickpeas. From there the wheels turned effortlessly.

1 can Chickpeas rinsed
1 cup cooked rice
1 can sliced Black Olives drained
5-7 Cloves Garlic thinly sliced
1/2 medium Red Onion in small slices
Jalapeno and or Serrano minced
Zest and juice from 2 limes
2 tbls  Hot sauce
2 tsp Olive Oil
2 tbls pickle brine
Cumin, Coridander, Turmeric, Paprika, Cayenne, Garlic Powder, Basil, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 tbls Sesame Seeds (Toasted are better)
1/4 cup Freshly chopped Cilantro or Parsley
Salt and Pepper

Cook the rice as you normally would to preferred texture. I like to add some of the hot pepper seeds/ribs and a few small garlic cloves to the rice cooking water. This infuses the cooking rice with those flavors.

In a medium to large bowl combine chickpeas, olives, garlic, onion, hot peppers, cilantro or parsley. I don't give any measurments for the peppers because everyone likes a different level of heat. Add as much or as little as you see fit.

When the rice is done add it right on top of the bowl mixture. Stir to combine all elements. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Add lime zest and juice, hot sauce, olive oil, some of all the spices. Mix thoroughtly. Taste. Add more spices and hot suace as needed. Finish with sesame seeds.

Let chill in the fridge for a few hours for optimum flavor.

For other additions carrots or small tomatoes would also go really well in this.

This whole dish is really simple, wholesome ingredients that come together to create something spectacular. It's a wonderful example of how modest ingredients can easily create awesome food.