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…

Red Wine Lentil and Barley Stew

When foods are of a similar color it can indicate that they contain similar compounds which account for that color. Foods of a like nature often complement each other when paired in recipes. Celery and parsley for instance. They are from the same family and work well in combination. Also red onion and red wine. Together they amp up each other's flavor potential.

This red wine lentil and barley stew makes use of these nature food pairings to create a lot of flavor without a lot of fuss.

Skins and ends from one medium red onion
Flesh from 1/2 same onion
1/3 cup dry red wine
2/3 cup celery, equal parts flesh and leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley
7 cloves garlic
1 tbl butter
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/2 cup dry pearl barley
2-3 cups water
Salt and pepper
2 tsps hot sauce
Red pepper flakes, sage, oregano, garlic powder, chili powder

Add water, wine, butter, onions, half the celery, half the garlic, salt and pepper to a large sauce pot. Uncovered bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove onion skins, ends.

Add barley and lentils. Cover and ssimmer until barley and lentils are tender. Stirring occasionally.

Add remaining celery and garlic. Add hot sauce, spices, parsley.

Cover pot and turn off heat. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Remove to a heat safe storage container. Taste. Adjust seasonings as desired.

It's vegetarian, but the butter means it's not vegan. Replace the butter with vegan margarine or olive oil for the vegan version.