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…

Vegan Italian Stew

I love roma tomatoes. When you roast them in the oven they provide such great sweetness and acidity. They are the foundation for my ultimate Italian vegan stew.

5 oven roasted roma tomatoes, chunked
5 cloves roasted garlic, chunked
1/4 cup diced celery, mostly leaves
1/4 cup red onion, spanish onion or roasted leeks, diced
2 ribs from jalapeno, 1 from habernero
2 tbls jalapeno/serrano/habernero mince
1/2 can black olives, including liquid
1 can black beans, thoroughly rinsed
1/2 cup dry white rice
1/3 cup red wine
1 tbl olive oil
rosemary, thyme, basil, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, salt, pepper

Begin by heating oven to 425 F and roasting tomatoes and garlic on a baking sheet for 12 minutes. Turning once in the middle.

Too a large sauce pot add celery, onion, pepper ribs and flesh, oil, wine. Add water to cover by 2 inches. Add a generous helping of salt and pepper.

When tomatoes and garlic have finished roasting in the oven lightly chunk and add to pot.

Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

Add olives, rice, spices. Simmer covered for 15 more minutes.

Add beans. Continue simmering covered until rice is tender. A few more minutes.

This Italian inspired dish ticks all the boxes; sweet, salty, spicy, acidic. Both fresh and oven roasted veg, rice and beans all add an array of  textures.