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…

Blistered Grape Tomatoes and White Wine Pasta

We're really keeping it simple with this one. Clean flavors. Minimal ingredients to let the fresh stuff shine.

8 ounces dry pasta, cooked al dente, plus a 1/4 cup of cooking water reserved
2 pint packages multicolor grape tomatoes, sliced into halves
2 cups fresh spinach
3 cloves garlic sliced thinly

1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tbls olive oil

2 tsps dry basil
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

In a very large skillet cook pasta and set aside with the reserved water.

In same skillet heat oil,  saute tomatoes with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Cook until tomatoes they begin to soften and release their juice. Add garlic and spinach. Wilt spinach. Add wine. Cook several more minutes. Add back pasta and water. Add 1 tsp basil. Stir to combine everything and continue simmering to reduce for 5 more minutes.

Taste. Add remaining basil, salt and pepper as needed.

When measuring spices use the top of the jar. You don't want to shake spices directly over a hot pan because the moisture causes them to clump. You could also accidentally add way too much.

Measuring them in your hand is messy.

Using a measuring spoon gives you another item to clean.

Unscrew the top of the spice bottle and pour your spices and herbs into the inverted cap. If you pour out too much you can just shake it back inside. A cap full from a standard small spice jar is about one tablespoon. A cap full from the slightly larger spice bottles is around 2 tablespoons. A teaspoon is 1/3 of a tablespoon. The cap on the really big one is around 1/4 cup.