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…

Broccoli and Tomato Salad

A simple salad with few ingredients. I came up with this idea as an accompaniment to our Thanksgiving dinner. The main entree was a vegetable lasagna that was heavy on the cheese. The other side dish was oily, buttery, garlic knots. I wanted something to break up the monotony of all the decadence and richness. Something vegetal and acidic seemed like it would be the perfect foil.

I also went very light on the spice to keep this friendly to all types of palates.

The deeply sauted garlic has a lot of flavor, but isn't sharp at all.

One 12 ounce bag frozen broccoli florets
One large package cherry or grape tomatoes ( about 12 ounces)
11 cloves garlic
2 tbls red wine vinegar
1 tbl olive oil
2 tsps hot sauce
2 generous handfuls fresh basil, chopped small
1/2 tsp crushed pepper flakes
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

Quarter the tomatoes if using grape. Halve if using cherry. Set aside.

Cook the broccoli in a large frying pan. No oil. No water. A pinch of salt. Cook until broccoli is warmed through and bright green. A little bit of char is nice. Remove to an ice bath. Then drain of excess water. Chop small.

Saute whole garlic cloves in a hot pan with a small drizzle of olive oil. Cook until nicely browned on both sides. Mince cooked garlic cloves very small.

Add all ingredients to a large bowl and gently stir to combine.