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…

White Wine Tomato and Carrot Ragu

A sweet and acidic combination that works over pasta, rice or beans. I made this as a sauce for fresh pasta, but wound up using it on its own with rye toast and homemade vegan pesto.

Italian inspired, but with a Spanish soul. It's as easy as it is tasty.

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 lb baby carrots, sliced into wide strips
1 poblano pepper, sliced into thin strips
2 handfuls spinach
1/2 pint cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 small red onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

2 tbls olive oil
2/3 cup white wine
2 tsps thyme
2 tsps crushed pepper flakes
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

1 large handful fresh basil, chiffonaded

Cook the mushrooms and carrots down over medium high heat in the oil and salt until tender. Add wine, peppers, tomatoes, garlic. Simmer until the tomatoes begin to give up their juice. Add remaining dry spices and spinach. Simmer 7 more minutes. Add fresh basil. Turn off heat. Let sit 2 minutes.

For the pesto simply puree several large handfuls of fresh basil leaves (stems removed) and 1/4 cup almonds in a food processor while slowly drizzling in 1-2 tbls olive oil until the desired consistency is achieved. Season with salt and pepper to taste.