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…

Pearl Barley Mushroom and Artichoke Risotto

Risotto is one of those dishes that chefs like to make you think is really hard to make. It must be since it tastes so good.

It really isn't difficult at all, but it does have a ton of flavor to offer. Making it vegan is a snap.

1/2 cup dry pearl barley
1 cup sliced white mushrooms
1 jar/can marinated artichoke hearts
3 cloves sliced garlic
1/2 cup poblano pepper, sliced
1/4 cup minced jalapeno/serrano/habernero mix
1/4 cup scallion

1/3 cup white wine
3 tbls olive oil
water, as needed

2 tsps thyme
2 tsps basil
3 tsps salt
2 tsps black pepper

Saute mushrooms in olive oil until darkened and tender. Add artichokes - including their brine, wine, peppers, scallions, garlic, spices and barley. Stir often and simmer over medium high heat. Add water in 1/2 cup increments as needed to keep cooking the barley until it is tender.