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 Chick Pea and Tofu Puree

Who doesn't love a good puree. They're so versatile. Spread them on bread. Dip your chips in them. Use them as a sauce. The best part is they're really easy to make.

If you're looking for ways to incorporate tofu into your meals without actually feeling like you're eating tofu, you'll love this.

I was going for a hummus type feel, but a little bit different. I kept that middle eastern style spice palette.

It's designed less as a dip and more as a sauce or spread component.

1 can chick peas, plus 1/3 the can brine
6 ounces silken firm tofu, drained
1/4 cup yellow onion
1/4 cup white mushrooms
3 cloves garlic
2 tbls olive oil
1 1/2 tbls white vinegar
2 tsps coriander seed
2 tsps cumin seed
2 tsps crushed pepper flakes
2-3 tsps sea salt
2 tsps black pepper

Puree all ingredients in your food processor until smooth. Let rest for a few hours in the fridge to firm things up.

That's it. Tons of flavor, minimal effort.

Experiment with different kinds of mushrooms to create interesting variations on this theme.

Pictured above accompanied by sauteed spinach and homemade french bread topped with french/middle eastern rice and beans.

1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 pint white mushrooms, sliced
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 serrano, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup beer
1/4 cup vodka
2 tbls red wine vinegar
2 tbls olive oil
1 tbl sriracha
1 tsps habernero hot sauce
1 can red, pinto or kidney beans
1/2 can whole kernel corn, drained
2 tsps paprika
2 tsps turmeric
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp savory
1 tsp herbs de provence
2 tsps salt
2 tsps black pepper
1/2 cup dry white rice/water as needed to cook the rice

Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer onion, mushrooms, beer, vodka, sriracha, hot sauce, jalapeno, serrano, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add beans, corn, spices, rice and 1/2 cup water. Cover and continue summering to cook the rice. Add additional water as needed to cook the rice until tender and keep a saucy liquid in the pot.

The spice combos are unusual, but they work surprisingly well.