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.

Ingredients
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…

Pear and Black Bean Relish

A simple set of ingredients come together to create a complex array of flavors and textures.

The idea of combining sweet fruit with a little heat is a tried an true winner. Autumn fruits like apple and pear have an acidic undertone that add another layer of complexity to the classic sweet/heat pairing. Their crunchy texture also adds another dimension.

Don't take my word for it. Try it and see.

Base
1 pear, peeled and diced
1/2 a medium red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 can black beans, thoroughly rinsed
1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced thinly

Dressing
1 lime, zest and juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbl hot sauce
1 tbl spicy mustard
2 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsps crushed pepper flakes
1 tsp black pepper

Add all dressing ingredients, except the oil to a small mixing bowl. Whisk in oil. Add base components and stir to coat. Let rest a few hours in the fridge.

Rinse the black beans in a wire strainer under cool running water. If you don't get rid of all of it, the black starchy liquid from the can will muddy your dressing.