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…

Pickled Three Bean Salad

A woman I work with is absolutely wild about the Costco three bean salad. She had me try it and see. It was good. Meaty beans swimming in a rich Italian style dressing. Still, I thought, it could have a lot more depth.

This is my variation on that classic. Three different kinds of beans, shallots, mushrooms and dill pickles. It's a vegan paradise on a plate. This dish covers the gamut of flavor sensations. Tart, sweet, earthy, meaty, unctuous, hot, herbaceous, smokey and probably some others I've overlooked. It really is a wild ride for your palette.

1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can red beans, rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained, unrinsed, reserve 2 tbls can brine

1/4 cup dill pickles, diced
3 tbls dill pickle liquid
1 tps spicy mustard
1 tbl sriracha
1 tbl hot sauce
1 lime, zest and juice
1/2 ginger, grated
1/4 cup olive oil

5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 shallots, diced
1/2 pint white mushrooms, sliced
Two 1/4 cup portions white wine
1 tbl canola oil

1 poblano pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
1 serrano pepper

2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp crushed pepper flakes
1 tsps garlic powder

Cook mushrooms, shallots and garlic in canola oil until tender. Deglaze with 1/4 of wine. Cook until wine is dried up. Deglaze again with remaining 1/4 cup wine. Stir to scrape all the brown caramelized bits into the mixture. Cook until most of the liquid is gone. Set aside.

Cook all three kinds of pepper over an open flame until the skin is charred. Remove seeds and ribs and dice.

Add lime zest/juice, ginger, hot sauce, sriracha, mustard, pickle liquid, spices to a bowl. Whisk together. Then slowly whisk in the olive oil. Stir in the dill pickles, cooked mushroom mixture, peppers, beans and garbanzo brine.

Let chill a few hours in the fridge.

The picture up above is pretty, but here's what it looks like when you eat it like a regular human. A little messy, but really tasty and quite hearty.