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…

Garlic Apple Puree

Garlic and fruit go surprisingly well together. It's not all that different from the pairing of salty and sweet.

If you like garlic, you'll like this combination. It's something different for you taste buds. It's garlicky and it's a little bit sweet. It's a granny smith apple though, so it also has a tart backbone to it. The wine, lemon and salt give it additional flavor dimensions.

It also works well with pear instead of apple.

It's a very French inspired puree, but it definitely has an American influence as well. It's also totally vegan.

3 heads of garlic, peeled, chunked
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored, diced
1 lemon, zest and juice
1/4 cup white wine
1 tbl olive oil
2 tbls almond milk
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

Use a kitchen towel and a meat mallet to quickly peel all that garlic. Hold the towel over a head and whack it a few times. It will release most of the shells. I saw this trick on Worst Cooks in America. Tyler Florence had LaToya Jackson do this to make fast work of a garlic puree.

Cook garlic, apple, wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer mildly until garlic and apple are tender.

Add mixture and almond milk to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender to puree it in the saucepan.

Depending on the speed at which you work, you may want to have your lemon juice ready in a bowl before you start peeling and dicing your apple. That way you can throw the pieces in there as you go, so they don't turn brown.

If you have white pepper, that would give a slightly cleaner appearance.