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 Ramen with Carrot, Black Beans, Jalapeno and Kale

Ramen noodles are famous for being super cheap, but they can also deliver exceptional flavor if treated correctly. The soy sauce flavor of Nissen ramen is vegan. It's okay as is, but a few fresh additions take it from desperate lunch to amazing feast.

I always cook my ramen in a very small pot. I find that this concentrates the flavor. I never, ever cook it according the package directions. They are just wrong.

The proper way to cook a packet of ramen is to crack the block into sevveral pieces. Add to small sauce pot. Fill with water. Stir in flavor packet. Bring to a boil and then simmer until noodles are just tender. Remove noodles from liquid with a fork. Discard all, but 1 tbl of the liquid. Pour that on the bowl of noodles.

They're pretty good that way, but there's still much room for improvement.

I'll add all sorts of ingredients to the cooking ramen to amp up the flavor. Ginger, garlic, mushrooms, celery. All do wonders.

This version is especailly nice because the carrot adds a little sweetness and the jalapeno a little heat. They play off one another quite nicely.

These ramen are enhanced with carrot, jalapeno, garlic, kale and black beans. Because ramen cook so quickly you can just add all your additions right from the get go. After about 5 minutes, simply strain and enjoy.