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 Minestrone Recipe

The interesting thing about this recipe is that you prepare the ingredients in your pot and then you let them just sit for a while before cooking them. This softens the lentils and allows the flavors to gently develop and marry. It saves time tending to on the stove top while still producing that long simmered depth.

V8 juice is a convenient substitute for tomato puree and vegetable broth. Not much is needed to create that unctuous minestrone base to support our other fresh ingredients.

There are a bunch of hot peppers in this, but it's not very hot. They mellow nicely over the course of the preparation. But if you don't like too much heat, just cut back on the amount of each pepper. I wouldn't recommend not adding them at all. It's the medley of different peppers that creates a certain umami that would be lost otherwise. Just use less according to your personal heat tolerance.

1/2 cup dry lentils
1 small can low sodium V8 juice
3 cups water
1/4 cup white wine
2 tbls olive oil
1 tbl spicy mustard
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
1 poblano, diced
1 serrano, minced
1 habernero, minced
1 cup arugula
2  tbls nutritional yeast
liquid from one can of black, red or pinto beans and 1/2 the beans
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

Add everything, except arugula to a larger sauce pot. Set aside for 1-2 hours. Then simmer covered for 10-15 minutes. Until lentils are tender. Turn off heat. Stir in arugula and allow to wilt slightly.