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…

Lentils and Barley in Vegan Beef Broth

I was going for a hearty, cold weather soup here. Something with spice and personality. The spice base is mostly mexican. While the broth base has its roots in France. It's an unusual pairing, but it turned out pretty great.

Even though it's vegan, the broth has a beefy, meaty punch. It's very satisfying.

The neutral combo of lentils and barley easily bridges all cultural divides. I especially find the red wine works famously with the typical mexican spices.

1 can black beans, plus can brine
1/3 cup red wine
1/4 cup dry lentils
1/4 cup dry pearl barley
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
1/2 pint cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 poblano, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 serrano, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 bag steam in bag broccoli/cauliflower mix
1 cup fresh parsley
2 tbls olive oil
1 tbl spicy mustard
1 tbl soy sauce
1 tbl sriracha
3-4 cups water

2 tbls nutritional yeast
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsps each salt and black pepper

Sweat off the onion and mushrooms in the oil with satl and black pepper. When nicely browned deglaze with the red wine. Cook off wine for 5 minutes. Add beans, brine, mustard, soy sauce, srirach, garlic, jalapeno, serrano, poblano, yeast, remaining spices, 3 cups water, lentils and barley. .

Simmer until lentils and barley are tender. Adding more water in 1/2 increments are needed to cook the lentils and barley. When they are done stir in the broccoli/cauliflower mix and the parsley. Turn off flame. Rest for 5 minutes.