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 Red Wine Mushroom Ragout

Red wine and mushrooms are a classic combination. It's a pretty basic recipe for lots of flavor without a lot of ingredients.

There are, in my mind, several standard methods for getting depth of flavor without using meat.

Heat, alcohol, and nutritional yeast. That's pretty much the vegan trifecta of flavor depth.

You can use one or all.

In this case, I utilize alcohol and heat from chile peppers. The heat is mild. The caramelized onion and mushrooms are sweet. As is the reduced red wine.

Salt and fat are non-optional. They must always be present.

Using this method, I vary veggies, spices, beans and grains, but always end up with something I really enjoy eating.

The dish pictured is bascially mushrooms in red wine sauce. Easy to prepare. Mostly just waiting for the mushrooms and oinoins to caramelize.

1 pint mushrooms of choice, sliced
1/2 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 long hot pepper, sliced
1 poblano, diced
1/3 cup red wine
1/2 cup water
2 tbls olive oil
2 tbls hot sauce
1 tbl white vinegar
2 tsps salt
1 tsp dry roesmary
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp black pepper

Saute mushrooms and onion in oil until nicely caramelized. About 15 minutes. Deglaze with wine. Cook off wine for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until sauce is tightened up nicely.