February 27, 2012

Meatless Monday

No, this isn't a new thing, just something for today.  Not vegetarian and definitely not vegan, just no big hunks of animal (tasty animal) flesh.  For lunch I braved a meatless burger from Fantastic Foods.  It wasn't bad, especially since after my meal I looked at the bottom of the box and it had a "best by" date of sometime in 2000.

Really not bad figuring it was supposed to be eaten more than a decade ago.

While I was making that meal I decided that some Extra Firm Tofu I had in the refrigerator needed to be made up since it was approaching it's best buy date.  A couple months ago I had whipped up some marinade for the tofu that was pretty good, but the resulting stir-fry was just "ok".  I thought I could try again and take some notes as I went along.

To start I opened up the pack of tofu, put it on a plate, and nuked it for 3 1/2 minutes.  After that was done I put it on some towels to rest and drain for 10-15 minutes.  While that was "working" I began on the marinade:

1 Tablespoon Beef Paste
1 Tablespoon Garlic Awesome Sauce
1/4 Cup Agave Nectar
1/4 Cup Almond Butter

Mix well together and heat until it begins to bubble.

Once the marinade was finished the tofu is diced and mixed into the pot and left to sit for at least an hour.  Once that is done the oven is fired up to 375* and everything is dumped out onto a cookie sheet, spread out and baked for a half hour.  I tried the tofu at this time and the flavors were muted some, but the texture was good.  The tofu was set aside until it was time for dinner.

My stir fry consisted of a pound of stir fry vegetables, two packages of udon noodles (regular flavor), and the baked tofu.  It was a simple dish.  The hardest part was getting the noodles to break up without getting them all chopped up in the process.  I cooked the noodles in the pan with the "regular" flavoring packets and 2/3 cup water and added the tofu as soon as the noodles were separated.

Carolyn and I thoroughly enjoyed the stir fry and the tofu was great.  Last time I fried the tofu in oil after I had baked it, trying to get it all puffy like I get it at the restaurant.  Simply baked and then heated back up was much better.

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