Sunday, April 13, 2008

Quick and healthy

After gorging on such varied items as jerk chicken, beef patties, fajitas and cream puffs at a free all-campus lunch yesterday afternoon, my friends and I found ourselves a bit too stuffed to consider making anything very involved for dinner last night--in fact, none of us really wanted to think about cooking at all. However, I had a pound of green beans left over from last week's co-op pickup that were begging to be used before they went bad, so we soldiered on in the name of the blog. We wanted something quick and light and found the answer, as it so often is in such cases, to be Asian (or Asian-style) food. I improvised a recipe for baked marinated tofu, which we enjoyed with the green beans, stir-fried with garlic, ginger and sesame seeds, as well as Korean-style white rice, which has barley in it and is delicious. On paper (or on screen, as the case may be) this meal may sound like a bland 70s-style health food experiment gone wrong, but I assure you that everything was flavorful and satisfying. Even Malcolm, a consistent skeptic of soy products, approved of the tofu. Our appetites were sufficiently revived, and we even found room for a dessert of Kahlua-doused ice cream.

Baked marinated tofu: thick slices of extra-firm tofu marinated in a rather imprecise mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, rice wine vinegar, fresh garlic and ginger, and red pepper flakes. I also added a dash of Veri Veri Teriyaki Sauce to ensure a good balance of flavor. The tofu sat in the fridge, covered, for 2 hours, but overnight would be even better. Afterwards, I drained the marinade off of the tofu and reserved it to spoon over the finished dish. I coated the tofu with olive oil on both sides and baked it at 375° for 45 minutes, turning once. The final product is crisp on the outside and surprisingly meaty and chewy in the middle: it's really the perfect dish for people who think they don't like tofu. Finished with a scattering of scallions and toasted sesame seeds:

Green beans, stir-fried for 8-10 minutes with fresh minced ginger and garlic, as well as the usual suspects of soy sauce, sesame oil, and the aforementioned teriyaki sauce:

Simple and satisfying Korean rice, rinsed well and made in a rice cooker with a 1:1 ¼ ratio of rice to water:

Surely too good to be called health food.

1 comment:

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