I think it’s a wonderful community celebration when a baby is born. Friends and family gather to welcome the sweet little child and help the new parents with meals and errands and extra hands for diaper changes. Tonight, it’s my turn to bring dinner to some friends and I’m pretty sure that they already assume it’s going to be something from the crock pot. The debate begins about what to make— it doesn’t have to be for an occasion, let’s admit that this debate happens practically every day, right?!
Let’s see– vegetarian or dairy is requested and the meal needs to feed two adults and a 2-year-old, too. I’m guessing that pasta dishes and soups have already been dropped off or stocked in the freezer, so I decided to do an Asian tofu dish and serve it with rice. Tofu is a unique protein, but it cooks up nicely and can suck up a whole bunch of flavor from whatever it accompanies. There are different consistencies of tofu sold, but I suggest using an extra firm one, it’s easiest to work with as a substitute for meat.
If you are scared of squishy food, you could make this dish with chicken instead. But give it a try– you might actually like tofu! The toughest thing about cooking it, is that sometimes it can really stick to the pan. Let it cook on each side without moving it around in the pan and then flip it quickly with a thin spatula. Enjoy!
1 brick of tofu, drained
3 T. olive oil
1/2 c. orange juice
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, sliced thin
2 t. rice vinegar
1/2 t. paprika
12 oz. of any green vegetable (broccoli florets, snow peas, shredded cabbage, green beans or peas)
First you need to prep your tofu, it usually has an excessive amount of water in it that you want to drain off before cooking. Put a paper towel on a plate and then center the tofu on it. Add another paper towel up on top of the tofu and then put another plate on top. It looks like you’ve made a plate sandwich with the tofu in the middle. Add something heavy on top (can of food, metal pan, small child) and let sit for at least an hour. The paper towels will fill with water and the tofu will still have it’s shape. Then cut tofu into 2-bite sized cubes.
Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Brown tofu for 5-6 minutes on each side. Add the green vegetable, garlic and onion to the crock pot in that order, then put tofu on top. Mix the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and then pour on top of everything in the crock pot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours and then serve with white rice.