The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen, includes healthy, meatless recipes like Cashew Cream; Beet Ravioli with Balsamic Pickled Figs and Green Garlic Oil; Agave-Lime Grilled Tofu with Asian Slaw and Mashed Sweet Potatoes; and Paella with "Sausage," Nori-Dusted Oyster Mushrooms, and Wine-Braised Artichoke Hearts.
Agave-Lime Grilled Tofu
with Asian Slaw and Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 1 hour, plus 2 hours marinating
This is an easy recipe that makes a gorgeous, colorful plate—and the leftovers are great for sandwiches. Agave is similar to honey, but it has a lighter taste. The marinade here is sweet and savory, and when you reduce it in the pan after the tofu is cooked, it turns into a wonderfully sticky glaze.
Tips on Tofu
When you're using firm or extra-firm tofu in a recipe, you always want to get the water out first: After you rinse the tofu, just wrap it in a dish towel, put something heavy on top, and leave it for about 20 minutes. You'll get a denser product that will absorb the flavor of your sauce better. Of course, as with almost everything, the tastiest tofu is homemade, and the process is pretty easy. It's a lot like making mozzarella. You boil soy milk, add a coagulant (usually some kind of salt), then strain the mixture through cheesecloth to catch the curds. The curds go into a mold, which has holes for drainage, with a weight on top to push out the water. That's all there is to it. If you have a soy-milk maker, you can even go back a step and start right from the beans. Whether you go with store-bought tofu or you make your own, if you ever want a chewier texture (for, say, braising recipes), freeze and thaw your tofu before you prepare it—this gives it a more fibrous consistency.
For the tofu:
- 1 pound extra-firm tofu, cut into 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slabs
- 1/4 cup light agave nectar
- 1/2 cup shoyu soy sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1-1/2 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
For the slaw:
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon light agave nectar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/4 cup safflower oil
- 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1/2 daikon radish, peeled and julienned
- 1/2 head napa cabbage, shredded
- 1 scallion, julienned
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed black and white sesame seeds
For the sweet potatoes:
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup thick Cashew Cream
- 2 tablespoons Earth Balance
- 1 canned chipotle pepper, seeded and minced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Make the tofu: Place the tofu in a single layer in a shallow nonreactive dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining tofu ingredients. Pour over the tofu and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tofu from the marinade (reserve the marinade) and arrange it in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until reduced to a syrupy glaze, about 8 minutes.
4. Heat an outdoor grill or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Transfer the tofu slabs from the baking sheet to the grill and grill for 3 to 4 minutes, or until grill-marked. Turn the tofu over and generously brush with the glaze; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until grill-marked. Remove the tofu to the baking sheet, turning it over so the glazed side is down, then glaze the top side.
5. Make the slaw: In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, agave nectar, salt, lime juice, and soy sauce. Continue whisking vigorously in one direction as you slowly pour in the oil in a thin stream until emulsined. Add the remaining slaw ingredients to the bowl and toss to coat.
6. Make the sweet potatoes: Cook the sweet potatoes in a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain. Put the sweet potatoes, Cashew Cream, Earth Balance, and chipotle pepper in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Alternatively, put the ingredients in a large bowl and use a handheld mixer. Whip on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Assemble the dish: Place one quarter of the sweet potatoes in a scoop in the middle of a serving plate. Top with one quarter of the slaw. Place 2 tofu slices on top of the slaw or angled against the sweet potatoes and slaw. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
The Conscious Cook
Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat
- by Tal Ronnen
- William Morrow Cookbooks 2009
- Hardcover; $29.99; 240 pages
- ISBN-10: 0061874337
- ISBN-13: 9780061874338
- Reprinted by permission.
- Cashew Cream
- Beet Ravioli with Balsamic Pickled Figs and Green Garlic Oil
- Agave-Lime Grilled Tofu with Asian Slaw
and Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Paella with "Sausage," Nori-Dusted Oyster Mushrooms,
and Wine-Braised Artichoke Hearts
- Cookbook Profile Archive
This page created April 2010