Monday, April 13, 2009

Homemade is Better: How to Cook Tofu and Like It

Don and I have been getting requests for more videos so we are responding to the demand. Talk about another source of free Cheapskate entertainment. I love to blog, love to cook, and now I get to explore my secret desire to become America's next Food Network Star. This has also become a new favorite husband and wife activity. Anytime you can get two people working together in the kitchen, it's going to be a much more rewarding experience. And making a cooking video requires a minimum of two people, one to hold the camera and one to cook. So they have become fun projects for Don and I to do together and I hope to continue producing them on a regular basis.

So I recently discovered that Tofu is only 80 cents a package at Fresh and Easy. Do you realize that that means even if you ate tofu once a week for an entire year, it would still only cost you about $40?! I could (and used to) spend that much on one week's worth of meat alone if I wasn't watching my food budget. So I did a little research on how best to prepare tofu and came up with a couple of recipes I wanted to try. My plan is to work one tofu recipe into my meal plan every week. When prepared right, it tofu can make for excellent cuisine. The recipe we tried tonight was inspired by one I found on called Peanut Broccoli Stir Fry. The entire meal cost me less than $5.00 to prepare and we got four full servings out of it. Additionally, don't be fooled by it's vegetarian nature. Tofu sounds like boring stirofoam hippy food, but it's actually surprisingly filling. Between the tofu stir fry and hearty brown rice we served it over, Don and I both had a hard time finishing our bowls.


2 cups cooked brown rice
2 Tablespoons Peanut Oil
1 Package Extra Firm Tofu cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups Broccoli
1 cup peeled carrots cut into matchsticks
1 bottle prepared Thai Peanut Sauce
2 Tablespoons Chopped unsalted peanuts
1 Lime sliced into quarters

Start by preparing brown rice and draining the tofu as demonstrated in the video below.

Next, stir fry the tofu in peanut oil over high heat for aout 5 minutes until edges are golden and firm. Remove from pan and set aside. Add veggies and stir fry for two minutes until broccoli turns bright green and carrots start to sweat. Add Peanut Sauce, stir and heat for another 2 minutes. Then add tofu back in and toss until thorughly coated.

Serve over brown rice and garnish with chopped peanuts and lime wedges.

Don and I both enjoyed this meal and would make it again, especially considering the price. We were really pleased with how the tofu itself turned out. The preparation method we used to cook it definitely made a difference. Also the fresh squeezed lime gave a nice freshness to the dish and the peanut garnish a pleasant crunch. The thai sauce itself was good but not great. Don and I both found it a little bit tangier than we prefer. If I were to make the sauce from scratch, I would probably add a little bit more heat and a little less vinegar. Also, it could use a little bit of extra salt and pepper.

Bon Appetit!

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