I love cookbooks. I have an ever growing collection that I lend out, photo copy and generally love to share with my friends and family who are interested in moving toward a plant-based lifestyle. So when I find a book that my omnivorous cohorts will appreciate as much as my plant loving brethren I get really, really excited. Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food: 150 Down-Home Recipes Packed with Flavor, Not Calories is exactly that. Hearty, comforting and easy to make recipes that are satisfying and toothsome enough to keep all palettes happy.
Not to mention it was written by the awesome Alicia C. Simpson, who is a Registered Dietician and encourages a health forward approach to veganism. In addition to its usability the photos included are a great representation of just how delicious each recipe really is. Photographed by the incredibly talented Sara Lynn Paige you will want to make each and every one of these recipes immediately.
Enjoy this “Kung Pao Tofu”* recipe from Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food: 150 Down-Home Recipes Packed with Flavor, Not Calories (which is a huge hit in our house) and make sure to check out the end of this post for one of the best recipes from the book!
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*Note: I added red bell peppers to this recipe (at the stage you cook the onions) for some extra color, nutrition and to get it out of my fridge before it went off. For the listed nutrition information make it exactly as the recipe is described.
- 1 14oz package extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 1/2" cubes
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1/3 cup diced sweet onion
- 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 1/4 to 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 pound broccoli, steamed
- 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the tofu cubes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet and bake until firm, about 15-20 minutes. While tofu is roasting, prepare the sauce.
- Warm the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes, turning down the heat if necessary to avoid burning the garlic. Stir in the mirin and rice vinegar and simmer until they begin to reduce. Add the liquid aminos, hoisin sauce, agave nectar, and red pepper flakes and cook until the mixture begins to thicken slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the roasted tofu to the sauce and toss to coat.
- Divide the rice among 5 servings plates and then divide the tofu, broccoli, and sauce evenly among the plates. Top with chopped peanuts.
- Notes from "Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food: 150 Down-Home Recipes Packed with Flavor, Not Calories": I prefer roasted tofu's firmer texture in Asian foods, but roasting the tofu isn't essential. If you like the taste and texture of lightly pressed tofu, feel free to skip this step and just toss the pressed and cubed tofu into the sauce.
- Mirin is a sweet Japanese rice wine often used in cooking. You an find mirin down the ethnic or Asian aisle of your forcery store, where this is often stocked, sometimes under the name "rice wine'.
- Per serving: 327 calories | 14g protein | 9g total fat | 1g saturated fat | 0g monosaturated fat | 48g carbohydrates | 6g fiber | 131mg calcium | 2mg iron | 539 mg sodium