Spicy tofu, sweet potato and pepper

There is a joy in a simple to make, less than an hour start-to-finish delicious meal. There is something even better about such a meal that is also colorful and tasty.

I was searching for something easy to make, that didn’t require a lot of heavy pots or constant stirring and came across a really interesting recipe from Cookie and Kate. I loved the idea of this, but wanted to make sure it would be filling enough as a main dish, especially since I needed to use less pepper as Bob is not a fan of them and I only had one sweet potato on hand. So with this as my starting point, I experimented a bit and came up with quite a tasty dish. And Bob even said he did not mind the peppers. Bonus points for me.

Recipe:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 block tofu
  • 1/2 cup uncooked jasmine rice
  • nut butter of choice – about 1/2 cup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • hot water to thin – about 3 tablespoons
  • oil for coating and frying
  • ground cumin
  • 2 scallions
  • cilantro leaves
  • peanuts (dry roasted, unsalted)
  • salt

Cook rice according to package directions. Should be about 1 cup water to 1/2 cup rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Take of heat and let sit, covered, for about ten minutes.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut sweet potato into 1/3 – 1/2 inch half moons or cubes. Chop peppers into large chunks, about 3/4 – 1 inch pieces. Coat in oil and spread on baking sheet, keeping separate. Sprinkle all with salt, and sprinkle some cumin on the sweet potato. Roast for about 25 minutes – the potato and peppers should be soft but not burned. If your oven is anything like mine, stir half way through to prevent burning the bottoms of the potatoes before they are cooked.

Press tofu to remove as much water as possible and cut into chunks. For crispy tofu, coat in corn starch, for less crispy tofu, leave uncoated. Heat about 1 tablespoon oil in pan over medium high heat and add tofu. Let cook about 4 minutes before flipping. If the bottoms are not browned, let cook another 1-2 minutes. Cook second side until slightly browned, about 3-5 minutes.

To make the sauce, add nut butter (I used a combination of almond and peanut as I didn’t have enough of either) to a bowl. Add soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, ginger, rice wine vinegar and honey. Mix well and add water, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, until creamy and sauce is thinning enough to pour. It should be similar to a dressing consistency, but not a vinaigrette.

Chop scallions, cilantro and peanuts.

Layer rice on a plate, then top with potatoes and pepper then tofu. Spoon dressing, about three tablespoons, over top and garnish with scallions, cilantro and peanuts. Serve hot.

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