Add a hint of spice, a side of creaminess and heaps of different textures and I’m in foodie heaven (sure who wouldn’t be right!)
My tofu creations have been waning a little lately, I think I over did the intake slightly and was very briefly not quite as enamoured by the prospect of eating it for breakfast lunch and dinner. Clearly this is not to be taken quite so literally though at times it’s not something I would opposed to; there are worse repetitive food inflictions I could imagine!
I had a bit of a longing…who am I kidding I was craving tofu like it was nobody’s business so there was only one thing for it…something sweet, savoury and tofu based. Sweet and sour tofu!
I remember during my recovery sweet and sour chicken (with Uncle Bens Sweet and Sour Sauce) and a side of rice was always one of my most feared and hated meals. The rice was high in calories, the sauce full of unnecessary sugar and there just wasn’t enough veggies in site aside from the potential sweet corn piled on the side which was sure to tip me over the edge in terms of my calorie counting obsessive mindset.
Food wasn’t about taste, it was about getting the most food for your calories…lots of veggies, sauce and pretty much flavour free and not a whole lot else; if I could have had my way!
Things have obviously changed quite considerably. Taste is always the trigger, food pictures the inspiration, availability of ingredients one of the deciding factors and then when all has been decided I do my best to create the best meal possible in terms of achieving a healthy balance without sacrificing any of that flavour!
Another good example is the chickpea millet eggplant curry bowlI had over the weekend…over the course of a year I created it several times until I got to the point where I felt comfortable with all the added extras and boy was it worth it!
My sweet and sour tofu was quick and easy to prepare and contained the perfect array of ingredients. Red and green pepper, bamboo shoots, plenty of tofu, sprinkled with sesame seeds to serve and some spring onions. I’ve never really been a rice on the side kind of girl (calories aside); I’d always opt for noodles or bread or an extra side of veggies depending on the dish. My mango pineapple sticky breakfast ricewas so incredible I decided to take it down the savoury route and whip up some coconut brown basmati…divine!!!
I’m officially in love with brown basmati rice…once it’s cooked in a little coconut milk with some desiccated coconut stirred through! Soft, fluffy, ever so slight sticky and creamy, it was absolutely delicious and the perfect accompaniment to the sweet and sour tofu.
It’s when I create meals like these and thoroughly enjoy them that I realise how far I’ve come in my recovery!
When it comes to main meals of the day, what comes first, taste, nutrition or ingredients on hand?
Sweet & Sour Tofu
Servings – 1
Preparation Time – 30 minutes
Cooking Time – 40 minutes
- ½ block tofu, sliced in to three- four medium thick slices
- ½ red bell pepper diced
- ½ green bell pepper diced
- 2 tbsp diced pineapple
- 1/3 cup bamboo shoots (if tinned make sure to rinse thoroughly to remove excess salt)
- 2 spring onions finely sliced
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 ½ tbsp rice wine vinegar
- ½ tbsp raw cane sugar
- 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tbsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2-3 tbsp pineapple juice (if using canned pineapple in dish reserve juice for this purpose)
- ¼ cup uncooked brown short grain rice
- 1/3 cup (80ml) boiling water
- 1/3 cup (80ml) light coconut milk
- 2 tsp desiccated coconut
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp coconut butter (optional extra!)
- Slice tofu square in two and then in two again to form 4 triangles – 12 -16 in total bite size pieces. Place on a chopping board or counter top, cover with kitchen paper and a couple of heavy books and leave to press for 15-20 minutes.
- Whisk together all sauce ingredients, place in a pot, bring to the boil, stir and simmer until desired consistency; about 5 minutes. Place ¼ of the sauce over tofu and leave to marinate for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile place rice, water and coconut milk in a pot, bring to the boil, cover and leave to simmer for 35-40 minutes until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir through coconut, coconut butter and season just before serving.
- Add mixed peppers to a pan and cook for 6- 8 minutes, add in pineapple, tofu and bamboo shoots and cook for a further 6-8 minutes, until tofu starts to brown and pineapple becomes caramalised.
- Pour in ½ of the remaining sauce, coat everything in the pan and leave to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve tofu drizzled with remaining sauce, rice on the side, sprinkled with spring onions and sesame seeds.