Tofu is one of my favorite sources of vegetarian protein, but it took me a loooooooong time to get it right.
By get it right, I mean cook it to perfection.
Spoiler alert: The trick is to follow Minimalist Baker’s crispy tofu method which you can find here.
Her tofu method in a nutshell: Cook drained, seasoned tofu in a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom pan with an oil of your choice for five minutes, Then, transfer to the oven to bake until it reaches your desired level of crispiness.
I highly recommend checking out Minimalist Baker’s full recipe which tells you exactly how to drain the tofu and everything.
To me, stir fry and tofu go together like a burger and fries. Normally, I’d cook this meal up with brown rice, quinoa or black bean pasta. But this time I went for maple sweet potatoes and the combination was delightful.
The onion makes a huge difference in flavor for the vegetables. Using a yellow onion adds a sweet, but not overpowering, flavor to vegetables. For a spicier, more savory flavor, use a red onion in this dish.
So delightful in fact, that I decided to throw together the recipe for you.
This meal is vegan-friendly, but if you’re an omnivore you can totally trade the tofu for chicken or shrimp. If you’re not a tofu fan, this would also go well with tempeh or seitan!
Depending on how much you eat, this meal should make two or three servings. The first time I made it, it just served my mom and me, but we almost couldn’t finish the full meal. However, for a lunch, I think three servings would do the trick. This meal takes longer and uses more dishes than most of my other meals, but it was too tasty to keep all to myself.
Happy meal prepping!
Turmeric Tofu With Veggie Stir Fry And Sweet Potatoes
This tasty, veggie-packed vegan meal will fill you up without the post-takeout energy slump. The turmeric tofu complements the flavorful veggies that have a hint of ginger, and the sweet potatoes are a nice trade for grains or noodles of a more traditional stir fry.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with foil.
Prep the tofu! Take the tofu out of the package and set on a plate lined with paper towels (one or two sheets will do). Then, place a few sheets of paper towels on top. Put something heavy, like a stack of books or a heavy pan on top of the tofu. This squeezes the water out. Let it rest while you prep the veggies.
Prep the veggies! Set the onions, green beans, carrots and kale aside. Place the sweet potatoes on one of the lined baking sheets. Put the minced garlic and ginger in a little bowl and set aside.
For the sweet potatoes: drizzle 1 TBSP of olive oil over the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 TBSP of maple syrup. Toss the sweet potatoes with your hands or a wooden spoon to cover thoroughly. Place in the middle of the oven and set a timer for 20 minutes.
For the tofu: Remove the object and the paper towels pressing the tofu. Then, cut it into cubes on a clean cutting board. Place the cubed tofu into a bowl and add the turmeric, chili powder, curry powder and salt and pepper to taste. Carefully toss with a wooden spoon (sometimes the tofu can break because it's soft!).
On the stove, heat a generous amount of coconut oil in a deep, heavy bottom pan on medium heat. After a minute, add the tofu to the pan. Add half of the garlic and ginger to the pan. Let it cook for 3 minutes, then flip with a spatula. It's ok if some of the tofu sticks to the pan when you're trying to flip it!
After 5-7 minutes, transfer the tofu to the second baking sheet and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes. (I put the tofu in for 5 minutes and liked the consistency, but the longer you leave it in there, the dryer it will get!)
At this point, remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, flip them and put them back in the oven if they look like they need more time.
Lastly, the veggies: In the same pan you cooked the tofu in, heat another generous amount of coconut oil on a medium flame. After a minute, add the green beans, carrots and onion. Add salt, pepper, the soy sauce and the remaining garlic and ginger. If you'd like you can add a bit of curry powder, turmeric and chili powder too, but that's optional!
Cook the veggies on a medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the onion starts to look translucent, add the kale and stir. To get the veggies to soften faster (especially the carrots), cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for 5 more minutes.
Remove the tofu and sweet potatoes from the oven if you haven't already, and don't forget to the turn the oven off!
Divide each part of the meal (sweet poatoes, tofu and veggies) into three portions in three separate containers of your choice. Let them cool to room temperature (about 45 mins) before placing in the fridge.
These meals will keep for up to four days in sealed containers in the fridge.