Crispy Tofu and Vegetables
Or – Yes, you too, can eat tofu!
Tofu. A simple word that can strike terror in the hearts of mortal men. And women, and kids, too.
It was that mystery block of white stuff that I had to buy for my vegetarian son. I never knew what to do with it. I just cut off slabs, marinated it or glazed it and gave it a grill. Right next to my pork chops. I ain’t eatin’ that mystery white block of stuff!
What a difference a few years make. Now, I always have a couple of pounds of tofu in the fridge and in the freezer! No more pork chops. Family meals are built around tofu. No longer is it an after thought. No longer just an easy thing to shove at the non-meat eater. It’s a star! I’m going to share an easy recipe to get you headed in the tofu direction. It’s fried, because everything tastes better fried, right? Lets get started.
You’ll need 3 yellow squash, a red (or any other color) bell pepper, baby bella mushrooms, an onion, tomato sauce and cheese. Oh yeah, you’ll need a block of firm tofu. I use the sprouted kind. It’s easier to digest (read that as – no gas) and has less plant estrogen.
To start everything off, you’ll need to drain and press the tofu to remove the excess water. We really don’t like throwing wet foods into hot oil. Open the pack, pour off the water and set the block onto a paper towel lined plate of board.
Next, cover it with folded paper towels and a plate, then weight it all down with a cup of water.
Set this aside to drain while you chop up your vegetables. Get out a large bowl to pile all the chopped vegetables in. Slice the squash lengthwise and then into slices.
Cut the mushrooms into quarters.
Chop up the onion.
After you’ve dried away your onion tears, chop the bell pepper. This one was extra juicy! And add it to the pile in the bowl.
Now! Let’s get at that tofu! Slice to tofu into 1 inch slabs.
Then, slice the slabs into 1 inch cubes.
Everyone in this house loves tofu. Want proof? Look ever there. A little further. See that?
That is Kitchen kitty’s mom, Katie. Katie the tofu kitty. No relation to Grumpy cat.©.
Ok, everything is ready to cook. Get out a large, non-stick fry pan. Trust my experience on this part. Scraping stuck on, crispy fried tofu is no picnic. Make a few dirty dishes and use a non-stick pan. Crank up the burner to medium high and give the pan a swirl of olive oil. When hot, add the tofu cubes.
Let it fry for a couple of minutes, then flip them around to get the other sides.
Flip them every couple of minutes to try and get all sides browned. It will take roughly 10 minutes. Remove the tofu to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Not every side has to be golden brown. Unless you want it that way, then go fo it.
Grab your grater and grate up a cup of Monterey jack cheese. Use any cheese you want, just try to keep it a milder, white cheese.
Now, if your non-stick pan is big enough, go ahead and use it. If you are like me, you’ll need to bust out another pan. A BIG pan. Put it on the stove, over a medium high heat, add some more oil.
Then, dump in the vegetables.
Stir fry the vegetables for about 10 minutes. You want them to be crisp-tender. I love peppers and onions cooking. The smell always reminds me of the county fairs. All those food booths with the grilled peppers and onions! Memories. Almost done, now. Grab that plate of tofu and stir it back in.
Open and add in the little can of tomato sauce. Throw in some salt & pepper. If you like it spicy, toss in some crushed red pepper flakes, too. Yummm.
Cook it for about 2 minutes or until a little bubbly around the edges.
Sprinkle on the grated cheese.
Turn off the stove and cover the pan. Let it rest for about 2 or 3 minutes for the cheese to melt, then serve! We have this over brown rice. It’s such nice easy recipe to get into the tofu groove. Give it a try.
- 1 block of extra firm tofu - 12 to 16 ounces, drained, pressed and cubed.
- 3 summer squash, halved and sliced
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, quartered
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 can tomato sauce, 8 oz.
- 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- DO AHEAD:
- Open the tofu package, drain and remove tofu. Place on a paper towel lined saucer. Cover with paper towels, top with another saucer and weigh down with a water filled cup.
- Let it press, at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Once the extra moisture has been pressed out of the tofu, cut it into 1-inch cubes. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick fry pan, over medium–high heat. Add the tofu and stir-fry until crispy browned on most sides, about 10 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
- If needed, add remaining tablespoon of oil to skillet and add the chopped vegetables.
- Sauté until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.
- Return the tofu to the pan along with the tomato sauce. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Top with the grated cheese, cover and turn off heat. Let rest for another 2 minutes for the cheese to melt.
- Serve over rice or pasta, if desired.