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Chili-garlic tofu, asparagus and kale bowl stir fried with avocado oil and sriracha

This is a simple, but light dish, with tofu and asparagus stir fried with red pepper, zucchini, carrots, avocado oil and sriracha, then tossed with kale. This makes a small appetizer for 4 or a larger bowl for 2.

Ingredients

For the tofu
225g extra-firm, high quality tofu, 1/3″ cubes
2T cornstarch
1/4t coarse sea salt to taste
1/4t black pepper, freshly cracked

For the vegetables
2T avocado oil
1 small sweet onion, trimmed, halved length-wise, and sliced, 1/4″
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1t fresh ginger, minced
8-10 stalks of asparagus, bottoms snapped off, cut in 1″ segments
1 red pepper, cored, seed, and sliced 1/2″
2 small carrots, trimmed, halved length-wise, and sliced on an angle, 1/10″
1 small zucchini, trimmed, halved length-wise, and sliced on a angle, 1/8″
2 cups green curly kale, coarsely chopped
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the sauce
1/2 cup boiling water
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 1″)2T tomato passata (or puree)
1T white pickling vinegar
1/2T sriracha (or to taste — I use 1T)
1/2T coconut sugar
2T tamari (or to taste)
1T tapioca starch dissolved in 2T water

Optional: Add rice or rice noodles for a fuller meal. Add whole cashews. Reduce the avocado oil to 1 tablespoon and add a tablespoon of peanut butter to the sauce if you like. If you have the time, make the sauce first and marinate the tofu in the sauce for 30 minutes, then toss with corn starch. To water saute, replace the avocado oil with 3 tablespoons water and add the tofu with the asparagus. The tofu won’t be as crispy but the cornstarch also provides cling for the sauce. You can replace the kale with other greens, but if you do, pick a sturdy green that will hold up under the warmth of the other vegetables.

Method

Press your tofu ahead of time if necessary. Prepare your vegetables so they’re ready to go. Cube and toss the tofu in the corn starch until well-coated. Bring the 1/2 cup water to a boil and add the kombu to start the rehydration process.

When ready, warm a large frying pan or wok on medium high heat. Add the avocado oil. Add the tofu and fry until lightly browned (should be 2-3 minutes). Working quickly, remove the tofu and set aside.

Add the onion and stir fry for 2 minutes, deglazing the pan as you do. Add the chili, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for another minute. Add the tofu and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add the red pepper, zucchini and carrots. Stir fry another 5 minutes.

Remove the kombu from the water and whisk together the remaining sauce ingredients. Add the sauce to the pan and deglaze again if necessary. Stir fry another 2 – 3 minutes.

Stirring continuously, add the tapioca mixture to the pan and stir until it thickens (should be immediately). Add the kale and stir until lightly wilted (about 2 minutes). Season to taste. Spoon out into bowls and serve

Turmeric, miso stew with tofu, tempeh, mushrooms, and potatoes

Sweetened with dates, thickened with flax, and finished with baby kale, this is a rich, spicy stew with lots of strong flavour and colour. If you’re not a turmeric lover, keep the amount low to start.

Ingredients

1/4 cup water
1/2t coarse sea salt
2T scallions, finely chopped (reserve a few inches of green for garnish)
1-3t dried, ground turmeric (to taste — I use 1T)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1t fresh ginger, grated and minced
1/2t dried, ground cumin
1/2t dried marjoram, rubbed
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste — I use about 1/2t)
1 cup cremini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced, about 1/8″
125g extra firm, high quality tofu, 1/3″ cubes
125g tempeh, 1/4″ cubes (use pasteurized)
1 1/2 cups potatoes, 1/3″ dice (I use organic russets)
1/2 cup dried, soft dates, pitted and finely chopped
1T lemon juice
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu, about 2″
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups unsweetened plant milk
3T red miso (or more, to taste)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1T sesame seed butter
2T milled flax seed
3 cups loose baby kale (leave a few leaves for garnish)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: White, yellow, or other shades of miso will work, but they’ll change the final colour. Use freshly grated turmeric (start with 1T) if you have an easy source. Leave out the garlic if you prefer. A little shredded cabbage added with the plant milk and/or a little cilantro for garnish wouldn’t hurt. Add some fresh blueberries to brighten up the flavour.

Method

Warm a large frying pan with a lid on medium heat. Add the water, sea salt and scallion. Water saute for 2 minutes. Add the turmeric, and other herbs and spices. Saute another minute.

Add the mushrooms. Saute for another 2 – 3 minutes. Add the tofu, tempeh, potatoes and dates. Saute another 2 minutes. Add the lemon and deglaze the pan (if necessary).

Add the stock, bring the pan to a light simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Uncover, add the plant milk. Increase heat to medium low.

Simmer another 30 minutes or so uncovered on low heat (as low as you can set it but still simmer) stirring periodically. Remove from heat. Remove the kombu. Add the miso, nutritional yeast, sesame seed butter, flax and kale. Stir to combine.

Let stand 2 minutes to cool. Season to taste. Ladle out into bowls. Garnish with scallion green sliced on an angle and a few scallion greens and serve.