I had a first this weekend.
I went Cincinnati to visit Mary, one of my best gal pals from college. I’ve heard a lot about many of her closest friends, so it was great to finally put faces with the names. We were at a wine and cheese party enjoying ourselves when one of Mary’s friends told me she discovered my blog on Pinterest (!!!).
Apparently, when she clicked on the recipe and it took her to my blog, she recognized my photo as one of Mary’s friends. We proceeded to pow-wow with Mary and I think they are coming up sometime this spring to stay a weekend and eat delicious, healthy food.
So that was a fun first — being “recognized” online. But today brings with it another first — my first round in The Secret Recipe Club! The SRC is a group of bloggers who are randomly assigned one another’s blogs, choose a recipe from their assigned blog to make, and then blog all about it. I can’t think of a better way to get to know other bloggers and try recipes others drool over.
For this month’s SRC, I was assigned Nora’s blog, Natural Noshing. I knew right away, good things were to come. Nora follows a gluten-free and refined sugar-free diet for health reasons. While it was hard to choose a recipe, there was something about this Kung Pao Tofu that kept catching my eye in her recipe index.
Tofu is a blank slate and an affordable, complete protein. It was no surprise to me that the tofu soaked up the rich, deep flavors of soy sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, and crushed red pepper. The peanuts added a fun crunch and the green onions added that pop of color and added flavor.
What I think I loved most about this recipe was how quickly it came together. Even though the tofu bakes for 30 minutes (and you could do this ahead of time, by the way), you can do all the prep during this time. From start to finish, this is a 35 minute meal.
Healthy, vegetarian take-out for under 300 calories and less than 550 milligrams of sodium? Oh…yes. Thanks, Nora!
Kung Pao Tofu slightly adapted from Natural Noshing
12 oz extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
1/3 cup roasted peanuts
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2-3 green onions, sliced and divided
1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbsp gluten free soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange tofu on the baking sheet and lightly mist with oil. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the cubes after 15 minutes.
Heat coconut oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add peanuts and red pepper flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tofu and stir.
Add bell pepper and mushrooms and cook another 1 -2 minutes.
Add half of the green onions, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Reduce heat and allow sauce to thicken for 2-3 minutes. Serve over cooked brown rice, if desired, and top with remaining green onions.
Yield: 3 servings (about 1 1/4 cup each)
Nutrition Information (per serving): 268 calories; 16 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 532 mg. sodium; 11.3 g. carbohydrate; 4.7 g. fiber; 16.7 g. protein
Result: Salty, spicy, and slightly sweet…this meal is packed with flavor. If you’re new to tofu or hoping to change opinions on tofu, this would be a great recipe to try out. This can be served over brown rice, quinoa, or even a bed of lettuce. This is a bit on the spicy side, so adjust the crushed red pepper to taste. A great, quick, vegan and gluten-free meal. Enjoy!
Be sure to check out the other great SRC reveals and have a super week!