SRC: Kung Pao Tofu

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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 (!!!).

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

Directions:

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!

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Be sure to check out the other great SRC reveals and have a super week!

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!

40 Comments

  1. February 27, 2012 / 12:22 pm

    Wow, what an amazing job! I have NEVER seen tofu look so appetizing! You have a beautiful blog!

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      February 27, 2012 / 9:20 pm

      Thanks, Jenni! Appreciate it lots 🙂

  2. February 27, 2012 / 12:43 pm

    How exciting to be recognized! I just discovered pinterest a few weeks ago and have definitely pinned a few of your recipes already… they’ve been re-pinned, and passed on again I’m sure! Can’t wait to try this recipe, it will be a first time making a dish with tofu on my own!

  3. February 27, 2012 / 12:47 pm

    Love Kung Pao but have never tried to cook with Tofu before. My husband keeps asking me to start using it. Definitely will be giving this a try!

  4. February 27, 2012 / 12:47 pm

    We love kung pao anything and this one with the tofu sounds wonderful. I need to check out Nora’s blog as it sounds like the type of recipes I need to find.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my Group ‘A’ SRC entry: Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites and my Group ‘D’ entry: Health(ier) Peanut Brittle

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

  5. February 27, 2012 / 1:21 pm

    Yum, I’m always looking for flavorful tofu recipes. This one sounds like a winner. That’s so excited you were recognized via internet! Woohoo. Will Prevention RD, aka Nicole, be one of the next blogger celebs?

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      February 27, 2012 / 9:18 pm

      Grace, haha! Thank you! I highly, HIGHLY doubt that…but I appreciate your vote of confidence 😉

  6. February 27, 2012 / 1:26 pm

    This looks amazing!
    That is so exciting that your friend’s friend found you on pinterest! That’s how it starts! Your blog is pretty fabulous! 🙂

  7. February 27, 2012 / 1:27 pm

    I am still trying to get the hang of cooking tofu in stir frys. It always comes out so dry for me.

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      February 27, 2012 / 9:17 pm

      Hmmm! I think I prefer a dryer texture that has some chew to it — that’s why I always bake it. Have you tried baking it? It’s a very different texture.

      • February 27, 2012 / 10:23 pm

        I have not tried baking it. Will have to remember that for next time.

  8. February 27, 2012 / 1:40 pm

    This looks lovely Nicole! I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe as much as I did 🙂 You are exactly right, it is quick and packed with flavor — and I just happen to be a sucker with anything containing nuts, particularly peanuts – they make me swoon! Your photos are gorgeous!

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      February 27, 2012 / 9:17 pm

      So good! Thank you, Nora! 🙂

  9. February 27, 2012 / 4:10 pm

    Welcome to Group D – glad to have a familiar “face” in the group, and too funny re: you being “Pinterest” famous.

    This looks absolutely delicious – I love tofu but find that I make the same recipes, over and over. Cannot wait to try this one :)!

    Great photos too!

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      February 27, 2012 / 9:17 pm

      Thanks, Jill! Round one of SRC was a blast! I can’t wait for the next reveal already! 🙂

  10. February 27, 2012 / 4:52 pm

    Yummy! I actually have tofu marinating for dinner tonight, but this looks so delicious. I’m wishing I saw this first, haha. And I love the nuts in dishes like this! Funny, dinner has peanuts in it too. Seriously, even though the tofu, mushrooms and peppers look so good in that sauce, the peanuts are what look the best to me 😀

  11. February 27, 2012 / 4:53 pm

    We love tofu at our house, especially in Asian dishes so I have already pinned this one to try soon! It looks spicy and delicious.

  12. February 27, 2012 / 5:11 pm

    What a great choice for your first SRC recipe!!! I love how it takes just 35 mins too.

    And isn’t it fun to be found via pinterest? A friend of a friend that came to one of my cycle classes told me she found my blog through a salad pic she clicked through. Made me smile.

    Happy Monday friend 🙂

  13. February 27, 2012 / 5:29 pm

    The Secret Recipe Club sounds like fun! And the dish sounds very good!

    And how fun that you were recognized via Pinterest!

    Have a great week!

  14. February 27, 2012 / 5:54 pm

    Welcome to the SRC!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I’ve been enjoying it for the past few months. And by the way, YUM…This meal looks so delicious!

  15. February 27, 2012 / 7:47 pm

    HOW COOL!! I want to be recognized too!! But, I refuse to join Pinterest. Oh well. Maybe one day I’ll be as cool as you 🙂 hehe
    I really wish I could eat tofu. Honestly, I love it, and this dish sounds wonderful (and the pictures are amazing) but this stomach just can’t hand it. I bet this would taste great with tempeh!

  16. February 27, 2012 / 8:37 pm

    Great photos! This is definitely one of those recipes I need to make and see if the husband notices it’s tofu. Haha! Would love if you stopped by my new site, seasonalpotluck.com. We’re featuring oranges this month, if you have any orange recipes share!

  17. February 27, 2012 / 9:04 pm

    Maybe I will give tofu another chance…this looks so delicious on your plate!!! So bright and colorful…what a great choice for your SRC recipe. And that is awesome to be recognized from Pinterest:-)

  18. February 28, 2012 / 1:31 am

    Kung Pao anything is one of my favorite meals. I <3 any spicy food. 🙂

  19. February 28, 2012 / 4:33 am

    I love Kung Pao just about anything.

  20. February 28, 2012 / 6:21 am

    That is so delicious. I have to make this soon.

  21. Mary
    February 28, 2012 / 10:50 am

    Loved having you this past weekend! I’ve been saying for years you’re gonna be quite the famous dietician one day! This is just a taste of what it feels like… Haha. Enjoy it! Lots of lovies 🙂 🙂

  22. February 28, 2012 / 12:05 pm

    Wow this looks amazing! I’m not usually a huge tofu fan, but I am going to have to give this a try!

  23. February 28, 2012 / 7:19 pm

    a of all: welcome to src!!
    b of all: jealous. i haven’t been recognized and my friends sure get tired of listening to me ramble about my blog.
    c of all: pinning. this is a great looking dish and i love tofu! I think it’s important though to purchase organic tofu so as to ensure you aren’t eating a ton of genetically modified soy (which if it isn’t organic, you’re 99.9% likely eating icky stuff). healthy should be holistic, yes?

    thanks for sharing love!

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      February 29, 2012 / 3:42 pm

      Thanks so much, Kristy Lynn! What a warm welcome to SRC! 🙂

  24. February 29, 2012 / 4:32 pm

    This looks wonderful! What a gread idea, I want to look into joining 🙂

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      March 1, 2012 / 7:53 am

      Thanks for stopping by, April 🙂

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