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Betsy Block

The Healthful Hedonist: Comfort Food for the 21st Century

Tofu with Greens

Tofu with Greens
Simple. Savory. Sustainable.

Wednesdays on Mama Cooks.

I never ever ever thought tofu would fly in this house of meat-lovin' Americans. I guess a couple years of hearing me endlessly yammer on about the evils of most meat finally wore my loved ones down.

You know what I call that? Success!

You know what's not a success? We here in Massachusetts now have a homophobic former nude model for a senator. Still, turning my family into tofu-eaters proves that miracles can happen.

Want another small miracle? I find myself wishing our new senator nothing but the best because, like it or not, we're all in this thing together.

Tofu and politics are an odd combination, I agree, but they're both on my mind today. Besides, isn't being a hater so un-tofu?

P.S. - A friend is upset with me that I'm not wishing bad things like tripping over potholes on our illustrious senator. In response all I can say is that such attitudes only boomerang right back to the one who hates, which I was reminded of only yesterday when an aggressive Scott Brown supporter got in my grill and I made a snotty face at him. Who was laughing last in that little showdown, hm?

However, lest I seem better than I really am, let me also point out that should our new senator ever be caught with his pants down (probably with another man, let's be honest), I will relish the moment. That's Zen, right?

Tofu with Greens

Brought to you by Mama Cooks

Serves four

1 pound (or 15-ounce) block of firm tofu, drained, dried with a paper towel and cut into triangles or cubes
1 pound washed, roughly chopped greens – I used baby bok choy
Few tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
Few tablespoons cornstarch
¼ red and/or yellow pepper, thinly sliced

Gently toss the tofu in the cornstarch and set aside.

For sauce

¼ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more – I'd use more if I could)
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Mix everything but the cornstarch together. I did this a day in advance because I could. Just before using, mix the cornstarch with a couple tablespoons of water, then whisk or shake it into the sauce until it's all incorporated.

Put 1 tablespoon of the oil into a pan over medium-high heat, making sure it's enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Wait another minute until the oil heats up, then add the tofu slices so they're in a single layer. I use a cast iron skillet, but a nonstick pan will work too. Do this in batches if necessary. Fry on all sides over medium heat until nicely browned. Take the tofu out of the pan and set aside.

If needed, add another tablespoon of oil to the pan then cook the greens and peppers until almost wilted. When they're not quite done add the tofu back in, then pour in the sauce. Toss everything together lightly and carefully until it's all coated and cook for another couple of minutes, or until the vegetables are as done as you like.

Remember that miracles can still happen.