September 22, 2012

Chipotle-Orange Broccoli and Tofu

My father was a huge meat eater growing-up. If there wasn't meat at every meal, he would make it known by complaining endlessly. It was never obvious complaining. He would ask my mother if part of the meal was missing or if the tofu was a starter course and the main meat part of the meal was coming later. This was the same father that ate 5 bologna sandwiches for lunch when my parents first met and was skinny as a rail. My favorite thing was going to a buffet with a salad bar with my parents. I would always get a large salad with maybe a little amount of bacon bits and some nuts. My father on the other hand would put no greens and all the real bacon that he could find. To this day he never goes to the doctor and health wise is in better shape that anyone else that I know. I hope that I inherited those genes, because the man never ceases to amaze me. Due to my dad's obsession with meat, I of course went the opposite extreme and decided to become a vegetarian in the beginning of high-school. It drove my dad slightly nuts. He would always ask me if I could have a little bit of meat and still be a vegetarian. To him small amounts of meat wouldn't really count as being a meat eater. Tofu was a battle I tried very hard to win my dad over to the side of eating. It never really worked. He would eat it when we ordered Phad Thai, as long as there was another dish with meat. Luckily I married a man that is willing to at least eat one dinner a week that is vegetarian. Granted he starts to get a little grumpy when he goes more than two days without meat, but he at least puts forth some effort. Last week I tried a new recipe for Chipotle-Orange Broccoli and Tofu from the September/October issue of Eating Well magazine, which looked like a quick and healthy weeknight meal option.

This recipe has 7 ingredients. It takes 30 minutes of total time, all of which is active and makes 4 servings. I had no problems finding any of the ingredients at my local grocery store and I made no ingredient modifications. However, I did change a few of the recipe steps. I let the tofu drain between layers of paper towels and a weighted plate for approximately 30 minutes. This step allows most of the water to drain out and ensures that the tofu will get a nice brown outside layer. Additionally, I ended up adding cornstarch to the orange juice mixture in order to thicken the sauce. Without the cornstarch, the orange juice sauce was too thin for my tastes. Make sure to allow the tofu to form a nice brown layer before turning it. This step will make the tofu evenly browned and have a better texture. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.

I was unsure if this recipe would taste decent after I was halfway through the steps. The orange juice mixture was too thin and it didn't seem like there would be enough ingredients to have much flavor. However, after adding the cornstarch to thicken and the addition of the cilantro (and lots of salt, you really do need to add salt for this dish to taste adequate) this recipe was very delicious. My two boys thought it was a tad on the spicy side, so if you are making this for kids I would suggest seeding the chipotle pepper. Overall, a healthy vegan meal that is a great way to add more meatless meals into your diet.

For the recipe go to Chipotle Orange Broccoli and Tofu.


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