Thursday, October 05, 2006

Naked Tofu...

Naked Tofu Marsala, that is... I say naked because, in the past, I always veganized an old Italian recipe, typically, by swapping the meat with tofu and then breading it first. You know, tofu marsala, tofu parmesan, tofu piccata. First you bread the tofu, saute or bake it, then sauce it as the original recipe calls for. I guess I did this because it seemed the best way to translate the taste and texture and because, honestly? I never really cared much for 'naked' tofu in many recipes as it rarely took on the flavor well and just tasted like blocks of bland ol' tofu swimming in a savory sauce that didn't seem to ever seep in.

Well, NO MORE OF THAT!!!! at least not where marsala is concerned. I promise you, you will not even believe the yumminess of this recipe. The Cap'n was raving with every bite and I have to agree, the flavor is amazing, the recipe simple (just one pot!), and comes together quickly. What a great way to win over nonveg's and nontofu-eaters alike.

So, without further ado....

Nekkid Toful Marsala (from Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers)
serves 4

4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs olive oil

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. salt

2 c. Marsala wine

1 cake firm tofu (I should note that I pressed mine in paper towels in the fridge over night as I meant to make it last night but got whisked away to hang out with friends instead. I think that the extra time being pressed really helped dry it out more than usual and prepare it to soak up extra flavor)

10 oz. cremini or moonlight mushrooms

1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes (I use a no salt added variety)

1/4 c. fresh chopped basil (using fresh basil here is imperative, if you don't have it on hand. wait until you do, it's worth the wait!)

salt and pepper

In a pot on medium heat, cook garlic in oil just until it sizzles, then add bell pepper, oregano, and salt. Cook, stirring often, for five minutes, but be careful not to let the garlic burn. Add Marsala and tofu and cook on high heat 4-5 minutes to reduce the wine a bit. Add mushrooms and tomatoes and cook on med-hi heat for five more minutes (this is a good time to stick some bread in the oven to heat if you have some on hand). Add basil and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with warm, crusty bread to sop up the delicious broth or over pasta or a grain, if you prefer.

nutritional info per serving: 217 cal, 14g prot, 12g total fat, 1.5g sat fat, 14g carb, 0g chol, 729g sodium (using no salt added tomatoes will reduce this quite a bit), 3g fiber, 2g sugar.

Seriously, I already cannot wait to make this again and for other people. It's healhty, easy, and sooooo good! Didn't hurt that it gave us a reason to use up some more of our bread, either.

And, of course, no meal around here is complete these days without a little Caesar salad on the side (didn't I warn you that you'd be seeing a lot of this? :) So what's so great about tonight's version*?Brussel Sprouts, that's what! We had some left over from the other night (amazingly, as I spend lunchtime camped out in front of the fridge nibbling on these for a couple days after making them) and, as luck would have it, the last head of romaine we had was mostly all limp and yucky on the outside, leaving on the heart of it still edible. Our salad was in dire need of more green leafy something. I chopped up the good part of the romaine, tossed in the brussel sprouts (right outta the 'fridge), threw in a handful of hemp seeds, a good sprinkling of Parma, and the Caesar dressing and woohoo! This salad just gets better and better!

I hereby retract my previous promise to stop posting about the glories of my favorite salad. I have decided that, while it grows, changes, morphs, and evolves, it is my duty to pass along the deliciousness that is summoned whenever this scrumptious salad hits our table. You can thank me later :).


Candi said...

I have this funny feeling that this tofu marsala will be an all-time favorite of mine! It looks awesome! It reminds me of a dish I get at a vegan asian restuarant out here. (only theirs has green peas in it too.) I love tofu plain now when it is pressed and soaks in a really good sauce.

Oh, your salad! I don't mind seeing lots of it! I see those cute little hemp seeds on there! SO yummy!

Nikk said...

What a fab meal! What do you use for Caesar dressing?

FH said...

HA HA!! That's a funny title!! Like tofu but me not vegan!!:))

aTxVegn said...

That tofu marsala looks and sounds really really good. I don't like faux meats made from tofu, but I really do like extra firm tofu thawed from the freezer and steamed in the microwave. I can just dip that in Bragg's and be in heaven.

laura k said...

Thanks for sharing the marsala recipe--I am starting to appreciate naked tofu as well!

And your salad sounds yum, except--Brussels sprouts! Everyone is allowed to completely detest SOME kind of food, right?? Awesome that you're enjoying vegan Caesar dressing, though!

Candi said...

I bought some marsala wine and made this recipe and LOVED it! I knew I'd like it since I really love plain tofu like that, if the sauce is really great. This sauce was awesome, and the fresh basil really made a difference. Thanks so much for this recipe! I will be making it often!