Hooray for healthy recipe #2 for the week...a delicious winter squash and tofu panang curry recipe from Cooking Light!
For one year during college, when I was crazy, I was a vegan. It really wasn't healthier, I was just going through a phase, I suppose. I was lucky enough to live in a sorority house with a chef who didn't mind cooking a vegan dish every night (and I also wasn't the only vegan...). I ate a lot of tofu.
Since gaining my sanity and re-introducing the wonders of cheese and steak back into my life, I haven't had tofu once. During the "year of darkness," I tried cooking with tofu a few times, but I always failed. I was never able to dry my tofu out enough to get that fried, browned exterior.
But this time, a few years older and wiser, I did it! I think I owe it to the EXTRA EXTRA firm tofu I bought at Trader Joe's...and my excellent cooking abilities. The ingredient list looks long, but don't be intimidated. TRT: 1 easy hour.
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1 cup uncooked brown jasmine rice
- 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 (14-ounce) block extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 5 teaspoons canola oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 cups cubed peeled kabocha squash
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/3 cup sliced shallots
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime rind
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Combine first 4 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Add cilantro; fluff rice mixture.
Place tofu on several layers of paper towels. Cover with additional paper towels. Let stand for 30 minutes, pressing down occasionally.
Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add tofu; sauté 8 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove tofu from pan; keep warm.
Return pan to medium heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add peanut butter, curry paste, cumin, and coriander; cook 15 seconds. Add coconut milk, soy sauce, and sugar, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add squash, bell pepper, and shallots. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until squash is tender. Gently stir in tofu, rind, and juice. Cook 1 minute. Sprinkle evenly with basil; serve over rice.
I have to give this recipe props. It was hearty, delicious, and perfectly spicy/peanut buttery. And the tofu was delish.