Have you ever considered dinner your best friend? I’ll just come right out and say it- I did tonight!
This Szechwan style medley, inspired by the Moosewood Cookbook, has a spicy kick to it, from a dash (or two or three) of cayenne pepper. The fresh garlic and ginger give it a layer of zesty depth that’s a perfect complement.
Added bonus? It takes just half an hour to make!
Tofu is one of those vegetarian-friendly sources of protein that were uncharted territory for me for a long time. It’s all watery and feels like what I imagine a brain feels like. But, I figured, it had to be good. Why else would so many people swear by it? And then I tasted it. Let’s just say, it was a while before it made its way back into my bowl. The men in my family have even boycotted it permanently.
Now I know better, meaning I learned the key to good tofu. Before doing anything else, remove the tofu from the package and slice it into whatever size pieces your recipe calls for. Just remember- the more surface area you have, the more water will be pressed out.No one likes soggy, water-logged food.
Paired with a baked spaghetti squash base, you’ve got a one-bowl meal that is hearty, spicy and all those peppers really let you taste the rainbow. A dish packed with fiber, beta-carotene and manganese that won’t leave you hunting for a snack later. And since it’s plant-based, you can get on that Meatless Monday train! All things that equal my happy meals.
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- ¼ cup dry sherry
- apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 large orange bell pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 large green bell pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces
- ¾ tsp salt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1 pkg extra-firm tofu
- scallions, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out seeds. Brush with a little oil and sprinkle on some salt. Place cut side down on lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes. (Less time will yield crunchier 'spaghetti' strands.)
- While squash is baking, combine soy sauce, sherry, vinegar and honey in liquid measuring cup. Fill with water until measures 1 cup. In small bowl whisk together the liquid mixture with the corn starch until dissolved. Put aside.
- Over high flame heat large pan/wok. Add the oil and onion, reducing flame to medium-low, and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Next, add the peppers and salt. Continue stir-frying for 8-10 more minutes, until soft. Toss in the garlic, ginger, black pepper and cayenne. Cook a few more minutes, making sure to mix to ensure an even spice job.
- Drain the tofu well. Slice into ½-inch cubes and then press out moisture with paper towels.
- Add the tofu to the pan. Remix the liquid from Step 2, then pour in and stir. Continue cooking for a few more minutes, until the sauce thickens.
- Scrape out spaghetti squash strands with a fork.
- Serve peppers and tofu atop a bed of spaghetti squash. Garnish with scallions.