Shrimp and Tofu Soba Noodles

Shrimp and Tofu Soba Noodles
Serves 4
Can be doubled| Can be halved| Makes great leftovers

Our nanny Tess is Filipino, and in her culture, when it’s your birthday, you’re supposed to eat a long noddle dish. The belief is that the long noodles signal a long life and bring good luck. When I turned 31 last year, she surprised me by making this recipe for my family and I for dinner. It’s since become a regular on our menus. I love it because it’s a one pot meal that gets in your veggies, protein and starch, and it’s great for carnivores and vegetarians because it’s easy to make two batches and top with your favorite protein. Just about anything goes: shrimp, fish, steak, grilled chicken, seitan, tofu and even fried eggs. We’ve mixed shrimp and tofu for a double hit, and the combination works beautifully for a tasty lunch or dinner. I’ve made this with my favorite vegetables, but you can feel free to add whatever suits your palate.  It’s also a crowd pleaser so go ahead and entertain with it- making a double batch takes no extra time.     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

1, 8-ounce package soba noodles
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 container sliced water chestnuts
1 large bunch of bok choy, washed and shredded
1 red or orange pepper, sliced
1 bunch of scallion, thinly sliced
1 large handful of sno-peas, trimmed
8 ounces of large shrimp
1 packet of tofu, cut into small squares
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
black pepper, to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

Instructions:

Cook soba noodles according to package directions.

In a large nonstick pan set to medium, heat oil and saute garlic and ginger for one minute. Add scallions and cook for an additional two minutes.

Add shrimp and cook until done, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan.

Add in soy sauce and vegetables including water chestnuts. Cook for five minutes or until softened.

Add tofu and cook for one minute.

Add in cooked noodles, cooked shrimp, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Toss everything together well and top with sesame oil.

Season with additional salt, if needed.

Serving Suggestions:

You’re not going to feel deprived if you don’t eat anything else with this dish, but if you’re extra hungry, serve alongside a salad of shredded napa cabbage, chopped cilantro and sliced red onion in a ginger dressing. Sauteed shitake mushrooms are also a nice addition.

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Savory Baked Tofu

savory baked tofu low fat recipe

Savory Baked Tofu
Serves 4
Can be doubled | Can be halved | Makes great leftovers

Here’s another no-oil recipe that’s destined for your your collection. Don’t think you like tofu? I’ve changed the mind of many a tofu nay-sayer by offering up these tempting little morsels. This recipe calls for breadcrumbs as a topping – but most commercial brands are made with cheap oils and additives. Making homemade breadcrumbs (from whole grain bread which has been dried out in a warm oven and then ground in a food processor or blender, or crushed whole wheat melba toast works well too) ensures that you are adding only the most wholesome ingredients to your recipes. You can also find some great gluten-free breadcrumbs in the grocery stores nowadays. I always make a double batch of this recipe, it’s just that good!   ~ Susan

Ingredients:

1 package firm or extra firm tofu
1/4 cup tamari soy sauce, I use San J wheat free tamari to keep it gluten-free
2/3 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1/4 teaspoon dry granulated garlic
a few grinds of black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/3 cup whole grain or gluten-free breadcrumbs

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Slice the block of tofu in half lengthwise, and then into slices just shy of half an inch thick.

Place the tofu slices in a baking dish.

Combine the tamari, apple juice, sherry in a mixing cup and pour over the tofu. The marinade should come up just above the top of the slices and cover them completely in liquid. If you come up a little short on liquid, just add a bit of water until the mixture reaches the top of the slices and covers them.

Next, combine the granulated garlic, thyme leaves, breadcrumbs and ground black pepper in a little dish and sprinkle evenly over the tofu.

Bake, uncovered, for about 30-40 minutes or until the liquid is almost all gone (the pan should not get totally dried out or the tofu will stick). Remove from oven and serve hot, or let cool to room temp to enjoy as a snack or to keep cold in the fridge.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve tofu hot out of the oven with simply cooked brown rice and steamed greens dressed with a little vinegar and oil.

Try the cold tofu on a sandwich, or straight out of the fridge as an easy snack.

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Hearty Tofu Stew

Hearty Tofu Stew
Serves 4
Can be doubled| Can be halved| Freezes well| Makes great leftovers

Mahir and I enjoy having friends over for casual weeknight dinners. Scheduling during the weekends can be hard with everyone’s packed schedules, and a weeknight is an easy way to catch up without making the meeting into a drawn out affair. We have a lot of  vegetarian friends, and I’m always hard pressed to come up with creative meal ideas that will satisfy non-meat eaters and carnivores alike. I was browsing through recipe books one day on a hunt, but nothing appealed so I turned to Susan for help. In classic Susan style, she had several tasty ideas, but this one jumped out the most. Our guests love it and so do the three of us- when it was 42 degrees last week in New York, I made a big batch that lasted us several meals. And, for those who can’t go without with animal protein in their meal, you can substitute flank steak bits or chicken breast cubes for the tofu.     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

1 14 ounce packet of firm tofu, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 medium red onions, cut into medium chunks
1 large carrot or two medium carrots, peeled and cut into medium-sized chunks
4 large stalks of celery, cut into medium-sized chunks
1 8 ounce package button mushrooms, halved
1 15 ounce can diced, unsalted tomatoes
1 bay leaf
a generous splash of red wine
2 teaspoons dried basil or 1/2 cup loosely backed fresh basil leaves, torn
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Up to 1 cup of water
salt and pepper, to taste
chopped flat leaf parsley
red chili flakes, to taste (optional)

Instructions:

Heat oil on medium heat in a large non-stick sauce pan or cooking pan that has some depth.

Saute onions until slightly brown(about 10 minutes)

Add in the rest of the ingredients, stir well, cover and simmer on low for 40 to 50 minutes. For a thicker stew use less water. If you like a more soupy consistency, use more.

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Top with parsley and enjoy.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve on top of brown rice or quinoa or with a crusty whole- wheat roll.

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