If packaged pressed tofu is unavailable, make your own. Place firm tofu on a plate, putting another plate on top of the tofu. Place a heavy, stable object (such as a can of food) on top of the upper plate. Let sit for 15 minutes so excess liquid in the tofu is “pressed” out onto the bottom plate.
1 - 12 oz (325 g) package pressed firm tofu, drained
2 Tbsp (30 mL) low-sodium tamari sauce
1 Tbsp (15 mL) Sriracha chili sauce
1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
1 in (2.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped coarsely
2 Tbsp (30 mL) organic peanut oil
4 heads baby bok choy, base trimmed off, leaves washed, and chopped
1/2 head napa cabbage, root end cut off, washed, and thinly sliced
1 cup (250 mL) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) pieces
1 cup (250 mL) Brussels sprouts, quartered
1 cup (250 mL) carrots, cut into thin rounds
1/2 cup (125 mL) water
2 Tbsp (30 mL) hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp (15 mL) umeboshi plum vinegar
Cut tofu into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces and place in a shallow dish in a single layer. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over tofu. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
Warm wok over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes, until tofu is slightly crisp and browned. Remove to a dish and pour remaining marinade from wok over top.
Wipe out wok with a clean, absorbent cloth, reheat, and add remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil. Add vegetables and stir to coat. Add water, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat.
Steam for 4 to 5 minutes, then uncover and test vegetables for desired doneness; they should be tender-crisp. If necessary, cover and steam for another minute.
When vegetables are done, increase heat, add hoisin sauce and umeboshi, and stir to combine. Add tofu and remaining marinade, stir to reheat for 1 to 2 minutes, and serve.
Asian noodles such as rice vermicelli provide a great side dish.
Makes 4 servings.
Each serving contains: 277 calories; 16 g protein; 18 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 19 g carbohydrates; 5 g fibre; 346 mg sodium
Pairing tip: Try this dish with a serving of warm, good-quality sake or a cup of green tea full of potent antioxidants.
Source: "Wonderful Winter Stir-Fries", alive #339, January 2011
Pears and chocolate make for a very natural friendship and play together beautifully in this plant-based, dairy-free cake. This cake is dense and rich, with a medley of spices, and enhanced by just a hint of espresso powder, which allows that chocolate flavour to shine through. In addition to slices of pears being laid on top, this cake employs some pear purée to add moisture and sweetness to the slightly nutty texture provided by the whole wheat flour. Pear primer A firm pear such as Bosc, recognizable by its distinctive dusty brown skin, is perfect for this dish. When eaten raw, Bosc pears are crisp and not too sweet. When baked, this variety softens up and its flavours are enhanced, but it maintains its characteristic long-necked, graceful shape. Unlike a Bartlett pear, which turns from green to bright yellow when ripe, Bosc pears don’t change much in colour when ripe. Give it a little nudge with your thumb near the neck of the pear and it will give slightly—that’s how you know you’ve got a ripe one. Compared to other pears, Bosc will still be quite firm.
Many flavours that complement pears—sage, ginger, maple syrup—also go well with butternut squash, so it makes sense to bring the two together. For this autumn salad, mixed greens are tossed with marinated squash ribbons that serve to dress the salad with spicy, gingery brightness. A juicy yet firm medium-sweet pear, such as red Anjou, works well here, and its vibrant red skin makes a pretty plate alongside butternut squash. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of crispy sage and maple syrup-toasted hazelnuts. Refrigerator tip Treat butternut squash ribbons as you would a dressing, keeping them in the refrigerator until ready to use. They will last a few days in the refrigerator, and you can have them on hand to dress small amounts of lettuce. If, rather than making one large salad, you want to serve individual amounts of this salad, just dress a few leaves with some ribbons; cut up pear and fry sage leaves as you serve.
Luscious figs loaded onto hearty flatbread make a satisfying breakfast or brunch. They’re sweet and delicious when paired with savoury cinnamon-flavoured crunchy pumpkin seeds and tart goat cheese. And, with a dough enriched with whole wheat flour, hempseeds, and nigella, these flatbreads are sure to be satisfying. They’re also chock full of fibre and protein, and with 6 mg of iron, you’ll be on your way to 31 percent of the recommended daily value. A freezer favourite By making dough in advance and freezing, you can make these individual flatbreads part of your routine for days when you don’t have much time. Simply portion dough individually right after mixing, allow it to rise in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours, and then freeze in individual containers. To thaw an individual ball of dough, 24 hours before you wish to use it, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. At least an hour before baking, allow dough to come up to room temperature outside of the fridge.