So it's Wednesday and I'm just now getting back to the blogging thing.
Before I get started though, I want to apologize for skipping part of this "Month of Gravy" madness. I won't bore you with all the details, but I have two almost-grown kids starting two different Universities on Monday, and there were just tons of things I needed to deal with; it threw my entire everything off for a few days.
That said, I'm back, (trying to distract myself from my almost-empty-nest) with more gravy goodness, as well as some upcoming recipes that are sorta LIKE gravy, you know? Pesto, alfredo, Hollandaise. You get the idea.
Good stuff to put over other good stuff.
I'm taking the easy way out tonight however, and reposting one of my favorite and most-asked-for recipes, Tofu and Broccoli (or any veggie) With Peanut Sauce.
This is about as basic a meal as we get around here.
Easy, simple, my kids love it and I almost always have some version of the ingredients on hand.
Of course, use whatever veggies you like, broccoli just took over as the vegetable of choice when my Sprouts were younger; sometimes dinner wasn't worth forcing them to take another bite of dreaded carrots or kale.
The sauce (sauce is like gravy, right? We're going with that) is beautiful; super-kid-friendly, versatile and handy to have on hand. You can use it with rice, noodles, stir-fried veggies, pot stickers, seitan, tempeh, Vietnamese salad rolls, it's even good over potatoes!
But the entire recipe is simple (as the name suggests) and well worth keeping in your repertoire. (Sorry for the old pictures, every time I make a version of this - which is often, I plan to take a picture, and every time, it gets eaten far too quickly!)
Tofu And Broccoli with Peanut Sauce
- 1 tub or package water-packed firm tofu, well-drained (I wrap in paper towels and press for about 1/2 hr. if I think about it)
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- peanut oil
- soy sauce
- large bunch fresh broccoli, broken into med-small flowers (OR the large frozen pieces work fine here too. Use straight from the package. OR three cups chopped vegetables of your choice - carrots, peppers, green beans, asparagus, onion, etc)
- Peanut Sauce (To make it SUPER easy on yourself? Don't tell anyone, but the jarred stuff from Trader Joe's or The Ginger People works well here, OR use the recipe below if you prefer)
- Sesame seeds
PREPARE THE TOFU:
Cut tofu into small cubes, about the size of a sugar cube, sprinkle lightly with soy sauce. Stick in a ziploc bag with the cornstarch and toss until coated, remove from bag, shaking off any excess.
Fry in a shallow layer of peanut oil: To fry - Heat oil in pan (I like a non-stick, but use what you like) add 1 layer of tofu cubes without overcrowding, let sit in hot oil for a few minutes to develop a 'crust' and then turn carefully. Do a couple more turns, waiting a couple minutes in between sides, until crisp and very slightly browned (light tannish). Remove to a paper-towel to drain.
This process is MUCH easier and faster than it sounds.
Repeat until all tofu is browned.
PREPARE BROCCOLI (or whatever other veggies): Wipe excess oil from pan. Add broccoli and quickly stir-fry with a few drops oil and soy sauce until bright green and tender crisp (or to your liking).
MAKE PEANUT SAUCE:
Use recipe below OR open a jar of whatever favorite you've found. I won't tell. Anything that gets dinner on the table super-fast, with a minimum of fuss, is a good thing in my house!
Add tofu back to pan with broccoli, and carefully add peanut sauce to your preference (we prefer a light coating, some people like it swimming in sauce). Stir carefully to heat thru, another minute or two and serve over rice, noodles or as is, sprinkled with sesame seeds.
- 1/3 cup peanut butter, any type, softened
- 3 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- juice from 2 limes (or 3 Tbsp rice, or cider vinegar)
- 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, shredded fine, or to taste (I use a microplane)
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1+ clove garlic, pressed
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
- salt to taste
Use less ginger and hot peppers if you have little ones that prefer things mild.
A little more brown sugar if you've got a sweet tooth.
Taste and adjust as you go.
If too thick, add water or apple juice to thin to your preference.
This can also be whizzed up in your food processor.