Recipe: Gingered Kale + Tofu

My Internet is back!  To celebrate, let’s share a recipe. :)

I am temporarily taking a medication that has a lot of really awful potential side effects, including but not limited to: psychosis, suicidal thoughts, increased brain pressure, liver and kidney failure, bone and muscle damage, hearing and night vision loss — the list goes on.  Thankfully, I have suffered none of these (obviously in some cases, I hope!).  However the one side effect that I am actually having the pleasure of experiencing is increased lipid levels.  I have high cholesterol.  Like, scary high.  Like, higher than any other member of my family.

I’m informed that the problem should rectify itself after I stop taking these pills in about a month.  But my doc suggested I modify my diet for the next six months or so to help the process along.  Her suggestions?  Reduced animal fats and carbs, which is basically how I eat anyway — except for y’know, the ice cream.  So with few exceptions, I’m a low-fat vegetarian now, which is fine.  The no carb thing?  I find that much more difficult and am sort of ignoring that suggestion.  What can I say… I like muesli.

Anyway, this recipe was a success on the road to no animal fats, so I thought I’d share it.  It has great flavor and baking / broiling the tofu gives good texture.  Plus, it has caused me to fall head over heels in love with kale.  I’d never eaten it before; who knew?  Glen is perhaps less in love, but he’ll come around. :)

Vegetairan Recipe: Gingery Kale and Tofu

Gingered Kale + Tofu

As a side note, next time I make this I might saute some diced red bell pepper in the pan before adding the kale, as I think it would add a little sweetness and nice pops of color, too.  Try it!

Serves 4

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dry sherry or broth
1/4 cup rice vinegar or white vinegar
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 cakes firm tofu, cut into 1-inch squares
2 tbsp peanut oil
6-12 cups kale, de-stemmed and coarsely chopped (this is a huge range; I think I used 2 bunches)
3 tbsp ginger root, peeled and minced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
pinch red pepper flakes

Bring soy sauce, sherry, rice vinegar and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Simmer 1 minute and remove from heat.

Place tofu squares in a single layer in an ovenproof pan.  Pour marinade over tofu and set aside for 10 minutes (or more; I think I left mine for an hour or so), turning squares occasionally.  Drain, reserving remaining marinade, then sprinkle tofu with peanut oil.  Broil for 4 minutes, then turn squares over.  Continue broiling until tofu is golden brown, another 3-4 minutes.  Alternatively, bake in a 425º oven for 30 minutes, then rotate the sheet if necessary, and bake for 15 minutes more, or until golden.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frypan over high heat and saute kale and ginger until kale wilts, stirring constantly.  Add lime juice, cilantro and red pepper and remove from heat.

When tofu is browned, gently toss with cooked kale and as much reserved marinade as desired.  Serve over hot rice.

January 31, 2011 - 3:16 pm

Kathryn California kale tends to be slightly sweeter and a great transition for non-kale fans (weirdos!). Steaming it or doing a gratin with processed silken tofu/soy sauce and sliced sweet potato might bring him around. It can also be done with chard.

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