I just received my first issue of Vegetarian Times magazine (I love magazines!!), and was excited to see a section with some recipes made using FOIL! Recently, my sister-in-law Amanda suggested I try roasting veggies and such with foil for easy clean-up. I hadn’t thought of that (I’m new to this “cooking” thing, remember?!) So when VT came to my rescue with some recipes, I barely waited a day to try one out.
My first foil adventure is with the Sweet & Sour Tofu Packets recipe from the May/June 2010 edition of Vegetarian Times. I adapted the recipe to what I had on hand, leaving out a few spices and using a bag of frozen organic tri-colored peppers instead of the recommended fresh red and green ones. Still, it turned out really good!
I’m also totally digging tofu. It’s so versatile! And it takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with. This recipe originally called for Asian-marinated tofu, but as hungry as I was, I just couldn’t bring myself to commit to the hour or so required for a proper soaking. I knew, however, that the tofu would pick up the wonderful flavors of the pineapple and coconut milk, so I wasn’t worried.
I learned a tofu trick from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s “Food for Thought” podcast over at Compassionate Cooks. She recommends freezing the firm varieties of tofu, then thawing them before using. It makes the tofu much easier to drain (you can almost wring it out!) – no more stacking towels and books on your tofu blocks. It worked really well for this recipe and saved me a good 20 minutes or so.
Here’s a packet, ready to fold up and pop into the oven! Tofu, veggies, pineapple, and a sweet-and-sour coconut milk sauce. I learned some cool things about coconut milk from another recent book purchase – Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide by Brendan Brazier. He explains how that while coconut milk is high in saturated fat, it is made up of short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids that the body quickly turns into energy instead of storing as fat. That’s a good thing for people looking for a quick energy boost or for weight loss. It also contains lots of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes.
Tada! My packets turned out a little runny – I drained off some of the liquid before storing the remaining leftovers, but hadn’t figured that out in time for this plate! I served the sweet and sour tofu over brown rice. It was exactly what I was expecting – yummy, sweet, and sour. This meal came together really quickly and had very little clean-up due to the use of the foil packets. Thumbs up!