In the previous entry, I discussed how certain seasons tend to bring about cravings for specific types of foods. Of course, it seems kind of silly to be talking about seasons since I am an east coast native now residing on the west coast. Los Angeles’s fall doesn’t compare to the autumns I grew up with in Maryland. As an east coaster, autumn correlates to warm cider, toasty comforting teas, and of course a bevy of squash and sweet potatoes. Both Lauren and I are huge sweet potato fans, whether the potatoes be saturated in a deliciously thick and spicy curry, spread with a sweet butter and a drizzle of maple syrup, or simply with a dollop of greek yogurt, we can’t get enough! A super nutritious vegetable, sweet poatoes offer over 700% of your daily value of vitamin A, are rich in fiber and even contain a bit of protein (about 4 grams a potato).
So in any event, two nights ago, this recipe came about due to my desire to find a delicious main dish to serve with a sweet potato and kale. The temperature had declined (I know I know it dropped to like 65 degrees, lol), and Lauren and I had a taste for a hearty meal. Thankfully, I had recently purchased a marinated pre-baked tofu block (the package actually comes with two blocks–that yields 2 servings) from Trader Joe’s. Of course, I can marinate my own tofu, but who can argue with convenience! The tofu has some basil and maybe a bit of rosemary in it already, so I thought it would be a great idea to enhance the rosemary taste further by cooking the tofu in cold pressed extra virgin olive oil (just a bit) and some rosemary. To amp up the flavor even more, I sauteed the tofu with tomatoes and yellow squash. As everything was simmering, I microwaved the sweet potato and simmered some kale. Hey, I’m not lying when I say we were truly yearning for a complete meal–definitely was one of those extra hungry days! Whilst everything was going on the burner and in the microwave, I glanced in my fridge for possible added inspiration and noticed tomato soup. Random, I know, but I thought, hey what the heck! I marched over to my skillet dropped a bit of tomato sauce into the simmering goodness of what would soon be in our tummies. Surprisingly, this addition to the recipe was a great choice. The tomato soup is made with a bit of milk, so this gave the food an extra creamy texture. What tends to work the best for me in the kitchen is experimentation. If you think that adding some extra albeit random ingredient could make for a terrific flavor–trust your instincts! The kitchen is not meant to be a stringent environment where we assume certain items “just can’t mesh together”. Have fun! Duh!
Enjoy this recipe with a roll of your choice, we picked up some rosemary mozzarella bread from Trader Joe’s. 🙂
*Autumn Tofu with Rosemary and Sweet Potato*
(Serves 2 1/2)
What you’ll need:
For the main dish
1 block of pre-baked marinated tofu or 1 block extra firm marinated tofu. (Make sure to dice before adding to your skillet–see photo for size ideas)
To marinate the tofu yourself, simply drain all excess water from the tofu. Wrap in a paper towel if you need to to extract any remaining moisture. Coat a large container that can fully accommodate the size of the tofu with 1 tablespoon cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon rosemary flakes, and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Move the tofu around in the container to soak up the flavor and let it sit for about an hour. Remove and then proceed to next steps in recipe. 🙂
1/2 tablespoon rosemary flakes
1/4 cup tomato soup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 yellow squash, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
canola oil cooking spray
1 tablespoon cold pressed extra virgin olive oil (try to get spanish olive oil–yum)
for the kale:
1 vegan bouillon cube
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup kale, 2 cups water
for the sweet potato:
one sweet potato
For the main dish:
Spray the canola oil spray on the skillet until moist. Dribble the olive oil until evenly coating the pan. Add the rosemary flakes, curry powder, and black pepper.Turn on the heat to high. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on medium heat, if the food becomes dry at any point, just splash in a tiny bit more balsamic or tomato soup. You are mainly aiming to cook until the squash has become tender—this generally will take about 8 to 10 minutes. Just pay attention of course!
For the kale:
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan, add the bouillon cube and kale. Reduce to medium heat and cook for about five minutes or until kale has become tender. Drain water promptly and set aside.
For the sweet potato:
Super easy, microwave for about 6 minutes. If the potato is still too firm after the first cooking time has elapsed then heat for another minute or so. Of course, if you are feeling really ambitious you can bake it.
Once everything has finished arrange all the goodies nicely on plates. As I stated above, this meal is great with a warmed roll. Additionally you can put a dollop of non fat greek or plain soy yogurt on the main dish, we found this to be a good addition.