Monday, October 15, 2012

Ginger Tofu and Glazed Eggplant

Lately, if I'm not eating something fall infused (pumpkin, apple, squash, warm cinnamon), I'm eating an Asian dish. Call me crazy (or maybe), but Asian inspired dishes calm me heart, soul, and center. And with the last few busy weeks between Veg Fest festivities and getting pumped to see my sister in Colorado this week, I've been needing a little centering.

That and they can be really freaking fast. Like this complete meal with scrambled ginger tofu, glazed eggplant, and brown rice.

Most couples go to a movie. Or I don't know, do other stuff. Dan and I go the farmer's market. I'm not sure if he's lucky that this is such an easy date or he should be running quickly in the other direction because I love it that much. Getting giddy perusing the brightly colored produce and inspecting vegetables I've never seen before is the norm. Kind of like these Japanese eggplants. I've eaten them before, but hadn't cooked with them (until this meal, of course). I had great intentions of making something with them that night, but the other produce we bought got in the way. So, they sat for a few more days. Finally, working them into a quick mid-week meal when I was about at my wit's end and needed that yin back in my yang. The result was yummy city. I gobbled it up... but not before going snap happy to share with all of you. :) 

Scrambled Ginger Tofu
**This version of scrambled tofu takes an Asian twist. Tofu really does lend itself well into different flavors, so get creative!

1 block firm or extra firm tofu
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (makes it bright yellow)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more or less as desired)
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1. Crumble tofu over non-stick skillet over medium heat. If tofu and texture is an issue for you and you aren't watching calories/fats/oils, you can add a tablespoon of olive oil and let the tofu set cooking for a few minutes before turning to get nice and brown. Also, you can cut the tofu in blocks, but sometimes I prefer the crumble because it's faster and I don't have to worry about it maintaining it's shape. Your choice.
2. Add seasonings and continue to cook tofu until well heated and slightly browned. If it's sticking, add a tablespoon or two of water, broth, or cooking wine. 

Glazed Eggplant
2-3 Japanese eggplant (or 1 large traditional eggplant), sliced
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons miso paste
2 tablespoons water
sesame seeds, optional

1. Preheat oven broiler.
2. In a small saucepan, mix water and maple syrup over medium-high heat until boiling. Let boil 1 to 2 minutes and reduce heat to low. Whisk in miso paste until smooth. Remove mixture for heat for now and set aside (will thicken a bit).
3. Saute sliced eggplant in non-stick pan for 1-2 minutes on each side until tender (but not mushy!). Place on cookie sheet. I like to line my cookie sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.
4. Brush each cooked eggplant with glaze and broil 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with sesame seeds if desired. 
**The eggplant will turn brown as cooked. If you want to maintain their bright purple color, adding salt will help. Also...this eggplant isn't bitter like the large ones.

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