Veggies and fried tofu

We’ve signed up for a local CSA (community supported agriculture) and now get a giant pile of vegetables every week. It’s great because not only does it support the local community but it forces us to eat more vegetables. That said, we’ve had to get creative figuring out how find time to use all these awesome veggies while tending to a newborn.

This recipe, which started life as saag paneer but is now pretty much completely unlike it, meets my criteria for dinner: it’s dairy free (Bitmap may have an allergy to cow’s milk), it reheats well, and it has a wide margin of error.

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Ingredients List

  • ~1.5 lbs leafy green veggies, chopped
  • 1 lb tofu, cubed
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ~1 tsp ginger
  • turmeric, cumin, and any other spices you enjoy
  • salt
  • pepper

I leave the rice to soak while I chop all the ingredients. I usually wear Bitmap in a Moby sling while I’m doing the prep work, it’s easier than trying to convince her to nap.

Once the veggies are ready to go I throw the rice in the rice cooker. If you don’t have a rice cooker you’re on your own – I have absolutely no idea how to successfully cook rice without one.

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Next I place a paper towel on a plate and sprinkle it with salt. The tofu cubes are spread out and sprinkled with more salt, then left to their own devices for about 15 minutes. This helps to dry out the tofu so it will crisp up in the skillet.

Now the actual cooking! I start by boiling a giant pot of water, large enough to hold all the greens. Then I hand the baby off to RD.

I heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet. When it’s nice and hot, I add the tofu cubes. While the tofu is getting crispy I throw the greens into the boiling water. Depending on what I’ve got I’ll cook it for 2 to 10 minutes (longer times for tougher greens). Meanwhile I flip the tofu periodically so all sides get fried.

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When the tofu is done I remove it from the skillet and place it to the side. The veggies are drained and I leave them in the colander while I fry the onions, ginger, and garlic with whatever spices look good at the moment.

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When the onions are starting to look translucent I add the coconut milk to the pan. After a minute or two the sauce will thicken and I add greens, followed by the tofu. Mix well and serve with rice.

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Leftovers can be frozen, and make an easy lunch. It’s surprisingly tasty, and you can change the flavor up quite a bit by varying what greens and spices you use.

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3 thoughts on “Veggies and fried tofu

  1. Dustyn says:

    Nice! Have you tried this with collard greens? Any dos/don’ts on what leafy green veggies work well? Lorena’s vegan and we have a bunch of greens from our CSA this week too, sounds like a great time to try it. Also, we don’t have a kitchen scale – is that colander full of greens what 1.5lbs looks like?

    1. Kellbot says:

      I’ve tried this with just about every type of greens. Collard, lettuce, arugala, kale… it all goes into the pot. I don’t weigh mine any more, I just heap whatever’s handy into the colander. I think that picture is about 1.5 lbs. If you chop/tear them up smaller (recommended), it’s more like a level colander full. The easiest thing is to eyeball whatever pan you’re going to be combining everything in and make sure the greens will fit once they’ve cooked down.

      1. Dustyn says:

        Awesome! I just tried it tonight, and aside from using a ton of different pots/pans, it was delicious.

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