Monday, April 23, 2012

Spicy Peanut Zucchini Noodles with Baked Hot & Sweet Tofu

So, you think you hate tofu.....well, you probably have never had savory baked tofu! Combined with spicy peanut zucchini "noodles" this makes a satisfying and refreshing meal.

Step One: Baked Tofu
Pre-heat oven to 350
Lightly oil a cookie sheet that has sides.
1 Package of Extra Firm Tofu - Drained well

Place the bock of tofu on a cutting board and cut in half.

Now slice into 1" slices and set on a kitchen towel to dry a bit.
Meanwhile, prepare the marinade by combining the following in a fairly large bowl:
4 T sesame oil
4 T olive oil
4 T tamari or soy sauce
6 T agave syrup
4 T sriracha (hot sauce)
2 T chili garlic paste
2 T finely grated ginger
Mix well and gently add the tofu. Tilt the bowl to coat the tofu well. Let this sit for about 5 minutes and tilt to coat again. Now place the marinated tofu slices on the oiled cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip the slices over. (you may need to do this one more time) Bake for a total of 40-60 minutes depending on your personal preference. Longer will be more barbequed flavor and a bit chewier. Removed from oven, cool and store refrigerated in a sealed container for up to a week.

Step Two: Zucchini Noodles
4 medium large zucchini - washed, dried and ends trimmed, cut in half width wise (the short way, not lengthwise)
There are 3 basic methods for making zucchini pasta;
1) a Spirooli slicer - this specialized spiral slicers make all sizes of zucchini spaghetti. Super great gadget to have once  you're sure  you love zucchini pasta.
2) a mandoline slicer with the strip shredding attachment (looks like a metal comb) - using the plastic gaurd to hold the zucchini in place,simply slide the zucchini back and forth making thin, perfect spaghetti noodles.
3) potato peeler- simply run the peeler down the zucchini and give the zucchini a quarter turn every now and then to create a fresh surface for the peeler to run on.
However you make your noodles - use all 4 zucchini and then place the resulting noodles into a colander, sprinkle very lightly with salt and let the noodles drain while your tofu finishes baking and while you make the peanut dressing. (the zucchini weeps for a bit and can make your noodles dishes runny, if you don't let the juices run off.

Step Three: Spicy Peanut Dressing
6 cloves of garlic (or more to taste) - peeled and pressed through a garlic press
8 T of creamy peanut butter
1T sesame oil
1/4 C olive oil
2 T tamari or soy sauce
4T finely grated ginger
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 t cayenne pepper
2T agave syrup
1T chili garlic paste

Combine well and adjust various seasonings to suit your taste - I like mine fairly spicy, so I also add some sriracha sauce.

Step Four: putting it all together!
1 bunch of fresh cilantro - washed, trimmed and chopped fine
optional - 1 bunch of green onions- cleaned, trimmed and sliced into bite sized slices.
Shake noodles in colander to remove any excess moisture. Place noodles, cilantro and green onions (if used) into a large bowl. Toss and drizzle with peanut sauce. Toss gently until well coated. Serve chilled with slices of baked tofu on the side. Enjoy!


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