This, you guys, might be one of the easiest and most flavorful recipes on the planet. It's a little sweet, salty, sour and spicy, making it really satisfying. The trick to making it a quick and easy meal is having the rice ready to go and pressing the tofu ahead of time. I used red rice since I had it on hand and there are major nutritional benefits to *red rice, however you can use brown, black or wild rice and it'll still be delicious.
*Lundberg offers a Sprouted Red rice as well as Forbidden Rice (black rice) that cook in only 30 minutes. What's great about red and black rice compared to brown is that they contain anthocyanins (hence the red color) which are the same compounds that gives blueberries, cherries and purple onions their deep purple color. Anthocyanins are phytochemicals that have been shown to fight heart disease, improve memory and prevent cancer. There are also 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein in just 1/4 of a cup.
On pressing tofu
If you want tofu to be firm and crispy, and not mushy, when you pan fry or bake it then you'll want to to press the water out of it at least an hour before you cook it. Wrap the tofu in paper towels or a clean tea towel and set something heavy on top of it, like a cast iron pan or a few heavy books. Or, if you want to be more official, purchase a tofu press. Let it press for about an hour, if possible.
Prep time: 15 minutes (prepping rice, tofu press and cutting veggies)
Cook time: 30 minutes
14-oz block extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 tablespoon avocado oil or vegetable broth for oil-free
sprinkle of salt and pepper
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 shallot, minced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoon minced ginger
3 cups chopped broccoli (We fight over broccoli in this house! You can use whatever veggies you like — carrots, mushrooms, bok choy — anything you choose. That said, broccoli does soak up the sauce perfectly!)
Additional tablespoon of avocado oil or vegetable broth to sauté veggies
Easy Kung Pao Sauce
1/2 cup water
6 tablespoons reduced-sodium organic tamari or coconut aminos
2 tablespoons Umboshi wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
2 tablespoons unsweetened rice vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2–3 teaspoons sesame seed oil (optional)
2 tablespoons Sriracha (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (for thickening)
Additional for garnishing
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 chopped cup cilantro
1/4 cup peanuts
4 cups cooked brown, red, brown, or black rice (or other whole grain of choice)
After tofu has been pressed to remove moisture, cut into 1" cubes or strips (whichever you prefer).
Place in a bowl and add the avocado oil (or veggie broth for oil-free). Sprinkle a little sea salt and pepper and mix with a spatula.
Place tofu on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees F, flipping the cubes or strips halfway in between.
Make the sauce
In a medium bowl, add all sauce ingredients and whisk well to combine until the arrowroot powder is dissolved.
Make the veggies
In a large pan or wok, heat the avocado oil or veggie broth in the pan over medium-high heat.
In the hot pan, add the peppers, shallots, ginger and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add broccoli and cook for 5-7 minutes or until desired tenderness. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water or veggie broth to deglaze the pan if needed.
Add the Kung Pao sauce and stir constantly until it thickens. Lower the heat.
Add the tofu and stir then remove from heat.
Stir in cilantro and green onion.
Serve over your rice of choice and garnish with more green onions, sesame seeds or peanuts.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Delicious and nutritious additions: Extra broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and mushrooms
Per serving (4 servings): 622 calories, 77.5 grams carbohydrates (69.5 grams net carbohydrates), 8 grams fiber, 26.5 grams protein, 26.5 grams fat, 1,625 milligrams sodium
Excellent source of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc
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