This month I am all about cooking plant-based recipes, not necessarily because I want to overhaul my entire diet and go vegan but rather just because it’s a fun challenge and eating more plant-based foods makes me feel so good. And, I received Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking as a Christmas gift this year and I am completely obsessed. It is truly one of the most gorgeous cookbooks I own and I want to make each and every recipe. It all looks so ridiculously delicious. So much food to eat, so little time – does that ever overwhelm you? Sometimes it stresses me out. I want to report back to you guys on which ones I end up trying by the end of this month – I think it will be quite a lot. Well, at least I’ve bookmarked a ton and we’ll see how many I get to before this baby decides to show up. I’ve found it’s a good project to pass the time.
Fun fact, when I was training for a half marathon a few years ago, I decided to eat entirely plant-based for the three months leading up to it. I felt really, really good. Not so glowingly fantastic that I was willing to give up grass-fed butter or burrata cheese or salmon for the rest of my life…but you know. Still really great.
This recipe was inspired by my obsession with Thai food & intense cravings for it lately, as well as this recipe from Minimalist Baker’s blog. It has almost a deconstructed spring roll feel, which I’m so on board with because those are one of my favorite appetizers/quick lunches. The peanut butter tofu does take some time to prepare, but nothing ridiculous – this meal can be yours in 30-45 minutes depending on your experience level in the kitchen – and my goodness, is it worth it. This tofu is completely addicting. I’ve been a tofu lover for a long time, but this sticky peanut butter sauce just takes it over the top. Because of the flavor & sauciness of the tofu, I don’t tend to dress my accompanying noodles and veggies with much other than lime juice. And of course, a good garnish of fresh cilantro is mandatory.
Tofu method adapted from Minimalist Baker
- For the peanut butter tofu:
- 4 T creamy salted peanut butter
- 2 T honey (can sub maple syrup if vegan)
- 1 t chili garlic sauce
- juice 1 lime
- 2 T soy sauce
- water, if needed, to thin
- 14 oz pkg extra firm tofu, drained
- 2 T cornstarch
- 2 T canola oil
- For the bowls:
- 8 oz rice noodles
- veggie add-ins: thinly sliced cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, edamame
- fresh lime juice
- fresh chopped cilantro, green onions
- Wrap the tofu in paper towels and set something heavy on top of it to get the excess moisture out. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Whisk together peanut butter, honey, chili garlic sauce, lime juice, and soy sauce until smooth & combined.
- Prepare the rice noodles according to package directions, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
- Cut the tofu into medium-sized cubes and place in a small bowl with a lid. Sprinkle with the cornstarch, fit lid onto the bowl, and shake to coat.
- Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and add the canola oil. Saute tofu until golden brown and cooked through. Place tofu onto a plate lined with a paper towel to pick up excess oil and wipe out the pan with another paper towel. Place the tofu back in the pan, but off the heat, and add in the peanut butter sauce. It will be thick - if you want to thin it out, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
- To assemble bowls, layer vegetables and rice noodles and top with the tofu, lots of lime juice, and fresh cilantro and/or green onion.