Tofu is a new protein in our household. I’ve never been a huge fan of tofu growing up but I have been eating more and more of it to help ease into more of a plant-based diet. Call it a transitional food for me. Though there are mixed feelings around soy in the vegan community, tofu seems to be everywhere these days.
Tofu has a reputation for being plain or boring, and frankly, it is… by itself. But think of tofu as a blank canvas, and think of yourself as an artist who can manipulate that canvas to your heart’s content. Tofu can be a very flavorful addition to your dish if you treat it right.
Here I took an Indian spin on tofu. Traditionally, Aloo Matar is a curry dish with potatoes and peas. I didn’t have potatoes on hand but I did have tofu so I thought I would try it out. I like the way this dish turned out. It is vegan-diet friendly, the tofu absorbed all of the flavors of the curry and because I omitted the potatoes and served this on rice, I feel that this dish turned out a lot lighter. Not a bad way to enjoy tofu if I don’t say so myself!
Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large pan to medium heat and add the onions and ginger. Cook until the onions begin to sweat, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, curry powder, cayenne powder (if using) and salt. Add about a tablespoon of water and mix. Cook for 2 minutes.
Add the tofu, peas, 1 cup of water and bouillon cube and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the garam masala powder, mix and cook for another minute. Serve ith bread or rice.
My good buddy D$Rock inspired me to make this meal. He was nice enough to share part of his lunch with me, which happened to be chicken tenders and mashed potatoes. After I had a taste, I really wanted to make more so I could completely indulge and satisfy.
This recipe is super tasty and really affordable. You can make a lot of these little guys when you’re on a tight budget.
If you’re not familiar with panko, it’s a Japanese style bread crumb. The bread crumbs are very light and crispy and once you use them, it’s hard to go back to regular bread crumbs.
1-2 eggs (start with one and crack another one if necessary)
1/2 cup flour
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes, finely chopped to match the panko
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 curry powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder (or to taste)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Give the coconut a rough chop so it's about the same size as the panko pieces. Combine the coconut with panko and spices in a shallow dish. Mix well to distribute all of the spices.
Place the flour in another shallow dish, and the egg in another. Give the egg a quick beating.
Working with one chicken tender at a time, dredge the chicken in flour, then dip in the egg mixture and then finally coat the chicken in the coconut-panko mixture. Press the coconut-panko mixture into the chicken with your fingers to make sure the entire piece is well coated.
Place chicken tenders on a foil-lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray (for easy clean up). You can spray or brush a bit of olive oil on the tops to help them crisp up if you'd like.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear. Flipping your tenders at around 10 minutes will help crisp up both sides of the tenders. Try not to overcook these because chicken tends to dry out very quickly. The coconut will be nice and golden and the panko crisp and light in color when the breading is done.