Spicy Tofu with Vermicelli

For our Chinese New Year dinner, my friend Robert prepared this dish. It’s a very flavorful vegetarian friendly dish and something that can be made quickly.

Spicy Tofu with Vermicelli
recipe adapted from Understocked Veggie Kitchen

12 oz. firm tofu
vermicelli (more if you like your noodles in oodles, less if you like it more veggie-heavy)
4 small sized carrots
1-2 cups frozen broccoli florets
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 teaspoons chili flakes
a splash of olive or sesame oil
salt to taste

– Cut your tofu into small cubes.
– Heat a splash of your cooking oil of choice in the skillet.
– After the oil is heated enough, toss in the tofu strips. Let them brown a little. Make sure you turn them and flip them so they brown evenly.
– Use a vegetable peeler on your carrots and make ribbons.
– Chop the bok choy into edible pieces.
– Fry the vermicelli in the oil when the tofu is just about done. Leave the tofu in while you fry the vermicelli. This will take about 30 seconds. Don’t burn the noodles!
– Toss in the broccoli, with about 2 spoons of water, in with the noodles and tofu.
– Cover and let it cook for about 3-4 minutes.
– While your skillet is cooking, whisk together the peanut butter and chili flakes with a tablespoon of water.
– Add salt to taste.
– Pour your sauce into the skillet and toss until everything is coated. Let it cook for 1-2 more minutes.

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Let’s Squash This…Seriously!

Well I’m on a healthy kick and tonight I finally made a recipe using spaghetti squash! It’s a new favorite of mine and definitely a healthy alternative to standard pasta.
Averaging from 4 to 8 pounds, the cylinder shaped spaghetti squash is generally available year-round with a peak season from early fall through winter. While a true spaghetti squash is pale ivory to pale yellow in color, in the early 1990’s, an orange spaghetti squash, known as “Orangetti” was developed and this is what is frequently found in today’s supermarkets. Higher in beta carotene, the orange variety is also bit sweeter than its paler counterpart, although both have a mild flavor that is easily enhanced by the food served with or on it. A dieter’s dream, a four-ounce serving of spaghetti squash has only 37 calories!Here is the recipe for my Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Bake which was inspired by my friend Cara:

2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
ground black pepper to taste
10 oz chopped, cooked & drained spinach
2 links of chicken sausage, such as spinach asiago (Optional – can omit completely)
1 cup pasta sauce
1/2 cup italian cheese blend

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
– In a 9×13 pan, grease it well with cooking spray.
– Layer the cooked spaghetti squash on the bottom of the pan.
– In a pan, saute garlic, onions in olive oil and cook until softened.
– Add mushrooms and spinach, cooking until heated through.
– Add black pepper to taste.
– Layer the mushroom/spinach mixture on top of spaghetti squash in pan.
– (If using sausage – Cut the sausage links into thin slices and layer over mushroom/spinach mixture in pan.)
– Top with pasta sauce.
– Sprinkle italian cheese on top.
– Bake for 30-40 minutes; let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.