Sugar Free Vegan

ABOUT ME:  I have been many things in this life. Among the highlights are: Mother, Daughter, Wife, Sister, Friend, Lover, Soul Mate, Graphic Designer, Artist, Animal Lover, Movie Buff, Bibliophile, Traveler, Homebody, Collector, and Food Aficionado. In my journey to become me, I have experienced a great deal of life lessons. I HAVE: lived, laughed, loved, lost, learned, lied, told the truth, danced and sang out loud (when no one was looking), traveled, been recluse, acted outgoing, been shy, become a wife, known hatred and resentment, been scared,  been divorced, been careless and selfish, found myself, existed, shown selflessness and compassion, been content, found my soul mate, learned true love, lived my life, mourned, found and kept true friends (let the others go bye bye), felt beautiful, felt truly and self-consciously fat, doubted and believed in myself, learned to be content again, felt proud of myself, been ambitious and lazy, and become a mother of the daughter I've dreamed of since I was young. I'm always on the look out for new life lessons, in hopes that I can take them on gracefully.

Throughout my life, food has been a constant companion — whether delicious and memorable, or bland and forgetful. The Sugar Free Vegan developed from a passion for good cuisine, a desire to be healthy and the necessity to cut out sugar. While I was at it, I thought, "why not cut out all animal products and gluten?" Follow my journey to great-tasting Sugar Free Gluten Free Vegan food. Cheers!

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Dec 29 2012

Ginger Tofu and Bok Choi

This is one of my favorite weeknight dinner meals. It is quick, fairly simple and powerfully punched full of flavor. The crispness of the bok choi leaves are lovely in contrast to the soft, melt-in-your-mouth pieces of tofu, jointly creating the perfect bite.

Ingredients

  • 1 package extra firm tofu, drained & pressed
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 8-10 baby bok choi, cleaned with leaves divided
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked jasmine rice

For Marinade

  • 3 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce (wheat free)
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup

For Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoons dried chili flakes, optional

Directions

Step 1: Open and drain tofu, then place in a colander. Top the tofu with a saucer then a heavy can or jar to press. Leave for approximately 15 minutes. Once drained, cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

Step 2: Mix ingredients for the marinade and toss in the tofu. I place mine in an air-tight container in the fridge to marinate, remembering to toss every few minutes while I prepare the bok choi.

NOTE: I left mine on the counter to marinate once, but found the tofu was much too soft and warm to get a good sear later. The tofu cooks much better if chilled and firm.

Step 3: Heat a large saute pan (or wok) over high heat with 1 tablespoon peanut oil. After the oil starts to smoke, saute your grated ginger and garlic for about 15 seconds, then stir in the baby bok choi leaves. Place lid over pan and steam for around 2 minutes.

NOTE: My bok choi is usually slightly wet from washing, but if yours is dry add a tablespoon or two of water to help create the steam.

Step 4: After the bok choi has wilted slightly, sprinkle with salt then place on a serving platter.  I usually put the platter in the microwave to help keep warm with I cook the tofu.

Step 5: Quickly rinse your saute pan with cold water, dry with paper towel and return to the burner. Turn to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon peanut oil. After the oil starts to smoke, use tongs to transfer the tofu pieces to the pan (preserving marinade liquid for later).

Step 6: Stir fry the tofu until browned then flip to brown the other side (approximately 15-20 minutes). Once the tofu is browned, pour the reserved marinade over the top, along with the rice wine and rice vinegar.

Step 7: Bring the tofu with liquid to boil, then reduce to simmer.  Allow the sauce to reduce and thicken, approximately 5 minutes.

Step 8: Toss in the chili flakes — or leave the chili flakes off and let individuals add their own; with kids in the house, sometimes it's better to add at the table.

Step 9: Pour the tofu and sauce mixture over the prepared bok choi and serve over rice.

NOTE: If the bok choi is watery, drain before adding the tofu and sauce. Otherwise it will dilute the flavor.

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