To Coconut Curry Veggies and Tofu

Sometimes it’s Meatless Monday, other times it becomes Tofu Tuesday. Like this time around. Dinner duty on Tuesday night  and I was told to incorporate three ingredients: tofu, white asparagus and 3 chili peppers from our garden. Done, done, and done (but not without a little burning sensation on my hand from the seeds – hot chilis).
This dish comes together at rapid speed and really the only thing slowing you down will be your grain – so choose wisely.
This is perfect for a September night when the weather is really not quite sure what it is doing – colder than normal this time of year, but not really 100% fall – caught in the middle per se. This will warm you up from the temperature and spice, but won’t leave you sniffling.
Coconut Curry Veggies & TofuIngredients:
2 cups cooked farro

1 (14 oz) can light coconut milk
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 ½ tsp curry powder1 ½ tsp fresh grated/minced ginger*
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/2 tsp chili sauce
3 mini chili peppers, chopped (or another 1/2 tsp. chili sauce – or completely omit, was using up garden bounty)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 bunch white asparagus, ends trimmed and diagonally cut into thirds/quarters
1/2 cup chopped carrots)
1 lb extra firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (pressed for at least 30 minutes prior)*
4 cups spinach
salt & pepper to taste

Attend to your grain (I used farro – it needed 10 minutes to cook, but if you are going the route of rice, you will want to get that started right at the beginning since this is a quick going recipe).
In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut milk, brown sugar, curry powder, ginger, garlic, chili sauce and chili peppers. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Make sure to stir, otherwise you may get an unwanted film over your coconut milk ( grossssssss).
Add in your sweet potatoes, asparagus and carrots and let simmer about 10 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally (keeping that film away). After about ten minutes your veggies will be tender, but have a nice crunch still.
While your veggies are simmering in your glorious coconut milk, over medium heat in a medium/large pan heat 1 tbsp. of oil, once it gets a bit warm, add your pressed tofu and let it brown and crisp up on each side. This will give your tofu a better texture.
Once the tofu is done add it to the simmering veggies.
In your tofu pan, add your spinach and over medium/low heat saute until your leaves are wilted. You will want to season with pepper and salt. Add the spinach to your veggies and give it all a big mixing
Place a hearty spoonful of farro in a bowl and then a hearty spoonful of coconut curry veggies and tofu on top! Top with extra spice if need be, but with the chili peppers this had a nice kick back.

DSC02469Coconut Curry Veggies & Tofu
*Ginger: Frozen ginger worked just great. If you are like us and use ginger, but not regularly enough to keep a knob of it in your fridge without it spoiling, then store your ginger in a plastic bag in the freezer, and take out when needed. It grates just fine and will save you mucho bucks.
*Tofu: My method of pressing out the water from tofu to make it crisp up better, or even to absorb a marinade is the following:
Cutting board, dish towel, pile of paper towels, tofu, pile of paper towels, dish towel, cutting board, heavy pans on top.
It’s like the ultimate DIY tofu press and usually yields awesome results. If you are super paranoid on getting all your water out, do this for 30 minutes and then change out your paper towels and dish towels and press for another 30 minutes or longer, depending on how much time you have.
Cheers to the coming of fall –> Imagining this with fall squash now, yum!

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