Thai peanut stir fry with tofu + broccolini
It's Wednesday and I've got to be on the farm in an hour so here are some bits of randomness that you should probably skip over because I'm just rambling and none of these things are even remotely important (well, except maybe the first one). Also, I need coffee.
1. I got a waffle cone maker which means there's going to be a recipe for homemade vegan waffle cones gracing this space sometime in the near future. It also means you're going to have an alternative to those tasteless, cardboard cones that are laden with partially-hydrogenated oil. Unfortunately the maker will set ya back a cool $50 (which is a stupid amount of money for an appliance that makes just one thing) but I'm going to say it: TOTALLY WORTH IT.
2. SERIAL. I'm well aware that the fact that I'm just now getting around to listening to the Serial podcast makes it seem as though I've been living under a rock. But I made up for lost time and listened to it in just under two days, so that counts for something, right? Random fact: Growing up, I always wanted to be a forensic psychologist (for some disturbing reason I found the minds of serial killers to be intriguing). But then I realized that watching Cold Case Files was enough to give me nightmares, so that alone convinced me to pursue other, less terrifying, academic endeavors. Although I'd venture to say anthropogenic climate change (and the circus of deniers) (major LOLs at 7:35, FYI) is equally as terrifying. Just in a different way that doesn't result in John Wayne Gacy-themed night terrors.
3. We've spent the past almost-four weeks making all of our meals at home and, as it turns out, we spend a lot less money eating out than I originally thought. One could look at my Amazon order history and point fingers that way, so for the month of April I'm going on an Amazon freeze. And then in May I'm relinquishing my grocery duties because about once a week my cart looks like this. Or this. And that is obviously a problem.
4. I went into full-blown bridezilla mode more times than I'd like to admit, last week. My finest moment happened while we were shopping for Thom's suit and I got annoyed that he a) wasn't 100% sold on the suit I thought would go best with my gown (it's a pretty funky thing) (I promise I'm not that much of a control freak) and b) followed up with wanting to look at suits in what I kept referring to as wasp-y ass Ralph Lauren. Thankfully I ate a Snickers snack and apologized and then on Monday we went in to Ralphie's so they could take his measurements which means he almost has a wedding suit! A wasp-y ass wedding suit. HA.
5. Speaking of the wedding. I found a planner (hip hip!) and then decided that since I no loner have to plan what was starting to feel like a nearly impossible celebration, I have all the time in the world to make our wedding cake. So over the weekend I tried (heh) and tried and tried, and although I nailed the recipe, I've gotta figure out pan sizes and the number of layers and how the heck I'm going to pull off a homemade cake in Ireland.
You've reached the end. Go make some Thai peanut stir fry. Or have a mug of coffee. Or a drink.
Notes: When making the actual stir fry, I like to go light on the sauce then use the additional half cup to drizzle over the finished product. However, if you like your sauce to be evenly distributed, add the entire 1 1/2 cups to the wok (or more, if you like it extra saucy). I use a coconut almondmilk blend because I found that using canned coconut milk made for a sauce that thickened substantially in the fridge. This sauce still thickens when cold, but is the perfect consistency at room temperature. If using the sauce straight from the fridge, it'll be pretty thick so you may want to dilute it with a touch of water before cooking with it. If you prefer a sweeter peanut sauce, feel free to add 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar. I like mine on the savory side, but the coconut almondmilk blend does add a touch of sweetness.
THAI PEANUT STIR FRY WITH TOFU + BROCCOLINI
14 ounces extra firm tofu
8 ounces brown rice noodles
2 tablespoons roasted peanut oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 small bunches of broccolini, stalks trimmed
1-1 1/2 cups Thai peanut sauce, recipe follows
Heavy pinch of red pepper flakes
Roasted peanuts, finely chopped
Fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Remove the tofu from it's packaging and pat with a few paper towels. Don't worry about pressing out the water, as we're going to bake the tofu to remove it. Slice the tofu into small ~1" squares then transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Once the oven is preheated, bake at the tofu 425˚F for 28-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. While the tofu is baking, add the rice noodles to a large mixing bowl and cover with very hot water (not boiling). Let the noodles sit for 25-30 minutes. When the tofu us finished baking, transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Same with the noodles, drain the water and put them in a bowl then cover them with a damp paper towel.
Heat the peanut oil in a wok set over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes, then throw in the tofu and broccolini and stir fry for 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low then add the noodles and sauce; cook for 2-3 minutes or until the noodles are soft. Remove from heat and add the red pepper flakes; toss to combine. Divide between plates and top with chopped peanuts and fresh cilantro.
Yield: 4 servings
THAI PEANUT SAUCE
1 tablespoon roasted peanut oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1 cup coconut almondmilk blend
1/4 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 heaping teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro, optional
Pinch of fine sea salt
Heat the oil in a saucepan set over medium heat. Add the garlic sauté for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat. Add the peanut butter, coconut almondmilk, tamari, and vinegar to base of a blender; blend for 10-15 seconds or just until smooth. Add the garlic (oil included) and remaining and ingredients, and blend just until combined. For a thinner sauce, mix in up to an additional 1/2 cup of the coconut almondmilk. Transfer sauce to an air tight container and store in the refrigerator. Can be kept for up to 10 days.
Yield: About 2 1/2 cups