Have you ever tried tofu? I know a lot of people who wrinkle their noses whenever I ask that question. Truth be told I used to be one of those people. When my husband and I first started dating he tried to get me to eat it several times but I just couldn't do it. Finally one day he grilled it and we put buffalo sauce on it. It wasn't too bad. Over the years the more I eat it the more I enjoy it. I've learned that it will absorb just about any flavor you put on it. After learning how to actually cook it, make sure you press out the water, I learned that we like it best in Asian dishes.
That's why when I saw this Kung Pao tofu I had to make it. It seemed like a simple enough recipe with some spices and I served it with jasmine rice. I added peanuts to my husbands plate but not my own since I don't like them. We both enjoyed the spicy sauce over the vegetables and tofu. Frank decided that while he liked the dish, next time he'd like it better without the peanuts. This is an easy fix for me since I didn't put them in mine at all.
Kung Pao Tofu (adapted from Natural Noshing as seen on Prevention RD)
1 block extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
⅓ c. roasted peanuts (optional)
1 T. olive oil
½ t. crushed red pepper flakes
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 c. mushrooms, sliced
2 green onions, sliced
1 T. rice vinegar
3 T. soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. ginger, minced
1 t. black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the tofu on the baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping over halfway through.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in the peanuts and red pepper flakes and cook for 3 minutes.
3. Add in the red bell pepper and mushrooms and saute for 3 minutes.
4. Stir in the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and half the green onions. Reduce the heat and allow sauce to thicken for 3-5 minutes. Add in the tofu and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
5. Serve over rice and top with additional green onions.