Sweet Chili Tofu Goodness

A week ago, I spent most of my Sunday cupcake testing and after consuming one too many cupcakes which resulted in a serious tummy ache, I figured it was time to revamp my eating habits a bit. My diet isn’t exactly horrible and I’m not the type who’s interested in dieting to lose weight; I’m actually pretty cool with my weight…whatever that may be, but every now and then I notice the mass amounts of sugar I’ve consumed creeping up on me, leaving me feeling crappy, with constant cravings and I figured I should make an effort to do something about it. Honestly, I’ve been meaning to alter my diet ever since Xmas, but for those of you who know me, you damn well know how stubborn I am and there was no way I was going to make any changes just because it was January 1st, this is the same reason I purposely waited until March to switch gyms, stubborn I tell ya.

Although I’m not making any significantly huge changes, I have made a few baby ones to get myself back on track.
First off, I’ve been seriously lacking in the greens department, which is weird since I actually love all my leafy comrades but they just don’t always make it onto my plate. So to make sure I’m getting some greens in my belly everyday, I’ve started drinking green smoothies every morning. I usually don’t have much of a problem in the summer, but I find it more difficult to drink smoothies in the winter, I am digging my combo of cherries, carob powder, dates and spinach though.

Secondly, I’ve stopped eating sugary treats after dinner. This is where those pesky cravings were kicking in; I was getting to the point where if I didn’t put a piece of cake or brownie in my mouth after dinner, I would get these horrible cravings. So obviously instead of dealing with them, I just gave in. It’s only been a short while, so I’m still getting after dinner cravings but I’ve replaced my evening cupcake with some fruit and maybe a little almond yogurt or low-sugar granola. I’m hoping that at some point I won’t crave anything after I’ve eaten dinner, but this seems to be doing the trick so far.

Third, I’m trying to do more meal planning. I’m pretty sure this has been a goal of mine since the beginning of time, it’s pretty much an ongoing battle for me, usually I do pretty good with it, but sometimes not so much. Every week, I’ve been trying to think of 2-3 healthy meals to make, spend most of Sunday cooking and then spend the rest of the week eating said healthy meals and not frozen burritos I happen to find in the bottom of the freezer. This doesn’t always work for me as I don’t always have the free time to do all this cooking, but even throwing together a quick stir-fry with lots of fresh veggies is better then scarfing down another Poppa John’s pizza. Speaking of stir-fry’s, does anyone have any recommendations for healthy simple go-to meals? I seem to have a lot of trouble coming up with any new ideas, and as much as I love a good stir-fry, it gets pretty boring after awhile.

Actually, I did find one new meal to add to my rotations. I was reading Ashley’s blog when I remembered one of my favourite tofu recipes; I’ve been making it ever since she posted it but hadn’t made it since I started the blog. For shame! How could I forget about such a tasty creation? Nice crispy outside, slightly chewy interior, with a mix of sweet and spicy flavours, so good! But I couldn’t eat tofu all by its lonesome, oh no, instead I found some other healthy ingredients to add to the mix. I jazzed up some quinoa by making a coconut variety and then sautéed some kale in some soy sauce with a little lime juice. Not only did everything come together quickly and is pretty kick ass nutrition wise but it actually tastes really good, gasp! What could be better then that? (this is totally rhetorical, so to anyone who’s planning on writing ‘warm brownies covered in coconut ice cream’, expect me to reach through the computer screen and give you a smack upside the head :P).

So what do you do to kick your healthy butt into gear? Any tips?

Sweet Chili Tofu with Steamed Kale & Coconut Quinoa 

Sweet Chili Tofu
Ingredients:

  •  350g pkg extra firm tofu, drained
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Coconut Quinoa
Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Steamed Kale
Ingredients:

  •  1 bunch kale, middle veins removed, washed, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon low sodium tamari
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted almonds

Directions:

For the quinoa, combine all the ingredients in a pot that has a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, then turn off heat and move pot away from burner. Do not open lid. Let steam for 10 minutes before serving.

Pat tofu dry and cut the block into 8 rectangles widthwise, then each rectangle in half to make two squares per rectangle. Then cut each square diagonally to make four triangles per square.

In a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil and sauté the tofu until browned, flip the tofu over and brown the other side. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the garlic, ginger, and chili. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add the maple syrup, tamari, and lime juice. Cover and cook until the liquid has evaporated.

For the kale, heat a frying pan or wok over medium-high heat and add the chopped kale along with the water, tamari, and lime juice to the pan. Sauté the kale for about 3-4 minutes or until the kale softens and turns a bright green. Remove from heat.

For plating, arrange the kale over a bed of quinoa. Add tofu over the top, and sprinkle with green onions and toasted almonds. Garnish with lime slices.

Adapted from The Garden of Vegan and Vegan Yum Yum

18 thoughts on “Sweet Chili Tofu Goodness

  1. Seems like we’re on the same page! I re-started my green smoothies (mine are spinach, blueberries, mint, natural lemonade, ginger, flax seeds and hemp protein) and am trying to get more salads into me (taco salad w extra melted Daiya still counts, right?!) True, smoothies are harder in the winter so I follow it with an awesome granola bar i make that makes breakfast feel heartier.

    I’m also doing meal plans! It’s just so much more helpful (so I don’t end up eating nachos for dinner). I plan my lunches and dinners (which tend to be similar thought the week when you’re single). And I’m finding some fantastic whole food, low-crap recipes to sub in for the muffins and cupcakes id normally go for (black bean brownies are actually pretty dang tasty)

    Oh and I’m also so all over this recipe! Next week though…when I’m finally finished my week of taco salad ;)

  2. Mmm love this tofu! It’s been way too long since I made it. I like the sweet chili tofu from VYY too but I think that magic tofu is still my favourite. I’m not sure what I do try and get back into being healthy – maybe green smoothies for breakfast?

  3. I hate those cravings! I find that I don’t really crave sugary things but if I switch from eating whole grain bread to eating white bread I’m all “omg sugar sugar sugar” and all I can think about is cake and cookies.

  4. That recipe looks *so* delicious! All things that I like combined together! Will have to try it!

    My go-to meal used to be pasta with tomato sauce (now I’m more of a pesto girl) and lots of veggies – carrots, celery, zucchini, mushrooms, whatever I had lying around! Also playing with the spices (i.e. curry!) in a stir-fry can spice things up too.

    I find that meal planning does help get my butt into gear! Always nice on those days when you know what you’re going to be eating!

  5. This is such an amazing meal! love those tofu triangles! and how they are coming right at me from the screen!:)
    I cant plan ahead fro more than a day.. we dont eat much sugar.. and a balanced indian meal works out fine to keep me full till the snack time.

    Thank you for your comment on the blog!

    • Thanks for commenting Richa! Yeah, I’ve been eating Indian influenced meals more frequently lately. Lots of great flavors, healthy ingredients and they usually come together pretty quickly, you really can’t go wrong.

  6. I’ve made this too and it is nice! Sometimes I find making so many components too tiresome, so I am more of a one-pot meal girl.

    As you said, I love simple dals for a quick meal. I also listed a bunch of other quick dinner ideas on this post: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/split-pea-dal-with-ginger-and-lime/

    For sheer simplicity though, you can’t beat this marinara sauce- http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/15-minute-zippy-garlic-basil-marinara-with-zucchini-noodles/

  7. Delicious! I just made this, but I had to tweak things a bit. I didn’t have chili flakes, so I lightly powdered with chili powder, and used honey in place of maple syrup. :) I also didn’t have ginger or cardamom, sadly, but it still turned out really awesome! I’m so happy I found this, as I’ve been trying to eat vegan for the benefit of my son’s health. I’m breastfeeding, and I am hoping it helps with his reflux. I realize the honey sort of contradicts that, but all in all, I feel pretty good about it!

  8. I don’t eat a lot of tofu but my daughters recently had me stay with them and we made a Korean feast that consisted of 12 recipes and a whole lot of tofu in all different ways…this looks amazing and next time I visit I might make this :)

  9. I found this recipe quite a while ago, and make it regularly (about twice a month). It is AMAZING! I can’t believe I had never made quinoa with coconut milk! Thank you!

  10. I made this this evening and it was amazing! My hubby and I devoured it…it will be in high rotation. Many thanks for a lovely meal!

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