I know I should be spending my Sunday writing up this week’s blog, but I’ve fallen into a Backstreet Boys hole and now I can’t climb out of it. I went to see them last week and it has ignited my teenage obsession. I literally can’t stop Wikipedia-ing, YouTubing, Googling and general ogling my ’90s teenage obsession. After two hours of back-to-back hits and two pints of cheap wine (yes, pints), I was transported back to my 16-year-old self’s bedroom, where my Purple Ronnie wallpaper and blow-up chairs witnessed some truly shocking choreography. Without warning, I busted into my old dance routines in the O2 Arena – much to the horror of my male companion and those around me. I waved my arms, thrust my hips and flicked my hair like a deranged Britney Spears tribute act – I don’t get out much.
That being said, I had a blast and have been writing ‘I heart BSB’ on my pencil case ever since – I’m freelance now, thus the need to carry stationary around with me at all times. Anyhoo, enough about my youth, let’s all just go away and download the Backstreet’s Back album and listen to it as we slice up some fat tofu steaks and whip up my version of this Japanese classic.
Teriyaki tofu steaks with broccoli **new & improved recipe** Serves 2 / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 40 mins /VDf You’ll need: 20cm oven-proof dish
280g firm tofu, drained
200g tender-stem broccoli
4 whole spring onions, outer layer removed and ends trimmed
Black sesame seeds to serve (optional) Serve with rice or noodles For the marinade
2 tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs sweet chilli sauce
1 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs mirin
1 tsp sesame oil
1 garlic cloves, crushed
1 knob of ginger, grated
Method 1. Pre-heat an oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/gas mark 7.
2. Drain the tofu and cut into thick steaks and place in the oven-proof dish before putting to one side.
3. In a bowl, combine the marinade ingredients together and pour evenly over the tofu steaks. Bake in an oven for 25-30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, use this time to cook the rice or noodles. Steam the broccoli and the spring onions together 10 mins before the tofu is due to come out.
5. Remove the tofu from the oven, lift the steaks out and place on top either rice or noodles and drizzle with the remaining juices. Serve with the steamed greens and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds.
If you’ve had a go at making my teriyaki tofu or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org
Being vegetarian for thirty-four-years, I’ve certainly eaten my fair share of tofu, aka, bean curd. Much like cheese, tofu is made from curdled soy milk and compressed into blocks – mmm tasty. Speaking of taste, tofu literally has none. Eaten raw it tastes wet, soft and tasteless – much like my ex boyfriend. However, cooked correctly, tofu becomes juicy, flavourful and sassy – much like Beyoncé.
To make Beyoncé tofu you need to make a bootylicious broth for your tofu sponges to soak up and I have just the recipe.
Braised tofu & kale bulgur bowl Serves 4 / Hands on time 45 mins / Total time 45 mins /V Vn Df
300ml cold water
120g bulgar wheat
1 Knorr vegetable stock pot or stock cube
1 tsp sesame oil
1 medium onion, roughly sliced
½ tsp sea salt flakes
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs light soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
300ml boiling water
125g Shiitake or chestnut mushrooms, sliced
280g firm tofu, cut into thick slices
4 handfuls chopped kale
2 spring onions, chopped to serve (optional)
Method 1. Measure out the bulgur wheat and pour into a small saucepan along with 300ml of cold water and half a vegetable stock pot/cube. Place over a medium to high heat until boiling before turning down and simmering for 8 mins. Once the water has absorbed, remove from the heat, give it a quick stir and cover with a lid. Put to one side.
2. Meanwhile, warm 1 tsp of sesame oil in a large pot with a lid over a medium heat. Add the chopped onions, ½ tsp sea salt flakes and 1 tbs of balsamic vinegar. Give it a good stir and pop the lid on. Turn down the heat slightly and allow to soften for 10 minutes – stirring occasionally.
3. Once the onions have softened, add the garlic and cook for a further 3 mins before adding 1 tbs soy sauce, 300ml vegetable stock (use the other half of the stock pot/cube) and add the roughly sliced mushrooms. Up the heat and bring to the boil.
4. Once boiling, reduce the heat and carefully submerge the tofu slices into the broth before covering with a lid and cooking for 10 minutes. Once the tofu is cooked, add 4 handfuls of kale directly on top the tofu and cover again for a further 5 minutes.
5. Loosen up the bulgur wheat by stirring with a spoon and divide into bowls. Top with the braised tofu and sprinkle with chopped spring onions.
If you’ve had a go at making my braised tofu or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale email@example.com
I refuse to call this a ‘buddha bowl’ even if it is one. By definition, a buddha bowl is a hearty filling dish made up of raw or roasted vegetables, greens, beans, grains, rice and so on. So nothing to do with Buddha then. Stupid.
Anyway, as I now hilariously go to the gym once a week, I thought I better try and up my protein intake. At first, I thought this meant I could eat more cheese (score) it didn’t (boo). So I stocked up on chickpeas, peanut butter and tofu, in the hope that in 8 weeks, I would have the arms, legs and face of Jennifer Aniston. In the words of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, “there can be miracles, when you believe”.
Peanut tofu with roasted greens
Serves 2 / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 50 mins /V Vn
1 tsp rapeseed oil or rapeseed oil spray (see tip below)
396g pack of firm tofu
1 can chickpeas, drained
80g tender-stem broccoli
4 spring onions, trimmed
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 lime, quartered
Serve with brown rice (optional) Satay sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbs water
3 tbs crunchy peanut butter
2 tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs rice vinegar
1 tbs sweet chilli sauce
TIP: Buy an empty spray bottle and fill it with your favourite cooking oil – I use rapeseed oil. This distributes the oil evenly over food and is a great way of cutting calories when roasting or frying as you don’t need to use as much.
TIP:Use microwavable brown rice to save time and washing up.
Method 1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°fan/400°F/gas mark 6. Drain the block of tofu and cut into large chunks. Line a baking tray with baking paper and place your tofu chunks on it, evenly spaced apart.
2. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, turning the tofu halfway through cooking. Meanwhile make your satay sauce by combining all of the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl with a whisk until smooth. Put to one side.
3. Drain the chickpeas and prepare the veg by trimming the stalks of the tender stem and roughly slicing the spring onions into strips.
4. Once the tofu has cooked, remove from the oven but keep the oven on. Transfer the tofu a bit at a time to the satay sauce coating the cubes carefully. Once all the tofu is in the bowl and coated, put to one side to marinate.
5. On the same baking tray you cooked the tofu on, add the broccoli, spring onions and chickpeas. Drizzle with a tsp of sesame oil and 2 tsp of light soy sauce and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. 5 minutes before the greens are due to come out the oven, fry the peanut tofu on a medium to high heat in a saucepan.
6. Remove the greens from the oven and divide between two bowls. Serve with brown rice topped with the peanut tofu and a squeeze of fresh lime.
If you’ve had a go at making my peanut tofu bowl or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org
Tofu and tenderstem broccoli Serves 2 as part of a bento box / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 20 mins / V Vn Df
100g tender stem broccoli
400g firm tofu, cut into cubes
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp vegan white miso paste
1 tsp chilli paste or gochujang (gochujang is a Korean fermented chilli paste you can find in most supermarkets. If you can’t get hold of any, use a couple of drops of Tabasco or simply add a bit of fresh red chilli)
1 tbs soy sauce
½ tsp caster sugar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
Method 1. Drain the tofu and cut into cubes. Bring a large pan to the boil and carefully add the tofu. Boil for 3 minutes (boiling the tofu removes some of the tofu’s moisture). Lift out the tofu with a slotted spoon and put in a colander to drain but don’t throw out the boiling water.
2. In the remaining water, boil the broccoli for 5 minutes, drain and set aside.
3. In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, miso, sugar and chili paste and put to one side.
4. Finely chop the onion and fry it in a large frying pan with the sesame oil on a medium heat. Once brown, add the chopped garlic and continue to cook for a further couple of minutes. If it’s getting too hot add a couple tablespoons of water to prevent it from burning.
5. Add the tofu and brown for a further few minutes. Add your paste and carefully coat the tofu for the next few minutes. Add another tsp of soy sauce and stir in. Finely incorporate the steamed broccoli and cook for a further 2 minutes.