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I’m very excited to announce that today’s post marks the official merging of my two blogs! Sweet Life Laur, my two and a half year old cooking blog, is officially moving over here to Sweet Life à la Carte. I am thrilled about this change – now, I will be able to bring you daily content that includes my cooking adventures. I have a few fancy changes coming in the next month or so, too, so stay tuned for those!

My first recipe of 2012 comes from my friend Alana, who blogs at Unconventional Wisdoms. Since the new year started, she and her family have been following a gluten-free, low fat, dairy-free, and organic meal plan. While I am not really in a position to give up dairy or bread (technically, my job requires that I eat cheese…), I have been loving Alana’s documentation of her eating plan. She’s been blogging almost every day, and in doing so has been inspiring me to drink more tea and try to incorporate even more produce into my diet.

I was especially intrigued by this marinated tofu recipe, which she served in steak form with a plate full of veggies. I went the carb route (although soba noodles are healthier than semolina pasta) and also added in a bunch of mushrooms to help fill me up. It turned out wonderfully! I love the flavor that the tofu absorbed from the marinade, and it was really fun to try something different with everyone’s favorite soy protein.

Marinated Tofu with Mushrooms and Soba Noodles
serves 2
For Tofu/Sauce:
  • 1/2 block extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 dash fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Wasabi (the kind that comes in a tube is best, unless you’re lucky enough to find wasabi root)
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 small green onion, thinly sliced
  • broth of your choice (I like Kitchen Basics low-sodum chicken)

For finished dish:

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch blended with a splash of broth
  • 6 oz Soba Noodles
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced (I used a Portobello; Baby Bellas and Shiitake would work well too)
  • 1 stalk of green part of green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • additional toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

1. Start by draining your tofu. To do this, place it between four paper towels on a plate (two paper towel sheets on each side). Place a cookie sheet or tray over the tofu and place a heavy object (like a dutch oven or other heavy pot) on top of the tray. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes, then cube into desired sized pieces.

2. In the meantime, prepare marinade. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except the broth and tofu. When the tofu is pressed and cubed, place it in a medium-sized bowl and gently toss with sauce to coat. Cover with broth and keep in the fridge overnight.

3. When you are ready to eat, heat a large pan with just enough Safflower oil to cover the bottom – it does not need to be deep at all! Drain tofu, reserving the maranade, and fry until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes on each side.

4. While tofu is cooking, put water on to boil for the soba noodles. They take about 5 minutes to cook, so just throw them in at the very end. Place the marinade in a small pot along with the corn starch mixture and bring to a low boil, then let simmer until reduced and saucy.

5. When tofu is ready, drain on paper towels. Wipe out the pan and add the mushrooms – they will cook quickly, in about 3 minutes.

6. Return tofu to pan with mushrooms, toss with as much sauce as desired (you might not want to use it all). Serve atop soba noodles, top with additional toasted sesame seeds and green onion, and enjoy your healthy and filling meal!

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