Wednesday, December 1, 2010

tuesday - tofu & vegetables with ginger-peanut sauce, curried squash soup

I've made this curried squash soup once before, and upon re-reading my blog post, realized that I thinned it out with water that time. Good advice, as this is a very thick soup as written--more like a puree (particularly with all the spinach added). Tasty, but a little odd. It's based on a recipe for curried squash and chicken soup from, but I omitted the chicken. Also, the grocery store was out of Thai red curry paste, so I used green instead and couldn't taste a difference.

I also made this tofu with peanut-ginger sauce, also from, adding extra vegetables and serving it over barley. I increased the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and rice vinegar in the sauce, and it was tasty but still seemed to lack something so I stirred in chili-garlic sauce for a bit of spice. If you're not into tofu, you could use shrimp or chicken instead.

Curried Squash Soup

1 10-ounce package frozen pureed winter squash
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
4 cups baby spinach, (6 ounces)
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 1/2-2 teaspoons Thai red or green curry paste
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat squash, coconut milk and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash defrosts, about 10 minutes.Stir in spinach, lime juice, honey, curry paste to taste, and salt, and continue cooking until spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes longer. Adjust seasoning if needed, and thin with additional water to desired consistency.

Makes 2 to 3 servings.

Tofu & Vegetables with Ginger-Peanut Sauce

5 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
1 to 2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce, to taste
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced

Tofu & vegetables
14 ounces extra-firm tofu, preferably water-packed
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups broccoli florets
4 cups baby spinach, (6 ounces)
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms, (4 ounces)
4 scallions, sliced (1 cup)

To prepare sauce: Whisk water, peanut butter, rice vinegar (or white vinegar), soy sauce, honey, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, and garlic in a small bowl.

To prepare tofu: Drain and rinse tofu; pat dry. Slice the block crosswise into eight 1/2-inch-thick slabs. Coarsely crumble each slice into smaller, uneven pieces.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add tofu and cook in a single layer, without stirring, until the pieces begin to turn golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Then gently stir and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until all sides are golden brown, 5 minutes more.

Add broccoli and cook, stirring, until bright green, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add spinach, mushrooms, scallions, and the peanut sauce and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are just cooked, 1 to 2 minutes more. Serve over cooked barley or brown rice.

Makes 4 servings.

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