This is one of my mom’s signature dishes… she cooks it all the time, especially if we need to cook for a crowd. We have cooked this recipe at the Yoga Center, when we’ve had to cook for yoga friends while traveling and even for my niece and nephew. They love saucy tofu, especially when mixed into a nice helping of rice.
It’s a simple, kinda one-pot dish… kinda, because my mom likes to sear the tofu in a skillet before adding to the stew. This gives the tofu a chewy consistency that I find more palatable and interesting. And again… think of tofu as a blank canvas. It will taste just as good as the seasonings you use on it.
1 block of extra-firm tofu
Garlic and Herbs Seasoning
2 large red skinned potatoes or Yukon Gold, cubed
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper , sliced
1 tablespoon of sofrito
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jar of stewed tomatoes or chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup of water – if needed
1 vegetable bouillon cube
Salt and pepper to taste
10 large olives or 2 tablespoons of capers
2 bay leaves
a large dash of paprika
a few splashes of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
- Slice each tofu block in 4 slices. Place slices in a baking sheet lined with 2-3 paper towels. Cover with 2-3 additional paper towels, top with an additional baking sheet and weigh with something heavy. Drain weighed tofu slices for about 30-60 minutes.
- After tofu slices are drained, season liberally with Garlic and Herbs seasoning. Cook tofu slices in a dry non-stick skillet. After you’ve placed them on the skillet, leave them for a while without touching them. The crust they will develop will prevent them from sticking to the skillet and make it easier to turn them. Sear them on both sides. Set aside to cool off.
- In a large pot over medium heat, pour olive oil. Mix in the onions, peppers and sofrito, and vegetable bouillon cube. Add the garlic and salt and pepper to taste.
- When onions and peppers have softened, add in the potatoes. Stir a few times for them to start cooking a bit.
- Add the tomatoes, olives or capers, bay leaves and paprika. If there is not enough liquid for the potatoes to cook in, add some water, until the potatoes are covered. Add the vinegar. Cover the pot and allow it to simmer to cook.
- Take the cooled tofu slices and slice them again into smaller pieces. I slice each piece into 4 smaller pieces, which yield me about 32 tofu pieces total. But if you feel you want the pieces larger or smaller, slice them to your desired size. It’s your stew, your tofu…
- When the stew has cooked for about 20 minutes already, add the tofu pieces to warm up with the sauce and potatoes. Simmer in the covered pot for about 10 more minutes, about 30 minutes total time or until potatoes are fork tender.
Serve over brown rice.
This was a post I should have written to publish early in January. Well, it’s already early in February and this will have to do.
This salad was part of our first KarmaFree Cooking class last December. And what’s different about a salad you should ask… well, besides trying to instill into people’s minds the importance of eating a large green raw salad every day, we wanted to introduce some new and different ingredients people might not use raw in a salad. Can you pick them out in this picture here???
Scroll down to see if you guessed right…
Raw pumpkin and raw beets… They’re usually eaten cooked, but these are sweet and delicious additions to any salad.
I know that all you folks who are going thru winter might not crave something cold and raw like salad when it’s cold outside… but eating a healthy portion of raw veggies each day will certainly keep the cold and doctors away.
Here are the components of our Salad:
Green leaf lettuce
Yellow Bell Pepper
Sliced Red Onion
Toss all the ingredients in your desired proportions together in a salad bowl. Dress with your favorite dressing. May we suggest a healthy serving of our Parsley Garlic Dressing.
Parsley Dressing…. GONE!!!!!
May your winter be pleasant and your salad bowl is always full.
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico… but I am Cuban at heart.
To my friends in Puerto Rico… I am almost Cuban. To my family in Miami, I am 100% Puertorra. I live in both worlds simultaneously and to me, it’s all just part of being the daughter of a Puerto Rican mom and a Cuban Dad Kinda like “café con leche”.
Many of the flavors and foods I love so much, I learned from my Dad. He taught me to eat guava paste with cream cheese, croquetas, Medianoches and Cuban Sandwiches, rice with black beans, tamales en hoja and in cazuela, guava pastelillos, patelillitos de carne, frutabomba and mamey milkshakes… and yuca with Cuban mojo, amongst many other things.
Whenever I boil some viandas, the local way we refer to root vegetables and tubers, I like to eat them with a side of onions that taste like Cuban mojo. The reason I don’t go out and make mojo from scratch is because it takes a lot of olive oil for just me in one serving. So I came up with this simplified version that hits all the flavor notes of Cuban mojo in a simple, perfect for one person’s serving.
Cuban Mojo Onions
1 medium sized onion, it could be white or yellow, sliced to your desired preference
About 2tbs Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic
The juice of 1 lime
Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a small sauté pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil and the sliced onions. I like to slice them thick, as if you were making onion rings. Sauté them to soften them more than for them to acquire some color. So when the pan starts to sizzle, I usually turn down the heat level to medium. Add some salt and pepper to season and draw out the moisture and soften the onions.
- Peel the garlic cloves and mash them a bit with the side of your knife. Add them to the pan like that. The purpose is for the onions to get the garlicky flavor without having to do a lot of work. Stir everything together to continue to soften the onions and garlic together.
- When the onions have become soft, add the juice of the lime directly in the pan. It’ll sizzle… at this time, you can turn the heat off and leave in the pan. The onions will not brown after you add the lime juice and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Serve over boiled potatoes, yuca, malanga, yautía, taro root, or anything else you want to give some Cuban flair to. This is a very easy side dish that will leave you wanting more…
I was given a challenge… A Sandwich a Day wanted us to showcase our favorite sandwiches.
I’ve told you before how I could live on sandwiches alone possibly and how one of my most addictive sandwiches is my Avocado Tomato Sandwich. Sometimes I fail to come up with new ideas for sandwiches because I am so enthralled with this one still. I even dream about eating it sometimes.
But recently I have come to learn to love another sandwich… maybe not as fresh-tasting as the one above, but certainly very seasonal. Mixing apples, onions, thyme, almonds and blue cheese in between 2 pieces of bread might not seem very appealing, but oh, oh boy, how delicious it is. This has nothing to do with my Latin roots, but everything that I have learned to appreciate from my travels in the Northeastern part of the US.
Inspired by these crostini from Giada Di Laurentiis, this panino hits the spot on a cold winter night. I might even argue it works great for a nice cozy date in front of the fire. I think your date would be greatly impressed.
APPLE ONION RELISH PANINI WITH GORGONZOLA
2 slices of 100% whole grain bread
Gorgonzola Cheese crumbles
Toasted Sliced Almonds
¼ cup of Apple Onion Relish
Butter – for the outside of the bread/sandwich
- Pre-heat your Panini maker, or in my case, my George Foreman Grill.
- Spread cream cheese on the inside of both bread slices. This will be part of the glue that makes the sandwich stay together.
- On one slice, add the apple onion relish. Try to keep it as dry as possible so the moisture won’t seep out of the sandwich. Layer the toasted almonds and finish with the blue cheese crumbles.
- Close the sandwich with the other slice of bread, cream cheese on top of the almonds/blue cheese.
- Butter the outside of the slices with some softened butter.
- Place on the Panini maker and press lightly without forcing it too much. The sandwich will flatten as it toasts in the Panini maker.
- After a few minutes, the cheeses will be melted and the bread toasted on the outside. Carefully, remove the sandwich from the panini grill and allow it to cool slightly. This will allow you to cut into the sandwich without the breads sliding all over the place.
Enjoy with you favorite sparkling cider or tea.
Before I go on a trip or to a retreat, I like to clean my fridge as much as possible. I hate wasting food and throwing away food jut because it was left unattended on the fridge is just “a sin” to me.
So before I left for my Xmas retreat I was looking for recipes to use up fresh stuff I had in my fridge that I didn’t want to go to waste. When I came across this recipe on TV by Giada Di Laurentiis, I knew it would be perfect to use those apples that had been staring at me for a few weeks now. I do like apples, but I am super lazy when it comes to snacking on an apple. I also had brought some thyme and rosemary from my sister’s during our last trip there… and I knew the herbs could go bad if I waited too long to use them.
This was the perfect recipe then to cook a bunch of apples with thyme all at the same time.
APPLE ONION RELISH
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 small Gala apples, cored, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 tbs apple juice
2 tbs maple syrup
Salt and Pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- In a high-sided skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium heat.
- Add the onions, apple slices, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the vinegar, maple syrup, and thyme. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions and apples are very soft, about 40 minutes.
This recipe is super easy… and you don’t need to tend to it too much. The smells in your kitchen will be divine.
This relish will go wonderful next to some scalloped potatoes, over creamy mashed potatoes, mashed parsnips, grilled Portobello mushrooms or even inside a sandwich.