Tag Archives: crushed tomatoes

Stewed Tofu

23 Jun

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.

Tofu in Tomato Sauce with Onions and Peppers


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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. When onions and peppers have softened, add in the potatoes. Stir a few times for them to start cooking a bit.
  5. 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.
  6. 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…
  7. 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.

The easiest Baked Penne… ever!!!!

15 Feb

This is one of the easiest recipes… ever!!

The funny thing, it has not been even 24 hours since I learned about it.  I was perusing one of my favorite food blogs – Serious Eats… and in one of the Talk threads there was a discussion about making mac & cheese without boiling the pasta first.  Then, one of the participants – his/her name is hanak– mentioned this recipe for Baked Ziti without even boiling the pasta.  I always get stumped at what to do for lunch… so when I read this today, my lunch dilemma was immediately solved.  I would do this while I finished some stuff at the computer.  God bless  hanak and the Baked Ziti recipe…

I modified the recipe a little – as you know… can’t bear to make a recipe “by the book” not even once.  Here is the recipe as it was given to me today and with notes on the modifications I made to it today at 1PM:



8oz whole wheat pasta – I used penne, but ziti or any tubular pasta would work
28oz can of crushed tomatoes – I used a 26oz carton of Pomi crushed tomatoes
6 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp chopped garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh Mozzarella –  optional
Grated Parmesan cheese – optional
  1. Soak the dry pasta in the olive oil for around 20 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. 
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

This is a picture of the pasta at this point.  It is DELICIOUS just like this!!!!  A bit oily to my taste, so maybe the next time I will try to see if I can cut the oil in half… but believe me, it’s been a while I tasted a pasta that I would eat as is, without any cheese.  This one is awesome.  I even bragged to my mom about it already…


I decided to use up some leftover fresh mozzarella cheese… so I added a few pieces in the dish, sprinkled some grated parm/romano cheese and put it back in the oven with the residual heat after I turned it off.  It is really good, but as hanak said… it does not need it.

Thanks a lot to my fellow online foodies, but specially to hanak and this awesome Baked Pasta recipe…  they are all a source of inspiration and hunger-relief. 


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