Friday, March 1, 2013

Roasted Veggies with Hummus Sauce and Dry-Fried Tofu with Satay Sauce

Yet another non-beautiful dinner.
Roasted veggies with hummus sauce in the bowl
and dry-fried tofu with satay sauce.


Daily Garnish roasted veggies
Daily Garnish dry-fried tofu

I wasn't aiming for this to be a vegan meal, but it ended up being that way.  Tofu and hummus are good sources of protein, plus colorful veggies are always a good choice, so I consider this a good meal.

Roasted Vegetables

This was a Tuesday night meal, but I prepped the vegetables on Sunday since it takes 45 minutes to roast them.

Peeled sweet potatoes
I used two sweet potatoes I had originally bought for previous roasted veggie bowls.  I didn't have much else in the crisper drawer to throw in, so I added the rest of a bag of frozen cauliflower and some frozen bell pepper slices I saved once upon a time.

 I peeled the sweet potatoes and then cut them into bite-sized pieces and threw them in a 9x13 baking dish.  Luckily the cauliflower and peppers were already appropriately sized, so I went ahead and dumped the bags into a slightly smaller baking dish.  I sprayed them with a little canola spray and a sprinkle of salt and baked at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.  When I roast veggies, I stir every 15 minutes to ensure nothing burns, but I don't know if that's really important. 
Bell pepper, cauliflower, and
sweet potato waiting to go in the oven.

Once the vegetables were done cooking, I let them cool and put them into a container and into the fridge to wait a few days.  That's the beauty of roasted veggies, you can prep them ahead of time and then warm them up when you're ready to eat. 

Background on Tofu

I buy packages of firm water-packed tofu from the produce area at my grocery store and throw them straight in the freezer.  No prep at all, just throw the whole package in.  Then when I want to use one for a recipe, I defrost it in the refrigerator the day before.  If you want firm tofu don't buy the aseptic, shelf-stable tofu, even if it's marked 'firm', it will never be as solid as water-packed tofu. And by putting it in the freezer, you're extending that shelf-life and making it even firmer. 

Dry-Frying Tofu

Tofu and electric skillet
The day before, I grabbed the tofu from the freezer and put it in the refrigerator to defrost.  When I pulled the tofu from the fridge on the day of our dinner, it was still pretty frozen, but that doesn't matter.  Cut open the container and get started.

I lay the tofu in front of me horizontally and slice the tofu into 9-10 pieces.  Then I put down a kitchen towel on the cutting board, lay the slices on top, and put another towel on top, and press down on the tofu slices to get some moisture out.  I flip them over and press again, in hopes of removing more moisture.  By removing the moisture, it makes the tofu able to get browner. 

Sliced tofu
Some people also like to put a weighted object on their tofu, like a pile of books, and leave it sit for an hour or so to press out more moisture.  I'm always too impatient for that, so I do my quick version and move along.

While the tofu slices are laid out flat, I also gave them a light sprinkle of  salt and put that side down when I put them into my old-fashioned West Bend electric skillet dry, no oil or anything.  I have found that 350-375 degrees is a good temperature for most things, they brown nicely, but not too fast.

Drying tofu

My electric skillet is large enough to hold a whole container of tofu, so it's the perfect cooking equipment.  Plus it's non-stick so you don't need any oil.  My only other non-stick pan is a small skillet that I bought at Ikea to make eggs.  Eggs are a complete pain to make in a regular skillet but a joy in a non-stick skillet.    

As the tofu cooked, I pressed down on the tofu slices to push out even more moisture.  Since mine were still partially frozen, it took a while to brown it up. 
The element of dinner - jar of satay sauce,
roasted veggies, hummus, and tofu

Press down firmly!

Browned tofu

Check it occasionally to ensure it's getting to your desired level of brownness. Flip when ready.

Meanwhile, I heated up individual bowls of the roasted veggies in the microwave.  

press down even more!  Get that moisture out!

Nicely browned tofu.

Tofu cubes.

I heated up the jar of satay sauce in the microwave, put a hefty dollop of hummus in a dish and warmed that up as well.  Each person put their own food together, deciding how much sauce to put on each. 


Husband Jeff said this was the best way to eat vegetables.  Sonny D ate three servings of tofu and even ate two servings of the vegetables, so that's a huge thumbs up from a toddler.  We had to have him taste our veggies first, but once he realized how great it was, he needed no prompting.   

It must have been really good, between the three of us, we ate a whole pound of tofu.  And almost all of the veggies too, there was only the tiniest bit leftover for my lunch the next day. 

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!