The pictures for Vegetarian Times’ (VT) feature, “30 Minute Comfort in a Bowl”, in the January / February 2014 issue, looked quite enticing. So much so, I gave three of them a try and they have all been added to my repertoire of recipes.
I am always looking for quick and tasty tofu dishes, so was very much intrigued by their Spicy Tofu Stew recipe. Though the picture looked more like a soup to me and actually a bit watery, the list of ingredients impressed me enough to give it a try, with a few enhancements, of course.
I omitted the addition of the water to create a stew rather than a soup; I wanted a thicker consistency. Added tamari to ensure the tofu was well seasoned. Used my mom’s roasted peppers (which she roasts over charcoal when red peppers are in season and freezes for us), which imparted a subtle smoky flavour. I was not fussy about the hot sauce, but used one of the many permanently residing in my refrigerator (my husband loves hot sauce). Added garlic, of course, a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper and enough avocado oil to impart some richness. I thought adding additional peppers to a roasted red pepper broth would be too much, so I opted instead for cauliflower. Finally, instead of firm tofu (which I can only eat if properly marinated), I used soft tofu instead.
The result was pretty incredible. The idea to make a broth from roasted red peppers was brilliant! The broth had substance, but wasn’t too thick. Red peppers and avocado are meant to be and combined with some freshly ground black pepper and that hint of smokiness, we could have slurped up the broth on its own. It was a velvety, fresh, intense, warm and inviting red sea! Roasted red peppers and cauliflower are very nice complements and the addition of the cauliflower and tofu really made this stew hearty. The spinach added a nice hit of colour and just the right amount of greens. I can’t say enough about this dish. Every spoonful seemed carefully crafted – nothing short of perfection.
Good job VT for reminding me that it is indeed possible to get delicious, complete vegetarian/vegan meals on the table in 30 minutes.
It’s a vegan stew to rival most traditional ones out there in that it is hearty and delicious, but it’s two better: faster and healthier than most! Vegan comfort food at its best! Happy stewing!
|Avocado oil||4 tbsp + more for drizzling|
|Garlic, cloves, minced||3|
|Peppers, red, roasted||2 cups|
|Hot sauce||2 tbsp|
|Cauliflower, medium, cut into 1-inch pieces||1|
|Spinach, baby||10 oz|
|Tofu, soft, cut inti 1.5-inch pieces||16 oz|
1. In a food processor, puree roasted red peppers until smooth. Set aside.
2. In a medium soup pot, over medium heat, heat avocado oil.
3. Add garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
4. Add roasted red pepper puree, hot sauce, broth, tamari, and black pepper to pot. Bring to a boil.
5. Add cauliflower and season with salt. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes, until tender.
6. Add tofu and spinach and simmer a couple of minutes until spinach is wilted and tofu is heated.
7. Remove from heat. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with more avocado oil. Serve with a rustic, big piece of bread to scoop up all those roasted red pepper juices (we couldn’t resist).