Five-Spice Tofu, Curry Roasted Vegetables and Coconut Basil Rice

curried tofu and veggies

Here’s trio of foods that will definitely take your taste buds on an exotic trip across the Pacific! I absolutely love curry; my favorites are Thai curries, but this recipe uses the basic “curry powder” in the spice aisle. There is a new Whole Foods by my house, and believe it or not, I went in there, spent only $53 and got all the food I needed to batch cook meals for the week, plus a few extras! Four in Hand stout beer was on sale (brewed in Rochester NY) – that was my “treat.” I was so excited that I behaved myself well enough and did not buy the entire store in one swipe of a Mastercard. In the past, when I used to visit the other one on the opposite end of town, I’d literally spend my entire month’s allotment of cash for food in one trip, and buy half of what I really needed. It’s all about discretion. One thing I love about Whole Foods is that I know every time I go in there, I am going to find products I am sure I will like and don’t have to second guess the integrity of where they came from, especially produce. Nine times out of ten, the sign will say where it’s from and if it’s organic or not. If I can stay on my budget, I am definitely going to start going there more often.

The variety of Whole Foods’ produce section is substantially more diverse than a conventional grocery store.  Steam-in-the-bag broccoli gets really old after a while. Speaking of diverse, I wanted something different to roast in my slew of vegetables. Enter the gold beet. I love beets. Never seen a gold one. So I bought it. Roasted it. Ate it. Tasted pretty good doused in curry powder! The tofu in this post is almost too simple for my taste, but I was in a hurry and it turned out acceptable. All the recipes on this plate compliment each other well for a very flavorful vegan meal.


Tofu Ingredients:
2 blocks extra firm tofu
Chinese five-spice powder to taste

Rice Ingredients:
1 cup dry jasmine rice
1 can light coconut milk
1/4-1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped basil, packed tightly
1/2 cup organic unsweetened coconut flakes, like Edward & Sons Let’s Do…Organic

Roasted Vegetables Ingredients:
These can be your roasted veggies of choice, but tonight I chose…
3 medium gold beets (ends removed, peeled with carrot peeler)
2 cups green beans (ends removed)
1 pound fingerling potatoes of choice (I chose red, gold and purple)
3-4 shallots, sliced medium
1-2 red bell peppers, sliced to medium thickness
1/4 cup extra light tasting olive oil

Make it….

If you have a George Foreman grill, bring it out. Otherwise, grill on medium high heat on the outdoor grill. Slice tofu about 1 inch thick. From one block, this will yield 4-5 slices, depending on the size of the block. Rub on Chinese five-spice to taste, grill on medium to medium high until crisp and browned. Add nonstick spray as you go to keep it from sticking. If using a regular outdoor grill, spread on a little olive oil before grilling to keep the tofu slabs from sticking to the grill.

coconut basil rice Rice:
In a rice cooker, add one cup rice, 1 can light coconut milk, 1/4 to 1/3 cup water, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup tightly packed chopped fresh basil. Place on setting for “quick cook,” or the setting for “white rice” and let it do its thing (which means work on everything else until it beeps). In a toaster oven, heat to 450°F and toast coconut for no more than 5 minutes. If your toaster oven heats up fast (like mine), I suggest to literally stand there and watch it brown, or you will have burned, black coconut flakes. I had to do this after I burned 2 batches! (Grr, angry face). And I only let it go like 2-3 minutes to produce the most perfect lightly browned coconut.

Roasted Vegetables:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Slice fingerling potatoes lengthwise and then quarter if they are larger. Slice shallots and remove ends from green beans. Remove ends from beets, peel and slice into sticks. In a large bowl, mix all vegetables together, season with curry powder to taste (I probably used like 2 tablespoons because I like bold flavor) plus the olive oil. Toss and spread on a large baking sheet. Roast on the top rack for about 30 minutes. Toss and mix vegetables a couple of times as they roast to ensure all sides get browned.

This will make a huge amount of food. At least 4 meals.



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