Italian Tofu and Polenta


Happy Monday! (trying not to have a little sarcasm when I say that) However, if you have today off then it is a very happy Monday for you!

I find Mondays very difficult. My brain usually doesn’t fully turn on till Tuesday so I apologize if this entire post does not make sense. I’m also listening to The Sound of Music soundtrack that is playing inside Barnes and Noble so forgive me if I randomly type lyrics of songs.

Doe, a deer, a female deer….

I’m also still trying to get over a movie I watched this weekend. I’m sure you have all heard of it and maybe many of you have seen it yourselves. I, for one, was not interested in seeing the horror that I heard it contained. The film I am referring to is The Cove. Saturday I broke down and decided to give it a go. It definitely was horrific, heart-wrenching, and another eye opener for me. I barely made it through the whole thing and was left saddened and angry. How could this be going on? Why haven’t more people tried to stop it? I immediately wanted to do something to help save these innocent dolphins. I applaud the making of this documentary and, as hard as it is to watch, I urge you all to see it. I am left a little speechless. Watch it. Become aware. Help the cause.

When you are done watching the film, I have a new comforting and light meal to turn to. During the winter, weekends are usually made up of relaxing, hiding under blankets and cravings of comfort food. Instead of the ordinary pasta dish, I decided to use polenta as an alternative. So, Sunday after keeping to our routine of laying on the couch, watching football and not showering until 6pm, I wanted a warm dinner that would help make me forget that it was only 20F outside and that Monday was looming its ugly head. Polenta is so versatile and can be made creamy, added to casseroles, sliced to replace pasta in lasagnas, fried, sauteed, etc. Last night, going the easier route, I pulled out the precooked polenta from Trader Joe’s. A little slicing, a little sauteeing and I had myself a meal.

Sauteed Italian Tofu and Polenta with a Side of Asparagus

Ingredients:
1 package precooked polenta (I used Trader Joe’s)
3/4 block extra firm tofu
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth (I like to be able to control the salt in my cooking)
1 bunch asparagus
olive oil
basil
oregano
garlic powder
salt and fresh ground pepper
pasta sauce of choice

Directions:
1. Drain moisture from tofu. Remove from package and wrap in several paper towels and gently squeeze out liquid. Let sit wrapped in towels for a few minutes.
2. Slice tofu and polenta in 1/2 inch thick slices.
3. In a sautee pan, combine vegetable broth and seasonings. Heat over medium heat and add tofu slices. Cover, reduce to simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes. Precooking your tofu like this will help it become more flavorful.
4. Preheat oven to 350F. Wash asparagus and snap off the ends. Spread out onto a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with seasonings (salt, pepper, oregano, basil, garlic). Cook for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Asparagus is done with it is tender, but still has a slight crisp to it.
5. Remove tofu from pan and drain broth. Add a little olive oil to the pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray (a step I forgot, oops!). Re-season tofu and sautee for about 5 minutes on each side.
6. Meanwhile in another sautee pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil and seasonings over medium heat. Place polenta slices in a single layer and cook for about 7 minutes on each side. Polenta should become slightly browned and crisp on the outsides while maintaining a softer center.
7. Once everything is done cooking, begin plating by placing 3-4 slices of polenta on a plate and topping it with the tofu and your favorite sauce. Serve the asparagus on the side to complete the meal.

Roast the asparagus


Cook the tofu


Don't forget the cooking spray or you'll end up with tofu stuck to your pan


Cook the polenta and begin plating


Mmmm....

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu… 😉

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