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Baked Tofu and Veggies in a Balsamic Marinade
When I was a young omnivore I used to take the train a lot, so much that I got addicted to business class. (It's way too easy to rationalize the extra ticket cost when you're looking at spending half a day sitting in an uncomfortable seat with a bunch of strangers—at least this way you'd get a couple of glasses of wine and a hot meal.) Serving meals on mass transportation is a bit of a lost art, but like me you might be old enough to remember (and get nostalgic for) a time when it was routine everywhere. I was always amazed by the flavour they were able to pack into those little convection-heated, single-serving dishes, which when paired with a little wine, some fresh bread, coffee and dessert, left you feeling completely satisfied and well taken care of. Unless you were vegan. Vegans in those days got spaghetti in a watery tomato sauce or a salad with some fruit and pecans strewn on top. Vegan meals were definitely an afterthought, or so it seemed. I was thinking about this the other day, and I wondered if there was a way to make a single-pan meal with a vegan protein and all the veggies and herbs that the omnivores used to get on the train. This recipe is what I came up with. Hope you enjoy.
1 1/2 lbs (680 g) red new potatoes, quartered
2 Tbl olive oil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
salt and pepper
3/4 lb (350 g) extra firm tofu
1 lb (450 g) green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 pint cherry tomatoes (about 2 cups or 350 g)
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1/2 lb (225 g) mushrooms, trimmed and halved (or quartered depending on size)
2 small zucchinis, quartered and sliced into 1" chunks
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 Tbl agave syrup or maple syrup
2 Tbl olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced with a little salt
1 tsp dried rubbed thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red chili flakes, optional
Slice the tofu 1/4-1/2" thick and lay out on paper towel. Press the tofu using another sheet of paper towel on top to extract as much moisture as possible. (The thinking is that the more moisture you remove, the more room there is in the tofu for marinade to soak in.)
Cut the tofu into bitesized chunks and place in a sealable plastic bag or plastic container with a lid.
Mix the marinade ingredients together (a glass jar with a lid works great for this because you can shake it to mix well).
Pour the marinade into the plastic bag with the tofu. Seal the bag and mix well. Let the tofu marinate in the fridge for anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. Move the bag around every so often to make sure the marinade gets into all the tofu evenly.
Prep the mushrooms, green beans and zucchini before baking the new potatoes.
Preheat oven to 425.
Place the quartered potatoes in a large bowl. Coat with 2 Tbl olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine.
Cover a large baking sheet (or two smaller baking sheets) with aluminum foil. Spread potatoes out on baking sheet and bake 20 minutes.
Take the potatoes out of the oven after 20 minutes, but leave the oven on 425.
Resting the hot baking sheets on wood cutting boards or another heat-absorbing surface, distribute the green beans, zucchini, onion slices, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes around on the baking sheet.
Return the baking sheets to the oven for another 20 minutes.
Transfer portions to plates with a large spatula and serve hot!
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Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2016