02 December 2012

BBQ Tofu and meal planning

A blog post about BBQ tofu feels like a cheat of a blog post. By cheat, I mean that this is almost too simple to call a recipe. However, it's delicious and we hadn't had it in a while, even though it's been on the meal plan for the past three weeks. One thing or another came up and we just didn't eat it.

Speaking of the meal plan, I've mentioned it in an off-hand way before, but maybe it's time to make things more explicit. When I was in grad school and Shana was working three jobs, we dealt with food in the following way.
1. Go to the store. "Oh, let's have broccoli* this week." "Good idea!" Purchase broccoli.
2. Come home from school/work. "I'm tired. What do you want for dinner tonight?" "I don't know, what do you want for dinner tonight. I'm tired too."
3. Go out to eat or order food from somewhere.
4. (Eventually) Throw away bad broccoli.
* or any other random perishable food

I mean, we ate at home sometimes, but our meals were not well-planned and were certainly not as well-balanced as they should have been. We finally realized the errors of our ways and instituted a weekly meal plan. A meal plan is a great way to make sure that you aren't feeling overwhelmed by vegan cooking, too!

Here's how we do it. Every Sunday, we sit down with our list of dinners we like (and occasional new recipes when I'm getting antsy for something new), discuss plans that may impact dinners (like meetings or practices or concerts or ...), check the weather, and plan! The plan gets written on a white board that lives on the fridge, we make a list of things we'll need from the store, and then we look forward to dinners every night. Plus, we don't waste mental energy, time, money, or food. It's a delicious win-win-win-win.

Why was I talking about this? Oh yeah! Because BBQ tofu had been on the meal plan for a few weeks, I think that made it especially delicious tonight.


BBQ Tofu over Rice
Ingredients
2 bricks of extra firm tofu, frozen in advance
1 recipe BBQ sauce
1 1/2 c. uncooked basmati rice

Directions
1. Prepare the rice as per package (or rice cooker) directions.
2. Meanwhile, make BBQ sauce.
3. Thaw the tofu in the microwave, press out the excess water, then cut it as shown in the picture linked in the tofu section of the ingredients.
4. Brown tofu on the stove or an electric skillet (my choice!).
5. Add the tofu to the BBQ sauce, stir, and then serve over rice.

Helpful Hints
  • If you make the BBQ sauce ahead of time and keep frozen tofu on hand, this is almost a throw-together meal. I've also noticed that this BBQ sauce can have more or less heat depending on the age of my red pepper flakes. Keep that in mind. 
  • You can certainly use other BBQ sauce if you like, just heat it up first. 
  • We generally serve this with some kind of green veggie (like roasted Brussels sprouts or something), but tonight we had eggplant. Also a good call. 
  • This dish freezes well. As it thaws, it will look as if the sauce has separated, with water on the bottom of the dish. However, a quick reheat and stir will bring it all back together in a snap.

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