French Cuisine: Tofu au Vin

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From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

This has been a great week so far especially when the sun comes out after a gray and weepy last two days. The other great thing that has been great so far is having a consistent workout schedule. Since I chose veganism back in November, I have had to consistently be active, whether I walked, stretched, used a trampoline, etc. Even though I used to go to gyms, I am in a different situation now. I decided to go to the library and see if they had workout videos. Man did they ever! I have been enjoying Pilates with Denise Austin, Yoga Booty Ballet and Jillian Michael’s 30-day shred. Wow, did that kick me in the behind!

I have to tell you that it feels great to have clothes fit so much better. Ryan suggested I document all my workouts so that I know what ends up working the best. Eating better and journaling all that I eat has worked out so well that it helps me be more disciplined to wake up and choose a DVD. God has been great and having encouragement at home has been a blessing too!

Another thing that has helped is having a good intake of greens. After I workout, I make a Green Monster Smoothie that has so many delicious fruits, greens, and almond milk. It gives me the continous energy throughout the morning until lunchtime. Even though I do not have a problem eating my greens, I probably do not get as much as I should. Here is an example of what I had yesterday morning:

In a blender, add 3 cups of spinach, 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, and 1/4 cup pumpkin puree and blend until smooth.

This seriously could sound nasty to some of you but it is the best smoothie I have had, and I am getting my GREENS. Try it! It is the biggest craze and now I know why.

By the time lunchtime comes around I crave a big salad, which includes romaine lettuce, arugula, cherry tomatoes, carrot shavings, cucumbers, chickpeas and a nice garlicky vinagrette! 4 months ago I had to force myslef to eat healthier but now I am craving fresh foods! It is exciting and satisfying.

After a nice choral rehearsal at MSU, dinner plans start to formulate. While at the airport in December I picked up an issue of Eating Well magazine. Even though it does not feature pure vegan recipes, it has great ideas for tasty vegan dishes. The magazine’s taste kitchen came up with an alternative to Coq au Vin that intrigued me even though I had not had the meal before. The original recipe is braised chicken cooked with wine, mushrooms , and carrots, but this recipe uses fried tofu which turned out to be fabulous.

Before I made this dish I have had a hard time working with tofu. I figured I was not patting it dry before frying or cooking. I also used a different brand that I actually really liked called Mori-Nu. It is actually not packed in water like Nasoya Tofu and it is not as hard to pat it dry.

The total time to prepare the dish came out to 35 to 45 minutes, which is ideal for a weekday night. I served the rest of the wine to accompany the meal and served the Tofu au Vin with couscous and brussel sprouts. The meal tasted and looked VERY gourmet, was very budget-friendly, and did not require us to be at a restaurant. How about that? This recipe is a keeper. Enjoy it as much as we did.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Tofu au Vin

slighted adpated from Eating Well Jan/Feb 2010 issue

serves 4

1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
8 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon arrowroot or flour
2 cups light- to medium-bodied red wine, such as Beaujolais Nouveau, Merlot or Pinot Noir (I used Red Truck, which is a blend)
2 teaspoons butter(could have used Earth Balance, but I omitted)

Drain, rinse and pat tofu dry; cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook in a single layer, stirring every 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown, 7 to 9minutes total. Transfer the tofu to a shallow dish big enough to fit it in one layer. Sprinkle with vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; gently toss to combine.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, garlic and bay leaf; cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add mushrooms; cook, stirring, until they release their liquid, 3 to 5 minutes more. Sprinkle the vegetables with arrowroot or flour; stir to coat.

Add wine, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the pan and cook, stirring, until the wine has reduced slightly and the sauce has thickened, 4 to 6 minutes more. Return the tofu to the pan, add butter and stir until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

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  • Rochelle

    Yum! Love tofu and mushrooms, so this is looks great as a meatless alternative!

  • Divina Pe

    Very nice. Great change from poultry. Love the combination.

  • 5 Star Foodie

    I love the idea of tofu au vin, it must be fantastic and I can’t wait to try it!

  • Evan Halperin

    I think I may have to try this, but half tofu – half beef. Looks yummy

  • kirsten

    You got me intrigued with the work out videos…I am at the library at least once a week, never thought to check those out. The smoothy sounds great! Nice looking tofu too!

  • Janice

    This looks great, love the wine and tofu together.

  • Pete

    I have to admit, this looks great, even for a carnivore like me! While not opposed to tofu, it’s not one of my favorite things, but I find myself really wanting to try this recipe.