I am sure I must have played this trumpet many times before, about how busy a working (or any mom for that matter) mom’s life is. Juggling work, chores, playdates and field trips while also trying to feed the family a healthy home cooked meal is not a very easy game to play. As much as the “job” of a mother is the most fulfilling one but it definitely has its moments when you are just plainly frustrated, overwhelmed and lost. And whoever is reading this and saying, “I do not know what the heck you are talking about.”, I bow to you but I have to break this to you- you are one in a million!
Last few weeks have been one of “those” weeks for me, frustrating, overwhelming and making me feel lost. Lost in a puddle of to do lists that never seem to end and then more gets added to it before I get to the end. Summer arriving, last stretch before the school closes and last month before I getaway with the kids to India. But that also means last one month to meet all the deadlines, prep for teachers appreciation weeks, shop for gifts to take back home, book airplane and train tickets, buy gifts for the never ending birthday parties and of course there are colds and fevers thrown in somewhere in between!
And then there are four stomachs to feed, three meals a day and also three snack times. Have you calculated how much that adds up to? I haven’t either, but I am sure its a plenty because its making me have a meltdown. “So strategize and plan”, my mom voice keeps repeating in my head. And part of my strategy, I am trying to just keep it simple. No over reaching just planning simple meals and doing it one step at a time.
This recipe is part of that strategy. Its simple, its healthy, comes together in no time and kids think I’ve made something fancy so they enjoy it too. And hey, it also looks pretty, so makes it here on the blog too. More than two birds killed with one stone. I hope you like this strategy of mine and enjoy this quick and simple recipe of Sweet and Spicy Tofu and Beans Stir Fry.
1 (14-ounce) package water-packed extra-firm tofu, drained
1/2- 3/4 pound green beans (cut into approx. 2- inch length)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sriracha
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoon corn starch
How to make Crispy Tofu in an Oven (using zero oil!):
Press the Tofu:
In order to make crispy baked tofu we need to press it first to squeeze some of the liquid, its soaked in, out of it. In order to do that, drain the water out of the tofu container and wrap it in 3-4 layers of paper towel or in a clean kitchen towel.
Place wrapped tofu on a plate and place a flat dish/plate on it. Place 2-3 heavy bowl on top of the plate to increase the weight on the tofu. Set aside for 20 minutes.
Drain the liquid:
After 20 minutes or so you will see water separated from tofu and the kitchen towel should be all wet. Drain the liquid and unwrap the tofu.
Cut into cubes:
Place pressed tofu onto a chopping board and cut into a shape you need for the dish you are making. For the stir fry we are making here, we need cubes, so I cut my tofu into cubes.
Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Line tofu cubes onto the sheet. Transfer the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 10 minutes each side, 20 minutes total or until the tofu is golden and crispy.
Making of the Sweet and Spicy Tofu Stir Fry:
Bring all the ingredients of sauce, together into a bowl . Using a whisk, gently whisk them all together.
Transfer tofu into a ziplock bag. Pour in the sauce in the ziplock bag. Close the ziplock bag tightly and gently shake the bag for the sauce to coat all the tofu.
Heat oil in a sauté pan or a wok. Drop in a the green beans. Toss gently to coat green beans with oil. Cook for 3-5 minutes, on medium heat, tossing in intervals.
Transfer all the ingredients in the ziplock bag, into the wok/sauté pan. Toss everything gently, over medium high heat, for the sauce to thicken and at the same coat all the beans and tofu, approx. 3-5 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Serve over a bed of steamed rice.
- It always helps to place the wrapped tofu in a plate with elevated rims or a flat pasta bowl, to keep the liquid from draining out of the plate and make a mess.
- You do not want your tofu to be completely dry so keep checking on it once in a while when baking in the oven. Different ovens work differently and the size and shape of the tofu also determines the bake time.
- Use a whisk to mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl to make cornstarch is mixed in as well and there’s no lumps left.
- We want to keep the green beans crunchy but still slightly softened on the outside so if you think 5 minutes is too much for the variety of beans you are using, just adjust cook time accordingly.
- Feel Free to substitute green beans with any other green like broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts or you can even throw in some mushroom and sugar snap peas.