Monday, April 18, 2011

Meatless Monday: Coconut Curry Tofu

Ah, another tofu dish! I just can't help myself. This dish is flavorful and packed full of veggies. It's easy to cook, tastes incredible, but requires a lot of chopping. The best part? It also makes good leftovers. With our family of three, we always have leftovers. I hate when we go to eat leftovers the next day for lunch only to find it's gooey, mushy, and gross. This recipe is not one of those. Eat some for dinner and pack up some for the following day. Yum!

My husband and I don't eat out much. About once a month, though, we have a date night, and then we do dine out. Sometimes, we do something fun like pizza or veggie dogs. Sometimes, we go somewhere a little nicer, like PF Chang's. They have the most incredible coconut curry tofu dish there. It is so good, and they give you so much. I always have to force myself to only eat half and save the rest for later.

This recipe I'm about to share with you is not quite as good as PF Chang's version. I wish it was. It's still one of our favorite meals to eat at home, and it's a lot cheaper to make at home, but it doesn't quite compare in taste. Looking up the nutrition from PF Chang's, their coconut curry tofu is about 600 calories per serving (one order is two servings), including the rice. That's actually not too bad for a restaurant meal, but the home version is superior at 450 calories.
I use a recipe from (where else?): However, to try to make it a little more like my favorite restaurant version, I add a tablespoon of peanut butter and often add some chopped peanuts on top. To save money and time, I also substitute some dry, powdered ingredients for fresh ones in the recipe (like chili powder for chili paste, ground ginger for fresh, and sometimes even dried basil for fresh, depending on whether or not I have any on hand). Sometimes, the grocery store is out of light coconut milk. When that happens, I purchase the fatty stuff. It works well, and actually tastes a little better. The recipe holds up to my substitutions.

Finally, this recipe claims to serve six. Perhaps it's because my husband and I like it so much, but we only get four servings from it. The nutrition information I include at the end will be based on four servings.
Without further delay:

Coconut Curry Tofu, serves 4

1 bunch of green onions
1 (14 oz) can light coconut milk
1/4 cup soy sauce, divided
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder (more or less to taste)
1 pound firm tofu, cubed
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 head of bok choy, chopped
handful of chopped peanuts (optional)

1. Remove the white parts of the green onions and finely chop. Chop the greens into 1-inch pieces and set aside.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, mix the coconut milk, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, brown sugar, peanut butter, curry powder, ginger and chili paste. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir the tofu, tomatoes, pepper, mushrooms, finely chopped green onions, and the thick thems of the bok choy into the skillet. Cover and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in the basil and the leafy greens from the bok choy. Season with the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce. Continue to cook for five minutes. Serve over brown rice and garnish with the green onions and peanuts, if using.

Per Serving:
Cost: Approximately $4
Calories, including 1/2 cup serving brown rice: Approximately 450

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