If you have been following this blog for a while you might be asking yourself, “What is with all of the tofu?” No I am not a vegetarian as many of the meat articles I write will show. You see tofu has gotten a bad image among most meat eaters, myself included until a few years ago. I remember as a child, walking through the markets in China smelling the stench of the fresh tofu being sold. The smell of it, the texture, nothing about it screamed it should be eaten by me. But a few years ago when we first discussed getting healthier, as well as trying to cut down our food budget, my husband encouraged me to give tofu a chance. My husband is one of those people that will always try something at least once, he is by far a much braver foodie that I am and I am grateful for that because he pushes me to experiment. Not only was tofu a healthy, low fat form of protein but seeing as how we live near several Asian grocery stores it was also incredibly cheap.
Now I could never completely give up my love for meat but I knew that if I limited my intake, especially of red meat, and increased my protein from things like beans and tofu that I would start to see a change in my health, and boy did I ever. The great thing is that over time our choices turned into habits we don’t even really think about eating healthier any more, we just do. And these good habits I might add have come in handy for me now that I am 18 weeks pregnant. My doctor has been amazed at how healthy my pregnancy has been, and with me only gaining 2 pounds so far she has predicted that if I continue this path during my pregnancy that I will lose all of the baby fat very soon after I give birth. For me, someone who has always struggled in my adult years to get my weight under control, this has been such wonderful news. Not only am I healthier but so is my baby.
I share this because I believe that if you can make a few small changes to your diet, that over time you would see life changing results that are permanent. Because it isn’t about going on a diet and depriving yourself all at one of your favorite things. It is about the small changes that you make over time to develop healthy habits that you will carry with you throughout your life. We allow ourselves to have a nice steak every once in a while and definitely give ourselves treats. But what we have learned is how to eat healthier on a daily basis, it is so routine that we don’t even thing about it any more.
Honey Sesame Tofu
14 ounces of extra firm tofu
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp rice wine
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 c. water
1 red pepper diced
1 small onion diced
First you must make sure that you drain the tofu very well. First wrap the tofu in paper towels and place something firm on top to allow the excess to drain. This will take several rounds, then dice the tofu into small bites and lay flat onto more paper towels and repeat the draining process. You want very little to no moisture left in the tofu.
Toss the tofu bites in 2 Tbsp of flour and the 1/2 tsp of salt. Then lightly pan fry in olive oil until both sides are crispy.
Take the tofu out of the oil and marinate it in 1 Tbsp rice wine, 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1/2 tsp of sugar. And set to the side while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
To prepare the sauce combine the sweet chili, ketchup, honey, oyster sauce, soy sauce and the water bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer until thick.
Begin sauteing the veggies in a small amount of olive oil. Once the onions are soft add the tofu and then lightly toss in the sauce until heated through. Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds before serving and serve over brown rice.