January 9, 2015

Lighten Up!

Photo by Mette Nielsen
Birchwood Cafe Tofu Scramble

I've learned to love tofu, something I never thought I'd ever do. It's indistinct and neutral, but those very while those qualities can seem unappealing, they also make it a forgiving and flexible medium for bold, innovative flavors. Take this simple Tofu Scramble from the Birchwood Cafe. It's one of my favorites in the book I've been working on with Mette Nielsen, Tracy Singleton and Chef Marshall Paulsen. The key here is to marinate the tofu in coconut milk and spices for at least 8 hours. Then simply drain well, saute it with seasonal vegetables, toss in pickled radishes or onions for zip and drizzle with a flavored oil. It's great over rice, faro, skinny noodles -- filling yet deliciously light. Isn't that what we want now? More light?


1 can coconut milk
2 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Pinch cayenne

1 block firm tofu, diced into 1/2 inch pieces

1 tablespoon rice bran oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bunch green onions, trimmed and sliced
1 bunch kale, stemmed, trimmed and torn 
1/2 cup cubed marinated vegetables (beets, radishes, Brussels sprouts)
1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil or lemon oil

In a small bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients. Add the tofu, cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. 

Drain tofu. In a small skillet heat the rice bran oil and saute the garlic, green onions and kale until the vegetables soften. Stir in the tofu and cook, stirring, for about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve topped with the marinated vegetables and garnished with a little of the seasoned oil