It's a rainy, stormy Monday here in Stephanie-land...so I thought I'd brighten things up with a COLORFUL dinner! :) I hope everyone had a great weekend!
There are several parts to this dish. I had all four burners going, making four parts of the dish simultaneously. I felt like an Iron chef! But, the timing of each step fell nicely into the others so it wasn't nearly as hard as it sounds.
I got this colorful baby on clearance :) Use your favorite fettucine pasta and put a giant pot of salted water on a back burner to bring to a boil. I boiled 4 oz, 2 oz each (follow package directions). and then moved onto the perfect tofu.
The Perfect Tofu
- 1/2 block firm or extra firmTofu
- 1 tsp olive oil (or cooking spray)
- salt & pepper
I always use Organic tofu to avoid GMOs and I prefer extra firm but that's a personal preference. Simply cut slits in the top of the container around the edges and drain out all of the liquid.
Cut the block in half. Place the other half in a container and cover with water. This will last in the fridge up to 7 days, replacing the water every 2-3 days. Another option is to freeze it...but we had bad results with that one so I won't be doing that again.
Cut the remaining half in half. Cut each half in half. You should have four long sections.
Arrange the slabs on a towel for pressing.
Fold over the leftover sections of the towel to cover. Place a large, heavy book on top. Press for 15-20 minutes. I used this time to get out the ingredients for the Alfredo sauce and chop the veggies.
After tofu has been pressed and most liquid has been removed, lay slabs on top of each other for slicing. (I normally do two at a time.) Slice once vertically down the middle. Slice down the middle horizontally. Slice the halves again down the middle horizontally. Each slab should yield 8 cubes of tofu.
Heat oil in nonstick pan (or cover pan with cooking spray) over medium heat . Salt and pepper each side of the tofu and arrange in the pan, piece by piece.
After 5-6 minutes (check one periodically so they don't burn!), flip each piece of tofu individually. I know, I know, such a pain....but the results, each piece of tofu perfectly browned, are worth it. I have found the easiest way to do this is with a mini cookie spatula and just kinda tap the top of the edge and it flips. :)
Another 4-6 minutes on the other side and viola! The perfect tofu. This is great for using in just about anything. Stir fries, pasta dishes and especially for casseroles, so it doesn't get soggy while baking.
adapted from Weight Watcher's New Complete Cookbook
- 1/2 Tb. butter
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 Tb. flour (I used whole wheat)
- 1/2 cup 1% milk
- 2 Tb. fat-free cream cheese
- 2 Tb. grated Parmesan cheese
- Assorted veggies
Steam the veggies. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup broccoli florets, 1/2 red bell pepper & 1 carrot, which I tried last time...this time I used 1 cup fresh green beans and 1 red bell pepper and like it much better! Now, this is a very AB moment for me...I don't have a vegetable steamer. I have one attached to my rice cooker but it takes longer than it should and I feel like it's a waste sometimes. So, I fashioned my own! Not a perfect replica because there were placed for the steam to escape but good enough to replicate the results needed :) I put two inches of water in the saucepan and brought it to a boil. Put the veggies in a mesh strainer and then put the strainer on top of the pan and place the lid in the strainer. Steam for about 6-8 minutes, until tender-crisp.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the garlic and saute.
Whisk in the flour.
Gradually whisk in the milk; cook, constantly stirring, until slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the cream cheese and Parmesan and cook 1-2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
Nothing like 50 things at once to make you feel like a chef....unwarranted or not ;) haha
In a large bowl, place drained pasta and top with the vegetables. Add half of the sauce and toss to coat.
Add tofu and the rest of the sauce and toss until fully coated. Divide into two bowls and serve.
Nutritional Information (for half): 427 calories, 10.3 g fat (3.7 g sat), 8.6 g fiber, 26 g protein
This is an example of how healthy food does not have to taste bad or that you don't have to give up on indulgent tasting foods to eat healthfully. This is a wonderful dish that is relatively easy to prepare despite all the steps. This may be higher than most foods you see for "dieters" but that's because I don't believing in dieting. Sure, when I'm trying to lose weight, I cut some calories, but about 100-200 a day with an increase in exercise. It's slow but it sticks.
Until next time...♥