Broccoli & Tofu with Crushed Red Pepper Infused dressing

Several times during the week when I get home from work, I change immediately, talk to Chris about his day (if he is home), give Martin some kisses, and start looking through my refrigerator and pantry to see what I can make. I am not a plan-ahead kind of girl when it comes to my meals. I eat whatever looks or sounds good to me at the moment. Most of the time it’s what looks good to me, because if I ate what sounded good, then it would be dark chocolate. Every night. For dinner. Which I have done before.

But I’m sure this might change once we have kids. Since right now most of my spare time at night is spent watching movies and television on Hulu or Netflix.

I am the laziest runner you will ever meet.

Typically, many a nights eating alone look like this…

When Chris is around, I try to be a good little wife and wow him with my vegan culinary skills. Most of the time it works. Other times, I’m sure he wishes he were at the firehouse eating a big, juicy steak. But, like a good little husband, he smiles and says “Babe this is really good”. And I will love him forever for that.

On the flip side, he has a habit of saying to me, sometimes repeatedly in one day, that there is nothing to eat in the house. To which I repeatedly respond with, “Yes there is, you just don’t know how to make anything”. Like yesterday.

So after coming home from a long day at work, I looked in the pantry and the refrigerator, pulled out a few things, and began cooking. Below is what I came up with. And let me point out that we haven’t been to a grocery store for anything substantial in almost two weeks now (yes, the broccoli has been in there for that long). And I probably won’t get to the store until Friday.

lemon tofu & broccoli cooking

fixin's Broccoli & Tofu with Crushed Red Pepper Infused dressing

The pictures of our meal from last night don’t reflect exactly what the recipe says. After making it I decided that a few alterations would make it that much better. So don’t mind my bright white, uncooked looking tofu. Sautéing so it will brown is a much better idea. 

Broccoli & Tofu with Crushed Red Pepper Infused dressing

  • 1 package extra-firm tofu, water squeezed out and cubed
  • 2 broccoli floret, rinsed and cut from stem into smaller florets
  • 1 cup dry brown rice*, cooked per package instructions (or 1-2 cups already made brown rice)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1-2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Crushed Red Pepper Infused Dressing – Makes about 1/2 cup

  • Crushed red pepper/oil mixture
  • 1 T soy sauce (I use Tamari)
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp agave
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • dash of sea salt

Start by taking out your tofu, placing it in between a few sheets of paper towel, and giving it a good squeeze. Cube it and set it aside. If you didn’t make your brown rice ahead of time, cook it according to package directions. Trim broccoli, rinse, and set aside. Put the oil over medium-low heat in a saute pan. Add crushed red pepper, and saute until fragrant. Don’t let it burn. Takes about two minutes. Transfer mixture to a separate bowl that you can later use for the dressing.

There should still be a little bit of oil in the pan that you can use to saute the tofu and broccoli in. If not, you can add a tsp more. Keep on medium to medium-low heat, add the tofu and broccoli, and saute for 5-7 minutes. In the meantime, make the dressing. To the crushed red pepper/oil mixture, add soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, agave, and lemon. Wisk together and season with a dash of salt. Set aside.

The tofu should start to brown, and the broccoli will start to char. Add water, cover and simmer on low until broccoli is tender, but not over done. Remove cover, and if there is still water left, turn the heat up and cook until it is gone.

There are a few ways you can assemble. You can add the dressing to the tofu/broccoli mix in the pan during the last couple of minutes, and serve over a bed of rice. You can plate your rice, top with tofu & broccoli, then pour dressing over. Or you can mix everything together in a bowl, letting it marinate, and then plate. Top with nutritional yeast, if desired.

*It’s up to you how much brown rice you want to use for a serving. For this recipe I made a ton of rice so I could have left overs for other meals. But I think we ate almost a cup each last night.

What plant-based meal do you find yourself throwing together during a busy week night?

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