Forbidden Rice with Ginger Tofu, Asparagus & Kale
Now that we’re post-vacation and post-Fourth of July weekend (hot dogs, burgers, and root beer floats, anyone?), it’s time for something healthy. Don’t get me wrong, there’s probably nothing better than sipping a root beer float out in the hot summertime heat on July 4th. But add that to the gorging that we did in Italy and, well, my body’s just craving some vegetables. Something that’s good for me, but that tastes good too.
So I poked around on the internet to find a new, healthy recipe to try out. I settled on this one, from Martha Stewart’s Whole Living. I vamped it up by adding more vegetables and greens, and finishing it with a little extra spice, some tamari, and a drizzle of sesame oil.
This resulting dish fit the bill perfectly: it’s full of fresh vegetables and herbs (asparagus, kale, scallions, and chives), gets a nice kick from fresh ginger and Sriracha, and has just a touch of decadence from the sesame oil. Good for you. But tastes oh-so good too.
FORBIDDEN RICE WITH GINGER TOFU, ASPARAGUS & KALE
Adapted, in a bunch of ways, from Martha Stewart.
2 (6 oz.) packages baked tofu*
1 bunch of asparagus
1 bunch of kale
1 cup of black rice
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh chives, chopped
salt, for seasoning (to taste)
tamari, for seasoning (to taste)
1 tablespoon Sriracha (plus more, to taste, if desired)
limes wedges, for serving
Cook the black rice according to package instructions. Mine called for 1.5 cups of water for 1 cup of rice (other may call for a 2 to 1 ratio). Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat, add the rice, then cover and simmer for 35 minutes (again, go with the instructions on the rice you have—they all differ a little for that particular grain). Remove from heat, and let stand (covered) for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
Meanwhile, cut the tofu into 1 inch long pieces, about 1/4 inch thick. Pan-fry in a wok or large pan, over medium heat, along with a couple splashes of olive oil and tamari, until golden brown (about 5-7 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.
Prep your vegetables while the tofu and rice are cooking. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus, and then cut into 1-inch pieces. Remove the stems and tough ends from the kale, and coarsely chop. Chop your scallions and chives.
In the same wok or large pan that you cooked the tofu in, heat a couple splashes of olive oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and the scallions (reserving some scallions for garnish), along with a couple pinches of salt, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Next, add the garlic and ginger to the pan, and cook for about one minute (until fragrant). Add the kale, and sauté until the kale is just wilted, and the asparagus is crisp-tender. Reduce the heat to low.
Add the tofu back to the pan, along with about 1 tablespoon of Sriracha. Stir everything together, until all the veggies and tofu are coated with the Sriracha. Finally, add the black rice to the pan, and sauté everything together for a minute or two. Taste for seasonings. Want a little more kick? Add some more Sriarcha. Need a little more salt? Add a little tamari. I added a little more of both—Sriracha and tamari—until it tasted just right.
Divide among bowls, and top each with a drizzle of sesame oil, and chopped scallions and chives (for garnish). Serve with the lime wedges (these add a great acidity to the dish when squeezed on top). Enjoy!
* I used Wildwood Organics Savory Baked Tofu.