This last week has been a week of settling down and settling in. GF Boy and his dad returned from a backpacking trip (they climbed the highest peak in the contiguous United States!), my church choir met for our first fall rehearsal and Sunday mass, and I taught voice lessons for the second week in a row. Oh, and we outfitted our apartment with some nice new additions (A couch! Spice racks! An office chair for writing these posts!), biked to Golden Gate Park for some live opera, and ate bowls of comforting leek and potato soup, made with the potatoes I picked in Professor Ben’s garden the previous weekend.
I’ll be posting that soup recipe later this week — for now I’m sharing a dinner we enjoyed last Thursday. These Mexican Tofu Lettuce Wraps were just what the doctor ordered after a rush-hour drive home — they only took about 45 minutes to put together, and made for a filling and healthy meal.
The trick with getting these prepared in 45 minutes is to multitask. Get the Mexican Rice going first, since there will be a 20-minute simmering period in which you can attend to the rest of your ingredients. Once the rice is covered and simmering, get your tofu cubes spiced and throw them in the sauté pan. Then, while the tofu and rice are both cooking, wash your lettuce leaves and chop up the rest of your taco toppings (avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, and green onions). Just shake the tofu occasionally — in a nonstick pan over medium heat, it is nearly impossible to burn.
Since these wraps contain both rice and tofu, they make a satisfying light dinner — all in a pretty, neatly-rolled package. They are both vegan and gluten-free — add sour cream and shredded cheese if you’re in the mood for an ovo-lacto meal instead! Just make sure you have enough lettuce leaves for everyone, as you’ll require about four each.
Mexican Rice (printer-friendly version)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. Garlic Gold oil
1 medium red onion
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 C. long-grain rice
1 C. low sodium chicken broth
1 can (7 3/4 oz) El Pato Jalapeno Sauce
1. Heat the olive oil and Garlic Gold oil n a medium (10-inch) cast-iron pan over medium heat.
2. Add the red onion and salt, and sautee for about 5 minutes, until softened and translucent.
3. Add the rice and sautee for another 5 minutes, until the rice is opaque.
4. Add the chicken broth and El Pato sauce, bring up to a simmer, then turn heat down to low. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Turn off heat and let stand for 10 minutes, covered. Fluff with a fork and serve.
Mexican Tofu Cubes (printer-friendly version)
1 (14-oz) block extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2″ cubes and blotted dry
1 Tbsp. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1. In a large bowl, combine the tofu cubes with the Bragg’s Aminos, nutritional yeast, and spices. Toss until the cubes are coated evenly with the mixture.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch) nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the tofu cubes.
3. Sauté tofu for about 25 minutes, or until crispy.
1 large avocado, sliced
1 C. cilantro leaves
1 C. cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 green onions, sliced thinly