After nearly four years of strict vegetarianism, I cracked last fall while studying abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France. The poulet roti, the moules frites, the escargot: it was all too much for me. But after a year of binging on chicken wings, greasy turkey burgers and fried chicken (oh, why in the world are the meats I love so terrible for me?), I’m back on the wagon. Or, kind of. I have one foot hanging off the wagon? In any case, I’m trying to eliminate meat from my diet, and the easiest way to do this, in my opinion, is to open yourself to meals without meat. For me, this just means bringing back all the meals I used to make religiously. I loved them then, but when you replace tofu with chicken in stir -fries, or black beans with chicken in fajitas, it gets difficult to go back. But I’m doing it!
Tonight I made one of my old favorites: Chinese-style Teriyaki fried tofu with broccoli over brown rice. It’s healthy, it’s easy and it’s delicious. And, I have to admit, it made me remember how tasty vegetarianism really can be, even if it doesn’t involve buffalo sauce or char-grilled taste.
Chinese-Style Teriyaki Tofu and Brocolli:
1 pkg. extra-firm tofu
1 head of broccoli
½ c. brown rice
1 c. water
4 Tbs. flour
3 tsp. paprika
1 c. cooking oil (I use vegetable)
Teriyaki sauce (I’m a big fan of Soy Vay’s “Very Teriyaki,” seen here).
In a small pot, add water and bring to a boil. Add rice and cover, simmer for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut broccoli into florets and open and drain tofu. Cover in paper towels and apply pressure. Discard wet paper towels and repeat. Cut tofu into thin chunks.
Heat oil in a separate pot on high. When hot, put tofu in flour and paprika mixture. Coat and place tofu in oil, one-by-one. Let each piece cook 30-45 seconds, remove and place on a paper-towel lined plate.
When all tofu is finished, put broccoli in a stir-fry pan and heat on high. Cook broccoli and add tofu. Add teriyaki sauce. Serve over rice.
Yum! Who knew vegetarianism could be so yummy? (Well, I did…four years ago…)